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With more things now virtual than ever before – from shopping and exercising to weddings and quizzes – it makes sense that trying on make-up has also gone digital.

But sometimes purchasing products online, if you’ve never used them before, can feel like a guessing game. Will the shade work for my skin tone? Will the colour be too light? Too dark?

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Iconic make-up brand MAC is out to change the whole digital make-up shopping game with its free Virtual Try-On tool. Though it’s been around for a while, the newest foundation finder feature promises to match you with your perfect base shade in just a few seconds. Not an easy feat considering MAC’s cult Studio Fix Foundation comes in a whopping 67 shades.

The virtual try-on feature also lets you test out over 800 different products for the eyes and lips.

The process is simple. When you’re browsing a product page, you simply click the “try it on” button on the top left corner of the product picture. You then enable the camera on your device, upload a picture of yourself, and it’ll show you what the product looks like on your skin or your features.

Sound too good to be true? Beauty writer Akesha put the tech to the test and compared the results to wearing the actual MAC products, in a bid to really see how accurate the tool really is.

Here’s what Akesha thought:

Just a review disclaimer: I’m not a big fan of robots telling me things. I think until my iPhone can give me an accurate weather forecast, I will always have trust issues with tech. However, during these “unprecedented times” we are becoming more reliant on online tools than ever, and I feel I have to adapt.

To be honest, I don’t miss in-store make-up testers (can you imagine sharing lipstick nowadays?) as much as I miss the actual event of going to see make-up in real life. The browsing ritual before settling on your haul is the best bit, right?

While I don’t quite get the same vibe from MAC’s Virtual Try-On tool, it is fun going through the different shades and seeing which ones suit me best. This definitely worked well for the lip products and I was impressed with the fact it detected my whole lip. It sounds silly but other try-on tools I’ve used in the past haven’t catered for the big lip gang.

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I settled on both virtually trying on and then ordering MAC Retro Matte Lipstick Russian Red,£17.50 here. I found the actual product has a slightly more blue undertone than the tool showed. Not too similar in hue if I’m honest, but both did suit me.

Moving on to eyeshadows, I found both issues and some good points. When you try a shade on virtually it shows the colour nicely, but you don’t have the option of adding on an eyeliner or mascara after. You have to use your imagination for all those extra touches.

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I ordered and tried on MAC Powder Kiss Soft Matte Eyeshadow,£17.50 here, in the muted fuchsia shade Lens Blur. The virtual colour looked a bit brighter than it did in real life, but the pigment and the smoked-out effect were accurate.

Last but most definitely not least, the foundation matching. This is something I feel we all could benefit from so I was praying it would ace my shade. Being a long-time user of a MAC foundation, I actually already know my Studio Fix Fluid, £27 here, shade is NW44 in the winter and NW45 in the summer. Which made this all the more interesting to see what the tool matched me with.

Though it didn’t guess those exact ones, it offered me results within their ballpark – except for one rogue match which was six shades out.

My final verdict? I do think this is a handy and fun tool to use. It wasn’t exact but it was better than not really seeing the shades at all, so it’s well worth a few minutes of your time.

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