The hottest new glam trend is right at your fingertips. By Katrina Lawrence
So you want to look gorgeous? There’s an app for that. While tech-based companies may have been the first to get into the iPhone gambit, the beauty industry now looks set to catch up, with a slew of new apps available on iTunes.
“I don’t think anyone realised how much women would love the iPhone,” says Jackie Maxted, founder of Beauty Heaven, an online beauty magazine boasting 130,000 readers. Maxted estimates that around 10 per cent of her audience have an iPhone, “but the trend is definitely for a massive uptake, so it made sense for us to develop a Beauty Heaven app”.
It’s not only good business sense; an app is a logical extension of a website that aims to take the mystery out of beauty shopping. The Beauty Heaven app, available this month on iTunes, will house all the site’s reader reviews – a whopping 50,000-plus write-ups. “When you’re standing in the supermarket aisle not knowing which shampoo is right for you, you can whip out your phone, check the reviews, and the choice is suddenly much easier,” says Maxted, who adds that the app features an ingredient glossary “to help decode product labels”.
Beauty brands are also finding that the iPhone gives customers extra depth of service. OPI’s app is an image of a hand (that you can turn to any tone of the skin spectrum), with nails that also change colour as you flick through a dial, each shade corresponding to an OPI buy. It’s one way to forward-plan a manicure, but above all, it’s fun.
YSL has also launched a super-cute app for its cult illuminiser, Touche Éclat. In addition to boasting more tips than you could imagine, there’s a handy where-to-buy locator, which is, after all, the point of these apps: to encourage you to purchase product. Same for the Dermalogica Speed Mapping app: it helps to prescribe your perfect skincare routine and directs you to your nearest salon, map and all.
An app is becoming an important piece of the social networking strategy puzzle for new launches, up there with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Take, for instance, Giorgio Armani’s new Acqua di Gioia fragrance. The gorgeous app offers a number of features, including “Drops of Joy”, a fabulously edited list of the world’s delights, from Japanese hot sand baths to underwater caves in Mexico’s Yucatán jungle.
“We really wanted to have a strong content strategy and to break the codes of the usual launches focused only on the product itself,” says a Giorgio Armani spokesperson.
“An application is an essential part of a launch strategy... but most important is the service and the content we offer. Our customers are developing more and more expertise and we really need to focus on exclusive content and services.”
While most iPhone apps work just as well on an iPad, especially visual ones like Acqua di Gioia, Toni & Guy is developing an app specifically for the Apple tablet. “Our customers love iPads,” says marketing executive James Friess, noting that selected Toni & Guy salons offer iPads along with magazines as reading material. Friess is excited about clients one day being able to choose a cut or colour from a digital look book; he also envisages an app housing various podcast workshops and an online booking component.
“It will essentially do everything except actually pick up the scissors and cut your hair,” he laughs.Six other apps you'll love:1. Style.com
Tune into new runway looks – and make-up and hair trends – as they happen.2. Chanel
Watch lush videos of Karl Lagerfeld’s genius shows and the latest catwalk sensations.3. Getty Images.
Search through 24 million pictures, including inspirational, celebrity and retro shots.4. DailyGlow.com
Find over 300 free tips on skin, hair and personal care. Just about one for every day.5. Authentic Yoga with Deepak Chopra.
There are many yoga apps but this is one of the best. 6. Mylocalsalon.com
Search and book hair and beauty services at any time – great for last-minute fixes.
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