A Few Shades of Pink: Everything You Need to Know About Color-Changing Lip Gloss

posted: 03/28/16
by: Briana Finelli
Woman applying lipstick in store

Ever since we were young, we've seen tons of products touted as changing with our mood: rings, necklaces, and yes, even lip glosses. Today, it's not uncommon to see the biggest names in beauty offering products meant to enhance natural lip pigments and even, wildly, match our moods.

So what's the deal with mood glosses? Do they really match our mood, or is it something else? We did some digging and got down to the glossy truth.

Color-changing lip colors first became popular in the 1970s, although Tangee owns the original name in color-change cosmetics -- they even have blush -- with "perfect shade" lipstick dating back to the '20s. Since then, companies have been selling "mood-based" lipsticks, glosses and tints under the claim that they interact with the user's body temperature, lip chemistry or skin pH level to create the perfect lip coloring.

Unfortunately, that isn't really how they operate.

In reality, each of these cosmetics uses Red 27 -- a colorless dye used in most lip products that becomes bright pink after exposure to moisture. The real magic here is the amount of moisture on your lips, although temperature plays a small role.

Maybe color-change lipsticks and glosses have less to do with how you're feeling, but we still love the natural look they give our lips (and our whole face). Regardless of how they work, they still offer a unique coloring to your lips without looking too much like lipstick, so they may be a solution for someone who's not ready for bright-colored lipsticks.

So, which ones are the best for you?

MoodMatcher is one of the latest color-changing mood glosses to hit the shelves, offering an "instant reaction" to your natural lip color and promising "your own perfect shade" of pink. Like most color-changing glosses, the gloss comes clear, and the ingredients react to amplify lip color naturally. For the more adventurous beauty queen, they also offer a neon palette of color-changing lipsticks with colors like blue, green and yellow.

On a more high-end beauty front, tons of brands offer similar products for a higher price. Smashbox offers "intuitive" lip gloss with a sheer pink tint, Dior sells a "color reviver" lip balm meant to enhance natural pigmentation, and Tarte touts a lip tint that promises a personalized shade of color with varying levels of intensity.

All lips vary, so the results of these products will, too. Trial and error will be your best friend when it comes to finding a color-changing lipstick or gloss that works for you. (And they all come in at anywhere from $4 - $35!) No matter which one ends up being the best, be sure to let us know on Twitter or Facebook!