Hot on the heels of fashion, it’s now the beauty industry — and, more specifically — the makeup industry’s turn to jump into the metaverse. While the pandemic has totally changed makeup wearing habits, often spurring a move towards more natural looks, our counterparts in the virtual world can now treat themselves to the most cutting-edge of makeup routines.
Beauty and video games might not be the most obvious stablemates. But not only is the gaming world shaking off its typical gender and generational stereotypes, but brands have also understood the potential of these parallel worlds to present and promote their products, and build bigger and more diverse communities. Givenchy, Gucci and Nars are among the cosmetic brands that are already dabbling in this new arena by partnering with Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing,” and this race to the metaverse is only just beginning.
How beauty brands are entering the metaverse:
Many players in the fashion and luxury industries have already been seduced by this new world where, for the moment, anything seems possible. Nike, adidas and Balenciaga have already launched, or are working on, their own iterations of the metaverse, with plans to present collections or even stage fashion shows, to sell NFTs, and, more broadly, to showcase their worlds, their DNA, and better interact with customers. And in these parallel universes, user avatars are generally seen wearing clothes. So if you’re going to dress your avatar, you might as well do it with style. But the same logic seems more difficult to apply to cosmetic brands hoping to carve out a place, since makeup is not — or is much less — something everyone uses or wants to use. But this hasn’t stopped some brands from making remarkable breakthroughs, showing the potential that these new worlds can offer.
In the virtual world, some avatars even appear wearing masks, which may seem surprising when their real-world counterparts want nothing more than to ditch this accessory that’s become an essential part of daily life. So why not offer them all they need to become the ultimate beauty fans? At a time when women — and men — have taken their foot off the pedal when it comes to makeup — foundation and lipstick especially — they could be tempted to use their virtual double as a means of expressing their whims and desires. And that’s something that augmented reality has made possible in recent years.
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Experimentation and creativity
When the pandemic caused retail stores to close, cosmetic brands had to accelerate their transition to the virtual world, doubling down on initiatives to ensure that their customers did not give up on their beauty routines. As a result, apps offering virtual makeup testing — essentially based on augmented reality — started springing up during lockdown, giving everyone the opportunity to experiment with different shades of foundation, lipstick and nail polish before buying them directly online. It’s precisely this technology, along with the now ubiquitous filters found on many social networks, that is, or will be, echoed in these virtual worlds.
The South Korean metaverse Zepeto, launched by Naver Z Corp, has already partnered with several beauty brands, such as Nars, which offers several makeup looks, and Dior Beauté, which presents looks created exclusively by Peter Philips, creative and image director of the luxury brand. That alone could be enough to entice more than one beauty addict into these new worlds. Especially since they also open up a field of endless possibilities to budding creatives, who can test a host of beauty looks without ever having to show them off in the real world.
NFTs and livestream shopping
As well as promoting their products in the metaverse, brands can also offer NFTs, which are on the rise. Nars — which seemingly has one foot firmly in these new worlds — plus Givenchy Parfums and Clinique are among the companies that have already unveiled non-fungible tokens. And these could multiply at great speed in this brave new world, whether to offer exclusive and rare products, or to show cosmetics through the eyes of different artists.
In a bid to get ever-closer to their customers and to offer them interactive and immersive experiences, brands could also rely on their own metaverses to run livestream shopping sessions. These online events are booming all over the world, especially in China, giving rise to live shopping shows hosted by content creators, influencers and other online stars. And it’s a phenomenon that could take a new direction thanks to the metaverse and its world of possibilities.
The story is published via AFP Relaxnews