The Coolest New Makeup Technology

The future of makeup.

The Coolest New Makeup Technology
Lady Gaga became David Bowie at the Grammys without makeup. Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS

Makeup involves cosmetics such as lipstick or powder applied to the face, used to enhance or alter the appearance. Without thinking about what really it is, women have been wearing makeup for years upon years. Now Disney researchers bring a new makeup technology for such makeup lovers.

Disney Research, the scientific-research arm of the Walt Disney Company, has discovered Makeup Lamps, a special light that can project the “illusion of makeup” onto a human face. It imagines a future of faces without makeup–at least for actors on stage.

This new makeup technology is similar to the Intel facial-mapping technology used by Lady Gaga at the 2016 Grammys. The system paints your skin in digital pixels. It can add wrinkles, dynamic light and shadow and the illusion of makeup on someone’s face that transforms their face into a room sad clown to Heath Ledger’s psychotic Joker without applying a single smear face paint.

Through this, the user may never need to know how to contour or buy a contouring palette ever again; instead, simply find the right light.

Secretly, it can handle facial projection mapping fast enough to feel real. Similar to Microsoft’s Kinect body tracker, it can read an expression and project responsive pixels within just 10 milliseconds. By predicting the next movement an actor will make, scientists have deducted its response time. A user can easily feel the elasticity and physics of your face, stretching and rebounding like rubber.

Through this technology, researchers offered another possibility that may seem obvious: Makeup Lamps could let users preview their makeup for the day.