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L'Oreal buys an augmented reality beauty app maker

Modiface will make 'digital experiences' for brands like Lancôme and YSL.
Mariella Moon
Mariella Moon|@mariella_moon|March 18, 2018 9:29 AM

Makeup empire L'Oreal wants to promote its huge collection of brands the high-tech way, so it's buying Modiface to make that happen. It's now in the process of acquiring the beauty tech company, which has been teaming up with big cosmetics brands for over a decade to create augmented reality apps for mobile and desktop. Modiface's AR tech powers quite a lengthy list of beauty apps, including a website where you can digitally try on Estee Lauder's lipsticks, which you can see in the image above.

It also provides the magic behind Benefit's perfect brow-finder, Sephora's Virtual Artist App, which gives you way to see what the retailer's products look like on your face, and even Bixby Vision's make-up tool for the S9 and the S9+. In addition to apps, Modiface also develops AR mirrors that can superimpose makeup on your face in real time.

The company previously worked with L'Oreal to create an app that allows you try on various hairstyles and colors on a selfie. Now that its (70) developers and engineers are officially joining the Paris-based cosmetics giant, L'Oreal's hair products aren't the only ones getting the AR app treatment. Modiface will fulfill its existing contracts with other companies, but it will focus on creating digital experiences for L'Oreal's 30-plus brands going forward.

It's unclear if all those brands are getting their own individual apps, but they include drugstore makeup-makers Maybelline and Nyx, as well as luxury cosmetics companies Lancôme and YSL. Considering those high-end brands' products can cost an arm, a leg and your favorite eyebrow, it'll be nice having an AR app you can consult before shelling out $40-or-so for a tube of lipstick that makes you look like a corpse or a floating pair of lips.

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L'Oreal buys an augmented reality beauty app maker