Cover These make-up shift their hue not by magic, but science (Photo: FERNANDO GOMEZ/Trunk Archive)

These are our top picks for unique products that adjust to your skin tone

Black blush? White CC cream? Blue lipstick? We’re not talking about face paint, but colour-changing make-up: products that eliminate the trouble of shade-matching. How do they work?

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Once applied, these products will adjust to your skin thanks to formulas that feature thermo-reactive technology, microcapsules containing pigment or pH-activated ingredients, in particular a pigment called Red 27, which reacts to changes in pH and moisture to go from clear to varying shades of red. The fact skin tones vary adds to the visual impact of a unique shade for everyone. They may be gimmicky, but these cosmetic chameleons are undeniably fun.

1. Stained Glass

It’s transparent in the jar, but once you apply it to the cheek, Glassy blush from Italian brand Espressoh provides a natural pink flush that flatters every skin tone (thanks in part to that ever-helpful Red 27), much to the delight of influencers on TikTok all summer.

2. Glow Girl

With its “your lips but better” effect, Dior Addict Lip Glow is flattering on so many different skin tones thanks to pH-activated ingredients. Add to this the range of 15 shades, from the original pink to deep plum, and there’s a colour for everyone.

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3. Now You CC Me

Korean brand CLE is big on creating inclusive complexion products, and its CCC Cream has one of the largest shade ranges available. The product comes out of the tube stark white, but as you blend it into skin, micro capsules of pigment burst and the cream changes to your selected shade.

4. Once Upon a Dream

For its Magic Pink lipstick, vintage-inspired brand Besamé took notes from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty—specifically Aurora’s colour-changing dress, which explains the blue bullet that turns frosty pink on the lips.

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5. Black Pink in Your Area

Open this Anna Sui compact and the sight of the black product within could have you believing the brand has stuck a little too closely to its vampy aesthetic; but swipe it across your cheeks and this cream blush delivers a surprisingly bright (and moisturising) pop of light red that will suit all complexions.

6. Hot and Cold

Cirque Colours has a collection of thermal nail polishes which are affected by temperature and change colour. Available in 13 shades (well, technically 26), the pigments shift from yellow to orange, for example, or champagne to rose gold, and come in crème and shimmery finishes.


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