Barbie® Digital Makeover for iPad® reinvents makeup application and introduces kids to a new way of play.

The Ask
In collaboration with Mattel® and their technology partner CyWee, we sought to blur the lines between physical and digital in a fun and playful way for Barbie® fans. The age-old childhood desire to experiment and transform our appearance with makeup has been a core Barbie® play pattern for decades. As digital enables more ways than ever to make traditional play experiences more magical and imaginative through the strategic use of technology, we were asked to bring together the disparate components of facial tracking software and physical prototypes into an incredible interactive experience that would exemplify the Barbie® brand and maintain its position as a leader in the play space.
The Actualization
A cross-collaborative approach with teams spread across the globe created a unique approach to bringing the console to life. Mood boards for the initial design direction, as well as UX overview documentation, established a foundation to work from. The user interface of the application was an interesting challenge because we didn’t want it to compete with the beautifully designed console – it had to feel like it was seamlessly integrated into the product while maintaining the standard of excellence of Barbie®. Once the design and integration components were in place, informal play testing allowed us to optimize the user experience and interface along the way.
The result is a digital makeup application that is intuitive, fun, and almost indistinguishable from putting on real makeup. Kids can select options like eye shadow, lipstick, blush, and accessories and apply colors and glitter to the “Digital You” by touching a color pod on the base on the console with your finger, then pretend to apply the makeup to the “Real You” with the applicator – the facial-tracking technology keeps the digital makeup in place as you move.

“In my makeover, we went a little overboard in the eye shadow, but that’s the point. Users get to try on, wipe off and experiment with different colors. And if they find a makeover that comes out well, they can save it to a scrapbook or share it with friends on Facebook. The app can also be used without the vanity mirror, but with those white make-up lights and pink frame, who can resist?”

– Andrea Smith, Digital Lifestyle Editor at Mashable

The Accolades
  • Ranked #1 free iPad app by iTunes in Entertainment category.
  • Ranked #1 in App Store in 6 countries
  • Ranked in the top 5 overall in the App Store in over 20 countries
  • Selected as a “New and Noteworthy” app in the App Store
  • Rated 5 stars across all categories in
  • Raving reviews at a top industry event, ToyFair from MashablePSFKSuper KidsUbergizmoABC NewsAOL On TechKidscreen and more!


  • 3rd Party SDK Integration
  • UX Design
  • iPad App Development
  • Visual/UI Design

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