The Make-Up Removal App That Shames Women


A new app has just been released claiming to be able to digitally remove make-up. It’s called MakeApp, and the app’s main feature is being able to ‘add or remove make-up’ from a photo or video of anyone’s face. The app has polarised opinions online, with many arguing it simply body shames women.

While most beauty apps will offer their users a range of image-enhancing filters designed to make you look and ultimately feel better – we’re looking at your Instabae <3 – MakeApp does the exact opposite by imposing redness and haggard skin. The main question we have about MakeApp is simply, ‘Why?’ Why would anyone want to see someone at their worst unless you’re attempting to shame? The question has been posed to the app’s founder, Ashot Gabrelyanov, who has fervently denied that his was intended to shame women.

Talking to Buzzfeed, Gabrelyanov said “We built MakeApp as an experiment and released it into the wild a few months ago and unfortunately the media coverage solely focused on the makeup removal function of the app and characterized it as a bunch of ‘tech bros’ trying to hurt women, which is just so far from the truth.”


Instead, the Brooklyn-based founder has suggested the app, which uses filters like Instagram, could be used to identify victims of human trafficking who are often heavily made-up… hmmm.

Having used the app, it’s fair to say that the AI technology involved is far from sophisticated with most ‘make-up’ removals just generating a pseudo-barefaced which adds imperfections that aren’t really there in the first place. Gabrelyanov’s claim the app could help aid sex traffic victims would also hold a little more weight if the app wasn’t 75p after 5 uses…

To us, it seems likes MakeApp is just a plot to shame women, with the implications that all men think women wear make-up to cover up innate ugliness. The app doesn’t show the ‘real you’ at all – so whatever you do, please don’t pay for it!