Virtual Makeup: Choosing the perfect shade of lipstick just got easier

Solutionists integrate Modiface with the Smith & Caughey's Online Store

6 Jul 2022

It’s no secret that the beauty and fashion industry has pivoted toward digital over the past decade. Social media have revolutionised the way consumers seek out new trends and products, and being able to shop online is not so much appreciated as it is expected.

One of the latest developments to hit the online shopping world is the virtual try-on – something the beauty industry is embracing with open arms. Recently, we worked with iconic New Zealand department store Smith & Caughey’s to integrate ModiFace (augmented reality (AR) tech for beauty brands) into its online shopping experience.

How virtual makeup is transforming the beauty industry

Finding the perfect shade of foundation or lipstick once required an in-store visit to the beauty counter. These days, you can comfortably order your favourite beauty products from your couch, but it can take some guesswork to find the right colours for your skin tone.

Between the shift to online shopping and the global pandemic questioning health practices, the ‘niche’ and ‘emergent’ technology for virtually testing beauty products has quickly become essential. And it seems there’s no going back.

Erin Schmidt, a beauty analyst from Coresight Research, says, “Digital is amplifying beauty, a relationship that works because beauty is a visual category.” Makeup brands such as M.A.C, Bobbi Brown and L’Oréal now offer their own AR applications, making it easier for their customers to confidently purchase online.

About ModiFace

Whether on Snapchat or Instagram, face filters are an everyday norm. Virtual makeup isn’t much of a leap. It shows customers their faces with their chosen make-up applied perfectly. It’s convenient, fun and also more sanitary. Customers can now try on hundreds of products in a matter of seconds and there’s no more disappointment as they know exactly how it will look – before they purchase.

Run by scientists and engineers, ModiFace is the powerhouse behind AR technology in the beauty industry. It is commissioned to create try-on applications for individual beauty brands, department stores, Instagram shopping and more.

How does virtual make-up work?

Using 3D modelling and face tracking, virtual makeup is rendered directly on customers’ faces, even as they move around and smile. They can try on different shades and application styles, giving customers the chance to find new and interesting ways to use makeup.

The benefits of virtual make-up

Technology like ModiFace is taking the online shopping experience one step further – turning its disadvantages into advantages. A report on consumer trends shows that 45% of beauty buyers in the US and the UK want to try the products at home before buying – and virtual try-on gives them exactly that.

The top three reasons virtual try-on is on the rise:

  • It’s helping brands create a truly omnichannel experience, seamlessly connecting the in-store and online worlds and allowing brands to make better, more personalised suggestions for their customers.
  • It’s faster (not to mention more sanitary!) to test more products, more brands and more possibilities in a matter of minutes.
  • It eliminates the element of surprise and the possibility of customer dissatisfaction once the product is delivered. That means happier customers and more repeat purchases.

Smith & Caughey’s + ModiFace

As one of the most successful and beloved department stores in New Zealand, Smith & Caughey’s is synonymous with luxury shopping, both for its quality products and its premium customer service.

Adapting to the times has been something it has taken in its stride for over 100 years – and its approach to transitioning online has been no different. Read more about Smith & Caughey’s online journey.

Recently, we integrated ModiFace with Smith & Caughey’s online store. Customers can now browse makeup products and see how they look on their faces in real-time. The experience is easy, intuitive and allows a seamless shopping experience.

From Smith & Caughey’s home page, you can quickly navigate to ‘Virtual beauty try-on’ from the store’s makeup section. Then, click on the brand and products you want to try on. You can either upload a photo or try makeup on live. The results are incredibly realistic and what make this feature such a game-changer for department stores like Smith & Caughey’s.

"With Beauty being an important arm of the business for Smith & Caughey's, this was a particularly exciting project. The feature can be used on both desktop and mobile devices and customers can switch between shades quickly and easily as they view a product page."

- Emma Collis, Customer Success Manager, Solutionists

The future of beauty

No industry is immune to the rapid rise in technology. Smith & Caughey’s understands that to remain a leader in New Zealand retail for another 100 years, it needs a truly seamless connection between online and in-store – and ModiFace is helping it achieve that.

Founder of Gen Z Planet, Hana Ben-Shabat echoes this saying, “We have a new generation of consumers, Gen Z, for whom the distinction doesn’t exist. They see a brand or a retailer as an entity they can access through different touch points, physical and digital, and they expect the best experience in each of these: store, website and social media.”

For more ideas on how to optimise your online store and grow your eCommerce sales, speak with the experts at Solutionists today.


Emma Collis

date published:

6 Jul 2022