These six magic lipsticks are setting our 90s vibe on fire

From brown lipsticks to choker necklaces, the 90s have been making a strong comeback this year. One of my favorite retro beauty trends, though, is a very real kind of makeup magic: color-changing lipsticks! They come in little bullets of green, orange and blue but application on the lips always turned them into more conventional shades of red and pink. Decades later, they still give me the same sense of adventure that I felt as a kid, so I’m glad that brands are offering them once again.

If you’re in the mood for some 90’s nostalgia or in need of a little magic in your kit, we’ve found five color-changing lippies for you to play with!

Ever Bilena Magic Lipstick in Grapes (P80 at department stores)

Color-changing lipsticks tend to take on the same features (like a glossy finish and subtle coloring), so it was a pleasant surprise to see Ever Bilena break the mold in the mood lippie game. For one, the finish of the Magic Lipstick is matte! Because of that, it ended up looking more like lip stain once applied. The shade initially applies as mauvish before turning into a brighter fuchsia. Even the scent of this lipstick was nostalgic - it smelled like the scented stationery I used to collect in grade school! As for staying power, this gave the second longest lasting stain out of the five.

Fran Wilson Moodmatcher in Red (P225 from Beauty Bar)

After swatching several shades from the Fran Wilson collection, it became apparent that not all colors yielded the same results. Particularly, Red and Purple had the most stain-producing capabilities so I decided to go for the Red one. It already has regular red pigments, in addition to the color-changing stuff. It comes out as a pinkish red with subtle shine, and a finish that reminds me of Bonne Belle Lip Smackers from back in the day. This lipstick left the most pronounced and longest lasting stain in the group. The arm swatches took a day to come off!

Lip Ice Sheer Color Fragrance Free Lip Moisturizer (P145 at department stores)

With the most slippery-smooth glide on the lips, Lip Ice makes it easy to apply and layer the product to your heart’s content. True to its name, the clear balm turns into a sheer wash of light pink with a high-shine finish that flatters naturally pigmented lips. The level of pigmentation is noticeable, but could still fall into the no makeup makeup category. It leaves a slight hint of a stain in its wake. It’s also available in shimmer and strawberry-scented variants.

MAC Tendertalk Lip Balm in Play With Me (P1,250 at MAC)

The Tendertalk Lip Balm is certainly more balm than lipstick, and the sheer color pay off leaves no room for debate. The translucent one called Candy Wrapped actually transforms into a delicate pink; the one I have, Play With Me, looks pinky red when twisted up but looks more like a warm pink on me.

Tendertalk balms count as one of the firmer, drier lip balm formulas, so it doesn’t melt on the lips upon application. You don’t need to apply a lot to get sufficient moisture though, and layering it on doesn’t do much to deepen the color either.

Lipstick Queen Frog Prince (USD25 at

Never has a green lipstick looked so luxe! Lipstick Queen was able to market this product in a way that tapped into the fairytale-mode of romantics. The color may be unusual but the effect is what has earned it raves and 93% rating on Temptalia. It appears to be the sheerest and least pigmented in my arm swatches but the change is more evident on the lips. My pout takes on a rosier tint combined with soft shine. The lipstick can also be layered on for more coloring.

From left: Ever Bilena Magic Lipstick, Fran Wilson Moodmatcher, Lip Ice Lip Moisturizer, MAC Tendertalk Lip Balm, Lipstick Queen Frog Prince

From left: Ever Bilena Magic Lipstick, Fran Wilson Moodmatcher, Lip Ice Lip Moisturizer, MAC Tendertalk Lip Balm, Lipstick Queen Frog Prince

Did you ever play with Magic Lipsticks in the 90s? What do you think about using them again now?