The last time you dabbed a free spooley into a tube of tester mascara may have been the last time. While staying at home, beauty lovers were cut off from our beloved in-store testers. But even before the storefronts shuttered, augmented reality (AR) technology was on the rise in beauty. AR allows for virtual try-on, in which a customer can swipe on a new lipstick shade, hair color, or brow shape via desktop browser or mobile app. In 2019, L'Oréal acquired ModiFace, the leading beauty tech provider of virtual testing. Since then, brands like L'Oréal Paris and Garnier have embraced these futuristic makeovers, along with other big name beauty companies like Chanel, Redken, and Avon.
According to Vivianna Blanch, vice president of integrated consumer communications at L'Oréal Paris, traffic to virtual try-on sites increased while large portion of the U.S. were under stay-at-home orders. "Since physical testers are typically not available at our points of sale (and where they are available, most people may not want to use them), our tool enables a user to ensure they have the perfect shade before making a purchase," Blanch previously told Allure.
Sure, there's a perfectly good health reason to opt for contactless makeovers. But even without germs to consider, virtual testers are worth your time. Thanks to the magic of technology and quick swiping fingers, you can test out dozens of shadow shades in a few moments, take selfies in makeup that's outside of your usual budget (hello, Chanel Beauty), and satisfy the urge to dye your hair pink without touching a strand.
Ahead, find the best virtual try-ons the internet has to offer.