L’Oréal has acquired Canada-based ModiFace, a developer of augmented reality (AR) beauty apps, for an undisclosed sum.As part of the company’s ongoing digital strategy, L’Oréal expects to extend the app developer’s AR and AI tools to its 34 international brands, which include Lancôme, Kiehl’s, Giorgio Armani, Urban Decay and Maybelline.
The deal is significant for L’Oréal, since it is the first tech acquisition for the beauty brand. L’Oréal can gain more knowledge of the AR technology and roll out more digital and mobile services such as virtual makeup tests.
ModiFace has developed advanced technologies of 3D virtual makeup, color and skin diagnosis services using proprietary software that tracks facial features and color. The company employs nearly 70 engineers, researchers and scientists who have submitted more than 200 scientific publications and registered more than 30 patents.
ModiFace has most notably collaborated with Sephora to develop its “Sephora Virtual Artist” mobile app and in-store mirrors, butalso has partnered with more than 80 beauty brands, including L’Oréal, Estée Lauder and Smashbox. More recently, L’Oréal Professional and ModiFace introduced an app called “Style My Hair,” which enables users to see the effect of different hair dyes.
ModiFace will be part of L’Oréal’s Digital Services Factory, a dedicated network to design and develop new digital services for the group’s brands. ModiFace will collaborate with L’Oréal’s Advanced Research division and will remain based in Toronto.