The cosmetics brands are among the earliest adopters of augmented reality, using virtual try-on tools to preview shades of makeup before buying.
But, on Monday, fashion brand Christian Dior took a different approach, using Facebook's Spark AR platform on Instagram to deliver an augmented reality makeup look influenced by its holiday collection.
Dubbed 3Dior Makeup, the experience was created by Peter Phillips, Dior's creative and image director, and digital artist Inès Alpha. As users open the filter, the experience adorns their faces with a mask of virtual sequins. As they tap the screen, the sequins float skyward, with virtual rays of light illuminating the scene.
Unlike other virtual makeup experiences, there's no option to push users to a website to purchase the makeup featured in the experience, which comes from the Happy 2020 collection.
In fact, the previous Instagram AR camera effect from the brand, a virtual try-on experience for Dior sunglasses and accessories, also avoided the hard sell. Nevertheless, that experience reportedly garnered the brand 2.6 million impressions during Paris Fashion Week.
Facebook's mobile apps stand among a crowded field of AR-capable platforms that offer cosmetics brands virtual try-on capabilities, including Snapchat and YouTube. Online retailers Amazon (powered by L'Oreal's ModiFace) and Target (running on YouCam's platform) also include such AR capabilities.
While Facebook only recently opened up Spark AR on Instagram to all creators, the app has swayed some high-profile brands, such as Pepsi and Starbucks, to advertise with its AR camera effects. It's enough to make the battle between Facebook and Snapchat for share of AR ad dollars very interesting as 2020 rolls in.