Bite Beauty


On Trial – Testing New Products from Charlotte Tilbury, Urban Decay, Bite Beauty & More

I’ve been trying a fair number of new products recently about which I’m having trouble gathering my thoughts. One day I’ll think something is fantastic, yet the next I’m not convinced. I go through this with a lot, if not most, of the products I test out. It’s kind of frustrating, kind of fun, and kind of encouraging all rolled in to one. Since there have been so many new products that I’ve been trying lately, I thought I would let you know what products I’m currently on the fence about and the reasons why.


Best of 2014 – Lips & Tips (Lots of Pics!) – Lipstick Queen, Bite Beauty, Butter London, Burt’s Bees & MORE

For better or worse, we have reached the end of the Best of 2014. Today we are focusing on Lips & Tips (aka Nails). This is probably my favorite, but most challenging category because I switch my lip and nail colors almost constantly. Having said that, these colors may not have been worn a ton, but they definitely had more frequent repeats than others. And I should also note that I’m focusing more on the color than the formula in this post. However, if I don’t like a formula, I’m not likely to wear the color very often either so these all have at worst, a decent formula. Enough of the chit chat, I bring you the Best of Lips & Tips for 2014!

I’ll start with what has probably been my favorite new release this year. I didn’t give these a try until maybe October, but from that point on they were practically the only lip colors I wore. They are the new Butter London Moisture Matte Lipsticks. I am not a huge fan of matte lipsticks, but the formula of these is incredible! They are incredibly comfortable and remain so all day long. They wear well too, but I’m not a huge fan of the color range. I love the two shades that I have, but the rest just don’t look that exciting to me. After just explaining that I was focusing on color not formula, I’ve managed to ramble on about a formula and not even mention the colors. J The two I have and adore are, Loved Up and Ruby Murray. They are both great Fall/Winter shades in that they are deep, berry-ish shades. They are absolutely stunning and I really cannot rave about the formula enough. Excellent job on the Moisture Matte Lipsticks!

Loved Up & Ruby Murray

My next favorite is unfortunately not available anymore. I feel kind of bad including it, but it was definitely a repeat offender in my makeup bag this year. It is the shade Damaskfrom Bite Beauty’s Deconstructed Rose Lipstick collection. Again, the formula of these lipsticks is incredible, but Damask is just such a nice, wearable pink that is pretty much always appropriate. To see swatches and learn more about these lipsticks, check out my post with all 4 shades here. Love, love, love the Bite Beauty Lipstick in Damask.

Over the Spring and Summer, my lipstick shades were much brighter and more colorful. I managed to step out of my comfort zone this year and go for some more orange-y toned shades. My favorite of the bunch was probably from the NYX Butter Lipsticksand it was the shade Fireball. I could not get enough of this shade in the Spring/Summer. The formula is ok, but the color is just a perfect dip-your-toes-in kind of orange. Not too opaque, but still definitely with good color payoff. And much to my surprise, I loved the way Fireball looked on my lips! The NYX Butter Lipstick in Fireball was definitely a winner this year!

Keeping with the Summer Lovin’, I could not stop reaching for a lipstick from the Endless Summercollection by Lipstick Queen. It is the shade Stoked and it is another one that’s a bit out of my comfort zone. It’s kind of a pinky-coral that, like the Butter Lipstick, is a bit more sheer. There’s definitely still plenty of color there, but it’s not 100% in-your-face opaque. I definitely prefer that when going for a shade I’m not quite accustomed to. I should add that the Lipstick Crayon in “Chase” is quite similar in color and another absolute staple this past Summer, but the Lipstick edged it out by just a hair. The Lipstick Queen lipsticks that I have tried are all quite comfortable with good lasting power and this year I not only fell in love with the brand, but Stokedwas in heavy rotation. J

Finally on the lip color front is one of the Lip Crayons from Burt’s Bees. Actually, I have a number of favorite shades (I’ll mention them all), but one really stood out as a great every day kind of pinkish-nude shade. It is the color Sedona Sands. Not gonna lie, I actually thought this color would look awful on me from online swatches, but much to my surprise it is the color I have worn the most! JIt is a matte formula that’s not the creamiest, but it’s not uncomfortable in any way either. It is by no means my favorite formula, but I really love pretty much all of the shades – they’re kind of unusual as well. My other favorites are Redwood Forest – another one that I thought would look terrible, but it’s a gorgeous brownish-reddish hybrid that totally works – and Napa Vineyard, which is an appropriately named wine shade. The formula of the Burt’s Bees Lip Crayons is nothing spectacular, but the colors are truly worth checking out. Sedona Sands is my perfect nude and I absolutely love it!
Clockwise from Left Center: Sedona Sands, Redwood Forest & Napa Vineyard

Sedona Sands, Redwood Forest & Napa Vineyard

Sedona Sand & Redwood Forest

One more notable mention more for formula than a specific shade are The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipsticks and Lip Shines. I really like these formulas. They are both very creamy, hydrating and so comfortable on the lips. There are tonsof shades to choose from, though the online swatches aren’t terribly accurate. The Lipsticks are just that – opaque lipsticks, while the Lip Shines are a bit more sheer. The Body Shop was definitely on point in 2014 with their lipstick formulas.
Clockwise from Left Center: Lip Shine in Fuchsia Flirt, Lipstick in Coral
Blush & Lipstick in Hot Date

Lip Shine in Fuchsia Flirt, Lipsticks in Coral Blush & Hot Date
Hot Date

So, now we move into nails. Since my nails would be even more of a disaster without a base coat, I will start with one that I absolutely cannot live without! It is the new Nails Inc. NailKale Base Coat. I won’t waffle on about it too long since I reviewed it here, but it is infused with Kale – kinda weird, I know – and it really does seem to add some strength to my brittle, peeling nails. Aside from the gorgeous packaging, it has what is my perfect brush too – paddle shaped in a medium width. So perfect! It also dries really fast which I appreciate. Anything to speed up the manicure process is good in my book! So excellent work on the NailKale Base Coat, Nails Inc.!

Sticking with the basics, I found a surprisingly excellent Top Coat this year from Flower Beauty! I had been hunting for an affordable top coat that actually dried quickly, was glossy and didn’t flake off immediately. Well, Flower managed to achieve it! My most important criteria was the dry time and this stuff dries fast. I feel like within a minute or two, I can actually touch my polish – gently – and not worry about it smudging. That might be an exaggeration, but basically by the time I finish one hand, it seems dry to a gentle touch. To read more about it, check out my review here. Absolutely love the Flower Beauty Top Coat.

Getting on to the colors, I wore this combination for Christmas – I know, a late entry, but it’s flippin’ fantastic! – and I am so in love that I’m trying to convince myself why I shouldn’t paint it again already. (Too late. I did it!) It starts with a rather unremarkable color that is Zoya’s Kristen and is topped with the most amazing of toppers – the Snowflake Effect Polish in Whitechapel from Nails Inc. Oh. My. God. So beautiful and so perfect for Winter. It’s like a sparkly snowy day on your nails. The greyish blue underneath the white bar glitter and microglitters in white and iridescent-y gold is just unbelievably beautiful. You need Zoya’s Kristen and Nails Inc. Whitechapel for the frosty Winter weather.

Zoya Kristen

I’ll do a few quick mentions of some of my other favorite shades this year. My perfect Fall shade came from Pacifica and it is the shade Red Red Wine. It is such a beautiful deep reddish-wine polish. The formula is fantastic as well! For the Summer, I loved Illamasqua’s Collide which has almost a jelly finish in a neon pick hue. Really pretty and so summery. I also really enjoyed Butter London’s Stroppy this Summer for it’s crazy purple-y fuchsia glittery-ness. Also a definite standout. Finally I have to include a baby blue because I was obsessed with baby blues in 2014. My favorite was probably Deborah Lippmann’s Blue Orchid, though Priti NYC’s Baby Blue Eyes and Julie G’s Santorini (a limited edition shade) were also fantastic. I am such a total nail polish junkie that my favorites will probably change in 10 minutes, but as of this moment, these were the standout shades of 2014. J
Clockwise from Left: Butter London Stroppy, Illamasqua Collide, Pacifica
Red Red Wine & Deborah Lippmann Blue Orchid

Butter London Stroppy

Illamasqua Collide

Pacifica Red Red Wine

Priti NYC Baby Blue Eyes

I guess we have reached the end of my Best of 2014 Series. I could include a lot more products, but each installment is plenty long enough as it is! I hope you’ve enjoyed revisiting 2014 with me and will follow along some more during 2015. Things are still a bit crazed in my world so I’m not sure how regular my posting will be, but I’m going to do my best. This blog is a nice way to escape into something a bit more fun and relaxing, so it’s definitely a nice escape and a much needed break from the daily grind. I wish you all the best for the coming year…well, the current year now…and I thank you so, so much for coming along on this little blog journey with me. I hope I will see you again soon for my next post…whatever it may be! J

For more Best of Picks, check out these posts:

Best of 2014 – Skin Care, Body Care & Hair Care

June Favorites – Bite, The Body Shop, the Balm, Jouer, NARS & Organix

It feels like Summer is flying by (I know it only officially just started, but to me June means Summer). Since June has somehow past, it’s time for another Monthly Favorites! I feel like June has been kind of a weird month, though I don’t really know why. Most of my favorites have remained the same, but I do have a few new things to share this month, so let’s get into it, shall we? J

Probably my most used item this month would have to be the Bite Beauty Deconstructed Rose Lip Gloss Set. I’m not usually a huge lip gloss person, but I’ve really been enjoying these lip glosses! I actually looked at it right after it came out, but wasn’t sure since I’m not big on the gloss, but eventually I caved and picked it up. There are 12 different shades and they are all beautiful, plus the formula is pretty amazing! I think my favorite shade has been “Six” because it’s just a nice neutral, while not being too neutral or pale of a gloss. If you see this set in a Sephora (it has disappeared from the website so I think it’s gone online), definitely grab it! J

For lips, I’ve also been loving The Body Shop’s Colour Crush Lip Shine in “Fuchsia Flirt”. I have been a huge fan of the Colour Crush Lipsticks for a while now, so I wanted to give the Lip Shine version a go. They are basically semi-sheer super bright colors that are so, so comfortable! I don’t notice a ton of shine with these, but this (and it’s the only shade I’ve tried so far) is a wonderful lip color, especially for Summer. It gives that popsicle stain kind of effect and I’ve grabbed for this lipstick countless times this month. Definitely a fav!

Moving on to blush, I also have two favorites this month. The first one is from theBalm and it’s their Hot Mama Blush. It’s a gorgeous peachy-pink with a golden sheen. I’ve heard it’s a dupe for NARS’ Orgasm, but I haven’t compared the two to verify that. I really love the formula as well as the color. It’s not at all chalky or powdery, and it’s quite pigmented. It gives the cheeks just a gorgeous, healthy flush with a slight sheen that looks natural and not over the top. Absolutely beautiful! J

My other blush favorite I wore mostly at the beginning of the month. It’s a Powder Blush from Jouer and it’s in the shade “Blossom.” It’s just a beautiful, soft pinky-peach shade that also looks nice and healthy on the cheeks. It’s a very soft color and it kind of makes me think of watercolors for some reason.

To hide my always dark under eyes, I’ve been addicted to my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I swear this stuff would cover a third arm and still look natural! J It blends so wonderfully and doesn’t crease, while still looking like skin. It’s absolutely fantastic. I’m not sure how I get through some months without using it, but I do seem to forget about it from time to time.

I’m not usually too fussy over body washes, but this month I discovered the Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Hibiscus Body Washand it smells amazing! It reminds me of the beach (not that I ever go to the beach) with just the best coconut scent I think I’ve ever smelled. It’s also sulfate-free so it doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils as much as most other body washes do so my skin never feels tight or dry after I use it. In case you’re a perfume lover, don’t worry, the marvelous coconut scent doesn’t linger – though I often which it did! J And if the marvelous scent and non-drying formula aren’t enough to convince you, it’s totally affordable from most drug stores as well! J

I think that about does it for my favorites this month. I haven’t really been trying a whole lot of new products this past month, but I have tons on my list that I’d like to test out! JWhat have been some of your favorites in June? Anything that I should definitely check out? Let me know and we can all share our beauty addiction together. JThanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a fantastic July!!!

Bite Beauty’s Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks – All 4 Shades with Lip Swatches! :)

Bite Beautyrecently introduced a limited edition collection of lipsticks inspired by the phases of a rose. They are called Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks and are available in four different shades in the most stunning of packages! Being indecisive and wanting to try them all, I ended up grabbing one of each shade! There is a soft peach called “Centifolia”, a medium bright, but not loud, pink called “Damask”, the perfect slightly orange-based red called “Grandifolia”, and a blue-based slightly deeper purplish red called “Crimson”. They are all absolutely stunning and I don’t know how I would choose just one!
Bite Beauty Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks:
Centifolia, Damask, Grandifolia & Crimson

There are plenty of beautiful lip shades out there, so what really matters is the actual lipstick formula, right? There has been a lot of praise for Bite’s lipsticks recently so I expected top notch quality with these bad boys – special limited editions and with a whopper of a price tag! I had tried a few Bite lipsticks a few years ago, but was not impressed (other products I really loved, like the Lip Tints reviewed here, but not so much the lipsticks). I remembered them being dry and not very comfortable. Well, they’ve obviously reformulated things since then!

The Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks are not only incredibly saturated colors, but they are insanelypigmented. Often that means dry and uncomfortable on the lips, but no. These suckers are soooo comfortable! They are creamy and hydrating – and stay that way pretty much all day! Often creamy leads to sliding off of your face and traveling throughout the day, but I don’t experience anything of the sort with the Deconstructed Lipsticks. They glide on easily and do not settle into lines either. They are an absolute dream! They do stain the lips a bit and can stain the skin as well if you get a bit outside the lines. I am kind of torn about that kind of thing because I like having somecolor left behind as the lipstick wears off, but I hate having to bust out the concealer to touch up should I miss my lip line.

However, partly because of the staining properties, these lipsticks wear beautifully! They definitely leave at least a touch of color on the lips pretty much until you remove it. They very gradually fade, and they do so evenly, avoiding that horrid ring around the mouth effect that no one wants. If you’re looking for a relatively no fuss lipstick, these are definitely for you. The only downside that I can find is that you need to be very careful whilst applying them because, as I mentioned, they are sopigmented and can stain the skin, so you want to make sure to actually get them on your lips! J But they will definitely look good all day without the need for touchups – not in the same intensity as when first applied, but some semblance of the color will definitely remain. Obviously, the deeper the shade, the better the staining power.

The Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks, in addition to Bite’s normal food-grade ingredients, also contain the distilled essential oil Rose Otto. This is supposedly an anti-aging ingredient, but it also imparts a wonderful rosy scent to the lipstick. I’m a bit torn about this as well because I think it smells wonderful, but it gives an odd taste. They don’t exactly taste of rose, but you get the scent with somehint of flavor and the end result is a confusing rose-like taste. I can totally ignore this given the other amazing aspects of these lipsticks, besides it does make complete sense that they smell of roses! J

I would have to say that the Bite Beauty Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks are absolutely fantastic! Though they are pricey, they are such great quality that they are totally worth it! As an added bonus, they are entirely made from food grade ingredients. For more information about this and Bite Beauty in general, check out my ancient post about the company here. And if you need yet another reason to check these babies out, can we discuss the box they come in?!?! Absolutely gorgeous textured cardboard with a stunning rose print surrounding the box. Love! I would run to grab at least one of these beauties, but good luck picking just one shade! J

The Bite Beauty Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks retail for $28 each and available exclusively at Sephora. The four shades are Centifolia (described as a muted peach), Damask (described as a rosy pink), Grandifolia (described as a fiery red), and Crimson (described as a muted dark purple).
Bite Beauty Deconstructed Rose Lipsticks:
Centifolia, Damask, Grandifolia & Crimson

May Favorites – Bite Beauty, Lipstick Queen, IT Cosmetics, Sibu Beauty, Tarte & The Body Shop

Another month down, another round of favorites! This is always my favorite time of the month because I love to hear what other beauty enthusiasts have been obsessed with. That being said, let me know what you’ve been gravitating towards in the comments because I’m always itching to know! J So, enough chit chat, let’s just get into my favorites for May….

I’m going to start with foundation. I’ve been testing out a new foundation a lot of the time, but I haven’t settled on it being a favorite yet. However, I also pulled out my original Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation and fell back in love with it! It’s even better than I remembered it (see my initial review here). It just feels so nice on the skin while providing a good amount of coverage (I’d call it a medium coverage, but buildable). Somehow it still manages to look like skin, but better! It’s just beautiful and it isn’t making me oiler throughout the day as some foundations tend to do. I feel like my pores actually look a bit smaller too! (I’m not sure that was my original opinion, but now it seems to give a nice, almost airbrushed-like finish.) Absolutely back in love with the Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation!

To help hide any red spots, I’ve been using IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Color Correcting Cream. It really doesdisguise redness beautifully without that horrible green cast from a green concealer. At the moment I have a few pretty powerful red spots from prior acne, and this doesn’t cover them completely, but it definitely disguises them nicely and eliminates the red tone. It comes in a rather small pot, but the tiniest bit goes a long way, so I suspect it should last quite some time. It does accentuate pores, so if you need redness control over where you have larger pores, they’re likely to be more apparent. It’s a trade-off I suppose, but for my current redness, the Bye Bye Redness from IT Cosmetics is working brilliantly!

Another gem from IT Cosmetics is their Bye Bye Pores Loose Powder. This stuff is amazing for creating a flawless, airbrushed finish to your skin. My only problem with it is that it doesn’t keep me from shining throughout the day. Then again, nothing really seems to lately. It is definitely worth a look if you’re trying to create the smoothest skin possible and eliminate any texture issues. You definitely will say bye bye to your pores! I don’t find that it looks powdery or cakey either, plus it actually includes ingredients that are beneficial to the skin! Well done with the Bye Bye Pores Powder, IT Cosmetics!

When it comes to blush, I seem to reach for a different one each day. However, I noticed that I seemed to gravitate towards my two All-In-One Blushers from The Body Shop in May. I ordered “Guava” a while back, and I loved it so much that this month I decided to try out “Marshmallow.” They’re both wonderfully pigmented, they blend nicely and they wear well all day! There isn’t a Body Shop near me, so choosing from the crummy swatches online isn’t easy, but I’m happy with these two. “Guava” is a medium-deep bright pink, while “Marshmallow” is the perfect baby pink for that pinched cheek effect. Love, love, love the All-In-One Blushers from The Body Shop.

It wouldn’t be a favorites post without some lip products, although this month I seemed to be all over the place again. I think my most reached for lip product, aside from lip balm, was definitely the new Deconstructed Rose Lipstick in “Damask” from Bite Beauty. It’s a beautiful bright, but not overly bright or in-your-face rosy pink. I often blot it on a tissue for a more natural and less intense effect. The formula and the color are both gorgeous! It’s nice and creamy and socomfortable to wear, plus it lasts pretty well. The Deconstructed Rose Lipstick from Bite Beauty is just fantastic!

My other go-to lipstick in May was Lipstick Queen’s Endless Summer Lipstick. I have the shade “Stoked,” which is a nice popsicle-like wash of a muted pinky-red coral. It’s semi-sheer which I always like around this time of year. It’s lower maintenance and just looks more natural. The formula is fantastic as well! It’s very comfortable on the lips and wears well throughout the day. I definitely want to check out more from Lipstick Queen!

I’m going to include a nail polish favorite this month since I unexpectedly stopped my weekly polish picks. This month I actually wore Julie G’s Nail Polish in “Santorini” twice, which is unheard of for me! JIt’s a beautiful periwinkle blue crème and the formula is absolutely divine! It’s the perfect consistency – not too thick, but not thin and streaky either. It’s almost opaque in one coat – you could probably get away with it if you’re better at painting nails than I am. This shade is part of the limited edition Cruisin’ collection for Summer, so run to your local Rite Aid and check it out! J

I have a new skincare favorite as well this month. It’s the straight Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil from Sibu Beauty. It smells a little funny, but it absorbs wonderfully and seems to keep my skin hydrated without making it greasy. I feel like it would be great on any skin type, but my skin is combination to oily – more oily lately. I use about 3-4 drops at bedtime as my moisturizer and my skin drinks it right in, making it smooth, supple and just happy. It’s worth the funky smell for the wonders that are Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil from Sibu Beauty.

I think that’s enough for my May favorites. I have a couple more that I could add, but this is already too long! If you’re curious about what they are, one would be the Hang Ten Natural Sport Sunscreen from my Ipsy bag (reviewed here). Another would be the LVX 3-in-1 Treatment for nails. Absolutely genius stuff! Of course the Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava Perfume is divine as well (reviewed here). May was a good product month! I hope you found some real gems as well this past month. JThanks as always for stopping by and I will see you with another favorites post next month!!!

Bite Agave Lip Mask Dupe?!?! – The Body Shop’s Aloe Vera Lip Care

Recently, I wrote a post about the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (check it out here) – not to mention the blogosphere seems to be buzzing about it as well. But, with a $26 price tag and the debatable status of lanolin as a cruelty-free ingredient, I’m sure plenty would love an alternative. I know I sure would, though I love the smell and taste of the Bite Mask. But somehow ingesting sheep’s wool wax doesn’t sounds terribly appetizing. Well, make way for The Body Shop’s Aloe Lip Care!!!

I believe I first heard mention of the Aloe Lip Care from EssieButton on YouTube. It sounded incredible from her description, and I decided the next time The Body Shop had a good sale, I’d grab one! Easier said then done because it is almost alwayssold out! J I finally got my hands on a tube and I’m really glad I did because, as I’ve hinted, it is quite comparable to the Bite Agave Lip Mask!!!

Like the Bite Lip Mask, The Body’s Shop’s Aloe Lip Care has a quite thick gel-like consistency that feels very protective on the lips. It is definitely still present on the lips after a good night’s sleep, so it is more than just a balm that wears away after half an hour. They both keep lips feeling plump, protected and hydrated very nicely. It is not at really sticky, but because it is so thick, it feels almost a tiny bit tacky. It’s not at all unpleasant or uncomfortable in my opinion, but it is definitely a nighttime lip care product that is probably not the best for general daytime use. I should also add that neither of these lip treatments are miracle workers. Yes, they will hydrate, protect and soothe lips, but they will not completely relieve dry, flaking or chapped lips immediately. Both good and bad, I would have to say that, at least in terms of texture and benefit, The Body Shop Aloe Lip Care is nearly identical to the Bite Agave Lip Mask…and for about one third the price!!! J

Though the benefits are pretty much the same, there are a few differences between the two lip products. Instead of using lanolin to achieve the hydrating and protective barrier, The Body Shop uses Aloe Vera – hence the name. J This is a welcome change in my eyes and fantastic for anyone with sensitive lips. In fact, this would be a great treatment to use post-sun exposure or for sunburnt lips. However, the Aloe Lip Care feels a tiny bit thicker, not quite as soft, and is more noticeable on the lips than the Bite. These differences seem rather minor and don’t make me choose one over the other. Another difference is the squeeze tube. The Body Shop’s tube has an applicator so that it can be applied directly to the lips, while Bite’s rigid tube requires applying with your finger. The Body Shop’s tube is also nice, squishy plastic so that it can be squeezed easily. The Bite tube is metal and a nightmare to get the product out of. I suppose it might be recyclable, but I always find it squeezes out waaaay too much, or I have to stand on it to get anything out…and then it dispenses way too much. J The only other significant difference that I see between the two is the scent and taste – Bite has a delicious vanilla-y scent/flavor, while The Body Shop’s tastes of aloe. In other words, it kind of tastes like a plant, which isn’t the most pleasant, but it’s not unbearable either. Overall, I feel like The Body Shop’s Aloe Lip Care is every bit as good as the Bite Agave Lip Mask! J

My verdict? If you’ve been hearing about the Bite Agave Lip Mask, but don’t want to shell out the hefty price tag or object to the lanolin in it, definitely give The Body Shop’s Aloe Vera Lip Care a shot because they are as close to dupes as is probably possible! J

The Body Shop’s Aloe Vera Lip Care retails for $9.50 (watch for frequent sales) and can be found in stores or on their website.