WYOM: Wear Your Own Makeup

Image by Unsplash

“Joy is the best makeup” ~ Anne Lamott

I concur with the thought that there is no better jewelry than a smile and no better makeup than joy. However, in my humble opinion, the concept of “Reversibility of Rays” from Physics works in real life too. Sometimes wearing your attitude with a touch of makeup can bring exuberance in moments of life. Because the freedom of doing what you like is the true sense of joy a human can experience.

Technology is assisting us in our daily challenges. From waking up in the morning with the help of an alarm clock to a smart speaker reciting a lullaby to help an infant sleep, everything is a gift of technology. As an engineer, I am vested with the power to make peoples’ lives easier and what means better than AI. The magic of blessing an electronic machine with the power of vision and making astute decisions to overcome real-life obstacles is the true sense of enablement. Rest assured it is much more useful and intelligent than Michael’s virtual friend Harvey (The Office — S3 Travelling Salesman).

E-commerce has now been in place for decades and organizations are constantly working in making the online shopping experience pleasant and hassle-free for the customers. Platform engagement and the quality of customer journey define the success of the online retail system. Purchasing makeup and beauty products online are a tough nut to crack without having the actual feel of the item and the ability to comprehend the colors. The customer has to bet completely on one’s visual faculties in determining the suitable article for them. Additionally, there is too much ambiguity involved in forming the product perception. Often, the product received is not at par with the item page perception due to ambivalence in deciphering the specifications of the real product visually. Pandemic made the process of buying beauty products even more challenging. It robbed the consumers off try & buy purchasing routine.

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” ~ Albert Einstein

Image by Unsplash

What is WYOM?

WYOM(Wear Your Own Makeup) is an augmented reality tool powered by AI. It enables the customers to upload and visualize a try on of the beauty products on the images uploaded by them

Why do we need WYOM(Virtual Makeup Try on)?

Modern technologies let people test hundreds of products on their smartphone screens. This is especially prominent in the fashion and beauty industries: people were reluctant to try products that touched someone else’s body even before the pandemic. Testing and ordering products remotely prove to be an effective way to increase sales. The feature tends to bring substantial business impact:

  • According to reports, virtual makeup try-on customers are 3 times more likely to buy make-up products, and order size is expected to be 20% large.
  • Virtual make-up try-on makes shopping convenient and enhances users engagement. Customer engagement is expected to increase to seven-fold
  • 56% of the users’ first actions upon arriving at a new page is to begin exploring product images without reading titles, descriptions, or scrolling down the page to get a more comprehensive overview. WYOM will help in reducing customer uncertainty and product returns. Thus, improving customer loyalty and retention rates
  • The users can choose the right product right away which saves a ton of money on repackaging the unneeded goods. In some cases, AR try-on decreased returns by up to 36%.

The Execution

Custom modification of the Bilateral Segmentation Network is used for Real-time Semantic Segmentation to identify our focus areas of lips and hair. Semantic Segmentation requires both rich spatial information and sizeable receptive field. Spatial information is preserved and high-resolution features are generated through the Spatial Path of BiSeNet. Meanwhile, the Context Path helps in identifying sufficient receptive field. The features obtained are thus fused to identify the target areas to be used for further intelligent color shading. We employ Gaussian blur and apply the color masking technique to give it a natural look.

Original Image Without Makeup (Source)

I created a prototype for WYOM which includes trying lip colors and hair colors as a part of the beauty product category.

Let us assume that the given image is provided by the customer for a virtual lip color try-on.

As a result, the following images with the required lip color, based on product swatch, will be obtained for better consumer engagement and improved shade perception leading to higher retention rates and customer loyalty.

Resultant Images from WYOM Lip color Try-On

If you carefully observe, even the wrinkled skin of lips is naturally shaded.

Original Image Without Makeup (Source)

Similarly, we have shaded the hair with shades of e-commerce hair color products.

The color tone and flow in hairstreaks seem natural in the resultant images generated using WYOM

Resultant Images from WYOM Haircolor Try-On

Summing Up

It’s me wearing Hot Pink lip color applied using WYOM

Beauty products are for everyone. It’s really fascinating to see the effect of beauty products irrespective of the fact that someone has used such items before or not.

The article threw some light on the innovations in the beauty industry. We talked about how eCommerce retailers can leverage leading AI trends to manage the business and improve the bottom line.

We cannot wait to transform the customer experience for other beauty products like eye makeup, nail paints, contour, etc. The possibilities are enormous. We are treading on the path to bring the ultimate virtual makeover for customers. Stay tuned to hear about the next retail disruption.

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References & credits:

WYOM: Wear Your Own Makeup was originally published in Walmart Global Tech Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Article Link: WYOM: Wear Your Own Makeup. Overview of Virtual Makeup Try On as an… | by Rahul Bajaj | Walmart Global Tech Blog | Oct, 2021 | Medium