YouTube’s new AR feature allows you to try on virtual makeup alongside beauty vloggers

Google says feature will help ‘brands and advertisers make content more engaging’

Katie O'Malley
Thursday 20 June 2019 17:12 BST
Manny Mua and NikkieTutorials
Manny Mua and NikkieTutorials (Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

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If you’ve ever attempted to copy a beauty vlogger’s make-up tutorial, you’ll know the painstaking process of pausing the clip countless times as you battle to pick up eyeshadow palettes, brushes, and baby wipes.

More often than not, such multi-tasking results in a dressing table covered in streaks of foundation and a face that doesn’t quite live up to the look presented on screen.

However, Google has announced it is set to launch a new feature on YouTube which enables users to “try on make-up” with some of their favourite make-up artists while their tutorials are playing.

On Tuesday, Aaron Luber, Google’s head of branded experiences, posted a blog post explaining the new feature, titled AR Beauty Try-On.

According to the post, the feature will let users virtually apply products featured in a clip while watching YouTubers explain their top tips and reviews.

“Thanks to machine learning and AR technology, it offers realistic, virtual product samples that work on a full range of skin tones,” an excerpt of the post reads.

According to a GIF posted with the announcement, it looks like users will be able to watch videos of YouTubers applying make-up and follow their movements via a video feed from their own front-facing camera.

The feature is currently available through FameBit, Google’s in-house branded content platform, which first partnered with MAC Cosmetics to test out the technology.

“We tested this experience earlier this year with several beauty brands and found that 30 percent of viewers activated the AR experience in the YouTube iOS app, spending over 80 seconds on average trying on lipstick virtually,” Luber’s statement reads.

As a result, it’s expected the feature will encourage new business opportunities between brands and influencers on the search for sponsorship deals.

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Google states that features like AR Beauty Try-On will “help brands and advertisers make content more engaging, educational, and ultimately effective in driving purchase decisions”.

YouTube said that the AR Beauty Try-On feature will launch later this summer.

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