Discover beauty through professional reviews

NOW READING Digital Sampling is Transforming How We Shop for Beauty Products
December 16, 2020

Digital Sampling is Transforming How We Shop for Beauty Products

Digital sampling is transforming how we shop for beauty products.


Earlier this year, Beautytap rolled out an innovative sampling program that disrupted the traditional random sampling process and put choice back in the consumer’s court.  Like so many beauty fans, I dove in head-first and have been using the program as my own little layaway plan by buying skincare samples I can swatch and experience at home, along with racking up credits to put towards big ticket products I’m coveting.  


Beautytap Sample Program
Beautytap Sample Program


Technology is moving full steam ahead and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) – words that would normally catapult me into a state of spontaneous deafness – are bringing back the fun in a whole new way.  


The virtual “try on” apps on beauty sites have offered a limited workaround for years, but Perfect Corp.’s YouCam Makeup app and in-store barcode features may send your heart racing. Strap yourself in, beauty fans, it’s time to go digital.


Virtual Sampling / Image from


Touchless “Try On” Beauty


If you’re new to the concept of digital sampling, you’re not alone. The easiest way to describe it is to think of it as virtual swatching without the product or even your arm. Digital sampling allows consumers to test drive everything from false lashes to lip color safely and at their own leisure via live try-on or uploaded photos. 


Personally, I use the apps mostly for entertainment – giving myself virtual lip injections by moving the dots around on the screen. Never once has the technology prompted me to buy anything. That, however, may be changing, considering the fact that TIME Magazine gave Perfect Corp.’s app a special mention in their top 100 groundbreaking inventions this year. 


What Is YouCam?


Visit the Google Play Store, and you’ll find the YouCam Makeup app without any trouble at all. Once installed, you can try out everything from holiday makeup to hot pink highlights. To up the ante and bring digital sampling to a whole new level, Perfect Corp. partnered with multiple beauty brands to give consumers a way to test out brand-specific offerings on their phone, whether in-store or at home. 


YouCam Makeup app
YouCam Makeup app


The app also has a skin analysis feature that will virtually pinpoint skin issues, so they can be remedied with products from one of the partnering brands. Although the concept sounds great, it does still leave the brand selection to the user’s discretion, which may or may not be effective without doing additional legwork before making a purchase. 


Working with a trusted Beauty Expert you can actually speak with and who knows your skin offers many benefits and helps to identify the products that are most effective for you. The community of professionals at Beautytap includes aestheticians, makeup artists, facialists, hair stylists, and seasoned skincare aficionados with a minimum of two years of experience who advise on skincare, haircare and makeup most suitable for you. 


Community of professionals at Beautytap


Double Duty Bar Codes 


Testers may be off limits for the foreseeable future, but products are still stocked on store shelves. Wouldn’t it be great to simply pick up a box for your product of choice, scan the barcode, and have the product virtually applied to your face or nails before your very eyes? Grab your phone, beauties, because that technology exists, too! Stores utilizing this technology not only provide a real-time product sampling experience, but they’re reducing their carbon footprint in the process. 


With digital sampling, you can “try on” just about any product virtually. Gone are the countless cleanup stations and worries about hygienically handling products. And less waste means makeup shopping is more environmentally friendly than ever. 


You’ll probably be more inclined to purchase the products you test, too, because you’ll have them right in the palm of your hand in their sealed packaging. No mess on you; no mess for store personnel to clean up. 


A Caveat to Consider


As exciting as the technology seems, there’s still one flaw: lighting. Testing foundation, in particular, requires accurate lighting. If you thought swatching multiple colors along your jawline then dashing outside into the sun was too much work, imagine trying to take an accurate selfie in order to digitally sample something at home. Lighting will always be a factor with AR platforms. 



And as for sampling skincare, your best bet is to utilize a sampling program like the one offered here at Beautytap. After all, you can’t smell or feel products virtually, but with the innovative sampling program you choose three product samples for just $5 and receive a $5 credit, so these beauty samples are essentially free. And you get to enjoy the experience with the help of a pro. Just ask your Verified Beauty Expert for guidance.

Tracy Ann Teel is a full-time freelance writer and the owner of Finesse Writing and Editing LLC. She’s a tutorial writer for San Francisco Globe’s beauty platform,, covering everything from skin and hair care to makeup and nail art. She writes for skincare companies, dermatologists, and cosmetic surgeons, and proudly taught at her MFA alma mater, the University of California Irvine, as a member of their adjunct faculty in English. She’s been a textbook reviewer for Prentice Hall, been recognized three consecutive years in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and has written professionally for 30+ years. Her poetry chapbook Such Dust was published by Finishing Line Press, and her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Rattle, Pearl, Kaleidoscope, and Lake Arrowhead Life.



Oh man! Working at a beauty counter has taught me that people are very hands on! BUT, what saved me through this switch in product sampling was that I was so knowledgeable about brands and how they swatched on the skin. Being able to paint that picture for someone that may be unsure goes a long way!