Make-up apps are definitely a great way for makeup addicts to get a fix. The latest and most innovative among them being MakeupGenius from L'Oreal Paris. This episode of Living Digital describes the app functionality and my experience with it.
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When I was little, makeovers were one of my favorite things to do. I loved transforming myself, my friends, my baby sister. Whether I was good at it or not, there was something about creating a new identity. So, when CD rom computer games became popular, I swore it was the best thing to happen to makeovers since paper dolls. Inevitably, that industry evolved to the makeup apps and games of today. The most recent development in this type of digital amusement is the MakeupGenius App from L'Oreal Paris. They call it the "first virtual makeup tester", which was launched in May of 2014. You might be saying, how is this different from any other make up app. Because that's exactly what I was thinking. But I'll explain the differentiator in during our how it works segment. Which I thought needed some theme music of it's own.
How it works:
So, when you download the app, the first step is to capture your face in a relaxed position. But if you have a "serious" resting face like I do, you may want to "smize" or smirk a little. Well, actually that wouldn't matter in this case, as you're about find out. But yeah, click the SCAN button, and you're taken to a page that looks like a L'Oreal advertisement. Button one says tap here to try on a product and button two says tap here to try ready to wear looks. I tap option one and two more options appear. It's a very minimalistic approach. It's like "blue pill or red pill" "right or left". Not alot of distracting imagery or advertisements, aside from the L'Oreal logo at the bottom.
Anyway, the options on this page are to "scan a product" or "browse products". And since I didn't have any L'oreal bar codes handy I chose the latter. The bottom of the screen shows six items to add to "your look". Lipstick, lip gloss, lip liner, eyeliner and eyeshadow.
When you make a selection, you are taken to a page with a handful of options from that category. It looks like a product results page more or less. And just like any product page, there's details about each product, the difference is, once you hit "try" the item you chose is applied in real time. What was once just your beautiful face looking into the front facing camera becomes your still beautiful face just with perfectly applied liner. I was like "this is so cool!!"
You know what it's like? Freaky Friday. (picture whichever version you prefer). You know when the main characters look in the mirror and see a different face? I imagine it's like that, but on a less traumatizing level. Click the info button and you'll You can apply the products to your reflection in real time.
You can squint, frown, make faces and the digital makeup stays in place...for the most part. So yeah, that's the differentiator.
Alright, that was the basic functionality but other features include: the ability to purchase items, record and take photos while wearing your new look, which can be shared via Facebook or email, and if you don't feel like creating looks from scratch, you can always choose from expert curated looks. So great and innovative app in my opinion.
So how did they do it? Well, Guive Balooch, director of L'Oreal's Connected Beauty Incubator, says that By combining their knowledge of consumers and the science of colors with technologies for monitoring facial expressions, they have been able to calculate the best algorithm to produce realistic makeup application in real time.
I do have a few disclaimers. When I tried to take a look at the check out process, every item i selected was out of stock. And when it came to make up application, I really wish I could adjust the intensity of the makeup application. I had a Tammy Fay Baker thing going on there a few times. Then there's the lipstick. Those endowed in the lip department might not get the best coverage. It only covers about 80% of my lips, so it looks odd. I hope they make adjustments in the future. They definitely want to account for the Carrie Underwoods asWELL as the Kerry Washingtons.
If you'd like to check out photos and videos of my experience using the app head over to Livingdigital.me. thats livingdigital.M-E and look for episode 12. You'll also find all the social media links over there. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and now Tumblr. As always, I hope this has been helpful, and thanks for listening.