Founded by makeup artist François Nars in 1994 and acquired by Shiseido in 2000, NARS Cosmetics is the beauty brand for the modern, independent woman. Sophisticated, witty, and effortlessly seductive, NARS embraces individuality by providing rich colors and luxurious textures. NARS Cosmetics are distributed through specialty beauty and department stores globally.
NARS is sold through more than 2,000 locations in 45 countries around the world, as well as through its online web and mobile sites. To enhance the experience for all of its consumers, the company wanted to take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) to provide virtual try-on experiences.
“As our in-store and online business continues to grow, we knew it was business critical to bring AI/AR virtual try-on experiences into our space,” says Kristy Peschko, Executive Director of Global Omni Channel Marketing, CRM & Loyalty, NARS Cosmetics. “We needed a solution that would precisely render our products in virtual format so our consumers could be confident in making a purchase.
NARS chose Perfect Corp. to provide virtual try-on experiences for its 700 products. Perfect Corp. combines powerful AI with its industry-leading AR to provide stunningly lifelike virtual try-on experiences.
Perfect Corp. worked closely with NARS to create engaging virtual try-on experiences for its consumers. In 2019, NARS used Perfect Corp.’s AI/AR technology to launch virtual try-on for its lip, eye, and cheek products. This worked so well that in 2020, NARS worked with Perfect Corp. to launch NARS Matchmaker, a Virtual Shadefinder for its foundation products.
Perfect Match. The NARS Matchmaker Virtual Shadefinder, powered by Perfect Corp. AI/AR virtual try-on technology.
The precision of Perfect Corp.’s AI/AR technology convinced the company that the time was right to give consumers a virtual try-on experience. Barbara Calcagni, President of NARS Cosmetics, says “While it’s been on our radar for some time, we think the technology has finally reached a point of maturity, and where we can now offer consumers, virtual shade matching that suits their skin tones precisely, with realistic textures and finishes that mirror real-life application by a makeup artist.”
Peschko says Perfect Corp. had long been on the company’s radar because of its leading-edge technology.
“We see Perfect Corp. as the industry leader and pioneers of this technology. There was no question that they would be our partner of choice and, it's proven to be a great collaboration,” Peschko says. “Our virtual try-on experiences help build trust with our consumers, and deploying this technology is true to our heritage. Consumers look to NARS
for the newest and best products and technology in beauty and providing life-like virtual try-on helps them see exactly how each of our products will look on them and feel more confident when they hit the checkout button."
The company is also using Perfect Corp. technology as it creates a virtual store. “We are creating an out-of-this-world, 3D experience that takes the consumer into a space where they can explore the products, learn about the technology and ingredients, and use Matchmaker to find their perfect shade,” Peschko says.
NARS has found several benefits since deploying Perfect Corp.’s AI/AR-powered Matchmaker Virtual Shadefinder and color virtual try-on.
NARS has seen a 300% increase in color consumers converting from browsing to purchasing since launching its virtual try-on for its mobile website.
“After we launched virtual try-on, our conversion rate increased by three times,” Peschko says. “This proved the power of the AI/AR beauty tool. When we later added Matchmaker Virtual Shadefinder for our foundation products, we saw the same 300 percent increase in conversion.”
Exploring Lip. “Consumers try on an average of 27 colors.”
Consumers enjoy using virtual try-on so much, they are often inspired to try more products. The realism of the virtual try-on experience also makes it easier for a consumer to find the right shade and feel confident about their purchase.
“One of the great values of our virtual try-on tools is the complete realism of the experience,” Peschko says. “Consumers can see exactly how a foundation shade, or a lip color will look on their own face. This gives them the confidence and the motivation to make the purchase.”
Virtual try-on makes it possible for consumers to try as many products as they like. There’s no time and effort spent removing one color before trying another.
“We’ve seen a 10% increase in average order size with virtual try-on for foundation and our color products,” Peschko says. “We believe this is because it is so easy—and enjoyable—for consumers to try our different foundation shades and our spectrum of lip, eye, and cheek colors. All of this leads to larger order sizes.”
NARS has found that its virtual try-on experiences give consumers a sense of fun and exploration, which helps drive the boost in conversion rates and average order size.
“With virtual try-on, consumers looking at our lip products try on an average of 27 colors,” says Peschko. “Obviously this is far more than they could reasonably try on using real product in a store. Our virtual try-on creates a sense of fun and exploration. We are all impressed with the precision with which our eye products are rendered onto the face, as well as our lip and cheek products. It seems very real and natural.”
This sense of exploration is core to the ethos of NARS Cosmetics.
“NARS is an artistry brand, so we encourage consumers to play, to push the boundaries,” Peschko says. “Some of our products are very bold colors, and our virtual try-on allows consumers to push their personal limits and play. In the process they may discover something new that they may not have purchased or tried before.”
The precision AI and AR that Perfect Corp. builds into NARS Matchmaker Virtual Shadefinder and virtual try-on, gives consumersthe confidence needed to make online beauty purchases.
“Traditionally, buying beauty and cosmetics online can be quite difficult, so we wanted to deploy virtual try-on technologies to give consumers the feeling and confidence of being in an actual retail space, whether through our color virtual try-on or our Matchmaker Virtual Shadefinder,” Peschko says. “Without our virtual try-on tools, consumers would be facing a guessing game in deciding if a foundation really matched their skin tones, or if a color was right for their lip or eye. One of the biggest benefits from deploying our virtual try-on is giving our consumers that confidence they need to make the purchase.”
Such confidence is especially important with something as subtle as foundation.
“Complexion is our largest category,” Peschko says. “Our Matchmaker Virtual Shade finder gives consumers not only the ability to look at one of our foundation products, but to explore all of them at the same time and play with the variations of each in a way that feels more organic and more like the experience of being in a store with one of our artists. The realism is so precise that they have the confidence of being in a store, while enjoying the ability to see how the whole range of products would look on their own face.”
Eyes Beautiful. NARS Cosmetics gives consumers the opportunity to explore its eye products through virtual try-on.
NARS is dedicated to providing solutions for every skin type, tone, and color. The AI/AR virtual try-on technology makes it possible for consumers to experience all the options that NARS provides in a personalized way.
“As a brand, we pride ourselves in offering a wide range of shades to meet every consumer's needs, and our virtual try-on tool allows them to see the full range, which is important.” Peschko says. “We have complexion products for every skin tone, every skin type, and every occasion. A consumer might want something lightweight and radiant for the day, or a full coverage soft matte at night. Whatever the look, consumers can experiment with Matchmaker Shade Finder to find the exact match for any occasion.”
Peschko, from her own experience, proved the precision of using NARS Matchmaker Virtual Shadefinder. “In our office, a makeup artist custom matched me for the color of foundation I should be wearing,” Peschko says. “Later, I tested their recommendation against Matchmaker Virtual Shadefinder, and it matched perfectly. I was super impressed. It is a very intelligent tool. This kind of accuracy is something that NARS is committed to for our consumer, and I was able to test it firsthand.”
NARS takes an omnichannel approach to sharing its virtual try-on experiences with consumers.
“We first brought iPads loaded with our virtual try-on tool into our stores, and quickly followed with the expansion onto ecommerce, allowing consumers to access it from both channels,” Peschko says. “Virtual try-on will be a central feature of our virtual store, and we are working with Perfect Corp. to bring the virtual try-on experience to our consumers across social media. Looking ahead, we are excited to work with Perfect Corp. to continue offering our consumers new experiences across all their touch points.”
Perfect Corp. has proven to be a great company for NARS Cosmetics to work with because of its industry-leading technology and its focus on the future.
“We're constantly working to see how we can partner with new retailers and online sellers in new and innovative ways,” Peschko says. “Perfect Corp. is constantly innovating to make sure we can meet the needs of our consumers across all the different markets. When we identify a new opportunity, Perfect Corp. is quick to respond, and they can scale to meet any need.”
NARS has long been a leader in cosmetics, so it appreciates the leadership Perfect Corp. provides for the future of AI/AR-powered virtual try-on.
“Perfect Corp. comes to us with ideas we hadn’t yet considered,” Peschko says. “They stay on top of the trends and expand what is possible, which allows us to stay ahead of what's new in digital and continue to elevate and evolve the experiences we can offer to our consumers around the world.”
Perfect Corp. is the leading SaaS artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) beauty and fashion tech solutions provider, dedicated to transforming the consumer shopping experience through innovative digital technologies for businesses and consumers. Recognized as an AI and AR powerhouse, our experienced team of engineers and beauty aficionados are pushing the frontiers of technology to offer results-driven, interactive, and sustainable digital-first beauty and fashion tech business solutions for brands and retailers. On the consumer side, with over 1 billion downloads globally, the immersive collection of YouCam apps, including YouCam Makeup and YouCam Perfect, provide a platform for individuals to virtually try on products, looks, and styles conveniently from their smart device.
Further information about Perfect Corp. can be found at perfectcorp.com