The Best Beauty Apps You Need To Download, Stat!

Photographed by Julia Stotz.
Introducing LadyBits, an ultra-cool collective of tech journalists who look at the world with smart, lady lenses. And since we're always in the market for the best stuff out there, we'll feature its know-how on the regular. Below, check out one of LadyBits' innovator spotlights, prepared by Summer Land, especially for Refinery29.
Does anyone else think of the Cosmopolitan Virtual Makeover CD-ROM game whenever someone brings up their favorite beauty app? I obsessed over as a kid, and after I figured out how to take a picture of myself with my monitor-mounted webcam, I spent hours trying out new hairstyles over my picture and adding Cindy Crawford-esque beauty marks.
Turns out that today’s beauty apps aren’t that different — you can still paint your face, test out virtual moles, and experiment with questionable haircuts. But, the apps you need are ones that will keep you feeling beautiful, fake mole or not. Ahead, I've culled 8 of my favorites.
1 of 9
Photo: Courtesy of Amazing Face.
Amazing Face
iOS, $3.99
Need to know how to cover up a horrific cold sore before a big date? Searching for ways to get over a brutal hangover and look presentable at work? Struggling to perfect your cat-eye? Author and columnist Zoe Foster has created an app that will tell you exactly what to do in such dire situations. This app is extremely user-friendly and has a wicked design. I kept feeling like I was going through my big sister’s secret diary that was filled with all of her amazing tricks for dominating life. Zoe tells you exactly what products you should buy and which ones to leave on the shelf. Download it now for inspirational photos, tutorials, shopping lists, beauty tips, and peace of mind.
2 of 9
Photo: Courtesy of 77Looks.
iOS, Free
Once you’ve found the right products, download 77Looks for some serious beauty inspiration. This app has a photo album feel and offers makeup, hair, and nail tutorial videos and pictures. If you’re looking for something specific (like how to achieve the perfect sock bun), it’s relatively easy to search for it using tags. And, if you’re a beauty blogger, you should definitely use 77Looks as another platform to gain followers through the social networking aspect of the app. It’s a great way to build an online portfolio and review products.
3 of 9
Photo: Courtesy of ModiFace.
Virtual Makeover by ModiFace
iOS & Android, Free
Wouldn’t it be great if you could see what you’d look like with a bright red shag haircut without actually chopping off your locks and going full-on carrot top? Sure, you could PhotoShop it onto yourself, but the Virtual Makeover by ModiFace App makes it a bit easier. What’s particularly rad about this app is that once you find a look or product that you really like, they tell you what the product is, how much it costs, and where you can buy it. However, it’s worth taking the time to get a good picture of yourself so that the app can match your face accurately. (Virtual lipliner on your nostrils is no bueno!)
4 of 9
Photo: Courtesy of Make Up For Ever Pocket Studio.
Make Up For Ever Pocket Studio
iOS & Android, Free
Whether you’re after a self-tanning tutorial video or a step-by-step guide to achieving exquisite eyeliner, the Make Up For Ever app can tell you exactly how to get it. Although Make Up For Ever only uses their own products (shocker), the app does an excellent job of covering lots of different types of looks — curated by their own makeup artists — and they’ll fill you in on the best place to buy the products you like.
5 of 9
Photo: Courtesy of Bangstyle.
iOS & Android, Free
Nothing can ruin your perfectly made-up face like a bad hair day. But, thanks to the Bangstyle app, you never have to worry about what to do with your hair again. The only risk in downloading this app is that you may accidentally forget to go to work because there are seriously so many pictures to look at for inspiration. You can upload your own and “stalk” other users — kind of like the Instagram explore tag, but exclusively for hair. My only complaint is that it’s purely for inspiration and ideas, and there are no tutorials or step-by-step guides, so you’re on your own.
6 of 9
Photo: Courtesy of Sunwise.
iOS & Android, Free
When it comes to aging and wrinkles, UV rays are the main culprit. And, even though you should be wearing SPF every day — even if you’re only outside for your 10-minute commute — The SunWise app lets you plug in your zipcode to find out the UV index in your area that day. Brought to you by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the app is great for explaining why the sun can be so damaging to your skin even on cloudy winter days, and what you can do for sun safety. Currently the app only covers cities in the U.S., but it still offers a lot of great sun-safe tips if you’re out of the country!
7 of 9
Photo: Courtesy of Pretty In My Pocket.
Pretty In My Pocket (PRIMP)
iOS & Android, Free
Ever spent 20 minutes in the makeup aisle in Target because you can’t figure out which waterproof mascara to buy? Yeah, me too. If you download PRIMP, an oldie but goodie, you can simply scan that tube of mascara and read reviews about it right on your phone. Design-wise, this app feels like Pinterest, but you can watch tutorials, follow users and their must-have product picks, and win free stuff. One of the key features is the scanning mechanism which makes it easy for you to see other users’ reviews. Now go cry those eyes out without worrying about looking like Tammy Faye.
8 of 9
Photo: Courtesy of Beautified.
iOS, Free
When I want to go to the spa to get a massage, it’s usually because I need a massage right at that very moment. However, I always call and have to wait (very impatiently) for a week to get an appointment, and by that time I’ve turned to a bottle of wine and foam roller for relief. Praise the same-day beauty treatment gods (aka, Hannah Bronfman) because the Beautified app allows you to book same-day appointments right from your phone. The app is basically the beautifully designed R&R pal you’ve been looking for.
9 of 9
Photo: Courtesy of SleepCycle.
Sleep Cycle
iOS, $2.99
My two favorite beauty secrets aren’t a new-fangled eye cream or a top-of-the-line eyeliner, but rather, just water and sleep. Unfortunately, I don’t always wake up feeling like a mega babe. But, thanks to Sleep Cycle, my morning routine has become much more enjoyable (read: no more blaring alarm clocks that go off mid-REM cycle). Instead, Sleep Cycle monitors and analyzes your sleep so that it wakes you up in your lightest sleep phase. You can also track your sleep quality to see if you need to make some changes when it comes to settling in for the night.

More from Tech


R29 Original Series