As technology progresses, more and more of our hobbies and lifestyle choices are adapting to online platforms. Almost everything can be done virtually now, including fashion and beauty, which is usually a very sensory experience. Technologies allowing consumers to test out products and find the correct shade of makeup have been prevalent in the beauty world for some time, but the latest virtual trend is the introduction of beauty into the metaverse. I chose the topic of beauty in the metaverse for this week’s Brand New Beauty column as it seems to be a growing trend among both beauty and tech communities, and I find the whole concept to be very intriguing, as beauty products are intended to use in person.
The first time I heard the term “metaverse” was this past fall when virtual fashion shows were taking place, and the term struck my curiosity, as it sounds very futuristic. The metaverse is definitely a very advanced, futuristic platform, as it is a whole universe of technology and various virtual realities mimicking real life and serving as a platform for social connection. The metaverse allows for users to customize their online presence how they’d like, serving as a sort of alternative to reality. The metaverse is its own financial world too, as some clothing brands even have exclusive pieces only available for virtual purchase through the metaverse. As for beauty, brands have started dabbling in the metaverse, as a way to reach customers virtually, expand their channels, and create a fun, fresh beauty experience.
The metaverse is a fairly new technology, so brands have been experimenting with different ways they can become a part of this virtual universe. Nars Cosmetics partnered with South Korean metaverse, Zepeto, which is a platform allowing users to cultivate three-dimensional, animated versions of themselves and communicate with other users. Nars created makeup looks Zepeto users can choose when customizing their avatars. By doing this, Nars is allowing consumers to express themselves through beauty both physically and virtually. Another beauty brand making its way in the metaverse is Clinique. In October, Clinique conducted a social media giveaway, giving away virtual products based upon the cult classics, Black Honey lipstick and Moisture Surge moisturizer. It’s mind-blowing that a beauty company can create products that are only exclusive to the virtual world. Elf Cosmetics has also made NFT cosmetic products, allowing fans of the brand to own virtual products. More beauty brands that are taking part are Nivea, Givenchy, and Chanel, and I’m sure in a couple of years most beauty brands will have made their way into the metaverse.
Virtual cosmetics may seem like a crazy thing, as the point of beauty is to enhance your physical appearance, but there are many reasons for beauty brands to join the metaverse. The virtual world is an ever-growing place and is an amazing opportunity for brand growth, as creating exclusive products in the metaverse will generate sales and promote brands in new ways. There is an opportunity to reach new customers through the metaverse, as there are different consumer segments who take part in virtual experiences, rather than in person. Additionally, the virtual world grows as our planet’s health declines, and going virtual is a great way for beauty brands to decrease their carbon footprint. Cosmetics, especially cosmetic packaging, create a lot of waste, and anything brands can do to decrease pollution is a step towards sustainability. The metaverse is expanding, and it would be a missed opportunity if beauty companies stayed exclusively offline.
If you ask me, I think many more beauty brands will join the metaverse and generate completely virtual makeup products and looks. So many consumers live a majority of their lives online, and many metaverse users will be pleased to find their favorite products and brands available to use on their virtual selves. I think we are going to see more people creating and using personal avatars and buying virtual products, so I’m predicting a surge in virtual cosmetics. Personally, I like to experience cosmetic products in real life, so I think I’ll be sitting this one out, but I’m very interested in seeing how beauty within the metaverse continues to expand.