I'm not a big beauty app user, so my favorite beauty app list is very small. I'd love to hear what your favorite beauty apps are. The app store is so flooded with apps, it can be very hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Help me find the ones that worth my time! Here are the two I love:
Most apps that stores put out aren't that interesting. I didn't even bother looking at the Sephora app until I found out about the one very special feature on it! You can "try on" any of the lipstick colors from any of the brands Sephora carries in the Virtual Artist section of the app. I've tried it with lipstick colors I own, and I've found the app colors to be pretty true to life. You can also use a comparison feature to see four different lipsticks side by side. There are other features on this app, but, I admit, I haven't really checked them out because they don't seem to be as fun as the lipstick . I would love if they would expand this to other types of makeup, but I understand why they started with lipstick. No one wants to put those gross testers directly on their mouths, so I imagine they are hoping that the Virtual Artist will help consumers make informed decisions about lipstick purchases and cut down on returns of lipstick.
Because they have so many types of lipsticks, you can narrow your options down. You can choose lipstick or lip gloss, color family, or brand. I've shown the stick/gloss and color family selection area below. The brand section is in a separate part of the app. There is also a "suprise me" button that will give you a random lipstick to try on. If you don't want to filter, you can scroll through and try on every shade. If you are just trying colors on, your phone's camera is on you and it's like a video feed. The lipstick does a surprisingly good job at staying on your lips even when you are moving around. If you want to compare, you can either snap a photo of yourself at that moment or upload your favorite selfie so you can see side by side comparisons of up to four colors.
Here's an unflattering picture of me using the compare feature while holding one of my bunnies. I couldn't use an old selfie because you need a picture of yourself without lipstick in order to see how the color works on you.
Cocoa Swatches started out as an Instagram account. They've now started their own app! Cocoa Swatches allows users to see how makeup looks on women of color. All too often, makeup swatches are shown on light skin, making it very difficult for women of color to determine if a particular beauty product would be a flattering choice for them. Some makeup that looks horrible on lighter shades can look amazing on darker skin colors and vice versa. Cocoa Swatches aims to take the guesswork out of the equation and make shopping for cosmetics easier for women who are often overlooked by the beauty industry. It's a newer app and they don't have tons of different makeup brands and colors yet, but they are getting there. I highly recommend following Cocoa Swatches on Instagram and downloading this free app.
Here's the front page of the app with some of the options:
They also have a list of recommendations of beauty bloggers who are women of color so that you can follow them on social media. Below, one blogger,Danielle, recommends some of her favorite products and shows how the colors work on her complexion.
They are adding side-by-side comparisons of similar colors of makeup products, too. Below is a red lipstick comparison.
Cocoa Swatches allows you to search for particular companies, products, and general product categories to see how the cosmetics work on different complexions. I can't wait to see them expand their offerings.
That's my (very small) apps list. What do you think? Do you have any beauty apps you can't live without?