L’Oréal has announced a partnership with cross game avatar platform Ready Player Me whereby Maybelline New York and L’Oréal Professional have created makeup looks and hair styles for Ready Player Me avatars. The free to use looks can be worn on over 4,000 apps and platforms worldwide such as VRChat and Spatial.
Maybelline and L’Oréal have created five looks apiece co-designed by CGI artist Evan Rochette, who specializes in 3D-design with coding. Maybelline worked with its own global grand ambassador, makeup artist, Erin Parsons.
Previously beauty forays into Web3 have been more niche, taking the form of NFT or PFP projects focussed on different communities — in the case of L’Oréal owned NYX and People of Crypto Lab On The Sandbox and Estée Lauder Group’s Clinique with Non Fungible People — or charitable or sustainability orientated NFT projects such as MAC’s Viva Glam or Guerlain Beauty’s Cryptobee initiative.
However the gaming world with its infinitely broader reach presents massive opportunity in terms marketing, brand building and, ultimately, revenue, so the RPM partnership is a pivotal first step.
“This partnership allows us to better understand the appetite for virtual beauty amongst consumers and elevate beauty experiences. With more than three billion global gamers, our approach is to explore new beauty codes, while making the experience more accessible and inclusive,” L’Orèal Group Chief Metaverse Officer Camille Kroely said in a statement.
Indeed it was the accessibility of Ready Player Me that proved a major attraction. “Accessibility (in the real world) is one of our key brand values and we pride ourselves in that,” said Trisha Ayyagari, Global Brand President of Maybelline New York via email, adding that the digital looks can be applied to an avatar in a matter of seconds.
Chief Digital & Marketing Officer Asmita Dubey is convinced that that digital and virtual beauty will play an increasingly important role alongside the physical.
“Our brands are creating new, immersive, and virtual experiences using Virtual spaces (stores), In-game customized experiences, In-virtual world advertising, E-sampling activations and Virtual ambassadors and influencers. We are very excited to lay the foundations for the future of beauty on Web3 and Metaverse.”
The Ready Player Me looks are not tied to marketing for a particular product, rather the goal of the partnership is about underscoring brand values within this new medium. “The interesting part of creating makeup looks in the metaverse is that you aren’t constrained by physical reality. Everyone can break boundaries with their creativity. This is what these looks were designed to do,” concluded Ayyagari.