Well, it turns out -- and forgive us for breaking the first rule of magic by revealing this trick -- with these color-changing lipsticks, there's more science than magic at play. These products contain a special dye called Red 27, which when exposed to moisture, changes hue.
But we hope you don't let this peek behind the curtain ruin pH lipsticks for you -- there's still something awfully enchanting about that perfect your-lips-but-better pink these color-changing products tend to impart -- and in some cases, they do look very distinct on different people. So to put these color-changing lipsticks to the test, we photographed two editors in each lipstick so we could see how similar or different they looked on each user. Is there magic at work? Take a look and decide for yourself.
Images: Selene Huang
The result: Though green in the tube, this gloss appears darker and pinker on some lips and sheerer and more subtle on others.
Level of magic: 8.5 out of 10 enchanted amphibians
The results: One tester's lips turned a soft rose (top), while another's took on a warmer, reddish, burnt pink hue (bottom).
Level of magic: 8 out of 10 fairy godmothers
The results: Though one tester's lips looked ever so slightly more pigmented, this one was pretty much a draw.
Level of magic: 4 out of 10 close-up card tricks
The results: The nude color looked almost identical on our testers, maybe reading a touch darker on one pair of lips than the other.
Level of magic: 3 out of 10 magic wands purchased at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter