Experimenting with makeup and trying new hairstyles never gets old. But I find I rarely have the time these days to go to my favorite makeup counters for a professional consultation. Fortunately, there are sites that provide a virtual makeover, with the latest colors and styles, that I can do from the comfort of my home.
My favorites are Taaz.com, People StyleWatch Instant Makeover and InStyle Hollywood Makeover. They have products in every category, including foundation, concealer, blush, bronzer, eye shadow, eye liner, fake lashes, colored contacts, lipstick, lip gloss and lip liner. And the colors are based on actual products from 36 brands including CoverGirl, Dior, Estee Lauder, La Prarie, Maybelline, Origins, Revlon, Trish McEvoy and Stila. For fun, you can also see how you look in the makeup and hair styles of the stars.
To get started all you need is a photo of yourself without makeup, and with your hair pulled back. Upload it and you can start applying products.
I like to apply virtual makeup in the same order I put it on at home, but you can start anywhere and use as many or as few products as you’d like.
When choosing a product, you can narrow your selection by brand, price and color family. For eye shadow and blush, you can also choose where you want it applied and for shadows, designate highlight shades. I love playing around with the different shades and ways of applying makeup — something I wouldn’t do at a makeup counter.
All of the sites keep a running list of the products you’ve recently tried on. On People StyleWatch Instant Makeover and InStyle Hollywood Makeover, you can also save products to your list of favorites. And when you’re satisfied with a look, you can save it, share it (Facebook, Twitter, email, among others) and print out a picture and list of the products you used.
When trying on stars’ looks you get everything, including their hairstyles. It’s just for fun on People StyleWatch Instant Makeover and InStyle Hollywood Makeover. But Taaz.com actually follows through, making it easy to get the exact look, providing a full list of all the products used to get the star’s look, plus the ability to adjust it with their database of products. Whether you can handle the look once you get it is, of course, another matter.
In the end, nothing beats actually trying on a shade of lipstick or eye shadow, but a virtual makeup site will help you narrow it down — especially if you’re picking something up at the drugstore. Plus it’s a lot of fun. My daughter has been using my picture, but I plan on taking one of her so she can play dress up. That way she can do whatever she wants without making a mess — or using up my expensive makeup.