In Time for Halloween, L’Oréal Expands YouCam Virtual Tutorials to Lancôme


YouCam beauty app Lancome

Perfect Corp.’s YouCam app has struck a deal with L’Oréal’s Lancôme Paris brand to create a high-tech beauty experience in the palm of customers’ hands, launching a mash-up of popular Lancôme products and curated looks.

Launching today, the YouCam Makeup app is featuring Lancôme makeup artists hosting a live streaming show featuring Halloween makeup looks in a fun, seamless experience for beauty discovery.

The YouCam Makeup integration includes lipsticks, mascaras, liners, shadows and makeup tutorials for Halloween in a co-hosted live streaming show tonight (Monday, October 30th) at 8PM EST. The immersive experience also offers in-app product purchases, and the AR activation can run in mobile apps, on e-commerce sites in stores—or all three.

“Lancôme’s unique curated styles, live streaming show and seamless e-commerce integration create a completely immersive user journey that makes luxury beauty discovery more fun, accessible, and convenient than ever before,” stated Perfect Corp. CEO Alice Chang.

The Lancôme partnership expands on an integration with the L’Oréal brand, which became a YouCam app partner in July and is also offering Halloween makeup tutorials via the app. “The Perfect Corp./L’Oréal partnership accelerates on building omnichannel services to enhance the consumer experience at every touchpoint,” said L’Oréal Paris USA chief digital officer Lubomira Rochet.

Perfect Corp. is a pioneer in mobile beauty, with top selfie camera YouCam Perfect, virtual makeup app YouCam Makeup, YouCam Nails and YouCam Fun and a social community it calls the Beauty Circle. The YouCam app has more than 500 million downloads globally, up from 300 million in August 2016.

Its engineers and beauty experts harness technology to enhance beauty and create next-gen platforms as “a fluid environment where individuals express themselves, learn the latest about fashion and beauty, and enjoy instant access to the products from their favorite brands.”

As L’Oréal CDO Rochet stated in July, “Virtual make up, livestreaming, augmented reality shopping are key features in a modern beauty journey that mixes online and offline. These services delight our consumers and increase conversion rates for our brand.”

Chang added, “This partnership allows beauty fans around the world to experience L’Oréal products like never before and represents a significant milestone that transforms the way consumers discover, try and buy beauty.”

Phase one of the collaboration began with L’Oréal Paris and Yves Saint Laurent in Japan and hit the red carpet at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where YouCam Makeup and L’Oréal Paris showcased 64 virtual beauty looks for fans in the US, India, Mexico and Russia to try virtually in the app.

L’Oreal has a history of innovation and has acquired a reputation as a tech-savvy beauty behemoth, and its own AR makeup app, Makeup Genius, has 20 million downloads. YouCam extends its brands’ reach to millennials eager for VR experimentation—it’s been downloaded more than 400 million times—while Perfect, its parent, said those users create 730 million different looks each month.

L’Oréal Paris launched  Makeup Genius in 2014. At the time, Guive Balooch—the global director of the Connected Beauty Incubator at L’Oréal Research and Innovation—told Vanity Fair that the future of beauty “lies in the virtual-reality experience and will be a new and powerful way in how our consumers try on products. The goal is to empower all our consumers around the world, with science, to try on any L’Oréal product.”

In addition to selfies and makeup experiments, L’Oréal has made the app work at its beauty counters and stores.

Elsewhere on the beauty tech front, L’Oréal debuted the world’s first smart hairbrush, the Kérastase Hair Coach Powered by Withings, as well as a skin patch from its La Roche-Posay brand, which works in tandem with smartphones to detect the amount of UV rays a user is absorbing. An AR Facebook Messenger bot in Canada and the UK helps customize gift boxes.

L’Oréal’s push for personalization efforts led to Lancôme’s Le Teint Particulier Custom Made Foundation, using a wand at counters to analyze skin color, then blending foundations for a customized match.

The French company reported sales growth of 7.5%, and has augmented e-commerce initiatives by 27% from the prior year, now equaling nearly 7% of the company’s total sales. These innovations give new meaning and placement to ‘mirror, mirror on the wall,’ as tech-savvy beauty brands deliver on personalization and real-time loveliness one experience at a time.

L’Oréal isn’t the only beauty giant testing augmented reality—brands including Maybelline, CoverGirl, Rimmel London, Cargo, Smashbox and Estée Lauder have all launched apps with virtual try-on.

“Beauty brands have seemingly had a realization: This is critical, and we have to have it,” said Parham Aarabi, CEO of ModiFace, a Perfect Corp. competitor, to Digiday. “There was an explosion in adoption and expectations in the past two years, and so we’ve been working to standardize this technology across the industry. It’s moving very quickly.”

Today, ModiFace powers the AR experiences of 84 beauty brands, which can run in mobile apps, on e-commerce sites, in stores or all three. Its internal stats claim its technology can increase time spent on mobile apps six times over and double conversions.