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Beauty on the Mobile - Apps to Decimate Self-Esteem Karishma Sundaram | , 1:17 a.m. Nov. 18, 2009 2009-11-18

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, goes the old adage. Beauty today is fairly precisely determined – a certain size, features in a certain arrangement, and more parameters that boggle the normal mind. Beauty and the search for the perfect hair, skin, body, clothes, and myriad other things besides has spawned huge industries. The only frontier that had not been crossed was the mobile phone. It is honestly difficult to imagine how it in fact could be crossed. But then again we underestimate the resourcefulness of app developers greatly if we ever thought they were incapable of designing ‘beauty apps’. 

Starting off with the one we think is more damaging than helpful under any and all circumstances, the first app to go under the microscope is the unnamed iPhone app designed by Dr. Steven Denenberg from Nebraska. While he is surely well qualified with laurels from both Harvard and Stanford, the man has created an app for plastic surgery. People interested in plastic surgery, like facelifts or rhinoplasty, can scroll through before and after shots of his previous clients. In fact, people can use the app to recommend him, and by extension plastic surgery, to their close friends. We think that is a sure-fire way of losing aforementioned friends, but that is just our take. 

Beauty Minder is the next on our list, although as apps go, this one is more useless than obnoxious in our opinion. The app is an organizer for beauty appointments. It has a nice design, pretty icons for nail appointments, root touch-ups and facial treatments. In other words, it is a glorified reminder app. Why useless? Because a great calendar app would suffice just as well, although admittedly without the pretty pink nails on the front cover. 

The Lancome iPhone app has better chance of impressing us, because it calls a spade a spade; it has been advertised as a marketing tool. Lancome uses the app to connect to their users, allowing them to try on new eye colours and lip glosses on a model’s face. The virtual makeup is applied using the touchscreen, giving off a fairly realistic finish. Of course, the model’s face rarely will match the customer’s so in that sense, it is anything but realistic. However, the interaction is definitely there, as women can send their painted portraits to friends to share their creations. 

Along similar lines, BeautyandHealth.com has launched an app for customers to be able to easily browse their products. These include both beauty and health products, like calcium supplements alongside shampoos and conditioners. The app also ties in with the website, allowing full interaction between both. 

iCareType is a unique entry in this list – it does not focus on beauty products, but it allows a user’s beauty therapist, or skincare expert to stay constantly in touch with them. Customers can track the effects of a skincare program in real time, and evaluate the results as they move through the day. Handy, we think; unnecessary too. 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. After all everyone is an individual, and therefore everyone is beautiful in some way or the other. Don’t you agree?

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