This review is for the Toronto Bite Lip Lab on Queen St. W.
For those who don’t know, the Bite Lip Lab is a shop/experience like no other, and I will be writing my review about their Bespoke Lip package. The package includes a sample of their agave lip mask, and two custom made lipsticks of any colour of your design, with your initial monogrammed and in any mix of scents and textures.
Finding the store was a little bit difficult because the street numbers do not line up. Not to mention the store front is a bit inconspicuous – it is a black small front, with red lips all over the windows.
Once you get inside, there is a long bar down the middle with customers on one side and lip artists on the other. On the customer side there are rows of lipsticks available to swatch and try out, and a card cabinet with all of Bite’s colours. On the artist side is a beautiful brick wall with a big quote on it, and bottles of colours that inspire your custom lipstick creations. In the back is the lab, which is separated by a clear glass wall so you can watch lipstick being made.
When we arrived we were greeted by one of the male staff, who took our jackets, got us seated, and got us glasses of water. Another female staff member came along and offered us wine and champagne, at the cost of $7 a glass. Not too bad, and nice to have some bubbly while working away on making your custom lipstick.
I will say that while the male staff member who helped us was friendly, welcoming, and even complimented my outfit, the female staff member was a bit stand-offish. I found that she almost didn’t seem to want to be there or to help us – despite the fact that we had booked a month in advance, so it was no surprise that she had customers to help.
On to the actual process. The first thing was that we were given the Bite lip scrub to exfoliate our lips and in my case remove my prior lipstick that I had on. Following that we were given some of the agave lip mask – if you’ve never use it before, it is the most gorgeous moisturizing lip mask I have ever used. And most brilliantly, a little bit goes a long way.
Once our lips were prepped and ready we started the colour mixing process. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted in mind – two different shades of pink, so I find pinks hard to match to my skin tone (NW20 with some red undertones). The first color I went for was a nude pink, almost mauve since I have a darker complexion. Once more the girl who I worked with didn’t seem pleased that I was so decisive about the colours I wanted, because I had her mix the colours a few times to get it right – though is that not the point of bespoke lipstick?
Anyways, the process begins by telling the artist what colour you’re interested in, and they go ahead and start making something that approximates your idea. Then you get a little brush to paint it onto half of your lips, so that you can see the colour in person. The idea of only doing half of your lips is that when you adjust the colour, you can paint the newest colour on the other half of your lips to compare the two shades. The whole time the lip artists is writing down the formula they use so you can go back to a colour if you change your mind or want to compare again.
Like I said, my first nude pink took a few tries to get right but I finally got the perfect colour. My second colour was more of a bright magenta pink – I will wear almost any lip colour but was missing a bright magenta pink from my inventory! This one we were lucky and got on the very first try – we tried a more purple version of it just for fun, but I stuck with the original first mix.
Once the lip colours are done, you can pick texture and scents. I went for the signature amouse bouche finish on the nude pink and a glossier finish for the magenta. For scents, I chose a light violet for the nude and a warm vanilla coconut for the magenta. In a way I was thinking a lighter floral colour for summer, and a warmer richer colour for winter.
From there, the lip artists mixes everything together and pours it into a mould which they then set on a cold plate to harden. There was another hiccup here as the female lip artists I had put the lip scents in the opposite colours by accident, but then refused to remake them to fix her mistake. It was a bit frustrating that due to her mistake I got a different scent than I wanted in my products… I guess the scent is the least important part though, the colour and then texture were still perfect!
Finally, they take your moulded lipsticks and put it into a lipstick container which they then add your monogrammed initials to. The whole thing gets wrapped up with tissue paper and pretty boxes, and your full size agave lip mask goes in too, all in a pretty little bag – great presentation.
– A unique one of a kind experience
– Literally unlimited colour choices, plus many scents and textures
– Great location and building
– Some staff were a bit hard to work with
– Mix-up with the scents was frustrating
– Went home with two beautiful new lip colours!
– Cost $150 plus $7 each for champagne
More questions? More pictures? Let me know in the comments or replies and I can elaborate on anything from my experience.