High Pigment Pencil

Price:
$24 
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Category:
Makeup > Sensitive Skin Products > Lip Color
Last Updated:
5/19/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

Bite Beauty markets this as a long-lasting, matte lip color, but that's an inaccurate description. The creamy texture delivers more of a satin finish, and the color, while highly pigmented, has average wear time.

Still, there's plenty to like about High Pigment Pencil, including the super-smooth application and the range of gorgeous shades. You're bound to find a shade you like, as there are options to complement every skin tone.

Bite Beauty claims this lip pencil has long-term anti-aging benefits and "contains the amount of resveratrol found in five glasses of red wine"; for many reasons, that's a misleading claim, as we discuss in the summary for this brand.

Resveratrol is a good antioxidant, applied topically or when consumed; just don't get caught up in thinking it will work wonders for your lips. Clearly, they're capitalizing on a buzz ingredient here—and skin care, especially for the lips, is never as simple as any one ingredient, however good it may be.

By the way, we noticed a few customer reviews that mentioned the product breaking off or getting dislodged in the twist-up turning mechanism. While we didn't experience this ourselves, we could see how it could happen, so be aware.

This product does contain synthetic coloring agents.

Pros:
  • Highly pigmented shades with options to complement various skin tones.
  • Creamy texture goes on super smooth.
  • Contains beneficial plant oils and antioxidants for added benefit.
Cons:
  • Not a long-lasting, matte-finish as claimed.
  • Customer complaints about the twist-up feature not working well.

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.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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