Color-changing lipsticks are nice in theory—a lipstick that adjusts to your body’s unique pH!—but most of them usually just end up making your lips look like you just made out with a cherry popsicle. Lipstick Queen is one of the few brands I’ve tried that makes color-changing lip products that aren’t gimmicky, but actually flattering. Its Hello Sailor and Frog Prince lip and cheek products have developed a cult following since their launches, and for good reason: they give a subtle hint of color and look good on all skin tones.
Plus, there’s just something so satisfying (and mesmerizing) about smearing a green, yellow or blue lipstick on your lips and watching it turn into a flattering pink, coral, or berry tint. Thus, when the brand announced it would be adding three more shades to their color-changing arsenal, I knew I had to test them out.
Pros + Cons
- Moisturizes like a lip balm
- Flattering shades
- Not long wearing
- Doesn't meet Byrdie Clean standards
Bottom Line: Juicy Pops of Color
Lipstick Queen's color-changing lipsticks are glossy, full-bodied lip shades that are actually wearable. And with starting shades like yellow-green, orange, and purple, they're just fun to apply.
Best for: Vibrant lip looks
Star Rating: 4/5
Active ingredients: Beeswax, castor seed oil, meadowfoam seed and olive oils, shea butter, and more.
Clean?: No—contains dyes
Potential allergens: Tartrazine
Shade Range: Pink, coral, berry, neon
What's Included: Product only
About the brand: Lipstick Queen is best known for its moisturizing, color-shifting lipsticks that come in basic pink to electric hues.
How to Apply
Just swipe it on! One coat gives a sheer wash of color, but you can build it up for more intense pigment.
If you're going for a more subtle look, one swipe of berry lipstick adds the sheerest purple tint to your lips. If looking to go bolder, try a few more swipes for the color to build into a vibrant fuchsia shade.
The Results: A Punch of Color
L to R: Highway 66, Old Flame, Venetian Masquerade
Highway 66 is a yellow-green that turns into a peachy tint; Old Flame is an orange that turns into a reddish coral, and Venetian Masquerade is purple that adjusts to a vibrant raspberry.
The best thing about Lipstick Queen's color-changing lipsticks is the formula, which feels more like a balm than a lipstick.
The Feel: Like Your Fave Lip Balm
They're supremely hydrating, and a few extra swipes will give you a gloss-like shine.
I'd definitely use Highway 66 (a pale green balm that turns into a light peach) as an everyday lip balm —you can swipe it on without a mirror, which is a requirement I now have for all of my lip balms since moving to New York. (I'll never forget the first time I whipped out a compact to apply lipstick on the subway and everyone acted like I had flashed them—never again). Out of all three of the lipsticks, this one was my favorite. What can I say? I like my tinted lip balms how I like my DM slides: low-key, but impactful.
I normally try to avoid any lipsticks in the bright-orange category due to the fact they make me look like I have jaundice, but this was an exception to the rule. Old Flame looks bright orange in the tube but actually morphs into a surprisingly flattering coral.
I’ve given my beloved berry lipstick collection a rest ever since I went platinum—with the new hair, they just look too severe on me. Venetian Masquerade allows me to dip my toe back into the berry bandwagon. This is the perfect entry product for anyone curious about berry lipstick but not quite ready for a matte, full-coverage formula.
The Value: A Bit Pricey
At $25 a pop, you can find a cheaper drugstore option if you're in it for the novelty of a color-changing lipstick. But given that Lipstick Queen's lipsticks are ultra-hydrating and come in flattering shades, we say it's worth it.
The Colors: Bold and Bright
Aside from the three high-impact shades we tried, Lipstick Queen has a few other color-changing lipsticks to try. Here are the starting shades and what you'll end up with on your lips:
Frog Prince: Starts out emerald green, turns into a rosy pink.
Hello Sailor: Midnight blue fades into a subtle plum shade.
Mornin' Sunshine: A sunny yellow that deepens into a warm peach.
Blue By You: Metallic indigo blue softens into a gleaming raspberry.
Watch our editorial director, Faith Xue, try out some of these hues.
Similar Products: You Have Options
Blossom Color Changing Crystal Lip Balm: At a quarter of the price, this $5 clear balm adapts to your unique lip color for less than the price of a fancy latte. However, you won't find Lipstick Queen's unique shades—it comes in pink, red, turquoise, and purple.
Tarte Color Splash Lipstick: Similar in price at $21, Tarte's version also applies like a nourishing lip balm but wears like a lipstick, in a range of vibrant pinks and reds.
Our Verdict: Fun and Flattering
Lipstick Queen's color-changing lipsticks come in flattering shades with a burst of hydration for your lips. You can apply one coat for the tinted balm look, or go all out in a vampy shade with multiple coats.