Facebook and Instagram users will soon be able to virtually try on makeup before they buy, using their smartphone's front camera, thanks to a new partnership with L'Oreal.
The new feature comes after the world's largest cosmetics company acquired ModiFace, a company which produces augmented reality makeup software, in March this year.
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Starting with L'Oreal brands NYX, Urban Decay and Yves Saint Laurent, the augmented reality experience will let Instagram users virtually try on makeup products before they buy them. The interactive ads will use the front-facing camera of a person's smartphone to show a live view of how they look with the selected makeup applied.
A YouTube demonstration of the software published by ModiFace this week, below, shows how a Facebook user can tap on an advert for NYX lipstick, then see how different shades look on their own lips. The augmented lipstick moves realistically as they smile and move in view of the camera.
L'Oreal brands to soon get their own AR ads on Facebook include:
- L'Oreal Paris
- NYX Professional Makeup
- Giorgio Armani
- Yves Saint Laurent
- Urban Decay
- Shu Uemura
L'Oreal's online sales have grown from five percent to eight percent since 2015. The new feature would allow its customers to use another avenue try out makeup through their smartphones. Unless they're at a makeup counter staffed at a department store, it's difficult for customers to try products from brands including Maybelline and L'Oreal.
As well as makeup, ModiFace has developed an app called Style My Hair which lets users see what their hair would look like when dyed different colors.
This news comes just a month after Facebook announced plans to offer augmented reality experiences to users through fashion brand ads. L'Oreal was not mentioned at the time, but Facebook did say it was working with brands like higher end brands including Bobbi Brown, Sephora and Michael Kors to offer virtual makeup and sunglasses through ads.
"Augmented reality is becoming key for product and brand discovery and purchases," said Lubomira Rochet, chief digital officer at L'Oreal in a statement, adding: "We are at that magical moment when technologies have matured enough and consumer appetite for using them is growing everywhere. We are very excited about that new step in our long-term partnership with Facebook."