A new study has found that digital makeup mirrors reinforce feelings of “fake” and embarrassment and create a desire for the “real” in-store experience among consumers.
The report, co-authored by Bayes Business School and conducted between 2018 and 2022, explored the psychological and sociological factors of consumer experience when using augmented reality (AR) makeup technology; especially the role that digital makeup mirrors play in enhancing people’s imagination and self-perception.
The authors find that while individuals may feel comfortable putting on makeup when looking at themselves through a “real” mirror, the opposite is true when looking at themselves in a digital makeup mirror.
Consumers have found that digital mirrors, promoted by brands such as Charlotte Tilbury, L’Oréal and Amazon, have enhanced their imaginations as they can imagine themselves looking like their favorite celebrity or what they might have looked like in the past. . However, compared to the “real” makeup shopping experience, AR mirrors created a strong sense of inauthenticity. This is due to factors such as:
- Trying on makeup in store brings a sense of fun, while looking at yourself through a digital makeup mirror brings a “horror” feeling.
- Individuals feel embarrassed when using digital makeup mirrors and feel less likely to want to share digital content in their quest for social acceptance
- Makeup is a emotional experience; the actual in-store makeup purchase is perceived as a journey of self-reflection, which is difficult to replicate with a digital makeup mirror
- Individuals view themselves through a lens through which their “should” appearance is based on collective online observation of friends, celebrities, or influencers. A digital make-up mirror hampers how individuals search for that proxy self.
This sense of inauthenticity initially deflates consumers’ desire to use makeup mirrors online. However, for consumers to “complete” and “enjoy” their shopping experience, they would prefer to be physically inside the makeup store. Meanwhile, while these apps and devices allow them to send a photo of themselves transformed on social networks, they fear that they will be embarrassed by their social network. So, instead of using an AR makeup mirror to try on makeup, consumers prefer to find a makeup influencer who shares similarities with their own look, such as skin type or facial contour, and follow their recommendations.
Users of the digital makeup mirror for the study criticized AR’s lack of understanding or respect for human skin, ethnicity or feelings when applying color to the skin, especially with luxury makeup brands. They also claimed a “shameful surprise” to their appearance when using AR makeup mirrors. For example, although they looked surprised seeing the AR colors on their face, they were quickly ashamed of their AR look and would hardly share their AR photo “privately” with family and close friends, not to mention sharing it publicly online.
One participant said, “…It’s my face. I want it. I want to feel it. I want to try it. [real makeup products] on. I want to see consistency…with makeup, it’s not something I can trust in anything virtual augmented for a decision like what I put on my face.”
Khaled El-Shamandi Ahmed, co-author of the study, said managers and creative companies are “a world apart” from consumers in the experience, adding that consumers need to be involved as co-creators. whether progress needs to be made.
However, he added that online AR makeup apps could entice consumers to visit makeup stores ahead of Black Friday on Nov. 25 – with the most recent store traffic figures showing a 14% drop from last year. the pre-COVID comparative period in 2019 – and enjoy “real” makeup shopping experience.
Ahmed noted: “Digital makeup mirrors do not extend the self, but instead create an inauthentic sense of self that can lead to embarrassment and shame. This is despite research promising that augmented reality will transform consumers. shopping experience. Respondents described finding the right makeup as an “emotional process” and a “journey.” This study clearly shows that technology, while being a powerful and progressive tool in the service sectorcan also have a negative and disruptive influence for the consumer.
“Technology companies and consumers are a world apart in terms of the expected and perceived digital service experience, and CXOs have a responsibility to balance the fun factor with reality,” concluded Ahmed.
The study will be published in the Service Management Log.
Khaled El-Shamandi Ahmed et al, Magic Mirror of Augmented Reality in the Service Industry: Experiential Consumption and the Self, Service Management Log (2022), DOI: 10.1108/JOSM-12-2021-0484. www.researchgate.net/publication/359743909
City University of London
Quote: AI-powered makeup mirrors bring consumers back to stores to avoid feeling “fake”, according to new research (2022, Nov 23) Retrieved Nov 25, 2022 from https://techxplore.com/news /2022-11-ai-fake-consumer-powered-makeup-mirrors.html
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