Augmented cosmetics: the only way is up

Augmented cosmetics: the only way is up

OK own up, who’s had a sneaky try of a Snapchat filter? What did you go for? The classic dog option? A sponsored number? Or perhaps my personal favourite, the ‘pretty’ filter (if you know, you know). In fact, I’ll hold my hands up and say I’ve been known to add this particular filter to the odd photo or two. Am I proud of it? No. Does it make me less of a strong, intelligent woman? No. And it’s clear from the global phenomenon that Snapchat and Instagram have become (the latter succumbing to filters following the rise of Snapchat) that I’m not alone. Digital beauty is big business, and while the aforementioned social media sites have successfully harnessed the powers of filters, the beauty bigwigs have been quick to pick up the thread of augmented reality and are beginning to ride the gravy train with gusto.

Indeed, the virtual cosmetics ante is well and truly being upped. Sephora and ModiFace are a match made in heaven with their app partnership that allows users to try-before-they-buy (indeed, Sephora has even just launched a new tutorial function to allow as little margin for error as possible) while just last month beauty stalwart Estée Lauder joined forces with the other big name in the smart cosmetic app world YouCam Makeup to allow consumers to try its products as part of the launch of its Pure Color Love lipstick. While last year FakeCake Marketing Technologies launched GlamScout, an app that allows users to recreate looks from photographs. It seems the power of pretend is growing – so what’s next? As with any digital trend, the beauty marketers love it and are quick to be one of the first, or at least in the pack, to disrupt the market and capitalize on it. And with AR slowly but surely creeping into more and more digital campaigns and cosmetic business plans, development into new AR areas is no doubt a dead cert. Are virtual cosmetics on our devices next?

While partnerships with apps such as ModiFace and YouCam are clearly spelling success for brand promotion, we say it’s high time the offerings were extended. Hand’s up any of our readers that slap on a slick of gloss or a quick mascara touch up pre-important Skype meeting or FaceTime business call? Wouldn’t it be great to have these filters ready and waiting on your video calls? Wouldn’t female (and male) consumers find life so much easier if their clever little gadgets offered AR filters? The ‘pretty’ filter on Snapchat becoming a possibility for video calling or the augmented reality filters by the likes of ModiFace giving them back more time to spend on work prep rather than face prep?

Indeed, having previously looked into the benefits of cross-industry partnerships, there’s much to be said about a marriage between technology and beauty. So while AR FaceTime and Skype filters may be some way in the future, we’re sure it’s something most consumers would buy into. And the marketing opportunities are endless – I for one would be first in line to snap up a MAC sponsored color palette for my Global Cosmetic News video calls – and it wouldn’t even be to the detriment of my Crème Cup lipstick obsession, for one does not cancel out the other. Well, I’m not going to do the school run bare faced am I?