Technology stresses me out, and it always has. I’m consistently a late adapter. I went to college in the fall of ’93…with a stereo that not only didn’t have a CD player, it had a record player on top of it. I was the last person in New York to get a cell phone, and I didn’t start texting until 2010 (and had just abandoned by discman, two years before). My brother-in-law introduced me to Google Maps four months ago. App updates terrify me — it’s like, NOOOO WAIT I’M NOT ENTIRELY COMFORTABLE WITH THIS VERSION YET AND ALSO WHAT IF IT TOUCH THE UPDATE BUTTON AND MY PHONE EXPLODES?
But I got over my phobia to attend the launch of L’Oreal’s new Makeup Genius app last week. I entered this huge loft space in the West Twenties, flush with every beauty editor and blogger who ever existed — and saw that the room was surrounded by iPad stations. The low-level anxiety kicked in, because, even though I own an iPad, I never use it because no one’s been able to explain to me how it’s different than my phone. Anyway, turns out that Makeup Genius is space-age, science fiction, kicking-off-a-new-era-in-technology groundbreaking. You download the app, and then you look into this mirrored screen for a moment, so the thing memorizes your face. Then you scroll through L’Oreal products, click on which ones you want to try — or you can click on an entire look — and the colors magically appear on your face. Your actual face, in the mirror (not a pic). Customized to your features. Like, you can blink and move and make kissy faces and the makeup moves with you. You’re basically looking in a mirror, and seeing yourself beat, but it’s not real.
I tried it and was both mortally fearful and fascinated beyond all hope — but the fascination won. How could it not? THIS IS SOME MATRIX SHIT. Thanks to L’Oreal, the entire landscape of makeup app-ing (word, or nah?) will be revolutionized forever. The next step is an app that actually shoots makeup onto your real face.
Makeup Genius will be available on iTunes in June, at which point the world as we know it will change. I will be cowering under my bed.