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Sephora’s AR App Update Lets You Try Virtual Makeup On At Home

Sephora Virtual Artist adds virtual try on of thousands of eyeshadow shades, expert looks and an expanded library of virtual tutorials.

If you break out in hives at the thought of navigating Sephora’s seemingly endless rows of beauty products, ranging from your run-of-the-mill lipstick to high-end luminizing products that you can’t even pronounce, you may be in luck.

With the beauty retail giant’s new AR update to their iOS app, Sephora Virtual Artist will you try on thousands of different make up products, colors, shades, and looks from the comfort of your own home. The update has three new features: Eyeshadow Try On, Artist Expert Looks, and Artist Tutorials that all utilize AR technology with varying levels of success.

Sephora Eyeshadow Try On

Sephora Virtual Artist “Eyeshadow Try On” allows users to try your hand at thousands of different shades in different combinations. You can choose up to three shades to place on the lid, crease, and outer corner as you would in real life. Shades are sorted by color, brand, finish, and whether or not they come in a single pan or in a larger palette so that you can easily filter the shades you wish to try on.

I’m a big fan of Urban Decay, and since my Naked Palette is nearing the end of its long life, I’ve been thinking about splurging on the Naked 3. I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, so I hoped the app would give me a good idea of what to expect from the palette. Unfortunately, the results of the Eyeshadow Try On weren’t that impressive. It was hard to differentiate similar shades, and the application on the lid, crease, and outer corner didn’t seem very precise; all of the colors just looked sort of smeared together. The app results weren’t enough to make me want to purchase the palette online; I still want to try it out in real life before I commit to the price-tag.

The lash product try on, however, is awesome. I tested dozens of different sets of falsies and all of them looked just as deceivingly real as falsies do in real life. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a set straight from the app—I loved the look of the Sephora Collection False Eyelashes Astonish—which are a steal at only $10.

Sephora Artist Expert Looks

Next up: the Artist Expert Looks feature. You can choose you skin tone—I chose light—and try on various different expert approved makeup looks. My favorite look was the smoky eye, but the Artist Looks have the same faded/unrealistic look to them that the Eyeshadow Try On colors did. I did find it really helpful to see all of the products used in each look. I tend to stick to products I know, so it’s useful to have a list in front of me of similar products with their price-tags so I have a good starting point for branching out.

Sephora Virtual Artist Tutorials

Last but not least, I tried the artist tutorial feature. It did not disappoint! It has 5 different tutorials to choose from: Highlighting, Contouring, Brow 3 Ways (bold, polished, or natural,) Nighttime Smoky Eye, and Eyeliner 3 Ways (natural, smoky, or winged.) Confident in my brow and eyeliner game, I decided to start with contouring tutorial. The app prompts you to pull your hair back so that it can get an accurate scan of your face shape so it can best show you what features to emphasize. Mine is oval, which means my face is “slightly longer than wide with a symmetrical, rounded jaw.” Who knew?

The tutorial begins with a list of things you need to successfully complete the look: moisturizer, foundation, contour stick, contour brush, and a setting spray. Then, it shows you where exactly to put each product to best highlight your features. I chose to go with the highest contour intensity, and the end result wasn’t exactly realistic looking, but it gave me a perfect, individualized map of how and where to apply each product to my face, something I’ve never gotten from watching “How to Contour” YouTube videos while sitting on my bathroom sink.

Though the app isn’t something I’ll use on a regular basis, I do plan on utilizing the Artist Tutorials to up my makeup game. As a beauty retail giant, Sephora is looking ahead to the potential of AR use in online beauty shopping, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. But for now, the Sephora Virtual Artist update unfortunately isn’t enough to keep me out of the overwhelming, real life Sephora-scape just yet.

About the Scout

Presley West

Emory University student, VRScout Intern, Storyteller, and Amateur Dog Walker.

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