A Mobile Beauty Kit: 11 Great iPhone/iPad Body Care Apps

With our busy lives, sometimes it’s tough to take care of some of our needs. Fortunately, smartphone and tablet apps make it easy to at least keep up on beauty and body care tips, try out new styles of hair and makeup, book appointments, check out reviews of products, save time and money, and more.

For a suggested “mobile beauty kit,” not only did we try out the apps listed, we tried dozens of beauty and body care apps on the iPhone and iPad before selecting the 11 that are listed here, plus a few alternatives.

Notes:

  • All of the apps listed here are free, although some may have in-app purchases (IAP) that you pay for to add premium features, such as removing advertising banners.
  • Some apps sell products or services. Before divulging personal info, including credit card details, research the app’s privacy policies within the app, as well as the publisher’s background on its website. Ogle School is not associated with any of the listed apps, and all apps are listed for informational purposes only. Use them at your own risk, and make sure you have the necessary minimum version of Apple iOS on your iPhone or iPad before installing an app.
  • While most or all of the screen snapshots shown here are from the iPad versions, the majority of these apps are also available on the iPhone.  (Reviews are of the iPad versions.)

 
Mini-review legend:

  • “Format” Indicates whether the app has an interface designed for both the iPhone (and usually iPod Touch) and iPad or not.
  • An app marked “universal” means you can purchase one copy of the app that will work on both formats (iPhone and iPad) and may or may not have a significantly different interface for the iPad.
  • An app marked “iPhone” means the interface is optimized for the iPhone form factor but will run on an iPad in “1x” or “2x” mode.
  • An app marked “iPad” means the app is only designed for tablet use and will not even be available for iPhone (unless Apple makes that possible for, say, the large new iPhone 6 Plus devices).
  • Min. iOS: Minimum iOS version required on the device.
  • IAP: In-app purchases. These IAPs are not standalone apps. They add extra features, whether paid or free, for the app in question.
  • # ratings: Refers only to the number of app users who gave any “star” rating in iTunes for a given app, for all versions released for use. Number in brackets is the overall star rating out of five.
  • # downloads: The number of total downloads for all versions of the app.

The metadata for each app are retrieved from Apple iTunes app profiles as of the time of writing.

 

bloom_001

11. BLOOM

Bloom is a social networking hub for fashionistas on the move. It is easy to use, informative and puts all of the latest and greatest tips, trends and products at your fingertips. The unique feature of this app is that it operates as a social networking site with users that run the gamut between bedroom beauty queens, manufacturers and beauty professionals from across the globe. It allows all users to upload individual beauty photos and tips as well as download their favorites. Once you find a style you like, you can comment (and others can comment on yours) on that person’s photo and gain full particulars of the look, including products used or the professional it is attributed to. Easy touchscreen user interface, ability to hashtag your favorites and beauty expert locator make this app a must-have!

Format: iPhone, Android and iPad
Min. iOS: 6.1
Last update: Feb. 8, 2014
Has IAPs: yes
# ratings: 1 (5 stars)

pretty_in_my_pocket

10. Pretty in My Pocket

Pretty in My Pocket, a.k.a. PRIMP, combines a shopping app with beauty tips reader and community. It has a Pinterest sort of feel with extra features. Browse top beauty and body care tip lists, check out user-generated looks, watch videos, follow beauty bloggers and other beauty experts, follow brands or follow other users. Search for products by typing a keyword or scan its UPC barcode. Feel like shopping? Check out the “Perks” option in the bottom navigation bar for various beauty and body care product deals. Product profiles include ratings and reviews, related looks and alternative products. Add items to your PRIMP bag for later reference, or buy (takes you to the merchant website in a mobile browser — e.g., Nordstrom’s).

Format: iPhone only (runs as is on iPad)
Min. iOS: 6.0
Last update: Aug. 27, 2014
Has IAPs: No
# ratings: 55 (4.5 stars)

smart_mirror

9. SmartMirror

So there’s no mirror nearby and you’re about to meet someone — maybe for an interview or a date — and just want to make sure there are no chives stuck in your teeth from lunch. No problem. The SmartMirror app is one of the better ones among several in the Apple iTunes App Store. It incorporates facial recognition technology that knows where your eyes and mouth are and lets you zoom in on those parts at the touch of an icon or back again to normal zoom. Looking good? Want to get a snap of yourself? The app also doubles as a camera and has social sharing features (Facebook, Twitter and email). Hidden feature icons appear when you tap the screen, including a “light” feature for when you are in a low-light situation. While the overall view is a bit on the grainy side, especially as magnification increases, that’s true of most of the mirror apps. So consider this app useful when you’re in a pinch and a regular mirror is unavailable.

Format: iPhone only (works as is on iPad)
Min. iOS: 5.0
Last update: Nov. 25, 2013
Has IAPs: Yes (including contribution payments to the developer)
# ratings: 923 (4 stars)

cruelty_free

 8. Cruelty Free

Beauty products sometimes come at a cost. This app provides a list of companies and products that are cruelty-free. The app is organized into companies and products lists. The company list is arranged alphabetically and can be searched. The products list is organized into categories of different consumer products, and each entry has its own list of companies in that category. In both cases, selecting a company shows a link to its website, which can be viewed right in the app. It should be noted here that Cruelty Free covers more than just beauty and body care apps. Relevant categories in the products list include cosmetics, aromatherapy, nail care, soap, bath, color cosmetics, eye care, fragrance, hair care, skin care and more.

Format: iPhone and iPad
Min. iOS: 4.3
Last update: Dec. 20, 2013
Has IAPs: No
# ratings: 879 (4.5 stars)

beauty_review

 7. Beauty Product Reviews From TotalBeauty.com

The Beauty Product Reviews app from TotalBeauty.com boasts more than 280,000 consumer reviews of 45,000 beauty products. Items range from makeup to nail care to skin care to hair products and more. Search by typing in a keyword, or browse through the hierarchically categorized listings. You can browse by brand or four categories: face, makeup, hair or body. In addition to viewing product reviews, you can favorite items, discover product offers, find local drugstores (through a separate mapping app) or shop on the totalbeauty.com website.

Format: iPhone and iPad
Min. iOS: 7.0
Last update: Aug. 19, 2014
Has IAPs: No
# ratings: 1,181 (3.5 stars)

styleseat

 6. StyleSeat

StyleSeat is one of several appointment-booking apps that have been appearing of late. This one has a few things going for it that some of the others do not have — or at least not all in a single app. Specifically, StyleSeat lets you find stylists for 12 different beauty and body care services, catering to both men and women. This includes general categories of hair, nails, makeup, waxing, massage and more.

Book an appointment by selecting a category and scrolling through the results. If you have allowed the app to use your current location, the results will show you the nearest salons, spas and studios offering the service you selected, as well as a cost indicator (ranging from one “$” to several). You can change result filters as well as view a selection in a map. Set your booking date and time.

The primary drawback is that results may not be plentiful depending on where you live, and the app really relies on stylists and other service providers adding their listings. Fortunately, that’s something that StyleSeat allows them to do right from the app (other similar booking apps are limited to one to five cities at present). So as more providers add their listing, StyleSeat becomes more valuable to consumers looking for a beauty or body care service.

Format: iPhone and iPad
Min. iOS: 6.0
Last update: Sept. 11, 2014
Has IAPs: No
# ratings: 532 (3.5 stars)

plum_perfect

 5. Plum Perfect

Plum Perfect is a makeup matching app that scans a facial photo (either of yourself or a supplied model) to build a color profile. You can customize your facial colors using the easy-to-use interface and refine your overall profile by selecting the parts of the photograph you feel best represent the coloring of a certain facial feature. Save your selections and it updates the color profile. Once the color profile is ready, the app recommends a variety of cosmetics to suit. Products can be viewed under the categories of lips, eyes and face, and then further under subcategories of product types (e.g., face/foundation).

While Plum Perfect is not a virtual makeover app per se, what it has going for it over similar apps is that it has a relatively diverse range of included models (different ages, races and hair colors), and recommended products are not limited to one cosmetics company. You can also buy from within the app, which takes you to the website of the merchant offering a given product, where you can sign in with your account there. There are also social sharing features (Twitter, Facebook and email), with the Facebook option allowing you to select from your predefined Facebook lists to control who sees the shared post.

Format: iPhone and iPad (the latter is not significantly different from the iPhone version)
Min. iOS: 6.0
Last update: July 28, 2014
Has IAPs: Yes
# ratings: 47 (3.5 stars)

makeup

4. MakeUp by ModiFace

ModiFace has a suite of beauty and body care apps that have overlapping functionality. The MakeUp app is essentially a photo editor designed specifically for use in virtual makeovers. Use one of the seven model images included in the app or use another image (from your iPhone or iPad camera or album or from your Facebook account) to try out colors and styles for eyes, lips, face and hair. The interface has a stylish spinner element from which to easily choose colors and patterns. You can control image elements individually or select an entire look. The editor also allows partial reshaping of facial elements.

Note: This app is free for a limited time and may require payment in the future. The top 10 IAPs range in price from $0.99 to $2.99 at the time of writing. An alternative app is Makeup Genius from L’Oreal USA (free), which uses a “live mirror” and quite impressive virtual makeover technology that lets you change various facial elements individually (eye, lips and face makeup) or to pick a predefined look. The main drawback is that product selections are limited to those offered by L’Oreal. Now if these two apps were combined together …

Format: iPhone and iPad
Min. iOS: 5.1
Last update: Jan. 15, 2014
Has IAPs: Yes
# ratings: 6,157 (3 stars)

beautyish

 3. Beautylish

Beautylish combines a beauty and body care products shopping app with a content app. Content includes articles, photos, videos and product reviews (including user comments), all having to do with various aspects of looking good and taking care of your body and skin. All content sections can be browsed by scrolling through on-screen or by typing keywords. The app also has a chat area where you can interact with other users of Beautylish.

Format: iPhone and iPad
Min. iOS: 6.0
Last update: May 21, 2014
Has IAPs: No
# ratings: 2,190 (4.5 stars)

trusper

 2. Trusper Tips, Tutorials, How-Tos

The Trusper Tips app covers more than just beauty and body care. Overall, Trusper Tips is similar to apps like Pinterest, with the tips stream displaying pictures. Tapping on a tip image displays a screen with the tip text. Beauty, fashion, and health and fitness are three categories of possible interest, although there are numerous general (non-beauty and body care) categories as well. Tips can be searched for and favorited. Add your own tips or help out by answering users’ requests.

Format: iPhone only (works as is on iPad)
Min. iOS: 6.0
Last update: Sept. 27, 2014
Has IAPs: No
# ratings: 6,092 (4.5 overall)

goodguide

 1. GoodGuide

GoodGuide is a green-conscious and socially-responsible product finder in one app. Discovery options include search, scan a UPC (bar) code and browse categories. Search by typing either part of a company or product name, or select the “Browse Categories” option and get a visual categorization that makes it easier to find beauty and body care products. You can browse by sub-category, apply filters (brands, traits and ingredients to exclude) or sort by overall or specific rating (highest to lowest). If you have a product at hand (whether at home or while out shopping), find out how “green” it is. The “Scan UPC” option lets you scan the bar code of a product and returns a profile, if available.

Product listings give a GoodGuide score out of 10 based on health, environment and society scores. (The app explains the scoring methodology, certifications (e.g., from PETA – PETA Animal Treatment Assessment.) Each product listed also gives a scrollable list of alternative products with higher scores. Alternatives are separated into two lists: one of products by the same company as the original product selected and one of products by other companies.

Have this app when you go shopping!

Format: iPhone only (works as is on iPad)
Min. iOS: 7.0
Last update: Aug. 5, 2014
Has IAPs: No
# ratings: 11,645 (2.5 stars)

 

About the Author
Jeff Chiarelli

Jeff Chiarelli

Jeff Chiarelli is the Director of Marketing at Ogle School. His responsibilities include managing Ogle School's online, print, TV and outdoor advertising and branding and spreading the Ogle gospel.