Cosmetic brands are always coming up with some crazy ideas to attract our attention and make us spend our hard-earned cash. Vibrating mascaras, one sweep eyeshadows, BB creams for hair, blushes that match our skintones and moods… That last one is one of the most ridiculous claims I’ve ever heard. How can a blush, or lipstick for that matter, know what your skintone or mood is and change colour accordingly?
That’s definitely a myth, and yet, these products can really change colour slightly upon application, and look a bit differently on every woman. Magic? Nah, just chemistry. 😉
Here’s how they work:
1. Red 27 changes colour with PH
Red 27 is the most used trick to make a cosmetic change colour. In a waterless base, this red dye is actually colourless. But, when it comes in contact with moisture, the change in ph turns it into a bright pink hue. And that’s exactly what happens when you apply this dye on the skin. It reacts with the moisture in your skin (or even in the air, especially in humid environments), changing colour. This trick is used in Smashbox O-Glow Intuitive Chic Colour and Stila Custom Color Blush.
2. Encapsulated colourants
Another trick is to coat colourants with waxy or gel-like ingredients, encapsulating them into small beads. Then, these beads are suspended in an uncoloured base. When you rub the usually colourless products into the skin, these beads break, releasing the colourant trapped inside them. The more you rub the product, the more colour is released. This gives the illusion that the product is able to detect your skintone, when, in reality, you just stop rubbing when the colour has become dark enough to match your colouring exactly. This technology is mostly used in powders and foundations, such as Almay Smart Shade Skin Tone Matching Makeup.
The Bottom Line
No cosmetic product is able to magically figure out what your skintone or mood is, but they can, with the right technology, slightly change colour, thus appearing to react with your personal chemistry. But, while they can be fun to use, there really is no need to splurge on them. They’re not doing anything so special to justify a high price tag.
Have you ever tried any makeup products that promised to change colour to match your skintone or mood? If so, did you like them, or were you disappointed?