Looks App Gives Out Virtual Makeovers, Regardless of Gender

A selfie lover's niggling need to snap a quick pic cannot be subdued for long. Take a look around any mall in America and you'll see young girls with phones seemingly glued to their hands. If you spot a gaggle of young'uns, it won't be long before they cluster for a group selfie or excitedly approach a random object, phone held aloft. Selfie culture is a term that we now accept as reality. People lacking in traditional artistic abilities have been given a relatively easy and widely accessible way to express themselves: selfies! Things done in the name of expression can sometimes go horribly awry, as evidenced by Tumblr's Selfies at Serious Places. However positively or negatively you believe that selfie culture has impacted the world, there's no arguing against its firm foothold.

Beauty app LOOKS has found a way to further glorify selfies. Released by LINE, a messaging platform, the LOOKS app is a way to virtually try on makeup. Using Snapchat-like augmented reality, filters that are more subtle than we're used to meld to the curves and lines of the face to give the illusion of makeup. Much more refined than the oh-so-popular dog filter, these are meant to produce a beautified, made-up face. When a makeup brand is featured in a filter, several are, a circular picture of the product will appear at the top of the screen prompting a link to purchase upon tapping. Look for Clinique, 3CE, Hera, O HUI, Etude House, and VDL while you peruse the app's plethora of looks.

Not only do filters feature different brands of makeup, there are various styles of done-up to choose from. Once selected from the strangely familiar wheel (hello again, Snapchat old friend), the intensity of the filter can be adjusted by swiping across the screen. In the upper left corner, selecting the ellipses (...) will prompt a drop down menu where you can modify the size of your eyes, shape of your face, and complexion or use the self-timer. 

Interestingly, this beauty-obsessed app has two filters specifically for men: Boy and Zico. After downloading the app, I had a coworker try them out. A direct quote, "It makes me look tired." After testing both filters, I've deduced that they only add eyeliner and mascara. Zico is a more intense, smokey eye where Boy has a more natural look. 
For the majority of people in our society, cell phones and the internet are a necessary part of a balanced diet. First thing in the morning, the ambient light of my phone screen rouses me from sleep in a way that coffee can't. And tied to that phone screen are the endless wonders of Internet kingdom. It's a wild and untamed realm where one can just as easily find drugs for purchase as they can a picture of distant family. It's easy to see how self-expression has taken on a new form through social media. An online presence is foremost in showing who you are, how you operate, and what opinions you might have. Selfies allow you to tie an image to your message (in the case of Instagram). You are your own brand

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