If your makeup never looks quite right, it’s probably because you’re wearing the wrong kind.
And it’s no wonder. With so many products on the market claiming to do everything under the sun, how does a woman without a beauty degree even know where to start?
Hundreds of makeup apps claim they can do everything from allowing users to virtually "try on" makeup to replicate the looks of your favorite celebs, but can any of them actually tell people for sure which products are going to look right on them?
"They very much limit your possibilities in making a mistake," said Alexis Wolfer, founder and editor of TheBeautyBean.com. "They're great for things like blush and eye shadow, things that have more wiggle room than, say, a full-coverage foundation."
It’s the fear of walking around in foundation that’s two shades too dark that keeps women coming to stores like Sephora, which has an in-store kiosk that helps you find your perfect match. Their Color IQ kiosk takes a series of snapshots of your skin and then recommends the correct shade of foundation.
But what if you could skip the store all together? Plum Perfect, a just-released app, claims it uses science to foolproof the makeup-buying process, all from the comfort of home.
"It's the only product out there that can say with scientific certainty that we know what you look like. We not only know what you look like, we know what the products look like and we can tell you why each product is a match for you. We're hyper-personalized, completely unbiased and we work for the consumer. Nobody else in the marketplace can claim to do that," said Amy Ford Keohane, COO of Plum Perfect.
I tried it out, and once I snapped my selfie -- getting a good one took a few tries to get the right lighting, which the app helps with -- I was given the description of Soft purple lips, light with bright undertone, dark warm eyes and soft dark hair. I'll take it.
Based on that description, the app recommended a range of products in all price points by pretty much every cosmetics company -- from the drug store to the department store -- that I had ever heard of. Most interesting, the color of tinted moisturizer I use was not among the suggested products, though a different shade by the same company was.
"We work with all brands and retailers, and we're completely brand agnostic. It's the science and the intelligent recommendation engines that are actually giving her recommendations, " said Asmau Ahmed, CEO and founder of Plum Perfect.
But whether you shop from home or go in-store, one thing’s for certain: even when you get the right shade, makeup buying isn’t a one-time ordeal.
"I think it's dangerous, if you will -- as dangerous as buying makeup can be -- to kind of go into a store and find one thing you think you love today and buy them out and just keep it in your bathroom," Wolfer, TheBeautyBean.com founder, said. "You might have more age spots, skin spots, there's from getting darker, the texture of your skin might be different from sun exposure. There's so many factors that go into it and you want to make sure you're regulating that regularly."
And if even after using all this technology, the shade's still not right? Hopefully, you purchased from the right place.
"Order online from a place where they allow you to return open used products so that you can try it at home in your own lighting," Wolfer said. "There's only so much that you are ever going to be able to see on a computer screen or on your phone screen."