"Makeup Powered by You! 1st Ever Bronzer with pH Power Complex transforms into your perfectly personalized hue. Fluorescein Based Dye senses the pH level of your skin and adjusts within 60 seconds to create your perfect bronze glow. Photochronic Powders - light adjusting pigments adapt to your environment so color looks the same indoors & outside. Look your Best in Every Light! LED-powered compact lights up and features a full-size mirror for touch-ups anywhere & everywhere!" -product description on physicansformula.com
That sounds kinda futuristic and high-tech, doesn't it? Blush and bronzer that react to your skin's natural pH and adjust with the light to create a custom color just for you. I'll admit, I'm fascinated by this idea, even though I know it's just like those mood lipsticks I used to love when I was younger. I know that makeup can't actually sense what color your skin is an choose to turn a shade that compliments it. But, still... I love a good gimmick and I was very excited to try these.
The shades I tried were the pH Matchmaker Blush in Natural and the pH Matchmaker Bronzer in Light Bronzer. The blush also comes in Rose, and the bronzer has a second shade called, simply, Bronzer.
The pH Matchmaker powders come in a shiny black compact with chrome lettering. When you open the palette, you'll notice two unusual things. The first being that the tray that holds the product flips up to reveal a chamber containing a flat brush and you must manually click the product tray into the palette to keep it down. Second, the palettes come with an LED on each side of the mirror to help you apply the product on the go.
The brush. It's a step up from the last Physicians Formula brush I used- this time around it's a little denser and isn't dyed any strange colors. It's still a little floppy and it sheds quite a bit, but it gets the job done.
The LEDs. These don't turn on when you open the container and I really appreciate that. I've had light-up products that turn on automatically and they get really annoying after the first three uses. Instead, these have an on/off switch inside the palette. I'm pretty sure that the battery is non-replaceable, but these types of LED light-up products tend to last for a very long time so you shouldn't have to worry about it dying too quickly. Be warned, though: the LEDs are blindingly bright.
Physicians Formula pH Matchmaker Blush in Natural. It's a warm pink matte with coral tones. It doesn't seem to have any shimmer on its own, but if you want some shimmer, you can tap your brush on the little silver rivets to add a little silver to the pink. The silver is overspray, so it will disappear after a few uses.
Physicians Formula pH Matchmaker Bronzer in Light Bronze. This is a warm light brown, a little like a very light milk chocolate candy color, and it has flecks of gold shimmer in addition to the silver shimmer from the rivets around the edges.
Here's the Natural blush and the Light Bronze bronzer immediately after application. I left them both on my arm for about 20 minutes and I can't say they really changed at all. If anything, they just got a tad darker, but I didn't notice any sort of dramatic effect.
I've used them both a few times and here's what I thought.
What I like:
- Cool packaging.
- Comes with a brush, a light and a mirror. Unnecessary, but still a nice touch, especially if you usually take your blush with you to re-apply during the day.
- Soft and blendable texture.
- Sheer but buildable color.
- Didn't make me break out.
- Blush shade is very pretty on me.
- LED lights have an on/off switch and don't turn on automatically.
- Not too shimmery and the shimmer can be avoided or blended away.
- Less expensive than the Stila Custom Color Blush (a similar pH-reactive product).
- Can be found at any drugstore.
- Isn't limited edition.
What I didn't like:
- The LEDs are super, super bright. It's hard to apply this product using the mirror and LEDs because they're so bright.
- The Light Bronzer shade is very orange on me. It doesn't work for my skin tone at all.
- The tray that flips up is annoying because it flips open every time you open the compact.
- Bronzer and blush seem to sit on top of the skin in a powdery layer if you're not diligent about blending them.
- The brush sheds a lot and is a little on the floppy side.
So, does it work? Does it really change according to your skin's pH? They work very well as a normal powder blush and bronzer but I personally didn't notice any color-adjusting effect when I wore them. The bronzer shade didn't work for me, but the blush shade looked really nice. I like the blush enough to want to pick up the other shade (Rose), and I'm curious to see if the other bronzer shade is any less orangey because I'd like to give it another try and see if it ever changes/adjusts.
(This was sent for review.)