November 25, 2022
Augmented reality makeup reinforces a sense of “fakeness” and embarrassment in consumers, driving them back to physical stores, researchers say.
The report, co-authored by Bayes Business School and conducted between 2018-2022, examined the psychological and sociological factors of consumer experience when using augmented reality (AR) makeup technology; in particular, the role digital makeup mirrors play in enhancing people’s imaginations and perceptions of themselves.
The authors find that while people feel comfortable wearing makeup when looking at themselves through a “real” mirror, the opposite is true when looking into a digital makeup mirror.
Consumers found that digital mirrors, promoted by brands such as Charlotte Tilbury, L’Oréal and Amazon, boosted their self-image by allowing them to imagine themselves looking like their favorite celebrity or what they looked like in the past.
However, compared to the “real” shopping experience of buying makeup, AR mirrors have created a strong sense of fakeness. This is due to factors such as:
• Trying on make-up in the store gives a sense of fun, while looking at ourselves through a digital make-up mirror gives a sense of ‘horror’
• Individuals feel embarrassed when using digital makeup mirrors and are less likely to share digital content in their quest for social acceptance
• Make-up is an emotional experience: actual make-up shopping in the store is seen as a journey of self-reflection that is difficult to compare with a digital make-up mirror
• Individuals view themselves through a lens where what they should look like is based on a collective online observation of friends, celebrities or influencers. A digital makeup mirror hinders the way individuals search for this proxy self.
This sense of self-improperity initially deflates the consumer’s desire to use online makeup mirrors. However, if consumers want to “complete” and “enjoy” their shopping experience, they would rather be physically in the makeup store.
In the meantime, while these apps and devices allow them to post a photo of their transformed selves to social media, they fear embarrassment from their social network.
So instead of using an AR makeup mirror to apply makeup, consumers prefer to find a makeup influencer who has similarities to their own look, such as skin type or facial contour, and follow their recommendations.
Users of the survey’s digital makeup mirror criticized AR’s lack of understanding or respect for human skin, ethnicity, or feelings when applying color to skin, particularly among luxury makeup brands.
They also claimed “embarrassing surprise” with how they looked when using AR makeup mirrors. For example, while they looked surprised at the sight of AR colors on their faces, they soon became embarrassed by their AR look and barely shared their AR photo “privately” with close family and friends instead of posting it publicly online. parts.
One participant said: “… It’s my face. I want it. I want to feel it. I want to try [real makeup products] On. I want to see the consistency…with makeup, it’s not something I can rely on anything for a decision like what to put on my face.
Khaled El-Shamandi Ahmed, co-author of the study, said executives and creative companies were “a world apart” from consumers in the experience, adding that consumers must engage as co-creators in order to move forward.
However, he added that online AR makeup apps could boost traffic to visit makeup stores around Black Friday – with the most recent figures on store visits showing a 14 percent drop from the previous year. pre-Covid comparative period in 2019 – and to enjoy ‘real’ makeup store experience.
“Digital vanity mirrors do not expand the self, but on the contrary create a sense of inauthentic self that can lead to embarrassment and embarrassment. This is despite the research promising that AR will change the shopping experience of consumers.
“Those surveyed described finding the right make-up as an ’emotional process’ and ‘a journey’. This study makes it clear that technology, while a powerful and progressive tool in the service sector, can also have a negative and disruptive impact on consumers.
“Tech companies and consumers are worlds apart when it comes to the expected and perceived digital service experience, and customer experience managers have a responsibility to balance the fun factor with reality.”