Friday, 4 April 2008

Free online make-over programs

Here are 2 ways to kill a LOT of time, and give yourself an ego boost at the same time!

1. My Heritage

I first discovered this site a few years ago but just decided to play with it again yesterday.

You upload a photo of yourself and in seconds it tells you which celebrities you look like! I think you need to try a couple of different photos for accuracy and I've noticed that the direction in which you are facing affects it too (eg if your face is tilted slight to the left or right, it affects the results).

I'm pretty happy with my celebrity look-a-likes. I used 7 different photos (make-up and hair done, no make-up and unbrushed hair, a self-taken photo, etc). These were my top matches:

Miriam Yeung (HK actress/singer) - 4 times
Lucy Liu - 4
Stephen Chow (HK actor, a man!) - 4
Michelle Kwan (Olympic figure skater) - 3
Grace Kelly - 3
Zhang Ziyi - 3
Gong Li - 2
Sammi Cheng (HK actress/singer) - 2
Jolin Tsai (Taiwanese singer) - 2
Jacqueline Bracamontes (Mexican actress) - 2

The funniest and weirdest one I got matched with was Macaulay Culkin - a pic of when he was in 'Home Alone'. Hahaha. As if I look like a blonde 8 year old boy! LOL :D

OK, so you are wondering why I've called this a 'make-over program'. Well, you can also do morphing videos between you and any of the 10 celebrities they match you up with. The results are really amazing!

At the end of it all you can save your photo collages or morphs and/or add them to your Myspace, Bebo, Friendster, Facebook, Hi5, Blogger, Livejournal and many more.

2. Taaz

I just found this a few days ago through one of the many blogs I read (can't remember which one). I then spent around 2.5 hours playing with it and totally lost track of time! Crazy. I have since read online that other people have said the same thing because it's so addictive. It is really a BIG time waster/killer but loads of fun.

I managed to turn myself into some freakishly unimaginably attractive person!

Once you sign up and start using it it's easy to see why this is so addictive. This program uses shockwave flash and complex algorithms and 'points' to allow you to apply make-up with amazing accuracy. But (to me) the most amazing part of all this is the hairstyle application. With a few clicks you can mould the hairstyle so it suits the shape of your face - it's even easier and more realistic than Photoshop! I do wish there were more hairstyle choices and better colours though. A lot of the colours seem very flat, apart from the default one.

You can apply foundation, concealer (under the eyes), blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner, coloured contact lenses (kinda useless if you're Asian/dark-eyed though!), mascara, lip liner, lipstick, lip gloss, teeth whitening, and a hairstyle (and hair colour).

My only minor complaint though is that you can't do anything with your eyebrows.

If anything is not quite right you can tweak it. Eg the intensity of the blush or lipstick or eyeshadow, or the positioning of the mascara (although I'd more likely call this falsh eyelashes for the effect it gives!).

Now I found myself wondering (after having tried a similar online program which required you to pay) why something as good and easy to use as this was free. This is where you realise they have an amazing business model. The make-up that you apply to your photo is actually current make-up brands and models. And with a simple click it gives you a list of all the products you have used on yourself, so that you can go and purchase it. So in a way, it's subliminal advertising for the make-up companies who are no doubt funding this project in some way.

It's loads of fun so give it a go! (I also did my husband and he ended up looking like a drag queen - pretty funny!)

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