Artificial Intelligence: The AI-Powered Nudemeter For Dark-Skinned Women

November 5, 2020 | Artificial Intelligence, News

Choosing the exact shade of makeup is now a cinch.

Atima Lui, who is of Sudanese and African-American descent, created the Nudemeter because of the difficulty she faced finding makeup colors that suited her dark and rich skin tone. The Nudemeter is a computer-vision tool that helps shoppers choose the best product for their complexion. (WIRED)

Countless darker-skinned women are forced to either guess at the best-suited makeup shade for themselves or to rely on the advice of the shop associates at a beauty accessories store. Needless to say, neither option produced the most satisfactory results.

But Lui’s Nudemeter is changing all that.


Now perplexed women can simply upload a selfie to Nudemeter and answer a few short questions. And Voila! An AI algorithm recommends the makeup shade that best matches their skin.

Lui conceived the idea in 2016 in her final year at Harvard Business School. Her objective: to make dark-complexioned women feel confident about their appearance.

“I just went back to being a Black woman growing up in Topeka, Kansas, and just not feeling beautiful, not feeling like the standard of intelligence, not feeling good enough,” Lui told WIRED. “Beauty is undervalued as a source of power in the world.”

Getting AI to work for Nudemeter

Straightaway Lui faced problems with the database of facial images that would train her algorithm to generate the shade recommendations. Because of bias, a common problem in AI, her database had more fair-skinned faces than dark ones.

She then went out and created her own database of images that spanned the entire spectrum from pale whites to the darkest of browns. She did this by calling for volunteers.

Lui then enlisted the help of Michael Brown and Mahmoud Afifi at York University in Toronto, known for their expertise in color analysis and digital image processing.

They helped with the challenge of pinpointing the user’s exact skin tone, even though devices and location conditions could markedly differ.

Commercial success

Spktrm Beauty, a brand for darker shoppers, deployed Nudemeter on their website last year. Hosiery company Nude Barre launched the app for its users in May this year.

Related Story:      Treating Acne With AI and Smartphone Technology

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