Why L'Oreal's New Makeup Genius App Is Amazing

There’s something scary about trying on makeup at the drugstore: what if you apply a new blush to your face, just to try it out, and then you walk out looking several shades too dark? That classifies as an actual beauty disaster, and is something none of us want to experience—and now, thanks to the makeup geniuses at L’Oreal, we don’t have to!

The beauty brand just launched an app that allows you to try on makeup without actually trying on makeup, right from the comfort of your home—or wherever you and your smart phone happen to be. The thing that separates the L’Oreal app from all the other makeover apps already on the market is that this is the first of its kind that actually allows you to apply lipstick, eye liner, eye shadow, and blush to yourself, as opposed to a mannequin-esque face that’s meant to resemble your own.

You scan your face using the front-facing camera on your iPhone—yes, the same way you take a #selfie—and the app’s technology reads everything from your face shape to your expressions. You then can begin applying L’Oreal makeup digitally to your own face in real time, watching the makeup you put on move as your face does.

The app took over 10 years to develop and uses the same technology that transformed Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which won Oscars for both makeup and visual effects. It essentially turns your phone into a mirror, allowing you to see what you really look like with certain shades of (for instance) bronzer, eyeliner, and lipstick.

Head to the iTunes store now to download the app! (It's set to launch on Google Android devices later this year.) The app will also launch in select drugstores on tablets, where you can play around with makeup and then buy it right after. Pretty cool!