Cocoa Swatches lets you try before you buy

BY LONDON MACKALL

Staff Writer

Makeup has become an integral part of fashion. For many women, an outfit that makes them feel confident and beautiful can always be enhanced by a sassy lip color, a quality foundation or some voluminous mascara.

As makeup becomes more expensive and specialized, people want to know how their makeup will look on them before they invest in it. This is where Cocoa Swatches, a popular Instagram account turned makeup app that was created by Ofunne Amaka, comes into play.

The purpose of Cocoa Swatches is to show what different shades of lipstick, eyeshadow and other beauty products look like on women with darker skin tones. According to its description on the App Store, “This platform has a strong focus on complexions that are underrepresented in the beauty industry.”

App users can easily navigate Cocoa Swatches by color, makeup type or brand to find a clear photograph of a model sporting the makeup. Typically the makeup or makeup palette is tested on the model’s forearm and face.

In addition to these photographs, the app also scores each product on longevity, pigmentation, authenticity, packaging and whether or not it is melanin friendly. Each score is out of a possible 10 points.

Cocoa Swatches also offers app users new makeup tutorial videos that are added each week, a blog that highlights the app creator’s opinions on different beauty products, makeup product comparisons, a growing list of makeup artists that they love and in-app access to their Instagram account.

Cocoa Swatches is free on the App Store, which is phenomenal for college students that would rather spend their money on actual makeup, as opposed to an app that talks about makeup.

The app layout is visually appealing and easy to maneuver. The color scheme consists of mostly neutral colors, which is effective because the app users’ focus should be on the makeup itself and not the background.

Though the drop down menu is a nice feature, it could be improved by doing a better job of separating the categories so that they do not look like they flow together.

The app is innovative because of its use of more diverse skin tones, but it is not as diverse as it could be because of its use of only one model per swatch. In order to improve this aspect of the app, the creator of Cocoa Swatches could utilize multiple models that each have different skin tones for each specific makeup that they are testing.

This app is great for women who enjoy varying their makeup routine, but want to have an idea of what the makeup will look like on them before they spend their money.

The Flyer gives Cocoa Swatches an 8/10.

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