While Modiface, YouCam, and others have been playing in the virtual make-up marketing pool for a while, here comes Google ready to splash down with a cannonball.
On Wednesday, YouTube rolled out its first virtual makeup try-on experience in a video by Roxette Arisa, a Los Angeles-based makeup artist whose channel has more than 1.1 million subscribers and 66.5 million views.
Google unveiled the virtual makeup capability in June at Cannes Lions, but Mac Cosmetics is the first to be able to take advantage of it, with 24 shades of virtual lipstick available for viewers to try on.
"We're so excited to see Mac's artistry and innovation come to life in this uniquely digital way," said Constantin Sklavenitis, senior vice-president and general manager of Mac Cosmetics North America, in a statement. "Being able to bring our newest lip shades to consumers through FameBit's AR Beauty Try-On is a pioneering step, fusing the experience of content viewing and shopping."
To try it out for yourself, make sure you have the latest version of the iOS or Android YouTube app. However, the feature does not appear to be available on iPads, an odd omission considering that tablets and YouTube go together like peanut butter and jelly. Nonetheless, it works smoothly on smartphones.
L'Oreal made a big move in the AR makeup space last year by acquiring Modiface. Since then, the company has integrated the technology into Facebook's AR camera and Amazon. Meanwhile, YouCam has held its own by supplying a web-based makeup experience to Target.
Google and YouTube's foray into the field, though, is huge considering the popularity of beauty content on YouTube. In 2018, the genre topped 169 billion views, a number that cosmetic brands would be foolish to ignore.
"In partnership with Mac Cosmetics and creators, we're pioneering the next wave of influencer marketing with Google's new augmented reality technology," said Beau Avril, head of FameBit and lead for YouTube influencer marketing. "The possibilities here are endless."