Virtual Makeovers Tips

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What is a fun makeover program for when I'm bored?

"Makeover" a Celebrity, Just for Fun

If you are bored and feeling like getting up to a little mischief, virtual mischief that is, go on over to the UK Hairdressers website. There among the great advice on shampoos and where to get a great haircut in the West End, you will find a tab called Celebrity Revenge.

Celebrity Revenge is an online program that allows anyone to perform a little "cosmetic surgery" on their favorite, or not-so-favorite celebrity. This is basically a virtual version of the moustache and glasses you see scribbled all over the faces of your not so favorite "friends" in your high school yearbook. Celebrity Revenge has dozens upon dozens of celebrity faces for you to play with. Stretching them here and compacting them there. Not a big fan of Jennifer Lopez's perfect face? Take a minute and see what she would look like with a little "elective surgery." Remember, the effect is best when you can still recognize the celebrity under the changes. Lots of tiny changes are more effective and much funnier than just a couple of big ones. You can find Celebrity Revenge at

Of course, this is just for fun. Nobody should get overly excited or upset if they don't find their celebrity of choice here. And please, if you are the celebrity stalker type, work out your issues with your doctor, not on Celebrity Revenge.

How do I pick a model for a virtual makeover?

Using Virtual Makeover Models

So you've decided you want to try one of the virtual makeover programs that are available to you for free on the web, but you don't want to make the commitment of giving out your personal information, such as your name and email address to be able to upload a photo and use your own image. Don't worry, many virtual makeover programs offer virtual models that you can use instead. But how do you decide which virtual model is right for you to use?

First you will want to decide on your website. Virtual makeover pages on iVillage and makeoversolutions have lots of faces to choose from. You want to avoid sites that only offer four or five models. Some sites assume that offering an African American, Caucasian, Asian and native American model will be enough. Wrong. Remember there are dozens of facial shapes, skin tones, hair and eye colors all within each of those racial profiles. So make sure whatever site you use that they give you lots of choices.

When you are ready to choose your model, wash your face, brush back your hair and get out a mirror. Take a good look at yourself. It is our natural tendency to want to "make up" the model who is in our basic characteristic group, AND whom we find the most attractive. This may or may not be the model who looks the most like you. Try to find a model that is not only the same race as yourself, but who is in your approximate age group, has similar facial features and skin tones. If you find yourself trying to settle on one out of two or three possible models, take a good look at your own natural hair and eye colors and choose the one that most closely matches. A model with your natural hair and eye colors is more likely than the others to closely match your skin tones as well.

I want to dye my own hair but I’m not sure what hair color will look best on me. Is there a way I can find out before I dye my hair?

Find Your Perfect Hair Color Via A Virtual Makeover

When you get your hair colored at a salon you have a stylist with years of experience to guide you in your color choice. But if you're coloring your own hair at home that hair color aisle can become very overwhelming. To help you see what a hair color will look like you can try before you dye with a virtual makeover.

With a virtual makeover you can upload a picture of yourself from your computer to the online program and try out different hair colors by having them super imposed over your own hair. To begin choose a hairstyle that most resembles yours. Now start playing with the various colors. If you know that warmer colors look best on you stick with those—the same goes for cooler hair colors. Try out a variety of them and pay special attention to what your skin tone looks like with each color. If the color is wrong you will look washed out and pale.

For the best results the picture you use should show you in natural lighting so have the picture taken outside and make sure your face is free of shadows. Take notes on which hair colors look best and narrow it down to your favorite. If you're still in doubt between a few choices you can always call the toll free help line and have their experts help guide you.

Why should I register a virtual makeover program?

Get the Most from Your Virtual Makeover Software

You've made the commitment and purchased a virtual makeover program for your home computer. Now you need to make sure you are getting your money's worth. To make certain you understand all the elements of your program, you will want to read the enclosed literature carefully and try all the bells and whistles it has to offer. Have a great time with your product, but don't forget to register.

In general, registering a computer program takes very little time or commitment. You will have to give the company a little bit of personal information; at the very least you will need to give them your name and e-mail address. In exchange, the company will keep you informed of all the updates and improvements they have available for your program. There are often updates that can be downloaded directly to your computer from the company once the program has been initially purchased and installed. Sometimes these updates require a fee, but just as often they come to you free. If you have a problem or complaint about your product, registration also makes it easier for you to communicate with the company.

One great example of why you should register your products is Broderbund Software's Cosmopolitan Virtual Makeover. Since its release, two separate service packs have been created and offered for this title. Owners who registered their product were notified when the packs were introduced. Those who did not register probably aren't getting all they can from their software. If you register your product, even with only an e-mail address, the company can contact you to let you know when you can capitalize on their improvements.

What are some virtual makeover programs for kids?

Virtual Makeover Programs for Kids

When your little girl starts messing around in your makeup and asking for pink lip gloss and blue eyeshadow to play with, maybe it's time to start thinking about getting her a virtual makeover program. At the very least, virtual makeup has a lot less potential to wind up all over your nice new ivory carpet.

Several companies make kid and tween (think 9-12 years) friendly virtual makeover programs. There are programs like Clueless, a program where the user gets to dress up and makeover the hair and makeup on preselected characters from the movie. More interactive options like Barbie Digital Makeover, a program that allows users to choose from several familiar models (Barbie and friends) or create a model using their own photo.* And for the older set, Cosmopolitan Virtual Makeover offers pictures of live models along with the option to upload a photo of the user.

Overall, reviews of these type of products are good, with especially high scores for ease of use. Remember that a more basic program like Clueless will quickly lose its appeal with older girls, who will expect to be able to do a lot more with software like this. Conversely, don't try to set your eight year old loose on the Cosmopolitan program without your guidance, as it's more advanced format will likely frustrate younger users.

* It should be no surprise that the easiest way to load a photo into this particular program is to take the picture with the Barbie Digital Camera.

How can I have a little fun with makeup online?

Virtual Makeover Games

One way to check out new makeup colors and have a little fun doing it is to log onto a cosmetic company's website and play around with their virtual makeover game. Mary Kay for example has a virtual makeover game where you can choose the face that most closely resembles your own, and then try out different makeup pallets on your virtual doppelganger.

The program has faces that represent nearly every imaginable ethnic background, facial shape and hair/eye combination. So it is likely that you will find a face that has at least a basic resemblance to your own.

Using programs like these, you can try different color combinations for eyes, cheeks and lips before you buy them. You can put together a beautiful look, or you can have a little fun, putting together the most ridiculous color combinations you can think of. Try out different day and evening looks before committing any of your money to them.

Do remember though that just because it looks great on your online virtual double, doesn't guarantee that it will look perfect on you. Be certain to check out the company's satisfaction and return policies before you buy.

What photo should I use for my virtual makeover?

Your Best Photo for a Virtual Makeover

To get the best results from your virtual makeover, you will want to start by finding a program, either through your local computer supply store or online. Make certain the program you use allows you to enter or upload a photo of yourself. Many programs offer models, and you can try to pick the one with the closest facial shape and features to your own, but nothing works nearly as well to ensure your satisfaction as your own likeness.

As for the photo you want to use for your virtual makeover--you do not want to use your favorite glammed up picture. In your favorite photo you are probably fully made up with your hair perfect and quite possibly some of it covering up your face. A picture like this won't give you an honest look at what your final result will probably look like.

If you intend to use the program to do a full makeover, you will want to use a photo of yourself taken in good, yet soft lighting, with your hair pulled back from your face and wearing no makeup, or wearing only a light foundation to even out your skin tone. This way you can make cosmetic, hair and even eye color changes using the same photo. If you are only interested in exploring different hair color and style options, use a photo with your hair out of your face in which you are wearing makeup similar to that which you wear day to day. After all, if you change your hair, you will want it to look best with your everyday look. Keep in mind, both circumstances require a photo that is taken head on, with you looking directly at the camera.

Remember, always try a live run with your makeup, or do a strand test with your hair before committing your entire head to it. While modern computers and monitors do an amazing job of reproducing true to life color, you cannot be absolutely sure until you actually see your new look live.

I’m thinking of getting a new hairstyle but I can’t decide which one will look best on me. Is there a way to find out which styles are best before I get my hair cut?

Try Out New Hairstyles With An Online Virtual Makeover Program

Looking for a new hairstyle but can't decide which one you like best? Before a single snip is taken you can try on your favorite hairstyles thanks to free virtual makeover programs. These online programs allow you to upload a photo of yourself and super impose different hairstyles over your own hair. This gives you a general idea of how hairstyles will suit your face before you visit the salon.

For the best results it is best to use a picture of yourself that is face on and a close up. You should slick your own hair back against your head to prevent your own hair getting in the way of the super imposed hairstyle. The easiest way to do this is to take a few pictures of yourself with a digital camera. You can then upload those photos to your computer and resize them to a manageable size. Choose the best one out of the bunch and upload it to the online virtual makeover program and have a blast trying on new hairstyles from the comfort of your own home.

When trying on your new hairstyles look carefully at how the hair makes your face look. Does the hairstyle look balanced with your face shape? Is the style overwhelming for your face? Try on several and take notes of which ones work best. Narrow down your choices and print off the few best ones to take with you to the salon.

How much should I trust a virtual makeover?

Don't Rely Too Heavily on Your Virtul Makeover

Virtual makeovers are great tools. Keep in mind however that the model you choose, no matter how much you may think she looks like you, is not you. If you are able to upload your own photo, so much better. But, unless you take the photo and use it in the same day, then go straight to the store to get your products, changes in your face may affect the way real products look on you. In addition, though modern computers, software and monitors are great at replicating true-to-life color, nothing replaces trying products live.

Use virtual makeovers as a tool. The best way to use a virtual makeover is to use your own photo, then make a list of the products you think look the best. When you go to the makeup counter or salon, sample the colors you like. If they work for you, try other products in the same color family. If the rose pink lipstick that looked just right on the screen is a little too much in person, try a soft mauve instead. The same applies to hair color. You may find the ash blond you chose for your virtual model to be too much of a change for you. A light ash brown may in reality work better.

If you use virtual makeover software because you prefer to just go in and grab your makeup, make sure the company you purchase from has a liberal return policy. Most higher end lines give a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Do not be hesitant to return that tangerine lip gloss if it doesn't look as nice on you as it did on your virtual twin. Even if you use a popular price line, many stores like Walgreen's offer their own guarantees. Don't let another lipstick fall to the bottom of your purse and never get used--return it if you don't like it. Just make sure you keep the receipt and return the item within the alloted time. With the combination of a great virtual makeover and products, hair colors and cuts that really work for you, your look can always be just right.

How can I get the best out of free virtual makeover programs?

Getting the Most from Your Free Virtual Makeover

When trying to choose a virtual makeover program online, you will want to choose a program that has several models, rather than just one representing each major ethnic group. A good program will have at least a couple dozen model faces for you to use. Even better, use a program that will allow you to upload your own photo.

If you are using the program to try on different cosmetic products, try to find the makeover program of a cosmetic company that you are comfortable shopping with. Virtual makeovers are also great ways to try new products. So if you are using a virtual makeover program to try a new line, keep a pen handy and write down the names and numbers of different products you like. Many programs will allow you to create a face you like, then print out the resulting picture and product codes. Keep in mind most programs will require you to register to use these more advanced features.

Be patient when loading your photo. Most programs require the picture to be in jpeg format, then require you to line the picture up with their presets. This may take a few tries and a little time, but the result will be worth it.

If you are using a virtual makeover program to choose a hairstyle and/or color, you may find programs offered by hair manufacturing product companies give you a more natural look when applying the hairstyles than cosmetic or other companies.

Regardless of the program you use, you will have more success if you take your time and look at it as a fun way to try a new look. Don't be disappointed if you don't get the result you were looking for the first time you try. As with everything worthwhile, practice makes perfect.

What virtual makeover programs are available online for free?

Free Virtual Makeovers on the Web

Virtual makeovers are all the rage. There are several virtual makeover programs available free on the web. To find them, just type "virtual makeover" or "free virtual makeover" into the search engine on your web browser. Here are some facts on the most commonly used free virtual makeover products on the web. All programs require at the minimum, the use of Flash. Most require you to turn off your pop up blocker.

Mary Kay --Mary Kay's virtual makeover game utilizes preselected photos of models. You select the model whose look is closest to your own. PRO--it is very easy to find and use. CON--you cannot upload your own photo and as Mary Kay is a cosmetics company, you can only experiment with makeup, not hair.

Get Makeovers -- The virtual makeover program at offers you the ability to use one of their many models or upload your own photo. It is Covergirl cosmetics based. PRO--it is easy to find and the model photos are fairly numerous and easy to use. There are tons of options for your virtual model here, from hair and makeup to contacts, sunglasses and hats. CON--your own photos must be in jpeg format to work, even with a jpeg it may be difficult to load your photo correctly.

Makeover-O-Matic at iVillage -- This virtual makeover program also allows you to use a preselected model or upload your own photo. This program works with several different brands of cosmetics, which can be fun, but may cause some confusion. PRO--this is one of the most fun programs to work with. Easy to locate and use with many makeover options. The hairstyles look more natural in this program than many others. CON--most functions are off limits unless you sign up as a member. The many different product lines represented make a notepad necessary if you are planning on shopping based on your experience.

Instant Makeover at Beauty Riot--This program allows you to use a virtual model or your own photo. It also features celebrity models and celebrity color pallets you can try on your model or your photo. PRO--it is easy to find and the only program reviewed that features celebrity models or color palates. CON--you must sign up to use it, which will send you through a series of personal questions and sponsor ads. It is difficult to load your own photo and not nearly as easy to work with as some of the others. The color palates do not look natural as they apply.

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Susan Sayour