S.p. beauty makeup. What is Meitu and is it safe to use? Here's what you need to know about the latest selfie app craze - Mirror Online

Everyone is talking about Meitu, the photo-editing app that transforms you selfies into beautiful anime-style portraits What is beauty makeup.

If you've noticed your Instagram feed filling up with dreamy pictures of your friends that appear to be hand-drawn, that's probably because they've discovered Meitu.

The Chinese photo-editing app has been popular in Asia for years, but was only released in the UK in January, and has become an overnight hit.

Like Instagram, the app allows users to add filters to their selfies, helping to hide blemishes and smooth skin tone.

However, Meitu goes a step further, with a "hand-drawn" mode that creates wider eyes and a slimmer jaw, and adds over-the-top effects such as stars, flowers and tears.

It's a bit like Prisma, but the resulting image is more like an anime than a work of art. Here's everything you need to know about the new app:

What is Meitu?

Meitu, which means "beautiful picture" in Chinese, is a beauty filter app that lets you transform your selfies into dreamy "hand-drawn" pictures.

It has a range of retouch options that allow you to hide acne, slim your face, firm you skin, enlarge your eyes and remove dark circles.

You can also add frames and stickers, adjust your skin tone and make collages.

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However, the app is best known for its "hand-drawn" mode, which automatically changes your eye colour and skin tone, adds make-up, whitens your teeth and introduces other effects.

The app has been intalled 1.1 billion times, and has over 450 million unique monthly active users worldwide.

How does Meitu work?

All you need to do is upload a photo of yourself, or take a selfie directly through the app.

You can then choose one of seven filters - Angelic, Blossoms, Fairy Tale, New Year, Petals, Mermaid and Baroness - with which to "beautify" yourself.

Meitu uses facial recognition technology to map your face using 171 positioning points. It then uses augmented reality technology to overlay make-up and effects.

After you finish editing your selfie, you can save it to your phone or share it via your social media channels.

Why is Meitu so popular?

Meitu enables users to create idealised images of themselves and share them with friends - something that has proved popular in China, where it is the number one photo-editing app.

However, in the West, many people are using the app to create ridiculously over-the top images of famous people, such as US President-elect Donald Trump and outgoing Vice-President Joe Biden.

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Many of these have been shared on Twitter.

Some people have also been amusing themselves by running the same image through the Meitu app repeatedly until their faces appears to melt.

Whatever your reason for using it, the resulting images are certainly mesmirising.

Is Meitu safe?

Security experts have warned that Meitu collects a vast amount of data from your phone - including your location, your phone number and your phone's IMEI number - and sends it back to China.

According to researcher Jonathan Zdziarski, this data could be sold on to companies for them to deliver targeted advertising.

The Meitu app has been a smash hit in the UK (Photo: App Store)

Other tech experts, point out this isn't a unique case - many apps ask for a huge amount of access to your data so they can profit from flogging you adverts.

However, Meitu insists that this is not the reason for the data collection. Rather, it is an attempt to circumvent some of China's strict rules on data tracking.

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"Meitu's sole purpose for collecting the data is to optimise app performance, its effects and features and to better understand our consumer engagement with in-app advertisements. Meitu DOES NOT sell user data in any form," the company said in a statement.

"As Meitu is headquartered in China, many of the services provided by app stores for tracking are blocked. To get around this, Meitu employs a combination of third-party and in-house data tracking systems to make sure the user data tracked is consistent."

If you are at all worried about your personal information ending up in the wrong hands, it's probably a good idea to steer clear of Meitu for now.

How do I get Meitu?

The Meitu app is available to download for free on both iOS and Android devices from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

As well as the Meitu app, Meitu designs beauty apps for the western market such as the top selfie retouch app BeautyPlus and its virtual makeup try on app, MakeupPlus.

The company listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange in December 2016, at a valuation of around 4.9bn Hong Kong dollars (£,500m).

Posted by at 10:17PM

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