Skip to Main Content
On drugstore shelves across the country, there are bottles and tubes of foundation makeup by dozens of brands in dozens of shades. Buying foundation in a drugstore is tough. For one thing, the bottles and tubes are sealed, and there's no tester, meaning women can't try the foundation on their own skin. The same shade can look vastly different on various skin tones, and it always looks different when it's dry instead of wet. On top of that, there's no industry-wide consistency when it comes to naming foundation shades; one brand's "neutral beige" or "warm honey" can vary considerably from another's. And it can be extremely difficult to tell similar shades apart. Trying to pick your best color can be a minefield. There are lots of places to go wrong.But what if a woman could take a cell phone picture of her face, send it to a group of experts, and get back a text message recommending just the right shade of foundation? This is what Bhatti started to wonder after a large cosmetics company approached HP Labs. Bhatti likes customer-oriented innovation projects and has a particular interest in applied mobile imaging, the use of cameras to understand and solve problems. It seemed like a perfect fit.