The other day my friend, a dude, was balls-deep in phone zone. It's annoying. I do it, you do it, why do we do it? Because we're evolving into robots. Why do you think we're being trained to "pull" coconut oil? One day we'll need to staight-up Tin Man ourselves to survive.
Gulp it down, get used to it.
"Is this what a spa is actually like?" he grunted, to what I'm assuming was my direction. I peered over to see him playing Makeup Salon, an app that lets you simulate what it would be like to be an aesthetician and makeup artist. If, like, being an aesthetician had anything to do with poking and dragging at a glass screen and required absolutely ZERO knowledge of skincare or the beauty industry, and if certification meant entering your Apple ID and password.
"Yes, that is exactly what happens at a spa," I nodded, switching two striped candies, eliminating the bottom row and thus entering LEVEL 32, SUCKAS!! in Candy Crush. What?
His discovery, deep in the dark depths of the App Store, prompted me to do my own research. For you guys.
There's lots of beauty-type games to choose from, most being totally irksome. I'm now deleting the plastic surgery simulator and also the game where you extract teeth from small children. Here are the five that get to take up my storage space for the time being...
I JUST MENTIONED THIS SO I'LL DISCUSS IT MORE IN-DEPTH-EST: Makeup Salon
I don't know where or why dude found and downloaded this, but it's a vitual salon/spa, wherein you're given the choice to apply makeup or give a facial. You're then made to choose between three of the exact same girl/alien/women that wore different colored contacts and used hella different foundations in each look. Or three racially different chicks for the sake of diversity and really bad graphic design. You decide.
You go through a series of pages with different tools, cleansing, rinsing, drying, steaming, masking, and then the fun stuff. You PLUCK their eyebrows--which is normally NOT included in a facial, right? And then do extractions. And a Biore-type blackhead strip, which I would not be thrilled to have applied after going all the way to a freaking salon.
Brain Requirement: Mindless.
Skill Requirement: None, you can't do anything wrong.
Pop-Ups: Yes. Many. It was obviously created by a larger game conglomerate that wants you to download the rest of their offerings after being terribly underwhelmed by this one.
WTF CREEPIEST: Hair Plucker Lite
This totally reminds me of those creepy anime porn games I used to accidentally come across on ebaumsworld. The game design is so terribly terrible that it starts to add to the novelty of the game. As I'm trying to open it now, it can't adjust to my screen being held vertically and... awesome. Phone is frozen.
So you're presented with different options: you can pluck nose hair, pop zits, etc., but I've only been able to try the "classic" version at this point. A horrified-looking poorly-executed anime-type chick is sitting there on your screen, boobs spilling out of her white tank, and you can almost see her bits in her cut off shorts. Cool! Not playing this on the L train! Or ever.
Then you have to figure out through your own technological instincts how to zoom in, find a random stray hair, and pluck it according to their strange line and circular pluck-strength diagrams. She lets out an orgasmic "Oh!" as you pluck.
Price: Free, although you can upgrade to the "Ad Free" version for $1.99.
Brain Requirement: No instructions, so good luck figuring it out. In a word: frustrating.
Skill Requirement: None.
Music: Sporadic, and I'm pretty sure it was meant to be used on a monster adventure game.
Pop-Ups: You'll probably have to watch a 19 second commercial for another game before you can get in to this one, and even then, the main menu is riddled with candies from Candy Crush, which you should probably just play instead.
BEST WASTE OF TIME: Nail Salon
I call this the best waste of time because there is absolutely no benefit from playing this. No levels to beat, no brain exercising, no real feeling of satisfaction that you've accomplished anything. But, it's pretty to look at, I guess? So if you're going to waste time, maybe give it a go?
You have a hand (you can choose between all four skin tones), and a menu at the bottom, where you can pick your nail shape and length (do this first; it'll reset your work if you change the shape of your nail in the middle of the process), pick from a big-ish selection of OPI-ish colors, and add kawaii-ish nail art and rings. You can do free-hand nail art, and adjust the size and placement of gems and charms.
Brain Requirement: As much as if you were doing actual nail art. So, take that is you will.
Skill Requirement: I think this is meant for children. There's no time limit, no real way to screw up. Again, it's like real nail art--everybody can do it, it's just some people are better than others.
Music: Repetitive. It's really chill; I think there are chimes. But nothing I'd hate not hearing ever again.
Pop-Ups: You'll have to x-out of pop-ups suggesting similar beauty and child games to download. And there's a constant banner scroll at the top for Local Rehab Centers, so I don't really know what it's trying to tell me...
IF YOU WANT TO ACTUALLY BE "IN" THE GAME: ModiFace Makeover
For those of you that wanted an even more boot-leg version of InStyle's Virtual Makeover (like, 2005 edition; NOT hating on InStyle--I think we can all agree that makeover technology has come a long way since then), this is your app!
You upload a front-facing, simple photo of yourself and get to work adding celebrity hair styles, changing the color, and applying makeup from different stencils (I was impressed with the blush placement choices).
I know I'm getting too excited about the fact that it lets you choose shades from actual makeup brands and lets you use THREE different eyeshadow colors and placements all in one look, but it does. And I am.
Tip time. The facial recognition software or whatever is BAD. You'll probably have to adjust the little dot points in your original photo so that the makeup stencils fit your face correctly. From there, though, it's kind of fun.
Price: Free (for a limited time, apparently).
Brain Requirement: Some, but less than it would take to put together an IRL makeup and hair look?
Skill Requirement: None. Well, maybe brush up on your tapping-small-areas-on-your-iPhone skills, because there's a TON of tiny buttons to press, what with all the options. Or just play on an iPad.
Music: None! Thank god!
Pop-Ups: There is an annoying scrolling banner at the bottom, which is currently suggesting that I play Candy Crush, supporting my belief that Candy Crush is trying to inundate and control my life. Earlier, it was suggesting I watch some new season of something on TNT, but jokes on them because I don't have a TV or an attention span. Also, don't press the "TOOLS++" button, because it'll just want to take your money.
THIS IS ACTUALLY REALLY ADORABLE AND KIND OF FUN: Hair Salon 2
So here's the Pixar of beauty app games from some freaks who call themselves Toca Boca. Be ready 'cause they'll hit you with an adorable intro right from the get-go.
The game design is great: You play a hairstylist, and begin by going through what I'm guessing is your appointment book and pick out your next client from a group of polaroids. They each have a great personality and don't talk about their lives like you're their effing therapist.
The sound effects are adorable, you can wash, blow dry, change their hair color, curl it, cut it, comb it, straighten it, WHATEVER. The whole thing is animated and super-cute. And you're not confined to the set parameters of a pre-programed cut or blow dry. Like, you can shave a stripe into the left side of their head and have the rest be in a curly side pony with seapunk blue tips.
Price: $1.99 splurge!
Brain Requirement: More than most. You really have to ask yourself, "Should I crimp his beard? Or blow it out? Would he look better without the highlights?"
Skill Requirement: You need to be good at controlled selections on the screen, because the game lets you click on tiny sections of hair to cut/curl/whatever. It can be a little frustrating if you accidentally took too much off, but you do have the option to use the "grow" product to regrow a section.
Music: Charming, along with the sound effects.
Pop-Ups: You paid not to have any!
So which ones did I miss? And, more importantly, Candy Crush tips in the comments.