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 observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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