Illustration by Rebecca Flato
What did we even do before our phones had apps for everything? Counting our steps, arranging a ride for adult beveraging, ordering dinner during our evening commute…
Thankfully, beauty apps have also jumped on the train of innovation. From on-demand services to virtual beauty experiences, beauty apps have made our habits (and vices) a little (OK, a lot) more fun. Thank you, vanity goddess of Silicon Valley!
1. Priv – Don’t you sometimes wish a glam team would come to you? Oh wait, they tooootally can. Priv brings your nearby beauty professionals right to your door. While other on-demand beauty apps offer only hairstyling, makeup or mani/pedis, Priv also offers additional service options like massages, personal training, haircuts, spray tanning and even men’s grooming. They bring all the equipment, supplies and tools they need to perform a pop-up service wherever you are (in some cases, you’ll at least need a chair). And don’t worry: Picking a professional is super simple since Priv displays a stream of customer reviews and photographic evidence of their work.
2. Lovely Loot – I can’t be the only one with a broad “Beauty Products” Pinterest board that looks like a black hole for hoarded images, right? Thank goodness for Lovely Loot, which helped me create a “version deux” of my chaotic list of Pinterest finds. Save the beauty items you love from various sites (and even magazines!), create collections, make notes, add tags and even make purchases directly from the app. Lovely Loot is like a project management system for the ultimate beauty addict.
3. MakeupGenius by L’Oreal – Color swatching is fun and all, but um, does your arm come out looking like a Jackson Pollock painting every time you leave a makeup aisle? Do you covertly tear open-sealed packaging to try new colors because makeup testers aren’t provided? L’Oreal’s MakeupGenius allows you to select different L’Oreal products (yes, the ones currently on the shelves!) and use your phone camera to “apply” different colors on your face in real-time. As you move, the filter moves, just like Snapchat without the exaggerated bulging eyes and pale faces. Buyer’s remorse, begone!
4. Style Seat – There are days when you simply can’t wait for a haircut — but your default hairstylist is booked out and can’t see you for another month. Style Seat helps you browse and book available beauty services in your area, thereby maximizing your chances of finding someone who rivals your default hair guru as soon as possible and as geographically convenient as possible. Whether you need hair extensions or waxing or faux lashes, Style Seat will get you there stat!
5. Brow Genie – So maybe you haven’t achieved Cara Delevingne brows… yet. Benefit’s Brow Genie can help. Upload your picture and Brow Genie will do some custom brow mapping to suggest different brows to choose from. Adjust your arches or hair color so you can put on a different persona (you’ll be stunned to see the difference even the slightest change can make to your overall vibe). Once you’re satisfied with a look, take your pictures to any Brow Bar at Benefit locations for a face-to-face consultation so you can bring your dream brows to life!
6. Think Dirty – Being ingredient-conscious has progressively become a mainstream movement, and more and more people are taking the time to research what’s inside their cosmetics and personal care products. While we may not all be bonafide natural beauty connoisseurs, if you want to avoid toxic chemicals to any degree, start with Think Dirty. With this app, you can scan your personal grooming AND household products, which provides you more detailed info about the product and potentially harmful ingredients. They’ll then give you some options to shop for cleaner alternatives.
7. Sephora App – The Sephora app takes the cake on virtual shopping experiences. I’ve always enjoyed its breezy full-service mobile store because it’s super simple to navigate, but now I’m in love with the “Virtual Artist” feature. Not only does it show you how a trend will look “applied” to your face (the same real-time face recognition technology here used with MakeupGenius), but it also gives you video tutorials and recommendations for products if you want to mimic a certain look. Playing dress-up ain’t just for clothes, yanno.
You totally deserve a day getting your nails done at home because you’re too lazy to drive. Or maybe you’re dying to try out the new color of Kat Von D. Everlasting Liquid Lipstick from home. Either way, “there’s an app for that.” I’m crossing my fingers for a virtual reality experience where I can play with Pat McGrath’s makeup stash, but until then…
Are we missing any? Share some of your favorite beauty apps with us below!