- L'Oréal is giving consumers a way take their augmented reality-based makeup try-ons to the next level by enabling a beauty adviser to place recommended products on a shopper's face during a live consultation. Live Makeup Consultation, which will be rolled out for L'Oréal's professional brand NYX Cosmetics, was officially debuted during a session at Cannes Lions this week.
- Customers can use video chat on their phones to ask for product recommendations from a beauty consultant, who appears in a box in a corner of the chat. The consultant then picks the best products for the customer's specified use and virtually places them on the customer's face in the video chat using AR technology.
- The recommended products also appear at the bottom of the screen for users to browse and purchase directly from the app. After a purchase is received, customers can return for another consultation on how to apply the products.
The new beauty consultation service is the latest example of how serious L'Oréal is about AR technology and follows closely on the heels of the company's acquisition of AR beauty platform Modiface in March, marking the first time L'Oréal has acquired a tech company. Perfect Corp.'s YouCam app launched a similar service this year.
A number of beauty brands, including L'Oréal, Covergirl and Coty, have recently ramped up their use of AR tech to encourage virtual trial, while tapping into the popularity of beauty-related content on digital channels.
During the Cannes Lions session, L'Oréal's chief digital officer Lubomira Rochet emphasized how the beauty giant puts tech at the center of everything it does, going back to when it was founded in 1909 for its innovative hair color formulas. As digital technology's role in beauty grows, the company wants to ensure it's well-positioned to take advantage of the latest innovations. AR technology is one part of a broader strategy that also includes working with startups.
"We believe that technology will transform our industry so significantly that it was essential to insource that," Rochet said of the Modiface deal.
The future of the beauty industry lies in services, personalization and the interplay between the two, which can be significantly enhanced via digital technology, the executive noted.
Launching the AR consultation service with NYX Cosmetics, which L'Oréal acquired in 2014, makes sense because of the brand's socially driven strategy. Beauty is a popular category on social media, where consumers, influencers and beauty consultants often share tips, trends and new looks. Translating this experience over to a virtual, live consultation doesn't appear to be much of a stretch.