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YouTube is taking the makeup tutorial to the next level.

The popular video-sharing platform, which was first launched in February 2005, has created a new augmented reality feature to help users try-on makeup they see in tutorial clips right from the comfort of their own home. 

It’s called AR Beauty Try-On, and though it’s just in the alpha testing stages of development, it’s already available through FameBit by YouTube — Google’s in-house branded content platform.

When implored, a viewer watching a YouTube creator’s video about makeup will see a split-screen that activates her or his front-facing camera. Through that technology, the spectator immediately become part of the video, and can tap on a palate of colors to see a variety of products (lipsticks, blushes, eyeliners, and more) immediately applied to her or his face.

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YouTube’s AR Beauty Try-On


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Of course, this isn’t the first virtual makeup experience out there. Other AR beauty apps — like Sephora’s Virtual Artist, Ulta’s GLAMLab, YouCam Makeup, Target’s Beauty Studio, and L’Oréal’s Live Try-On — all do similar things. But for YouTube, which counts makeup tutorials as some of its most popular videos among its 2 billion monthly active users, the augmented reality feature will offer AR-powered ad campaign opportunities. 

They already have a big client. M·A·C Cosmetics has signed on as its first partner. According to a press release, “brands like M·A·C will be able to tap into YouTube’s vibrant creator community, deploy influencer campaigns…and measure their results in real time.”

“Viewers will be able to try on different shades of M·A·C lipstick as their favorite beauty creator tries on the same shades,” YouTube said. “After trying on a lipstick, they can click to visit M·A·C’s website to purchase it.”

YouTube went on to explain that they tested the app earlier this year with “several beauty brands” and found that 3″0 percent of viewers activated the AR experience in the YouTube iOS app, spending over 80 seconds on average trying on lipstick virtually.”

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