L’Oreal debuts ‘virtual makeup’ for work from home video meetings

You can use “Signature Face” to brighten up your look before jumping on the next Zoom work call.

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L'Oreal has debuted a new tool for virtually adding makeup to your face through augmented reality. 

The coronavirus pandemic forced many of us to work remotely and from home without warning. With this change, we exchanged face-to-face meetings for virtual meetups through Microsoft Teams and Zoom; our suits were cleaned and stashed away in the closet, and, I imagine, we've probably all thrown on a work-suitable shirt only when a virtual call required it. 

A commute to the lounge rather than London; sweatpants for suits; and a sudden need to juggle remote work and home life -- the changes were quick, and some may stay around for the foreseeable future. 

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Whether or not we are now meeting our colleagues, bosses, friends, or family virtually rather than physically, we may want to maintain our usual image (or at least appear to do so), and for some, this does mean applying makeup. 

While not, of course, necessary by any stretch of the imagination, if you would prefer to be seen on-screen with cosmetic enhancement -- but without having to actually apply anything -- L'Oreal's new offering may be of interest to you. 

The cosmetics giant has revealed "Signature Faces," a solution that may remind you of the real-time camera filtering used by influencers worldwide for their selfies and video content. 

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The software can be used to add 10 products across three themed 'looks' to "break the boundaries of classical makeup [and] sign your digital look with confidence & audacity," the company says. 

Signature Faces is compatible with Snapchat, Instagram, Google Duo, and video conferencing platforms including Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Houseparty, and more. 

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L'Oreal's offering relates to the acquisition of AI business ModiFace two years ago, which led to a partnership with Facebook to allow users to "try on" makeup virtually, including products sold by Maybelline, NYX, Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, and Urban Decay. 

The cosmetics giant first introduced the virtual "try on" tool in 2018. However, now so many of us are working from home, this brings a new element to the idea of virtual cosmetics -- not just one designed to lure us into buying products, but also as a way of maintaining a particular image in video conferencing sessions.  

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Or, this could simply be an early indicator of how virtual enhancement will go beyond selfies and influencers to, one day, become an expected, part-and-parcel aspect of our daily lives, should the work from home trend become a concrete element of modern workplaces.  

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