(smart) Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

Posted 11:42 AM by Bethany Swales & filed under innovation, virtual reality, augmented reality .

Technology is permeating every part of our lives, from how we manage our finances, to how we control the heating in our homes. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn of the impact it is having in the beauty industry. Now I know technology is not something you’d automatically think of when you hear the word beauty, but it is having a huge effect on how we consume the latest beauty products.

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Beauty and cosmetics companies are following the example  of large tech companies and undergoing digital transformation. Although this is considered a buzzword by many, it is having profound effects on how they operate and create new products. Companies such as L’Oreal are spending more on tech, investing in e-commerce and launching a range of digital initiatives to help drive sales and brand loyalty amongst consumers.

Getting personal

AR is increasingly becoming a common feature when it comes to purchasing makeup. From high-end makeup counters to high street shops, augmented reality is allowing consumers to ‘try before they buy’. The likes of Benefit, Estee Lauder and Sephora are all incorporating AR into the purchasing process. Companies such as Modiface are letting consumers swipe a new highlighter or pair of false eyelashes atop a selfie, to see how it works with their facial features, eye colour, skin type - the list goes on. AR is personalising the beauty experience, offering customers insights into the condition of their skin, hair, nails - all aspects of appearance, which of course can be solved by buying the latest eye cream or skin-perfecting foundation.

Worlds away from the norm

VR takes this element of personalisation one step further, taking users to a new world, full of makeup artists, influencers and mascara aplenty. NYX recently partnered with Samsung to launch an in-store VR experience, transporting users to an intimate one-to-one session with their favourite beauty gurus. Speaking of the event, NYX’s VP of Digital, Mehdi Mehdi said “the experience matters to us just as much as the product does”. NYX aren’t the only cosmetics brand to utilise VR; Charlotte Tilbury recently adopted the technology for the launch of their fragrance “Scent of Dreams”, where consumers could put on the headset and get taken straight into the advert with Kate Moss.

Tech at home

Aside from the beauty counter, tech is also beginning to make its way into consumers’ homes. Gone are the days of a quick and simple 3-step skincare routine or basic makeup application. Beauty routines have evolved greatly, with tech playing a huge role in this transformation. From smart mirrors that can show you your emails whilst you get ready, to at-home LED light treatments to battle acne and wrinkles, tech within the beauty industry is all about putting the consumers first, meeting their needs, and doing so in the most efficient way possible.

So what does technology bring to the beauty industry? Granted, technology won’t revolutionise the way we apply makeup (yet) - , but, it does create a more personal, immersive buying experience.  No longer do you have to worry if your foundation is the right shade or if you hair dye in-a-box will suit your skin tone, you have technology to help you make these decisions. The industry is yet to fully embrace technology, with consumers still seeking the opinion of qualified experts, however as the adoption of disruptive technology continues, the industry is set for plenty of tech shakeups.

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