Beauty Store Business magazine - January, 2020

Sephora Brings Innovation to Beauty Apps

Innovation in beauty apps keeps on getting better, and Sephora is using it to continue to reach millennials right where they live—on their mobile phones! The beauty retailer has expanded its Sephora Virtual Artist app for Android and iPhone with features that give beauty aficionados nearly innumerable options for eye color shades and styles to aid them in their beauty purchase decisions.

The new Swatch Me, Eyeliner Try-On and Virtual Tutorial additions to the app pack tried-and-true features, such as the ability to save favorites, send products to the shopping cart and share their virtual beauty picks with friends. But they also pack some boosted benefits, such as allowing users to “try on” every shade in an eyeshadow palette, with each shade positioned in the order in which it appears in the palette (Swatch Me); and helping users pick shades, brands and formulations, including from Sephora’s Just Arrived or Bestsellers options (Eyeliner Try-On).

And when customers just aren’t sure how to achieve their desired look, the app’s new Virtual Tutorials list the products needed and offer step-by-step instruction, including animating the makeup and steps on the users’ face via 3D Live view.

“First, we saw our Sephora color consultants swatching palettes on their clients to see effect and color on their own skin tone, and then when we launched Ratings and Reviews—[swatches] was the first thing [shoppers] were sharing,” said Bridget Dolan, VP of innovation at Sephora. “We thought, 'How can we make this available to everyone, in a fun and mess-free way?' Our answer: By harnessing the power of augmented reality, and partnering with our brands to catalog each shade."

Further adding to the robustness of the app, Swatch Me offers nearly 300 eyeshadow palettes that can be swatched; Eyeliner Try-On offers more than 700 eyeliners, and natural, winged and smoky styles; and Virtual Tutorials allows customers to view before-and-after looks via a split screen that slides back and forth, get tips from beauty pros, and review a pop-up list of recommended products to shop the look.

Surely, today’s beauty apps are taking all of the guesswork out of the beauty-buying experience.