Branded beauty apps can often be gimmicky. But a few brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty have created useful mobile tools. Here are a few of the best:

Rimmel London: The “Shazam” for Beauty

Only 7% of women turn to makeup apps when researching products or trends, and that percentages is even smaller among 18-to-24-year-olds. If Rimmel’s “Get the Look” app weren’t so innovative, it would clearly be a losing proposition.

But the app is a smart idea. You snap photos of a look you like, and within seconds, you can see how the same makeup would look on you and buy the relevant Rimmel products. It’s less work than asking that random girl on the street where she got her lipstick – although possibly creepier.

Rimmel's app

OPI: “Try On” Tool

Nail brands have remarkably dismal sales, with only 5% of products sold on brand sites. That’s understandable, as consumers want to see how nail polish colors look in person. OPI’s mobile-friendly tool lets you do that – inputting your skin tone and preferred nail length, then displaying polish shades on a model hand similar to yours.

OPI's mobile tool

Smashbox: Mobile-First Diagnostic

While Beauty brands often use diagnostics as a means of guided selling, these can be cumbersome for mobile users. Smashbox’s mobile-optimized site relaunch pared down the brand’s diagnostic quizzes to make them more mobile-friendly.

The foundation finder quiz has only four questions, bolstered by high-resolution photography and simple descriptions. For example, “What’s your fave format?” has four responses (Liquid, Cream, Powder, and Don’t Care), accompanied by texture swatches and descriptions. Moreover, the question and all four answers fit within a single frame, solidifying the mobile-first experience.

Smashbox's mobile-first diagnostic

Daily Insights in Your Inbox