Five Steps to the Perfect Pucker at the BITE Lip Lab

Five Steps to the Perfect Pucker at the BITE Lip Lab

"Bold Night Out," the lipstick I created at the BITE Beauty Lip Lab.

Toronto-based BITE Beauty prides itself on its line of lip care products that are safe enough to eat. What the company launched as a pop-up shop last spring is now a permanent laboratory in SoHo, helping women (and even some men!) create one-of-a-kind lipsticks in 15 minutes. Could all-natural ingredients really offer the high-power pigment I crave? Wearing a lab coat, makeup artist Brooklyn McLain, who helps run the lab, guided me through the process of creating a stunning shade of scarlet that stands up to all-night wear. He offers IN New York readers five tips to mastering the art of customizing lipsticks: 

Brooklyn McLain helps mix pigments into my custom lipstick.

1.   Ask yourself where you want to wear the lipstick, NOT what color you want, says McLain. Sitting down at the color mixing station can be overwhelming—BITE’s palette consists of dozens of shades of reds, pinks, browns, purples, oranges and blues. Unless you have a very specific shade in mind, McLain recommends working with the artists, who have strong backgrounds in color and design, to develop a lipstick that will match an occasion. Let the experts make the magic happen.

2.   “The Lux is the Rolls-Royce of our finishes,” McLain boasts. At the Lip Lab, customers can choose from finishes ranging from strong matte to high-gloss. The Lux finish offers the best of both worlds—a vibrant tint with a reflective shine that doesn’t feel overly sticky. I might try out a different texture on a return visit, but first-timers should definitely choose Lux.

The scents are based on natural ingredients.

3.   Scents can be blended into amazing new flavors, says McLain. Seven scents, including citrus, cherry, lavender and mint, add another layer of sensuality to the lipstick and because they’re based on real ingredients, they even have a pleasant flavor. For my “Bold Night Out” lipstick, the purist that I am opted for vanilla, but now I find myself craving an additional tingle of mint.

McLain pours the melted pigments into the mold on the cooling table.

4.   Try out BITE’s other products while your lipstick sets, says McLain, whose own nighttime regimen involves BITE’s acai lip scrub and agave lip mask. Just to the left of the chilling table, which sets the lipstick in five minutes, is a station full of pre-made glosses, balms and other products. The lab staff are experts in caring for lips and it’s worth chatting with them about how additional products may benefit your lips. I’ve embraced McLain’s recommendation and my lips, which are usually dry and chapped during these frigid winter months, have never felt better.

Lipstick cases match your style of application.

5.   Choose a case that’s true to you. “BITE created four cases that mimic what lipsticks look like after women use them,” McLain says. Some women smear the lipstick in one or two swipes between their lips, creating a mountain-like tip, while others let the lipstick hug the curve of their lip, which results in a rounder form. Since I don’t use lipliner, I like to have a nice edge on my lipstick so I can create a perfect line—I chose the case that matched my technique. It’s fun to pop open the cap, knowing my lipstick will look similar.

Bold Night Out is now my favorite shade, and it’s fun telling those who compliment it that it was custom. I’ll be back to the Lip Lab, next time I need a perfect pucker for a special event or crave a wild shade.

>>BITE Lip Lab, 174 Prince St., btw Thompson & Sullivan sts., 646.484.6111