YouTube’s New AR Filters Will Let You Try On Makeup in Real Time


Contrary to popular belief, makeup tutorials—and not cat videos—are among the most viewed videos on YouTube. If you're one who uses such tutorials for your daily makeup routine, there is some good news for you. YouTube just announced a new AR feature for virtual makeup try-on right from the YouTube app. According to Google's blog post:

Today, we’re introducing AR Beauty Try-On, which lets viewers virtually try on makeup while following along with YouTube creators to get tips, product reviews, and more. Thanks to machine learning and AR technology, it offers realistic, virtual product samples that work on a full range of skin tones. Currently in alpha, AR Beauty Try-On is available through FameBit by YouTube, Google’s in-house branded content platform.

The feature is currently in alpha and once implemented, you should be able to see a video feed of your own phone camera alongside the makeup tutorial video. The video feed will let you access a palate of colours, shades and other makeup-related elements. If you find something that piques your interest, tap to apply them to their own face while the video plays above.

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According to Techcrunch the feature is only available to YouTube creators through Google’s in-house branded content program. YouTube says it already tested AR Beauty Try-On with several beauty brands and found that 30% of viewers chose to activate the experience when it was available in the YouTube iOS app. On average, users spent more than 80 seconds trying on various lipstick shade. There are already several apps such as YouCam Makeup, Sephora’s Virtual Artist and Ulta’s GLAMLab that let you do the same thing and it'll be interesting to see how YouTube will differ from these.

The only problem I see here is colour accuracy. Makeup products have very subtle colour differences and there is a possibility that the colour you picked may not be look the same in real life. Sure, a top-end AMOLED panel may have no trouble reproducing the colours accurately, but the same can't be said for all displays. Besides, what's to stop companies from making the products look prettier than they actually are to drive sales.