Daily Insights

Pinterest’s Beauty Shop

By: Mackenzie Baker | Jan 30, 2020

Pinterest is using AR technology to get a mini-makeover. 

Pinterest has introduced a  shoppable augmented reality feature that allows customers to buy beauty products after trying them on from the site. The try-on feature will work with Pinterest’s pre-existing lens which recognizes 2.5 billion objects so far. Using a selfie, users can tap on the lens camera to see different product shades and then swipe up to shop the ones they like. The company fitted the technology with a “skin tone range feature” to make the experience more realistic and inclusive. Several brands, including Estée Lauder, Lancôme, Urban Decay, L’Oréal and Bare Minerals, have already partnered with Pinterest to sell products via the new feature. Pinterest browsers often use the site for style inspiration—and as with Instagram and Facebook, an influx of platform features have allowed it to expand into e-commerce and customer service, according to a Gartner report on the topic. 

Pinterest will not be digitally altering or skin-smoothing any of the images used for the try-on feature. Traditionally AR-activated make-up demonstrations will often smooth wrinkles or alter the image to look inauthentic. Pinterest is declining to do such things as the company has been reshaping its focus to concentrate on the mental well-being of users. Adding such alterations to one’s face could negatively impact their mental health. In fact, Pinterest cut 88% of self-harm content on the site after a number of user complaints and also added online exercises to help people ease stress, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. By leaving the make-up selfies natural, Pinterest also sets itself apart among other AR make-up competitors

Pinterest’s make-up try-on tool may only be the tip of the iceberg for the site’s budding online shopping sector. If the brand expands its tool for other categories, such as home or clothing, it has the potential to become a top e-commerce competitor.