Nail the Perfect Manicure Shade with the ManiMatch App

Until we get our hands on Microsoft’s HoloLens, the potential of augmented reality is going to go untapped — with one exception. The beauty industry has been the most active and inventive in putting augmented reality to work, with companies like ModiFace bringing us apps that allow you to virtually try on cosmetics using a scan of your face. The same now goes for nails, thanks to the new ManiMatch app from Sally Hansen.

ManiMatch works the same way as those ModiFace apps — scan a picture of your hand using the app, then choose a shade. The app will virtually apply the nail polish in real time, so you can instantly get an idea of what a color will look like in contrast with your skin tone. Sally Hansen has added over 200 shades of their own nail polish to the app, but if you’re already in a store, you can scan a barcode on a bottle of Sally Hansen nail polish to bring the shade up in the app, too. And, if you’ve been stricken by paralysis of choice, the app can help you decide on a new shade by analyzing your skin tone and giving you recommendations accordingly.

The one drawback right now is that it’s only augmented reality — you can’t just upload a still image of your hand. You’ll either need a steady camera hand or a downward facing mount to make the app work, because a shaky hand will throw off the hand outline that the app uses for scanning and analyzing. Still, if you can make it work, ManiMatch is a pretty cool way to try out new colors without the risk of buyer’s remorse or getting caught opening bottles in Sephora. The app is available for free on iOS and will be available for Android this fall.