Usually a trip to the makeup counter at a retail environment is a messy encounter – lipstick is smeared, powder goes flying, tissues get crumpled up – but Toronto-based ModiFace may have found a solution to that untidy problem.

Its new iOS app, the ModiFace Mirror, simulates makeup on users by combining the image from the device’s video camera with augmented reality. The user sees their image as if they were looking in a mirror (or preparing to take a selfie) and then have a set of digital tools to apply makeup to their virtual reflection. The idea is to cut down on mess, wasted product for retailers, and to save shoppers time and trouble.

ModiFace Mirror from modiface on Vimeo.

The app has more than 2,000 products in its database that makeup shoppers can virtually apply. Retailers have the option of using the app with any iPads they’re using as kiosk devices, or a special version of the app that comes with its own dedicated hardware. This more upgraded version supports an effect where shoppers who glance at it as they pass by will see an instant recommendation for makeup to apply to their face. A step towards the kiosk, and the full customization options appear.

There’s also a shade-matching system in the app. A user could display a shade they want to find for a particular product and ModFace will locate it and display it.

So the next time you’re walking through a store and you glance your reflection in a nearby makeup display mirror, don’t be surprised if your makeup looks different than what you applied that morning.

MakeUp by Modiface is available for consumers to download on iOS.

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