Try on make-up without applying it on face

Trying on make-up in a cosmetics store can be an intimidating process. The wide range of colours and collections also makes it difficult to know where to start. Plus, applying products on your face may invite curious stares.

Is there a solution for shoppers who might be too timid or time-strapped to try on 10 shades of lipstick?

Like tech giant Apple's trademarked slogan says, there is an app for that.

Korean beauty brand Laneige has launched a free mobile app that allows customers to "try on" its range of make-up without having to apply it to their faces.

Customers can download the app on their smartphones and tablets or go to Laneige stores to try the app.

The app lets customers try on everything, from base make-up to eyeliner to lipsticks. It also captures the user's movement and expression in real time, which means it is similar to looking in the mirror except the reflection is wearing the make-up.

I tried the "mirror" at the Laneige flagship store in Ion Orchard and was pleasantly surprised to find that the make-up matched almost flawlessly to my face, even when I tilted it at different angles.

Though the lipstick did look slightly smudged, I looked like I was wearing foundation and eyeliner.

With the app, all I had to do was to push a couple of buttons to find a shade that matched my skin.

This meant that when I applied the actual foundation, I already knew it would match. The results were similar to what I had seen in the virtual mirror.

The lipsticks, on the other hand, mostly appeared much lighter than what the app showed. Though the tones of each shade were similar to the virtual lipsticks, the colour was less intense.

I could not tell the different range of eyeliners apart on the app, with the exception of the coloured eyeliners. I still had to try them on in the store to determine which textures I preferred.

The app is a fun way to try on the wide range of make-up available in a short time. It helps to narrow down the shades that might suit users' skin tone, making it more convenient when they go to the physical store.

The global version of the app was launched here last month and is available on the iPhone and Android. South Korea has its own Korean version of the app.

This article was first published on Feb 4, 2016.
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