Dermablend App Gives You the Skinny on Super-Tattooed ‘Zombie Boy’

Brand's reunion with Rick Genest

Zombie Boy rises again!

L'Oréal's Dermablend cosmetics brand got 13 million YouTube views for its 2011 "Go Beyond the Cover" video starring the über-tattooed Rick Genest. So, it's no surprise they've reunited, this time for an iOS app that tells the story behind the Canadian artist and model's body illustrations while touting Dermablend products.

3-D technology lets users "Uncover Zombie Boy" by clicking on his tattoos. (You can demo the app on the Web here.) For example, Genest informs us that he holds world records for the 178 bugs and 138 bones emblazoned on his skin, and that getting his hands done at age 19 was a "point of no return" because "you can't really get a job at a coffee shop anymore." The app lets you turn Genest's corpse-like image this way and that, and zoom in and out, but I was kind of hoping it would give me complete control of him, so I could make him my zombie slave to do my evil bidding. Maybe next time.

Oh, you can also overlay the deep, dark eyeholes and exposed teeth and gums of his skull tattoo on a photo of your own face to see what you'd look like if you, too, never wanted to get a job at a coffee shop again. When I tried it, I basically looked the same. Too many late nights reviewing ads and apps, I guess.

Now, on one level, "Uncover Zombie Boy" provides a fascinating interactive portrait of Genest's outer and inner self. But of course, this isn't a purely creative endeavor. It exists to sell Dermablend's concealing makeup, which was famously used in the viral hit video two years ago to cover up Genest's tattoos and make it look like his skin had never know the sting of the needle. In the new app, large letter D's that appear beside his image yield information about the Dermablend products that correspond to his various body parts.

Some have pointed out the incongruity of a fierce nonconformist like Genest, who, needless to say, really stands out in a crowd, shilling for an outfit that brags about being "the No. 1 dermatologist recommended camouflage brand." Still, the guy's gotta make a living. If he's satisfied that he hasn't "sold out," who are we to draw conclusions?


See the original Dermablend video with Genest below.

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@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.