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YSL Beauty at Tech Show London: The Empowerment of Personalised Beauty

Mon 4 Mar 2024

Ahead of the Tech Show London on 6-7 March at ExCeL London, Techerati spoke with Juleah Love and Delphine Helin from YSL Beauty.

As pioneers in the beauty industry, they shared how YSL is intertwining technology with luxury to enhance the beauty experience and make a significant impact on societal issues.

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Sustainable Luxury at YSL Beauty

In an era where sustainability is becoming a necessity, YSL Beauty is pushing ahead for a more sustainable and socially-responsible luxury beauty industry.

Juleah Love, YSL Beauty’s Global Head of Brand Corporate Engagement, outlined the brand’s comprehensive sustainability program, ‘Change the Rules, Change the Future’, which represents a bold commitment to integrating sustainability across every facet of their operations.

This initiative is a continuation of a journey that began a decade ago with the establishment of YSL Beauty’s Ourika Community Gardens. This project focused on sustainable sourcing and creating a positive impact that resonates throughout the value chain.

Juleah elaborated on the program’s holistic approach, which includes initiatives designed to reduce the use of natural resources from ‘seed to skin’. This strategy underscores YSL Beauty’s commitment to minimising its environmental footprint across the entire product lifecycle.

Moreover, YSL Beauty is actively engaged in societal issues through initiatives such as ‘Rewild Our Earth’ and ‘Abuse is Not Love’

‘Rewild Our Earth’ focuses on protecting and restoring some of nature’s most threatened areas, showcasing YSL Beauty’s dedication to biodiversity and environmental conservation. This global initiative demonstrates the brand’s recognition of its responsibility towards the planet and its commitment to making a tangible difference.

‘Abuse is Not Love’ tackles the pressing issue of intimate partner violence, working closely with local nonprofit organisations across over 25 markets. This initiative highlights YSL Beauty’s understanding that sustainability extends beyond environmental concerns to encompass social welfare and human rights.

Empowering Women Through Technology

YSL Beauty’s use of digital platforms to empower women and advocate against intimate partner violence exemplifies how technology can be leveraged for social good within the beauty industry.

Juleah shed light on the brand’s strategic use of digital tools to address and mitigate societal issues, particularly violence against women.

“Digital platforms are a powerful tool to enacting social change and engaging in public discourse,” Juleah emphasised, highlighting the dual role of technology as both an enabler of positive social change and a platform for raising awareness on critical issues.

Juleah detailed the reality that one out of three women will experience violence by a partner in their lifetime, underscoring the urgency of YSL Beauty’s mission to help reduce this statistic.

“Our goal at YSL Beauty is to help reduce that number,” she stated, revealing the brand’s dedication to making a tangible impact through education and resource provision.

Central to YSL Beauty’s strategy is the use of its digital platforms to destigmatise conversations around abuse and to offer support and resources to those affected.

The brand has developed a dedicated website, abuseisnotlove.com, which serves as a hub for education on abuse and provides a directory of domestic abuse hotlines across various countries.

Moreover, YSL Beauty recognises the double-edged nature of technology in the context of intimate partner violence. Juleah acknowledged that while technology offers innovative solutions for supporting victims and survivors, it can also be exploited by perpetrators to exert control over their victims.

This nuanced understanding of technology’s role underscores the brand’s comprehensive approach to addressing intimate partner violence, with the importance of funding and supporting services that empower and protect women in a safe and secure manner.

Innovation at the Heart of Beauty Experience

In the rapidly evolving beauty industry, YSL Beauty stands at the forefront of integrating technology to redefine the consumer experience, particularly through personalisation.

Delphine Tour Helin, YSL Beauty’s International Retail Services and Beauty Tech Director, illuminated how the brand is pioneering to embed technology deeply into its DNA, thereby transforming the traditional beauty encounter into an innovative, interactive journey.

“At YSL Beauty, we are convinced that personalisation is the future of beauty,” said Delphine.

This vision propels YSL Beauty to develop a variety of services aimed at augmenting the expertise of their beauty advisors and significantly elevating the consumer experience.

One of the brand’s hallmark innovations is the “Scent SATION” fragrance consultation, a service that leverages neuroscience to create a personalised fragrance discovery journey. Scent SATION employs a neuro-connected headset to analyse brain impulses in response to various olfactive notes, allowing consumers to explore fragrances through the unique lens of emotional reactions.

The Role of AI in Personalised Beauty

Delphine Helin’s insights into YSL Beauty’s approach to integrating AI into the beauty experience illustrate a transformative shift towards ultra-personalisation and efficiency in the industry.

She highlighted their strategic utilisation of Generative AI as a pivotal tool in elevating the personalisation of client experiences. This move aligns with YSL Beauty’s ethos of harnessing technology to exceed consumer expectations in a deeply personalised manner.

“Generative AI … has the potential to greatly enhance the personalisation of the client experience,” Delphine stated, underscoring the technology’s ability to analyse vast amounts of consumer data.

This analysis facilitates an understanding of individual preferences and behaviors, enabling YSL Beauty to deliver highly customised advice and product recommendations.

Delphine elaborated on the synergy between L’Oreal’s extensive database of skin tones and the precision of AI in formulating product recommendations. This combination allows for greater levels of accuracy in matching consumers with products that suitable for their skin type and tone and aligned with their personal beauty aspirations.

This advanced level of personalisation fosters a sense of inclusivity, ensuring every consumer can find products that resonate with their identity.

Delphine envisioned the future of beauty experiences powered by AI to offer even more immersive experiences. She discussed the potential of creating bespoke content in real-time, tailored to the individual consumer’s preferences, further blurring the lines between digital innovation and personal touch.

Advice for Aspiring Tech-Infused Beauty Innovators

Delphine also offered invaluable advice for aspiring innovators aiming to make their mark in the tech-infused beauty industry. Her insights draw from YSL Beauty’s successful integration of technology to enhance customer experience and personalisation.

Delphine’s first piece of advice focuses on the importance of assembling a team capable of turning visionary ideas into reality. She emphasised the need for a team that embodies the brand’s vision.

“Create a team that is able to walk the talk, a team that is going to incarnate your vision,” Delphine advised.

This approach led to the formation of a dynamic duo within YSL Beauty, comprising beauty tech project managers and education managers. The project managers are tasked with exploring the skies for innovative solutions, while education managers keep their ears to the ground, staying in tune with consumer needs and beauty advisors’ insights. This synergy ensures that technological innovations are groundbreaking as well as deeply rooted in practicality and relevance to end-users.

The second piece of advice Delphine offers is to embrace a test-and-learn approach. In an industry as fast-paced and consumer-centric as beauty tech, the ability to adapt and refine concepts through real-world feedback is crucial.

Delphine shared how YSL Beauty did not rush the launch of their innovative services. Instead, they took the time to test, learn, and iterate. She highlighted the launch of Scent SATION, where initial testing in Dubai led to valuable insights that shaped the final, globally launched service.

Delphine’s advice to budding beauty tech innovators is clear: build a team that truly represents your vision and be prepared to engage in a continuous cycle of testing, learning, and evolving.

Juleah and Delphine will be at Tech Show London to share their story and showcase how their innovative use of technology personalises the beauty experience, and champions sustainability and societal well-being at the same time.

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