I was asked at the end of January if I wanted to review the newly launched Matrix Color Lounge app (now available for Android and iPhone). Along with nails and colour cosmetics, I have now become obsessed and utterly vain about my hair. I don't normally review apps AT ALL other than the occasional "tap" of yellow stars, but after reading over what the Matrix Color Lounge was all about and that I could potentially see myself as a true buxom blonde before actually doing it, I thought YESSSSS! The ultimate colour consultation.
Now, there are a lot of these types of apps whether it'd be "trying" on nail colour or makeup and while I will admit that technology has made these apps better at providing more accurate looks, I was still expecting my new "hair" to look like a fake helmet of God knows what colours I decided to try! As someone who has never tried Matrix hair products, especially their colouring products, this is definitely an app that I would want to make use of to get a feel of what their colours would look like on my hair.
The very first thing I needed to do was to upload/take a photo of myself. I know it sounds obvious, but it is MOST helpful if you upload a picture where your hair is down (if you have long hair). While an updo is beautiful, you can understand why having your hair down in the photo will give you the most accurate idea of what the final product will be. I uploaded a photo of my husband who has very short hair and it REALLY did not work very well.
The "Detecting hair" message amused me because it is actually not that easy to tell a machine to separate what is "hair" and what isn't. To a machine, it's all just pixels. I did have an occasion where the app was unable to locate my hair on its own so you are able to hand select your hair if you need to (it works with cats too!).
You can see that the app did a fairly good job of detecting most of my hair. There were still a few areas missing that I just used my finger to "colour" in. If I went outside the lines, I went to "REMOVE" and erased what wasn't hair.
From here, you can choose whether you want to go with either a permanent or non-permanent colour. I went with permanent because why not? Next, you choose your base colour and then your desired hair "technique" which can be: all over colour, full highlights, partial highlights, accent highlights, colour blocking, ombre or painting. What was awesome is that if you don't know what any of these techniques really are (*raises hand*) then all you have to do is select what you want and you can see it in action!
I started off with something fairly safe and chose a chestnut base colour for my full highlights. Subtle, but nice. If you want to crank up the intensity of the base colour, slide the intensity bar and see what happens! The blonde that you see in the intro is also a permanent colour with a white blonde base colour with full highlights and it looks so good! I did get a little warning that the colour might not be exact which makes sense as white blonde is brutally hard to achieve on Asian hair unless you are a character from Final Fantasy.
There is a similar selection of hair colours in the non-permanent line so because I loved the white blonde so much, I kept it as my base colour and went for silver-grey painting. I didn't know where the colour would end up, but according to this app it went for the top half of my hair and then blended its way into the blond which is really what hair painting is. A multi-dimensional head of hair that is perfectly blended from the roots. If you click on the little square with the arrow, you can also reselect your "highlight" areas if you only want certain areas to be highlighted with colour. Likewise, you can also choose to share your new hair look on social media and wow them with your amazing new hair colour!
Of course, I had to see what a pure blonde ombre would look like. Sigh...my dream hair right here.
Then I discovered that I could have candy-coloured hair! I wanted to see a clear difference in terms of where the colour would sit, so when I selected this particular hair technique I had to specify where the "block" of colour would sit. I chose the middle of my hair because I really didn't know any better, but as it turns out from photos that I have been looking at, anything goes!
Overall, I was impressed with how realistic my hair still looked despite choosing some very distinctive colours. The ones that did not turn out the best were bright yellows, reds and blues. Those looked almost sprayed on (see below), but again the app did warn me about the colour not being accurate.
Prior to these photos, I played around A LOT. There isn't too much of a learning curve, but I have built my own app before when I was in computer science class and I'm used to testing EVERY possible scenario. I am just showcasing the ones that I found the most fun like this one:
With my kitty Hugo I had to hand select his "hair" as he is one big furrball, but I gave him a blue ombre which I'm sure he would love if there was Matrix Colour for Cats.
The Matrix Colour Lounge app was surprisingly fun to play with just because I got to see my fantasy blonde self as well as try out hair techniques and colours that I would honestly have done in real-life. What I always find difficult about bringing in pictures to the salon about what I want done with my hair is that hair colour ALWAYS looks different once it's on you. I wanted Chrissy Teigan's hair colour, but is she the same skin tone as me? NO. With this app, I can accurately see and show my stylist what I want. Ideally, they would be using Matrix SoColor, but even so I still found the app useful in planning my next hair escapade!
Download the FREE Matrix Hair Lounge app on itunes or Google Play.