By Kaveena Anantha-Siva | UNSW FABSOC
We’ve all seen those quizzes you take online to determine which shampoo is best for your hair, or which skincare product works well with your skin. From customised products to curated individual recommendations, personalisation is the way certain products or services are tailored to match individual consumer needs and preferences.
This trend gained momentum during 2018 and since then, has acquired popularity and expanded to accommodate the various fashion and beauty needs out there!
Why is it so successful?
Imagine a make-your-own sundae bar. You feel thrilled as you choose your ice-cream favour, whether you want 1, 2 or 3 scoops, as well as your toppings. Only YOU know what kind of sundae you’ll enjoy, and you’re excited as you take your carefully curated (or not so carefully!) creation to devour. Plus, you’ve never gotten the option of putting just the right amount of sprinkles onto your cone- but this time, you do!
That was a lot about ice cream, but the same point applies to fashion and beauty!
Due to the increasing information online and on social media, consumers are more educated than ever on their beauty requirements. Everyone is different and everyone wants their individual needs to be catered for- ever heard of the saying that one size doesn’t fit all?
Personalisation is also a really valuable way to assist those who are unsure of their fashion and beauty needs and require expert assistance. It can also better help people usually not catered to by the mass market, including people of colour, and those with different hair types and textures to the ‘norm’.
So what’s out in the market?
Despite personalisation not seeming common for most brands, it’s actually more widespread than you think! Ranging from simple diagnostic quizzes, to sophisticated technology that measures your skin quality, or even just consultations with a professional, these are all examples of personalisation in the beauty world!
The HiMirror is a mirror which measures your pores, fine lines, red and dark spots, and wrinkles to track the effectiveness of beauty products over time, so that you can tailor your skincare routine accordingly.
This device is customisable as it takes into account weight, height and age when ‘rating’ the quality of one’s skin. It is said that the machine recognises even the tiniest of changes- so be wary if you slept with your makeup on last night!
Priced at $150-$200, this smart mirror is definitely an investment when compared to follow up dermatologist appointments which can get expensive really quick. However, like any form of technology, its reliability can be challenged, and it should be used with caution.
2. Amazon Personal Shopper
This subscription service allows a personalised shopper to select a variety of pieces based on your individual style preferences.
It’s basically like having your own shopping assistant! That you’re paying $4.99 a month for.
Users first fill out a quick but comprehensive questionnaire about their preferences for style, colour, trends, fit, sizing and budget, of which the answers are used to inform a personal stylist who then picks out a monthly box.
Whilst not being 100% perfect yet (as it can be difficult for a stylist to completely capture one’s unique style), the subscription definitely offers a cheap alternative for those too busy to spend time browsing on websites, as well as allows consumers to discover new brands and fits.
3. Living Proof’s ‘Body Building Hairspray’
Something as simple as a customisable store bought product can incorporate personalisation.
Have you ever noticed a stray hair misbehaving, so you reach for your bottle of hairspray to quickly spritz it back to place?
Suddenly you have hairspray in your face and you’re coughing violently.
No longer will this be an issue, with Living Proof’s Body Building Hairspray that features a customisable nozzle, allowing users to alter how much hold they want. There are two settings: M (more) and L (less) which determine how much product comes out, as well as the option to put the setting to anywhere in between for a ‘medium’ hold.
At $29, this hairspray is a bit pricier, not to mention is the only product from this brand which offers a customisable nozzle. But with personalised products expanding in the market, perhaps it won’t be long until we see another customisable companion.
Due to the abundance of personal styles and preferences, no personalised product or service is 100% perfect yet.
BUT, brands are looking to cater to a more diverse range of needs, and with the development of technology, who knows what sort of personalisation we’ll have in 5-10 years?