Given that the word 'selfie' officially entered the dictionary last year, it looks like the trend of taking photos of yourself and sharing them with the world is going nowhere. However, one new app is taking this, er, art form and finally making it useful. Hallelujah.
BeautySpotter launched this week and is set to transform the way we choose our beauty destinations. Forget anonymous user reviews and unreliable recommendations - BeautySpotter has made it all about the visuals.
Users can log on to the app to see a gallery of selfies taken by fellow BeautySpotters after they've had a beauty treatment. This could be a blowdry, manicure, haircut - the list is endless. This way you get to see the finished look and quality of the work before you book in with the salon or stylist.
Individual stylists feature highly in the app as let's face it, one salon has multiple stylists and they might not all be your cup of tea. If you're searching for a colourist who knows their way around a blonde or someone who can master your wedding updo, this app could be the answer. We think of it as a Pinterest-meets-Instagram-meets-TripAdvisor for beauty.
Of course, you can also be a BeautySpotter yourself by uploading your new 'do or nail art as you go, telling your fellow Spotters where you went, whose handiwork it is and what you think of it. You already do it on Instagram, so why not share in a way that adds to the stylist's portfolio?
What's most important is that the app itself is pretty slick; the technology and user experience have been given due care and consideration by the founder, Gemma Bellman. Users can tailor the homepage to their preferences, 'follow' users and stylists, bookmark images they like and see what's trending based on what other users are liking and sharing. The search function is impressive too - you can discover new looks by keyword, occasion, hair and skin type or even just by brand or product.
Bellman says she wanted to get away from the concept of shopping for beauty by offers and instead focus on the end result. “Having worked in beauty for a number of years I’d always been frustrated with the lack of transparency in the salon industry," she explains. "You’re essentially shopping blind for treatments, never knowing exactly what you’re paying for until it’s too late – the hair is cut or the nails are dry! I wanted to create a peer-to-peer platform for discovery, bringing beauty back to face value and allowing people to window-shop for their ‘look’ before they book.”
Best of all, the app has an impressive (not to mention GTG approved) roster of salons on there to kick it off, including WAH Nails, Josh Wood Atelier and Jones & Payne. Selfies with high standards? We're sold.
The BeautySpotter app is available to download now on the App Store .