Beauty App Review: Beauty and the Beast


Makeup/ Taylor Swift (Melissa Blasquez/ Linccoln Lion)

There are multiple beauty apps out there for people to edit and adjust lighting, soften the facial features and enhance other aspects. The point of these types of apps are to make a “selfie” look a little bit better. Sometimes people seem to go overboard with the effects, other times you can’t even notice it.

I’ve decided to use an app called “YouCam Makeup” to see different types of filter applications that people who have volunteered or have been asked to participate. The point is to see if the app, and to generalize, all beauty apps either help give people a boost in their ego, or have a negative effect on us.

The participants had the option to do as much editing that they seemed fit, which could be a full face of “makeup” or none at all. Here’s all the features the app offers:

  • Skin Tone
  • Skin Smoothener
  • Blush
  • Face Shape
  • Nose Enhancer
  • Blemish Remover
  • Shine Remover
  • Eye Color
  • Eyebrows
  • Eye Bag Remover
  • Eye Enlarger
  • Double Eyelid ( aimed at those who have a monolid, which is an eyelid that has no prominent crease)
  • Hair Color
  • Lip Color

The rest is just to add on fake makeup. As you can see, the app contains many different ways to “perfect” your face.

I asked Marin Matsune to use the app and tell me how she felt about it.

Before & After of Marin Matsune/ YouCam Beauty App
Before & After of Marin Matsune/ YouCam Beauty App

Marin: Okay so like the more I touched myself up the more upset and angrier I got. And at first I was completely disgusted with how I looked because it wasn’t me.  And placing fake make up over a photo is one thing it’s another thing to have settings to specifically make it look like you changed your bone structure. This continues to anger me because it gives you multiple settings, and within each of those settings it shows you how you’re “supposed to look pretty”  from society’s point of view.   And it interests me how there are no ‘unfeminine’ settings, for example, in the make up setting there’s nothing to make you look crazy like Lady Gaga,  or have a dark goth/emo look. To add onto that in the hair section there’s no setting to make your hair into a Mohawk or all multicolored and punk like. There were settings for accessories, problem was they were all feminine as well, for piercings, they have earrings but not nose piercings. This app is complete crap giving an image to how women should look. It gave settings for hair but not facial hair, and men also do make up so that gives no room for them either.

When I asked Marin if using the app made her feel better about herself, or just angry or sad, she responded with:

It made me feel self conscious especially since I have a monolid and because ever since I was old enough to speak my mom and her mother would speak of  “fixing my eyes” by saving money for plastic surgery later in life.  And for it to have the setting to give you lids,  of course i was tempted but also very upset.  It’s ridiculous.  Men don’t have apps to shape their muscles or have more prominent veins or body/facial hair so why should we be objectified as if we’re a doll that’s only purpose is to look pretty and sexy.”

Of course then I had to have a boy test out the app. A student, Gabe Cortez, took it upon himself to volunteer.

Before & After of Gabe Cortez/ YouCam Makeup
Before & After of Gabe Cortez/ YouCam Makeup

“I think it’d be cool if I looked like that,” he said, “I think it’d help with getting a job, you know people might hire people if their more attractive. It made me happy, it was okay. Just thought it was cool.”

I asked how the end product made him feel about himself, and the original photo and he said,” Its makes me think I’m ugly but I already thought that so, it didn’t make me feel bad at all.”

“If someone who thinks they’re really ugly uses this and it helps them feel better that’s good. But they would be presenting themselves as something they’re really not. Definitely could make people feel worse about themselves.” 


Before & After of Angelina Fernandez/ YouCam Beauty App
Before & After of Angelina Fernandez/ YouCam Beauty App

Angelina Fernandez, in participating in the “experiment”, said that she liked the original picture when she first took it, but after she made the edited version, she liked that one better. She said she wouldn’t use the app for normal pictures because its a waste of time. Overall though, using the app made her feel bad.


The last person I interviewed was Emily Pleque.

Before & After of Emily Pleque/ YouCam Beauty App
Before & After of Emily Pleque/ YouCam Beauty App

Emily only added on eyelashes, which is barely noticeable. Emily said, “It made me feel weird, like I was lying.”

I liked the original one better. And the reason I created the second was I was clicking random buttons and I thought it looked natural or as close to the original picture as possible. I can see how this app can help and hurt people’s egos. On one side the app can boost their ego because they see themselves as “perfect”, like I mean how they imagine themselves to be or what they think is beautiful. But it can hurt them when they realize that it’s not them and they can never be this alter persona that they’ve created.” 

I think it’s safe to say that beauty apps can both have positive and negative affects on our self esteem. Comparing a “perfect” image of ourselves, to the real picture can make us feel bad about how we look. However, nowadays most everyone does some type of edit to their photo, maybe an Instagram filter, Snapchat, or even just making the picture brighter. We have the capability to do so, so why not? Instead of taking a bunch of pictures to get that perfect one, why not just change the lighting or color or whatever it is, with a filter?

But with these beauty apps, it changes more than just the lighting, it changes your bone structure, your eye shape, and if used “properly” the end result can look like a totally different person. It is not the same as a color filter, these kinds of apps promote a bad message, that to be beautiful, you have to be perfect. This applies to ALL genders, all ethnicities, etc. We all face the pressure of looking perfect, some more than others. Instragram has millions of “perfect” looking people, and some may feel inadequate compared to these people, but the thing is is that these beauty and perfecting apps are more popular today, and so it’s highly likely that someone is striving to achieve a perfect look that isn’t even real.

The overall point to this, is to love yourself and to stop comparing yourself to others, when we are all unique in our own ways. These apps aren’t too terrible if you don’t get caught up with using them all the time, and just remember how unique you are.