I Tried a NASA-Inspired, Temperature-Regulated Makeup Bag—Here’s What I Thought

Graphic: Well+Good Creative
Technological beauty advancements have definitely taken an interesting turn in 2019, as skin-care micro-fridges and mess-free skin-care applicators (yes, really) have garnered a lot of attention over the past few months. However, expect the trend to also carry over into your accessories, especially as startups like Livana develop a line of technologically enhanced makeup cases, inspired by NASA innovations.

At first glance, Livana’s two cosmetic cases look something like a designer bag that’s currently at the top of your wishlist. However, elegant appearance is where all comparisons end. These cases utilize temperature-controlling technology to extend the longevity of your beauty essentials (no more melty foundations or ruined lipsticks). According to Terry Leon, founder and president of Livana, each cosmetic case uses a special technology to keep the interior of your makeup bag cool during extreme temperatures. This allows all products stored inside the case to last a lot longer, she says, which ultimately hopes to cut down on product waste in the long run.

While this beauty writer is always a sucker for a new gadget, never have I tried a smart makeup bag with such a clever twist. Putting The Traveler ($225) case to the test, I sought out to see just how out-of-this world a makeup bag could be.

How does it work?

Since Livana’s cosmetic case boasts a technological edge, I expected it to require a charge of some sort upon arrival. However, to my surprise, the Livana package did not come with either a USB cord or a plug-in charger of any kind. To ensure that I wasn’t doing something incorrectly, I touched base with Leon on how to activate that temperature-regulating technology. She told me there was no charge or plug-in cord needed for the case, because this technology works on its own to switch on or off depending on the outer temperature surrounding the case. Whoa.

When it switches on (sensing the surrounding temperature is 85 degrees), it protects the inner contents of the bag, lasting up to eight hours. When the bag senses that it needs to switch off, it begins to recharge, making sure your makeup bag is ready to protect your products the next time the temperature spikes.

Now that I had a better understanding of how the technology worked, I will admit that I was more than excited to see how this case would fit inside my low-maintenance lifestyle (no charging meant good things for my lifestyle). Since the weather has been starting to cool down here on the East Coast (finally!), I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to get the optimal makeup protection effect. However, Terry told me that Livana likes to test their products in extreme scenarios, which of course, includes leaving your case in direct sunlight inside your car.

So, putting this theory to test, I stashed some of my go-to makeup essentials in the case in hopes that it would survive sitting on my car dashboard in direct sunlight. Surprisingly, my glosses, highlighters, and matte lipsticks, remained unaffected by the direct sun exposure for a few hours, even on the hottest day of the week, and the same held true for skin-care, which tends to have potent ingredients that you don't want to break down.

What do the experts think?

While I had a pretty positive experience using this makeup case (zero melted lipsticks), I was also eager to hear what seasoned skin-care pros thought about the technology in question. From a dermatological standpoint, board-certified dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, says that any skin-care or makeup enthusiast can benefit from using this case. “Certain makeup products such as eyeliner and lipstick tend to melt when exposed to extreme temperatures,” she says. “This bag can help keep those items around longer."

Carol Phillips, cosmetic chemist and CEO of BeauteeSmarts, also agrees that it's not a bad idea to stash your products in a condition where they'll be better able to last longer. “Consumers today are investing in $10 to $500 worth of products, and no one wants their investment to go down the drain when the product is exposed to extreme temperature changes,” she says. Using it in places that are subjected to temperature variations (gym lockers, offices, or in the trunk of a car) can be more than beneficial for those on-the-go.

The verdict? If you’re all for techie beauty buys that have pros on your side, sure go for it. Yes, it may cost a pretty penny, and sure it won’t store all the products you use on a daily basis, but there’s no denying that it can be a total godsend for travelers, or when it’s nearing 100 degrees outside. But, if you're someone who just keeps your beauty products in your home, where the temperature is pretty consistently the same, you might just opt for a regular-old makeup. As for me, I'll be temperature regulating my makeup and skin care to infinity and beyond.

If your fave makeup did go caput because of high temps, here's how to give it new life, and while we're on the subject of bags, this genius tote is pretty much a three-in-one.

Loading More Posts...