Fashion File: Latte Lip Express: New Lipstick's No Buzz-Killer

When was the last time your lipstick gave you a buzz?

Probably never. But if you're interested in combining your breakfast diet with your beauty routine, look no further than Hard Candy's new lipstick. The hipster cosmetics line — known for its pastel nail polish with names like "Trailer Trash" and "Jailbait" — has added a new trick to their makeup bag: the lipstick is caffeinated.

Their gimmicky, get-up-and-go colors — Café o Lip, Latte Lip and Lipachino — were launched late this spring with busy women in mind. "The idea was women are drinking coffee in the morning and putting on makeup. We thought we might as well combine them," says Dineh Mohajer, founder and CEO of Hard Candy.

Each shimmery tube contains 18 mg of caffeine, according to Hard Candy. Wearers are supposed to get a little caffeine jolt each time they lick their lips. But although lips may tingle a bit from application and the lipstick's super-sweet café latté flavor may remind you of your favorite corner café, licking your lips will probably never replace that afternoon cup of java. After all, a generic cup of java has more of a jolt at 100 mg of caffeine.

Elizabeth Somer, a registered dietitian and author of Food & Mood (Henry Holt), agrees. "It will do nothing," she says. "There's more caffeine in one cup of decaf coffee than in half of that tube of lipstick."

But what about the tingling? Somer says the tingling is most likely not from caffeine, but from some other additive. "You could soak your lips in Coca Cola all day," she says. "And they would never tingle."

Currently, all three color choices are in the sparkly beige range, but soon even drama queens can have their caffeine kick — a brilliant red caffeinated color, "Redeye," is coming this fall.

So is the potentially jolt-inducing makeup worth the hype?

Some of the staff at conducted informal testing, which resulted in mixed reactions. Several in-house guinea pigs found the strong flavor less than lickable, while others relished the sweet lip-treats.

Lauren Murphy,'s Health editor, said, "The color, Cappuccino, was very bad for me. I looked ghoulish — my Irish skin doesn't look good with taupes and browns. Plus, it gives [me] the frosty Jersey-girl look."

Other reactions: "The first few times I tried it, it felt like any old lipstick," said Elise Proulx, Etcetera editor. "The third time I applied it, I must have had dry lips, because I felt a little tingling sensation, causing me to push the lipstick too hard, breaking it off and letting it fall to the sidewalk. Now, it probably lives on the bottom of someone's shoe. Maybe a dog ate it and it gave him a buzz."

Of all our testers, Marian Jones, health reporter, enjoyed the lipstick the most. "Sure, it tastes good, like a Frappuccino," she said. "I also kind of liked the color — kind of a summer California beach look. But once the novelty wore off, I felt a little silly wearing caffeine lipstick."

Despite the mixed reactions here at Fox, at a recent Sephora promotional event in San Francisco the caffeine lipsticks sold out. The store was even decked out in full coffee-paraphernalia, complete with over-sized coffee mugs and chocolate martinis.

Staci Wilson, buyer for Sephora makeup stores, said the lipstick has been a bit hit among her customers. "It's one of a kind," Wilson said.