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Hangover Observations: U*Tique Glows at Fred Segal

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Last night, Fred Segal Santa Monica held the launch party for U*Tique, the luxury vending machines that premiered there a few weeks ago. Not content to sip fruity cocktails with the rest of the pretty partygoers, we were on a mission to test-drive the machine and see if all the hype surrounding it was justified.

The debut product selection was well thought-out, with everything from the C.O. Bigelow shaving kits to the Juice Beauty organic skincare set chosen by CEO Mara Segal herself. "I was looking for a combination of rising stars and icons, all with convenience in mind," she explained. The touch-screen technology was well-designed and easy to use, providing information on each product and free samples (a feature that requires you to swipe your credit card and enter an e-mail address—supposedly as a fraud-protection measure). This is the first prototype of the machine, so there were naturally a few frozen screens, but all were resolved with a quick reboot—no kicking or shaking required.

On an average shopping trip, we'd prefer to deal with a human salesperson—after all, these aren't exactly CVS-grade products, and we like to ask lots of questions. But we'd love to have a U*Tique around when we've run out of moisturizer at the gym, left our mascara in the airport X-ray bin, or just had one too many margaritas by the hotel pool. Luckily, those are exactly the spots where Segal says it will end up in the not-so-distant future.
· Sephora's New Arch-Nemesis: The U*Tique Vending Machine [Racked LA]
· U*Tique Offers High-End Beauty at the Push of a Button [Racked LA]
· U*Tique [Official Site]