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Sunday 22 September 2019

Controversial new app digitally removes women's make-up

MakeApp founder Ashot Gabrelyanov tries his app on Angelina Jolie Credit: Instagram
MakeApp founder Ashot Gabrelyanov tries his app on Angelina Jolie Credit: Instagram

Olivia Petter

A new app claims it will digitally remove makeup from a woman’s face, revealing what they would look like without it.

MakeApp’s marquee feature enables you to “add or remove makeup from any face” and can work “its magic” on photos and videos using AI.

The app has polarised opinions online, with many users claiming that the filter made them look worse than they normally would without makeup.

It is free to use for the first five photos and charges $0.99 for further use.

However, upon testing it, some women have noticed a crucial flaw in the app’s technology.

Rather than simply showing a face without makeup, MakeApp generates a pseudo-barefaced look that actually adds imperfections that weren't necessarily there in the first place.

Where most beauty apps will offer users a range of image-enhancing filters that are designed to make you look better, MakeApp does the exact opposite by imposing redness and dullness.

Rather than making women look natural, it just makes them look haggard and sallow.

Vexed users have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns that the app will exacerbate insecurities and low self-esteem.

"#MakeApp is a plot to make men think all women are ugly," wrote one person.

"So there’s an app called MakeApp that removes the makeup in pictures so people can 'see what you really look like' and ofc its a fail," added another.

Some explained that they simply didn't understand why a man or woman would want to digitally remove a woman's makeup.

"Men who have actual relationships with women usually know this because they see us without makeup and even naked sometimes," wrote one social media user.

Founder Ashot Gabrelyanov has fervently defended claims that his app was intended to shame women.

"We built MakeApp as an experiment and released it into the wild a few months ago and unfortunately the media coverage solely focused on the makeup removal function of the app and characterized it as a bunch of 'tech bros' trying to hurt women, which is just so far from the truth," he told BuzzFeed.

Regardless of the app's intentions, if it's a flattering selfie you're after, you might be better off sticking to Instagram.

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