Source: Axios

Key Points

  • Beauty companies are acquiring technology to stay relevant and at the front of their customer’s needs
  • AR technology is enabling customers to have new experiences from their own home
  • Customers are expecting this technology

Beauty brands are hiring — or buying — technology companies that let customers virtually try on makeup, hair and skin care products.

Why it matters: With COVID keeping people away from cosmetics counters, the latest thing in “beauty tech” is the VTO — or virtual try-on. Customers love playing with these apps so much that companies see big revenue boosts after introducing them.

Driving the news: Hair, skin and makeup companies used to focus on acquiring smaller brands with cult followings, but now they’re also chasing AI and AR firms that can help them develop personalized customer experiences.

L’Oreal led the charge by buying ModiFace, an AR specialist, in 2018 and using its patents “to create a number of virtual try-on tools that consumers can experiment with across a number of their brands,” Vogue Business reports.

L’Oreal has its own technology incubator with a team of 30+ physicists, engineers, UX specialists, hardware designers and data scientists.
The beauty conglomerate uses AI to let people craft customized lip colors, chat with a professional colorist on live video before buying an at-home hair dye, and try on makeup shades in a virtual mirror app called Makeup Genius.

What they’re saying: “People don’t necessarily want to travel to a store to just try stuff before you buy it,” David Ripert, the CEO of Poplar Studio, told Futurism.com, a digital magazine.

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