Augmented reality (AR) is being pushed to the mainstream by apps in the beauty industry that serve as a consumer tool for trying on makeup.
One example is an iPhone app from Ulta Beauty subsidiary GlamST, aided by innovations in underlying technology such as facial-feature and finger tracking.
More powerful front-facing cameras on modern smartphones also have helped boost AR's appeal to beauty companies.
AR companies said virtual makeup makes sense, given the deeply entrenched consumer mindset of trying on products before purchase.
Advocates like L'Oréal chief digital officer Lubomira Rochet said AR is improving sales, with shoppers typically spending more time on an app or website that has AR makeup or skin-care features; Rochet also saw a 10% greater likelihood that those who virtually try on products will buy them, compared to those who do not.
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