In a bid to enhance video call experiences and empower users with creative expression, Microsoft Teams has unveiled a novel feature in collaboration with cosmetics giant Maybelline. The new AI-powered virtual makeup filters aim to revolutionize the way professionals present themselves during virtual meetings, while also promoting Maybelline’s real-world makeup products.
The Beauty of Virtual Makeup:
It’s a familiar scenario—on days when appearances aren’t at their best, individuals may feel tempted to disable their webcams during video calls. Understanding this, Microsoft has partnered with Maybelline to develop a collection of 12 unique virtual makeup filters. These filters come with a variety of blurring effects and digital makeup color options, enabling users to put their best face forward even on the busiest days.
To ensure authenticity and ease of application, each filter provides a breakdown of the real-world Maybelline products and shades being replicated. This innovative “try-on” experience encourages users to explore different makeup looks effortlessly within the Teams app. The collaboration leverages the expertise of Modiface, a renowned augmented reality company specializing in beauty industry solutions, which was acquired by L’Oreal (Maybelline’s parent company) in 2018.
Promoting Inclusion and Diversity:
In an effort to cater to a diverse audience, Microsoft and Maybelline have worked closely with the Geena Davis Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in media. By doing so, they ensure that the virtual makeup looks provided by the filters are suitable for a broad range of users, regardless of age, ethnicity, or gender.
According to Trisha Ayyagari, global brand president of Maybelline New York, feeling good about oneself can significantly impact personal and professional confidence. With the new virtual makeup looks, users can now effortlessly apply makeup with just a click, fostering a positive self-image even in the virtual realm.
Virtual Makeup Filters for Teams Users:
The virtual makeup filters, powered by Modiface’s cutting-edge AI technology, provide users with an array of creative options. At the time of launch, Microsoft Teams Enterprise customers gain access to 12 unique looks, each offering various makeup styles that range from natural enhancements to bold glamour.
The filters are conveniently located under the “Video Effects” tab within the Teams meeting settings, allowing users to easily apply the virtual makeup before or during video calls. By offering a seamless user experience, Microsoft and Maybelline aim to boost user engagement during virtual meetings and presentations.
Potential Impact on Mental Health:
While the introduction of beauty filters in professional communication apps might be perceived as unconventional, the popularity of similar filters on social media platforms has driven their integration into workplace applications. It is essential, however, to consider the potential impact on mental health due to unrealistic beauty standards and body image expectations.
Beauty filters, if used responsibly, can offer a fun and creative way for users to express themselves in video meetings. As seen in other video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom, the inclusion of limited beauty effects has proven enticing to users. The Maybelline Beauty app takes this concept further by providing more options and customization, aiming to create natural-looking enhancements that blend seamlessly with users’ appearances.
The Road Ahead:
The collaboration between Microsoft and Maybelline showcases the potential of technology and cosmetics coming together to offer innovative solutions for the virtual workspace. As remote work and virtual meetings become more ingrained in our daily lives, features like AI-powered virtual makeup filters open new avenues for self-expression and engagement in professional settings.
While the immediate focus is on enhancing virtual interactions, the partnership also serves as a unique marketing opportunity for Maybelline. By providing users with a virtual “try-on” experience using Maybelline products, the cosmetics giant can reach a broader audience and increase brand visibility among Teams users worldwide.