It can be tempting to disable your webcam on a video call, especially on days when it looks like a mess. For Teams users, Microsoft is introducing a new AI-powered beauty feature that’s designed to “make people’s lives a little easier.” On Wednesday, Microsoft announced a new set of “virtual makeup” filters, similar to appearance-altering effects seen on social media platforms, like TikTok’s Bold Glamor feature, coming to Microsoft Teams courtesy of cosmetics giant Maybelline.
The Maybelline Beauty app will provide Teams users with 12 unique looks at launch, with options to select from various blur effects and digital makeup color options. Each look will provide a breakdown of the real-world Maybelline products and shades that the filter replicates so users can recreate the makeup on their real faces. Companies often use these virtual “try on” experiences to promote their real-world products, but corporate workplace software is an unusual place to see Maybelline encouraging users to get out their wallets and “explore different makeup looks.”
Modiface, an augmented reality company focused on the beauty industry, provides the artificial intelligence technology that powers the virtual makeup filters. Modiface’s technology is one of the most popular offerings for virtual makeup “try on” experiences and has been used by various cosmetic companies such as Sephora and estee lauder. Maybellines’ parent company, L’Oreal, jumped to that popularity in 2018, acquiring Modiface for an undisclosed sum.
The filters have also been developed in collaboration with the Geena Davis Institute — a nonprofit public data organization focused on improving inclusion and diversity within the media — to ensure that the virtual makeup look is suitable for a “broad and diverse population.”
“Whether you work in person or virtually, feeling good about yourself can help you be your best self,” said Trisha Ayyagari, global brand president for Maybelline New York, in a statement. maybelline press release. “That’s why we partnered with Microsoft Teams to develop virtual makeup looks; now, even on the busiest of days, you can do your makeup with just one click.”
Business users can find the new virtual makeup offerings in the “video effects” tab in Microsoft Teams
The new feature is rolling out to global Microsoft Teams Enterprise customers starting today and can be located in the “Video Effects” tab within Teams meeting settings. We asked Microsoft if the filters will also be available to users in the free tier of Microsoft Teams and will update this story if we hear back.
It’s a bit strange to think that beauty filters have a place in more professional communication apps outside of the social media sphere. there is plenty of evidence to suggest that filters designed to enhance or manipulate your appearance may be detrimental to mental health due to the unrealistic expectations they set for our body image. And while these AR/AI filter effects were once easily identifiable because they distorted when the user’s face was obstructed, recent advances like TikTok’s infamous “Bold Glamour” effect are much harder to spot.
The potential risk to our self-esteem has not deterred people However, if you want to use these beauty filters in work related applications. Other video conferencing platforms like Zoom already include some limited beauty effects like eyebrow filters and lipstick. The Maybelline Beauty app in Teams gives you more options and customization, which can be more tempting to play around with, especially if they look natural enough to avoid standing out from your peers for the wrong reasons.