This purchase was not a typical one for me. I rarely seek out limited edition products (though sometimes I am pleasantly surprised). I don't usually go for holiday releases/sets. And I don't usually buy more than one item from a line, sight unseen.
But here I am with two of the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche holiday duos. I was having a day, I guess. It was the same day that I ordered that Kat Von D blue lipstick (reviewed here), but the Bite lipsticks worked out better.
These duos are double-sided, like the Luminous Creme duos from last year, which I liked. And in fact, the price is good. It's actually cheaper to buy these minis (0.05 oz. of each color) than to buy a full-size Amuse Bouche lipstick. The full size comes out to $173 per ounce, and the duos are $140 per ounce. Mind you, the packaging of these mini lipstick may mean that more of that product is buried below the edge of the tube, making it harder to get out, but it's still a respectable price, in my reckoning.
I've been happy to see that metallic lips are, apparently, a big thing this season. I like a little shimmer and all matte all the time was starting to get boring. I once had a sheer, gold lipstick from Avon that I got as a gift as a teenager, and it was really pretty. So a new, sheer, gold lipstick from a brand whose lipsticks I've enjoyed in the past was exciting to see. I was also intrigued by Opal, which Bite has brought back in one of these minis. In fact, I originally almost bought all four of the duos but eventually (fortunately) talked myself down to two. I didn't think I would wear the pale pink Fig much, and I already have Pepper in the old Luminous Creme formula. So I went for Gold/Sour Cherry and Opal/Jam.
I was also curious about the Amuse Bouche formula, having read mixed reviews of it. I suspect, as with most lipsticks, the performance will vary based on the shade. For these two/four, I've been really impressed. Sour Cherry is particularly wonderful: pigmented, smooth, long-wearing, and moisturizing. Yes, moisturizing! It's extremely rare for me to find a lipstick that actually makes my lips feel better as I wear it. Revlon Cherries in the Snow does that, but the Bite Luminous Creme lipsticks do not.
Left to right: Gold, Sour Cherry, Opal, Jam.
Okay, get ready for many, many more photos.
First up, Opal/Jam. Each duo includes a permanent Amuse Bouche shade at one end, and what they call a "foiled top coat" at the other end--though as you'll see, I think the "top coats" function better on their own, for the most part, and aren't particularly "foiled."
Opal is a sheer, iridescent lipstick that has pearly shimmer with a blue shift. I found it very hard to get the blue to photograph. As in the swatch above, it mainly looks white in my photos, but it is very definitely blue in person.
For reference, here is a photo of my lips with just clear balm on them. I am very jealous of those of you with clearly defined edges to your lips. As you can see, mine are just an amorphous blob in the middle of my face.
And here's Opal on its own.
I think you can see the blue a little here. I would classify this as noticeable, but subtle. As in, you can see the iridescent sheen, but you could wear it to a pretty conservative job without anyone asking why your lips are blue. I actually think this functions as a really pretty lip balm, because it was so comfortable and moisturizing for me.
As you can see, it catches on dry patches a bit, but viewed from an ordinary distance, it looks good. It's just slightly translucent, but smoother than some other dark purple-berry lipsticks I've used in the past and not excessively slippery. Did I need another dark berry? No. But at least Jam isn't a dupe for anything I already own. For reasons that are mysterious to me, Jam looks almost identical to Wet N Wild Sugar Plum Fairy in the photo below, but in person it was clearly more purple (i.e. less pink). (The first swatch in the post is a little more accurate.) The formula is also more comfortable to wear, though less opaque. I would not call them dupes.
Left to right: Bite Jam, Bite Mulberry (from last year's Luminous Creme duo), and Wet N Wild Sugar Plum Fairy.
Jam leaves a really fucking intense Barbie-pink stain that lasted on me well over 24 hours, despite using makeup remover, showering, and washing my face multiple times. Beware. Actually, I like the stain, personally, but if you are planning to wear a sheer lip product the next day, you need to plan ahead. It's very similar to the color of the Revlon Balm Stain in Lovesick.
Above is what my lips look like after removing Jam. Again, more lip-liney in a macro shot than at a normal distance.
Opal over the stain left by Jam is really, really pretty. Look!
Okay, let's look at Gold/Sour Cherry, my favorite of the two duos.
Gold, like Opal is sheer and subtle, though it contains gold glitter, rather than pearl, which is a little more obviously glitzy.
I was really surprised to find that the glitter doesn't feel the slightest bit gritty. I can't remember another lip product with this much sparkle and this little grit. I like the look of it on its own, though if you want extreme gold glitter, you should probably go for Bite's gold gloss instead. (L'Oreal also has a new gold lipstick, but it seems to be UK only so far. I hope we get it too!)
I found that it photographed a bit less intense than it looked in person, so amp this up a notch in your imagination.
I really love Sour Cherry. It's a pink-red that will look more pink or more red depending on your coloring (and depending on the calibration of your monitor!). My coloring brings out the pink in it. (Here's a photo from my Instagram, taken in the low lighting of my office, where it looks more red.) Sour Cherry is extremely pigmented and smooth. I only need to apply one layer, and blotting it does not diminish its intensity. It's soft and moisturizing, but because I can blot it down, I don't have to worry much about smearing.
Sour Cherry also leaves a stain, though it doesn't last through showers and makeup remover like Jam. I expected Sour Cherry to be similar to Revlon Cherries in the Snow, but Cherries looks absolutely pink when you put them next to each other. I guess that makes Sour Cherry a pinkish-red and Cherries in the Snow a reddish-pink. Sour Cherry is also more pigmented.
Over Sour Cherry, at least applied from the bullet, Gold loses most of its gold and just adds some shimmer. It also tints the base color a bit and makes it warmer, so Sour Cherry appears to be redder (i.e. less pink).
In the photo below, taken in indoor lighting, you can see the shimmer a bit more clearly. It does reflect back gold in some situations.
If you apply Gold directly over Sour Cherry, you end up with the mess below, so I'd advise using a brush. That might avoid the two lipsticks mixing together, as well, and keep the gold more golden.
Even though these Bite duos were a bit of an impulse purchase, I'm really happy with them, which is only reinforcing my bad behavior. I'd recommend them if you're curious about the Amuse Bouche formula and haven't tried it yet, or if you like a little glitz (but not a lot--or you want a low glitz option). Of the two, I like Gold/Sour Cherry best, though I'm sure I'll get a lot of use out of both of them.
Be aware, however, that they have a strong fragrance that lingers for a while after application. It's a fruity scent that smells to me like raspberry ginger ale or maybe that sangria Mountain Dew they sell at Taco Bell. It's definitely a tangy candy fragrance.
The packaging for these is a bit annoying in that there is no way to tell which tube is which without squinting at the tiny label on the end. I now have three identical tubes in my drawer, and I'll have to look at the labels on all of them every time I want to use one (because inevitably I'll pick up the one I want last). On the other hand, the lids snap in place, so they would be good for travel. I'm slightly concerned that the very soft bullet will eventually break off and stain my clothes or carpet when it falls, but fingers crossed.
Anyone else typically avoid limited edition holiday releases? Do you make any exceptions?