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In Sight: Color Cosmetics On the Move
By: Katie Schaefer, Cosmetics & Toiletries
Posted: September 4, 2007, from the September 2007 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
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“We needed a system that color-corrects images for a true color comparison space. Our system constructs a matrix based on the image and remaps the image with the correct colors,” said Bhatti. The algorithms locate the face in the image first, according to Bhatti; then it selects the good color on the face, throwing out any shadows or sheen.
The system takes those skin values that are left and compares them to many samples of skin in a database to find what Bhatti refers to as “the color sister or who looks just like [the consumer] in colorspace.” The database accounts for uneven pigmented skin or freckles. “We actually literally compare the distribution of the skin value.”
Low resolution phones can prove to be somewhat of a problem since they essentially “smear” imperfections and average them over a larger area of skin; however they can still help to choose a more appropriate shade of foundation.
HP Labs involved color cosmetic experts as well in the creation of its color match technology thus using information from the experts to recommend a beneficial foundation.
HP Labs wanted to genuinely mimick the knowledge, eye and expertise of color experts with its technology. Therefore, it compared the results chosen from its database with several color cosmetic experts’ choices in tests. “The color match technology performed as well, if not better than, the color cosmetic experts,” said Bhatti. “The experts were even off by a shade at times when the technology was right on,” she added.