Apps for Finding Beauty Products

Magic smartphone in my palm, What’s a cool brand of lip balm?

Welcome to the new world of beauty intersecting with technology, where the smartphone has replaced the mirror as the ultimate truth teller.

Beauty apps can help you schedule appointments, find out the intensity of today’s UV rays or even get a virtual makeover. Unfortunately, there’s not yet an app for knocking off that witch who stole your Prince Charming and took over your mirror, which you use less and less anymore anyway, but give it time. No one likes a man stealer. Even if you’re not exactly Snow White. ‘Cause who is these days?

The apps:

  1. 1.


    iOS & Android, Free
    This is the virtual makeover, offered by ModiFace, which allows you to use a photo of yourself to apply thousands of makeup products to get a feel for how your painted mug might eventually look. Once you’re satisfied with the products you’ve chosen, the app helpfully provides a shopping list of the items you liked. It’ll even let you upload your made-over photo to Facebook and see what your friends think of your new look. And you thought we were kidding around with the whole Snow White theme for this piece.

  2. 2.


    iOS & Android, Free
    Trying to find just the right shade of L’Oreal foundation can be a little harder than it used to be in the old days of Pale, Healthy and Uh-Oh. Now, with some 33 different shades of L’Oreal foundation, everyone needs a little help. The app tries to figure out things like skin color and undertones by using your front-facing camera to scan 64 points of your face. You’re then directed to a store near you that’s likely to have just the right shade. And since everything starts with a good foundation, how cool is that?

  3. 3.

    Blippar Maybelline Colorshow

    iOS, Android & Windows, Free
    This time it’s a photo of your fingernails – or more specifically, your cuticles. Then, feel free to sample every single one of Maybelline’s 40 shades of nail polish. All without that whole messy process of cotton balls, alcohol-laced remover and complaining about your last 16 boyfriends. OK, you can still complain. Maybe even over the phone, who knows?

  4. 4.


    iOS, Free
    Gothamites will love this one, as it lets them make appointments with NYC-based salons and spas, all of which have been screened – or, as they say these days, “curated” – by the app-maker’s experts. But – can it get you a corned beef sandwich and a side of half-sours from Carnegie Deli? With fries? Can it?

  5. 5.

    Good Guide

    iOS & Android, Free
    With all of the talk lately about finding healthy beauty products that are also responsibly made and come from ethical companies, it was only a matter of time before a rating service like this one found its way to a phone near you. Product reviews come in the form of a report card, with an Overall grade broken down into categories like Health, Environment and Society.

  6. 6.

    My Skin

    iOS & Windows, Free
    And everything about it that you wouldn’t want an app-maker to know. But will tell to the app anyway because it’s not like a phone will blab any sensitive information, right? While nothing is a replacement by an exam from a qualified professional, this app will scan your moles and attempt to assess them. And permit you to keep abreast of their status over time.

  7. 7.

    Pretty In My Pocket (PRIMP)

    iOS & Android, Free
    A makeup shopping app that helps you pick out products and, over time, starts recommending others that it thinks you might like. You see, apps really are like boyfriends. Both recommend things based on what they think you would like. And both are frequently referred to as “it”. In entirely flatteringly ways, of course.

  8. 8.


    iOS & Android, Free
    This one predicts the UV index for the day, which then lets you figure out whether you need a little sunscreen, a lot or something stronger from the hardware store. Like an opaque undercoat and three layers of Ultra-Sheen Latex.

  9. 9.

    Visage Lab by VicMan LLC

    iOS & Android, Free
    This so-called digital makeup kit lets you retouch all features of many loaded facial photos. You can try on eye makeup, deepen your color, work on skin tone, remove unwanted shine and even whiten your teeth. While the retouching isn’t likely to fool a wily photo veteran, it could end up making a good first impression. With a little attention to those areas in real life, you might not even need the retouching. One of these days. Honestly, says the truth-telling smartphone.

Image via Daniel Go / CC BY 2.0

Pierce Mattie

Pierce Mattie is a full-service marketing agency that interacts with consumers and key stakeholders at every stage of the journey. With a focus in beauty, health and wellness, we are immersed in the marketing landscape, able to powerfully communicate a brand’s point of difference to acquire and maintaining customers. The content team is obsessed with what's trending in the digital world, and how it intersects with consumer behavior. We are passionate about the changing landscape of the world, including how emergent technologies affect brand attachment, how diversity and inclusivity are critical to success, and where humans fit into the equation.

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