Bite Beauty claims this is a “lip enhancing, five-in-one balm” that “repairs, primes, and protects”. They also use words such as “revitalize, replenish, and restore” to account for its supercharged abilities, but does it really live up to the hype?
Oh, where to begin! The whole BB craze has become a bandwagon opportunity for beauty brands to capitalize on, but in reality adding “BB” to a product’s name is more about marketing than it is about great ingredients or better performance (see this article for more info).
This lip balm is no different. When you think about it, any good lip-care product should “repair”, “replenish”, “restore”, and “protect”. To a certain extent, BB For Lips delivers. The emollient-rich formula contains skin-repairing plant oils to help restore and replenish lips with a moisturizing, smooth feel. However, it doesn’t protect lips as well as it should since it lacks the ingredients needed to shield from the sun’s entire range of damaging UVA rays (see More Info).
As far as the shades go, each imparts a hint of shine plus sheer color (except for the Natural shade, which goes on clear). Be wary of the swatches online; they don’t do a very accurate job of representing the true color you’ll see in stores. Nonetheless, there are some attractive shades to consider among the small range and because they are sheer, they complement a variety of skin tones.
Had Bite Beauty included broad spectrum sunscreen agents we would have given BB For Lips SPF 15 a higher rating, but as such, it’s misleading and lacking in terms of sun protection. As a side note, we also must mention that this lip balm is strongly flavored… enough so that it may tempt you to lick your lips, which inevitably leads to shorter wear and other problems like chapped lips.
Emollient-rich formula with beneficial plant oils to revitalize lips.
Sheer shade range complements a variety of skin tones.
Clear option for those who want the moisturizing feel without color.
Doesn’t supply sufficient broad-spectrum sun protection.
Flavored formula can lead to shorter wear time and chapped lips.
BB For Lips SPF 15 does not include the ingredients needed to shield your skin from the sun’s entire range of damaging UVA rays, which is essential for anti-aging benefits. Any SPF-rated product should contain one or more of these UVA-protecting ingredients listed as “active”: avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule) or Tinosorb (Sources: Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, December 2011, pages 81–90; Cosmetic Dermatology, Second Edition, Baumann, Leslie MD, McGraw Hill, 2009, pages 246–252; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Supplement, 2009, pages 19–24; The Encyclopedia of Ultraviolet Filters, Shaath, Nadim A., Allured Publishing, 2007; and Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, October 2003, pages 242–253).
Active: Octinoxate (7.5%), Oxybenzone (3%). Other: Organic Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate (Vegetable Derived), Organic Cera Alba (Beeswax), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (And) Phytosteryl Canola Glycerides (And) Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate (And) Phospholipids (And) Tocopherol Acetate, Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (And) Bisabolol, Natural Flavor, Organic Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Rhus Succedanea Fruit Wax, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Trans-Resveratrol, Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Oil, Siraitia Grosvenori (Monk Fruit). May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Carmine, FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Yellow No. 5, FD&C Yellow No. 6, FD&C Red No. 40, D&C Red 6, D&C Red 7, Manganese Violet.
As a nice change of pace (and as mentioned above), the majority of Bite Beauty's formulas do indeed contain natural ingredients that are beneficial (or at least not harmful) for the skin and lips. The exception is the Cinnamon Plumping Lip Oil, which contains an irritating amount of peppermint oil. The preponderance of natural ingredients doesn't make these products inherently better, but if a product being "all" natural is important to you, then you should know that some of the Bite Beauty products contain synthetic coloring agents.
Bite Beauty takes things even further, saying that their products are "healthy enough to eat" (hence the name Bite Beauty). We certainly don't recommend eating your cosmetics; just because an ingredient comes from a natural source and is then formulated into a cosmetic doesn't mean it's edible!
As a matter of fact, Bite Beauty's naturally flavored products make it tempting to lick your lips, which in the long run can lead to chapping and a cycle of constantly applying more flavored lip balm, licking it off, then feeling the urgent need to apply more—and none of these lip products should be eaten. For vegans, you should be aware that some of these products contain lanolin, which is an animal-derived ingredient. There's nothing wrong with lanolin, but a cosmetics company selling their products as edible should be more forthcoming with this issue for those who wish to avoid animal-derived ingredients.
Another big marketing ploy is Bite Beauty's claims about their products containing the antioxidant resveratrol, in amounts equivalent to five, ten, or fifteen glasses of red wine, depending on the particular product. This is a meaningless claim, and here's why: First, we hope they don't mean a dual benefit; that is, being able to eat your lipstick and get resveratrol onto your lips and into your body. Second, while resveratrol is a great antioxidant, how much you need to gain a health benefit is unclear from the research. Third, the amount of resveratrol in an average glass of red wine ranges from 0.2 to 2.0 mg, which isn't much. Plus, if you want resveratrol, you can buy resveratrol supplements that contain 100–500 mg per capsule!
In short, resveratrol is a good antioxidant, when applied topically or when consumed; just don't get caught up in thinking it will work wonders for your lips. Clearly, Bite Beauty is capitalizing on a buzz ingredient here—and skin care, especially for the lips, is never as simple as one ingredient, however good it may be.
Those issues aside, in terms of performance, Bite Beauty does have some standout products, including their richly pigmented Cashmere Lip Cream. The price point is on the high end for lip care (you can find less expensive options on our Best Lip Products list); you certainly don't have to pay this much to get a good lipstick or gloss. However, if the price isn't an issue for you, and you find the allure of natural ingredients hard to resist, then this line is worth checking out.
Bite Beauty is sold exclusively at Sephora; the brand also has a flagship store in New York.
For more information about Bite Beauty, call 416-961-1234 or visit www.bitebeauty.com.