(Or can an app replace the need for real make-up for photographic use).
Aside from an addiction to make-up serious enough for my husband to contemplate setting up Hertfordshire’s first branch of Nars Anonymous (and MAC, Stila, Urban Decay, etc etc etc) I have another passion; Digital Geekery.
When I am not laying my jewels of loveliness across the carpet, I can be found tinkering on the pc. I can code (relatively), know my way round a database and love, love, LOVE new apps and gadgets.
Just imagine my delight when those irritating ads Facebook sticks in the middle of my crazy cat pictures flagged up a digital beauty app, designed to make you look better with a quick swipe of the screen. No more iffy ‘selfies with bags showing, no more hours of careful product application to achieve the perfect ‘natural’ look. The app, called Perfect365 claims to take care of all of that, leaving you looking fabulous without any messy effort at all.
One key word in the ad particularly caught my eye, that word being ‘younger’. Younger is my current word du jour. I would love to claim to be one of those women for whom the passing of time serves only to make them look more amazing or even a woman secure enough in herself not to worry that her youth is fading. Sadly, I am the sort who can cheerfully while away an hour pulling at her forehead in an attempt to see what she would look like with a facelift (better, but surprised by that fact).
I am also a time-poor (read lazy) sort. Trying to get the right light for my Instagram snaps when the kids want me to finish their bedtime stories is so frustrating – so take my burdens away from me Perfect365, take ’em.
The app starts pretty well. My inner tech-nerd loved the first stage, a facial scanner that made me come over all Deanna Troi, followed by a series of marginally irritating buttons to help you align your features with the apps touch points, ensuring the perfect finish.
And there my delight ended, to be replaced by tears of mirth, which I am fairly certain was not the aim of the developers.
The first couple of options are ok. I am sure you are all appreciating the sight of my make-up free features. Option one is just me (lovely, I know). The next couple of options, ‘pure’ and ‘natural’ are actually not bad – my bags disappeared which is handy. From there on in though it’s all headed one way. Down.
(no makeup - fairly plain)
Somehow, despite spending about five minutes I will never get back positioning the weird little buttons, I appear to have developed a lazy eye (and a blown right pupil – someone call a doctor, quick). The looks go from ’13 year old girl let loose in mum’s make-up bag’, to ’17 year old girl determined she is getting into that club tonight’ to ‘Jesus Christ what the hell happened to your avatar’. It is that bad.
(Ermmmm, this is a smokey look?)
What you see here is the fantasy and smokey option. I haven’t looked this terrible since I first discovered the paintbrush tool in Photoshop CS. I look like a Gremlin. Not a look I aim for contrary to what those who see me on the school run must think. Geek. Yes. Insane. No.
Needless to say, as much as I love a bit of digital jiggery-pokery and as amusing as turning myself into an extra from Willow is, I will not be advocating downing (Real Techniques) tools any time soon.
In the real world, I shy from cameras (casual references to child neglect in pursuit of the perfect portrait aside) and this app has not changed my mind. Foundation, concealer, mascara and lippie may be frivolous and they may be shallow but they cannot be replaced by a techie with some rudimentary code skills.
At the very least I would recommend that before creating a make-up app, you get someone in who actually knows about make-up. The best look in the kit is the one without makeup, the rest look like the style consultant is one of those women who end up in viral campaigns as a result of their wobbly, one line eyebrows.