ShadeScout

The growing bevy of beauty apps offers everything from online scheduling for an at-home blowout to determining if a brand tests on animals.

The growing bevy of beauty apps offers everything from online scheduling for an at-home blowout to determining if a brand tests on animals. The newest app addresses the common refrain, “I want what she’s wearing.”

This story first appeared in the April 10, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

ShadeScout, from FaceCake Marketing Technologies Inc., allows users to capture a shade, search a menu of brands offering the hue, virtually try it on, share with friends and even order online if they don’t choose to visit a store. “With ShadeScout, anything you see is a color that can then be tried on, whether it is a red-carpet look, a cranberry in a store or the blue sky,” explained Linda Smith, founder and chief executive officer of FaceCake.

The free app, launching today for both IOS and Android, uses the camera on mobile phones or tablets to capture a coveted color. An automated Web crawler and proprietary color-search technology sifts through more than 10,000 products in the color database delivering options to match that hue from more than 40 major luxury and mass brands ranging from Laura Mercier to Revlon.

Users can virtually try on the products from categories including lip, eye, blush, bronzer and foundation and then share a photo through an in-app option for feedback. There’s a buy button linking most of the prestige items to sephora.com, the mass items go directly to the vendor’s site.

Smith thinks the app will appeal both to brick-and-mortar and e-commerce shoppers. “It was important for this to be mobile,” explained Smith, noting people might use it in a store to find a shade to complement a dress or other makeup. She also believes users will discover up-and-coming brands they didn’t know existed. Loyalists can use a filter to search by brand. Another benefit is that consumers can uncover items to match a favorite shade that has been discontinued. In test marketing, eye shadow is a popular search, but the incidence of blush has been a surprise to Smith.

To support ShadeScout, FaceCake plans editorial content such as what colors are selling best in different markets or shade reports from red-carpet events.

The eight-year-old FaceCake is a pioneer in augmented retail, known for its virtual try-on capabilities such as Swivel Virtual Dressing Room and Digital Beauty Bar.

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