Gentlemen prefer blondes but marry brunettes, so the saying goes. But if you want to find out what life’s like on the other side of the fence, a change of hair style or colour can be a daunting prospect. Virtual Makeover, developed in conjunction with the popular women’s magazine, gives you the chance to try out new styles without the risk of having to spend the next month with your head in a brown paper bag.
In fact, this product allows the user to test not just new hair styles, but a variety of different make-up styles and colours too, all without the need to spend a fortune on hairdressers and beauty products. Moreover, if you don’t like your new image, you can simply delete it instead of having to live with a style which looked great on the model, but somehow makes you look 30 years older. And male. You can even try on a number of coloured contact lenses, before deciding which are most suitable for your new look. Brown lipstick with pink eyes? Mmm, nice.
Virtual Makeover is easy to use. After loading your photo file you can explore a variety of different features ranging from lip colours and foundations to completely new hair styles. Photos can be imported from digital cameras or scanners, or from conventional film via PhotoCD processing. Then it is up to you to choose the hair style and colour, as well as make-up, apply it to your image and enjoy (or laugh at) the result. You can also compare the different looks you’ve created and hopefully spot features which complement your face, with no damage either to your hair or to your purse. Potentially disastrous consequences of following fashion can be avoided by simply experimenting with your digital image. It also allows you to try new looks that you would never dare to try otherwise.
Quite obviously, the package is aimed mainly at women, but it also contains makeovers for men including a variety of hair styles, moustaches and beards. Unlikely to be used very much, we feel, as the phrase “Does this small goatee beard really suit me?” is not often heard.
If you exhaust the 150 hair styles available on the original CD, there are new ones to be downloaded from the Virtual Makeover Web site. Every three months the latest hair styles, make-up colours and new beauty tips will be available for downloading via the Internet, so that you can keep up with the constantly changing world of face-painting and hair-sculpting.
There is definitely a market for this sort of product. Some American researchers rate a visit to the hair-dresser as the third most traumatic experience of a woman’s life, after the death of a close relative and divorce. Good to see they’ve got their priorities right.
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