Mobile marketing case study: L’Oréal fulfils consumer needs and boosts sales with Make-Up Genius app

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L'Oréal Make-Up Genius taps into women´s desires to experiment and play with make-up, and their quest for the perfect selfie. L’Oréal placed beauty at the heart of the mobile device using rich consumer insight and fulfilling a genuine customer need, creating real value.

Case study summary

• L’Oréal Make-Up genius has revolutionised the way consumers trial make-up products
• 260m virtual product trials
• Campaign was based on strong consumer insights which directly led to a boost in sales

The challenge

The majority of potential make-up customers prefer to try before they buy, however the ability to test products is limited when browsing the aisles of supermarkets. On top of this insight, previously make-up ranges were promoted through magazines, placing a limit on the number of product ranges that could be promoted at any one time. Acknowledging this L’Oréal wanted to revolutionise the make-up shopping experience

When it comes to make-up, most potential customers prefer to try before they buy. But the ability to test products isn't as likely when you're perusing the aisles of a supermarket. Recognising this, L'Oréal wanted to revolutionise the make-up shopping experience by creating Make-up Genius. The iOS app lets consumers scan their own features, browse a catalogue and then virtually apply make-up before making a purchase. Consumers can also scan product bar codes in-store to test those items with the app.

The solution

L’Oréal teamed up with facial recognition software company Image Metrics to create Make-Up Genius. The app uses your mobile phones front facing camera like a mirror, capturing 64 data points on the face to differentiate between skin on your lips and on your face as well as facial contours. Users can then virtually try on L’Oréal make-up to see what it will look like, images can be shared with friends on social media and saved to your phones camera roll. When a user finds a product they like, they can purchase the product within the app.


L'Oréal's Make-Up Genius liberates consumers allowing them to try before they buy and allows L’Oréal to upsell and actively market a broad selection of ranges. L’Oréal was able to use data to deliver ever more relevant communication to consumers – so, if they know you have been looking at “smoky eyes”, they deliver you more products for smoky eyes.

This digital strategy combines driving sales with boosting front of mind awareness.

• Based on a strong consumer insight
• Fulfilling a genuine consumer need, creating real value
• A long term proposition for both the consumer and brand
• Aligned to a strategic business goal
• Can be deployed across dozens of markets
• Fuels a CRM programme

The results

The app changed the nature of product trials, creating a game changer for the brand, and liberating the number and types of “looks” womenthe woman can try. Key stats include:

• 260m virtual product trials
• 1.4m app downloads

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