Editor’s Spotlight

AR and AI technology is changing beauty consumer behavior worldwide

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / (gpointstudio)
© Getty Images / (gpointstudio)
Color cosmetics brands of every size are leveraging app or site-based augmented reality and artificial intelligence to create consumer touch points where product discovery, data collection, marketing, and retail transactions exist simultaneously. Here Cosmetics Design looks at a selection of tools and technologies that have made headlines over the past year.

New technology

Color accuracy is always a concern in beauty; and when lighting, life, and digital renderings all matter, it can be a challenge. But meeting that challenge can translate into sales.

At the start of the year Cosmetics Design reported on a new technology​ in development from the color expert Pantone and a sensor company called ams. At the time, Jean-Francois Durix (a marketing director at ams) remarked that, “Pantone is trusted by designers, product manufacturers, and brands around the globe, as well as widely recognized by consumers. We believe that this solution will enable e-commerce transaction growth while reducing returns due to color mismatch.”

For its Cover Girl makeup brand, Coty launched an app-free online try on tool this year​. The new tech was developed by the beauty maker’s in-house agency Beamly, working in partnership with another creative tech agency called Holition.

Explaining the company’s decision to go app-free Jason Forbes, chief digital and media officer at Coty, said, “As a challenger in beauty, our goal is finding better ways to meet unmet shopper needs. Virtually trying on complete trending looks, without having to download an app or go to a store, are great examples of this.”

Improved technology

Entrepreneurs and startups frequently bring new beauty tech solutions to market. And like in any space where startups are prevalent, incubators and accelerator programs for beauty tech are showing up around the world.

This summer in Silicon Valley, SVBeautyTech welcomed its first cohort of companies, as Cosmetics Design reported​. “It is a very exciting time for the beautytech ecosystem and I am thrilled to launch the SVBeautyTech acceleration program in partnership with Draper University,” ​Claire Change (founder of the igniteXL seed fund) said in a media release about the new venture.

Looking ahead

As this month’s SCC Annual Meeting and Technology Showcase in New York City, Maryanne Jouvenal, digital marketing manager at Mary Kay, demonstrated the company’s MirrorMe app, a tool developed for beauty consultants to use with their customers. She showed the audience of cosmetic chemists and industry associates how the tool can be used to try on preset looks or individual color products and all the ways that a virtual makeup application can be customized according to a shopper’s preferences.

MirrorMe is currently available to Mary Kay consultants in 16 markets and in 2019 will launch here in the US, according to Jouvenal.



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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