- Coty's Rimmel London cosmetics brand debuted a series of virtual try-on effects within Facebook's in-app camera and Stories feature, according to a press release made available to Mobile Marketer. The augmented reality (AR) features let users virtually sample several of the brand's eyeliner looks in the app and post them directly to the social network.
- The feature builds upon the brand's private AR app "Get the Look," which rolled out in March. Rimmel brought the feature to Facebook because 55% of users said the social network is their primary source of beauty inspiration, according to a survey by GfK.
- Rimmel worked with Holition, a U.K.-based agency to develop the Facebook camera effects, which are available in the U.S., U.K. and Middle East on iOS and Android.
Rimmel is among the several makeup brands that have embraced AR technology to give consumers another way to test out new looks via mobile. Much of the activity to date has been on platforms like YouCam, Modiface and Meitu. With Facebook getting into the game, this could give the other startup platforms more competition than they can handle, although Facebook is reportedly leveraging Meitu's technology. Facebook's significantly larger user base, many of whom are already engaged in sharing beauty advice on the platform, and broad array of marketing services could make it an attractive choice for these brands.
AR is taking off among beauty brands that see the potential in unique mobile features, especially with younger consumers who like to share their makeup and clothing styles on social media. Rimmel started in the AR space with its "Get the Look" app that lets users snap and virtually "steal" any look from the streets, social media and magazines. Estée Lauder last month debuted a chatbot on Facebook Messenger to help customers get their product questions answered.
Brands are still sorting through how best to present themselves to users on digital and drive sales or foot traffic to stores. The drive online is partially due to the sweeping success of Sephora, which lets people sample a wide range of products before buying, oftentimes using digital tools and face scans to match skin tones to products. It's not a stretch to expect that most fashion and cosmetics brands will eventually incorporate some sort of AR into their mobile capabilities to help consumers browse online.