Makeup Your Mind

New apps help users find their beauty product match

Sorting through the abundance of makeup options available today can be a complicated, time-consuming task. To help consumers simplify their selection struggles and find their perfect product match, beauty brands are launching new tools that draw inspiration from a certain other matchmaking app.


To help shoppers navigate the hundreds of options in its namesake collection, Sephora launched a swipeable feature on its website and app dubbed “Swipe it. Shop it.” Users are presented with cards of beauty looks and then swipe right or left to express their interest in the product. When they like a particular item, they can see application tips, a brief tutorial, and a link to buy it. In the next few months, Sephora will let users add photos of themselves wearing its products to make the experience even more personalized. To promote the technology, Sephora is running actual swipeable, shoppable ads on Tinder.


To assist consumers in selecting lipstick from the 100+ shades in its new Vice line, makeup brand Urban Decay created a swipeable app that lets users see the options on a digital version of themselves. Instead of spending time applying and removing each lipstick in person, users simply upload a selfie and sift through options where the makeup is virtually applied to their lips. Users select a thumbs up or thumbs down to indicate their preferences until they find their favorite color. They can then create an album of their final picks to share with friends and even invite them to vote on their favorites.


Earlier this year, CoverGirl launched an augmented reality app called BeautyU to virtualize the makeup try-on process and help shoppers find products that are best for them personally. The app first scans a photo of the users’ face and then asks people to answer questions about themselves, including their facial features, skin type, and beauty preferences. Users can then view a collection of products and looks tailor-made to them and select options to apply to their face in real-time. They can save looks and share them with friends, as well as watch video tutorials and make purchases in the app.