Makeup that claims to adjust to your skin tone or even match your mood seems to be all the rage these days.  It kind of makes you wonder how your makeup “knows” what color your skin is (or what your mood is!). Is there some sort of “magic” ingredient that senses what your needs are?  How the heck do these products work?  Well, the answer isn’t nearly as exciting as magic, but it is pretty cool chemistry.  Here is the actual lowdown on skin-adjusting makeup.MORE FROM SELF: Still Sleeping with Mascara On? How To Undo Bad Beauty HabitsHow do they work?There are two main technologies used when formulating self-adjusting makeup – here’s how they work:

    • Ingredients that change color with pH: pH is a measure of how acidic or basic a solution is.  Certain ingredients behave differently when there is a pH change.  In makeup, there are some ingredients that are colorless but when they come in contact with moisture (like your skin!) it results in a change in pH which causes the ingredient to turn into a color.  Pretty cool, huh?  The product appears to be changing with your personal chemistry because the color changes when you apply it to your face, but it’s actually reacting with the moisture in your skin (or even the air).  This technology is used frequently in blushes and lip color and can be found in products like Smashbox O-Glow and DuWop Personal Color Changing Lipstick.
    • Encapsulated colors: Many colors used in makeup can be coated with waxy or gel-like ingredients that can encapsulate the color and form really small “beads.”  These little beads can then be suspended in an uncolored base. When the product is rubbed into your skin the friction breaks open these beads, which releases the color. The product appears to blend with your skin because the more you rub the product, the more color is released.  Also, since the product often starts off white (or colorless) the sudden “appearance” of color seems quite dramatic.  This technology is often used in liquid foundations and you can find it in products like Almay Smart Shade Foundation.

    MORE FROM SELF: 20 Superfoods for Weight LossBottom LineWhile self-adjusting makeup is pretty cool and uses some interesting technology.  This type of makeup isn’t necessarily superior to other types of makeup.  For now, it’s still about finding the best shade of blush or foundation for you: testing a few shades and finding the formulation (smart or not!) that works best with your skin tone.   Not to worry – your makeup isn’t smarter than you- yet!MORE FROM SELF: Work Out in 16 Minutes with SELF’s Jump Start Diet!For more science based beauty tips check out the Beauty Brains!For daily healthy eating tips follow SELF on Facebook and Twitter.Get SELF on your iPad and Kindle Fire!