Most people looking for skincare advice would probably head to a local department store and find one of those white-coated counter workers, or pick up a basketfull of products at Sephora. But all that may change, thanks to video chatting. MyChelle is calling  the MyChelle Pocket Esthetician app the "world's smallest esthetician," and since it fits in an iPhone, that's probably true.
Via the MyChelle app, you can schedule a "30-minute consultation with one of MyChelle Dermaceutical's licensed estheticians" that'll happen over a "direct, interactive link" (via your phone, Skype, or iChat) so you can discuss your individual skin concerns. The app, which the company says is "first-of-its-kind" software, also offers a personalized skin care analysis and even "product recommendations based on high-resolution images of your skin type." (Naturally, the products it recommneds are MyChelle Dermaceuticals.)
In some ways this is an obvious use of video communications, and it's based on some of the same thinking that's driving a revolution in medical care --remote, speedy consultations with distant specialists and increasing use of iPads for sharing diagnostic imagery. The payoffs for the consumer and beauty-product industry are immediately apparent: People seeking beauty advice don't have to venture out to find an expert to talk to, and MyChelle doesn't have to locate its experts in stores--potentially incurring significant expenses. The app and video chat also lends a decidedly high-tech feel to the process, which could boost confidence--and, hence, sales.
More than that, the technology is a sign that more and more of our shopping may happen in a virtual way--especially when you consider innovations like the virtual clothing avatar .
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