Have you ever wanted to create your own lipstick? Everything from the finish, shade and scent? That’s exactly what you can do at the Lip Lab by BITE Beauty in Toronto! I’ve been wanting to create my own lipstick there for the longest time so as a Valentine’s Day gift, my boyfriend gave me the money to go to the studio! Last week I was able to create my own lipstick at the Lip Lab in Toronto and I brought along my camera to take some photos of the process. Keep reading to find out my review of the overall experience!
As soon as I sat down I was asked if I’d like a drink (they have a little bar where you can order champagne) but I just settled with water. The artist gave me a little sample of their Agave Sugar Lip Scrub to soften the lips (I’m personally not the biggest fan of this scrub since there’s barely any sugar) and then try on their Line & Define Lip Primer which was nice. As I did this, the artist asked what I was looking for and I explained I wanted a nude everyday colour that I can wear to work, coffee dates etc.
First things first, I wish the artist I had explained to me what I’d be getting with the “A La Carte” option versus the “Bespoke” option. I was under the impression that I could mix whatever shades I wanted to create any shade lipstick, which wasn’t the case. I even brought along my favourite NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in the shade Ruffle Trim as a guideline of the type of nude I was looking for (an everyday, my lips but better shade). The artist explained she couldn’t make the EXACT shade but could do her best.
The “A La Carte” option allows you to pick the shade, finish and one of 200+ pigments that the Lip Lab offers. Key word, one of, as in you HAVE to pick one of the 200+ shades they offer. Don’t get me wrong, 200 shades is a lot to choose from but I was under the impression that I could mix shades. I wish this was something the artist explained to me in the beginning, especially because it was my first time there, because when I asked the artist, “Can you mix these two shades?” and she said no, I was really confused.
The entire appointment you have at the Lip Lab can last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes and as a beauty blogger and journalist on the side, I genuinely had a lot of questions to ask since it was my first time there but I also didn’t want to spend my whole evening there. As the artist was finding a shade I asked her, “What’s the longest it’s taken you to find a shade for a customer?” and she looked at me and said “Oh, we’re not doing that today.” I jokingly laughed but instantly felt pressure to find my shade ASAP. The rest of my interactions with the artist felt kind of awkward for the rest of the appointment to be honest.
While creating a lipstick is the main goal of going to the Lip Lab, I do think customer service is extremely important. Especially if you’re sitting with a customer for 30 to 60 minutes. As I was trying on the shades, I really wish the artist would have given me her input on what she thought looked good on me versus what didn’t. I kept looking in the mirror not sure if I liked it and the makeup artist just kind of stared at me and went on with her business. I went to the appointment alone and noticed everyone else in the studio who had a friend or mom to help give them input. So if you do decide to go, I recommend bringing a friend who can help you decided what looks good (and prevent a really long appointment by being indecisive).
When it came to picking the scent I smelled each one but fully knew I was going to go with Citrus Mango. Anything citrus or mango are my FAVOURITE so mix them together and it’s a match made in heaven! I jokingly told the artist that my lipstick was going to smell so good that I might eat it and she gave me the weirdest look and was probably thinking “Who is this weirdo?” which again, made me feel even more awkward.
As I was trying on shades I mentioned how since I can’t get the EXACT shade I wanted (since I was picking a shade and not necessarily creating one) that I could use a lighter or darker lip liner at home to alternate the shade. The artist gave me another weird look and said, “I’ve never heard of that but okay..”. I quickly started to defend myself saying I’m not a professional makeup artist or anything and that I just run a beauty blog on the side as a hobby. Again, I felt awkward and like I was “less than” because I didn’t have the same makeup/colour knowledge as she did.
In general the other staff were very kind and allowed me to take as many photos as I wanted while the artist mixed my shade, scent and finish by placing it in a lipstick mold.
My lipstick sat in the mold and the artist put on a timer for 10 minutes. During this time I took photos and sat on my phone scrolling through Instagram. While this isn’t the end of the world I wish the artist had spoke to me more in general, I made the first step forward every time asking her questions and I also mentioned that I had a beauty blog and was writing a review based on this experience. She didn’t seem super interested and only asked how long I ran my blog for (it’ll be two years in May, woo!).
The “A La Carte” option which I chose was was $55 for one lipstick (plus taxes) or you can get two lipsticks for $80. The “Bespoke” option is $75 for one lipstick or $150 for two lipsticks. This option is the one where you actually get to work with a artist by mixing shades to create whatever colour you want. You also get to take home a little kit that includes a Mini Agave Lip Mask, Mini Line & Define Lip Primer and Mini Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub.
Overall I think the concept of the Lip Lab by BITE Beauty is really cool! Not to mention it’s the only one in Canada, there are two locations in the United States, LA and New York City.
I do think it’s very overpriced so it’s only something I’d do again for a special occasion and if someone gifted it to me. I’d also never spend $50+ on a lipstick unless it claimed to never give me dry, cracked lips again, but I’d say it makes a wonderful anniversary, birthday or Valentine’s Day gift for any beauty lover! It’s a fun experience (depending on the artist you have) and a great way to see how lipsticks are made.
BITE Beauty did not sponsor this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.
Did you like this post? If so, check out my review of Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Line!