Coty launches app-free AR beauty experience

Coty has announced that its CoverGirl brand has launched the first augmented reality make-up solution that can be experienced via mobile web.

CoverGirl shoppers who want to virtually try on makeup can use the augmented reality technology to test different shades on their own face by using their smartphone’s camera.

The AR virtual make-up solution has become increasingly popular to help beauty brands convert online customers, but until now it has only been available if the customer is willing to download the retailer’s mobile app.

Coty, which also owns brands including Rimmel and Max Factor, has worked with AR supplier Holition in the past to deploy the technology to help customers “steal the look” from friends and magazines.

US customers who wish to buy CoverGirl products after trying them via their camera are then redirected to Walmart

CoverGirl in browser mobile AR try on from Holition on Vimeo.

“At CoverGirl we believe that makeup is so much more than a cosmetic – it’s a tool for self-expression. That’s the inspiration for our new brand purpose and campaign, ‘I am what I make up’,” added Ukonwa Ojo, senior VP of CoverGirl, Coty.

“As part of this mission, we need to show up for beauty lovers in compelling ways that resonate with how they absorb content and shop for products. This means being present when they are searching for inspiration to create whatever version of themselves they feel like being in that moment. This is why we decided to develop a tool that would allow them to try on full-face beauty looks, rather than a single product, and make these looks instantly shoppable.”

Jason Forbes, chief digital and media officer at Coty, added: “As a challenger in beauty, our goal is finding better ways to meet unmet shopper needs. Virtually trying on complete trending looks, without having to download an app or go to a store, are great examples of this. We’re excited to partner with Walmart on this initiative, giving online shoppers a specific and seamless path to purchase their favorite CoverGirl beauty looks.”

Holition's CEO, Jonathan Chippindale, said the SDK for the solution was originally developed for native platforms, such as iOS and Android, but the company has since ported the SDK using technologies including WebGL, WebAssembly, and WebRTC to allow users to experience the AR technology in a mobile web environment.