How to resurrect a cherished shade of lipstick

Bite Beauty’s Lip Lab will custom-blend a chosen colour

Lip Lab by Bite’s Pacific Heights location in San Francisco
Lip Lab by Bite’s Pacific Heights location in San Francisco

If, like me, you’re a woman who takes her lipstick seriously, it can be devastating to have your favourite shade discontinued. Chanel did just that about seven years ago with my colour of choice, Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon (aka No 75). Rather than buy deadstock from an untrusted source, I instead found a company that could replicate my beloved shade: Bite Beauty. The Toronto-based firm had just opened its first Lip Lab in New York, where one could buy existing shades or have a colour made completely from scratch.

A Lip Lab artist hand-mixes a bespoke shade
A Lip Lab artist hand-mixes a bespoke shade
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Back then, they did an outstanding job of reproducing my beloved Dragon. More recently, when I was having problems finding a neutral shade that would compliment my olive complexion, I turned once again to their bespoke service. The experience was exactly the same, except now, for a $150 fee, I was able to order two completely different shades of lipstick, along with a lip kit that contained a lip mask, scrub and primer.  

A custom fig-coloured lipstick
A custom fig-coloured lipstick
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The process was simple: a Lip Lab “artist” listened to my requirements, asked a few questions and custom-mixed a colour for me. She nailed my perfect neutral on the first try, and followed up with a fun, deep pink that I never would have chosen for myself but that really lifted my complexion. All that was left was to choose a finish (matte, classic, “luminous” or a glossier sheer version) as well as a scent (there are nine, including vanilla and coconut), and voila! I walked out with two tubes of perfect-for-me lipsticks, as well as recipe cards detailing their make-up, ensuring that I can keep them in rotation for quite some time.

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