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NYX on Its Digital Strategy, Exploring AR, VR and the Metaverse

"They really want virtual experiences and moments to connect, to engage, and to really be inspired," said NYX Professional Makeup general manager Yasmin Dastmalchi of young shoppers today. "So, it's been critical for us to walk that walk and invent how makeup plays in this digital world."

NYX Professional Makeup is a digital-first brand, said Yasmin Dastmalchi, general manager of the cosmetics company.

Discussing its digital strategy — investing in initiatives in augmented reality and virtual reality for digital try-ons, gaming and exploring the metaverse — Dastmalchi said the company has been meeting young shoppers where they are today, and that’s online.

“Our community is made of demanding consumers,” said Dastmalchi in conversation with WWD’s executive editor of beauty, Jenny B. Fine. “There’s no question about that. They really want virtual experiences and moments to connect, to engage and to really be inspired. It’s been critical for us to walk that walk and invent how makeup plays in this digital world. We’re embracing it.”

NYX Professional Makeup has been looking to “entertain,” while allowing for experimentation, to get an understanding of evolving shopping behaviors.

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“We believe that using the latest AR and VR technology is the most compelling way to support product virality,” said Dastmalchi. “It not only allows consumers to try products on virtually online or even on our social platforms, [but also] to experiment with makeup.”

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The NYX team has been prioritizing “evolving” existing technology to create for more realistic digital experiences, recently launching “MYAIA” — an AR-powered “makeup artist” offering makeup consultations.

“She’s able to scan facial features and create a personalized recommendation of different looks using artificial intelligence,” said Dastmalchi. “We’re really excited to see what comes out of that.”

While applying the digital-first approach, NYX has been leaning into partnerships, collaborating with Snapchat to reimagine the beauty experience in the metaverse.

“[Snapchat] creates some of the best and industry-leading AR technology,” said Dastmalchi. “We link the idea of consumer touchpoints, like gaming AR and social commerce in one. So…[users] start with a filter, and [it] really allows people to experience our product, so they can see a super-pumped look, hydrated skin. And then from there you enter a portal where we created a gamified experience where users can actually control an avatar and move in the game with their mobile phones to collect different beauty items from NYX Professional Makeup. It’s a fun game where you can win prizes, get discount products and more. No question, it was super engaging. And we saw that people were spending more time in this experience, because it was interactive.”

When it comes to navigating social media — platforms like Instagram and TikTok — in the end, it comes down to the content creators, said Dastmalchi.

“It is about finding the right creator that speaks to that platform and really has the right audience that connects with those moments,” she said, referencing a partnership with Walmart and TikTok’s Avani Gregg during Halloween.

What part do retailers play when it comes to digital marketing?

“We approach experience with retailers through co-creation of collaboration, where we encourage our test-and-learn mentality, and really build robust plans on our platforms to really get the campaign out there,” said Dastmalchi. “Collaborating with our partners on those types of emerging platforms and building full, 360 experiences so that we really touch the customer at every touchpoint is key.”