Could EZface Kiosks Change the Face of Drugstore Beauty?

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, News



Whenever I come across a new drugstore makeup morsel, I follow a familiar routine.

With the prospective product in hand, I’ll track down a reflective surface in the store (like the edge of a nearby shelf), and hold the item up to my face to gauge how the color might look on my skin.

Admittedly, it’s a rather unscientific approach…

Since most drugstores don’t provide open testers for products, beauty shoppers are often left to guess based on how products appear through their unopened packages.

But the times, beauty lovers, are a-changin’! Drugstore retailers like Wal-Mart have begun testing new technology that could help.

The new EZface Inc. “virtual mirror” lets ladies (and gents) see how beauty products might look on their skin without actually having to try them on (kinda like Daily Makeover’s Makeover Studio in a box).

Customers stand in front of the computerized EZface kiosk, which has a built-in camera, touch screen, bar code scanner and printer, and have their picture taken.

Then, by simply scanning the bar code of any makeup you’re interested in, EZface generates a composite picture simulating what you might look like with it on. Also from the kiosk, you can print the image, email it or even send it straight to Facebook.

Pretty cool, yah?


I haven’t seen an EZface kiosk in person yet, but I’m dying to (let me know if you have!). So far they’ve been “deployed” in just 10 Wal-Mart stores across the U.S.

I’m curious… Do the machines also take into account fluorescent store lighting, skin tone and product texture/finish? Inquiring minds want to know! ๐Ÿ™‚

If these EZface kiosks take off, they could become a trademark part of the drugstore shopping experience, like cheesy in-store muzak (Kenny G, anyone?).

Would you like to try an EZface kiosk?

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Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 46 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Nina says:

    It would be an interesting technology to have. Sometimes there will be things in the drugstore or grocery store that would catch my eye but they dont always have testers so I end up not getting them.

    • Karen says:

      I hope they’re easy to use! From my experience whenever a touch screen is involved you’re usually in for a whole lotta hurt, LOL.

      • Nina says:

        I am so hopeless at those too! Those Redbox thingies? Pure torture for me … so much so that I ended up renting some Van Damme movie innstead of what I really wanted (one of the Shreks, im thinking) … kinda embarassing! ๐Ÿ˜›

      • EZface Team says:

        We designed the interface especialy for ease of use. the buttons are large and easy to handle and the touch screen is not some cheap piece of junk but a neat state of the art technology. You’ll love it!

  2. Debbie says:

    What a cool idea! Although you think it would be easier (and less expensive) just to put testers

    • Karen says:

      I know, right? From the sound of it drugstores want to add the kiosks to avoid losing money from returns and from people opening up the products in the store. I guess they’re banking on kiosks costing less than offering testers in stores.

      • Elaine says:

        this is disgusting but –

        my best friend ussed tosteal testers. she said “it wasnt as bad as stealing the real thing”

        i conveniently found this out AFTER we shared some makeup.


      • EZface Team says:

        There are many stores that don’t have testers at all (Walmart) and when you go to a store that has you find that some are gone (someone stole it…) and some are dirty…..
        So they are using the kiosk to offer clean testers that is never missing and to save the losses when people break packages to try products.

  3. Radhika says: sounds awesome..but like you said what about lighting and the other factors?
    Radhika recently posted … 127 hours- A movie I wont be watching -P

  4. Radhika says:

    We don’t have returns here..and I hate store lighting..the colours always look different later ๐Ÿ™

  5. it’s definitely interesting but i have a feeling i’d be too embarrassed to use it :p
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … Collection Spotlight- Emporio Armani – Fall 2010

  6. Amber says:

    I’m thinking you’d never be able to get within 10′ of one of these on a weekend, but I’d love to try one!

  7. HanaBerlin says:

    I have been on a total drugstore makeup kick lately… I think this is a great idea. =)

  8. Phyrra says:

    I’m not sure how well it would work. The lighting is notoriously bad in stores, so you’d almost have to have a booth or something. Neat concept but I’d have to see how the implementation turned out.

  9. Trisha says:

    I would try it, but I’m not sure it would work well. It makes me think of those makeover applications where you can add computer-generated makeup to your face and change your hairstyle. It never looks even remotely realistic.
    Trisha recently posted … A Sweet Time in Butte

  10. Megan says:

    What a cool idea! when i used to wear drugstore foundations i always wonder why my skin never looked its best. probably because i didnt know too much about makeup…. but also because i always got the wrong shade.

  11. Shannon says:

    I don’t trust it! I honestly do not think the images will be adequate representations of the colors themselves. Some products show up differently on people due to their undertones, skin tone, etc. For example, NYX lipstick in perfect looks more pink on my sister than it does on me. I don’t think that will be accounted for either. Also, I wonder how they will be in updating the kiosk with new products that come out as well.

    • EZface Team says:

      Wow Shannon. How skeptic can you be?
      We spent tons of money and time to research our algorythm to do just that – showing how certain product looks differently on people. We do take into consideration undertones and many other veriables.
      You can try it yourself. Go to and try the online version on your own photo. its free!

  12. androgynes says:

    In Belgium they set testers, even it is really unhygienic it sometimes comes handy

    But this device could give a false presentation?

  13. Kymberlee says:

    Do you have any idea which stores these are in already? If there are any around here I’d love to try it out!

    • EZface Team says:

      If you are in the US you can go and see it at Walmart stores at:
      PAYSON, AZ

  14. Glosslizard says:

    I’m skeptical! I sincerely doubt that they would show poor payoff or chalky texture with any accuracy, and you sure couldn’t tell whether that “long-lasting” liner really is or not! I guess that would be where the return policy came in…

    • EZface Team says:

      Sure, the system has its limits. However, the main issue is showing how will you look in terms of color, coverage and general look. So instead of trying actual products, you can use the system to mix and match colors. And it CAN show you effects like gloss and metalic. It can even show you difference between regular and lengthening mascaras!

  15. Beatrice says:

    i say just pop a few testers in there and problem solved! the higher end make up companies do it, why not drug stores? people open them up in the isles anyway so it’d be easier to do it before they do. . .
    Beatrice recently posted … Are Stilas Lip Glazes Overrated and Overpriced

  16. Anita says:

    it sounds interesting, but I can’t help butt think it’s gonna have some holes. it’s not you trying the actual product, it’s just the simulation’s idea of what color it is. I don’t see how they can make it truly accurate, especially with lightings and how most not-so-good cameras don’t photograph colors accurately.

    I’d be more happy if they just sat one of every shade for everyone to try.
    Anita recently posted … Avon Glazewears Complete Set Review &amp Photos

    • EZface Team says:

      Anita, we share the same concern. That’s why we installed a very high quality camera and use a flash to balance the lighting. We also developed a sophisticated way of measuring the products attributes (Yes, we try each and every shade) and we constantly test the simulation against “real world” models.
      Yes, it is a simulation, but a damn good one!

  17. Dea says:

    There are no testers for make up products in drugstores in the U.S.?! *wow* Can’t imagine that! I live in Austria and there are testers for at least 80% of the products in every drugstore. Weird!

  18. tink says:

    In my country all drugstores have testers for everything but nail polish.
    While it sure is more hygienic to buy a product in extra packaging, it’s just waste and we already create too much of it. Besides, I like to know what smell something has, how will the magic screen give you that idea?
    I find it stupid.

  19. that sounds so cool!! It would help a lot, especially with things like foundation and concealer

  20. Wendy says:

    I’m probably dating myself here, but I remember when Drug Stores DID have testers! LOL
    They were always nasty and I never used them anyway, but they had ’em!

  21. Christina says:

    I hope this comes to Canada soon! ๐Ÿ˜€ We just recently got Hard Candy!!!

  22. Amy says:

    Check out the video on their site. It looks amazing!!

  23. Melissa says:

    I used to work in a walgreens (horrible experience btw) and it was always embarassing to me whenever women would come to buy makeup and ask me for testers, because we never had any. A very very few times the companies would send out testers (Loreal would for foundations) but if they didn’t we were out of luck. I remember a woman trying and returning a lipstick 7 times! The head manager of the store wouldn’t expense any for testing, and let us know that us breaking open a package would be considered stealing and get us fired. I always wondered how much $ he really thought he was saving the store–at the end of every day we’d have a small pile of makeup returns, plus I would have to pull all the packages that had been opened by customers.

    I can see how the ezface *might* help, but someone who is fussy about scent and texture like me will probably still break open the package!

  24. Courtnie says:

    I like the idea, but I dont think that they would be a good idea here in Louisiana. Im not saying that people from Louisiana aren’t smart… but they had to remove self-check out lanes from walmart and winn dixie because people just… can’t figure it out. They’d always end up broken or something.

  25. jen says:

    well i personally think it would be great! i am so excited! hope we get one around here sometime in the near future. ๐Ÿ˜€ im surprised more people arent excited about this…

  26. *Nina* says:

    I was suprised when I was in USA that you don’t have testers. In my country we have testers for everythink, even eyeshadows and mascara. They would sell more products if there were testers available.

  27. Kailey says:

    omg, i just got back from the mall. and i went to my local ulta to find EVERYTHING re-arranged and they had finally put out testers of all drugstore-brand-name stuff. hahaha it was amazing, i was like FINALLY!

  28. Ellen Lange says:

    I haven’t seen these in person yet but at the Wal-Mart close by me… I was actually surprised to see testers for display!

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