Last month while browsing Instagram, I came across a photo posted by another Bay Area beauty blogger of the Bite Beauty Lab in Valley Fair, San Jose. Until then, I thought the only Bite Labs were in NYC and Toronto, so I was thrilled when I learned one was only a 30 minute drive away. I promptly called and made an appointment for the following weekend. Read on to learn more about my experience!
When I called for the appointment, I was asked to choose between two options:
Custom Lipstick ($55/1 lipstick, $80/2 lipsticks)
Step 1: Choose a shade from 200 exclusive Bite Beauty Lab Pigments
Step 2: Choose a finish- glossy sheer, matte crème, amuse buche
Step 3: Choose a scent- cherry, mint, vanilla, citrus, mango, violet, coconut, wild-berry, fresh citrus
Bespoke Lipstick ($150/2 lipsticks)
Step 1: Work with a lip lab artist to create a unique color by mixing the pigments
Step 2: Choose a finish- luminous, matte, sheer cuvee
Step 3: Choose a scent: cherry, mint, vanilla, citrus, mango, violet, coconut, wild-berry, fresh citrus
I chose to make 1 custom lipstick, but if I were to do it again (which I will!), I would either make 2 custom lipsticks or try the bespoke where I would get to mix colors until I get exactly what I want.
Luckily, the Valley Fair location, which is still considered a pop-up, was not too busy and even though I arrived early, they were able to help me immediately. I started by taking a look at the wall which had the pigments separated by color- reds, pinks, purples, nudes- and choosing a few that I liked. I said I wanted a pinky-nude color, so I picked 3 colors from the nudes sections that looked nice.
From there, I sat back and watched as my lip lab artist, Katie, mixed the pigments with the finished and gave me a sample to try on. First I tried a color with the Amuse Buche finish as I wasn’t sure if I wanted that one or the matte. The second one had a matte finish and I decided that’s the finish I wanted, so all the ones after that were matte. I had a general idea of what I wanted, so Katie was able to steer me in the right direction when it came to choosing pigments to try. Finally, after trying 6 colors, and 2 of them side by side on half my lip, I chose a color. Once that was done, it was time to choose the scent. I smelled each of them and knew right away I didn’t want any of the fruits as they were just too strong. The coconut was mild and subtle, which I really liked. I considered adding lime (put da lime in the coconut), but in the end wanted something not too overpowering so I just chose the coconut.
The scientist in me really enjoyed what came next. First, Katie mixed the finish and pigment in about a 1:1 ratio and added in a few drops of scent. Then, the whole mixture gets microwaved for 55 seconds and stirred to make sure the ingredients are well combined. Then, it’s poured into a mold that sits atop a -12deg freezer for 5 minutes. After this, Katie put it into the tub and I had a custom lipstick!
It was then placed in this adorable little box with lipstick print tissue paper and I was on my way. As I left Katie reminded me to wait 20 minutes before using the lipstick as it was still very soft and needed some time to firm up before use.
The whole experience was so much fun and definitely one I would like to do again sometime, I’m thinking of taking my mom for mother’s day, or my mother-in-law the next time she visits. It’s such a unique experience to be able to build a lipstick exactly how you want it, from the color and finish to the scent. If you’re ever near a Bite Beauty Lip Lab, I 100% recommend giving this a try!