Sephora's Beauty Board, A Way to Shop on Social Media, Has Arrived

The way you shop for makeup is about to change. Sephora has just launched Beauty Board, a way to shop for your favorite beauty products via images uploaded and tagged on social media. This is a pretty genius way for the brand to increase online revenue and tap into the market for online shopping.

According to Fashionista, Beauty Board is a platform that "allows users to browse a gallery of user-generated photos — of a beauty look, for instance — which can be tagged with the products used to create that look. Viewers can then click to buy those products from Sephora." Reviews and comments can also be included to help customers decide what to buy and how to use it.

Not only is this a fun way for Sephora to engage social media to drive up sales, it's also great for the customer. By knowing exactly what products went into a beauty look you want to recreate, you can easily buy those products directly from a trusted source. Makeup is tough to shop for, especially when hunting for new products. Beauty Board allows shoppers to see makeup in action before purchasing.

The creation of the platform was a direct response to the popularity of sharing beauty products on social media. Bridget Dolan, vice president of interactive media at Sephora, told Fashionista that "Some customers were even tagging their posts #Sephoraselfie." This made it easy for Sephora to capitalize by creating one brand-specific location on which customers could share and buy favorite products.

Beauty Board will be available on Sephora's desktop site (accessible through the "Inspire Me" tab on the homepage), as well as the mobile site and apps for iPhone and Android. The on-the-go accessibility will likely help the popularity of the service, since many people do their online browsing while killing time on their smart phones. Waiting at the doctor's office without a book? Do some online shopping!

Showing user-generated images to sell products is becoming increasingly popular as retailers begin to see the positive effects on business. Customers want to know how a product functions when real people use it, not from a stale product image on the website. Free People has already profited from this trend with FP Me and so it comes as no surprise that more brands will begin to incorporate social media into their sales models.

So, the real question — are you buying it?