Which Dimension Will You Get Dolled Up In?

You may be giving yourself a virtual makeover by the end of the year, but in which dimension?

Modiface, a facial recognition company, presented its 3D Augmented-Reality Makeup and Anti-Aging Mirror at the 2014 International CES. The mirror simulates beauty products  in real time. You can try many shades and styles of makeup on your face and see your new look from multiple angles. The 3D Augmented-Reality Makeup and Anti-Aging Mirror also has the ability to show the effects of a skincare product with a before and after view.

CEO Parham Aarabi told Mashable that his goal is to partner with beauty brands and have the mirrors installed at beauty counters and available as a mobile application. He believes that his mirror will increase sales and provide a quicker way for women to try on products.

However, the tech-savvy method of trying on makeup today is 2D. Women upload photos and try out products on their pictures. ModiFace’s Lipstick Design Studio app has been crowned the “Best New Lifestyle iPhone/iPad App” by Apple. The app lets users create a lipstick color and then search for a match sold by popular beauty brands.

im

ModiFace created a Virtual Makeover app sponsored by Olay, CoverGirl, and Herbal Essences for Seventeen Magazine that lets girls simulate skincare, makeup, and hair products on a realistic photo. The app even connects with Facebook to scan photos of the user in order to find the perfect shade of foundation!

Some beauty brands offer a virtual makeover on their websites. Mary Kay, a brand used by more than 3 million people worldwide, has a virtual makeover app online powered by MakoverSolutions. Users can choose a model’s face or upload a picture of their own face and “have fun playing with colors” by Mary Kay.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.38.06 PM

Why are beauty companies using virtual makeovers? Because shopping for makeup online is not ideal. Customers can’t try the products online. With virtual makeovers, customers can see themselves wearing the products. If a customer can see the product on a photo of themselves, they may be more willing to purchase it.

A study conducted in 31 countries by Havas Worldwide found that 51% of women across the globe buy cosmetics online. This means beauty companies have to compete by creating an online presence to draw in customers. But growing online sales can be risky because creating an online store is a big investment, says VP of UNT Skincare Herman Chein in his article Building A Beauty Brand.

Companies who can afford to have an online shop are doing it. Great! Because according to Euromonitor International, 27% of women in the U.S. buy cosmetics online. There is a lot of money to be made online. The U.S. Census Bureau found that e-commerce sales totaled $263.3 billion in 2013 (a 16.9% increase from 2012).

Most recentlyLancome partnered with FaceCake Marketing Technologies Inc. to bring “Swivel Close Ups” to DreamDry salon in NYC. The virtual try-it on technology allowed users to get all dolled up with Lancome products and looks from Jason Wu’s fall 2014 #NYFW runway. When finished, users  share their new beauty looks on social media.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 4.28.49 PM

Virtual makeovers may remind you of your Barbie Beauty Styler days, but with new technology these 2D and 3D ways to try on makeup are getting less cheesy. ModiFace’s 3D mirrors will be rolling out to retailers by the end of this year! 

How Revlon Rules Instagram

Revlon is dominating the Hair Care & Color business on Instagram. According to the Digital IQ Index: Hair Care & Color study, Revlon received the most hashtag mentions and has the most followers of the 53 Hair Care & Color brands included in the study. Revlon also posts about its cosmetic products too. I’d like to explore what Revlon posts to Instagram and why it works.Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 9.48.44 PM

According to Simply Measured, 71% of the world’s largest brands have Instagram profiles. Instagram offers the ability to share photos and 15-second videos easily on mobile devices, making it a valuable tool for businesses existing in our visual world. We live in a visual world because our brains learn by watching.

Here are a few examples of Revlon’s Hair Care & Color  posts:

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 1.42.08 PM

The picture is gorgeous and Revlon mentions the product name in the description. Notice the conversation that is started in the comments section. Instagram is amazing for brands because consumers can tag their friends in the comments, ask Revlon questions, and give short customer reviews such as “I love this hair color. The black is beautiful on me!” by pricanbarbiedoll. One customer is dissatisfied because her favorite shade was discontinued. Instagram can help Revlon with its Customer Relationship Management!

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 2.19.50 PM

In this post Revlon connects with consumers by giving the picture a red carpet theme that correlates with an actual red carpet event that many women watch on television. Revlon is suggesting that its products will give women that glamorous red carpet look!

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 2.53.17 PM

Revlon even uses Instagram to share coupons! Genius.

Revlon excels in the cosmetic category of Instagram users as well.

Watch a Revlon Instagram video here! (Did you know that the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text?)

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 3.25.51 PM

This post introduces “New Revlon ColorStay ShadowLinks” to followers. Hopefully this post will spark curiosity in consumers and turn their interest into a purchase!

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 3.25.30 PM

In this post, Revlon is sharing an event centered on its nail polish line with its followers. This makes followers feel included and makes the product look “cool”.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 2.55.18 PM

This is a conversation-starting post asking for an opinion and simultaneously introducing a product to consumers using a well-known celebrity.

Revlon also knows how to get consumers to post User Generated Content. Last Spring, Revlon and Teen Vogue chose ten girls to host “Revlon White Hot Summer” parties and post pictures from their Revlon-sponsored bashes to Instagram. I was one of the hostesses. My posts added to the number of Revlon mentions and hashtags.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 2.58.57 PMScreen Shot 2014-02-12 at 2.59.40 PM Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 3.00.16 PM Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 3.00.26 PM

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 3.53.03 PMRevlon has shown that it knows how to reach its target market using one of the best platforms for reaching young consumers. Instagram is boosting user engagement and surely Return on Investment.

Get this: 150 million people use Instagram. 55 million photos are uploaded every single day (as of 12/14/13).

According to a Pew Research study, 57% of Instagram users check the platform once a day (with 35% checking IG multiple times).

A business can have 94% more views on average on a visual post than a textual post, according to a study by MDG Advertising.

Instagram is more popular on mobile phones than Twitter, says Nielsen research. Instagram is the most popular photo-sharing platform and is a tool that businesses can use to boost sales.

Beauty companies should take a look at Revlon’s Instagram profile and take a hint! The ability to share quality photos and garner “likes” and feedback from consumers is money!