Lip Rouge is supposed to multi-task as a two-in-one lip and cheek color, but it’s mediocre at both. As lip color, the moisturizing, creamy texture goes on smooth to impart buildable, opaque pigmentation with a satin finish. The problem is that the oil-intensive formula has a tendency to feather into lines around the mouth, resulting in color where you don’t want it.
When applied on the cheeks, the texture has a bit more drag which requires prodigious blending. The color smooths out to a more natural, sheer flush as you blend it in, but even then, it can still look a little jagged if you’re not careful. On the plus side, the color really does stay put.
The shade range is limited in terms of flattering options so not everyone will find a color they love. If you do, Lip Rouge is pigmented enough to leave behind a stain of color, resulting in longer than average wear. Be wary of the color swatches online; they don’t do a very accurate job of representing the true color (some shades are brighter or of a different hue than depicted).
Bite Beauty makes a big deal about Lip Rouge containing enough resveratrol to provide the antioxidant benefits equivalent to five glasses of red wine. That’s an irrelevant claim given the amount of resveratrol differs from one wine to another, and regardless you’re not drinking it and you shouldn’t be eating your lipstick (we discuss this further in the summary for Bite Beauty). Resveratrol is a good antioxidant when applied topically or consumed orally; just don’t get caught up in thinking it will work wonders for your lips.
On a side note, this formula is flavored, though in a small enough concentration that you aren’t likely to notice it.
Imparts buildable, opaque color on lips.
Moisturizing formula with beneficial plant oils.
Leaves a stain of color for longer wear.
Harder to blend in evenly on cheeks.
Oily formula causes color to feather into lip lines.
Limited shade range with few universally flattering colors.
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.