With Bite Beauty launching their new core collection of lipsticks, called Amuse Bouche, they will be forcing their former Luminous Créme lipsticks to shuffle off this mortal coil into the abyss of discontinued beauty products.
As Amuse Bouche launches, however, the Bite Beauty Lip Lab in NYC is still currently whipping up custom tubes of lipsticks using the OG Luminous Créme formula. I was lucky enough to go to the Bite Beauty Lip Lab in NYC for the second time in my life to have two of my very own Luminous Créme formulas made just for me.
You can either walk in and hope an employee is available, or you can set up an appointment time if you call them. Yes, I said call them. Like it’s the ’80s. Because their website is currently down.
Here they are on Yelp and here’s their phone number: (646)484-6111
You’ll find the BBLL employees are uniformed similar to a specialist at a Clinique counter. Clad in white lab coats, the BBLL ladies (they’re all ladies from what I’ve seen. No men as of yet) are all sporting a bold Bite lip color.Despite the fact that you’ll be working directly with an employee to create your own, perfect lipcolor, the employees have never really been that friendly or personable. This is not to say that they are rude or unkind, however. They are more than willing to mix up any color you want. Even after I created my own two colors (a beige-y pink nude and a warm, muted, tomato red), the woman helping me offered to mix up a dark, wintery plum just for fun! Just be aware that the ladies are extremely reserved, not particularly fond of chit chat, and aren’t going to make you feel all warm and fuzzy.
After checking in, you will take a seat at a station and your paired employee will sit on the opposite side. If you’re wearing lipstick, you will be asked to remove it with the makeup remover sitting on the table (which looks a lot like one of those generic ketchup/mustard bottles, except clear). Then they give you a small amount of their Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub to smooth your lips.Honestly, a scrub is nice, but this stuff wasn’t nearly gritty enough. It was pretty useless. Not to mention, scrubbing your lips in public is not so comfortable. She then gave me a bit of the Agave Lip Mask to smooth over my freshly scrubbed lips. Ahhh. I love this stuff. Seriously, my DESERT ISLAND PRODUCT.
When I told her I was looking for a nude that wasn’t too pink, she nodded and began plucking pigment jars from the array before us. Taking a metal spatula, she retrieved a small amount of pasty pigment. Smearing the pigment directly onto the wax paper she’d previously laid out, she then proceeded to grab the next color and repeated the same process. Once she grabbed all the raw pigments she needed, she asked what finish I’d like. I could choose from glossy, creamy, or matte. Here’s where things got interesting.
When I came to the Lip Lab around 3 years ago, I got a matte lip that I loved. They mixed silica into the pigments to dry them out and give the lipstick a really MATTE finish. When I asked for a matte finish this time, however, I got creamy, even SHINY finish. I asked what was up… ’cause that ain’t right.
I was informed that the founder of Bite Beauty, Suzanne Langmuir, was not a fan of matte. Apparently Langmuir thinks that matte is drying and aging, and so it was pulled from the options at BBLL. Also, I was told it was rather “difficult” to get her to agree to offer a truly matte Bite formula at Sephora. But it’s a popular finish nowadays; so she had to secede.
I find this irritating, because I’m 26 years old and a matte lipstick is NOT going to age me. Sure, if I was 65, maybe I’d reconsider; however, I might also decide, fuck it. I don’t care if it makes me look “old”. I like matte. I like not having to reapply every 5 minutes. I like not having it slide all around my face. I like it, because I like it, and who are you to decide what I should and should not wear?
Interestingly, the Amuse Bouche collection is supposed to be more saturated and less glossy than the Luscious Créme formula. Hmmm. Less shiny? Aka more MATTE? I’m so confused Bite Beauty! So. Confused.
But I digress…
TIP: If you want to go to BBLL and still want a really matte formula, here’s a trick: Ask the employee to give you pure pigment and refrain from adding anything else. The pure pigment is far more matte than the “matte” substance they add to the pigments.
As I created new colors, she grabbed tiny doe-foot applicators and gave me a smidge of color that I could swipe on my lips. I could look into the handheld mirror they have before me to intermittently check how the color looked.
TIP: Be sure to look at the color while sitting at the station but also get up and see what the color looks like by the large window at the front of the store. You’ll see that the color is going to look way more blue-based (pinky/purple-y) in the natural light by the window. Keep this in mind when formulating your color.
Once you’ve selected the color(s) you want, your employee will refer to the little notations she’s made on the wax paper next to each mixture. These tell her exactly was in the brew she created for you. She then grabs the individual pigment blocks from the glass case behind the register. They look like little, colorful, chocolate truffles. They’re not. These little spherical-like compounds are pure pigment. The employee will slice out chunks of pigment that will be used to scale your small sample into a full tube of lipstick.
Here’s something fun. At the BBLL, you can add scents to your lipstick if you want. You can choose up to two scents from the following: mint, vanilla, violet, citrus mango, wild berry, and cherry.
She then put the mixed pigments into a centrifuge. It takes about 10 minutes, and the centrifuge cools, condenses, and spins the lipstick in a mold. Once it’s done, they put it in a tube that you get to preselect (Bite Beauty has different shaped tubes, and you get to select which of the four you want).
They’ll package your pretty lippie in exclusive, red packaging and also give you a small postcard with the exact recipe for your lipsticks so you can have them recreated again and again! They’ll be sure to tell you, but make sure NOT to use your lipstick for the following 30 minutes. It’s still sensitive, and you want to let it settle for a bit.
And here is the final product!
For $45 a piece, you better make sure you like the color. So don’t feel shy to try on a variety of shades. If you’re not too keen on shelling out that kind of dough for one lipcolor (#NoShame), stay tuned for reviews on the new Amuse Bouche collection!