Skip to main content

Beauty Apps Clicked in 2017

Brands now see beauty apps as an integral component of their marketing campaigns.

The beauty industry was punctuated with a barrage of technology collaborations during 2017. The latest to be unveiled is Ardell extending the use of augmented reality from lashes to its new color cosmetics launch.

In a partnership with YouCam Makeup, Ardell will serve up more than 40 stockkeeping units from the cosmetics collection for virtual trial. The items include Double Up Mascara, Wispies Mascara, Eyeresistible Eye Shadow, Hydra Lipstick and Stroke A Brow feathering pen.

“Beauty has always been about instant gratification,” said Terri Cooper, executive vice president at American International Industries. “We see how much the YouCam user is enjoying that immediate experience with our lashes and are excited for everyone to now have that same opportunity with Ardell Beauty.”

Ardell is the latest in several major beauty apps bowing during the year. It was a year when technology resources had enough feedback to substantiate results. For example, Parham Aarabi, founder and chief executive officer of ModiFace, said 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. Moreover, Aarabi said AR also drives shoppers into stores to buy what they’ve sampled.

With a tailwind behind it, technology is being used to boost beauty sales. Here are some of the major developments from the year.

You May Also Like

NYX Professional Makeup: The L’Oréal-owned beauty brand teamed with Samsung Electronics America to fuse beauty and technology using Samsung Gear VR for virtual reality makeup tutorials in select stores.

Consumers can use the Gear VR Controller powered by Oculus to select products they would like to learn more about and at the end of the experience, users will receive a special offer to purchase the products featured in the tutorial at a special price.

“NYX Professional Makeup is a digitally native brand with millions of followers across our global social media platforms,” said Mehdi Mehdi, the brand’s vice president of digital. “We aim to seamlessly incorporate digital into everything we do, and see virtual reality as the new frontier in the beauty industry.”

MAC In-store AR: ModiFace powered up the new MAC Cosmetics AR try-on mirrors in stores across the U.S. With the mirrors, select MAC shades and looks can be virtually tried on a user’s live video while at a retail store. Using ModiFace’s latest facial tracking and 3-D video makeup-rendering technology, the new AR mirrors provide a complete video of makeup under any lighting condition. The mirrors also feature ModiFace’s advancements in tracking accuracy and color rendering.

Chatbots Help Sell Flawless by Gabrielle Union: Chatbots are coming into play for beauty. One example was the chatbot that was instrumental in not only launching Flawless by Gabrielle Union, but also helping the company understand how to fine-tune the brand for further success, according to Mahi de Silva, ceo of, the company that built the AI-powered chatbot.

“ has created a platform that allows us to provide richer, more varied conversations that ensure customers get exactly what they want out of the Flawless experience,” stated Vincent Davis, ceo of Flawless Beauty.

Augmented Live-Stream Technology: ModiFace unveiled augmented live-stream technology for Facebook and YouTube. All of its partners can leverage their AR apps that ModiFace has built for them to live-stream virtual video makeovers. The new capability allows anyone, including makeup artists and brands, to broadcast a live video demonstration of different makeup styles by virtually applying them on their broadcast video using ModiFace’s technology. The application of virtual makeup on live video is done in real-time, meaning that it is applied instantaneously as the video is being broadcast.