As one of the largest makeup companies in the world, Maybelline is constantly at the forefront of fashion, culture, and design. Over the past five years, Code and Theory has helped Maybelline transform their digital marketing and branded-content presence online through social media, campaigns, education content, blogs, and sites.

In 2015, Maybelline tasked Code and Theory with strategic definition, design, and creation of a new global solution for their primary brand website:, to meet the ever-changing landscape in the cosmetics industry.


As e-commerce and mobile shopping across global markets evolves, purchase paths now start by seeking out content on mobile phones or checking go-to beauty experts from blogs, publishers, and social media influencers. Maybelline needed a place where consumers could get an all-encompassing experience, with access to supplementary content — tutorials, how-to videos, shade comparisons, and beauty guides — that could help guide them to the best products for their individual needs.

01 The Insight


The young millennial Maybelline audience is living a fast-paced life and the Maybelline site needed to keep up with them — delivering information and experiences that are always “on” at any given moment.

Content was just as much a part of the user experience as findability of products. Our research and insights revealed that the consumers wanted a guided shopping experience, giving them a story to follow and connect with, while still being able to access product descriptions and information when needed.


02 The Solution


The new Maybelline website was built mobile-first in its design and functionality, creating a fast and seamless experience for the users no matter where, or what device, they may be on. Effortlessly guiding consumers to unique mobile education tools, like the Maybelline Brow Play Studio, connected them to the brand and relevant products.



We took Maybelline beyond a website that simply catalogued their products — we made it a destination for consumers. Highlighting products by their distinct use and availability enables users to experience the essence of the brand while easily finding what they are searching for. Tutorials and how-to videos engage users beyond the basics of online shopping, and allowed them to delve into Maybelline’s world while developing deeper brand relationships. The new site integrates user generated content (UGC) from social media, removing barriers between dot com and Maybelline’s social media platforms, and giving consumers a chance to directly engage with the brand while influencing conversion within the brand itself.



Maybelline’s site content is curated for the users based on their need states and search trends, meaning that we created intuitive paths — serving SEO content that meets consumers' needs at the right time — while also guiding them along brand explorers. Using nontraditional detail pages, such as the Lip Color shade detail page, optimized for findability, created an efficient purchase experience while maintaining the high-end look and feel of the Maybelline brand.


The new site was based on a modular platform, with customizable product and content pages that allow international markets to customize the site based on specific needs. Now, global markets are able to start and introduce a new market site within minutes, not months. Further, the global content packages ensures minimal initial effort from content teams, allowing individual markets to grow at their own pace.

Once tailored sites are live across markets, specific modules are built into an easily-changeable library, allowing region-specific testing and iteration. The modular platform, with its flexible pages and templates also gave individual countries the freedom to customize the site based on local needs and product offerings.

03 The Results



The new Maybelline is intended to be the intersection of makeup, fashion, and Maybelline New York — and has ranked higher in SEO performance post-redesign. Seamlessly integrating their products with content, the new site creates a community in which Maybelline’s consumers can be inspired and educated on the best products, so consumers have what they need to “Make It Happen.”


  • Post-launch, users are less likely to bounce. The V3 bounce rate dropped to 45% vs. 53% in V2.
  • Average time on site has increased by 24% post-launch, from 01:30 to 01:52.
  • Mobile traffic has grown by 25% post-launch, and mobile users are also now spending 24% more time on the site per session.
  • Sessions per user have increased by 4%, indicating that users are returning more frequently to the site during a month span.
  • Considerations: Pageviews/Sessions have decreased by 34.2% on V3, which can be attributed to the increase in mobile users which have a lower onsite engagement level than desktop counterparts. This is generally an expected behavior across sites and industries.