8 Hair & Makeup Try-On Apps That Actually Look Realistic
Take a new look for a test drive.
Ever wondered what you would look like with bangs? Or maybe there’s a dramatic makeup moment you’ve always wanted to try. Either way, it’s easier than ever to test out a new trend before making the jump IRL. All it takes is a smartphone — and an app that will show you a virtual version of yourself with a fresh look or haircut (or style or color if you’re feeling adventurous).
There are a ton of try-on apps out there claiming to do the trick, but not all of them will give you a realistic look at yourself with of-the-moment curtain bangs or a fun lipstick shade. The key is for the app to accurately detect your face shape and facial features — it should know where exactly to place your eyeliner, for instance — lest you want the result to resemble a kindergarten craft project.
Whether you’re seeking a fun distraction tool or serious inspo for your next beauty switch-up, check out the below list of Bustle-approved virtual beauty try-on apps for bangs, makeup, and more. The best part? Most of them are free and compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
1. Hairstyles For Your Face Shape
If you often yourself ‘How would I look with bangs?,’ then give this app a try. Despite the annoying five-second ads that pop up every now and then, it does a decent job at assessing your face shape and suggesting a bunch of hairstyles (many of which include bangs). You can play around with different hair colors, too, from jet back to platinum blonde. There’s even a feature that allows you to whiten your teeth or change your skin tone.
2. ModiFace MakeUp
In addition to letting you play with specific products for the eyes, face, and lips, ModiFace’s MakeUp app includes a feature where you can road-test full looks — like a pale pink pout and fierce cat eye — which is great for those who want to experiment with different makeup combinations. What’s more, some of the categories are separated into certain aesthetics (the mascara section includes “doll” and “natural,” for instance) so you can really nail the look you’re going for.
3. YouCam Makeup
YouCam Makeup offers up hair and makeup looks in a *massive* array of categories, such as “festival,” “wedding,” and “Halloween,” allowing you to play with a ton of looks for different occasions and settings. The examples are displayed on avatars, giving it an approachable and realistic vibe. The interface can seem a bit cluttered and overwhelming at first, so spend some time really exploring this app. (Note that it’s only free for seven days.)
4. Mary Kay MirrorMe
Mary Kay’s virtual makeup app is pretty precise when it comes to matching your facial features. In addition to letting you try out specific concealers, lip liners, mascaras, and more, the app includes a host of pre-set makeup looks shown on a diverse range of models. It’s one of the more cleanly designed apps on the market — and it has a unique feature that lets you lessen or increase the intensity of your look.
5. ModiFace Virtual Nail Salon
Who says you can’t try out a mani, too? Like its hair and makeup try-on apps, ModiFace’s Virtual Nail Salon is a great way to see how your tips would look in certain shades, from creamy beige to emerald green to — yes — a French manicure. Synch the app to your camera to watch your nails change in realtime — and forget about swatching at the nail salon again.
6. L’Oréal Paris Makeup Genius Virtual Try-On
Okay, so this one is technically not an app, but the Makeup Genius Virtual Try-On still does a solid job of using augmented reality to let you test out different highlighters, foundations, blushes, and more (all L’Oréal Paris products, natch). Upload an existing photo or use your phone or laptop camera to do a live try-on sesh. Then, you can also toggle over to the brand’s Hair Color Genius Virtual Try-On feature which allows you to experiment with different hair shades, from celeb-approved copper to mint green. Note that you can’t use both the hair and makeup tools simultaneously, but you can snap a selfie at any time and upload that version.
7. Ulta Beauty GLAMlab Virtual Try-On
Ulta Beauty’s virtual beauty tool (part of the regular Ulta Beauty shopping app) is unbelievably easy to use. It lets you try on all sorts of eyeliners, lip glosses, bronzers, and more, plus hair colors and hair makeup (aqua blue, anyone?). It displays the accompanying product as you try it, allowing you to shop it instantly. There’s also a false lash try-on feature and even a virtual eyebrow bar where you can play with different arches. Cancel your plans because you’ll be playing with this app for hours.
8. Hairstyle Try On
If you want to try on bangs or experiment with a very specific haircut— say, The Rachel or a blonde, chin-length lob à la Lucy Hale — this app is for you. While there are currently only 21 free hairstyles to choose from (more are available for purchase), there’s a nice mix of different looks that will allow you to quickly assess whether a particular style is a hit or miss. Because it automatically plugs your photo into all the hairstyles offered, the app can make for some pretty comedic moments.
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