- Benefit Cosmetics is working with beauty technology company Perfect on an app feature that lets mobile users virtually try on eyebrow makeup using augmented reality (AR). The Brow Try-On Program is available to consumers in China at Benefit's account on messaging app WeChat, per an announcement.
- The Brow Try-On lets beauty shoppers try out different eyebrow shapes before booking an appointment at one of Benefit's BrowBars, where a stylist will help to recreate the look. Perfect's technology detects facial features and blends colors to create a personalized AR try-on for consumers.
- Benefit also provides the Brow Try-On as a browser-based experience, including the websites of retailers where it sells products and in YouCam Makeup, the cosmetics try-on app developed by Perfect, according to the announcement.
Benefit Cosmetics' Brow Try-On Program is the makeup brand's latest effort to use AR technology to demonstrate its products to mobile consumers. The company two years ago introduced a brow try-on feature for its website while working with Modiface, an AR rival to Perfect that was bought by L'Oréal in 2018. By working with Perfect on a mini program for WeChat, Benefit can engage consumers with a personalized experience that supports appointment bookings at its BrowBar locations in China. About 80% of smartphone owners in the country use WeChat, eMarketer forecasts, giving Benefit a chance to reach a broad audience.
The brow try-on feature comes two weeks after Perfect introduced a suite of software tools to help beauty brands showcase their products on WeChat, which is owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent. Using Perfect's software, beauty brands can offer everything from immersive AR sampling to personalized skincare advice while making recommendations on which products to buy. As Perfect found with its popular YouCam Makeup app that offers AR try-ons from major brands, users were 1.6 times more likely than non-users to buy beauty products and typically spent 2.7 times as much, per a study commissioned by the company.
Benefit's continued investments in mobile is another sign of the importance of having a presence on WeChat to connect with China's mobile consumers. WeChat was innovative in expanding the functionality of lower-cost Android phones, making them more like iPhones, with a broad selection of mini programs that handle everything from messaging to mobile payments. L'Oréal last year created the first mini program for WeChat to let mobile users try on products from its Giorgio Armani Beauty brand before making a purchase. The AR tool showed how beauty brands can blend content and commerce in WeChat to drive mobile orders.