The beauty business turns to augmented reality

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Beauty brands are hiring — or buying — technology companies that let customers try on makeup, hair and skin care products virtually.

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Why this matters: With COVID keeping people away from cosmetics counters, the latest thing in “beauty tech” is VTOs – or virtual try-ons. Customers love playing with these apps so much that companies see huge revenue growth once they introduce them.

Running news: Hair, skin and makeup companies used to focus on acquiring smaller brands, but are now also pursuing AI and AR firms that can help them develop personalized customer experiences.

  • L’Oreal led the charge in 2018 by purchasing Modiface, an AR specialist, and using its patent to “build a number of virtual try-on tools that consumers can experiment with across many of its brands,” Vogue Business reports,
  • L’Oreal has its own technology incubator With a team of 30+ physicists, engineers, UX experts, hardware designers and data scientists.
  • Beauty group uses AI to craft people customized lip colorChat with a Professional Colorist live video Before you buy hair dye at home, and try makeup shades in the virtual mirror app called makeup genius,
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What are they saying: “People don’t necessarily go to a store to try something before they buy it,” said Poplar Studio CEO David Ripert. said Futureism.com, a digital magazine.

  • His company has an AR . Make Campaign For a Maybelline lip gloss and One For NYX Professional Makeup that used AR face filters to let people try out Halloween looks on Instagram and Snapchat.

Between the lines: With VTO, beauty companies are able to turn the sales experience into a form of entertainment, which drives sales.

  • Yesterday’s high-pressure sales pitch at a department store counter has turned into an at-home digital game where shoppers can feel like they’re at a slumber party trying to “look” different.
  • “We see at least 38% of people who go through our color quiz, and then use our AR virtual try-on tool to figure out our hair colors, convert to purchases,” said Tyler Wozniy, senior vice president of hair color company Madison Reed.
  • Perfect Corp., the AI ​​and AR vendor that built Madison Reed’s VTO platform, went to the big CES tech show in Las Vegas last week. Show off How brands can use their technology in the metaverse.
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Bottom-line: While virtual try-on technology is fast becoming table steak for beauty brands, nothing can substitute for sampling a product in meat, where it can look very different on your non-virtual skin.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on January 13.

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