Maverick Life

MAVERICK LIFE: BEAUTY

Grooming apps for everyone

Image design Malibongwe Tyilo for Maverick Life

Home grooming has become more prevalent since the beginning of the year; here are a few apps to guide you through the process.

Grooming has often been an out-of-home experience, left to the experts – largely a wise decision. Now, and even though the lockdown restrictions are slowly being lifted, going to the hairdresser or nail parlours, shopping for clothes or beauty products, might still feel like a daunting and anxiety-filled experience for many of us.

The result? In many places around the world, demand surged for home-based treatments, including DIY skin, nail and care products. Data measurement company Nielsen claimed that the sales of hair dye and clippers were up by 23% and 166% respectively  in the first week of April 2020.

And in France, home-based products and luxury items surged, with luxury hand soap sales up by 800%. Zalando, one of the largest European online retailers, showed similar trends, and reported an increase of 300% in home-based pampering and self-care products.

If you too want to play with your style, the following apps are some of the most popular platforms and websites on the grooming and fashion scene – you’re one swipe of the thumb away to grow that beard, freshen up your outfits or change your haircut.

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Beardify

Catered predominantly to the male audience, Beardify tries to make the beard growing process less daunting.

“A beard isn’t just facial hair – it’s awesomeness escaping through your face. Fun for both the bearded and the beardless alike! From a five-o-clock shadow to a full-on face forest, find the perfect level of whiskers for your face. Tons of styles, tons of fun!” is the pitch of the developers of Beardify for their app.

Features: The app allows you to upload a photo of yourself and try hundreds of different styles, giving you an idea of what the final result will look like, before you take the leap. You can change the colour, shape and style of the beard.

Cost: R14.99 once-off payment

Rating out of 5: 3.6 on Google Play, 4.5 on Apple’s app store

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Hairstyle Makeover

According to this unisex app’s description, “Match the hairstyles to your photo in an easy to use interface. Tap and drop the style you want. We only use real hairstyles and professionally edit them ourselves so they look real when you try them on.”

Features: Hairstyle Makeover does the same for hair as Beardify does for beards.  It allows you to imagine yourself with a smooth or tousled cut, a few highlights or a fully bleached head, and hundreds of other options you never had the time or courage to try. You upload a photo, choose a style, adjust the style to your photo and the end result is saveable and shareable to your friends and family.

Cost: Free, with in-app purchases.

Rating out of 5:  3.9 on Apple’s app store (not available on Google’s app store)

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TroveSkin

TroveSkin is an app focusing on skincare. The developers claim that, “TroveSkin is a skincare app that uses cutting edge Artificial Intelligence technology to analyse and manage your skin, helping you achieve clearer and younger skin. With the data from your skin analyses, TroveSkin then makes the most suitable and personalised recommendations of beauty products for you.”

Features: You upload a photo of yourself and a quick skin analysis is done, with suitable products recommended. It also provides helpful reminders about staying hydrated and allows you to complete daily goals in order to improve your skincare. It also links to helpful articles about skincare on other websites.

Cost: Free

Rating out of 5: 4.5 on Google Play, 4.2 on Apple’s app store

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Clotim

The aim of Clotim is very simple, “Clotim recommends clothes to wear based on the weather around you.” The app aims to solve the problems of the unpredictable weather patterns that sweep across South Africa. It pinpoints your location, looks at the weather patterns in your area and tells you exactly what to pack or wear for the day. It aims to stop you sweating away in the boardroom on an unnaturally warm June day, or be caught shivering and shaking during your morning workout on what was supposed to be a sweltering February morning.

Features: The app sends out push notifications every morning, so you never end up wearing the wrong things. It has an automatic location tracker that takes your movement into consideration when making recommendations and it plans ahead, allowing you to get recommendations for the week ahead.

Cost: Free

Rating out of 5: 3.9 on Google Play (not available on Apple’s app store)

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Stylebook

The developers of Stylebook explain that you can use the app to “Get the most out of your closet – for the price of a latte or a gossip magazine, you could have a closet assistant for life!” Featured in Vogue and The New York Times, it is one of the hottest new fashion apps.

Features:  You upload all the clothes you own and the app suggests outfit ideas, packing lists, how to organise your closet, statistics of what you wear most often and links to style experts.

Cost: R59.99

Rating out of 5:  4.7 on Apple’s app store (not available on Google’s app store)

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Prim-U

If you prefer a more South African twist and want to support a local business, Prim-U is South Africa’s online booking platform that connects the grooming industry to customers. If you are ready to wander outside, you can use it to book sessions with grooming specialists around the country. In that way, you can help reboot the economy, while treating yourself with some me-time. The website describes the platform as follows: “Prim-U is South Africa’s first online booking hub that connects world-class beauty entrepreneurs in the industry to customers and hundreds of salons, spas, hotels and guest houses countrywide. From massages to beauty treatments to male grooming, we’re your one-stop platform for every pampering need.”

Features: Create an account and find someone close to you to fulfil your grooming needs. Some even come to your home, otherwise feel free to pay them a visit.

Cost: Free

Rating out of 5: Unrated on Google Play, 5.0 on Apple’s app store

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The Covid-19 pandemic has turned the grooming industry, as so many others, upside down. Adding some you-time in your routine might be good for the body and for the mind, so even if you’re not yet ready to step out, download, swipe and have fun playing with new looks. DM/ML

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