I seriously advice having a plan whenever you go there. Booking an appointment is the first order of business. You'll have to do this over the phone since the web appointments thing they used to have is not available right now. I feel that interest has died down since they opened shop 3 years ago and I was able to snag a Saturday afternoon appointment when I called the night before. Of course, I could have just gotten lucky. I did notice a party of four come in seemingly without an appointment and they were able to get service. So, you know, whatever works for you.
As my friend discovered, it's hard to decide on what you want at the last minute. My fault for springing this on her just the night before and I don't think she quite understood what it was that we were going to do. This doesn't come naturally to some people, I guess. A typical appointment may take no longer than 20 minutes but I reckon we were in there for a good 40, even with two color therapists working side by side with us.
If you haven't read my previous post about the Bite Lip Lab experience (click here), it describes the process that the appointment takes. I won't go into the same details but I'll try to describe how our appointment went and try to explain better some of the options available.
I had brought along a small sample of one of the lipstick colors from my Guerlain Extra Gold Palette as I adore it and wanted to have a tube of the stuff. But this is what I've discovered. When you put something on or swatch it on your hand or arm, the color can look completely different from when the color therapist takes the exact same color and puts it on a blank white canvas. What I had perceived to be a red raspberry was looking rosy pink against the white. This was disappointing to me because it looked quite a lot like the shade I had made back in January. But then again, that probably saves me some time and money because I already have two tubes of that color and wouldn't have to have it made again for a good long time. Except, what would I have made now?
I'm sure we were annoying the heck out of the color therapists because when another one came to help out my friend and she didn't really know what she wanted, there was a lot of time spent just waiting for us to figure things out. We tried on colors from each other's palettes, hers with the nude pinks and one coral, mine with the rosy pinks and reds. I had them make the color that I wanted in the different finishes available. My original sample had shimmer and I was told that they can only put shimmer in the sheer, glossy formula. After I tried that on, I said that I preferred the look of the matte. Mind you, their matte isn't a full-on matte but rather a softer, sort of matte cream, not much different from the new Amuse Bouche line that Sephora now carries.
My friend was really going for the rosy pinks so I had the color therapist pull out the recipe for the shade I had made back in January and in the end, that was the color that my friend wanted. It wasn't explained to me exactly why it wasn't made in the Luminous Crème formula as the original was. She just kept repeating that she made it in the "cuvée" which on the box says Crème Deluxe. I realize now that the Luminous Crème formula may be discontinued in the Lip Lab as well. I was told that the cuvée would be slightly longer lasting and it does feel slightly dryer and more pigmented than the Luminous Crème formula.
|my custom lippies!!!|
Anyway, once we had settled on the colors and the formulas to be used, we went on to picking out the fragrance. As I mentioned in my previous post about my Bite Lip Lab experience, the next time around, I would have them put less fragrance in so this is exactly what I did. I still went with the violet, with no vanilla mixed in, and for my other tube, I decided to try Wildberry. There was also the choice of caps and I went with two caps that I hadn't gotten before. I only did this to make differentiating between the tubes easier for me. Since they only have four to choose from, by default, I will have to go with the only one I haven't picked out next time.
|My colors again L-R: the red, the pink, the coral|
I was curious to see how my custom lipsticks would compare to the sample of the newly-launched Amuse Bouche formula from Sephora. I got a sample size in the shade Radish as a 100-point perk. My impression is that the Amuse Bouche in Radish has a similar finish and feel to the "matte crème" red shade that I had. The old Luminous Crème always gave me this problem where it would start slipping down to the corners of my mouth after awhile. As this area is particularly dry for me, lipstick stains in the area can be a little tricky to remove (I would need an oil-based remover instead of just a tissue) if I don't get at it immediately. The Crème Deluxe formula that I have my coral shade in, seems a slight improvement over the Luminous Crème. But on my first wear, I still noticed this type of feathering, which I never used to experience until I started using Bite lipstick. It was milder with the Crème Deluxe but even with properly balmed lips and lip liner, it was still a problem so it's just something that I need to find a solution for. So far, I haven't had this issue with the matte crème or Amuse Bouche although I haven't worn either one as long as I have the Luminous Crème ones and the Crème Deluxe.
I am also really loving their Agave Lip Mask which I now use morning and night. It just leaves the lips feeling and looking so good. On those times when I don't need or want to wear lipstick, this is now my balm of choice. Love, love, love and highly recommend it.
As for the Bite Lip Lab, I already have plans to return with another friend later in the year. I guess a new custom color every season isn't too much, as long as I cut down on buying other lipstick products. Each lipstick I bought cost me $45 on this trip. I got two tubes for $70 the last time so I'm bummed about spending more. But I like to think of it as paying for the experience and getting to take home something that possibly only I have. I guess $45 (plus the atrocious NYC tax!) isn't all that bad.