Beauty Is in the Eye of the Camera Holder With L’Oreal’s Virtual Lipsticks

Amazon customers can preview shades in selfies

Amazon hopes the tech will make customers more confident in online makeup purchases. ModiFace
Headshot of Lisa Lacy

Facial recognition is getting more glamorous as ModiFace, the L’Oreal subsidiary that tracks facial features for makeup simulations, is bringing its virtual try-on technology to L’Oreal lipsticks on Amazon.

This means customers can use the cameras on their phones to see how different shades look in videos and selfies.

According to an announcement, the AR-based simulation of each shade is based on analysis of the information provided by makeup brands as well as images and descriptions of products on social media.

In addition, ModiFace notes it has “highly accurate 3D facial micro-tracking,” including 68 “non-identifying parameters” like lip and eye edges, iris size and location, head pose and skin features such as spots, texture and wrinkles.

“Based originally on research at Stanford University, our Face AI SDK is one of the most precise real-time facial micro-features video tracking and analysis technologies in the world,” the company says.

In a 2018 statement, ModiFace said it also provides 3D color and skin diagnosis services and its customers include “nearly all the major beauty brands,” including Sephora and Giorgio Armani.

ModiFace, which uses Amazon Web Services, rolled out the technology on Amazon mid-2019 in the U.S. and Japan.

In a statement, Amazon Beauty lead Nicolas Le Bourgeois said consumers will be able to “conveniently try on thousands of lipstick products, save photos on their devices … and ultimately purchase with greater confidence.”

Founded in Toronto in 2007, ModiFace is now part of L’Oréal’s Digital Services Factory, a network that seeks to “design and develop new digital services for the group’s brands.”

It is a decidedly less controversial application of facial recognition from Amazon, which has faced criticism for selling its own potentially flawed and biased technology to law enforcement.

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@lisalacy Lisa Lacy is a senior writer at Adweek, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon.