While Google Glass still has plenty of detractors when it comes to fashion, in the world of beauty retailing, it's a tool picking up considerable momentum – thanks to its core utilitarian ability to recount personalised, professional expertise back to the consumer. Embracing that notion for the festive party season, UK department store Selfridges has partnered with Google Glass and the beauty arm of French luxury fashion house Yves Saint Laurent Beauté to demonstrate its prowess in-store.
In a tech-enhanced update on the traditional beauty counter makeover, the YSL make-up artists in-store will wear the glasses while applying looks to consumers, allowing the process to be digitally captured entirely from the perspective of the professional. Following the consultation, consumers are then emailed a personalised video recalling the process, including 'before' and 'after' images and a list of recommended products that are also available to buy.
The concept follows an initiative by professional haircare brand Matrix (owned by French beauty giant L'Oréal) earlier in 2014, which involved US-based celebrity hair stylist George Papanikolas and The Andy LeCompte Salon in LA. Papanikolas's clients were emailed a recording of their styling session (as seen via Papanikolas, via Google Glass) following their makeovers.
Effectively a tutorial, the process also pushes into the realms of edutainment – a valuable brand strategy that combines the theatre of retail with the additional excitement of an enriching, learning experience. For more, see The Rise of Edutainment Retail, Beauty Retail Trends 2014 and YouTube's Beauty Advocates.