The beauty industry has a history of adopting new technology and advancements early. Beauty professionals were among the pioneers to take their clients and viewers into their salons, behind the booths, and dish out quick DIY beauty tips. In the social media era, Instagram and TikTok have revolutionized the industries for hair care, color makeup, and skin treatments.

Modern beauty brands are shifting to the digital space, embracing innovative interactive platforms where consumers can live out their own individual immersive experiences. Digital beauty is inspiring brands to discover new opportunities to connect on social networks where digital natives and Gen Zers are influencing how consumers interact with and shop for products.

Now there is a way that beauty brands and formulators can take that immersive experience even further down the rabbit hole.

Woman wearing a colorful headscarf, wearing bright blue lipstick, laughing in front of a coral backgroundWoman wearing a colorful headscarf, wearing bright blue lipstick, laughing in front of a coral background

Metaverse is the new universe

For beauty, the metaverse has become the next go-to destination where brands can take the latest innovative ingredients virtual and vivify our visual identities.

Consumers in the metaverse will be able to travel anywhere, anytime to virtual stores, where it's possible to interact with products through a unique avatar while also engaging in a virtual beauty consultation or demo. Today's beauty innovators and influencers are using avatars in virtual communities that promote inclusivity and creating NFTs (non-fungible tokens) as a way to connect a brand's visual identity to limited edition products.

The glam lab for Univar Solutions Beauty & Personal Care has stepped into this digital landscape to create the latest innovative ingredient kit, New Sensations, a collection of textures inspired by the metaverse. Through jelly, iridescent, sustainable, futuristic prototypes, consumers can travel into a galaxy of possibilities while they experiment with the latest formulations.

How does the metaverse work?

The metaverse is a virtual environment that allows people to interact in a more immersive way. These online spaces become communal destinations that provide endless possibilities for new forms of communication, trade, and shared experiences.

Avatar of woman in the metaverse wearing wings and walking down a virtual runwayAvatar of woman in the metaverse wearing wings and walking down a virtual runway

What can you do in the metaverse?

The metaverse provides limitless opportunities for how people can share information and businesses can extend their reach to consumers. In the metaverse, you can:

  • Purchase virtual blocks of land and monetize the space
  • Create your customizable avatar or digital twin
  • Attend trade shows, concerts, and learning seminars
  • Play online games for real-world rewards
  • Create your own games or VR experiences
  • Provide an immersive platform for tutorials
  • Socialize with fellow collaborators with similar interests
  • Shop for products (real and virtual)

Businesses will be able to interact and connect with potential consumers on unprecedented levels, likely reshaping the digital outreach landscape. For beauty brands in the metaverse, it's an opportunity to build their brands and cultivate further growth on the building blocks of most likely an already-established heavy presence on social media and the trend of turning consumers into creators.

Metaverse beauty brands will access consumers actively searching for their favorite brands and products. They can shop in the virtual world (with more buying power through cryptocurrency) to get hair, makeup, and skin products in the real one.

What will the metaverse look like for our beauty business futures?

A virtual world that converges a digital universe with our physical one might have seemed like a distant sci-fi show concept just a few years ago. However, the pandemic changed how we connect, particularly with a greater emphasis on remote collaboration and an accelerated digital shift for many industries, including beauty brands. New shopping habits emerged from consumers focusing on contactless shopping and more robust e-commerce user experiences. Since their beginnings, online dating, shopping, and education were all embraced by young consumers, and this trend continues with those now leaning into virtual fashion, beauty, and meta-world experiences.

Metaverse beauty brands have embraced innovation by developing interactive platforms for existing, new, and potential customers with individual immersive experiences. Want to attend a new skincare line's product introduction event and meet other beauty professionals who are still not entirely comfortable in large crowds? Metaverse beauty makes this experience possible! Want to bring a beauty tech consultation right into your home rather than venturing out and fighting city traffic? Beauty brands can employ metaverse makeovers to try on makeup virtually directly on shoppers' faces in real-time. 

According to a recent Accenture poll, 54% of consumers say they would participate in a virtual consultation over the next year. Digital beauty is a trend in which brands will keep investing as the metaverse grows into a destination to best connect with Generation Z consumers.

Beauty brands in the metaverse are also exploring other ways to fully take advantage of the groundbreaking technology at their disposal, including using NFT avatars and exclusive wearable POAPs (proof of attendance protocols) to build brand loyalty while also attracting new customers. Some brands, such as Clinique, have also focused on using avatars to promote inclusiveness for people of color, people with challenges, and those with special needs. The beauty business can make the most of the metaverse by breaking down color and ethnic barriers with a more inclusive and diverse environment.

Man wearing a bright yellow hoodie laughing in front of a green backgroundMan wearing a bright yellow hoodie laughing in front of a green background

The beauty industry's impact on social media and the metaverse

Admit it: During the lockdown (other than making TikToks with your dancing granny), one of the things you saw more than ever was the proliferation of AR (augmented reality) on your feeds and timelines. More specifically? AR filters used by Snapchat, Instagram, and other social platforms. However, these filters weren't just about putting on dog ears or face-swapping with significant others. For the beauty industry, filters marked a new way for consumers to virtually try on makeup – from testing lipsticks, foundation, and colorful eyeliners – to experimenting with styles they might not be as willing to try in real life. Want to take a selfie but don't have time for a full-on makeup application? Filters make it possible to create camera-ready looks in a matter of seconds.

Since its inception, social media has completely disrupted how brands connect with consumers. The rise of influencers continues to shape the digital landscape while setting the pace for the latest trends. User-generated content (UGC) such as TikTok challenges, Instagram posts with branded hashtags, DIY YouTube product tutorials, and reviews have become vital to a brand's digital marketing strategy.

The beauty industry has always captivated artists' imaginations combined with their entrepreneurial ambitions. Social media expanded its reach to inspire a generation of new artists around the globe. The metaverse is poised to allow next-gen users to go beyond their roles as consumers and become creators through virtual brand styling challenges and more immersive product demos.

Metaverse beauty: How virtual reality relates to virtual beauty

The metaverse can help to solve real-world issues consumers face. How often do young professionals want to try a new, bold violet or fiery red hair color but are weary about the office response? Or work on a new makeup technique, but don't want to spend the dollars on a look that may be completely wrong (or completely right!), but want to make sure first? Maybe they just don't have the time for a full makeup or skin therapy session in the chair because of work or family?

Enter the beautyverse. With the virtual capabilities of the metaverse, exploring beauty options from new hair color or styling to makeup combinations become limitless for consumers. Testing products has the potential to become a much more immersive process in a space with no barriers and where anything is possible. Metaverse fashion and beauty allow consumers to be their most authentic selves through virtual beauty.

Fashionable woman with flowers in her hairFashionable woman with flowers in her hair

Skincare for metaverse beauty

Since the metaverse is still developing into a concept of what will ultimately be actualized (think of the early days of Amazon as primarily an online book retailer into what it is now), the possibilities are endless for beauty, including skin care.

While it may seem unusual to think of skin care in a virtual space – especially in one that will be populated with customized or NFT avatars – this also presents skin care brands with a chance to inspire and make it easier to get messaging across in an infinite and borderless space. This can inspire someone to look how they want, find the best skincare products, and take advantage of new sensations in the beautyverse. For this sector of the beauty industry, skin care may also rely on building its virtual community in a way that goes beyond e-commerce and is more about ideation and sharing in a limitless creative space that leads to real-world innovation.

The metaverse empowers consumers to unlock their potential for their best skin regimen by getting skincare advice directly from the product manufacturers, gaining in-depth knowledge about specific skin-tone needs, or using crypto for real-time purchases in the real world. The exploration and discovery journey of the metaverse will allow Gen Z consumers to enjoy the natural world even more with silky-smooth skin and solid cleansing – for all skin tones.

Unlock limitless options that virtual beauty can provide for the best skincare routines.

Hair care for metaverse beauty

Color cosmetics and their usage with filters are forerunners to the metaverse. Filtering photos and videos can be as subtle or extreme as users desire, allowing them to express themselves without immediate or financial commitments. This has provided shoppers and creators more freedom of self-expression or even create surreal looks for their avatars through virtual beauty – looks they may want to emulate in real life.

The need for high-quality and sustainable ingredients will be more critical than ever for creating hyper-realistic textures and colors consumers need during virtual try-ons. Color cosmetics enhance faces to drive beautiful and experimental looks. Retailers are already taking steps to become beautyverse players through glam challenges, NFT collaborations, virtual consultations, and investment in even more immersive ways to drive consumer engagement.

Male model wearing eye makeup and lipstickMale model wearing eye makeup and lipstick

What will the metaverse look like for our beauty business futures?

Like color makeup in the virtual beauty space, hair care is poised for a considerable impact in the metaverse, especially on how stylists operate their businesses. For consumers, the metaverse will alter how they find hair care products and offer a new salon experience that bridges technology, innovation, and multi-functionality.

For salon owners, the beautyverse can provide another avenue for expanding their business to new clients. A live feed of their real-world salon can reside in the metaverse to give prospects an idea of the services provided and the salon's overall vibe.

For hair communities such as natural or curly hair, the metaverse will be an even more progressive step for inclusion. What started with IG hashtag follows will evolve into fully-immersive virtual beauty spaces for specific hair types that are discrimination-free and provides a forum for hair tips and trends to consumers often forgotten by other major beauty platforms.

New possibilities through beauty in the metaverse

Beauty brands have numerous opportunities to utilize the virtual world to create, engage, and build communities as a rapidly evolving space and concept. High-quality ingredients are vital for the AR technology employed in beauty spaces. For example, the brush strokes used to create a smoky eye look during virtual makeup applications will rely on these ingredients to offer the most true-to-life textures in the metaverse. The right texture, shade, or hue are all potentially huge factors for influencing consumer buying decisions. Univar Solutions' sustainable and innovative textures are ideal for beauty demos and avatar transformations within the beautyverse.

There's never been a better time for beauty brands to embrace the meta-world and its exciting possibilities for consumers and businesses. Companies who resist the metaverse may find themselves having the same issue in 10 years that slow or non-adopters of e-commerce continue to face today, especially in a post-pandemic world. They will likely miss opportunities to develop strategies or carve out their unique space in metaverse beauty.

Whether perfecting an original look, bonding with different people from all over the world, or creating your own virtual beauty spaces, you can do it from the comfort of your home with the beautyverse. The beauty industry has historically been at the forefront of modern technology, and the metaverse is the next frontier for beauty professionals to embark on.

It's time to play in a digital universe built for social connection and immersive experiences. Let your truest self and senses awaken with innovative textures, uniqueness, boundless creativity, and beauty standards that are evolving for the metaverse beauty industry.


New Sensations: The Future of Beauty

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