Recently I saw a Schick Japan TV commercial that led me to their Hige-chen website, an interactive delight that lets you upload a picture of yourself and see how you'd look with any of 1,000 different styles of whiskers. The site is intuitive and fast, and more important, fun. Once you upload your photo (you can also work with a sample image preloaded on the site), you narrow down the styles that might suit you through search features organized according to type (mustache, beard, sideburns, etc.) or theme (sporty, sexy, seventies, wild, Japonesque, corporate, etc.). It's also possible to specify multiple parameters like face shape, hair style, age, beard thickness and hair color to come up with looks that are right for you. After you trim down your options, all you do is drag the one(s) you like off a rotating carousel and right onto your photo. Voilà. It's you looking like anybody from Charlie Chaplin to Tom Selleck, to Francis Ford Coppola, to Fu Manchu.
One bonus feature that had me falling out of my seat laughing
is the 3D button that lets you convert your photo to a "live" image that blinks, moves its head around, and changes expression. Obviously, since the site is targeted to Japanese users, the program endows you with Asian eyes, but that didn't bother this Caucasian. (In fact, I found it rather amusing when I uploaded a photo of one US president to try out various looks and found him nodding and grinning madly back at me from behind some Confucius whiskers).
Besides letting you model new looks, Schick's site also lets you watch TV commercials, enter prize contests, learn how to care for facial hair, and study up on historical figures who sported beards and mustaches. All in all, it's pretty engaging and I ended up spending a good 45 minutes poking around.
Unfortunately, you probably will have some difficulty figuring out how to use the site properly if you don't read Japanese. But if it turns out to be a hit, we'll likely see future versions on Schick sites in other countries.