As a self-proclaimed lipstick aficionado, I've tried just about every formulation out there — matte, glossy, liquid, balm, you name it. So, when I was invited to visit Bite Beauty's Toronto-based factory, I jumped at the opportunity to check out the brand's new collection and see where all the magic happens.
Bite Beauty, a brand that boasts a slew of pigmented, buttery, food-grade lipsticks, has just launched a line called Amuse Bouche. The collection contains 34 creamy lipstick shades in just about every color imaginable.
After spending some time in Bite's factory, it became very clear why the brand is able to pop out dozens of trendsetting shades as quickly as you see them on the runway: Bite orders all of its pigments in primary colors and then makes the shades in-house. "That's important because we're able to tweak [our formulas]," said Bite's Director of Education Quinn Novak. "We can tweak a color and have it on a Sephora shelf in eight weeks."
Since part of Bite's motto is to get inspiration in real time, each employee is ready to switch directions at any given moment depending on what's trending at the time — or simply based on a mere change in preference. Fun fact: The violet hue that became the brand's popular Pastille Violet lipstick was a rejected shade before founder Susanne Langmuir saw a coworker wearing the lipstick around the office. After seeing the shade on her, Langmuir decided to change the color right before the lipstick went into production.
The stages through which a Bite lipstick must pass are arduous, and the work is done primarily by hand-operated machinery. First, factory employees create the lipstick base, which contains ingredients like vegetable petrolatum, shea butter, argan oil, and beeswax. All the ingredients used in Bite's lipstick-making process stay true to the brand's mission statement: "What goes on your lips should do more than just color. It should be good for you, too!"
Next, the lipstick base is infused with fragrance. Amuse Bouche in particular is scented with orange oils to give the bullet a light and refreshing citrus smell. Once the base is perfected, the vat of product moves onto compounding, where pigments are mixed into the base to create a lipstick shade.
Once the formula is ready, it's transported to another area of the factory where employees will fill lipstick molds with the melted-down formula before placing them into a blast freezer where they'll solidify into bullets. Then, employees package the lipstick by placing a plastic bullet into the mold and pulling out the finished product. (It's a process that's addictive to watch, trust me.)
For a company that sells hundreds of lipsticks in Sephora stores across the country, it was shocking to hear that Bite only produces 3,000 lipsticks per pot (and all by hand!) — a drop in the bucket compared to many other brands that produce 10 to 20,000 bullets in one batch. Bite also makes an effort to recycle all the extra pigment and formula that are left out during the lipstick-creation process.
Since visiting Bite's factory, I've given the whole Amuse Bouche line a try and can personally attest to its quality. Each lipstick is creamy, balm-like, and packed with color — Maple (a brown-red), Spritzer (a rosy purple), and Black Truffle (an almost-black violet) are among my favorite hues.
As cheesy as it may sound, it was a surreal experience seeing lipstick go from a vat of bubbly liquid to a full-blown bullet of pigmented goodness. Plus, we each got to take home a sample of Bite's new summer shade, Kale (a beautiful hunter green, out in July) — yet another welcome addition to my ever-growing makeup collection.
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick, $26, available at Sephora.