Sabrina Carpenter performs onstage during iHeartRadio z100’s Jingle Ball 2023 Presented By Capital One at Madison Square Garden on December 08, 2023 in New York City.
Barbie is having quite the year!
From a hit movie to Barbie-themed costumes, people have embraced nostalgia and showcased their renewed love for the iconic Mattel doll more than ever in 2023. Now, just before the year wraps up, there’s a new trend making waves in the beauty community: the Barbie effect.
This makeup style involves applying vibrant pink blush on the cheeks and baking with white powder to achieve a “doll-like” appearance. Think Sabrina Carpenter’s signature makeup look or that of Cindy Kimberly, also known as Wolfie Cindy.
“I call ‘Barbie effect’ the way someone does their makeup around here [upper area of the face] specifically that takes them from being pretty to unreal-looking,” the social media influencer said in a TikTok video that has over 194,000 likes and nearly 64,000 saves as of writing. “I think this is why we’re so obsessed with Sabrina Carpenter’s makeup. It’s a certain doll-like perfection.”
How to do the Barbie effect makeup
Kenealy demonstrated to her followers the precise steps for achieving the Barbie effect makeup look.
First, she encouraged her viewers to seek out a blush in the boldest bubblegum pink hue and apply it generously from the cheeks to the temples.
“It just makes a girl look so sweet and unapproachable and intimidating at the same time,” the influencer explained.
The trending underblushing technique, currently causing a stir on TikTok, is vital in achieving the Barbie effect.
Kenealy demonstrated this by using a concealer brighter than her skin tone and applying it beneath her eyes.
The sequence is crucial — apply blush before concealer. This technique involves seamlessly blending blush with concealer, with the concealer layered on top of the blush to create a pore-blurring effect.
“This look does call for the underblush method so make sure [concealer] is going on after the blush,” Kenealy said.
This is the stage where you start to resemble something almost unreal, like a “Barbie or AI,” she added.
To mattify the skin, the beauty influencer advised her viewers to bake “not with translucent or pink powder, but with the whitest of the white powder” available in your vanity.
The powder is brushed onto the eyelids, under-eye region, and the central area of the face, right next to the inner eye.
“The point is to look so bright it’s unnatural,” she said.
Next, Kenealy picked up a blush with a soft pink hue and applied it to the high points of her face, aiming for a “seamless gradient” that replicates a “Photoshopped” appearance.
To complete the look, consider applying a luminous highlighter to the highest points of the cheeks, creating a glossy, dewy finish.
“You can finish the makeup look however you want because we’re not [trying to] look exactly like Barbie,” the content creator said. “The Barbie effect is just to give you that unreal, insanely feminine, hyper-perfect essence.”
Beauty influencer Zoe Kim Kenealy shared a “Barbie effect” tutorial.