Try on makeup virtually with these AR mirrors at MAC stores

These mirrors have built-in cameras to capture your image live and superimpose makeup so you can see how it will look without the need to swatch.

Ashlee Clark Thompson Associate Editor
Ashlee spent time as a newspaper reporter, AmeriCorps VISTA and an employee at a healthcare company before she landed at CNET. She loves to eat, write and watch "Golden Girls" (preferably all three at the same time). The first two hobbies help her out as an appliance reviewer. The last one makes her an asset to trivia teams. Ashlee also created the blog, AshleeEats.com, where she writes about casual dining in Louisville, Kentucky.
Ashlee Clark Thompson
2 min read

If you've ever shopped for makeup, you've probably left the cosmetics counter with your hand covered in stripes of eyeshadow, lipstick and foundation, the result of your attempts to find the perfect shade. A popular cosmetics store will help eliminate the need to swatch in-store with the use of augmented reality .

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The built-in camera on the mirror captures your face and lets you select different makeup looks, which will appear on your reflection.


MAC Cosmetics stores have added augmented reality mirrors that let you try on makeup virtually. The mirrors come from ModiFace, a company that creates software and technology based on facial recognition. The mirrors use facial tracking and "3D video makeup rendering technology" to superimpose makeup products on your face, no swatches required. MAC has added two to three of these mirrors in its US stores and will take them global next year. 

"Looking at it on yourself gives you a much deeper account of what the makeup will look like on your skin," said Jennifer Tidy, vice president of partnerships with Modiface.

You can also use the mirror to capture a photo or GIF and share the looks on social media.

ModiFace has created similar experiences both online and in-store with the cosmetics brands Estee Lauder and Bobbi Brown, along with Sephora and Walmart. What makes the mirrors in the MAC stores unique is that you can try on customized eye looks created by MAC makeup artists, Tidy said.

We're seeing more interactions between the beauty and tech industries, especially when it comes to mirrors. At CES 2017, we saw the HiMirror, a model with a built-in camera that analyzed your face to figure out what's wrong and right with your skin. And the Wi-Fi-enabled Simplehuman Wide-View Sensor Mirror includes LEDs that adjust to mimic the lighting from any location so you know what your makeup will look like in any setting.