I like eye makeup. I really like blush. I love lip color.
Maybe it's because you can get maximum impact with minimum skill, but I can't help but favor lipsticks, glosses and tinted lip balms over other types of makeup. If you ask me what one makeup item I won't leave home without wearing, it's mascara; but if you ask me what I have the most fun choosing, applying and seeing in the mirror, it's definitely lipstick.
And I felt that way even before the most fun lipstick-shopping experience ever: the Bite Beauty Lip Lab.
I was already a huge fan of Bite. I've previously declared their Luminous Creme Lipstick in Apricot one of my all-time-favorite orange-reds, and anyone can appreciate that their formulas are food-grade (especially if you're going to literally eat them, like Annie did). But the Lip Lab took my love to the next level.
Originally opened as a pop-up shop, The Bite Beauty Lip Lab now has a permanent spot at 174 Prince Street in New York City, to which I say, "Hooray!" There, you can buy any of the beautiful lip colors in their collection, but you can also mix up the custom color of your dreams, complete with the finish you want, and even the scent you prefer, all for $36 to $48. Squee!
I documented my recent visit, and here's how it went.
As soon as you walk in, you're greeted with pots of purified pigment (whoa, alliteration). Some are existing shades in the line, some are undertones to manipulate those shades, and some are pre-mixed combos. You can choose to combine any of these!
My eye kept going to this color, Shade 22:
The fabulous makeup artist/technician/mixer guiding me through the process told me it's a combination of Cin Cin and--surprise--Apricot. I cannot escape my love of Apricot! But even though I was, indeed, looking for another orangey shade, I wanted to step away from the color I already have two tubes of.
I decided to go with Cin Cin and an even orangey-er color, Sherry.
My white-lab-coated guide mixed up the color for me a on white slab, and let me apply the result with a lip brush. I didn't need to try any other combinations; this was the orangey lipstick for me.
I then chose the finish I wanted from these four options:
Next, I was given seven options for what I wanted my lipstick to smell like, and can we just talk about how important that is?! I have passed up lip colors I love because I couldn't bear to have their scent under my nose all day. But now I get to make my lipstick smell like cherries? Real, natural cherries? Hell yes!
A few drops of the cherry fragrance were added to my initial color mixture.
And then the batch was put in a centrifuge for a few seconds of spinny blending.
Once mixed, it was poured into metal molds and cooled.
Five minutes later, the tops are sliced off and discarded in a little cup o' slices.
We then opened the mold, at which point one of the two sticks of color was decapitated.
The surviving lipstick was then enveloped by one of the signature black Bite Beauty tubes, and voila! My very own personalized color was mine to take home! (And wear, of course.)
By the way, those things that look like chocolates in the background? Those are little bloops (for lack of a better word) of color, and I want trays of them in my apartment, please.
I'm even more thrilled with the resulting color than I was in the Lip Lab, because the finish I chose makes it incredibly smooth, and the cherry scent makes it a freakin' joy to apply. I have not ruled out the possibility of randomly sniffing my tube of lipstick sporadically throughout the day.
If you live in or near New York City or plan on visiting--and if you have even the slightest inclination towards obsessing over lipsticks and finding the perfect color--you must, must, must visit the Bite Beauty Lip Lab. It's the most fun you can have in under a half hour while your significant other wanders around in the corner bodega two doors down.
And if a trip to 174 Prince Street isn't in the cards for you, you can always go to Sephora or sephora.com for the awesome core collection of Bite Beauty products.