L’Oreal makes big move into AR with ModiFace acquisition

French cosmetic giant L’Oreal has announced that it has bought Canadian AR company ModiFace, signalling its intention to make a significant move into AR in the near future.

ModiFace has developed technology that allows for 3D virtual make-up, colour and skin diagnosis by tracking facial features and colour. The company’s proprietary technology is already utilised by almost all of the major beauty brands, which means this is a big move by the French company.

The company’s 70 employees will move over to L’Oreal’s Digital Services Factory, which is dedicated to developing new digital services across the company’s 34 diverse brands.

“We are thrilled to welcome ModiFace to L’Oréal to become the heart of our digital services R&D,” Lubomira Rochet, Chief Digital Officer of L’Oréal, said.

“With its world-class team, technologies and sustained track record in terms of beauty tech innovations, ModiFace will support the reinvention of the beauty experience around innovative services to help our customers discover, try and chose products and brands. We at L’Oréal and ModiFace want to pioneer this new page of the beauty industry and serve our customers with innovative services and experiences.” 

Virtual makeovers

ModiFace’s software lets users see their faces transformed in real time as they combine different kinds of beauty products. Consumers can use their phones to give an accurate representation of what they will look like when they use certain products, with the app using skin colour to make the representation hyper-realistic.

This is not L’Oreal’s first foray into AR, with it developing an app called Makeup Genuis that works in a similar way to ModiFace, but without products being applied to the user’s face.

“L’Oréal’s acquisition of ModiFace provides an incredible opportunity to innovate on beauty AR and AI at an unprecedented scale, the results of which will shape the beauty industry for the decades to come,” Parham Aarabi, Founder and CEO of ModiFace, said.  

“Our entire team and I are extremely excited to be joining the L’Oréal family, and look forward to the AR/AI-enabled future that we will create together.” 

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