Everything You Need to Know About Virtual Try-On Apps
Virtual try-on and makeover apps are transforming the fashion and beauty industries and revitalizing traditional brands in a world dominated by digital shopping. With a combination of advanced artificial learning and augmented reality technologies, virtual try-on apps offer an audience of digital natives the personalized beauty experiences they crave. Virtual try-ons are available everywhere fashion and beauty conscious shoppers go, and free virtual try-on apps put hundreds of beauty products at the fingertips of every fashionista.
What Are Virtual Try-On Apps?
Today’s sophisticated try-on and makeover apps are an outgrowth of the many whimsical filters available on social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Those filters use facial recognition algorithms and augmented reality technologies to place an overlay image on a photograph or video. Now, try-on apps produced for fashion and beauty retail have taken those technologies several steps further, combining these augmented reality and image editing tools in popular apps like Perfect Corp’s YouCam and Modiface by the famous beauty brand L’Oreal.
Virtual try-on apps allow users to overlay a variety of different cosmetic products, hair colors and styles, nail polish or complete pre-set “looks” on a photograph or video of their face. Multiple products can be combined to create fresh looks and save them in a personal library, and products can usually be purchased right from the app.
Leading try-on apps work directly with beauty and fashion brands, offering app users access to a wider array of products than they could find or try in person. YouCam features products from more than 250 cosmetic brands, and users can virtually try on 30 lipsticks in less than 30 seconds. Many popular apps include other features such as live beauty tutorials and communities where users can post their best looks and share tips and inspiration.
How Do Virtual Try-On Apps Work?
Virtual try-on apps are user-friendly and available from all leading app stores such as Google Play and the Apple Store. Basic versions are free to download and include all essential tools and access to a wide range of beauty products and pre-sets, but many popular apps also offer a premium version with extra features. All offer in-app purchasing, so users can instantly buy products they like.
Once an app is installed, users can personalize settings and upload photographs or videos. The app uses facial recognition algorithms to define the appropriate areas of the face and add selected products on areas such as eyes and lips. Users can change colors, styles and lighting with a tap, save their favorite looks to a library and share them with friends.
Some virtual try-on apps also include photo editing tools for modifying images in ways other than makeup. With these tools, users can slim a torso, reshape a chin or nose, or create bigger breasts to go along with the app’s many makeup options.
Who Uses Virtual Try-On Apps?
Because the technologies for virtual try-on apps originated in social media, these apps target a young, female, digital-native population of makeup buyers and fashion fans. Beauty and fashion professionals also use them to help clients preview new looks, and established beauty outlets are adding them to their repertoire of new tools for reaching a growing customer base that prefers a personalized, online shopping experience. Popular free try-on apps include:
With over 700 million downloads, YouCam from Perfect Corp tops the list of free virtual try-on apps. This popular app for both Android and iOS comes with a rich set of makeup and accessory try-on tools, along with a skin health analysis, special occasion makeup palettes and access to products from leading beauty brands around the world.
Retouch Me Body Face Editor is a popular Android app that includes both try-on and makeover tools and an extensive set of photo editing tools for modifying selected parts of the body. RetouchMe also offers professional photo editing help, with results available in less than 15 minutes.
Makeup Plus for iPhone offers an array of makeup options and preset looks for cosmetics, hairstyles and color. Users can try on products from a variety of beauty brands and apply different filters for a polished selfie look. Makeup Plus also includes video makeup tutorials and options for sharing photos and videos.
Virtual try-ons aren’t limited to makeup. Fashion and beauty retailers also offer their own try-on apps through store websites and ecommerce sites. Online glasses shop Zenni, athletic shoe giant Nike and jewelry maker Diamond Hedge are among the fashion and accessory brands offering virtual try-on options.
The Pros and Cons of Virtual Try-On Apps
Virtual try-on apps allow brands to bring their products to a wider audience than ever. They make money, too. Perfect Corp, makers of YouCam, found that app users are more likely to buy the products they try, and when they do, they spend twice as much as non-users.
Brands benefit not only from the added exposure but also from fewer losses and returns, since customers typically only buy products they already know they want. And app users love the opportunity for a completely personalized, on-demand shopping experience.
But there’s a darker side to the virtual try-on phenomenon. Most apps have a social media component where users can share and comment on photos and videos, and that opens doors to inappropriate and hostile activity such as cyberbullying and stalking, since anyone can download the app and sign up.
Other concerns have to do with body positivity. Since apps like RetouchMe feature tools to reshape the body for thinner thighs, a wider smile, or a shapelier butt, critics worry that these apps give users problematic messages about attractiveness and blur the line between reality and fantasy. And with few security safeguards, virtual try-on apps can also put personal information at risk.
Virtual try-on apps create personalized shopping experiences anytime, anywhere. With a combination of sophisticated AI and augmented reality technologies, these free, user-friendly tools are giving the beauty industry a makeover of its own.
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