hair and makeup in the metaverse

Charlotte Tilbury is now an avatar. In April this year, the beauty mogul entered the metaverse, meaning wherever you are in the world, you can channel her expertise with just a few clicks. Thanks to augmented reality, Tilbury appears like a fairy godmother, inviting you into her digital world: the virtual reality Pillow Talk Party. In this beauty wonderland, you can shop, attend a masterclass, and connect with like-minded cosmetics fans.

The British beauty brand isn’t alone. Clinique this summer launched its non-fungible token campaign, Metaverse More Like Us, in which three global content creators and makeup artists designed three looks — NFT Profile Pictures, or PFPs — that customers can purchase for their avatars. MAC has a long history of using virtual try-ons or VTOs, while Byredo recently launched its first digital fragrance.

If you’re feeling a bit lost at this point, we don’t blame you. You can live and breathe the latest eyeshadow palettes and skincare science, but keeping up with technological advancements in the (digital) world of beauty is a whole different story. So what do we need to know, as consumers?

The theory: what is the metaverse and how does beauty fit into it?

When it comes to a definition, even the tech-savvy experts can’t agree on just one. Louis Chen, chief strategy officer and senior vice president of Perfect Corp, an AI and AR beauty and fashion technology solutions provider, said, “There is no single common definition of the metaverse at the moment. For us, this means a more immersive virtual experience further augmented by the ever-evolving capabilities of AI solutions. This form of new virtual reality opens up a plethora of possibilities for brands to engage with their customers, removing many of the barriers associated with moving through physical space.

Faced with a global pandemic but armed with this ever-changing technology, the beauty industry was quick to get on board. L’Oréal, for example, filed 17 metaverse-related trademarks this year.

The practice: virtual tests and digital diagnosis

For the day-to-day consumer, entering the metaverse will come in a much more practical sense. Brands have been experimenting with AR services for several years. While much of this has taken place in a physical store, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated supply and demand.

Late last year, MAC launched a trial service for one of its most popular products, Studio Fix Foundation. We know what you’re thinking: choosing makeup is such a sensory experience and so hard to imitate online, but the response to tech has been overwhelmingly positive. Above all, AR tools have proven effective.

You can also find your perfect hair shade at Schwarzkopf, use Clinique’s AR diagnostic tools to shop for a tailored skincare regimen, and try on hundreds of nail polishes before committing to Sally Hansen’s VTO service. .

And the stats prove it’s a win-win: MAC reported a 200% increase in engagement, while Sally Hansen’s launch generated a 110% increase in conversion while exchanges and customer feedback customers have dropped, demonstrating that technology is improving customer purchases. experience and satisfaction.

Not only does the use of augmented reality and virtual reality bring the highly sensory experience home (or anywhere) in a more authentic way, but it can also open previously closed doors for many consumers. . Where an expensive trip to a dermatologist might have been out of the question, a free skincare diagnosis using technological advancements is no longer.

The staff: avatars, NFT and digital diversity

There’s more to the metaverse of beauty than enhancing experiences that end up being a projection into the real world. It is increasingly about how we identify ourselves online and how we create an individual digital presence.

Brands are striving to offer personalized experiences and virtual products to allow consumers to build this – and beauty is just dipping its toes into the power and potential of this new reality.

“In the metaverse, consumers will want to use products to express their style and personality, so beauty brands will need to adapt more to meet this demand,” Chen says.

Yes, we are talking about digital avatars – how we design them and how we decorate them. They may seem otherworldly to the uninitiated, but it can be helpful to think of avatars as a natural evolution of the social media profile, a representation of yourself online that the beauty industry helps to facilitate.

Chen explains that part of Perfect Corps’ mission is to help brands “create digital versions of their physical products,” taking the beauty metaverse from just an external look at what a product is. to hold in your hand has to offer something that only exists in the digital world.

Consider the three makeup looks created by beauty gurus Emira D’Spain, Sheika Daley and Tess Daly for Clinique’s Metaverse campaign created to encourage self-expression online. Find the look you like and purchase it as an NFT for your avatar to wear.

Beauty designer and TikTok model D’Spain said of the project, “My big hope for the metaverse is to create a safe and welcoming space for all types of people.” For an industry that has never made a clean sweep of history when it comes to diversity, the Metaverse is a chance for beauty to try again, to create a place that is truly representative and allows people to feel seen.

This is not new for those who are immersed in the world of gaming, which in recent years has crossed paths with luxury fashion, brands like Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton or Burberry designing “skins” (virtual clothes that can be purchased and downloaded to update a video game). character’s wardrobe) in collaboration with Fortnite and Mythical Games. The trend is going nowhere and the beauty industry is hot on its heels.

The interpersonal: virtual reality, new worlds and open communities

Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Party is just the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps most exciting is what’s yet to come, the new worlds brands will build for us to enter, learn, interact with, shop and perhaps more: a place where it all comes together.

As Chen says, “The Metaverse is the next rung on this ladder, where AR and AI beauty and fashion technologies help customers enjoy unique experiences and experiment freely in an incredible virtual world.

Nars relied on the power of Roblox – an online gaming platform and game creation system – to create a limited-time gaming experience that immersed users in its world, inciting with challenges, earning badges and virtual beauties up for grabs.

Japanese beauty brand SK-II has created a Sims-like virtual world for its followers to explore destinations, while getting a glimpse of BTS on the brand.

Like most game-changing innovations in the history of the World Wide Web, better connection is at its heart. As beauty enters the metaverse, consumers will be able to connect with brands, products, personalities and other customers more intimately than ever. Right after picking the perfect lipstick shade for their avatar, that is.

Scroll through the gallery below to see the UAE’s first metaverse wedding

Updated: September 09, 2022, 04:11

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