It may look strange, but the smart beauty gizmo could soon be a fixture on our bathroom shelves.
It’s still very first-gen stuff, but Duolab (part of the L’Occitane group) represents the beginning of skincare as a fully personalised, blend-it-at-home offering. It works like this: download the app, which uses artificial intelligence to scan your face to assess the wrinkle situation, then answer some questions about your skin and choose whether you want your routine to cover days, nights or both. This information then determines a 28-day protocol and a daily duo of capsules.
Those capsules are placed in a pod which then goes into the main machine and in 90 seconds it blends the contents together and heats the cream to body temperature, which makes it pleasant to apply and easy to absorb. (The empty capsules can be recycled and cleaning isn’t a worry as the pod itself never gets dirty.) As the capsules are mixed and used instantly they contain no preservatives, so if you get reactions or just prefer to avoid them this offers that opportunity. Also the active ingredients can be more potent as they are emulsified only when needed so don’t have to be formulated to remain stable together in a bottle for months on end.
While the Duolab machine isn’t cheap (£250) it does come with ten-year repair support. The capsules can be purchased as a one-off order or monthly through a subscription service (£17.50 for 14, duolab.com) but currently only use L’Occitane products (other brand partnerships are in development).
This is all impressive stuff but it’s really just the beginning. As Reinold Geiger, CEO of L’Occitane, told me: ‘You have the same [idea] in food: Nespresso took 20 years before it was a success.’ I’m not sure we’ll have to wait that long for this to take off but you get the gist.
Two new flings for spring
If you’re in the market for a new fragrance to spritz then two launches sum up the hopefulness of spring and the joyful arrival of longer days. First is Chloé’s Nomade Absolu de Parfum (£55 for 30ml, johnlewis.com), a sandalwood and plum chypre which is a slightly more intense version of the original but subtle rather than overpowering.
For a fresher seasonal shift, Coach Dreams Eau de Parfum (£35 for 40ml, debenhams.com) is a cheering and charming option. Bitter orange and pear are mixed with gardenia, musk and Joshua tree – yes, true story. It’s an understated, elegant fragrance and good for all ages – don’t think just because it’s Coach that it’s only for youngsters.
Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson