Introducing ShadeScout, The Magical App That Finds Makeup Colors Based On Things You See IRL

ShadeScout is a new app that can find makeup colors based on real-life objects—I tried it out to see if it really works.

Do you ever just look at some random object, like a flower or a mustard bottle, and think, “I’d really enjoy that color on my face in makeup form”? Cool, me too. It’s part of the reason my lipstick collection is so expansive—seriously, it’s almost as big as my nail polish collection, and that’s saying something. What was I saying? Oh, right, that I wanted to wear mustard as lipstick. Well, I may not be able to do that without attracting bees from all throughout the land, but a new app called ShadeScout is the next best thing.

So, first things first, what is ShadeScout? It’s an app available (fo’ free!) for iPhone and Android, and it helps you find your perfect makeup color based on what you see IRL. Basically, you take a picture of something out there in the great wide world using the app and your regular ol’ phone’s camera, hit the “scout” button, and it gives you tons of different options by different brands and at varying price points. It gives you more than just lipstick—you can search blush and eyeshadow, too, but for the sake of this conversation I thought it best to stick to one product. One caveat: For iPhone users, at least, you have to have the most recent update, or at least iOs 8. Since my phone is a dinosaur (because we live in a world where 4S’s are the equivalent of a pterodactyl), I had to commandeer my roommate’s phone. Just something to be aware of before you go on trying to download it.

Sounds pretty neato-burrito, right? Since a picture’s worth a thousand words (and I’m probably not going to hit a thousand words anyway), here are some screenshots of my joyous experience, featuring special guest stars my aforementioned roommate, and my running-on-very-few-hours-of-sleep Sunday morning face. Aren’t you all just in for a treat today!

So, here’s what the app looks like when you open it up:

You use the little crosshairs in the middle to focus in on the object whose color you want on yo face, you use the little bars in the top left corner to switch out the type of makeup you want to find (lipstick, blush, etc), you have all your options on the righthand side, and when you flip the camera into selfie mode, you can try on all the colors for yourself!

My roommate and had a rather enjoyable ten minutes fiddling around with the app. Here are the fruits of our very hard and strenuous labor.

The first object we tried was my salmon-pink spirit jersey. Though we didn’t screenshot the actual jersey, I can assure you that it is hella vibrant. Here’s what we ShadeScout found for us:

I have to admit, I was legitimately surprised by how spot-on the color comparisons were and how many options the app offered. For the sake of science, my roommate tried on the Yves Saint Laurent color using their selfie feature:

After some toying around with the app, we realized that you could make the color as sheer or as opaque as you want, which is a pretty neat way to be able to try on lipstick in general. My roommate’s only complaint—and mine as well, actually—is that it was really difficult to get the color to sit properly on her lips (stay tuned for an example of just how faulty it can be). But other than that, it’s a pretty true-to-life color! I’d definitely consider buying a product after finding it on ShadeScout.

For chuckles, we scouted out some other objects. Here’s what we found from a grey knit scarf:

Okay, so here’s something interesting. I’m not sure if there were just different undertones in the yarn that the app was picking up or what, but I was a little bit confused as to where the browns came from. I think I would caution you to make sure you’re in good lighting so as not to mess with the results.

And finally, we tried out the app on a bottle of bright blue dish soap, mostly because I’ve always wanted to see how blue lipstick looks on me. The results may surprise you:

Oh, BTW, there’s the pink jersey I mentioned before. Blinding, right? Back to the Dawn bottle scouting, though. First of all, I think I’ll leave the blue lipstick to Kelsey. Second of all, here’s what I was saying before about how the color doesn’t always match up to the lips accurately. Ignoring the fact that this is a somewhat blurry screenshot, it took me a good thirty seconds to get the color to even show up on my lips, and when it did, it barely covered them. That said, it’s a minor annoyance that would not stop me from using the app on anything and everything in sight.

Here’s the verdict on ShadeScout: It’s a definite DO for any and all makeup lovers out there. It’s like having Sephora‘s entire lipstick collection right at your fingertips, and this way, the next time you see the periwinkle daisy of your lipstick dreams, you can just take a picture instead of trying to glue the flower onto your face. Not that I’ve done that. I’m just saying hypothetically you could use this app as an alternative. Don’t make it weird.

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