By digitally superimposing interactive animations over users’ faces, Snapchat’s Lenses are changing the selfie game while subtly doing something much bigger: familiarising people with augmented reality before it becomes part of¬†our everyday lives. In June it was reported by Bloomberg that the social media platform had already surpassed Twitter’s number of active daily users. At the time this was around 150 million. With the recent appointment of a¬†Hollywood effects artist as ‚ÄúConcept and Augmented Reality Designer‚Äù, and the acquisition of 3D photo taking technology,¬†things are about to get even more wild. The company has been at the centre of necessary discussion about beauty standards after being called out for its controversial ‘beauty filters’ which supposedly make people more attractive by widening eyes and ‘white-washing’ skin tones. Whether we were ready or not,¬†puppy faces, flower crowns and rainbow vomit (cuter than it sounds) have taken over timelines, and every couple you know with a smartphone has done a horrifying face swap. The platform enables people to play with identify and try different make-up looks. L’Or√©al Paris was the first beauty brand to sponsor a temporary eyeliner lens to promote its Infallible Silkissime eyeliner. The resulting ‘cat-eye’ looks were scarily accurate.
As the tech changes how people visually present themselves in the digital space, we’ve enjoyed imagining these fun and exaggerated looks filtering into real life beauty trends.¬†Excited by this possibility, we collaborated with photographer Aart Verrips and make-up artist Suaad Jeppie to create a beauty editorial inspired by Snapchat Lenses. Suaad re-interpreted and deconstructed 6 popular filters to create these conceptual make-up looks, and to imagine what Snapchat might do next.