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If beauty mavens have ever wondered what Jessica Alba’s rich, red lipstick, Jessica Biel’s smoky eyes or Halle Berry’s flawless skin would look like on their face, Revlon has provided them with the tool to find out.
This story first appeared in the March 5, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
On Wednesday, Revlon Inc. unveiled a new and improved Web site that allows users to upload their photo and “try on” a number of beauty looks created by makeup artist Gucci Westman and worn by Revlon’s brand ambassadors. Through a technology provided by San Diego-based Taaz.com, users can “apply” a virtual makeup look — in a more precise way than ever before — from various Revlon ads and images and, within seconds, try on another. Products used to create the look are listed so users can click to purchase them via Revlon’s online retail partner, Drugstore.com.
“We have made it a priority to provide engaging content, especially with our beautiful brand ambassadors,” said Alan T. Ennis, Revlon’s president and chief executive officer.
While beauty Web sites have offered the ability to virtually try on makeup and hair looks for several years, i.e. Procter & Gamble Co.’s Cover Girl Makeup Mirror and Clairol Try It On Studio, Revlon’s uses technology that allows users to upload photos taken at any angle while still accurately identifying one’s features. On the site, users are asked to highlight their facial features by outlining the shape of one’s mouth and smile, including teeth, track the inner shape of the eye and measure the distance of the chin in relation to the rest of the face via a segmentation technology, making for precise makeup “application.” Consider it virtual makeover 3.0.
“When Revlon first engaged us and we did discovery, they asked us to analyze the better tools on the marketplace,” said Anthony Del Monte, ceo of Squeaky Wheel Media, the New York-based digital communications firm tapped to re-create the site. Squeaky’s Eric Berg served as project manager on the relaunch.
The site, said Revlon’s Kiki Rees, senior vice president marketing services, “provides a way for our consumers to try before they buy…and provides a reason for consumers to visit — and come back to our site.”
While Revlon is not the first Web site to feature Taaz.com’s virtual makeover technology — instyle.com and people.com both use it — it is the first mass beauty brand. In October, the Estée Lauder brand unveiled the Virtual Makeover Widget, an endeavor by Taaz.com, one that Lauder said was “the first-ever branded makeup widget of its kind.”
Of the lifelike technology, Taaz.com ceo Vipanj Patel said, “It enables the user to apply makeup with realism. The makeup should look on the computer screen the same as if you were to apply it at the beauty counter or at home. The tool is very robust and can be highly customized.”
Squeaky’s Del Monte said what is seen on Revlon’s site is only phase one of the beauty firm’s Web endeavor, and that users soon will be able to “try on” almost any Revlon product and combine multiple products.
Revlon.com also now features a site map that allows consumers to choose from different headings followed by categories of interest, behind-the-scenes videos from ad shoots and Revlon’s backstage presence at fashion week in New York, London and Paris. Access to Revlon’s philanthropic efforts, the brand ambassadors’ favorite products as well as fashion-inspired make-up looks and tips by global artistic director Westman are also on the site. The site was last relaunched in 2006.