Beauty Brands Love Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is having a makeover moment, with more and more beauty brands turning to the tech to engage young consumers, show off their products—and reportedly boost sales as well…

This year, augmented reality is continuing to outshine virtual reality—between the face filters adopted by Instagram (clearly “inspired” by Snapchat), magic-sounding AR sans-goggles from Disney, and viral dancing hotdogs, it’s clear that brands and consumers alike are embracing the AR future wholeheartedly. But perhaps no industry is showing their love for augmented reality as much as the beauty business. Brand after brand are implementing AR apps and tools to engage young consumers, show off their products—and reportedly boost sales as well.

Snapchat has acted as a stepping stone for many, thanks to their lenses and many brand partnerships. Last June, L’Oreal launched their first makeup lens, which added cat-eye eyeliner, mascara, foundation, blush, and lip color to selfies. When a user raised their eyebrows, camera lights flashed around them, and the L’Oreal logo popped up. Urban Decay's Lens, which allowed users to "try on" multiple colors of lipstick, reportedly boosted engagement and sales for the brand. Both brands have since pushed further into AR territory with their own apps. Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick app allows fans to try on any color they wish before buying.

Sephora is especially betting big on AR to sell beauty products online. The retailer recently launched new augmented reality features to its mobile app which allow users to virtually try on products while learning the steps to perfecting looks. Meanwhile, their new concept store is putting a digital spin on makeup shopping for the Customization Nation with AI assistants to show before-and-after looks and provide digital skin care…


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“I believe in a higher being, whether it takes the form of a god or it's more abstract like the universe.”—Female, 21, FL

An avocado-inspired chocolate is selling out fast, and Millennials’ obsession with avo is getting the credit—lest we forget the lattes and the proposals of the past. Waitrose’s gimmicky treat has a dark chocolate shell, a dyed green white chocolate interior and small chocolate “stone” sprinkled with cocoa for the center. The play on a traditional Easter egg chocolate is Waitrose’s best-selling product in its 114-year-history, selling out repeatedly since its recent launch. (The Independent)

Vacation companies that confiscate travelers’ smartphones are selling out their trips. The Wanderlust Generation isn’t just looking to travel, they’re looking to unplug—in spite of their penchant for picture-worthy excursions. All of Off the Grid’s phoneless itineraries sold out and more are being added for 2018. Yoga retreats and hotels are offering device-free options as well, with one hotel offering iPhone cases to anyone who makes it 24 hours with just a “dumb phone” replacement. (NYP)

Kids can’t get enough of Roblox, and the platform just went “cash-flow positive.” ComScore found that children under-13-years-old spend more time on Roblox than on YouTube, Netflix, or any other similar platform. For teens, the game came in second, behind YouTube. The gaming sensation lets kids create and interact in digital worlds, build their online friendships, and make money—if they’re a “top creator.” (TechCrunch)

Unboxing is getting an augmented spin for Nike’s next sneaker drop. The Millennial and Gen Z-favorite brand has created a link that leads to “a virtual box” containing the new shoes. Users can access the box via any platform and then open the box and use their cursor or finger to check out the Deerupt shoes from “all angles.” Nike also recently let sneaker heads virtually run across the world in their Nike React shoes via in-store treadmills. (GlossyMobile Marketer)

YouTube Red is headed to the box office for the first time with their original movie, Vulture Club, starring Susan Sarandon. In the past, they’ve premiered content on their premium service and in limited releases, but rumor has it this will be their first big bet on a full theatrical release. Everyone from Amazon to Hulu is upping their original content to compete in the streaming wars, and though YouTube has all eyes on their free platform—their paid service is lagging behind the competition. (IndieWireThe Verge)

“I’ve been using Apple products for years. Although Samsung technology is probably better, I am so used to Apple that I would probably not switch.”—Female, 18, PA

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