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Sephora’s Virtual Artist Expands Into Asian Markets

The interest of the Asian consumer in virtually trying on products before buying is expected to fuel use of the new app.

Sephora and ModiFace are spreading intelligent augmented reality to new markets. The Sephora Virtual Artist, a partnership between the two, launches this week in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia. The Sephora Virtual Artist offers 3-D augmented reality makeup rendering technology.

Launched in North America earlier this year, the application garnered praise from customers who appreciated the try-before-you-buy feature allowing them to sample Sephora’s assortment of more than 3,000 lipsticks. Buoyed by that acceptance, Sephora and ModiFace expanded the app to false eyelashes along with step-by-step virtual tutorials. The how-tos include creating a nighttime smoky eye and eyeliner three ways. That enhancement was one of many ideas developed in conjunction with Sephora’s Innovation Lab.

The Sephora Virtual Artist application.

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“Sephora Virtual Artist has been a best-in-class technology that truly changes the shopping experience for our customers,” said Alexis Horowitz-Burdick, managing director for Sephora Digital SEA.

According to Parham Aarabi, founder and chief executive officer of ModiFace, the success of Sephora’s Virtual Artist in North America whet both parties’ appetites for expansion in Asia. “Makeup is extremely popular in Asia and given the prevalence of technology, virtually trying on makeup is a definite benefit for beauty brands in that region,” he added.

ModiFace now powers more than 200 custom augmented reality apps for beauty brands including Allergan, L’Oréal, Unilever and Yves Rocher.