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A couple of weeks ago I sent a fevered text to one of my best friends:
“Love, I’m trialling a new vegan beauty range for work called Bite and their products smooth on like butter. It’s lit. Thoroughly recommend. Some of the nicest slap ever.”
I could leave that to stand as my assessment of Canadian beauty company Bite - who have just launched in the UK to great fanfare - and feel as if I had done my due diligence as a beauty writer.
But I won’t stop there because there is much to be said on their individual products. Honestly, this make-up range is a delight to put on - the most exciting new brand I’ve tried in donkeys’.
There are many valid reasons to wear make-up: fun, creativity, adding a touch of swagger to your day, emulating David Bowie or Dee Snider. But quite simply, when I wear Bite products, I look and feel prettier. At the risk of sounding vapid, that’s generally why I apply make-up. If that’s what you’re after, I implore you to give them a try - the range is available at Boots and Feel Unique.
First, the credentials.
Bite Beauty was launched in 2012 by Susanne Langmuir in Toronto, Canada and later sold to beauty brand incubator Kendo, which also looks after Fenty Beauty, Marc Jacobs and Ole Henriksen - some of the cosmetics’ world’s heaviest hitters. These are folks who know their beauty onions, and it shows.
According to the marketing bumf, their “mission is to make clean beauty a little less beige with a commitment to developing formulas that offer super-satisfying sensorial experiences”.
That translates to ingredients that feel great on the skin - antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, fruit extracts - treating it with lambskin gloves - while also providing vivid colour pay-offs.
Oh, it feels lovely, slathering their mineral foundation over a freshly moisturised face; oh, the lipsticks are so emollient you feel like you’re covering your lips in balm, not matte lipstick.
Pleasingly (and quite rightly - though it still needs to be lauded, as it’s not always the case), they have an inclusive colour range - 32 foundation shades to cover a range of skin tones. Packaging is simple and chic, products colours are bright but never garish.
There was one product that left me underwhelmed - I wouldn’t rush out for the ‘Plumping Lip Gloss’ which doesn’t plump and sits like a sticky jam on lips, achieving very little. But for the rest of the range - which is spendy, yes, apologies, we’re assessing a luxe range here - gosh, you’re in for a treat.
Here’s the best of their British release.
I’m often too lazy to bother with primer, but the Changemaker Skin-Optimising Primer was an object lesson in why it’s worth taking the time.
Available in a hydrating or mattifying formula, these primers contain olive oil, maqui berry and hyaluronic acid.
They smooth on silkily, like whipped butter, to provide a plump, even surface for further make-up, which then glides on easily over top (yes I know there’s a lot of talk of gliding and smoothing and silk - but these are some sensuous products, people).
Don’t be too heavy handed though - a little of this primer stretches a long way.
The product that launched - well, not a thousand, but rather a few raving texts to my lady friends, entreating them to try Bite. This is gorgeous.
With an almost mousse-light texture, this mineral foundation (read: good for sensitive skin) melts effortlessly into skin with either fingers or a brush/blender.
Lightweight, it feels more like a moisturiser on the skin than foundation, and gives that much-sought out ‘your skin, but better’ look. You’ll look the picture of good health - dewy and fresh - and it lasts impressively, even in muggy weather.
Pricy, yes, but so good - though if you fancy full coverage foundation, it may disappoint.
No product instantaneously improves appearance quite as reliably as a good blush - making skin look healthier, brighter, happier - and the Daycation Whipped Blush is a stellar entry into the crowded blush cannon.
If you’re after a luminous glow - something that makes you look sexily flushed - this will delight.
With a slight shimmer, if you pat it onto the highest points of your cheekbones, as well as the apples of the cheeks, you’ll look radiant and fresh.
It’s fool-proof - no danger of looking like Raggedy Ann, just naturally glowing. Watermelon Marg is the perfect pink, though Coconut Rum is ideal if you want a bronzer-meets-blusher.
If you love your mascara densely black and dramatic (and if you don’t, I don’t understand, though I respect your life choices), the Upswing Full-Volume Mascara packs quite a punch.
The hourglass wand easily coats lashes from root to tip, providing quite the pay-off on one-application - and thick, curly, long lashes if you slather on three coats.
If you have issues with allergies you may need to seal it with a tubing mascara - and it does smudge a little after a day’s wear, but in a way that I found pleasingly insouciant and French (your mileage may vary) - think Brigitte Bardot.
If you’ve ever dragged the bullet of a matte lipstick across reluctant lips and been dismayed with it’s drying effects, we would understand your hesitancy to try one again. You dream of a bold, declarative lip and end up with a desiccated pout. It’s not fun.
Not so with the Power Move Soft Matte Lipstick, which really threads the needle perfectly. Liquid soft to smooth on, non-drying, and super comfy, it nevertheless has the bold colour pay-off you hunt for in a matte lipstick. With 20 shades to select from, there’s plenty of joy to be found, but special commendation to two:
Hot Tomato, a pinky-red that provides the Dallas-style vamp factor all red lippy wears crave, and Chai, a rosy brown that is just awfully pretty on most mouths.