What Is a Virtual Makeover?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2019
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A virtual makeover is a makeover performed on an image via a computer. Some websites offer virtual makeovers, as well as some downloadable software programs. Depending on the capabilities of the program, users can change their hairstyle and color, makeup, and other aspects of the photograph. Getting a virtual makeover can help decide which haircut or makeup product to choose in the real world, without spending anything but time. In general, online makeovers are not advanced enough for an edited photo to look unedited or professionally done.

The websites that offer virtual makeovers do so for various reasons, including ad revenue, to sell their own products, or to sell the game. For example, a makeup company might add a virtual makeover program to their website, then suggest products to users. The users can apply the products to see what looks best on them and buy from the same website if satisfied with the appearance of the makeup.

Haircut, lipstick, and eyeshadow are some changes that a virtual makeover can change or add. Someone who is familiar with the program will usually produce better makeovers than someone who does not know how to make subtle changes. It is usually best to start with an image of a person whose hair is pulled back, if the haircut will be changed. The program might ask the user to upload a picture facing a certain way to get the best results.


A lot of virtual makeover programs are designed to help people avoid making a decision they might regret in real life. For example, few people know for sure if they will look good if their hair is dyed from brunette to platinum blond. With products, the programs help people see about how the product will look when applied in real life. Otherwise, the person must try the product out in a store or order it, then try it out. A virtual makeover game can help solve these problems, though the results may differ a bit between virtual program and reality.

Some people use virtual makeovers to improve their photos. Most virtual makeover programs are not on par with an advanced photo editor or someone who does photo editing for a living, however. The final product often looks heavily edited in an obvious way. For this reason, they are best used for fun or deciding what products or haircuts to get rather than improving a photo.


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