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Lancome, Sephora get search treatment in FaceCake?s augmented reality app

Lancome, Sephora Collection and Make Up For Ever are among the cosmetics brands featured in FaceCake Marketing Technologies? new cosmetic color search mobile application, ShadeScout, suggesting that top makeup marketers can integrate with search-related apps to reach more consumers.

The ShadeScout application enables consumers to look for beauty products in their favorite colors via augmented reality options, Virtual Try-On features and built-in purchase solutions. As the cosmetics sector continues to grow more intertwined with mobile, consumers are increasingly looking for convenient ways of virtually trying products and easily finding items worn by their friends or style mavens.

?ShadeScout allows users to instantly search and find products in an organic way, with the ability to match any color they see to a cosmetic that they want,? said Linda Smith, founder and CEO of FaceCake, Calabasas, CA. ?By turning their mobile device into a mirror to try on results or to share and buy products makes ShadeScout a one?stop shopping platform, giving consumers access to a full makeup counter from wherever they are.?

Snap-and-go technology
The app allows users to snap a photo of any color they see in a magazine or outdoors with their mobile device before offering a list of its cosmetic counterparts, thanks to FaceCake?s color search technology. ShadeScout is able to sift through more than 40 major cosmetic brands? inventories to showcase product matches in each category.

Users may experiment with makeup items instantly in real-time via their smartphone or tablet, and can share photos of themselves with the applied cosmetics.

For example, a guest may snap a photo of a rose in a pleasant shade of pink to call up swatches of a similar pink color of lipstick within ShadeScout. The options, with the corresponding brands listed underneath each swatch, are then shown for the user to search for or try on.

If an item strikes their fancy, consumers may purchase it directly within the app.

ShadeScout also enables consumers to use their smartphone to capture an image of a celebrity wearing a favorable color in a magazine. In a sample screenshot shown above, fans of Emma Stone?s Oscar gown can shop makeup products in the same shade, proving that mobile is ideal for pushing beauty trends.

?We have relationships with some of the brands, but aim to give consumers options as well as exposure to brands they may not have used before, but have great color offerings,? Ms. Smith said.

Augmenting awareness
While many top brands are searchable within the app, including Stila, Laura Mercier and Sephora Collection, other marketers may drum up awareness of their lesser-known products by participating in the app?s offerings.

The direct purchasing ability is sure to drive sales for many brands as well, thanks to mobile?s capability to fuel impulse buys.

ShadeScout?s social-sharing option also allows guests to receive feedback on products and looks from friends and family directly within the app, while also offering users the opportunity to take selfies and receive customized recommendations.

Users that have an affinity for a specific makeup brand may also filter their color results by brand name.

Scan-and-shop technology is gaining more traction for marketers in the beauty industry. Hair care brand Sexy Hair is hoping to tease up sales from Cosmopolitan magazine readers by enabling them to snap a photo of its print ad and purchase hairspray directly from their mobile device (see story).

Meanwhile, cosmetics retailer Sephora is going the way of augmented reality. The brand is freshening up its commitment to being a leader in digital beauty retail with mobile tactics playing a key role, including the introduction of in-store beacons to send birthday alerts and loyalty program updates as well as an augmented reality app (see story).

?Demand for mobile-friendly access is fast-tracking ways to accommodate needs in all industries, and the beauty industry is no exception,? Ms. Smith said. ?Offering users a mobile beauty solution to search for products instantly that incorporates the unique visual aspects of makeup turns augmented reality into an augmented retail opportunity, creating a new access funnel for cosmetics.

?ShadeScout makes it easier for users to try brands they?ve never tried before and get inspired by the world around them, which integrates beauty products into users? everyday experience in a relatable way.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York