From roller coasters to video games, new virtual reality technology seems to be the new hip thing in tech. But while VR literally transposes you into the experience through special goggles or a headset, augmented reality apps (think Pokemon Go!) seem to be equally on the rise, especially since they too change how we experience reality.
Augmented reality apps are relatively a new and budding concept, so it's no real surprise that beauty giants like Shiseido, Sephora, and OPI want in on the action. These innovative apps usually allow consumers to make better buying decisions through interactive technology, allowing them to try on virtual makeup and nail polish shades before they actually buy in stores.
“Augmented beauty technology is definitely revolutionizing the beauty industry,” says Parham Aarabi, CEO of augmented beauty app ModiFace. “This comes in the form of apps that show makeup on your live video, or through technology that appears as mirrors in stores.”
Now, if you’re curious to know just how augmented beauty reality works, Shiseido’s new Telebeauty app proves to be a good example. Partnering up with Microsoft Japan and Skype For Business, the revolutionary app takes makeup application to next level, by applying non-straying virtual eye shadow, foundation, (bye bye blemishes and dark spots) and lipstick to the user's video image during teleconferences. This supposedly takes away the frustration of finding (and applying) the right makeup before Skype calls.
Augmented beauty reality also comes in the form of anti-aging simulators, as Modiface has created an app that allows users to track and monitor any skin health changes through smart phones. Similarly, Map My Beauty uses augmented reality to become the world’s first "selfie-powered beauty coach." This works by providing users with how-to lessons on creating the perfect selfie, helping bridge the gap between beauty education in-store and online.
“There is a lot of quality beauty content out there, (YouTube tutorials, Instagram gifs, online editorials) but none of it is personalized to unique consumers features. Even professional makeup courses online are powered by tutorial videos alone,” says Daily.
“With our selfie-powered beauty coach technology, consumers can learn about makeup essentials and trends right through their selfie.”
But while these apps definitely take beauty to the next level of technology, some believe that they can have the opposite effect on mental health. According to the Dr. Lisa Strohman, clinical psychologist and founder of the Technology Wellness Center, augmented beauty apps are causing adult women to experience higher levels of anxiety, making it harder on their confidence and self-esteem levels.
“While these apps can help women make better buying choices, they also create an unrealistic expectation of body image,” says Dr. Strohman. “Continuously altering how we look through these kinds of apps can make women feel like they aren’t good enough, encouraging self-harm and eating disorders.”
However, app founder Annabella Daily believes augmented beauty reality can have an empowering element to it, as her brand focuses on consumers celebrating their uniqueness, and gaining control over their self-image.
“We are really focused on serving the teen consumer, and letting them know how hard it is to feel confident and beautiful when you are growing up,” says Daily.
“We give our users all of the tools they need to gain control over their image and their purchasing decisions.”
While augmented reality apps may have some setbacks, we can't help but be in awe about how such apps are starting to revolutionize the industry. Sure, we've all tried those fun snapchat filters, but augmented reality is something industry professionals think is the future of the beauty sphere.
“I think augmented reality is all about how you bring the one-on-one element to the online experience,” says Daily. “This allows consumers to learn, discover and experiment on their own time, wherever they are. Besides, AR video, messaging, and gaming will be key elements in capturing the next generation of beauty consumers.”
We want to know: Would you try virtual makeup? What augmented reality apps do you want to see going forward?
Starting with a little background, I am an anti-bullying advocate and have recently graduated from The Parent Leadership Training Institute, where as part of our studies we were asked to come up with a community project close to our hearts and put it into action. My cause was bullying, and I began a blog and Facebook page to address issues pertaining to all forms of bullying. Implementing this project was followed by a thre- minute speech to my peers, and, after all this, here is what I have learned about bullying.
Bullying makes people feel bad about themselves, leading to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem and even physical symptoms. The repercussions of bullying can cause people to miss school or work as well as countless other negative side effects.
I have been bullied both at school and at work, and I know of others who have suffered the same plight. It is not fun!
My first bullying experience was in seventh grade as a young teen. There was a group of three "mean girls" who harassed me and, I later found out, several of my friends; they thought it was funny to pick on others about their clothes, their looks or whatever else they could come up with (who knows). It felt awful at the time. Supposedly, I was chosen to get picked on because they claimed I bought my clothes at the Goodwill. That wasn't true, but really who cares? Why they were picking on me was never really the point. Luckily, after a while, the meanies went on to the next victim(s) like a never-ending cycle. I tend to think once a bully, always a bully, which goes to show how good a lifestyle that is, because those "mean girls" never amounted to much. In hindsight, I feel sorry for them. Watch the movie The Gift if you're really curious about what happens to bullies when they grow up.
And bullying was not just an issue when I was a teen, since then nothing much has changed. My own nephew was bullied in eighth grade, and he recently talked to me in depth about of how the bullying took a toll on him. Especially because I had the same experience, I could relate to him in ways that some others couldn't. Like reliving my own memories, I was incredibly broken up to hear how it made him feel.
Even worse than that, bullying does not end in the school yard. Employees are being bullied on the job at an alarming rate. When you are bullied on the job as an adult, it taken an even bigger toll. Further it doesn't just go away like those middle school "mean girls." Unless you can quit your job, you might just be stuck. There are all kinds of physical symptoms, stomach pains, migraines and even panic attacks. Beyond the physical, people's mental and emotional state is extremely sensitive to bullying, and as a result work performance might suffer. Furthermore, it might feel like there is no recourse, no one to believe you. You can hope that the HR Department is willing to listen and do something about it, but the whole process can be so disheartening. And in the hierarchical corporate environment, sometimes the bully seems to get ahead and you are left lagging behind in a subservient position. This is what happened to me as a victim of workplace bullying. It started with me being told by a co-worker that my boss was following me to the bathroom, staring down the hall whenever I left my desk to make sure I came right back to my seat. Then it was standing over me as I typed, ordering me to get in a car with them, not allowing me to sit somewhere if it wasn't within their sight. The list of offenses could go on endlessly. There were times I felt like I couldn't breathe. And then, the bully torturing me got a promotion. Like the character of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, the classic bully is revered by her peers, despite the fact that all of her employees are terrified of her. Yet, she is in a role of high stature and praised as a bully. We live in a culture that is not only complacent in the existence of bullies, but one that actively allows them to thrive.
It makes you realize how unfair life can be. Of course, no one said that life would be fair; maybe you just assumed that bad people would not get ahead. But, they do. Even now, I cannot help but to shake my head in disbelief. I often wonder what makes a person feel the need to laud their power over another. Are they insecure? Were they bullied themselves? They must feel bad about themselves in some way? Do they feel the need to do this to make themselves look good? Whatever the reason, it certainly isn't nice at all. I have found myself at different times in my life standing up for people who have been bullied around me. And I certainly do not allow anyone to treat me in any way that I find disrespectful. I truly believe in karma, and I tell myself that at some point in time, the bullies will get it back in some way. I have seen it happen, and in the meantime, I just say to myself "What goes around, comes around."
Bullying shows no sign of slowing down, and in this day and age, it's even worse than I have experienced in the past. Cyber bulling, rumors, fist fights, knifes, guns and other forms of both mental and physical cruelty, it truly sickens me. I know that I cannot save everyone, but I try to be an advocate as much as possible and encourage others to do so as well. NO ONE SHOULD BULLIED! It is disgraceful to say the least. You should always practice grace as much as you can. With every person who chooses to do so, the world gets a little bit better. I will be writing more on this topic on a regular basis; I feel it helps to talk about this subject aloud and spread the word. and, if nothing else, be kind.