As virtual try-ons continue to redefine how makeup brands reach out to consumers, MAC Cosmetics is rolling out a new augmented reality (AR) tool that lets consumers try out multiple styles at once on their phones.
The feature is designed to replicate the experience of sitting at a makeup counter with built-in looks and tutorials from artists at the Estée Lauder-owned company. The brand claims the tool is one of the most comprehensive AR trial tools on the market in terms of its ability to combine different products and synchronize experiences with guidelines.
“This is the first virtual tool on the market that combines the experience of an in-person makeup tutorial with a virtual experience right on your face,” said Mark Jiang, MAC’s global e-commerce representative. “The experience feels like [the artists] They are with you in your living room as you watch your face come to life.”
Pandemic-era restrictions and the wider availability of AR have helped popularize at-home makeup testing technology. Jiang said the brand saw three times more engagement on the list of users who activated the virtual trial tool, with a 62% increase in conversions.
“The pandemic has completely changed consumers’ shopping behavior, especially around makeup,” Jiang said. “Until we return to some semblance of normalcy, online behaviors are here to stay.”
Aesthetics offered within the tool include Sun Strobing, Grunge Glam and other viral looks, with a variety of options constantly updated to match what’s trending among makeup tutorial creators. The company also plans to add a geographic element with local artists and looks from different fields as the tool expands worldwide in the coming months. The feature can be accessed via a QR code on the MAC Cosmetics website.
Jiang said MAC hopes that combining the talents of its real-life makeup artists with the latest interactive technology will help the brand stand out in an increasingly crowded field. Brands and platforms from L’Oréal and Sally Hansen to Amazon and Snap have launched virtual makeup tools as the trend continues to grow as a way to boost online sales.
“As we envision the future for our virtual exam and our digital technology efforts at MAC in general, we believe that digital services and tools should enhance, not replace, the human element that is so important to customers when they interact. MAC makeup artists,” Jiang said. “We’re excited to bring this new innovation to our digital product suite and MAC customers so they can easily experiment with different makeup looks under the guidance of a real makeup artist.”