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With summer in full swing, now is a great time to test out new and trendy beauty products and styles. Experimenting with your look or your locks can be daunting, though, and no one wants to end up with black nails when everyone is wearing green, or green hair when you wanted blonde.
Avoid beauty disasters by downloading these free and budget-friendly iPhone apps, which let you take new styles out for a virtual test run before committing to (or buying into) any big changes.
1. OPI Nail Studio (Free)
This app allows you to match your skin tone with a model's hand and then preview OPI's latest shades before ponying up for that new manicure or bottle of nail polish. It's a great way to virtually "try before you buy," and eliminates the mess of having to take off unflattering shades — or paying for a polish change.
2. GoodGuide (Free)
Putting the iPhone's barcode-scanning ability to use for beauty products, GoodGuide allows you to scan any product's barcode for instant access to its healthy, green, and socially responsible ratings. With over 65,000 products in their database, GoodGuide is a great way to make more eco-friendly purchases and easily reduce your footprint.
3. Hairstyle Lite (Free)
Your next perfect haircut is as easy as 1-2-3: upload a "head shot" photo of yourself from the photo album on your iPhone or iPod Touch, align the photo with the app's grid, and then virtually try on over 125 new hairstyles. The latest version of Hairstyle Lite also includes 25 hairstyles for men, and each individual style can be viewed in over 50 different hair colors. Another great way to try before you buy — or, in this case, before you dye!
4. Haircaster ($0.99)
Just because your city has crazy summer weather doesn't mean your hair has to go frizzy, flat, or otherwise shlumpy. Haircaster uses the information from daily weather forecasts and predicts what kind of hair day you might have, including suggestions for how to best manage your locks no matter what the climate!
5. Lookz (Free)
Created by makeup artist Barry M, this app aims to help ladies everyone have perfectly glam makeup at all times, through at-the-ready expert tips, tricks, and videos. Lookz also has a gallery of free, fashionable wallpapers so your iPhone can look as great as you do.
Story: Copyright 2010, Shoestring LLC. Image: Courtesy of OPI.