• Loreal_2

  • Loreal_1

Client – L’Oreal Paris

Markets – Global

Timing – Dec 9 2014 – Present

Agencies/Vendors – McCann Paris, Image Metrics, My Studio Factory

Tech Word Cloud – facial recognition, mobile innovation, m-commerce, augmented reality, interactivity

L’Oreal created the first makeup app with facial recognition software, allowing customers to realistically test and then purchase their products all within the app.


L’Oreal Paris wanted to leverage digital technology to drive engagement and product trials. Specifically, they wanted to move away from the existing makeup app technology that is based on still images and doesn’t provide consumers with real advice or simulation.


L’Oreal’s idea was to create an app that allowed customers to truly try on makeup from their smartphones. The Makeup Genius app creates a relationship with the customer on a level that L’Oreal hadn’t offered before that drives them to purchase within the app. The Makeup Genius scans customers’ faces and allows them to choose from a wide range of L’Oreal cosmetics to test on their own faces, instantly and realistically. The Makeup Genius campaign was launched with a 360 advertising campaign, including touchpoints such as dedicated print, TV advertising, localized YouTube videos, bloggers and social influencers, social audience reach, direct marketing, E-CRM database activation, banners, PR events, and a push on brand websites.


The technology behind the app was in development for 18 months before it was released. Makeup Genius detects up to 100 facial expressions to make it appear as though the user is actually wearing the makeup. L’Oreal researchers tested thousands of products to accurately reproduce the color rendering, shine and texture lights of each makeup within the app.


McCann Paris led the creative design and launch campaign behind the Makeup Genius virtual mirror campaign, collaborated with My Studio Factory for the user experience, and Image Metrics for the aspect of technology development. The integration of the facial recognition tech into a makeup app is the first of its kind in the beauty industry, bringing the shopper experience, from testing the products all the way through the actual purchase, from the store to the digital space.


Since its launch, the Makeup Genius app has been adopted in 46 countries and received more than 14.3 million downloads worldwide. In total, there have been over 60 million different looks and more than 267 million L’Oreal products tried. In addition, L’Oreal has proven itself to be a leader in the beauty industry in integrating digital and technology into its marketing efforts.