The digital beauty hall revolution marches on as M&S introduce virtual manicures

The digital beauty hall revolution marches on as M&S introduce virtual manicures
High street giant allows customers to try entire nail range on photo of their own handAdds to technology allowing shoppers to give themselves full makeovers online



14:24 GMT, 23 July 2012

We have had the Virtual Makeover. Now it's time for the Virtual Manicure.

Marks & Spencer have proved yet again that they are at the forefront of beauty innovation as they launch cutting edge technology that allows shoppers to try out the store's entire nail polish range on their own hand – with the click of a mouse.

The Virtual Manicure tool uses declassified U.S. military technology (who said beauty couldn't be a serious business) to bring facial and feature recognition apparatus to the high street.

Getting it nailed: Virtual Manicures at M&S

Getting it nailed: Virtual Manicures at M&S

Shoppers simply upload a photograph of their hand, or choose a hand from the selection available online that is the closest to their skintone.

Then using the easy-to-navigate Virtual Beauty Counter system, they can choose whichever colour they like from all shades offered by M&S – and have it painted on their nails.

In the pink: A fuchsia makeover

In the pink: A fuchsia makeover

Purple patch: Aubergine nails at the click of a mouse

Purple patch: Aubergine nails at the click of a mouse

Of course, now that we have entered the future of social media networking, the resulting pictures can be shared immediately on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

It goes without saying, shoppers can click to buy right away, or they can visit the store where their online profile, including any favoured products, will be stored.

All customers can access the beauty counter online, but Marks & Spencer will also be offering an in-store experience at new M&S Beauty departments at the High Street Kensington, Stratford, Marble Arch and Cheshire Oaks stores, with more to follow.

The beauty revolution has arrived – and it's coming to a high street near you.


The Virtual Manicure tool is undoubtedly a gimmick – but it is a clever
one. Just like the Virtual Makeover, which the MailOnline used last
week to give the Duchess of Cambridge a tongue-in-cheek makeover, this
is a bit of fun that will provide a few minutes of light relief for bored web browsers.

The ability to upload your own photo is a stroke of genius that will keep people on the M&S site for way longer than they would usually spend there.

Will it result in sales There's no doubt about it.

And in a competitive market where M&S is being slammed daily for getting left behind trendwise, it's heartening to see them at the vanguard.

M&S is one of the UK's most trusted quality brands – and it is innovations like this that remind customers that the M&S are market leaders in so many ways (not least for their longheld eco initiatives that pre-dated the current 'green' trend by years).

Of course, these brilliant beauty developments are not addressing the main issue shoppers have had with M&S of late – the fashion department – which needs to majorly up its game to keep customers onside. No doubt there are such plans in place, and let's hope they are good – because to lose M&S would be a tragedy.