It’s shocking and embarrassing how many lipsticks I own that I literally never wear. Like, never.
So let’s get philosophical for a second: Why invest in a drawer full of not-quite-perfect lipsticks if you can have a shade that’s literally made for you?
That’s where the Bite Beauty Lip Lab in SoHo, New York, comes in. I just got back from there and thought it would be super helpful to do a quick review so you know what to expect if you head in!
I can’t stress this enough: Book ahead of time!
My mixologist told me that they book ahead for weekends especially, so if you’re planning on being in town, or even if you’re a local, it pays to book ahead to reserve your spot. You can do so here. And they’ll even text and email you a reminder!
When you get into Bite Beauty’s SoHo lip lab, you’ll notice right away that it’s a tight space, but it’s super cozy and set up to maximize the experience with barstools facing all the lipstick-making tools… kind of like a chic, minimalistic bar where the staff is on one side and you’re on the other.
You’re assigned a mixologist (not what they called themselves, but I’m calling them that 😉 ), and then you start!
Do you want a your-lips-but-more-vibrant look? Or maybe you want a bold color? You can pick any vibe you want for your final product, and they’ll start there.
I asked for a color that matched my natural lip color, but was a little punched up. The thought is that I want to be able to wear it to school pickup and around for daily errands to look polished, but not too “done.”
I was assigned an awesome woman named Sarah who is a makeup artist and was so knowledgeable! Just so you know, everyone they hire at Bite Beauty Lip Lab has to have a background in color theory, so they understand the basics of mixing colors. I just love that you’re in the hands of someone who truly understands how to make what you’re looking for.
Your mixologist will give you a swipe of Bite Beauty’s sugar scrub to get rid of any dead skin that might be on your lips, then a swipe of their Agave Lip Mask, which will give you a quick shot of moisture. And then it’s off to your first decision of the customized lipstick process… the texture.
The options are matte, satin, luminous and sheer. I wanted a creamy, moisturizing feel as well as full coverage, so I went for satin.
Now this is when it gets fun!
You get to see your mixologist put together colors to make your shade, one option at a time.
The pigments are in pots right in front of you, so if one catches your eye—the bright violets did for me—you can ask your technician to include them in your formula to see where it takes it!
We started off with nudes—shades 1, 2, 3 and 4 below—and even though I thought I wanted a more natural color, I just had to try some bolder options with that incredible violet shade, so Sarah whipped them up for me! They’re options 5 and 6 below.
You try each customized shade on as they’re made, wiping off the color in between tests with micellar water and a cotton round.
Can you guess which one I with?!
I have to say, I was so tempted to pick one of the vibrant shades, because I just loved the way they popped, but in the end I stuck with my first instinct, which was to stay in a more neutral shade range so I could really get some wear out of it.Shade 2 was my pick–the one on the top right.
…because what customized lipstick would be totally custom without the option to pick how it smells?!
The options are cherry, citrus mango, lime, violet, vanilla, wild berry, coconut, mint and fresh citrus. Violet was my pick here.
The final customizable option is what you want to engraved on the cap. Sarah told me the cap can easily fit 5-6 letters, but much more than that and it starts looking crunched.After toying with ideas like “Badass Bitch,” or “Don’t Talk to Me While I’m PMS’ing,” I went with… “Sonni.” Because, you know, simplicity.
After taking into account all of your personalized picks, the lip lab tech now mixes the final formula, puts it into a bullet mold, chills it, and then drops it into the lipstick tube.
This whole process takes about 10 minutes, and it’s super fun to watch. And that’s it! You get your fresh, perfect-shade lipstick in a cute little shopping bag, and better yet, the information on your shade is stored in their system, so that when you run out, you can call or email their store and have another one made.
Sarah did say—and I agree—that it’s a good idea to take a picture of your mixing sheet, which has all the color info, just in case something happens to their system and the information gets lost.
When everything is rung up, it was around $65.
Expensive for lipstick? Maybe. But knowing I have a shade I will always reach for because it’s literally made for me? Worth it.
I would absolutely recommend this experience to any beauty junkie out there! The whole thing takes about an hour, and it’s enjoyable from end to end. And the souvenir you walk away with in the end, not so bad either.Have you tried the Bite Beauty Lip Lab? If not, would you?
Let me know your thoughts in or any questions you might have in Comments, below!