As much as I can appreciate its existence, the supposed magic of pH-adjusting makeup is lost on me. I get that from a marketing standpoint there’s something enticing about a product that adjusts instantly to create the perfect shade for you, but the flip side of that is exactly what I don’t understand: Why leave that kind of thing up to fate? Why let your body’s pH decide which lip color you should be wearing when maybe your pH doesn’t have your best interests at heart?
Because in my own very personal experience, my pH always drops the ball on customized color—no matter what I do, it gives me the same garish, unflattering shade of pink every time. And thus explains my lack of faith in these formulas: Your physical body does not always know what would make a good lip color for you. Don’t trust it.
Similarly, I’ve trained myself to avoid products that start out in shades of yellow or blue or even green but again claim to “adjust” based on your skin and your skin alone. That’s a telltale sign of a gimmick; if you want a red lipstick, buy a red lipstick, not a blue one that turns red somehow once it’s on your face during some clumsily explained chemical process.
It’s all very logical—or so I thought, before I found myself seduced against all odds by Lipstick Queen Frog Prince Lip Gloss ($25). This product is all of the following: bright green, sparkly, and convinced that it “adapts to the wearer’s pH.” It would have been very, very easy to call bullshit on this, but in the name of democracy, I put it on my lips before jumping to conclusions. I’m glad I did, because said bright green, shimmer-laden lip gloss has quickly become a staple for me. As in, I carry it everywhere, in case I need just a natural flush and little else. As in, no garish shade of pink.
For a product that looks so ridiculous in its original state, this gloss is deceptively pleasant. It’s not sticky—at all!—and is packed with natural oils and shea butter for hydration, plus a peptide that stimulates collagen and hyaluronic acid, which sounds a little dubious but does somehow make for softer, plumper-looking lips. This take on the Frog Prince is a brand-new follow-up to its lipstick counterpart, which was released last year and has grown extraordinarily popular since then. (It is, for the record, also bright green.)
I’m not sure how this formula differs from other “pH-adjusting” lip things I’ve tried in the past, but it just is. Once it’s applied, that alarming green immediately creates a flush of a warm, almost neutral rosebud pink. The color isn’t bright, and the sparkle doesn’t translate to OTT once on lips. It’s barely even shiny, for that matter; it quickly settles into an understated gloss that just looks like, well, your lips. But better. Much better. Who knew?