Viral TikTok Trends: How Beauty Brands Use AR Filters to Win Customers

What makes an AR filter go viral? We analyzed some of the beauty brands’ most popular augmented reality campaigns to bring you a recipe for a successful AR effect launch on TikTok.

Makeup is an artform like any other: choosing the right style, color palette, and tools requires skills that not all possess. But it’s also the very core of a daily routine for around half of Earth’s population, meaning that beauty products have to be both created for mass consumption and match the specific needs of each individual person using them. Knowing that, and the fact that a significant part of our lives, including shopping is happening online now, brands and technology giants are joining forces to think about new ways of product advertisement.

AR is already a big part of beauty brands’ marketing. Face masks imitating make-up are not only a fun feature improving our selfies but also a useful tool, especially in the post-pandemic era of video conferences and work from home. In this year alone we witnessed the launch of Google AR beauty shopping, or Zero10’s desktop camera, allowing users to get a perfect look for a meeting without any effort. And from what we are noticing, the bond only grows stronger.

The most powerful match between AR and the beauty industry happened on social media and today, we’re focusing on the app that took over our lives during the pandemic and revolutionised the way brands communicate with their customers. It’s a home for both micro trends and global discussions on what beauty means today. The place, where you’ll get both the best makeup advice and the most out-there tutorials. Let’s take a look at the best beauty AR effects on TikTok.

Why TikTok?

With social media as a crucial part of the marketing process, we have to stay up to date with the current trends. And while Instagram AR filters are also one of the most creative ways to promote your brand, we’re currently staying in the TikTok era, where you don’t only see the after effects of makeup, but a full GRWM, visit to the store included. Being a part of a platform, where being relatable trumps perfection requires brands to change the way of advertising completely.

So no wonder that TikTok became a perfect home for fun, interactive and often very practical, relatable augmented reality filters. Let’s see examples of some of the biggest beauty industry players.

Viral AR filters from beauty brands

Fenty Beauty

In the beauty industry, there’s one specific brand that truly understands the needs of its customers. Fenty, already loved by Gen Z for its inclusivity and direct communication, knows exactly what its audience needs. They focused on an incredibly detailed try-on feature, solving what’s usually the biggest issue when switching to a new makeup look: choosing the right foundation shade. After choosing the right tone, users can try available products, matching the color perfectly to their faces. No wonder the filter got over 47k videos from users.

But that’s not the only viral filter designed to help clients recreate the best IRL looks. Another effect, designed by @gracemchoi in collaboration with the company, helps users get the perfect contour adjusted to the face’s features.

So what Fenty beauty is teaching us about viral AR filters? You know what struggles your customers have: help them. Fenty also shows that AR effects can directly improve sales and conversion, by making the purchase decision much easier, faster and simply more confident.

Eaze Drop Shade Match
by fentybeauty

Match Stix Snatch
by gracemchoi

L’Oreal Paris

Similarly to Fenty, L’Oreal Paris’s AR communication focused on providing their customers with a digital tutorial to create the perfect eyebrow look in real life. First, the AR filter allows users to choose their face shape on the screen, unlocking the style’s template. Then a person can easily follow the lines and to real life, especially with the help of the advertised product.

Thanks to the high-quality personalization, the AR filter went viral on social media, getting almost 42k videos from users and influencers all over the world, and still reaching new audiences. It’s a great, engaging way to look at the product inside-out before the purchase, testing out its possibilities, and resulting in a direct increase in conversion rates. The added value or the wow effect here is influencers recording and TikTok users watching tutorials with L’Oreal’s branding included, meaning visibility, brand awareness and reach going through the roof.

Loreal Paris Brow Finder
by lorealparisusa

Persona cosmetics

Persona Cosmetic created a viral TikTok AR filter relying on engaging their audience in an interactive challenge, in which you’re tasked to createa makeup look based on 3 products, selected by the filter. But there’s a catch: to complete the task, users have to finish the look in 60 seconds. The campaign turned out to be a success, going viral with over 23k users taking part in the challenge and posting their own videos using the filter. It’s important to remember that each video is reaching a new audience, spreading the brand’s name across the platform.

DreamStick Challenge
by personacosmetics

Rare Beauty

Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez created an engaging AR campaign, focused on discovering users’ preferences about their products. The experience, based on head tracking, takes the form of a quick quiz, in which the user picks one of the 2 selected products. After multiple rounds of head tilting and showcasing the whole collection, there’s only one victor left.

This kind of experience helps customers to easily find recommendations from other users sharing their honest, not sponsored and transparent opinions, and a good recommendation is what all potential customers need. It’s also a great way for the brand to see tendencies among their audience, and find out which of their products are proving the best.

NYX Cosmetics

NYX already proved their love for AR filters, mostly through lipstick shade try-ons, but this one is a quick tutorial for the most fabulous make-up look. With step-by-step instructions, the effects show interactive templates to contour the face with the brands’ products.

NYX Wonderstick Sunkissed
by nyxcosmetics_de

How to make your AR campaign go viral?

Even though you can’t always plan a viral AR filter, there are a few steps you can take to increase your chance of getting more impressions for your brand. After all, even the best experience won’t last without the proper marketing. That’s why it’s important to remember about:

👉 Creating a high-quality and catchy video showcasing your filter, best using a currently popular sound.
👉 Engaging influencers and AR creators in the campaign and letting them share your effect.
👉 Personalize the content: consider what your customers need, and make the filter as relatable as possible. It’s about them.
👉 And while we’re on the subject: think about your target audience. What age are they? What is the most fun for them?
👉 Be unique, although we all love a good randomizer – there’s so much to AR!
👉 Participate in trends. Maybe your effect can be a part of one?
👉 Share, share, share! We cannot express this enough: make people see your content. Post it across your social media channels. Even creating similar Instagram AR filters increases your chance of reaching more people.
👉 Interact with your clients. Comment on the posts with your filter, and get closer to your audience.
👉 Engage your consumers – maybe create a rewarded challenge using an AR filter?

Including those tips might become a true game-changer for your campaign, luring in new customers and increasing the impression of your filter.

Are you interested in learning more about implementing AR in your campaign? Contact us to set up a consultation with the experts, or see our AR search engine to access a real library of inspiration.

Keep looking up our blog for more updates from AR industry.