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10 Color-Changing Lipsticks That'll Make You Believe in Magic

We put pH lipsticks to the test to see how their supernatural properties stacked up
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Makeup inherently feels a little magical. The right under-eye concealer can make dark circles vanish. A few taps of a (mascara) wand and eyelashes grow in seconds. Then there's color-changing pH lipsticks, which may look blue, green or black in the tube, but transform into a flattering, one-of-a-kind flush on the lips.

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

You may have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince, but you won't have to swipe too many lip glosses to find your signature shade once you stumble across this one. One of Lipstick Queen's many color-changing products, this gloss imparts lips with a subtle pink sheen.

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

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Compared to other pH lipsticks, LipSurgence's defining feature is its velvety matte finish -- which doesn't feel remotely dry, thanks to the formula's combo of nourishing oils and vitamin E. Another bonus? It comes in several shades (we tested Lively here).

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

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Give yourself a your-lips-but-better flush, while also dosing them with skin-softening shea butter, jojoba oil and vitamin E -- all for less than 10 bucks.

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

Kiko's crayon applicator is a little bit of a magic wand in its own right. It guides the silky formula with precision across lips, imparting barely-there color and a hint of shine.

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

BY MARY SQUILLACE | AUG 25, 2016 | SHARES
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