It is one of the main attractions at the brand new Carrefour Planet, a new hypermarket concept, which is currently on test in Écully and Vénissieux, two suburban areas of Lyon: thanks to the electronic mirror consumers just need the swipe of a make-up product barcode, to virtually “try on” cosmetics, get personalized recommendations and even solicit advice from friends via the Internet or mobile phone before they buy.
Actually named Virtual Mirror, the device has been designed by EZface, an Israeli start-up, which previously created the Virtual Mirror web application already used by L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline New York, Garnier and CoverGirl.
For the consumer, using the Virtual Mirror is as simply as snap a digital self-portrait using the mirror’s camera, then scan in the barcode of the beauty product of their choice, and virtually apply it to their face, eyes cheeks or lips. The mirror Kiosk then automatically combines skin tone, facial features, and selected product colour to produce a realistic simulation of a makeover. The device also suggests complementary products and specific shades that best fit the customer.
Apart from Carrefour, France’s leading mass retailer, Ezface Virtual Mirror is also tested by US Wal-Mart, and UK’s Superdrug. For mass retailers, the electronic mirror is an opportunity to provide their customers with advice and product testing, both things that are supposed to be available only at department stores or specialist beauty stores such as Sephora.