Pinterest Expands Skin Tone Range for Makeup Try-On Feature

Users can shop for more than 10,000 shades with the help of augmented reality

NARS, Cle de Peau and Thrive Causemetics are some of the brands Pinterest added to its makeup AR feature this week. Pinterest
Headshot of Mary Emily O

Beauty is one of the most popular categories on Pinterest, and the app is giving users more and more reasons to flock to it to try and buy products.

The augmented reality Try On feature, added in January, allows users to see what a shade of makeup would look like on them in real-time. And this week, Pinterest is making the augmented reality feature more inclusive and useful.

Pinterest’s new algorithm offers users a range of products that match their skin tone, from beauty to fashion. When you try on a lipstick shade, for example, the app suggests “more like this look” with your skin tone automatically factored into the results. Didn’t love that shade of pink? Pinterest will show you a range of similar shades on photos of people who share your skin tone.

Annie Ta, inclusive product lead at Pinterest, told Adweek on Wednesday that the app launched skin tone ranges because nearly 60% of searches involving “skin” included a specific tone, such as dark, olive or pale. “With our recent update,” said Ta, “we’re continuing our investment in becoming a more inclusive product by making improvements to the quality and coverage of our skin tone technology, allowing easier discovery of relevant beauty ideas.”

As part of the Try On AR expansion, Pinterest is also adding three new beauty brands: NARS, Clé de Peau and Thrive Causemetics.

Because of the way Pinterest serves as a sort of inspiration board—allowing pinners to browse everything from interior design ideas to haircuts before embarking on their own life changes—the company has increased in-app shopping to streamline the buying process.

At the start of the pandemic, Pinterest said shopping activity increased by 44% on the app. In response, Pinterest launched new features in April including curated shopping lists from pinned boards, a Shop Similar algorithm and shopable style guides.

Ta said that since launching augmented reality in January, pins enabled with the Try On feature have resulted in five times more purchase intent than standard pins.

“We hear from Pinners that they want to feel represented and discover inspiration relevant to their interests,” Ta said. “We’re seeing record growth with Gen Z, men and millennials—and now more than ever, people are looking to places like Pinterest to be inspired.”

@MaryEmilyOHara Mary Emily O'Hara is a diversity and inclusion reporter. They specialize in covering LGBTQ+ issues and other underrepresented communities.