I bet I couldn’t even count on two hands the amount of times i’ve gone into a store, swatched a lipstick and thought ‘if only it was a bit lighter, or a bit darker, or a bit pinker’ etc. A pretty common thought for most of us when makeup shopping, I think. So on our trip to New York in June, i’d found this place – the BITE Beauty Lip Lab – where Jen and I immediately booked in.
Located on Prince Street in Soho, the BITE Beauty Lip Lab originally started life as a pop up shop. It’s now a permanent shop front, and you book in a time slot in advance on the website. To make one lipstick it costs $45, and to make two of the same shade it costs $60. I made two different shades, so it wasn’t the most cheapest lipstick purchase, but being able to make it myself was a memory i’ll not forget.
They don’t give you a huge window to think what shade you want, so it’s best if you plan ahead whether you want to make a red, a pink, a nude, purple… whatever shade you fancy to be honest! I roughly knew I wanted the perfect grey/blue, and so we set about mixing the samples to create the right shade. With a shade like this on my skin tone, I had to be precise as not to wash my skin tone out. Some were too blue, some were too grey, and in the end we finally got it right. Whilst I was doing this, next to me Jen was creating her dream pink shade.
They are patient with you while you try on all the shades and mix it up, although they didn’t seem massively enthusiastic! I’m not sure if we caught the staff on an off day (it was very hot, and a busy Saturday) but they weren’t particularly chatty or joyous about sharing the process of making my own lipstick. It was a bit of a downer, but I’m pretty undeterred by that and decided to natter away and have a fun time in my own little world anyway!
You start out by choosing a matte or moisturising shine finish, and guide the artist through pigment mixing, which she does on a piece of laminate. You try them on in between, until you feel happy with the shade. She then writes down the exact amounts of each shade, so she can get it right when mixing for the actual bullet. I loved watching them mix up the amounts into a full bullet level before pouring into a mould that was designed to dry quickly, then the container was pressed into it – and bam! lipstick finished.
I really wanted a signature ‘Zoe’ nude that I knew I could always rely on and reach for, so I also made that using the same process. As well as mixing the colours you can also choose the bullet casing holder shape, as well as the scent of the products. I went for Citrus Mango and Mint, a fresh zesty scent. Something not too overpowering but unusual, so it’ll always stick out in my mind when using it.
I was so happy with my final blue/grey and nude shades, and absolutely loved seeing them come to life. Here’s a look at Jen’s gorgeous pop pink shade, which you can read more about on her blog here alongside on the left my blue/grey, and on the right my dream nude. The outer packaging is also a custom BITE Beauty Lip Lab casing, which you can only get at the lip lab.
If you’re a beauty fanatic or just a lipstick enthusiast, i’d highly recommend making your own lipstick in NYC at the lip lab. It was super fun and something totally different to do – i’d definitely do it again! I wish there was something like this in London, it’s such a fun little way to do something a bit crafty without feeling like you can’t use the end result – as the end result is a beautiful custom BITE Beauty lipstick! The only problem I have now is I want to save them…!