Photo: Courtesy of L'Oreal.
If you have a smartphone and you love beauty, you’ve probably noticed a pretty huge hole in the app market. There are apps for crushing candies, apps to help you get a pair of shoes at a discount, and apps to give you an assist on baking those cupcakes. But, when it comes to beauty applications, the only thing that’s really out there are programs for booking salon or spa appointments. Helpful if you happen to live in a major city and are in need of some on-demand beauty treatments, but that only meets the needs of a small subset of the population.
The beauty industry has been trying to get in good with all smartphone users for a while, but the latest crop of apps shows us those in the field are actually trying to meet all these needs. For one, L’Oréal released its MakeupGenius app today, and it could be the catalyst that helps users change the way they shop for makeup: It allows you to virtually test-drive cosmetics before you buy them.
How does it work? MakeupGenius uses your front-facing camera to scan 64 points of your face and then allows you to virtually try on products. Shadow blends exactly over your eyes, lipstick fits on your lips, and all of the products move with your face as you walk and talk. The app does live up to its "genius" name; it's especially great for women who want to try on a bold, new lip color without slapping down cold, hard cash. But, as it's a L'Oréal product, the only bottles and tubes it allows you to try out are the brand's own.
We've seen virtual try-on technology before, but what sets this app apart is just how realistic it is. The cat-eye liner we tried on was spot-on — we took a screengrab of ourselves wearing it, and no one could tell it wasn't actual makeup on our faces. And, since the lipsticks and liners move with you as you walk around your environment, you can see how colors will look in different lighting and how they interact with one another. It's like hitting up a makeup counter every time you go to pick up a new shade of shadow, but you don't even have to leave your couch. Hello, lazy-girl beauty.
But, MakeupGenius isn't the only smart app that's hitting the market to utilize our photos and faces.
Click over to see what other genius beauty goodies are hiding in the App Store.
Photo: Courtesy of Beautiful Me.
Case in point: Beautiful Me, a just-released-yesterday app that utilizes up to 500 Facebook photos to give you an in-depth look at your skin. Not only does it pinpoint your skin tone and note how it has changed over time, but the app also breaks down how your skin has been aging and what your top colors are; it then offers product recommendations based on your profile. It even analyzes your hair color in the exact same way.
Beautiful Me differs from MakeupGenius in that it isn't a company-sponsored app. So, the products recommended are of a wider range and variety, including Inglot, Make Up For Ever, and Clairol. The app also allows you to input detailed statistics about your makeup habits, including your favorite lipsticks, blushes, and shadow colors. It's basically allowing you to create a map of your entire "beauty life" that's handy enough to keep in your pocket.
As even more apps like Beautiful Me and MakeupGenius start to roll out, the easier our shopping experiences will become. Instead of walking into a store and marking your arm with lipstick shades to find one you may like, these will help you enter a retail location with a better idea of what will work for you. Plus, it will help you avoid those unhygienic testers, which is never a bad thing.
Makeup is such a personal experience, and while that's typically a positive, that can also make it incredibly difficult to find what you want and what you need. The more help we have, the better. And, if said assistance comes in the form of a handy app we can check out on our already-overused smartphones, well, that's just a bonus.
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