Low-Down on Covergirl’s New App: BeautyU

Earlier last week Covergirl released a new beauty app, BeautyU. BeautyU is a new app that attempts to solve a major issue that many makeup brands face in retail and drug stores. While some of the higher end makeup companies allow for samples of each of their products in-store, lower-end makeup brands (found in places like drugstores) are kept in their plastic wraps, prohibiting consumers to try the product before purchasing. Covergirl’s new BeautyU is jumping on the latest trend in the beauty industry: beauty apps that allow consumers to virtually try on all products.

On Covergirl’s website, the brand explains its new app with the statement:

            “Face it: Makeup is super personal. Finding the right shade, the right fit, and the right product just got easier. COVERGIRL BeautyU is a more personalized makeup app that lets you find your fave shades and try before you buy—all with just a few taps. Plus, the more U interact with the app, the smarter it gets.”

While some apps have attempted to tap into this app category, BeautyU offers several unique feature that allow it to stand out from its competitors. Covergirl’s primary competitor, L’Oreal first successfully launched their virtual-beauty app, Makeup Genius, in 2014. Since then, it has been downloaded from the App Store 6.3 million times. While Covergirl may be following in these successful footsteps, they have been attempting to perfect their product for years now with innovative and unique features that L’Oreal’s app does not have.


First and foremost, BeautyU uses a facial scan to help identify users individual facial features, including their skin tone and face shape (see pics above). This allows for each of the beauty recommendations to be unique to each user. Moreover, the “magic mirror” technology creates an augmented reality, allowing users to virtually try on all of Covergirl’s products. Another feature that allows BeautyU to stand out is its “consultation”, in which the app asks users’ their beauty preferences. The consultation asks a wide variety of questions ranging from “What’s your perfect date?” to “What’s one makeup item you can’t live without?”. These questions allow for the app to pick out the best products for each unique consumer. This custom, tailored experience also picks out suggested products for different events, such as what makeup would be best for you for your weekend brunch. Other features of the app include aspects such as, “how-to’s for you”, in which consumers can learn step-by-step how to use each of Covergirl’s suggested makeup products. One final cool aspect of the app is that it was made in partnership with an organization called “Girls Who Code”, a company that seeks to educate women in computer technology. Moreover, the app further eliminates the need for consumers to go to brick and mortar retailers, as it allows users to “fill up” their virtual makeup bag and purchase all products in app. Covergirl also released promotional videos of the app on its Youtube channel, explaining all of the features:


Since the app is relatively new, its success is unknown for the moment. If BeautyU does gain traction, it could drastically change the beauty industry’s in-store purchases. While makeup salesmen have attempted to recommend products based on consumers’ skin tones and facial features, these apps have the potential to be smarter than any beauty salesmen if the consumers continuously use the app. Personally, I am a big fan of the new BeautyU app, as it saves me the effort of going into a store and buying a product with the risk that I may not like the shade after opening it post-purchase. What do you guys think of the new beauty app trend??





With a new app, Covergirl places a bet on augmented reality for mass-market beauty


  1. wow, this is some crazy innovative stuff. It kinda reminds me of the new snap filters that have makeup. The technology is great, but i wonder if it will truly be accepted and successful. There are many generations of makeup users older than us that do not use apps. will the millennials be enough to keep Beautyu alive?

  2. Thanks for sharing this new app. Sounds really cool and reminds me of old school websites where you could dress up a doll or try a new hairstyle. I agree that this fills the gap between retail stores and luxury brands to some extent; however, I’m curious to see both the adoption rate and the extent to which use results in purchases. To @hellojohnlam‘s point, I think understanding the current consumers and target audience of retail make-up brands would give us a better idea as to whether an app that targets millennials will be useful.

  3. As someone who purchases both high-end and low-end makeup products, I also always struggle with figuring out which low-end products I should buy since there are no beauty consultants in drugstores. I found myself relying on online reviews which were helpful to a certain extent, but were sometimes confusing when some say they hated the product and others suggested it was the best product out there. Since many beauty companies are improving their digital features, the competitive advantage will come from the ability to personalize the app and really understand each customer individually. I checked out the app in the iTunes store and it seems it might need some more development. A review said, “it wasn’t filling in my lips correctly, all they eyeliners looked the same and the eye shadows were barely noticeable.” Overall, I really like this new trend of beauty apps as I think it will help customers make smarter decisions. But, if every beauty brand comes out with their own version of an augmented reality app, it will come down to which apps have the best successful features. The future of BeautyU will depend on customer satisfaction with these features.

  4. This seems like a really good idea! Like the poster above, I also struggle in drugstores. This will help covergirl steal some marketshare from other brands that people stick to just because they know what shade to buy. Covergirl’s perfect match product line works well with this app, too.

  5. Definitely a great concept and could be a real market shaker. It kind of reminds me of Warby Parker’s early efforts to allow its potential customers to see themselves in a new pair of glasses (correct me if I’m wrong, I’m pretty sure they did this). Innovations like these could streamline purchasing for consumers as well as potentially regulate markets more efficiently, driving out the small players with poor offerings. Although I do believe that only companies with substantial capital will be able to jump on this faux-VR train, the tech will become cheaper to implement. We might see makeup users become so informed about their products that sales become more concentrated and forecastable. Great info here, cheers!

  6. Sounds like a great idea to me. I personally only buy makeup from my local drugstore so I fully understand how limited I am in making fully informed purchasing decisions. Currently, in order to get advice or reviews on these products, I have to either go searching online or turn to the employee nearest the beauty aisle of the drugstore. Online reviews are not personalized so it’s hard to know whether a certain product is right for you and the staff at drugstores is not always very educated on their product offerings. Being able to virtually try on different shades of makeup is a game changer and I can only see this as a good thing. With the suggestions feature of the app, Covergirl can hopefully incentivize users to purchase new products and break out of their comfort zones.

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