Augmented reality may not actually be real, but the returns L’Oréal has seen since its acquisition of augmented reality beauty company Modiface are. The company reported tripled conversion rates when using the technology to showcase products. Here’s what the success might mean for the label’s future.

Virtual make-up try on to (is) the base of any experience.” according to the cosmetic conglomerate. In addition to amping up digital assets with augmented reality, L’Oreal has begun to allow third-party platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WeChat and Tmall to also use the technology, not only to promote L’Oréal products but those of rivals brands. Given the fact that the company invested heavily to gain ownership of the technology, giving rival brands a boost might seem like a surprise. But doing this earns L’Oréal a small return and could elevate it to a higher authority for many beauty brands. Furthermore, Amazon has become the latest retailer to embrace L’oreal’s new look.

L’Oréal is now planning to expand beyond virtual make-up to other product areas, including a virtual hair colour try on, foundation finder and as a way to diagnose skin and hair conditions.

Given the natural fit of the category, beauty brands tracked in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty were among first movers to experiment with augmented reality (AR). But L’Oréal’s acquisition and resulting success have turned the move from trend to triumph.

Daily Insights in Your Inbox