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September 15, 2010

Best Beauty Apps for Your iPhone

Man, how I used to tease my pals who were constantly on their iPhones. Little did I know how dependent I’d become on my own little piece of Apple magic—for email, snapping pics for the blog, and a few amazing beauty apps. There are a whole bunch of crappy ones out there (one shows how you’d look post plastic surgery—really??), but these three actually help you stretch your budget—and don’t cost a dime.

Back in the day, I had a roommate who also served as my in-house makeup assistant, helping me hot-ify myself for many a date and special occasion. Lookz’ made-for-mobile video makeup tutorials are no substitute for her hands-on help, but they are a close runner-up. Some of the applications are a tad over-the-top, but several, like the Retro Classic are seriously helpful if you’ve ever tried—and failed—to draw a perfect 60s-inspired cat eye.

For an indecisive gal like myself, OPI’s Nail Studio app, which shows you how any of its hundreds of polish shades will look on your nails before you drop $8 on a bottle, is a definite money saver. The clever app will even allow you to adjust the skin tone of the virtual hand so it matches up to your own, making agonizing decisions like picking between It’s All Greek to Me and Keys to My Karma a snap. You can also “heart” your favorite shades to keep from buying the same shade twice.

Comparison shopping, usually a time-consuming, tedious task, is a snap with this app. Simply take a quick pic of any product barcode and voila—a list of prices and retailers. I recently set my sights on the Instyler Rotating Hot Iron Straigtener, priced for $99.99 at Target. Using RedLaser I found one for $92.29 online. My favorite deep conditioner?  $6.99 online, as opposed to $8.99 at my neighborhood Walgreens. This app is most handy when making heftier purchases.

Meghan McAndrews is the founder of High Plains Thrifter and the editor-in-chief of all things cheap at Her Beauty Thrifter column appears every Wednesday.
  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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