This app will change the way you shop for lipstick

Although it's a marketing tool, Sephora's Visual Artist is like a smartphone game for grown-ups.


“I should go for the green, right?”


Here’s the problem with venturing out of your comfort zone when it comes to lipstick shades: most of us don’t want to commit to a full tube — especially a costly one — without knowing what it’s going to look like on. Thankfully, Sephora has solved this problem with their new 3D Visual Artist tool, a feature in the Sephora to Go app. It uses your smartphone’s camera and face visualization technology to allow you to see yourself in real time (like you’re looking in a mirror or about to snap a selfie) with different shades of lipstick on.

I decided to try it for myself, to see if it’s just another way to get customers to put items in their online shopping baskets or if it actually proves helpful in finding a new shade. Turns out, it’s really accurate. (There’s also a less-accurate and not quite as impressive 2D version of it on their website.)

I’ve never tried a nude lipstick before, so that’s the first thing I do. And thank goodness I’ve never purchased one — it’s definitely not the shade for me. After scanning through the berry and red sections (nothing really shocking to see there, though I did “favourite” some for later), I venture into the “unconventional” category and try out a bright green (Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipstick in Plan 9), a gothic black (Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense lipstick in Satin Black), a dusty orange (Shiseido Lacquer Rouge in Athena) and a chalky blue (Sephora+Pantone Universe Color of the Year matte lipstick in Serenity). I even contemplated all four of these shades at once via a grid of selfies with the “Compare Me” feature. Then, by shaking my phone, I was instantly matched with four brand new shades selected at random (this really impressed my co-workers).

All I can say is this: good luck not spending the next hour on your phone like I just did.


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