Dyuti and Avni Waghray love their lipsticks; the former wearing a dusky nude, while the latter dons a flamingo pink. Their Banjara Hills studio, LipHue, is aflood with natural light courtesy the floor-to-ceiling windows. “When it comes to makeup, we refuse to use yellow lighting as that does not give the accurate perception of how makeup looks on a person in everyday surroundings, so our studio mimics that,” says Avni. The mostly-white space has pops of colour from the various lip art on the walls and the giant lip sofa for customers.
LipHue’s USP is its two-step custom lipstick experience, the first being sit in front of an Augmented Reality facility to clock a shade of the customer’s choice and the second being a crafting session where one can make marginal adjustments along with add-ons like essential oils. Ingredients matter big time to the Waghray sisters as the country has long faced an issue with this. “Your lips are an indicator of good health and you have to treat them just as you would any organ in your body,” insists Avni, “so we made sure our products are cruelty-free and totally transparent in their making.”
To get to this point required an arduous journey. “We conceptualised LipHue in 2017,” explains Dyuti, “and our research and training along with the rigorous certification were a collective non-stop process since then. Given that what we offer at LipHue is the first of its kind in India, our experience with the government was very satisfying and we found them to be very supportive and encouraging during the certification process.”
Beyond lip service
The decision to integrate an AR facility into the process was always on the forefront of their minds. “We always wanted to use technology to help enhance customer experience. We use AR to help our customers in the decision-making process. It’s never easy to choose that one lip colour especially when you’re creating your own, right? The technology and knowhow came from within the family. It took us about eight months to conceptualise, build, test and deploy the same.”
AR can be intimidating to first-time users. Would it be accurate? What about privacy? “In the era of personalisation and customisation where customers increasingly want choices tailored to their desiderata and life style, we want to pioneer this transmutation in cosmetics in India. At LipHue, it is not just buying a lipstick, it’s about the experience of creating your own lipstick.” Dyuti also adds that expansion is in the books. The same goes for upgrading technology.
But what of privacy? After all, the AR model uses some form of facial recognition. “Our systems are fully secured, the software and data resides within our premises with only the approved administrator having access to the same. We respect the privacy of each of our customers’ data/information and have policies defined with a clear view to safeguard the customer information and in line with industry best practices. The customer information is collected solely for the purpose of storing the details pertaining to the customer’s lip shade for any future reference, share invoices and receipts, respond to customer requests and to comply with laws and regulations as mandated by regulators.”
Step by step
The mixing of colours is probably the most satisfying to watch, understanding the elemental hues which make up a final shade. Then the mixture is blended and melted into a sterilised mould and cooled down to a solid form. The resulting bullet is then fed into the glitzy lipstick pop-out tube for the customer.
The sisters kicked off LipHue officially last September and have made quite the name for themselves. “We get a lot of kitty parties and girls’ day outings, so we recommend always calling ahead to book an appointment,” Dyuti says.
Avni concludes that given LipHue presents an intimate customer experience, with all the try-ons, one should avoid coming to the studio if they are feeling unwell on any level. She adds, “We’ll still be here, don’t worry!”
For more information, call 97040 88100.