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Fact checking: "The Henna Lip Tint That Goes on Green, Comes out Pink, and Will Change Your Life"

Edited 7/29. Thanks to reader Tina for spotting my error in the fourth paragraph!

From the Marie Claire beauty blog comes a post titled "The Henna Lip Tint That Goes on Green, Comes out Pink, and Will Change Your Life." Does this lip product really contain henna, and does henna "start green and come out pink"? Let's review:

Quote: "The product in question goes by many names, but is most commonly referred to as Henna Lipstick or Magic Moroccan Hare Color Changing Lipstick."

Ooh. Product sold on eBay. I'm already a little concerned. The phrase "Hare Color" may be an unintentional pun—looks like the company's name is "Hare," which may be pronounced "hah-RAY" or "HAH-ray." 

The seller of this product is in New York, but I can't confirm where the product is manufactured, although all web references say it's Morocco. This should always raise a red flag because Asian, North African and Middle Eastern countries' cosmetic and product labeling laws are not as stringent as those in Western countries. Just a fact.

Quote: "For starters, there is no hard-hitting proof that there is any actual henna in this lipstick."

I'd bet my hat there isn't any actual henna in the product.

Quote: "While there is an elusive product type only available in Morocco (some secrets you just can't get to) that could possibly contain the flower dye, the options available for purchase most likely retain the moniker as a nod to the long-wearing color."

The henna flower doesn't contain henna dye; that's in the leaf. (Henna flower oil would smell awesome, though. Perhaps that is the "henna" product in this lipstick.)

As for "long-wearing color," if true henna dye successfully stained the lips (I've never tried it), the color would indeed be long-lasting ... but not pink! Since henna dyes red/brown, the actual color might be ... weird.

Quote: "They are actually more similar to mood lipsticks of the '80s and contain Red 27, a synthetic dye that reacts to the pH of your lips and accounts for the variation of color from person to person."

Bingo. Natural henna dye simply can't be applied as a green product and magically turn pink on your lips. The beauty blog Of Faces and Fingers did this excellent chemical analysis of color-changing cosmetics for further info.

Bottom line: This looks like a fun product, although the fact that its manufacturing origins are a bit hazy would concern me. But magic lipstick thanks to henna? Mm, nope. Not happenin'.

1 Comment to Fact checking: "The Henna Lip Tint That Goes on Green, Comes out Pink, and Will Change Your Life":

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Tina on Thursday, June 11, 2015 9:02 AM
Just a correction, but morocco is in North Africa, it's no where near Asia.
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