Use of augmented reality is enabling shoppers to test how different beauty products will look, virtually. This technology has been around for some time, but the past 18 months has increased the importance for consumers of being able to shop online from home and receive personalized recommendations.

Tech business Modiface, acquired by L’Oreal in 2018, offers a virtual try-on beauty experience as does Perfect Corp who were an early entrant in the virtual try-on category, and social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube have integrated virtual cosmetics try-on into ads and influencer videos.

Google also recently launched an AR-powered cosmetics try-on tool in Google Search, partnering with major brands and allowing users to try on searched-for makeup products using front-facing mobile phone cameras.

More recently, the virtual try-on space has seen further acqusition activity with the purchase of Beauty Labs (AI app developer) and a partnership between IT Cosmetics and Skin Match Technology, and along with skincare and makeup, hair and nail colour are also opening up to the concept.

As consumers have spent significantly more time working and socializing remotely, virtual try-on tech has stepped up, improved, and is now an integral part of the shopping experience.

Whilst it will never replace the in-store experience, the benefits of gathering data and personalizing the shopping experience are likely to see more partnerships between tech businesses and beauty brands.