Public Release: 

UC-San Diego computer scientists release most realistic online makeover tool on the Web

'Lipstick algorithm' hits the Web

University of California - San Diego


IMAGE:  "Most people put on high gloss lipstick to give their lips a moist, plump look. Our technology gives lips in digital images this same look, " says UC-San Diego computer science... view more

Credit: UC San Diego

UC San Diego computer scientists have released their online makeover tool to the public this week at The cosmetics counter is no longer the only place to try out the latest makeup trends. The new way is easier, faster, and much more private. Anyone with a digital photograph can now apply more than 4,000 makeup products with the click of a mouse. It's all at - the creation of two Jacobs School of Engineering computer scientists turned entrepreneurs.

You can watch a video demonstration of the online makeover tool at:

The computer scientists invented an algorithm for separating gloss from non-gloss in digital images -- a technical feat crucial for's patented approach to applying photorealistic makeup to images. It is also useful for more traditional computer vision applications like face recognition. is easy and free. Simply upload a portrait-style photograph and a computer vision system automatically identifies your eyes, nose, lips and cheeks. From here, you can apply thousands of makeup products from a wide range of brands to your digital portrait and experiment with new hairstyles and colored contacts.

"Most people put on high gloss lipstick to give their lips a moist, plump look. Our technology gives lips in digital images this same look," says UC San Diego computer science professor and co-founder David Kriegman with co-founder Satya Mallick, a recent Jacobs School of Engineering Ph.D.

Once you create a new look, you can share it with friends, post the picture in's public gallery or upload it to social networking sites. To make shopping easier, you can print a list of what you tried on at

"With, we take something very complicated -- giving digital portraits a photorealistic makeover -- and make it very easy," says Satya Mallick, a co-founder with a fresh Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UCSD.

Mallick's dissertation focused on the gloss removal algorithm that led to

Kriegman credits the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering's von Liebig Center, UCSD's Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Services, and CONNECT's Springboard program for helping the team develop and spin out their business, license the core technology, and secure venture capital.


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