Do you remember the joyous moment when you baked your first birthday cake? Or the time you finally convinced your mom to let you help her bake cookies (and eat some batter, of course)? Probably not, I sure don’t. But I’ll tell you what I will always remember: the first time I made my very own custom lipstick!
I am fortunate to have been blessed with amazing friends who support my sometimes ridiculous makeup obsession. This is my best friend Reylisa (who I call Lola, for reasons even I can’t remember anymore).
Isn’t she fabulous? For Christmas, she was kind of enough to give me a gift card to the Bite Beauty Lip Lab. The Bite Beauty Lip Lab is located in SoHo (specifically: 174 Prince St, New York, NY 10012). The Lip Lab was originally conceived as a pop-up shop, but due to its tremendous success (no, seriously, the lines used to be around the block), it became permanent (YAY!!!). Bite Beauty is awesome for many reasons, among them is the fact that all their products are natural and even safe enough to eat, and because of the high-quality of their super-pigmented lipsticks.
I visited the Lip Lab on a Sunday. I called in advance and attempted to make a reservation, but was told that weekend appointments get booked up to four weeks in advance! The person I spoke to informed me that they still accept walk-ins, though. However, if you want to come in as a walk-in, you have to physically visit the Lab and put down your name and phone number. When something becomes available the store will give you a call and ask you to be there in the next fifteen minutes. Lola and I did just that. We went to the store at around 1 in the afternoon, I put my name and phone number down and was told to look out for a 646 number. We went and grabbed lunch a block away and, just as we were finishing up with our food, I received a call from a 646 phone number and was asked if I could be at the Bite Beauty Lip Lab in the next fifteen minutes. Imagine my excitement!
I was greeted by Bridget, who was enthusiastic and knew my name when I walked in (perhaps because she had just called me, or maybe because she’s made of magic because she was awesome)!! Bridget asked me to have a seat and before me was the most wonderful selection of pigments in pots. I mean, this was my view for most of the experience:
It was like all the colors of the rainbow were laid out in front of me waiting for me to create something wonderful. I was soooooooo not ready for this.
I was losing my marbles at the vast selection of colors before me.
Bridget asked if I had any idea what color I wanted to come up, and although I was in shock for a good five minutes, I came back to my senses and told her the color I wanted to make.
I wanted a nude lipstick with a brown tone, but with a hint of purple in it. For some reason I thought Bridget would be confused by this cocktail of colors I was asking for, but she quickly reached for some of the pigments and started mixing on a sheet (in which she had written my name and request on). She explained the different formulas that were available, and I told her I wanted my lipstick to be creamy and hydrating (as opposed to matte and drying). She explained how Bite Beauty’s matte lipsticks are not completely matte and drying because they contain agave which hydrates the lips, the end result is a satin creamy formula with very little sheen to it (which is why it is called matte, even if it’s not as dry as what other brands consider to be matte). The matte formula it was, then!
Using a metal spatula, Bridget mixed the pigments together and came up with a beautiful dusty rose color. She swiped some of it on a disposable lip gloss wand and asked me to step closer to the window and try on the color in the natural light.
Although that color was pretty, it wasn’t really what I wanted. I asked Bridget if there was any way to make the color a bit more brown and I apologized for being so bossy. Bridget, in all of her professional sweetness, reminded me that the goal was to create something I loved, regardless of how many tries it took and assured me I was far from bossy.
Alas, Bridget mixed some more brown pigment into our sheet and created my new color. She asked me to remove the lipstick I had on, and handed me a new wand with a swipe of the color we had just created. I stepped closer to the window and tried on the new color.
IT WAS PERFECT!!!!!!! I was so excited I almost knocked down everything in the store! Bridget was pleased with it as well, and that put me even more at ease. She had me step over to a small table beside me and asked me to pick the scent I wanted for my lipstick.
The table had various options: there was violet, citrus mango, wild berry, vanilla, cherry, mint, and mango. Each scent had its original form and a small pot with the concentrated smell. Bridget told me I was free to touch and smell the scents, and that I could choose more than one if I wanted to.
The winning scent was violet, though. I didn’t want my lipstick to smell like my MAC lippies (vanilla) or like a chap stick (cherry) and the mint was just not my cup of tea. Bridget told me that was a fair enough argument and proceeded to add my violet scent to our mixture, which was now housed in a small cup.
Bridget used her spatula and mixed the ingredients together.
She then, she introduced me to the SpeedMixer and explained how this machine worked somewhat like a blender. It mixed my pigments together to create a smooth liquid consistency.
The result was my lipstick in its liquid form.
Bridget then added my liquid lipstick to a lipstick mold and put it on a cooling table for about five minutes.
While my lipstick cooled off, I took the liberty of looking around the lab. I came across the rack which contains all the pigments and was as mesmerized as you can imagine.
After admiring all the pretty colors outside of their little glass pots, I went back to watch my lipstick be cooled. Not too long after, my baby was ready to be encased! Bridget presented me with four different types of packaging, and asked me to pick which one I wanted.
After choosing the casing I wanted. Bridget proceeded to take my lipstick out from the mold and inserted it into the tube. Which she did carefully and quickly.
The result was my perfect lipstick!
She then wrote up a card, with information regarding my lipstick. The card included the date, the name, the shade (which is more like a recipe of the pigments used), the finish, and the flavor. It also has a space on the top with the outline of lips, which I used to swatch my new baby.
To say I was pleased would not even begin to describe how good I felt about my experience. I even asked Bridget if I could snap a picture of her. Look how great she looks!
She wrote down my name and email on a form and told me they would store the recipe for my lipstick in case I ever want to come back and have the same one made again. I guess she knows I’m going to be wearing this baby daily.
I should mention, that the price to make your own lipstick is $48. Although $48 is kind of pricey for a lipstick, (even for me, a lipstick junkie) the experience is definitely worth it. I had the pleasure of working with someone who was knowledgeable, patient, and all-around amazing. If you live in New York, or happen to visit I highly suggest you add the Bite Beauty Lip Lab to your list of places to go. You will not regret it! This is a unique, extremely enjoyable and personal experience, suitable for a wide range of ages. Lola even ended up making an appointment to make her own lipstick in a few weeks!
Below is a snapchat selfie, with my favorite filter (anyone else obsessed with this dog filter?!) and my beautiful lipstick on! Enjoy!
Bite Beauty products are not available for purchase at the Lip Lab. You can purchase Bite Beauty products at Sephora.