Last weekend I was invited to a formal penthouse hotel party downtown. (I know, just saying it sounds lovely, yes?) I never get invited to cocktail or black-tie events anymore, so my creative mind went into overdrive imagining what I would wear.
Just a few days before, I saw this video for the Curses track Heartbeat, in which beautiful women in black slink around in a formal hotel room. Ah, this would be my look. OK, maybe not the lingerie, but my long, slinky dress from the sustainable fashion house Reformation with a super-low back would do perfectly. As for the makeup? I didn’t have the right lipstick yet.
So I popped into the Bite Lip Lab, which is situated between SoHo and the West Village. Silly me, thinking I could just walk in. I was told that they were fully booked. If I wanted a weekend appointment, they were booked for two weeks out. But a weekday appointment was more feasible. I got one for late in the afternoon, the next day on Friday.
Bite Beauty first grabbed my attention a couple years ago. The lipstick is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetics, polybutenes, and petroleum byproducts. All the ingredients are food-grade, and each lipstick contains the amount of resveratrol–an anti-aging ingredient–found in five glasses of red wine. The packaging is similar to NARS: black, satiny, and sophisticated. Most importantly, the colors are super rich and luxurious. Could it be the best lipstick on the market? I didn’t know, because somehow I had never gotten around to trying it.
I showed up on Friday to the tiny, bright white storefront and was matched with a fabulous clerk. I told him what I wanted, “A dark, rich, sexy red with warm undertones to flatter my skin.” He pulled red, black and yellow from the neatly arranged pots on the counter, and got to work mixing up a palette for me. I tried on his first result, and loved it. But that was too easy! So I asked him to make it a little more pink/purple, to see what that was like. I should haven trusted him, because the first color was indeed better.
After perfecting the color, he led me over to choose which essential oils would go in my lipstick, which included mint, mango, citrus, violet, cherry, berry and vanilla. I chose a combination of berry and vanilla for a warm, comforting, autumn scent.
He put all the ingredients into a high-tech, centrifugal mixing machine, then poured it into a lipstick mold, which he set on top of a freezing unit until it gelled. The final touched was gently slipping it into the lipstick case and packaging it all up for me. (Drawback: the plastic envelope they put it in before giving it to you. I’m sure you can say no to that.)
The process took about 45 minutes, and it cost me $39.20 with tax. I walked away with my new, creamy, sexy lipstick and a color card so that I could recreate the lipstick again if I wanted to. But why do that? If I go back in–which I want to–I would go in an entirely different direction, just for the fun of it!
Bite Lip Lab is located at 174 Prince Street at Thompson. Call to make an appointment first. If you want to buy Bite lipstick but don’t live in NYC or want to book an appointment, you can buy it from Sephora.