Spotlight: Bite Beauty
Recently I was reorganizing my makeup drawers – just for fun, you know, because that’s my favorite way to procrastinate on other stuff – and I realized something. I have a bunch of various lip things from Bite Beauty and so far I’ve only reviewed one. ONE! I love all the things I have from them, so I feel terrible for withholding all that awesomeness from you. I will now correct this situation by giving you all the words and pictures.
Cashmere Lip Cream
This is the one I’ve already reviewed, of course, but I think you should see it again, because look at it! Bright red-pinks are probably my favorite color family for lipstick, and Sancerre is a great version of it. The formula is a creamy demi-matte that’s very forgiving to lips that have a few lines in them, and it’s very comfortable to wear. It’s not the longest-lasting product ever, but that’s a small tradeoff for all the great things about it. In fact, I really don’t know why I haven’t gotten more of these. Note to self: buy more in the Sephora sale.
Contour Lip Liner
I’ll admit, I was totally sucked in by the packaging for this. It’s a slim pencil in Bite’s usual soft-touch case, so it looks very sleek. The most interesting thing about it, though, is the shape of the pencil end itself. It’s a slim rectangular tip, so you can hold it one way to get a really precise line, or rotate it and use the broad side to fill in larger areas. The packaging did caution not to roll the liner up more than about 2mm, to avoid breaking it. I can confirm this is good advice, because I did roll mine up a bit too much and broke a tiny bit of it off. It glides on smoothly though, so I don’t need to press down on it too hard. In other words, if I’d actually followed the directions I wouldn’t have lost that little bit.
I picked up the color Nutmeg, because it’s a sorta-kinda close shade to my natural lip color (which seems a bit ridiculously hard to match, for some reason). Sometimes when I’m feeling especially ambitious I fill out my upper lip by drawing a little bit outside the lines, since it’s on the thin side. My plan was to use this liner for that, but alas, it was not to be. It’s a little lighter than my natural color, and it’s not the most opaque liner I’ve ever used. Between those two things, it doesn’t hide the transition from fake-upper-lip to real-upper-lip all that well. That may be due as much to color choice as the liner itself, though. Even though the original plan didn’t quite work out, I still get a lot of use out of it because it does all its other lip liner duties like a champ. It keeps bleeding and feathering to a minimum, and extends the wear time on some of my creamier lipsticks. Overall it’s not every single thing I could want out of a lip liner, but it’s still a really nice one.
Luminous Creme Lipstick
The first Bite product I ever tried was their Luminous Creme Lipstick, which I think is sort of the flagship product for the brand. All the ones I have now are mini’s – I got one as a Sephora point perk, I think, and I’ve accumulated the others through various sets. The swatches above (from left to right) are Musk, Pepper, Tannin and Pomegranate. I also had Rouge, the one with the VIB Rouge welcome kit, but I felt like it was a little too similar to Tannin and passed it along to a friend. You can see swatches here, if you like.
The texture is a little different that what I normally go for in lipstick. I’m a sucker for matte/demi-matte finishes, but these have a much more dimensional appearance. They aren’t glossy by any means, and there’s no shimmer, but they still draw the eye. They’re a bit dense and very creamy, and feel moisturizing on the lips. The wear time is shorter than some of the others I’m used to – around 3-4 hours – but that’s pretty much what I assume with creamy formulas in general. More importantly, they don’t gather in my lip lines and they fade evenly. They do transfer, so I highly recommend the apply-blot-apply method, and using a brush to get thin layers, which helps keep transfer to a minimum.
The swatches above are one swipe each, and I think you can probably tell there that the lighter shades are a bit more sheer. Musk is lighter than my lips so it comes off very sheer on me, and Pepper is my perfect ‘my lips but better’ shade. Tannin and Pomegranate both have much fuller coverage and are my go-to reds. Tannin is fairly neutral with maybe a hint of a blue tinge, and Pomegranate is a warmer orange-based red.
I really like these as everyday lipsticks for work – they’re easy to apply (and reapply) and the mini sizes are especially great for tossing into my purse.
Matte Creme Lip Crayon*
* These were kindly provided by Bite to consider for review
I ignored this particular product for a really long time, and it was for a stupid reason. See, when the High Pigment Pencils first came out I tried them on at Sephora and my first impression was ‘do not want.’ They felt a bit waxy and heavy, and the scent really bothered me. Take that with a grain of salt because I didn’t give them any real testing, but the point is I expected the Matte Crayons to be similar for some reason. This is why you should try new things, because you might end up liking them. Sort of the way I didn’t realize I love guacamole until about a year ago, but that’s neither here nor there.
The texture of the Matte Crayons feels much drier than pretty much every other Bite product I’ve tried. Not crumbly or hard, but they definitely have less slip. They transfer onto the lips easily without needing to bear down on them, and they don’t tug at the skin. I was very worried that I wouldn’t be able to get a clean line with them after the point wore off (which was after one use, basically), but since they’re not overly smushy it’s actually much easier than I expected. And if that fails, it turns out there’s a sharpener in the bottom end. For some reason it was literally weeks before I realized that. Oblivious makeup addict is oblivious, I guess.
In all there are twelve shades available, but the ones I received are from the fall release. From left to right we have: Leche, Amaretto, Brandy, Aubergine, Cognac and Truffle. They’re all very pigmented (and consistent in formula/pigmentation, which I appreciate) and pretty, but I’ll be honest here – some of them I don’t quite know what to do with. The first four are pretty easily within my lipstick comfort zone, but Cognac and Truffle are waaay more vampy than what I’d usually wear. That doesn’t in any way mean they’re bad, just not something I’d have picked for myself. I plan to wear them out anyway because who knows? I may love them (see the guacamole story above). The weather here is still flip flopping between mid-50’s and high-70’s, so I’m kind of holding onto those shades for when the weather turns cool for real.
The two colors I’m most excited about are Leche and Amaretto because holy shit you guys, finally I have nude lipsticks that a) are opaque enough to cover my lip color and b) don’t start to wear off within 20 minutes and show patches of my natural color. I feel like I found a freakin’ unicorn. All the ones I have are full coverage and the wear time is great – around 6 hours, with just a little bit of fading at the corners of my mouth. They all have a true matte finish, more so than the Lip Cream, I think. It’s probably worth noting that these are a bit heavily scented, with a fruity scent that I can’t quite place. Raisin, maybe? It isn’t unpleasant and wears off pretty quickly anyway, so it doesn’t bother me.
Long story short, I’m super glad I gave these a chance. They might not all be ‘omg my most favoritest shade EVAR’ but I really enjoy the formula and have my eye on a couple more (Fraise, for example).
Now all I need is to fulfill my dream of visiting the Bite lab in NYC so I can make my very own custom color. It’s probably a good thing I’d have to fly 700 miles to get there, otherwise I’d be popping in every week.
All the Bite things – Cashmere Lip Cream ($28), Contour Lip Liner ($24), Luminous Creme Lipstick ($24) and Matte Creme Lip Crayons ($24) – are available at sephora.com