What You Need to Know to Develop a Great Makeover App

Virtual beauty makeover apps have gained a lot of attention in recent years. With instant makeover or makeup being extremely popular right now, many developers have succeeded in achieving tremendous success.

Without a doubt, the YouCam Makeup app is the best example of success here. In just two years, it has been downloaded 50 million times from the Google Play Store, and has become the best performing app in its category. According to experts, the secret of success lies in the fact that the app provides unmatched, true-to-life makeover experience as well as a wide variety of makeover options for users.

Indeed, augmented reality and face recognition technology can make a lot of difference for many people in app development industry. In the case of makeup and makeover, leading beauty apps use this technology to gain a lot of engagement.

Today, if you are planning to be ahead of leading companies like Mary Kay, Sephora and L’Oréal and be in the competition space you need to develop a quality instant makeover app. Know how you can begin your success story with an app.

Where to Begin with Makeover App Development

Imagine that you have to create an app for a beauty brand.

The brand is a well-known producer and seller of personal care and beauty products with more than 20 years of expertise in international business. With virtual beauty apps gaining significant traction, the company’s executives would like to join the industry and capitalize on the virtual makeover try-on app to encourage more customers to buy their products.

To design a product that the target audience – customers interested in makeup products who like virtual beauty apps – will use every day, you need to know about their needs as well as the best practices. By knowing the needs of the target users, you’ll be able to plan the app’s features; also, by reviewing the best practices, you’ll know what not to miss for maximum engagement.

Step 1: Explore the Needs of Intended Users

Besides, you’ll know what to avoid, too; Snapchat has gotten in some trouble with filters that drastically slimmed down users’ cheeks and noses and whitened the skin.

Source: Twitter

So yes, developing such an app sounds a bit tricky, but stay with me, it’s a totally doable and fascinating process.

Let’s start with the needs. What are the needs of a person who uses virtual makeover apps?

Many would like to have an app:

  • That’s essentially a salesperson in a beauty supply store with lots of samples visiting them at home (and without all that pushy and salesy stuff, of course). That means fewer ads, minimum commitment, and minimum premium features
  • That allows effortless photo-taking and uploading. It goes without saying that the user should be able to upload or snap a selfie directly in the app to try the makeover and makeup looks
  • That has rich functionality. “Ask any beauty or makeup artist and they’ll tell you that your app requires tons of makeup looks, hair options, skin tone options, in addition to a rich selection of instant makeover looks,” says Aneta Rowe, a researcher from Supreme Dissertations. “And there’s always lots more.”
  • That allows sharing looks on social media. The user of your app should also be able to effortlessly share their looks on their social media profiles with friends.

Now, these points already provide a decent roadmap for creating the app. To maximize the chances of success, though, let’s now move on to the next part: best practices. Taking a look at what competitors do is always a good idea that can give you new ideas and help you to make your app different and more unique.

Step 2: Learn the Best Practices

If we’re going to learn the best practices, then it makes perfect sense to learn them from a popular app.

One of the best-performing apps right now in this market niche is Perfect365: One-Tap Makeover. The app is still extremely popular – it has over 100 million users – so let’s review its key features to see how it attracts and retains thousands of thousands of users.

So, here’s the list of the app’s features, as listed on the app’s Google Play Store page.

  • Over 20 makeup and beauty tools to customize the personal unique style of the user, including liners, lipsticks, shadows, and others
  • An unlimited range of color options for designing a unique look with the Pro Color Palette
  • Over 200 preset Hotstyles that can be activated with one tap (instant makeovers)
  • Daily fashion and makeup tips for those wanting more
  • An advanced face recognition technology that ensures the most accurate and natural-looking makeup placement
  • Beauty product recommendations from experts
  • Easy shares of looks on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Video tutorials from well-known YouTube makeup artists to inspire users to come up with their own unique looks.

Credit: Perfect365: One-Tap Makeover, Google Play Store

So, now that we know both the needs of our target customer as well as the best practices from a popular instant makeover app, let’s summarize the most important points that you need to know to develop one yourself.

What to Keep in Mind to Develop a Great Instant Makeover App

Obviously, there’s a lot of challenges to overcome in a makeover app development project. To design a makeover app that delivers a great user experience has the potential to be featured in the top 10 in its category, here’s what you need to consider.

1. User Interface

Since, the user interface of most instant makeover apps is similar, ask the client to be very specific about it to make it as unique as possible. Besides, a lot of feedback will also be helpful for the development team to deliver great UI more easily and quickly.

User Experience (UX) writing should also be simple and concise to help users with achieving their goals. If you want to learn more about the design process, you can check out some UI/UX portfolios and case studies

2. Instant Makeover Options

A one-touch makeover is the whole point of the app, so the functionality providing a good before/after look as well as user-friendly and properly placed selection of filters must be available. The list should be easy to update on a regular basis.

3. Beauty and Makeup Tools Selection

As our review of popular apps showed, there’s a wide range of tools available to customize the personal style of users, including but not limited to lipsticks, shadows, and liners. Select the most basic and important ones you’d like to be featured in your app for the best user experience.

4. Makeup & Beauty Recommendations

Consider including the functionality that allows the users to get regular makeup and beauty tips (beauty guides, a blog, etc.).

5. Facial Recognition

To make sure that the app provides an accurate makeup placement, a cutting-edge facial detection technology is a must. L’Oréal’s virtual beauty tool, for example, uses ModiFace’s patented facial recognition and augmented reality product simulation technology, but there are others to consider.

6. Custom Color Options

This deserves a separate point. The app must have a decent color palette to allow the user to design their own look with the colors they prefer.

7. Photo Saving Options

The looks created by the users should be saved on their smartphone; also, be sure to provide the function of adding the files to an appropriate cloud storage service.

8. Social Media Integration

Sharing is fun and contributes to higher user engagement! Allow the users to save and share their favorite looks on popular social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Besides, this will also help with spreading the news about your awesome new app.


So, we’ve studied the needs of the target users and checked the best features, so you should have a pretty good idea of where to start now. Be prepared for a challenge, as the virtual makeover technology is still relatively new, but if you do your homework with researching customer needs and the latest trends to define the app’s features, the results could be amazing.