Friday, March 29, 2013

Top Beauty Apps

Just about everybody has a Smartphone these days... or an iPad, or an iPod that's basically an iPhone (minus the phone calls!).  This past week I've been test driving some of the top beauty apps available.  (And by "top" I mean the top ones that showed up by relevancy when I typed in beauty.  Read below for why some of these don't earn top ratings in my book.)  Now, these were on my iPad, so they are from the iTunes store. Not sure their availability for Android phones or tablets, but you can check out my Winners below and see for yourself on your system.

I also learned that some of my top beauty magazines have online subscriptions for free I can easily add to my newstand in iTunes.  No more toting heavy magazines with me everywhere!  Yay!  But I can't exactly dog-ear the pages for reference though. :(

The Losers-

1. Modiface Makeover: 1 Star.  This app is supposed to allow you to test run different makeup products on a photo of your own face to see how they would look.  The concept is solid. You take a photo of your own face and then can do test swatches on your actual features with buyable makeup products.  However, what it has in theory it lacks in application.  The colors are really sheer, so it's hard to say for sure if that's how the pigmentation will really look on you.  It's ultra unrealistic looking.  I tried out lipstick colors, and it didn't even overlap me lips.  It tried to, but there was on predetermined lip "shape" that is superimposed over my mouth.  It looked kind of like a child's crayon drawing.  There's also the Makeup (what the difference is supposed to be beats me) and Nails versions, but this was so bad I deleted them without even trying them out.

2. My Beauty Bible: 1 Star.  At first, I thought it looked really professional and user friendly in its layout. I was excited, but the free version is almost useless.  There are only five videos, seven photos, and I didn't bother counting the text tips (which were ridiculously basic).  They also make another app (which I didn't realize until I opened it, and it was almost identical) called How To Do Your Makeup Professionally.  There were even LESS videos supposedly in the paid version than My Beauty Bible.  And they aren't even professionally produced photos by actual makeup artists.  They are imported videos from YouTube.  Why people would PAY to have access to these when you can see them for FREE on YouTube is beyond me.  Color me annoyed.

3. BarryM Looks: 1 Star.  I was excited to see this, because I've heard such good things from other YouTuber's out there about the BarryM products.  Having seen them in action, I thought they looked to be great quality.  Apparently though, that doesn't translate to their app quality.  It looks like a 6th grade powerpoint presentation, with outdated graphics.  The videos have no voice and are very ameteurish with low quality resolution and lighting.  It's ok if you want to see how the products work, but they even show the quality of the products off well at all.  It looked like bad Wet N' Wild makeup from 1989.  They look super cheap.

4. How To Make Your Hair Look Fab: 1 Star.  By the makers of My Beauty Bible.  Enough said.

5. Mark.trends: 2 Stars.  This app is basically an ad for their new products.  Like an Avon catalog with 8 pages you flip through on an iPad.  You can get through it all in a matter of minutes.  But I gave it an extra star, because it does look really nice and professional.  Just with there was some interactive elements to it that made it engaging!

The Winners-

1. Beauty School by 4 Stars.  This app is great for beginners at makeup!  You input your personal traits (like hair color, skin color, skin type, etc) and select mini courses to show you basic application techniques.  You get written step by step instructions, videos, and product recommendations.  It's like all your basic beauty articles from a magazine in one place.  I recommend it if you are looking to start wearing makeup everyday (for work, etc) and need some guidance, or for young girls just starting to experiment passed lipgloss and mascara.

2. Beautylish: 5 Stars.  The winner by far, I love this app.  I've started using it a bit more on my actual computer through the website, but it allows me easy access to my account when I would rather work from the couch!  You can upload your own videos and connect to your YouTube account then link to the products you used.  It gives your audience instant buying power!  There's an online retail store, so they can purchase everything there all at once.  It's great for those people who don't want to have to search everywhere for the products used in their favorite tutorials.  You can also write and read reviews on hundreds of products, and there are awesome forums where you can chat with makeup and beauty enthusiasts from all over the globe!  Plus, you get $10 store credit for joining.  All for FREE.  (Keep in mind though that the credit is good for only 48 hours.)  I've already had a great time connecting with people and sharing my opinions.

The Contenders-

1. Celebrity Makeup Looks: 3 Stars.  It's basically full of YouTube tutorials featuring how to's on celeb looks.  Again, another app trying to feed off of YouTube's gurus to create their product.  The ads at the top of the page are distracting from watching the videos, and there's no way to get rid of them.  The description bar doesn't open fully, and you can't read much at all.  However, there are links that connect you to that guru's YouTube account, so you can subscribe and watch their videos through YouTube at a later time.  It's a decent concept, narrowing down the focus of the videos into one place.  But again, it's really just using the work that YouTube has done to create it's own app.

2. Bloom Beauty Trends: 3 Stars.  This is a good place to promote yourself or finding a professional near you, but I didn't see many members near me. I can see this becoming a big thing in the future, as more pros join and it becoming a great resource.  But it's really no more useful than YouTube itself.  You can find someone's profile and see their tutorials and education/references in one place though.

Do you have any favorite beauty apps that you'd like to recommend?  I'd love to hear about them!  Please leave me a comment below!

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