When you hear the phrase “mood lipstick,” you probably don’t think “cutting-edge-trends.” You probably think “pet rocks and bell bottoms.” You know, old stuff. I had mood lipstick and a mood ring in the ’80s, when they were already throwbacks to an earlier, dumber time.
Now, "mood makeup" is a huge trend again, and getting huger. From Physicians Formula’s pH Matchmaster Line to Smashbox O-Gloss Intuitive Lip Gloss to Stila Custom Color Blush, self-adjusting cosmetics promise to take all the guesswork out of picking out makeup. (Do cosmetics companies not realize that the browsing and the sampling and the picking out are the best things about buying makeup in the first place? I digress.)
Every woman wants a lipstick that’s perfectly “her,” whether it’s off-the-shelf of custom-blended by a fancy makeup maker. That perfectly unique color is the closest that most of us will ever get to understanding what it’s like to be Gwyneth Paltrow, after all. Unless, of course, we have the money to buy $617 cashmere pillowcases.
But does the whole “self-adjusting color” thing really work? There is some actual science behind it. As opposed to early versions of “mood makeup,” which primarily worked by reacting to body heat, today’s self-adjusting cosmetics work by reacting to skin’s acidity. Our editorial team put three of DuWop’s Private Lipsticks (which promise to adjust to each woman’s natural body chemistry within five minutes) to the test.
First up was DuWop’s new Private Coral.
Next we sampled DuWop Private Plum.
Finally, we tried the new DuWop Private Pink.
Fun fact: Not only do pH-adjusting cosmetics look different on different people, they also can look different on the same person from day to day, because pH changes based on diet, exercise, and the menstrual cycle. (I’ve worn the Private Plum since we took these pics, and found it to look much darker than it looked on the day we tested. Go figure.)
So it turns out that yes, one lipstick very much can look different on every woman. Admittedly, we're not exactly the most racially diverse group of women in the world, but I think it's fair to say that we were all pleasantly surprised by the degree to which we were not embarrassed by the pictures. And really, when it comes to beauty product experimentation, what more can you ask?