Illustration: Silja Goetz
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Future Flash: A Mobile Makeup Matcher
Picture this: You're standing before a drugstore wall of foundations wondering, "Buff Beige or Bare Buff?" and you turn to your cell phone for the answer. Simply snap a shot of yourself with its camera, send it to a virtual beauty adviser, and get back a text message (within seconds) that tells you the most flattering shade for your skin. Hewlett-Packard has already developed the technology, called Color Match. It would take a kind of geek we definitely are not to understand exactly how it works, but the system color-corrects each picture for camera and lighting discrepancies and then compares the shot to a database of skin tones to recommend the best match. HP is working to find makeup brands that can help bring the prototype to life.
— Jenny Bailly