I Let AI Tell Me How to Do My Makeup — These Are the Results

ChatGPT Editor Experiment
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez and Getty / Nenov, Sephora.com, Makebeauty.com and Photo Illustration: Becky Jiras
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez and Getty / Nenov, Sephora.com, Makebeauty.com and Photo Illustration: Becky Jiras
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New year, new me, and let me tell you: I'm all about embracing the future. Sure, I like to stay stuck in the past when my ex-boyfriend is involved, but when it comes to practically anything else, I'm ready to look ahead. Artificial intelligence (AI) is on the up and up, and I've been determined to try integrating it into my regular life whenever possible. The general consensus is that it makes life easier, so who am I to turn my nose up at it? I've been dipping my toe in slowly, and one of the websites I've started using a little more frequently is ChatGPT.

If you've never used ChatGPT before, the process is relatively simple. All you have to do is type in a question, and the AI bot will answer. You can ask anything from "how do LED masks work?" to "how do I write a love letter to my ex-boyfriend?" (I may or may not be guilty of asking the latter.)

I haven't had the best results using AI in the past. I tried an AI-powered dating app earlier this year to see if it could land me a date, and the results were . . . lukewarm. However, I've been seeing more and more of my friends use ChatGPT for things like creating emails, planning trips, and, yes, getting makeup tips, which made me curious about how good the chatbot's suggestions would be. I test and review new makeup products frequently, and I also tend to look to them for help when I'm considering trying out a new look.

To see if ChatGPT could help me create a makeup look I'd wear on a regular basis, I started out with a simple prompt. "Can you help me do my makeup?" I asked. "I want a natural look. I have olive skin with neutral undertones, brown hair, dark eyebrows, and brown, hooded, downturned eyes. I also have dry, acne-prone skin."

The chatbot immediately spit out a 10-step makeup routine that was just about as bare bones as you could get. It instructed me to prep the skin, even out my skin tone, conceal imperfections, set with powder . . . you get it. Essentially, it offered the most basic commands without any suggestions that would be pertinent to me, my skin tone, or my eye shape.

ChatGPT Makeup Editor Experiment

To try and narrow things down a bit, I asked if the chatbot could suggest some products for me based on my eye color and shape, skin tone, and undertone. In less than 10 seconds, I had my next round of answers.

A quick look at the product selections told me that ChatGPT was mainly focused on one thing: popular purchases, not what was really right for me. I don't want to name any names, but the powder it suggested — although a cult classic — was not one that would work well for dry skin. The concealer was also a viral favorite, but it was one I had tested in the past and knew creased easily and wasn't great for dry skin.

Makeup ChatGPT Editor Experiment
POPSUGAR Photography | Renee Rodriguez

Not everything was a bad suggestion, however. There were a few suggestions that rang true — like the IT Cosmetics Your Skin but Better CC+ Cream ($47), and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($25). Both favorites of mine, but again, both products that have a cult-like following. Realizing I would need to get more in-depth with my requests, I started asking the chatbot to suggest how to do my makeup using products I already knew worked for my skin type. Once I inputted that information, I started getting suggestions I could actually use.

For example, I've been really loving the Make Beauty Diffusion Dew Radiant Skin Tint ($32), but I wanted it to be a little less heavy for the no-makeup makeup look I was going for. The chatbot gave me a list of five different ways I could thin the product out, including adding a tiny bit of facial oil to the product, which I had never thought of before.

I also inputted an eyeshadow palette I've been using frequently, the Kosas Undressed Eyeshadow Palette ($40), and the chatbot gave me specific instructions on which shades to use and where to place them on my eye for a natural, "clean girl" look.

ChatGPT Makeup Editor Experiment

However, while there were some wins, there were some losses too — like when I asked ChatGPT where to apply my blush if I wanted a "lifted look." Unfortunately, no matter what I asked, the chatbot was determined to have me place my blush on the apples of my cheeks, which actually tends to bring my features down rather than lift them. Also, when I asked for instructions on how to contour my face using the Merit Bronze Balm Sheer Sculpting Bronzer ($30), the answers were once again doing the least.

Another thing ChatGPT was sorely missing? Photos and videos. Written instructions are fine in theory, but actually being able to look at someone applying product to their face — or seeing what the end result looks like — is priceless, in my opinion. Plus, there were a couple of times when ChatGPT just fully crapped out on me and told me they were experiencing "exceptionally high demand," and to "please try again later."

Chat GPT Makeup Editor Experiment

While I found myself frustrated for the hour-plus I tried to shuffle back and forth between asking ChatGPT questions and doing my makeup, the end result wasn't terrible. My makeup was minimal, as I wanted it, and I looked like me. Would it have been a thousand times easier to watch a YouTube video of someone with a similar skin tone, eye shape, and face shape to mine? Absolutely. But ChatGPT still had some wins, so I've got to give credit where it's due.

Renee Rodriguez is a staff writer and social producer for POPSUGAR. She writes across all verticals, but her main areas of expertise focus on fashion and beauty content with an emphasis on reviews and editor experiments. She also produces social content for POPSUGAR's TikTok and Instagram accounts.