Colour-Changing Cosmetics

Most luxury cosmetic companies devote their big bucks to discovering new wrinkle-fighting technology or potions that promise flawless skin. But three of them--Givenchy, Dior, and vbeauté--have channeled their energy into something surprisingly youthful: colour-changing lip gloss! Sound like a mood ring? Sort of. But, unlike the colourful baubles that turn green or purple based on your temperature, this technology works with your pH level to provide a natural colour customised to your skin tone.Julie Macklowe, the creator of vbeauté, wanted something that "gives you a little colour without being too bold." So she turned to a team of Swiss scientists who came up with Lip Spread Anti-Age Tinting Lip Gloss ($28). "It's all based on botanicals," Macklowe says. "A two-berry complex reacts with skin's pH, which turns a colour that is complementary with that skin." Lighter skin tones tend to turn a brighter pink and darker tones tend to turn a deeper rose shade.

Meanwhile, Givenchy's Hydra Sparkling Magic Lip & Cheek Balm ($31) doesn't just change colour on your lips, but also turns into a custom dewy cheek colour, thanks to pigments that react with your skin's moisture level. And Dior's Addict Lip Glow ($30) looks pink in the tube, but turns brighter on the skin thanks to pH technology. This balm is the subtlest of the three.

Of course, given that these are luxury brands, each product also has a practical side: vbeauté's formula has anti-ageing botanicals developed from a rose that grows in torturous conditions in the Swiss Alps, Dior's version has mango butter, loofah extract, and SPF to moisturize and protect the lips, and Givenchy's balm is full of fatty acids to replenish the skin. The concept may be wonderfully juvenile, but the technology involved in these colour-changing items is definitely not child's play!
-Lexy Lebsack