With non-essential shops closed in many areas, shopping for certain items has become a bit harder recently.

While it’s possible to return a pair of jeans you bought online that don’t fit, for instance, you can’t send back a used lipstick that makes you look washed out, or a bottle of foundation that’s slightly too dark, which is where make-up try on tools come in very handy indeed.


Admittedly, many people aren’t wearing as much make-up during the coronavirus pandemic, but if you want to even out your complexion for a day of Zoom calls, hide those pesky under-eye bags with a dab of concealer or look more alive with a slick of lippie, here are five virtual tools to help you find your ideal shade.

1. Maybelline Virtual Try On Tool


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The perfect pink lip does exist!💖 Our #superstayinkcrayon lippies give a natural flush of color that lasts up to 8 hours! Tap to shop.

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While most make-up sites only let you try one product at a time, the Maybelline virtual try on tool lets you give yourself a whole face makeover, with 11 different product categories to choose from across eyes, face and lips, so you see whether a certain liner and lipstick combo works, for example. All you have to do is turn on your camera or upload a photo.

It also comes with a variety of ready-made full-face looks, the products that you’ll need to recreate them listed below.

While the Maybelline tool offers great flexibility, the technology isn’t quite as sharp as other sites, so some colours don’t reflect what you see in the product photo.

2. MAC Virtual Try On

MAC’s extensive virtual try on tool lets you see what more than 800 products (including lipsticks, eyeshadows, mascara, lashes and more) look like by uploading a photo of your face or enabling your phone or laptop camera for a live demo. The latter option is great, because you can move around and see how the shade looks in different lighting, and what you see on screen is the most realistic looking of any tool we’ve tried.

The much-loved make-up brand has recently upped its offering with the launch of a Foundation Finder (for mobile online) so you can determine which of the 67 shades of Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation is the right one for you.

3. L’Oreal Paris Virtual Try On

With L’Oreal’s ‘tap & try’ tool you can upload a photo or enable your camera for a live demo of hundreds of make-up products across the face, lip and eye categories.

The brand also offers virtual try on for its box dyes, but as any hairdresser will tell you, caution is advised when colouring your hair at home, as the results can vary enormously, depending on your current hair colour and condition.

4. BareMinerals Lipstick Try On

With the launch of its Mineralist Hydra Smoothing Lipstick this summer, BareMinerals introduced a virtual try on tool so you can use your phone or laptop camera to decide which of the 25 shades is best for you, from pale nudes to rich reds and dark browns.

5. Bobbi Brown Virtual Try On

Focusing on eyes and lips, the Bobbi Brown virtual try on tool lets you trial 19 products in a wide range of shades, using your camera or by uploading a photo, including fan favourites such as the Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick, which comes in 17 shades.

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