Since I'm a visual person I hardly ever remember the album title but I just remember what the album art looks like.
I fell in love in December.
Not with a person. With an app. It’s name is Perfect365, and it was my everything.
No longer was I limited to filters and contrast adjustments to make my photos amazing. No, now I could change the size of my eyeballs, give myself cheek implants and try on wigs, all with just a touch of my finger.
It never occurred to me that people were using Perfect365 as anything other than a device to make themselves look as terrifying as possible. You might have already seen this in the comments, but now I proudly present my finest 365 work to date:
But not ALL the looks the program provides are this nightmarish, so I’ve been thinking for a long time about trying some of them out in the real world--get them out of my dreams and into my car, so to speak. How could computer-generated makeup looks play in the real world?
I had to find out.
To maintain the purity of this experiment, I only used makeup to change my face. I did not slim anything, alter my eye colour or smooth out my skin with digital trickery. The Perfect365 looks may do that, but I will not.
I’ll be starting out each look from Beauty Base Zero: perfecting my skin with light foundation, concealing any spots I may have and taking care to hide my under-eye circles, and filling in my brows with light brown powder. Everything is set with some light translucent powder.
LOOK #1: ANGEL
Here is the first look I’ll be trying out, as it looks on the app:
After reaching Beauty Base Zero, I applied some apricot-pink blush to the apples of my cheeks, blending up towards my temples. I used a mixture of Smashbox Blush Rush blush in Paradise (a golden apricot) and MAC Blush in Bloom (a pale pink) to get it right.
Next, the eyes. I used a light matte brown shadow (MAC Eye Shadow in Wedge, my go-to for almost everything) on the inner corners of my upper lids, blending it out into a soft pink eyeshadow (the pink from NYX’s Love In Rio eyeshadow trio). I made sure both colours were subtle, yet you could still see them when I opened my eyes. I tight-lined my upper lashes with liquid liner and applied a teeny bit of grey liner under my lower lashes.
I curled my eyelashes and applied mascara to the top lashes only, and then slightly defined my eyebrows.
The lips are slightly enhanced in a “your lips, but better” kind of way. I used Clinique Almost Lipstick in Luscious Honey for a tiny bit of shine and colour.
And here’s the finished look!
I think this is quite wearable. I’m not wild about the brown on the inside part of my eyelid--I usually like to go the very highlighted route if I’m doing no makeup makeup--but in general, I like it. No strong opinions one way or the other.
I think I like the real-life version better. It has more impact than I gave it credit for.
LOOK #2: GOBLINS
Now we get into slightly stranger territory.
From Beauty Base Zero, I began by applying the tiniest bit of hot pink blush to the apples of my cheeks and blended well so that I had a sheer wash of colour, rather than my usual bright roses. I used MAC blush in Bloom, because it’s very light and blendable and perfect.
The eye makeup here is HARDCORE. On my top eyelid, I blended a dark grey, shimmery eyeshadow (Urban Decay eyeshadow in Gunmetal) from my lash line up past my crease and almost to my eyebrows. I lined my upper lash line with liquid eyeliner, drawing a thick straight line all the way to my inner tear duct.
I traced my lower lash line with a dark brown shimmery eyeshadow (Glamour Check! by MAC) from tear duct to the outer corner, winging it out slightly. I used black eyeliner along my waterline, making the outer corner extra-dark.
I glued some long fake lashes to my upper lid, finishing up with a coat of black mascara to bond everything together. I applied two coats of mascara to my lower eyelashes as well.
The lips are a deep berry, so I used L’oreal Color Riche Caresse Aqua Lacquer in Berry Persistant.
And here’s the finished product!
I am not a fan of this in real life. The dark grey looks really scary and far too harsh, and while I appreciate a good smoky eye, this is ridiculous. I notice this doesn’t look SO absurd in photos--this happens sometimes--so please take my word for it that this was DREADFUL in real life. I award this look no points, and may god have mercy on it’s soul.
Hard pass on BOTH these looks.
Look #3: SUMMER
This one includes a strange eyeshadow colour combination that I HAD to try. It's also the look that I apply to photos of my male friends when they beg “Come on! Do mine! This is so weird!”
Again, I began at Beauty Base Zero. This look features pink blush worn quite high up on the cheekbones, almost touching the eyes, then blending down. I used my trusty NARS blush in Desire (blended well), and, uh...it looks...SOMETHING...in real life.
Next, I applied a lime green eyeshadow to the inner and outer edges of my eyes, with a bright bronze in the center. The lime green is a no-name shadow I bought on clearance from the drugstore a long time ago, and the metallic bronze is Pose by Lancome. I made sure the blend the colours together a little, but still keep them very distinct.
I drew a very thin cat eye along my upper lash line with black liquid eyeliner, flicking it out at the end, then lining my lower waterline with black pencil about halfway. Two coats of mascara on the top eyelashes only, and the eyes were complete.
The lips are a vibrant coral. I mixed Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick in Shocking Coral with a tiny bit of Fuchsia Flash for the perfect, customised look.
Here’s how it turned out...
I hate this blush application on me. HAAAAAAAATE IT. I don’t even think I can coherently assess the rest of the look because I’m so distracted by the pink triangles under my eyes. However, I do quite like the green and bronze eyeshadow together, which was a surprise. I think that with some alterations, this could be a tolerably cute real life look.
THAT BLUSH THOUGH. UGH. It ruined everything.
Look #4: BUTTERFLY
I had to do it, guys. It’s totally in my wheelhouse. Hell, it IS my wheelhouse.
First: Beauty Base Zero, blah blah blah. Next, I applied some light pink blush to the apples of my cheeks and blended well towards my temples. I used my favourite NARS blush in Desire again for a slight but bright flush.
Next, I drew a thick cat eye with a long, dramatic wing on my upper lash line. Then I attached it to the bottom lash line with liquid liner, extending it about a third of the way across.
Then, I took a pair of thick, dramatic lashes and cut them in half. I glued the inner half onto my upper eyelid with the shorter lashes facing towards my tear duct, then trimmed the outer half a little for length and glued them onto the outer corner of my lower lashline.
Some mascara on the top lashes only--Perfect365 apparently hates dark lower lashes--and my eyes are done. This is crazy, and about to get crazier.
The Butterfly look includes pink hearts and gold stars drawn or stuck onto the face. I hate drawing shapes onto my face because I never get them as even as I like, so I opted instead to use star-shaped stickers. Hey, I said I wanted patches to make a sartorial comeback…
The lipstick is a really bright pink. I used Revlon Balm Stain in Lovesick to create a super-bright smile that matches my awesome face stickers.
And here’s the finished look!
If I ever felt like getting really crazy with my makeup--or if I woke up and found myself inhabiting Katy Perry’s body--I would totally do this. The simple eyeliner combined with the totally nutso eyelashes and face stickers? Yes, yes, a million times YES.
So this is the part of the article where I talk about What I Learned from the whole experience. Well, I learned that although it’s way easier to put makeup on my face with a phone app, it looks WAY WEIRDER than similar real-life makeup does. I also learned that the least practical look (Butterfly) looked really amazing, and a slightly more “real” look (Goblins) was freaking terrible. And I learned that although being able to get rid of undereye circles in photos is cool, faces look strange with no lines on them whatsoever. I like the way my eyes, cheeks and mouth scrunch up when I smile, and it’s odd not to see that.
But really, I learned that applying and removing a full face of makeup four times in two hours is far too much. I’ll be slinking away to apply a cool eye mask as soon as I’m done writing this.
Do you love Perfect365? Which is your favourite look? Have you ever tried any of them out in real life? Do you have any funny Perfect 365 stories? One night while I was in NYC, Marci and I went to a bar and Perfect 365-ed the bartender. He was amused and scared, obviously of his own beauty.