- L'Oréal Paris this week introduced its first line of virtual makeup for social media. The cosmetics giant's "Signature Faces" augmented reality (AR) filters are available on Instagram, Snapchat, Snap Camera and Google Duo, according to its website.
- L'Oréal's integration with the Snap Camera desktop app lets users wear its virtual makeup during video calls on platforms including Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Houseparty, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Twitch and Zoom.
- As consumers spend more time on mobile apps to stay connected with others during the pandemic, L'Oréal Paris touted the AR filters as a "new experience of modern makeup" that are well-suited for consumers' "new digital lifestyles," according to its website.
L'Oréal's AR filters for social media and video calling apps are a playful way to engage consumers who are spending more time online during the pandemic. While the filters aren't meant to replace real makeup, they may help the company inspire consumers to try something new and consider L'Oréal's products when they're shopping for cosmetics. Digital marketing channels have become more important for the brand to reach young consumers who are heavy users of social media and are most likely to buy its products.
L'Oréal's latest AR efforts come a couple years after the company acquired Modiface, a developer of technology for the beauty industry. The acquisition was part of its effort to engage online consumers with digital experiences, which turned out to be especially prescient as the pandemic continues to disrupt the marketing efforts for a variety of brands.
The company has created a variety of AR experiences for consumers, including its first lenses for Snap Camera in April that let users of the desktop app virtually try on looks from brands such as Garnier, Lancôme, L'Oréal Paris and Maybelline. It also created a demonstration of virtual hair coloring for its Garnier brand after its Color&Co brand for at-home hair coloring added similar AR technology to its website.
L'Oréal has seen a rebound in sales as consumers who had avoided buying makeup during the pandemic's onset of the pandemic came back. The pent-up demand drove a gain of 1.6% in comparable sales to $8.27 billion during the September quarter, reversing the 19% plunge in the prior quarter as stores closed during lockdowns. Cosmetics sales jumped 30% on a comparable basis, and e-commerce was especially strong with a 62% gain in the most recent quarter. L'Oréal's virtual makeup demonstrations may help the company to connect with online consumers and drive more e-commerce gains.