Makeup Companies Are Developing Products With Your Selfie Camera In Mind

(Photomish Dan)

This foundation looks really, really different on camera. (Photomish Dan)

For most people, our social media lives haven’t overtaken our real lives yet, but there is one industry where selfie reality is as important as actual reality. That’s the cosmetics industry, where a popular Instagram post can make a new product, and where snapping a selfie of a new product on your face or arm is a review. That’s why new cosmetic products are now selfie-optimized.

No, this is not a prank. Makeup-makers optimize their products for different environments, from sunshine to fluorescent office lights, and one place where they’re starting to test new formulas is through the lens of the most popular smartphones.

Phone cameras pose special challenges. An article about selfie-testing in the New York Times explains that the cameras can make foundation tones look warmer (more red and yellow) than they really are. Foundations with a matte texture make the wearer look less shiny in person, but makes their skin look flatter and dull in a phone photo.

A smartphone’s flaw can be a problem, too: the LED flashlight and camera flash tends to wash color out of everything in its path. How a shade looks indoors and outdoors is important, too, but a camera lens is an important test that foundations now have to pass.

It used to be that how makeup looked on camera really only mattered to models and brides: now that there’s a camera in every pocket and sometimes we take selfies instead of looking in the mirror, how things look on camera matters.

The benefits for the most camera-ready makeup can be great: one retailer has opened a store that only sells whatever makeup is popular on Instagram at the moment.

The Selfie Is the New Test for Makeup [New York Times]

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