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  • Independent UX research by UX Spot
  • 21 page PDF report
  • 20 Chinese beauty camera app users participated in a diary study research, across seven cities in China over a ten-day period.

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What’s inside this report

01 - Beauty needs of Chinese customers

Uncovering the unmet needs of Chinese customers is key to creating successful cosmetic experiences in China. The Chinese market has a unique set of beauty standards that can inspire the design and marketing of its cosmetic products.

02 - The power of tutorials

Tutorials posted by influencers are an important gateway for make-up customers in China to learn about classic and trendy looks, as well as the brands behind these products.

03 - Current usage of AR beauty tech

Consumers are using AR to modify the facial features that they are not happy with, providing inspiration for the beauty industry to create products that address these concerns.

04 - AR beauty opportunities for the future

The rapid development of the mobile ecosystem in China has led to consumers wanting more from beauty tech, developing their own expectations when making purchase decisions through cosmetic AR.


Beauty cameras apps are extremely popular in China. The use of filter-enhanced selfies or retouched photos has been normalized for many years, and there is generally an advanced level of mobile-savvy consumers who are not shy to experiment with this technology.

In more recent years the developments of augmented reality (AR) in these beauty apps not only allow users to augment their appearance but also allows them to virtually ‘try-on’ cosmetic products on looks to their face, opening the door of opportunities for immersive brand experiences and ultimately more conversions.

In this UX study, we use AR as a lens to better understand cosmetic customers' needs: we aim to uncover how beauty tech users are engaging with these apps, and synthesize prescriptive solutions that anticipate how these learnings might transfer into real-world cosmetic consumer learnings. We hope this UX research project can give you snippets of insights that inspire your further research into consumers in China.

Research methodology

Remote ethnography

We used a diary study approach using our Recap Chat app. A mobile app developed for conducting remote research, including unmoderated interview questions and tasks, diary studies logging with uploading of media, survey questions and self assessment scaling.


Through screening questionnaires distributed across our established cosmetics networks, we recruited 20 frequent beauty camera app users, across 7 citiies in China who are familiar with the use of AR technology for beauty augmenting purposes.

Video tasks

We captured the audio & video of participants answering a series of questions about beauty, augmenting ‘selfies’ and AR try-on features. We also included a picture upload task, where we asked the participant to upload their screenshots of them using AR try-on features in various apps.

Research contributors

Zippora Lau

Co-founder & Research Director

Kunyao Zhu

UX Researcher

Xiao Zhao

UX Researcher

Streamline your remote research

Our Recap Chat mobile app is live for consumers to participate in remote research. If you have a project that might suit using our tool, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at UX Spot to discuss setting up a custom research project for your needs.

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