- Direct-to-consumer hair color brand Madison Reed unveiled a feature that lets its website visitors virtually sample more than 40 hair shades through augmented reality (AR), the company announced in a press release. By uploading a selfie or using a desktop or mobile device's live camera, people can access a split screen slider that highlights the difference between their current hair color and the new, virtual shade.
- Madison Reed collaborated with Perfect Corp., developer of beauty app YouCam Makeup, to put its hair colors into a virtual try-on tool using AR, artificial intelligence (AI) and color-matching technologies. The company says its technology is superior to other AR hair color tools that tend to create an odd shimmer of color around the face resembling a halo.
- Web users can access the virtual try-on tool by clicking "Try Your Perfect Shade" at Madison-Reed.com and taking a quiz about their hair color preferences.
Madison Reed is the latest beauty brand to offer AR try-ons of its products, and its adoption of the immersive technology is notable for being web accessible on both desktop and mobile devices, including its interactive slider that shows a "before and after" difference in hair color. Madison Reed says it also introduced the first chatbot to analyze a selfie and suggest the perfect hair color match based on an individual user, along with a smartphone app that responds to voice commands to help people follow step-by-step at-home application instructions without having to risk smudging or staining their phones with hair dye.
Perfect has worked with dozens of brands on virtual try-ons for cosmetics and hair coloring. Jerome Russell brand Punky Colour, a line of semi-permanent hair color and conditioner, last month partnered with Perfect to show off 25 of its pigments. Target and Ulta Beauty offer Punky Colour products for direct purchase from their mobile websites, which can be accessed with a finger tap on a smartphone or tablet screen. Perfect has also worked with Juicy Couture, Estée Lauder, Lancôme Paris, Maybelline and Flying Solo, among others, on AR beauty tools to enhance both in-store and at-home experimentation.
L'Oréal in August partnered with Facebook to let the social media giant's users try on virtual makeup samples through AR. Immersive tech-powered apps are becoming a critical part of the retail experience, as consumers continue to expect more from their shopping experiences online and in stores. By using AR to demonstrate products, retailers can lead their customers to more accurate expectations, higher confidence about purchase decisions and better product satisfaction.