Google search’s new online shopping feature makes buying beauty products online slightly less of a gamble. You can now virtually “try on” beauty products from Google Shopping using professional models or, if you prefer, on your own face—thanks to a little augmented reality magic and your smartphone’s selfie camera.
At launch, only select products from Black Opal, Charlotte Tilbury, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, and MAC Cosmetics are supported, but Google says it plans to include more soon. The company also hopes the new virtual try-on features will inspire more brands and expand the types of products users can preview in the app.
To preview makeup on models, search Google Shopping for a product from one of the supported brands. Android users can search using their device’s Google search bar, while iOS users will need to search using the Google app.
If a product supports Google’s virtual try-on feature, a new tab will appear in the “Overview” tab at the top of its Google Shopping page. The tool features models of varying skin tones and genders, so it shouldn’t be hard to match up your specific complexion. Tap a face at the top of the window to swap to the photo. You can also slide between colors from the bottom menu if a product comes in different hues.
To “test” out makeup on yourself in AR, tap the “Try it on” button below the model photos to enable your phone’s camera. Use the bottom menu to instantly try different color options. The app uses technology from AR beauty companies ModiFace and Perfect Corp to “apply” the makeup to your face in real time. It’s like using a SnapChat or Instagram filter, but without the extra effects or warped facial structure those apps usually apply.
Google says these new tools are not meant to be ads, and companies do not have to pay Google to let users “try on” their products. However, Google will still track your search history so it can offer you more relevant ads—unless you delete that data from your Google account.