September 27, 2016

At last count, I have over two hundred screenshots saved on my phone. Like a crazed digital packrat, I’ve accumulated a formidable mass of information and images, the bulk of it being beauty products, advice or ideas discovered and saved from makeup blogs or fashion sites. They’re meant to be convenient references and reminders for the next time I go shopping or get ready to go out.

Yet, despite this copious note-taking, most of these screenshots will likely never see daylight again. Because the truth is, when the time comes, I rarely remember or can be bothered to refer to them. Why suffer through scrolling through the mess of images in my collection when I have shelves of products ready for the browsing, information, reviews and tutorials just as quickly and easily pulled up on Google?

So these dozens and hundreds of screenshots often end up being deleted (only after a long, long while) or lost in a mass backup, into the “black hole-esque” abyss of my computer’s hard disk.  It’s happened so many times by now that you’d think I would have given up on taking such screenshots.

Still, with the ever hopeful impulse of a 21st century hoarder, I persist in capturing image memos of whatever shampoo, highlighter or brow powder that catches my fleeting attention.

The recently launched Lovelyloot app therefore presents a very welcome and much overdue solution to my beauty needs. Born out of founder Ida Linden’s frustration that there was no way to digitally catalogue her beauty product needs, wants and stash, Lovelyloot allows one to easily keep track of the beauty products you already own, all-time favourites as well as the ones you want to try or buy.

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Working with major American retailers like Sephora and Nordstrom, plus popular independent labels such as Sigma Beauty and Makeup Geek, the app currently features a strong and comprehensive range of beauty products (with links to an item’s purchase site), covering every category that you can think of from tweezers to dry shampoo. The planned inclusion of more niche beauty brands, such as green-friendly, eco-conscious labels to Kbeauty will further improve its database in the near future.

Besides a wishlist, favourites and a to-try list, one can browse and create multiple, custom “collections”, which are comprehensive lists of say, all the blushes that you own, or products you use to create a particular look, adding personal notes for each item, to help remember the what and how-to if necessary.

My favourite feature has to be the option to include products that might not yet be available on the app. You can choose to conveniently take or upload a photo, and fill in a list of information on the item, from brand, price, colour and even URL, so that nothing gets missed, and you can easily and readily refer to the information at a glance.

Currently, the app is only available for iOS users, and needs a Facebook or Instagram account to login. A URL of each list can also be readily extracted to social media or note-taking and chat apps like Whatsapp for sharing.

Lovelyloot has a clean, clear and simple-to-use interface, and offers a game-changing, much needed service. One reviewer calls it the “Pinterest for beauty products”, and it seems likely that the app will be just as popular with women to not just catalogue what they own, but also create dream beauty wishlists and themed looks.