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October 3, 2023

| 5 mins read

Technology Meets Skincare: How Beauty Tech is Changing the Game for Big Brands

Technology Meets Skincare: How Beauty Tech is Changing the Game for Big Brands

The global beauty industry — worth around half a billion dollars today — is evolving. Tech intervention and shift in mindset are revolutionising what products are developed and how people shop.

Shopping habits are changing. Cutting-edge technologies, including augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML), enable customers to experience brands in entirely new ways. Today’s shoppers expect a two-way conversation; nowhere is this more the case than in the beauty industry.

So, it is no wonder that prominent beauty brands are always seeking new ways to engage their customers and improve sales. And beauty tech has emerged as one of the most critical trends in the beauty industry.

What is Beauty Tech?

Beauty tech involves applying technological advancements within the beauty and cosmetics industry. It encompasses a wide range of digital and hardware solutions designed to boost the customer experience, streamline beauty routines, and offer personalised solutions.

Beauty tech includes AR for virtual makeup try-ons, skincare analysis tools, AI for personalised product recommendations, and smart mirrors. These technologies transform how shoppers explore, experience, and buy beauty products. At the same time, they help brands offer tailored solutions, driving them toward more interactive, data-driven, and customer-centric approaches to beauty.

The Need for Technology in Beauty & Cosmetics

A few years ago, several beauty brands considered innovative technologies as nice-to-haves. Initial experiences were centred around gaming and entertainment and felt almost gimmicky.

That is no longer the case now. AI and AR, in particular, offer a hyper-engaged, fun, and accurate way for shoppers to immerse themselves into a brand’s product lineup, experimenting with more products than ever before and, thus, making more confident purchase decisions. In addition, they are critical to delivering personalisation and tailored communications to meet customer needs today and tomorrow.

Integrate AI skin analysis for your beauty brand's personalized and confident shopping experiences!

The Impact of Technology on Beauty & Cosmetics

Let’s understand why and how cosmetic brands should turn to beauty tech.

Virtual Try-ons

Who would have thought that they could test beauty products online?

The days of visiting cosmetic stores to pick up a face moisturiser or try a new shade of red lipstick are long gone. While those days were fading with the advent of e-commerce, AR-enabled virtual try-ons are driving this market in a new direction.

A report has revealed that 45% of shoppers will likely buy from brands that use AI and AR to let them try products online.

Several beauty leaders leverage virtual makeup software to allow shoppers to try out products and formulations before making a purchase. These virtual try-on services go beyond the filters people find on social media platforms, such as Instagram.

Thanks to the beauty augmented reality technology, customers can check how a cosmetic product would look on their faces or skin. They not only save time and effort but also enjoy an interactive shopping experience.

No more visiting a cosmetic store. Instead, people need to download AR apps and try beauty products from their homes.

Moreover, shoppers can experiment with multiple hairstyles, makeup shades, or eyeshadows without the fear of disappointment. This reduces the number of returned items and strengthens the brand-customer connection.

Transform your beauty brand's online experience with our innovative web AR platform for immersive virtual try-ons and heightened customer engagement!

Exceed Shoppers’ Expectations

Tech advances in beauty have made it possible for brands to develop formulations that are more effective than ever before and can meet customer needs. How? By using data analytics.

Beauty companies collect these in-depth insights primarily through search term data and customers’ buying habits. This big data helps brands better understand what shoppers are really looking for, eventually enabling them to recommend the right skin products.

Case in point, mirrAR’s beauty AI tool offers you more detailed analytics to help you accurately suggest the most suitable makeup product to your shoppers based on their age group.

Beauty brands can use data analytics to inform their product development strategies. They can analyse customer feedback and market trends to develop cosmetic products that are more likely to succeed.

Target Shoppers on a Personal Level

Traditionally, beauty brands thrived on a “one colour/shade fits all” ethos. Today, various companies have added dozens of hundreds of beauty formulations developed to serve multiple skin tones and pigmentation.

Today, people want more personalised shopping experiences, and the numbers support it. Research suggests 7 out of 10 shoppers expect brands to offer personalised experiences.

Virtual makeover software is not only about trying on beauty products but also offers personalised recommendations based on individual features. A simple selfie and interactive questionnaire determine users’ beauty goals. The AI algorithms then examine their facial characteristics and suggest products that match their face shape, skin tone, and other attributes.

"Your complexion is olive, your undertone is warm, your facial shape is oval," concludes the beauty AI tool after analysing the selfie. This hyper-personalisation boosts shoppers’ confidence while purchasing products.

Boost E-commerce Sales with Social Media Marketing

Social media has become critical to shaping beauty trends, with beauty bloggers and influencers driving the conversation. Instagram, in particular, provides a medium for influencers to connect with their followers through user-generated content (UGC).

Beauty tech tools encourage the creation of UGC, including customer reviews, videos, and photos. Brands can use social media channels to showcase their product portfolios and influence users to purchase directly from posts and videos. Integrating shoppable features into social media platforms streamlines the buying process.

UGC helps build trust, as potential buyers can see real people using and reviewing products. This authentic content significantly influences their purchase decisions.

Go Green

The beauty industry has a dark side – the amount of waste it generates. It is one of the leading waste producers, with 10% of beauty products (worth around US$5 Bn) getting wasted in supply chains.

Fortunately, beauty tech can solve that problem, or at least help minimise this negative impact as much as possible. Brands use beauty AI to offer at-scale customisation, ensuring shoppers get exactly what they need. Focusing on tailored solutions helps beauty leaders reduce overproduction and material waste due to sending out unnecessary samples.

Plus, the odds of customers throwing or returning a cosmetic product decrease if they can try on the product before purchasing it.

Furthermore, customers can dive into a product's ingredients and its environmental and health impact. They can scan QR codes imprinted on products’ packaging through beauty augmented reality apps to learn about their sustainability.

How mirrAR Redefines Beauty Tech with AR Virtual Try-ons

mirrAR has unveiled its proprietary beauty tech platform to offer customers life-like virtual makeover experiences. The AI+AR virtual try-on app is platform-agnostic and accessible across web-browsing devices. Users need to sign up for the AR app and upload their selfies.

The state-of-the-art tool then covers over 300 facial points for accurate makeup trials, identifying dramatic facial movements, wide-angle facial profiles, and changes in light. Whether shoppers make duck faces, rotate their heads, and blink, mirrAR’s beauty AI follows their movements with ultra-precision.

Customers can easily try multiple items and simultaneously compare one look with another on the same virtual try-on screen.  Besides, mirrAR has integrated AI Skin Analysis into its beauty tech platform. The mobile app analyses their skin conditions – fine lines, deep wrinkles, and pore visibility – in no time. It then recommends a personalised blend of high-quality skin care.

Brands using mirrAR’s beauty AI tool are already enjoying a tremendous 160% rise in digital engagements and a 30% growth in conversions.

Some Other Case Studies of Big Beauty Brands 


L’Oreal launched Perso, its smart skincare system that curates tailored formulas for foundation, lipstick, and skin care.

First, users open the Perso app and capture photos of their faces with their smartphone camera. The app utilises AI to detect skin conditions such as large pores, dark spots, or wrinkles. Then, it crunches users’ location data to adjust for ecological concerns that impact the skin, including temperature, UV index, pollen, and pollution.

Finally, users enter their skin-care goals, such as eradicating pigmentation, dullness, or dark spots. The app pulls these inputs into a high-performance, personalised formula using its three-ingredient cartridges, dispensed in a single-use dose at the top of the device.

Estée Lauder

Estee Lauder rolled out its in-store app called iMatch Virtual Shade Expert, which taps AI to provide shoppers with the most suitable foundation shade (s). Users first need to upload their selfies to the app. The app will then examine their skin tones and undertones to recommend the best foundation shade.

Besides, shoppers can try on different shades virtually to see how they look before they purchase. The iMatch Virtual Shade Expert offers an excellent way to find the perfect foundation shade, especially if people are shopping online or cannot visit an Estée Lauder counter.


Sephora launched its mobile AR tool, Sephora Virtual Artist, which lets users try dozens of shades of finishes of foundation, lipstick, and false lashes virtually.  Users need to upload their selfies, and the tool’s Color Match uses AI algorithms to show how the chosen product would look on them in real-time. Besides, it helps users find the right colour shade for their skin tone.

By noticing the habits of in-store shoppers and addressing their needs with its mobile app, Sephora builds comprehensive customer profiles based on the data. These include the entire customer journey, from online browsing and buying to in-store interactions with salespersons and over-the-counter (OTC) sales.

Modern Tech, Timeless Beauty

The only constant in the beauty industry is change, and never more so than now. Tech-enabled innovation remains a critical pillar in any brand strategy, especially for beauty leaders.

The beauty industry was among the early adopters of beauty AI and AR solutions to address issues around product sampling by letting customers “try before buy” without compromising the physical inventory.

From product development to improving the customer experience and business growth, beauty tech offers a myriad of benefits that you cannot ignore. With the technology driving innovations across the beauty industry on- and offline unprecedentedly, alongside the uncertain economic and geopolitical times, the future will look like no other.

So, if you are looking for ways to take your beauty brand to the next level, do not forget to add some beauty tech to your strategy.

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