Did you know that beauty is one of the most Googled topics (about 4 billion searches a year), L’Oreal responded to the needs of consumers by offering greater customization and interaction with their brand by launching “Makeup Genius” (Whiehouse, 2014). The brand unveiled Makeup Genius, an app that scans your face and allows you to virtually try on different L’Oréal products. The app encourages personalized exploration through over 300 L’Oréal products and curated “looks.” In addition to “The Infallible Look” and “Evening Smokey,” users can even try looks made famous by celebrity cover girls like Jennifer Lopez, Zoe Saldana and Julianne Moore (L’Oréal Group, 2014).
Makeup Genius borrows its technology from the gaming industry, and allows you to scan an ad or image to detect a color match, try on specific products or test out looks specifically chosen by L’Oreal experts—and naturally, share the results with family and friends on Facebook (Winter, 2014).
“With this app, women don’t need a professional makeup artist because they can become their own makeup designer,” says L’Oreal Celebrity Makeup Artist Billy B. “It was so much fun creating the different looks and after months of working on this app, I am so excited it’s now available for everyone to play with and experience,” (Winter, 2014).
The reason this app is a breakthrough compared to other makeup apps is that it doesn’t just render colors onto a pre-uploaded image, but rather uses this an advanced algorithm. Makeup Genius also captures 64 facial data points and 100 different facial expressions—which makes it intuitive enough to discern between the skin of the lips, eyes and other facial contours, allowing the virtual makeup to move with you as you turn your head, change your facial expression and test out new looks at various angles and lighting conditions, according to L’Oreal (Winter, 2014).
The best part is that not only can you do it from your phone whenever or wherever, but if you pop into stores where L’Oreal products are sold, you can scan any L’Oreal Paris label and instantly test out that particular product in the app.
I wonder if in ten years, makeup artists behind the beauty counters in department stores will become a thing of the past. This use of augmented reality can really change the way we make purchases for all sorts of products in the future. This really is a game changer for the beauty industry.
L’Oréal Group. (n.d.) Makeup Genius by L’Oreal Paris. Retrieved on October 16, 2015 from: http://www.lorealparisusa.com/en/brands/makeup/makeup-genius-virtual-makeup-tool.aspx
Whiehouse, L. (2014, November 6). L’Oreal on digital marketing: ‘70% of consumers now research online before purchase,‘ Cosmetic Design. Retrieved on October 16, 2015 from: http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Business-Financial/L-Oreal-on-digital-marketing-70-of-consumers-now-research-online-before-purchase
Winter, C. (2014, September 11). L’Oréal’s Makeup Genius App: The Cosmetics Counter Goes Digital, Bloomberg Business. Retrieved on October 16, 2015 from: http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-09-11/loreals-makeup-genius-app-cosmetics-counter-goes-digital