The lipstick graveyard. Whether it’s buried in a bathroom drawer or languishing in a makeup caddy, most women own a pile, of lipsticks that didn’t pan out. Mistakes — sometimes costly ones — were made.
“With so many choices available, people struggle to find their perfect shades with the right undertones for their skin,” says Christie Jack, general manager of Lip Lab by Bite, whose celebrity fans include Mindy Kaling and Karolina Kurkova. “Something that looks great in the tube or swatched on your hand might look different on your lips.”
But at Bite’s Lip Labs — including its latest in Brooklyn — the brand’s Color Experts help lipstick junkies whip up custom shades that perfectly complement their pouts. That tiny nub of discontinued lipstick you’ve been hoarding? The team can re-create it, along with color-matching your favorite dress, purse, or shoes.
The formulation process begins with designing a shade, choosing from classic lipstick color families (nude, pink, red) or something edgier, like blue or black. Next, customers can select a texture: matte, satin, sheer or a sparkly finish that Bite dubs “luminous.” Then add a flavor — choose from fruity, floral or fresh.
Finally, you’re invited to “name it and engrave it,” stamping your custom lippy with the moniker of your choice. Bite will keep your “recipe” on file and can mix it up again on demand.
One custom stick costs $60 (on par with Tom Ford Beauty or Sisley-Paris). For $120, labbers can nab two personalized shades plus a lip-care kit stocked with mini versions of the brand’s cult-favorite lip mask, scrub and primer — to keep kissers soft and smooth.
At 1,000 square feet, the company’s new Williamsburg outpost, at 160 N. 4th St., is larger than its other locations in Soho, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Toronto. Peppered with bouche-centric decor touches like lipstick-shaped pillows and giant neon lips, the centerpiece of the space is a sleek curved bar featuring 14 individual workstations, each equipped with an LED mirror. (The store’s layout and features will serve as the design template for all future Bite Labs.)
Those aforementioned Color Experts — at the ready on the other side of the bar — deploy state-of-the-art technology, including high-speed centrifuges that blend each lipstick 2,500 times in a scant five seconds.
“We’ve been perfecting our Lip Lab brand for a while now,” notes Jack. “(The Williamsburg venue) hosts guests more comfortably, and it’s full of fun, social sharing moments, including our one-of-a-kind lipstick couch by Crosby Studios and custom Brooklyn-inspired artwork by local artist Cathie Urushibata.”
After endless guest requests at its other locations to host bachelorettes, birthday bashes and the like, Bite also made sure its new Brooklyn space could easily convert to party central. “We’ve created a flexible space that can be closed off for private parties or opened up for larger events,” she says. “If you can celebrate it, we can host it.”
Sounds like a lip-smacking good time.