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L’Oréal Paris launches a virtual make-up line that works on live video

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Tired of looking wan on endless Zooms/Teams/Hangouts/Duos? Well, virtual reality can help you give the best you.

L’Oréal Paris has launched a digital make-up line that works on live video using AR tech. The digital make-up tool to enable social media users to try out different looks on Google Duo, Snapchat and Instagram.

This new service has been designed to respond to the ongoing challenges of the make-up industry, which heavily relies on users testing the products in person to ensure the colour match. This hasn’t been possible since the first lockdown, leading to a drop-in revenue in the beauty sector – which could lose 30% of its yearly revenue by the end of the year.

“Signature Faces”, created by creative agency Virtue, works with the Snap Camera in Snapchat, so users can virtually ’wear’ the products on live video calls on the platform, as well as on Instagram and Snapchat. L’Oréal Paris is also releasing one “exclusive look” on Google Duo, the first beauty product to be used directly on Google’s video conference system. 

According to reports, there are 10 virtual filters across three themes: “volumising capsules”, “plump shot” and “fire match”, with which people can experiment with varying make-up textures.  

Pascal Rotteveel, executive creative director, Western Europe at Virtue, told Campaign that the idea was born from the insight that consumers, particular younger “Gen Z” people, wanted to socialise more on video calls, but “we weren’t utilising these platforms to the best of their abilities when it came to self expression”.

“We then wondered, what if you could have a digital beauty case that enables you to express yourself in online social encounters, in ways you could never do in real life,” he said.

Tjeerd Brenninkmeijer EVP EMEA at eCommerce experience specialist Bloomreach, comments: “The beauty sector has been hard hit by the COVID crisis: buyers could no longer test products in-store to ensure they pick the right ones for their skin tone, resulting in a drop in purchases over the year. With the prospect of a second lockdown, the industry is now at risk of losing the revenue it usually gets from its festive lines, ranging from limited edition palettes to advent calendars.”

 In response to this, the beauty sector has gone above and beyond with innovative digital technologies to enable consumers to experience brands in entirely new ways. The industry has been quick to adopt social media and online influencers to attract a more varied, global audience over the past few years. Now, L’Oréal shows how it can go one step further: by using Augmented Reality combined with live videos of the potential buyer, it’s enabling consumers to pick and choose their personal style from the comfort of their homes. 

Brenninkmeijer concludes: “This is a smart move, according to the State of Commerce Experience research study, conducted by Forrester and commissioned by Bloomreach, which states that nearly 40% of consumers would pay more for a better experience. The report also found that 90% of customers have changed their behaviour as they avoid physical stores, put discretionary spending on hold and buy exclusively online or as much as possible. L’Oréal’s new line shows a creative take on the industry’s biggest challenge today: providing customers with the right products in lockdown. This launch should give hope to the rest of the beauty industry and shoppers alike – Christmas will still be a time for a glow up, no matter what form it takes.”

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