photo: iStock

If Pinterest and Instagram had a baby it would be Tresscove, a new app that every beauty lover will be going gaga over for as it’s currently in its soft launch stage before it’s official launch this fall. The app was created by 26-year-old Dominican beauty lover Kayla Arias while pursuing an MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design, as the answer to her thesis question that asked “How can we use technology to push the boundaries on mainstream standards of beauty?”

“The project was really inspired by the way the natural hair community used beauty tutorials to not only change the way they embraced their hair and themselves but also change the market,” Arias says. “Now you go into a store like Target and find an endless amount of products for curly hair that weren’t there a few years ago.”

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Kayla’s hair quest to figure out the best products and styles for its naturally curly state through blogs and YouTube videos inspired the project back in 2013. These beauty tutorials started a movement and Kayla “wanted to create a platform that allowed even more people to join in on that conversation and kind of connect with each other in that same way.”

Tresscove beauty app
photo: Tresscove

The Tresscove app does just that by aggregating everything beauty lovers love to do online in one place. You can view, create, and edit beauty tutorials in either a slideshow or video (up to 2 minutes long) format meaning that you won't have to go down the rabbit hole of switching between a user and your feed to find all of the steps needed to create a look. The app also gives you the capability to tag products that are used in posts so you can shop right in the app. The coolest part of the shopping feature is that it shows you more than one retailer, so you can pick the site that is the most affordable. Being able to see the most cost-friendly option is meant to empower the user, according to Kayla, which is the goal of the app.

Kayla Arias Tresscove
photo: Henry Ofori

Kayla's ability to empower others doesn't stop there. If you have an idea for an app of your own, she tells us how we can make it happen:

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Your dream team will consist of a developer, user experience (how the user gets from point A to point B) /user interface (what the app looks like - icon, colors, fonts) designer, and an industry expert who will be able to connect your app to your audience and create a business strategy around it. It boils down to a business, creative, and tech person (Kayla was 2 1/12 of those people at Tresscove). So now that you know who you will need, here are the steps that will turn your app into a reality:

  • Your first step is doing research: In addition to looking up articles online, the research process consists of interviewing key experts, influencers, and consumers. This won’t just help you vet your idea and make sure there is a market for your app, it will also help you get to know your audience better and, according to Kayla, can even influence your design choices. 
  • Next, just like a fashion designer that creates a collection with a particular woman or man in mind, Kayla says, “You should a person in your mind that you are designing for and build around that.” 
  • Then you design the flow of the experience: the process the user will be going through, from what they see when they first open the app to how they get from point a to point b, c, d, etc. 
  • Wire framing is the next step, which is a mockup of what each screen is going to look like. Next find people to test your app to learn how they actually use it and where there is room for improvement. Continue doing that after each fix until you are satisfied.
  • Finally, go into the user interface design and start working on perfecting the look of the app. You should also have people testing your app at this point to see what needs to be tweaked as far as the appearance is concerned.

Once your app is ready, your job is not done. Just like all apps, they are constantly a work in progress where you are making improvements and looking for new areas for you to grow and evolve.

Now all we need is an amazing original idea. Is there an app for that?

Tresscove is available on iOS, Free.