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Beauty Apps: Scoring Awards and Moving Into the Retail Experience

The power of AR is coming into greater focus as companies see conversion rates escalate.

It has been a year where beauty apps proved they can move the sales needle.

Acknowledging the power of virtual try-ons, ModiFace was just announced by Apple as one of the “App Store Best for 2017.” The app assists with the challenge of selecting hair color by simulating how a shade would look on a user.

Earlier this month, Perfect Corp.’s YouCam Makeup won Google Play’s “Best of 2017” award for “Most Innovative App.”

When virtual apps burst onto the scene, brands and retailers asked for yardsticks to measure the return on investment. With greater usage, the benefits are coming into focus.

Parham Aarabi, chief executive officer and founder of ModiFace, said recent partnerships with Clinique, Estée Lauder, Bobbi Brown and Smashbox Cosmetics saw a 100 percent conversion improvement for users who interacted with the ModiFace AR technology built into the e-commerce section of the brand sites. Each user, Aarabi said, tried on nine makeup shades per session.

Now virtual try-ons are adding more in-store applications. According to Aarabi, many brands in ModiFace’s portfolio are working to integrate the company’s new technology for face and hair tracking into the customer experience. MAC Cosmetics, for example, recently unveiled ModiFace-powered mirrors in its stores.

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“We are delighted to see the impact and results from our technology. Not only is it fun and engaging, but it also amplifies sales and conversions,” Aarabi said of the virtual capabilities.

Based on success at Macy’s, YouCam Makeup is widening installations of magic mirrors. According to YouCam, the virtual makeup shopping experience will be expanded to 49 additional stores for the holiday season. The in-store experience features more than 250 makeup products from Macy’s Impulse Beauty department, including Benefit, NYX, Tarte, Urban Decay and Too Faced. The kiosks have typically produced double-digit growth, according to YouCam executives.