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making faces :: made for me [or you]

all makeup aficionados go through this: there's one colour [or several] that you want, but you just can't quite find. this is how most of us end up with seventeen colours that look close enough to each other: they aren't exactly what we're looking for, nor can we achieve that exact shade by mixing what we have. it's a frivolous but frustrating cross to bear.

luckily, if you're looking for a lipstick, bite beauty can help you out. you can travel to their one of a kind lip lab, where they will work with you to come up with the exact shade you want and will mix it up right before your eyes. of course, if you can't get to the lip lab in new york city, you might be able to get a version of the experience with the bite mobile lip lab, which is currently touring sephora locations in north america. it passed through the downtown flagship store this past weekend and, of course, i took full advantage.

the experience begins with a consultation where you can look at the different shades available. these are mixed especially for these events, so they aren't a match to any available bite products. the base colours are generally quite saturated and there are a lot of options, especially in the berry-pink-red range. [it's possible i was just paying closer attention to those, since they piqued my interest.] you can choose one of the colours as is, or try a combination. my consultant jackie helped me get the right mix to achieve the shade that i wanted. i came prepared with a pretty good idea of what i wanted, but they'll also take the time to go through what sort of shade you might be looking for. jackie helped me applying different mixes until we had the right one- a combination of two shades. [to go off on a tangent for a moment, i have to mention that jackie was an absolutely textbook true winter in sci/art terms and completely owned her colours. i wish i'd gotten more photos of her, because she really was a great example of how great you can look in shades that are best-suited to you.]

the adventure starts here
you then choose from one of three finishes- matte, luminous [satin] or sheer- and a scent. they had about a half a dozen scents to choose from and i went with violet. there was also a delicious vanilla that smelled a lot like crème brulée, but i was afraid that if i took that, i'd just eat the lipstick. [which, incidentally, i could have done. bite uses food grade ingredients that are 80% organic. but then i wouldn't have had a lipstick when i got home. just pink teeth and a lot of explaining to do.]

do not nom!
a sampling of scents
jackie noted my mixture and then handed me off to the lovely lady standing behind what looked like a counter full of macarons, but which is actually a counter full of "colour cakes" alongside translucent "cakes" [i'm sorry, it's what they looked like] for finish. she mixes the cakes in proper ratio, adds the scented oil and pours the resulting slurry into a metal mold. i was surprised at how little time it takes to set- maybe five minutes, which passes pretty quickly when you have pleasant ladies who know everything about lipstick to talk to. interesting detail i picked up: everything at bite is made by hand, right down to the application of the labels. because of the success they've enjoyed at sephora [the brand's exclusive retailer], they are in the process of moving to a larger facility.

checking the specifications.
the resultant lipstick was as nice as everything i've come to expect from bite. the formula for the custom made lipsticks is closer to the deconstructed rose products than the regular luminous creme. my shade, which is, as you'll see, fairly bright, lasted about four hours [one layer applied directly from the tube] before starting to fade, which is on the long side for me. it was incredibly comfortable and slightly moisturizing. [bite lipsticks are the only ones i've ever tried which actually seem to hydrate my lips. some do a good job of keeping them soft if they start out that way, but after wearing bite lipsticks, i find my lips feel slightly better.] i experienced no feathering at all and the shade faded to a very visible stain. applying first with a lip brush and then using a layer over top straight from the tube makes the colour pretty much like a beautiful piece of armour. it extends the wear time and mitigates the fading.

almost ready!
it seems strange to talk about a colour that was custom made for me, but if you have the opportunity to visit the bite mobile lab and think you'd like this exact colour yourself, i do have the recipe and would be happy to pass it on. [i believe that the premixed colours they use in the mobile lab are always the same.]

i wanted something with elements of pink, purple and red in more or less that order, cooler in tone and a little bit more muted than really bold fuchsias like mac show orchid and lighter than something like guerlain gladys. i've named the lipstick "flora mundi", which is sort of a personal reference, but i really wanted to give it a name more interesting than "kate's personal lipstick". here it is, in all its glory:

"flora mundi" made just for me
if you want to try something similar, i thought i'd provide some comparison swatches for you. nars "funny face" is similar in terms of the base colour, but has a blue sheen that makes them look different, especially in the light. bite beauty "crimson" is darker and redder. guerlain "gladys" is darker, redder and slightly shimmery. mac "catharina" [l.e. but returning for this holiday season, apparently] is redder, warmer.

l to r :: bite crimson [l.e.], guerlain gladys, flora mundi, nars funny face, mac catharina [l.e.]
closer look :: flora mundi, nars funny face
and finally, here is the lipstick adorning my allergy plagued face. there was seriously nothing that would fix those puffy eyes for most of the week, so it's good that i had a bright lipstick to distract from them.




products used:

the base ::
vichy bb cream "light"
ysl teint touche éclat foundation "b10"
nars radiant creamy concealer "vanilla"
mac paint pot "painterly"
mac prep and prime finishing powder "translucent"

eyes ::
mac e/s "unbasic white" [dirty white]*
mac e/s "seedy pearl" [grey-tinged light pink]
mac e/s "copperplate" [warm matte grey]
mac e/s "print" [deep iron grey]
stila sparkle liner "starry" [gunmetal grey with multicolour shimmer]

cheeks ::
dior creme blush "pareo" [bright magenta]*

lips ::
bite beauty creme lipstick "flora mundi" [bright cool berry pink]

*suggested alternates :: unbasic white = mac crystal avalanche [more of a pure white, without the grey tinge]; pareo = nars desire

the lip lab experience is a lot of fun and takes less time than you might think. any beauty lover who has the opportunity should avail themselves. the cost was approximately $35cad plus taxes, which means it's about $7 more than a regular bite lipstick, but still cheaper than prestige brands like chanel and yves st. laurent. so that price gets you a great lipstick and a fun experience.

Comments

I went to the Bite Lip Lab in New York last December and got a purple lipstick made for me! It was so much fun, and the guy who made my lipstick gave me an extra tube because he'd had to keep me waiting while taking phone calls. I chose the violet scent (of course) and the "matte" finish, which still has a definite shine to it but is a little more opaque than the luminous creme. To continue the violet theme and Bite's own booze theme, I named my lipstick "Aviation."

I wouldn't have expected anything less from you than a perfectly balanced fuchsia! And "Flora Mundi" is a beautiful name.
Kate MacDonald said…
Thanks AB! It is a really fun process, having something made especially for you. I do want to do a pilgrimage to the "big" lip lab some day, but this was a great in-between step.
Off to check your blog for pics of Aviation!
I haven't reviewed it yet (bought it before I had a blog), but the review is coming up soon!

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