Ever wanted to try make-up, but never dared?
Or are you a make-up junkie who loves experimenting with new products - but hates the thought of sitting on a beauty counter and baring a naked face to passers-by?
A virtual make-up mirror is taking the sting out of it for both make-up addicts and virgins alike.
The first of its kind in Europe, the ‘magic mirror’ created by Japanese beauty brand Shiseido, can give you a full make-over in seconds and lets you test scores of different shades - without any of it actually being applied to your face.
This is a virtual experience... It’s your reflection that gets the make-over. The mirror is now touring the UK and is at House Of Fraser in Meadowhall until September 17.
We took two Star readers for whom make-up doesn’t factor to try out the magic mirror...
“Me and make-up? I did try when I was younger. But I was just incompetent at it so I gave up.”
Anne Holt is 58. On the rarest of occasions, she might dab a bit of concealer beneath her eyes and swipe on some mascara, but otherwise she presents a naked face to the world.
She is drawn to make-up, though. Now and again, she buys a new lipstick or eyeshadow, tries it on, decides she looks all wrong, and sticks it in the drawer with a load of others. In that drawer, she once had a bottle of foundation for 25 years.
“My mother bought it for me when I got married. She was horrified that I didn’t own any. I wore it on my wedding day and never again.
“I’d like to wear it but while I’m very confident at many things, make-up? No.”
We plonked the freelance designer and writer from Endcliffe in front of the Magic Mirror.
A special camera captures an image of her face and with a grid, works out where her eyes, nose and mouth are. In seconds, Anne is looking at her own reflection again.
“There are lots of women of all ages who would like to wear make-up, but are worried they are going to look ridiculous. The magic mirror is great for them,” says Shiseudo consultant Pacha Marshall.
She promises Anne a natural look, and starts to “apply” shades from Shiseido’s 50-strong eye and lip collections and 12 blushers and bronzers using a magic wand and the touch-sensitive screen.
Pacha. applies, removes and reapplies different shades and varies the intensity to find what works best.
It’s fascinating to watch. If you close one eyelid to see its new colour coating, or turn your head slightly to see how that blusher looks, your mirror image will do likewise.
Then Anne’s looking at herself with make-up - and she can’t deny that it’s made her blue eyes brighter and her lips fuller - or that it’s taken years off her. She declared: “It’s much better than dabbing colours on the back of my hand and hoping for the best.”
The litmus test, though, was the fact that Anne felt sufficiently confident to allow Pacha to make her up for real - using the colours she had seen herself in on screen.
Afterwards, she said: “I don’t recognise myself, but I do think it looks really nice. Whether I would ever make time to do it myself is doubtful, though.”
With children of three and seven months, making herself up isn’t a priority to teacher Melissa Duncan.
“I know I look better with it and I wear a little powder foundation, blusher and mascara. But I think I’ve got stuck in a rut and don’t have the time to find a new look,” says Melissa, 35, of Woodseats.
The Magic mirror finds her cheekbones with a peachy bronzer, then applies one eye colour after another.
“I love it - I’d never have dared to sit on a beauty counter and experiment like this,” she says.
Pacha shows her, for the first time, what she would look like with bright red lips; Melissa actually raises her hand to her mouth to wipe away what isn’t really there!
But when Pacha applies the smoky eye look favoured by models in photo shoots, she’s sold.
“I’ve always wanted to try it,” she says, slipping eagerly into Pacha’s make-up chair to try the look for real.