Skip to main content

making faces :: stop and smell and wear the roses

a rose by any other name...
i'm very happy to see that canadian upstarts bite beauty are getting more and more great press as their releases have been increasing. they are focused on the lips, on your lips and on making them healthier, softer and prettier. i've already fallen for their luminous creme lipsticks and i'm fond of their light, sheer glosses. i've actually missed a few of their other products, like their cult favourite matte lip pencils and their new lip mask, which is garnering rave reviews, but recently i found something that i just couldn't resist.

bite has created four new lipsticks in a new formula called "deconstructed rose". along with a coffret of lip glosses bearing the same name, the collection is supposed to highlight the rose in all its varieties. the glosses run the gamut from very sheer to quite saturated, but the lipsticks are all pigment powerhouses. i was drawn to one [the deepest one, unsurprisingly] called "crimson", because i was on the hunt for a deep pink shade that didn't pull fuchsia. you'd be surprised how difficult that is to find.

first up, as you may have guessed from that description, "crimson" isn't crimson, or anything like what i'd associate with that description. crimson is a vibrant red, usually cooler-toned, but something altogether brighter than what we have here. it's described on the sephora web site as "muted dark  purple", which is completely wrong. "crimson" the lipstick is a deep, wild rose pink. it definitely has some berry tones to it, without pulling purple, the way cooler berry shades often do. although it's bright, it lacks the high wattage impact of colours that lean more towards fuchsia, without moving too much into plum red territory.

crimson
crimson
there are shades which are similar and how much the distinctions mean to you will probably be dictated by how much you love and wear this kind of shade. i'm a huge fan, so the subtle differences mean a lot to me. rouge d'armani #402 is the closest in my collection, but on me it is noticeably redder and brighter, something which i find more noticeable on the lips than swatched on my hand. [you can be the judge. there's a look here with #402.] guerlain "gigolo" is darker, more berry. guerlain "madame batifole", which i initially thought would be closest, is not so close after all. it's lighter and pinker by quite a bit.

l to r :: rouge d'armani 402, crimson, guerlain gigolo, guerlain madame batifole [l.e.]
the deconstructed rose lipsticks cost $4cad more than regular bite lipsticks and boast and even more luxurious formula. it still uses the food grade ingredients and has the added benefits of rose otto essential oil. rose oils of all sorts are tremendous for softening and toning the skin. the question is: does the formula differ significantly from the regular luminous creme lipsticks? the answer: yes, although not greatly.





i already love the luscious feeling of the luminous creme formula and deconstructed rose retains that. it is still luxuriously creamy, hydrating on lips and perfectly even in application. where deconstructed rose justifies its higher price is in lasting power and in a slightly more moisturising feel. left to its own devices, i find that "crimson" lasts for hours on me, whereas the luminous creme lipsticks tend to fade moderately quickly. there is a nice stain that remains afterward as well. eating or drinking something warm will make the wear uneven, so you'll want to touch up after those activities. when you're doing so, i recommend removing your lipstick and reapplying completely. it's quick, since one pass is all you need for complete coverage and when i 'cheated' and just dabbed on a little extra colour after a meal, i found that there was slight but noticeable feathering along my top lip shortly after. the oils in food will often cause this to happen with creamier formulas and while its far from the worst i've seen, it was enough to give a slightly blurred effect i didn't care for.

one point that has come up repeatedly in reviews i've seen is the scent. regular bite lipsticks have a sweet herbal scent- i liken it to verbena- and faint taste that fades quickly. the deconstructed rose lipsticks use rose geranium oil, which has slight anesthetic and astringent properties. the scent is noticeably strong and quite distinctive. if you've smelled rose geranium before, you'll recognise it immediately. there is also a taste, much like rose candies. it's sweet and floral without being sickly. myself, i really like both the scent and taste, but if you're sensitive to such things, you can write this formula off entirely. it is strong compared to other lipstick scents and many find it peculiar. furthermore, it never entirely fades. i could still smell it a little when i removed the lipstick hours later. it's a matter of personal preference, but i'd be remiss if i didn't mention it.

the bottom line? i'm absolutely in love with this colour and formula and i wish that bite would bring out more colours. of the four that they've released, i think that i could wear three, however "crimson" was the one that really bowled me over. with the caveat that the scent may perturb some people, i can't come up with a reason not to love this. it feels so wonderful on the lips, wears well and actually seems to leave lips feeling better after wear. the pigmentation is stellar and quite dramatic without being shocking. [if you want something less bold, two of the four shades are softer.]

finally, here's a look at the shade in action. i also took this opportunity to play around using some favourite cream shadows as a base to emphasise similar colours. i applied "celeste" on the lids and "diapason" in the crease and then layered the other shadows over them. i loved the effect, which ironically looked a little lighter than just the cream shadows on their own, since the powders served to diffuse the colour a little.





products used

the base ::
hourglass mineral veil primer
lise watier eye shadow base
nars radiant creamy concealer "vanilla"
yves st. laurent teint touche éclat foundation "beige 10"

the eyes ::
dior mono matte fusion cream e/s "celeste" [icy matte violet base]
chanel illusion d'ombre cream e/s "diapason" [plum with purple/ blue shimmer]
rouge bunny rouge e/s "lilac reef currasow" [light, soft violet]
rouge bunny e/s "solstice halcyon" [browned mauve]
le metier de beauté e/s "fire lily" [shimmery warm cranberry]
mac e/s "vanilla" [peachy highlight]
urban decay 24/7 e/l "invasion" [dark teal]
ysl effet faux cils mascara "noir radical"

the cheeks ::
mac blush "azalea" [bright hot pink with red shimmer]
bobbi brown highlighter "porcelain pearl"

the lips ::
bite beauty deconstructed rose l/s "crimson" [deep rose pink]

bite beauty is available exclusively through sephora, who have shown themselves to be a great partner for the brand. the deconstructed rose shades are limited edition. and in case you were wondering, that photo above is a rose geranium, not a rose.

Comments

crimson looks beautiful, right up my alley. also like the look you did! / Claire xxx
Kate MacDonald said…
Thanks Claire! This is a really lovely shade and while I don't know if anything is truly universal, I do think that this would look great on the vast majority of complexions. Wish they would make this permanent!

as long as you're here, why not read more?

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …

making faces :: i could maybe not buy this one thing

i've been into makeup on some level for a long time- much longer than i've been writing about it, for certain. even as a young woman, i loved the feeling of i got from applying a deep-hued lipstick and some mascara. it took years for me to figure out eyeshadow, and even longer for me to appreciate blush. but at this point, i think we can agree that i'm pretty much into the whole gamut. [except liquid and super-matte lipsticks, and most very sparkly eyeshadows. but that's because they're painful for me to wear.]

the thing about spending a long time collecting and holding onto just about everything is that you accumulate quite a stash. lately, i'm trying to force myself to think about what i already have before laying down money for something new. most recently, i found myself drawn to the modern renaissance palette from anastasia. me and a lot of people. by the time i started thinking about it, it was already sold out in my local sephora and online. i signed up…

...and my cup size is none of your damn business

this story, about a man who got a female coworker to trade email accounts with him for two weeks to see if he could see a difference in customer reactions, has been making the rounds on social media and beyond in the last week or so. earlier today, i posted it on my personal facebook page about it, and realised that i had a lot more that i wanted to share than made sense for a facebook post. so i've come here to rant.

a couple of things to start:

1. i've had some really good job experiences in my life. i'm both lucky and unlucky that the best of them came early on, but even in more recent years, i worked at a couple of places that treated workers, all workers, with respect. that respect can be expressed in different ways, but believe me, you know it when it's there. so i want to make it clear that #notallworkplaces fit the pattern i'm about to describe.

2. i am really, really, really grateful to martin r. schneider, who thought up and did this experiment, not just …