This eyeshadow can tell other people what mood you're in, sort of

‘You’re in a foul mood, I can tell, your eyes are like thunder!’

I wouldn’t say that this is something I frequently hear from my husband, but it seems my new eyeshadow might just be betraying my emotions – even if I think I’m plastering on a smile.

Confused? Let me explain.

If you grew up in the 1990s, you probably had a mood ring. They were rings, with a stone that changed colour ‘according to your mood’, apparently.

In reality, they changed according to the temperature of your skin, but why let science get in the way of a cool gimmick, right? And it is true that there is some research the suggests feeling excitement, happiness or anxiety can cause your body temperature to rise.

Well, now, 30 odd years later, the mood ring has been elevated to makeup – well sort of.

You might remember last year the launch of colour changing hair dye – temporary colour that, when exposed to heat from the sun or a hairdryer, did a chameleon trick, flashing through blues, greens, purples and turquoises.

And, the year before that, there was Spectra, an eyeshadow that looked black in normal light but, under the flash of a camera, appeared silver.

Well, the company behind both these inventions have now created a thermochromic (something that combines temperature and colour) eye shadow that changes colour according to the temperature of your skin. 

Hence my eyes – or my eye shadow – which, as my husband noticed, is currently almost black. Although I’ll be honest, it’s more likely to be black because I’ve just walked in from the freezing cold, rather than because I’m in a bad mood.

Lauren Bowker, the founder of Unseen Beauty, the company behind the new product, explained the technology to

‘It recreates the visual effect of a prism,’ she said.

A quick recap for those of us who dozed in physics: a prism has the ability to take white light, and break it down into different colours – it’s the rainbow effect you can get when the sun shines through a piece of glass.

‘Above a certain temperature, the active molecule undergoes a reaction, and changes to one with a slightly different absorption of light, and thus a different colour,’ Lauren adds.

Obviously, I was keen to try it out. But my first stumbling block was the application. I am not a talented makeup artist. Because of this I rarely wear eye shadow, and if I do, it’s a cream I can easily smudge on with my fingers. This comes in a two step system – an inky black primer that you have to apply and let dry, before applying the white cream activator on top.

The texture of the primer is like a thick gel eyeliner paste and I struggled to get a neat and even covering on my lids. It dries and seems a little flaky, but I add the activator over the top and, as that dries, I see the black change into a gorgeous royal bluey purple, with dashes of turquoise and green. 

A workout that raises my temperature leads to more blues, while cold air makes it blacker. It doesn’t have the same chameleonic nature that the hair dye does – unless I run a hairdryer over my eyes, when you can see the colours change and change back as the eye shadow gets warmer and cooler. But as a bit of science meets art, it’s really cool.

Of course there could be some drawbacks to it – imagine wearing it and bumping into your office crush – your foundation might conceal your blushes, but your eyeshadow would totally give the game away…

I think I probably need to experiment more with the application process to get the best out of it – I’ve seen some people manage to see the veins under their skin (which tend to be warmer) show up as different colours, which looks amazing and would be great for Halloween.

But as a new frontier in colour cosmetics, it’s an exciting and boundary-pushing launch.

The Colour Alchemy Eye System, £29, is available from Unseen Beauty.

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