DIY Lip Color That's Good Enough To Eat

Bite is a little shop in New York City where you can design your own lipstick. The lipstick is so natural, it's said to be good enough to eat. NPR's Jacki Lyden visits the "lip lab" and hears from Bite's manager, Melissa Colon, about how she picks the perfect color for her clients.

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JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Something you may find on that vanity is a lipstick, so let's pucker up and head downtown to Soho.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIPSTICK ON YOUR COLLAR")

LYDEN: There's a little bit on Prince Street where people can go to find that perfect lip color. We're at Bite, a shop that lets you come up with your own lip shade.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIPSTICK ON YOUR COLLAR)

CONNIE FRANCIS: (Singing) Lipstick on your collar told a tale on you. Lipstick on your collar, said you were untrue...

LYDEN: At the lip lab, powders look like lumps of chocolate on shelves, and the attendants in lab coats help you craft your perfect shade. Melissa Colon says that it all started when Bite founder Susanne Langmuir couldn't find the true color she wanted.

MELISSA COLON: She was having a hard time finding a natural lipstick that also had incredible pigment payoff, which sometimes is compromised when you're using natural ingredients. So, she decided why don't I just do a customized lipstick that is natural. It is edible. It's OK for you to ingest.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COLON: Looks a little bit like we're in the chocolate factory. But what we're going to do is, do here is that we customize our lip colors.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COLON: What takes the longest is actually deciding what color it is that we come up with that we're both in agreement with.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COLON: I write down a little formula for it. You get to choose your color. You get to choose your finish, which is we have four finishes: matte, luminous creme, creme deluxe and sheer. Then you actually also get to choose your scent. So, we have a scents of oils: we have wild berry, cherry, violet, vanilla, citrus mango and mango.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COLON: I'm going to use tannin to begin with. And I just kind of put a swipe of it on my palette. I'm going to start with that. I'm going to add a little bit of the creme deluxe finish. So, I'm just kind of mixing it up a little bit. Warming up the color.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COLON: I just press through and it mixes everything together for me in a few seconds. Done. We have different molds. So, I'm going to grab a mold, make sure it's secure. I put on the timer. In six minutes your lipstick will be done.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COLON: I really don't believe that there are any rules on any color. I think that any woman can wear any color as long as she's confident in it. I've seen women walk out of here with a blue lipstick.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COLON: That means your lipstick are ready. So, we undo the mold. Anytime we do this and it doesn't break it's like a small victory for us. Yay.

LYDEN: Oh, look at that.

COLON: Here we go. Success.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COLON: I love the look when we've completed and finalized and they've found that perfect color. And they're, like, I didn't think this was possible. You know, it's a really gratifying moment. And everyone leaves here happy.

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