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Man Develops App to Reveal What Women Look Like Without Makeup

Yours truly, before and after using MakeApp.

Please look closely at the photo on the left. That, reader, is me, the writer, wearing a full face of makeup. Clearly, my gelled brows and tinted lips were intended to con some schmuck of the opposite sex into thinking I am extremely good-looking and then make him buy me six iPhone X’s. Fortunately for said schmuck, there’s a new app that takes photos of people wearing makeup and then filters them to show what they (theoretically) look like without it. Called MakeApp, the app lets you un-makeup five photos for free before asking you to pay $0.99 to continue editing images and videos. Now look at the photo on the right. That’s me after MakeApp edited my face to let everybody know how grotesque I look when you digitally peel off the highlighter and mascara. Horrifying, I know.

MakeApp is the brainchild of once-Kremlin-linked, Russian founder Ashot Gabrelyanov. For what it’s worth, I thought the AI itself worked pretty well on my face. (The app also has filters that add a layer of makeup. These worked, uh, significantly less well.) But it’s MakeApp as a concept, not a technology, that’s both laughable and problematic. After all, the makeup-free version is just another filter. It’s no more or less “real” than a selfie that’s been run through Facetune or VSCO or tweaked a bit with Instagram. And the idea that somebody might need an app to help them figure out what somebody’s face — celebrity or normie — looks like without makeup is comical. But, hey, better safe than sorry. You never know who’s out there with a bag full of Glossier trying to scam you.

Man Develops App to Reveal What Women Look Like Sans Makeup