Remember that coveted mood ring you were low-key obsessed with in elementary school? The one that magically changed colors as your mood shifted from excited and giddy (bright red) to cool and collected (deep, navy blue). As we now know as semi-wise and somewhat-mature adults, it wasn’t your mood that was transforming your ring, but your temperature *earth shatters*. And though mood rings have pretty much fallen off the face of the earth, the color-changing obsession hasn’t, and it’s officially hiting the beauty sphere in a major way—with heat-activated and pH-changing beauty products. Yup, color-changing cosmetics are here (well, they’ve always kinda been here, but now they’re SUPER here), and call us nostalgic, but we’re seriously into them.
Aside from totally feeding into our fixation on anything ’90s-related, color-changing beauty products are truly changing the way we pick our makeup shades. Because if methodically trying to find the perfect bronzer for your skin tone, or a light-pink lipstick that doesn’t wash you out feels overwhelming and annoying, you’re going to love color-changing products, which make the decision for you by transforming into a unique hue once it hits your skin.
And no, we’re not pretending that beauty brands have cracked the code to literal sorcery—these color-changing products are less magic and more science, utilizing special pigments that react with your pH or skin temp to produce a color that looks unique on everyone (because everyone’s skin tones are inherently different). Basically, you need to test them out on yourself to see the science in action. So we’ve rounded up 9 of the coolest color-changing products, including a neon yellow lipstick that turns into a perfect, coral pink, and a soft, blue-gray nail polish that transforms into a deep copper hue in the sun. So wake up the mood ring-obsessed kid in your heart and give these color-changing cosmetics a try—you’ll be transported back to childhood in no time.
Lipstick Queen Mornin’ Sunshine
This bright yellow lipstick transforms into a peachy coral when you swipe it on.
Lipstick Queen Mornin’ Sunshine, $25; at Lipstick Queen
Ruby Wing Color-Changing Nail Polish in Chambray
This nail polish dries to a cool, chambray blue, but step into the sun, and it quickly shifts to rich copper.
Ruby Wing Color-Changing Nail Polish in Chambray, $10; at Ruby Wing
It Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush 4-in-1 Reviver Lipstick Stain in Je Ne Sais Quoi
Sure, this lipstick looks practically colorless in the tube, but draw it across your lips and watch it turn into a bright, punch-like pink.
It Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush 4-in-1 Reviver Lipstick Stain in Je Ne Sais Quoi, $20; at It Cosmetics
Sassy Lips Keep Em Guessing in Hearts for Eyes
Don't be freaked by the white bullet—its shimmery, holographic hue quickly changes into a pink-y coral.
Sassy Lips Keep Em Guessing in Hearts for Eyes, $16; at Sassy Lips
Smashbox O-Glow-Intuitive Cheek Color With Goji Berry-C Complex
Blend a drop of this silky, clear gel across your cheeks and watch it develop into a soft, sheer pink.
Smashbox O-Glow-Intuitive Cheek Color With Goji Berry-C Complex, $29; at Sephora
Flirt Cosmetics Lip Phetish
Each of these lip balms transforms into a super-pigmented stain, with the denim blue shade shifting to blackberry, the lime green deepening into a strawberry pink, and the mustard yellow fading to bright coral.
Flirt Cosmetics Lip Phetish, $18 each; at Flirt Cosmetics
Almay Smart Shade Skin Tone Matching Makeup
This foundation looks like sunscreen when you first dab it on, but blend it into your skin and watch the tiny pigments break open and develop into a sheer wash of bronze-y color.
Almay Smart Shade Skin Tone Matching Makeup, $13.99; at Ulta
The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick
This inky black lip-and-cheek crayon develops into a bright peach-y pink as soon as it touches your skin.
The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick, $16; at The Body Shop
The Body Shop
Winxy Lux Flower Balm
Housed in outrageously cool packaging (there's literally a real chrysanthemum inside of the bullet), this clear lip balm turns into a rose-y pink after you smooth it over your lips.
Winxy Lux Flower Balm, $14; at Winky Lux