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Rimmel unveils augmented reality mirror, virtual try-on options for cosmetics

October 4, 2016


The new app lets users virtually try on looks they have found elsewhere

Rimmel London is helping consumers make their style inspirations a reality with a new application that lets users take photos of styles they admire and suggests products that can help them recreate those looks.

The new app, called Get the Look, enables users to snap photos of looks before showing them a list of products that will let them recreate it. The app will also let users virtually try on Rimmel products by projecting the makeup onto their faces via their mobile device’s camera.

“Through ongoing research into our consumer needs, we learned that our consumers are more inspired and driven to beauty purchases by looks they see on the street than by those created directly by beauty brands,” said Camillo Pane, executive vice president of global category development at Coty.

Mirror, mirror
Rimmel describes Get the Look as the first augmented reality mirror. Users can turn their phone’s camera on themselves and, in an effect similar to Snapchat’s popular facial filters, see the effects of different Rimmel makeup products projected onto their faces.

In real time, users can adjust shades and levels of intensity, try on different products and move their heads around in a natural way, all while the projected makeup stays flush against their face.

The Get the Look app lets users virtually try on makeup products

In addition to creating their own look, users can also turn that camera around and snap photos of other people’s looks. Those looks can be taken from still images or from snapping photos of someone in-person.

The app will then project a combination of Rimmel products onto the user to recreate that look.

The real-life inspired looks are also shoppable. If users like what they see, they can click through and buy the products directly through the app.

Rimmel has also provided users with a London Look tab that contains a variety of pre-selected looks designed and curated by the cosmetics brand. Users can select presets such as Camden Punk or Chelsea and get a predefined look projected onto their faces.

Those looks can then be customized and played with just as a user-generated one can.

Mobile millennials
The app is Rimmel’s attempt to capitalize on the growing popularity of beauty bloggers and social media content creators, whose numbers have skyrocketed in recent years with the rise of YouTube makeup tutorials and Instagram celebrities.

Those digital content streams are popular among millennials, the stated targets of Rimmel’s newest mobile outing. The cosmetics company also just completed its first International Vlogger contest last year.

The app projects makeup onto the user’s face, similar to a Snapchat facial filter

As the popularity of beauty bloggers increases among the younger generations, cosmetics companies have scrambled to make the most of mobile as a way of connecting with the consumers of online beauty content.

Some of Rimmel’s biggest competitors – such as Sephora and Mac Cosmetics – have all made heavy use of mobile apps to connect with younger consumers.

Sephora’s latest Android app acts as an in-store shopping companion, letting users browse products and prices, scan products in-store and view tutorials on how to use different items before they but them (see story).

Mac, on the other hand, is taking a different route, focusing on rewards and loyalty points for it users as a way of keeping them coming back to the same store, rather than drifting off to other cosmetics suppliers (see story).

Rimmel is offering something a little bit different than those approaches, while still following the same basic strategy – target millennials on mobile, the channel they feel most comfortable on.

“We have created our innovative Get the Look app that allows consumers to capture looks from the street with their phones and replicate it on themselves through the app using our Rimmel products and shades,” Mr. Pane said.

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Danny Parisi is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach him at

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