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Published February 26, 2021
Published February 26, 2021

Essie, America’s nail salon expert since 1981, is making applying nail polish virtually a reality with its new on-demand, try-on service. The L’Oréal-owned brand launched “Essie On-Hand” in partnership with ModiFace, a leading AR technology expert, to launch this new tool. The result is over a year of collaboration to power a back-facing camera AR experience, the first for the L’Oréal Group.

“ModiFace has been the leader in beauty tech for over a decade, and thanks to a close partnership with the essie team, we have again been able to push our artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies to new heights. We are excited to continue collaborating with essie on reinventing the nail industry,” says Jeff Houghton, ModiFace Chief Operating Officer.

The virtual tool is launching first with a full palette of 75 long-lasting gel couture colors. The try-on expertly captures the result of using the high-adherence gel couture color (step 1) with the high-shine top coat (step 2) through a virtual lens.

This web-based tool is the first to utilize primary camera technology; virtual nail polish appears seamlessly on the user’s hand, tracking nail shape and movement of fingers through your back-facing camera. The precise AR application and color depiction means you can see the real Essie shade on the real you without the hassle of downloading an app.

How it works:

  • Users are prompted to choose from the below try-on options:
    1. Live camera
    1. Upload a photo
    1. Use the readily available model hands and select a skin tone filter + nail shape
  • Shop gel couture nail polish shades by color or collection and watch nail polish appear seamlessly on user’s (or model’s) hand
  • Ready to pick a shade? User adds polish to their cart and will direct them to a select retailer to check out and purchase

Users can also expect to unlock exclusive features and be the first to try on new Essie collections, in some cases, before they’re even available for purchase via the platform. The brand will also include QR codes at select retailers to help try before you buy in-store.


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