The London-based coder considers the technological future of beauty
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These are just some of the questions posed by the Dazed Beauty Digital Spa quizzes that we've put out this week, designed by London coder Rifke Sadleir. Rifke has been coding for four years, originally studying graphic design. She has done projects for Dropbox, Our Place Studio and Chopova Lowena, and her work tends to focus on unexpected interactivity and movement. Below, we asked her more about why she loves coding, and how she would apply tech to shape the future of beauty.
Tell me a bit about yourself and where you grew up?
I grew up in a town called Thornbury which is out in the sticks between Bristol and Wales. It’s full of conservatives and pubs and churches. I think I’ve lost most of my West Country accent now but it sometimes makes a reappearance if I go back there for more than a few days!
What is it you do and why do you do it?
I’m a freelance coder/web developer, with a background in graphic design. I studied to be a graphic designer but found that I prefer making work that can be interacted with as it invites the viewer to participate more directly (and because I’m too indecisive to only have one possible outcome). I have a really short concentration span and coding is basically a process of solving a series of little problems, so it’s one of the few things that can keep my attention for an extended length of time!
Can you tell us a career highlight of yours?
The online community of developers is amazing – people are very willing to help each other and build on each other’s ideas. Most code is built on top of code written by other people – why reinvent the wheel if someone else has already done it? I feel like most developers have a sense of wanting to share their own code as well as use others’, and getting to a point where you feel like you can give something useful back is really rewarding.
What’s your earliest beauty related memory?
One of my earliest beauty memories is my best friend teaching me how to shave my legs during a family camping holiday we were on. The whole thing was meant to be a big secret until I cut my leg and bled everywhere and I had to ask my mum for a plaster. She wasn’t impressed!
When do you feel most beautiful?
After I’ve straightened my hair into oblivion and put my eyebrows on!
If not your body, is there anything you would want to leave behind? An artwork you haven't done yet, a book, a bloodline?
A machine-learning algorithm that will send all the good memes it finds to my friends, and the bad ones to my enemies, long, long after I’m gone.
It’s the year 2100. You’re the owner of the largest beauty tech company in the world, what five products or treatments will you dedicate your resources trying to invent?
A colour dropper tool like the one in MS Paint or Photoshop so you could do things like colour match your foundation to your skin-tone each time you put it on, or do things like matching your lipstick to your clothes, or to a colour from a photograph. A mirror like the one they have in the Sims, where you can instantly apply and change make-up looks without using loads of face wipes in between. Think how much time you’d save! Nail extensions with inbuilt contactless card payment technology. I lose my card all the time so having it stuck to a nail would be really useful and much quicker than using Apple Pay at the barriers on the tube. Real 3D make-up! Like a real-life AR filter that you can paint on in 3-dimensional space. I was going to say animated tattoos but I just Googled it and it already exists! So I reckon I’d branch out into other forms of animated make-up, that you could apply from a bottle.
What is the future of beauty?
Hopefully, more people will start using beauty as a vehicle for fun and experimentation rather than a set of impossible standards to live up to. On a pragmatic level, I hope eco-friendly manufacturing and packaging of beauty products will become more commonplace. It feels like comparatively few brands are actually doing this, while most big brands are still just making token gestures towards sustainability if any. It’s difficult to shop sustainably if there aren’t enough (affordable) options available.