In the tradition of those Snapchat filters that give your skin an added glow and FaceApp, the less said about which the better, comes MakeApp, an app that uses artificial intelligence to show you what people—you, your friends, celebrities, anyone—look like without makeup. There are of course plenty of apps that stack various filters in order to self-beautify, and MakeApp offers the option of adding makeup to a face, too. But its underlying purpose seems to be to make sure that people—ahem, women—can’t get away with using makeup to fool people into thinking they’re hotter than they actually are. Why not expose the dastardly tricks these harpies are using to disguise themselves? Makeup: It’s basically witchcraft.
Women, understandably, have not taken kindly to this concept: Select All called the app “laughable and problematic,” PopSugar described it as “sexist,” and Refinery29 said it “wants to destroy your self-esteem.”
It probably comes as no surprise that the app was created by a man, Ashot Gabrelyanov. This isn’t the first time men have run into trouble sharing their opinions about makeup with the world, and it surely won’t be the last. Still, since the app is available for anyone with a smartphone to try out, surely Gabrelyanov wouldn’t mind if I tested it out, well, him. Why should only women be subjected to the MakeApp treatment? Surely those cheeks have nothing to hide from the truth!
Here’s Gabrelyanov’s Twitter profile photo, on the left, and next to it is what his mugshot looks like after being run through the “Remove Makeup” option on MakeApp. It’s impossible to tell whether he is wearing makeup in the original photo, but in the after photo, he does look a little worse for the wear: His skin is washed out, his lips are less pink, his eyelashes and eyebrows are less prominent.
Since it was there, I ran his Twitter photo through the “Add Makeup” option, too. The result is chic, if nontraditional: Brows are on point, eyes are nicely lined and highlighted, and the pink lip color pops. And it was certainly faster to get this result through an app than a trip to Sephora.
Manipulating photos with apps is so fun I didn’t want to stop. I was curious: What would happen if I just kept removing makeup from Gabrelyanov’s picture? Who knows what he could be hiding! Theoretically I’d already removed his makeup, but there’s no way to know how much makeup he was wearing. Here’s the post–“Remove Makeup” picture again.
And here it is after I removed the makeup twice.
Here’s the picture after I removed the makeup three times.
And here it is after I removed the makeup four times. Hope I got it all.
It turns out if you keep scrubbing someone’s makeup off, eventually the person become a zombie with rotting skin. Thank you, Ashot Gabrelyanov, for creating this app to identify the undead. Please refrain from more apps that target women—and stay away from their brains while you’re at it.