The YouCam Makeup App Gives You An Entire Makeup Kit On Your Phone But With A Catch

If you're constantly changing your hair and makeup to try different looks, you're going to love this new app that takes the time and hassle out of creating new styles. The YouCam Makeup App gives you the power to try different beauty looks with just your cell phone, meaning you can leave behind your brushes, palettes, and primers. If you're wondering how this new YouCam addition works, all you have to do is hold your phone up to your face like you're taking a selfie.

The app will then let you scroll through various beauty options, like adding a smoky eye or red lip. In your camera reflection, it will then appear as though the makeup has actually been applied to your face (via enhanced facial recognition technology), making experimenting with your look easier than ever before!

You can not only experiment with makeup using the YouCam Makeup App, but also your haircut, style, skin tone, and even eye color. If you want to take your virtual look into the real world, you can watch a variety of makeup tutorials on the app that are made to help you replicate the looks you love, as well as save your makeover photos to reference anytime you want.

In order to see how the app works, I decided to try it myself to give you the full scoop. According to YouCam, they've so far received over 10 million downloads, so there's definitely a huge buzz around this app.

When opening the app, this was the home screen I was taken to. As you can see, it allows you to go into the Makeup Cam, where you can try on the looks, or directly into natural or costume makeup, if that's the type of look you want to try. It also has a new feature called Beauty Circle, which is a community for beauty lovers to share tips, shop for products, and discover new styles.

In the Makeup Cam, you are shown these instructions as to how to navigate the camera and special effects.

I decided to try on a few makeup looks to also see what I looked like as a blonde! I thought it was fascinating to see myself in all of these different manifestations that I might not think to try in real life. Here's how I started:

The app then somehow layers these looks over your face, so I liked that it didn't require me to be without makeup in order to use.

You could not only choose from a selection of YouCam's own looks, but also download additional ones you might like to try out. There's definitely no shortage of options here!

The only thing that bothered me was that it appears that YouCam does their version of Photoshopping your picture. I noticed my moles were barley visible and the zit on my cheek had disappeared. Even the initial image I took of myself in the app is different than I appear in my normal camera.

I don't like to be airbrushed without consent and I think it's a bit deceiving that the app doesn't warn you about this upfront. YouCam does give you options within the app itself to smooth your skin, take away bags under your eyes, remove blemishes, and even change the shape of your nose. But it seems that they do some of this themselves without consulting you first. I could see this being dangerous in terms of aesthetic obsession, especially on days when your self-esteem is low.

Since you can save these pictures, you could easily post them on Instagram and no one would ever know it was an altered image. I've never personally airbrushed pictures of myself and it was a weird experience seeing myself in this altered state — it definitely looked like me, but I felt as if all of the personality was taken out of my face. I like my big eyebrows, round cheeks, and even that zit on my cheek. They all feel like me and this airbrushed Barbie doll does not.

After speaking with the YouCam Makeup team, I found out the airbrushing isn't automatic exactly. If you take a selfie there is a slider button on the right hand side which adjusts the automatic enhancements and where it can be turned off or lowered to no filter. All you have to do is slide down to the bottom the scrolling control on the right after taking the selfie. If you scroll it all the way down, there is no “airbrush” effect. So ,use this to eliminate the airbrush effect!

I would say that if you want to use this app, proceed with caution. While it definitely delivers in terms of letting you try on many different looks and have fun experimenting with your appearance, it comes with the price of airbrushing. For many of us, I know how hard it can be to use this and not fall into the trap of feeling insecure when you look at unaltered pictures of yourself, or wanting to achieve an airbrushed look full-time.

If you can handle it though, want to try the airbrushing, or know that you can stay away from those features, by all means use it. Just know that I personally felt like it was a rabbit's hole and that if I kept using the app, I would fall into the trap of self-hate that I've spent years climbing out of.

Images: YouCam; Erin McKelle Fischer