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.
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.
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 recently: Lancome 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.
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!