The beauty metaverse is happening – even Byredo is launching its first-ever perfume for Web3

“In the Metaverse and in the physical world we focus on the same core values – we prioritise our loyal consumers, we highlight our hero products and lead with our brand purpose to be in service of all skin,” says Roxanne Iyer, VP Global Consumer Engagement at Clinique. “It’s really important to us that our consumers can see the looks and purchase the products on and across our social media so they enjoy a virtual experience that hopefully inspires them in the real world as well.”

Virtual stores are another key way to connect with us (and our credit cards). In the pandemic, Charlotte Tilbury turned to VR to replace in-store shopping with a holiday-themed shop accessed via the homepage. Taking things to the next level, in April this year the brand launched the Pillow Talk Party Virtual Wonderland, where the legendary makeup artist magically appears in front of you before a boudoir opens up to masterclasses with global pro artists, directly shoppable products and a Party Room that offers the chance to enter a giveaway for the entire collection.

The future of beauty in the metaverse

Trend forecaster WGSN predicts that the next two years will see a surge in ‘Beautyversals’. A new beauty persona that puts digital products on a par with physical ones, they are also likely to prefer virtual ambassadors to real-life experts. Dermalogica is already testing the waters with Natalia, its first avatar ambassador who was created to train the brand’s professionals on new treatments and products. She even realistically simulates the ageing process to better educate on skin conditions – something no human at a beauty counter could ever recreate. 

But what does all this mean for our beloved physical beauty products? “Digital and physical products aren’t either/or, they go hand in hand,” says Emily. “There’s a common concern that digital products are a threat to physical ones — an echo of the concern that the metaverse is going to ‘take over’ the physical world, when it’s actually just an extension of our everyday lives into the digital realm.”

Alex echoes this sentiment. “The metaverse will support the physical not replace it,” she says. “Look at how film has embraced the Marvel Universe of comics, or how theatre has been reinvented by musical films,” Alex continues. “It’s the same with beauty. This 360 interpretation allows new audiences to engage with brands in a more diverse, inclusive and personal way. The free digital product will come with your physical one, but these early building blocks in the metaverse will get more sophisticated and unlock unique highly personalised experiences.” 

Cathy believes the future of beauty is bright. “Once we move away from mobile phones to wearable technology like glasses, beauty will be set free from the limitations of the physical realm and it will give way to a new era of creativity,” she says. Appealing to Gen Z, which is especially active in gaming platforms, will continue to be a focus. “Younger generations want to be authentically themselves in the physical and digital realms,” adds Cathy. “Just because it happens in the virtual world doesn’t make it any less real to these generations. The fashion and beauty choices they make every day by selecting skins, virtual makeup and fragrances, and the designers they want to wear in-game, are bleeding into culture.” Buckle your seatbelts folks – we’re on the cusp of an identity revolution.


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