2 Silly Apps for Halloween Fun


Crazy HairCrazy Hair

My kids experiment with Crazy Hair for themselves and a plush panda.

My kids love dressing up: we’ve got two big plastic bins of old Halloween costumes, scarves, hats, and other accessories, and they frequently dump everything out while looking for just the right combination. So it’s no surprise that lately they’ve been enjoying two silly apps on my iPad: Crazy Hair Studio and Mojo Masks.

These aren’t the only apps of their kind, of course, just the once I happened to come across most recently. Crazy Hair Studio lets you take a screenshot (with a recommended outline for where to put your face), and then you can pick from male or female hairstyles, including celebrities like Lady Gaga or Zac Efron. The best part, though, is the ability to edit the hair. You can make it longer, brush it, put in curlers, clip it, or dye it. The app actually tracks clumps of hair, so it’s more of a sculpting program than a typical drawing program. I’ve actually been surprised at what it’s capable of.

Of course, once you’re done, you can save it to your photo gallery or share it via email, Twitter, or Facebook. Crazy Hair Studio is $1.99 free, with additional features like glasses, hats, tiaras, flowers, and bows available as in-app purchases. If you buy up all the add-ons it ends up being quite pricey, but for two bucks your kids can have a bit of fun experimenting with new hairstyles — with less fuss than when they try to snip their real hair with scissors.

Mojo MasksMojo Masks

Mojo Masks incorporate facial recognition for live-action masks.

Mojo Masks also starts off with a facial template, asking you to “Fit Mask” to your face. But once it has recognized you, it overlays a mask which moves along with your facial features — you can snap a photo or record a video clip. (As usual, you can save these or share them.) It’s a lot like those little masks that some webcams include, where it makes you look like you’re wearing giant sunglasses or a crown, but there’s a little more interactivity as you move your eyes and mouth.

The free app comes with four masks and a set of glowing eyes (as seen above), and you can buy additional dollar packs of other types of masks and eyes. The facial recognition works all right, but it’s not great: if the lighting isn’t even or if part of your face goes off-screen, then the mask disappears. Sometimes it shifts around a little, trying to find where exactly your eyes and mouth are. And I did find that the masks can be a little pixellated. For the most part, though, it does look like you have some face-paint on, and it’s fun to check out what you look like with various weird masks on.

mojo masksmojo masks

Mojo Masks and Crazy Hair Studio are fun together.

My kids decided to combine the two, taking screenshots of themselves with the masks and then adding crazy hair to the masked faces. The one weird thing about Mojo Masks is how tiny the pictures are when you save them to your Photo Gallery: they’re not full-sized screenshots, but little tiny versions instead. I don’t know why they chose to do that — you might as well use your screenshot feature (Home + Power button simultaneously) to get a higher-resolution version.

If you’ve got kids who like making faces in the mirror, take a look at these apps — and, hey, if you’ve been lame about getting Halloween costumes ready, maybe you can just dress them up on-screen and post those to Facebook.

Update: I forgot to mention one thing about Mojo Masks. It can also get a bit confused if you wear glasses. My half-rimless glasses were sometimes okay if the lighting was bright enough, but my daughter’s chunky plastic frames had to come off for the app to find her eyes properly.

Disclosure: GeekDad received promo codes for these apps.

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