Ulta blends with Perfect for in-store beauty try-ons
- YouCam Makeup app developer Perfect Corp. teamed up with Ulta Beauty and Cosmopolitan magazine for online and in-store rollouts of its latest artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) technology. Perfect's new "Beauty 3.0" suite includes AI product recommendations, makeup shade matcher, skin diagnostics and live hair multicolor effects, per a company announcement from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.
- Ulta said the chain will use Perfect's AI and AR tech to personalize in-store shopping and salon services. Prama Bhatt, senior VP of digital and e-commerce at Ulta, said virtual hair color try-ons are an example of merging physical, digital and emotional experiences for customers.
- Perfect founder Alice Chang hosted a panel at CES about beauty and tech that included Jessica Pels, the editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan. By partnering with YouCam, the magazine makes its pages more interactive with AR try-ons that readers can activate with a smartphone.
Perfect's lineup of new tech products shows how the company's technology is evolving to provide greater accuracy and realism with virtual try-ons of makeup and hair coloring. AR is quickly growing more important in marketing beauty products both online and in stores. Beauty retailers like Ulta, which emphasizes in-store demonstrations, can integrate the technology to help shoppers experiment with products and assist stylists in making more effective sales presentations to in-store customers. As Cosmopolitan has shown with a previous Perfect collaboration, the technology also brings print ads for beauty products to life with interactive demonstrations activated by a mobile device.
Perfect claims that it helps retailers to boost their shopping-basket sizes and conversions while reducing product returns, as customers can be more confident in their purchases after virtually sampling them. It also can provide brands and retailers with data of consumer interactions with makeup colors and how products are combined for a complete look.
Beauty and health products had a bigger presence at CES this year than in the past. Coty this week demonstrated its Wella Professionals AR-enabled Smart Mirror that offers a virtual try-on of hair coloring, per an announcement. L'Oréal introduced a test version of a wearable device that helps people track the acid levels of their skin as part of their skincare regimen, and Neutrogena demonstrated a mobile app that uses the iPhone's 3D camera to scan a user's face to create personalized face masks.
Perfect has worked with dozens of brands on virtual try-ons for cosmetics and hair coloring in the past. Direct-to-consumer hair color brand Madison Reed and Jerome Russell brand Punky Colour last year partnered with Perfect to show off their products to mobile users. 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.