NYC Beauty & Fashion: Bite Beauty Lip Lab

So late last year I was searching for something fun and girly to do in NYC for my birthday, when I remembered Bite Beauty Lip Lab. You can go there and with the help of one of their “highly trained Lip Lab Artists” create your own customized lipstick/lipsticks.

Of course, I thought of this last minute and “appointments are suggested”, because walk-ins can’t be guaranteed a timeslot. My best friend and I headed over with hope in our hearts that even though it was a seasonably warm Fall Saturday in NYC, the Cosmetic Gods would favor us.

When we arrived they put us on a list, took my cell phone number, and told us they’d call if they had a slot for us. We set out and wandered the shops in Soho – oh wonderful Soho, where shopkeepers are equal opportunity snobs. The clerks in the “Happy Socks” store were just as standoffish to the cute British chick as they were to me. Sadly it turns out that selling “happy socks” does not actually make one happy. Who knew?

We ended up getting lucky (not in the way you’re thinking) but a spot opened up for us and we hauled ass back to the Lip Lab which was full of cool racks of lipsticks and lipstick components.
Racks Color Lab Colors
We each sat down with our artist sand spent some time discussing shades and finishes before mixing up some colors.
There were lots of options, so if you’re indecisive, you know, plan on spending awhile there.

First you choose your finish:
Créme: Buttery and smooth ($45/ or 2 for $60)
Matte: Matte yet moist ($45 or 2 for $60)
Sheer: Glossy, sheer and hydrating ($45 or 2 for $60)
Deluxe: Luxurious silk, pearl and champagne ($45 or 2 for $60)

I opted for Matte, as I figured this would give me the most versatility.  Then I thought that if I was going to spend a lot on a lipstick I’d make a red one, but then I saw that there were so many pretty colors and I just knew you guys would want to see more shades and…well, you know I got a pink one too. It’s my damn birthday and I can overspend on lipstick if I want too!
Working Colors 1Working Colors
So I made myself a deep pinup red, and a sweet peach pink.

Then, you choose flavors! Yes, Flavors! This was so much harder than you’d expect.
Flavors
The Options I had were:
Cherry
Mint
Violet
Vanilla
Wildberry
Citrus Mango

How could I choose anything but Cherry for the red one.  I opted for Citrus Mango for the peach/pink.

Then you can choose your tube style.
Packaging
I had a Bite beauty lipstick at home , so I opted to match the standard packaging in order to keep them uniform (the one on the far right).
(Sorry for the blurry pic on this one but I had a hell of a time, getting a decent shot.)

The “Lip Lab Artists” did their mojo, creating the lipsticks and using these molds.
Molds Swatch Cards
They also provided some really cute little cards where they wrote down the formula and where you can swatch your lipsticks.

When they were done, I got my adorable bag and lipsticks. For two lipsticks in two different shades, I paid $97.99. One lipstick will run you $45 and I believe if you purchase two of the same shade you receive a discount.
Bag
We were told to wait to use the lipsticks so they had time to harden so I waited until I got home to use mine and of course swatch them all for you guys.
Lipsticks Lipsticks Close Swatches
Blue reds are my favorite and I wanted a peach pink that would be great for everyday and was different than the shades I already had in my makeup box.

THE VERDICT
Lots of fun!
Yes, this is a pricey lipstick but you made it customized just for you and a tube will probably last you quite some time. I think this would be a great activity for a bridal party where all the ladies could come and create their own shade for the wedding, or even for a bride to come and make her perfect wedding lipstick. Bite Beauty states on their website that they offer after hours special events with customized lipsticks and lip scrubs so that’s a unique option if you’re planning a girl’s night out.

So what did you think of the shades I made?
And what color, finish and flavor would you choose for your own custom lipstick?

THE BACKSTORY
BITE BEAUTY LIP LAB
Location:
174 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012
646-484-6111
LipLab@bitebeauty.com

Lab Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 11 AM – 7 PM
Sunday: 11 AM – 6 PM

NYC Beauty & Fashion: The Birchbox Flagship Store

In July, Birchbox had a great promotion for longtime subscribers. If you went down to their store in Soho you could build your own Birchbox for free. I knew I had to take advantage of that fabulous offer so I took my camera down there and snapped some pictures for all you folks who don’t live close enough to visit.

I snapped a lot of pics so you could feel like you came along with me.

First the outside:
Outside
When you step in, the first floor has makeup and lots of specialty displays.
Makeup Makeup 2 Tata Harper The Balm
Kbeauty Skincare
Tata Harper The Balm
Library of FlowersBalm Display
It also has this cool interactive computer that can help you pick products that will work best for you.
Product Matchmaker
In the back we have the infamous Build your own Birchbox.
Sign Build Your Box
Stacks of Birchboxes, including the super pretty ones!
Boxes
They have samples in different categories, and while you can’t get two of the same exact item you can pick two from the same category. The normal cost is $15, but with the special promotion I snagged one for free!
Bins 1 Bins 2
Build your own bins
The downstairs has a salon area, nails, fragrance and body products along with the Men’s area.
Nails Polishes
Perfume 1 Perfume 2
Skincare Bumble & Bumble

MY HAUL
Build a Birchbox
Box 2 Box
They had some awesome full sizes in the build a box section and I grabbed a couple items for me and to add to some gift boxes for friends.

I decided I’d treat myself to one new item during this trip and what do I choose? Polish of course!

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer – Lovers Creep (Retail $18.00)
Smith & Cult Open Bottle
Lovers Creep Swatch
Description: “Created by the beauty icon who launched Hard Candy (and sparked our polish obsession in the 90’s), Smith & Cult strikes that perfect balance between gorgeous and edgy (just look at their shade names to see what we mean). Each shade of this covetable polish is vibrant, chip-resistant, and 5-free.”
How amazing is the packaging on Smith & Cult polish? It’s my favorite bottle in this pricepoint. I fell in love with their topcoat and I knew I had to try out one of their polish colors. Dark red is my favorite color and I love the 90s vibe of Lovers Creep. It applies like a dream and the color is amazing. It’s a great Fall red. I want *all* their polishes but I’m poor so I’ll have to settle for the occasional treat.

BB Haul
Overall, I really enjoyed my trip to the Birchbox store, although it is a bit of a hike from the subway stop, it’s a fun place to try out products and get yourself a treat.  I recommend all beauty junkies visiting NYC stop by.

THE BACKSTORY
Birchbox NYC Flagship Store
Location:
SoHo
433 West Broadway
New York, NY 10012
646-589-8500

Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 8pm
Sunday: 11am – 6pm

NYC Beauty & Fashion: Julep Maven Meetup & February 2015 Sneak Peek!

So one of the resolutions I have for this little blog of mine has been to take advantage of living in the NYC metro area and periodically feature beauty and fashion events in NYC. Today I’ve got something super special featuring our sub box darling, Julep.

Julep periodically hosts “maven meetups” in different geographical locations for its box devotees and last night they hosted one at the Park Hyatt in midtown. While meeting some friendly and fabulous Julep mavens, along wit the effervescent and charming Jane Park, CEO & Founder of Julep, I snagged a sneak peek at what’s in store for February. So gather round and let’s take a look at my best attempts at using my Iphone to take pics.
Overview

BEAUTY PRODUCTS!
February is going to be all about the glow and features two types of luminizers. There is a powder version with a really awesome fan brush and a cream style that comes in a light and dark shade.
PowderBrush

Highlighter
I didn’t grab a pic of the cream luminizer packaging but it is similar to the lip plumper. I’m on the fence about whether I’ll purchase one, but the fan brush is high quality so I think I may be grabbing one of those for myself.

 

POLISH COLORS & A FREEBIE FOR FEBRUARY!
Before we get into the polish colors, I can let you know that February will bring another polish freebie and it’s frick’n awesome. Heartleigh is a red heart glitter polish and it will be a freebie in all the maven boxes. It was my fave color of the evening so I’m super psyched to grab it for free.

Here are my polish swatches on white paper.
Swatches
I’m going to give you my best descriptor of them, but realize I’ve got them swatched on white paper so some colors will probably look very different on the nail. Another maven was brilliant and brought along her own swatch sticks and I am definitely going to steal that trick for next time.

London: (Classic with a Twist) A dark, smoky lavender. (Similar Julep Shade: Charlotte)
Keiko (Bombshell) A very dark army green. (Similar Julep Shade: Kendra)
Elise: (Bombshell) A dark marine blue creme (Similar Julep Shade: Lacey)
Carla (It Girl) Petal pink creme (Similar Julep Shade: Martha)
Jess: (Classic with a twist) Dark Mahogany Brown (Similar Julep Shade: Fiore)
Heartleigh: (Classic with a Twist): Red heart topper with pink, white and red glitter
Colton: (It Girl): Black with a bit of shimmer (Similar Julep Shade: Ledi)
Brandis: (Boho Glam) A dark seafoam crème (Similar Julep Shade: Denver)
Hazel: (Boho Glam) Electric purple shimmer (Similar Julep Shade: Katie)
Becky: (It Girl) A satiny grey with green shimmer (Similar Julep Shade: Blakely)

MY PICKS!
Funny enough, I’m most excited for the Heartleigh polish. I have a similar drugstore OPI, but Heartleigh is much nicer and very similar to the NCLA’s Heart Attack polish that I have coveted for a long time. As for the other colors, Hazel and Becky are most likely going to find their way into my box. I like Brandis and Elise but I already own similar colors. I’m still on the fence about the beauty products but if the add-on price for the brush is reasonable I’ll probably snag that as well.

Overall I was surprised that the collection featured so many dark colors and shockingly not a single red (excluding the glitter in Heartleigh). I do kind of wish there was another bright option or something a bit more cheerful, but I’m sure that will come as we get closer to Spring.

What did you think of the colors? Are any of the shades calling out your name?

 JULEP NEWS!
Box

NEW MYSTERY BOX!
Julep has a brand new mystery box the “I woke up like this” box featuring the new shade Tanith for $24.99

JULEP SIGN UP OFFERS
Beauty-Full Welcome Box:
Join Julep Maven and get the Beauty-Full Welcome Box FREE! ($42 value) Just pay $3.99 shipping

Birthstone Welcome Box: Join Maven and get 50% off and FREE Shipping on your Birthstone Weclome Box

Valentine Welcome Box: Join Maven and get 50% off and FREE Shipping on your Valentine Welcome Box


THE BACKSTORY
COUPON CODE:
If you love Julep’s products, you can try out a box for free just use the code: FREECOLOR
Just remember this signs you up for a monthly subscription. If you don’t wish to receive boxes you will need to call Julep to cancel.

Julep specializes in toxin-free nail color but also features beauty products. They are a small company based in Seattle and have been featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things List.

Monthly Maven Options:

My Maven Subscription: $24.99 per month – Allows you to customize your box
3 Month Prepaid: $19.99/month

Maven Luxe: $39.99 per month – Gives you access to add on more expensive items
3 Month Prepaid: $34.99/month

The options:
Modern Beauty – (For those who prefer beauty items over nail color) – “You’re a savvy tastemaker obsessed with the art and science of beauty.” Get two full-size beauty products in every box.

Boho Glam – “You’re a dynamic free spirit with a creative eye.” Get two limited-edition nail colors and one full-size beauty product in every box.

Bombshell – “You’re a confident frill-seeker with magnetic appeal.” Get two limited-edition nail colors and one full-size beauty product in every box.

Classic With a Twist – “You’re an iconic beauty with a timeless aesthetic.” Get two limited-edition nail colors and one full-size beauty product in every box.

It Girl – (For those who want polish only) “You’re a colorful trendsetter who’s not afraid to be bold.” Get three limited-edition nail colors in every box.

Julep will email you with the contents of your regular box selection, and at that time you can opt to keep it as is or change it. Every time you purchase a box you get the option of add-ons along with access to Julep’s “Secret Store” that lets you get other products at great prices.   Another perk is that when you’re a maven you get 20% off anything you purchase from Julep’s website along with free Shipping.

Julep also has a rewards program that gives you “jules” for taking your monthly boxes and on your birthday. You can use jules to pay for monthly boxes and some other items chosen by Julep.

NYC Beauty & Fashion: The Tony Moly Store

Since I’m a blogger in the NYC metro area, I have a lot of opportunities that bloggers say, in the middle of Wyoming may not have. I realized that I needed to start taking advantage and add a New York City Beauty and Fashion feature to this little blog.

Now if you read any of my Memebox reviews you know that Korean beauty has become a newfound fascination for me. Tony Moly is one of the most sought after Korean brands available in the US, so when they opened a store in Midtown I just had to check it out.

Tony Moly’s store is right in NYC’s Koreatown which is where I used to work in the long, long ago when I first began doing daytime drudgery to pay the bills. Neatly stocked and brightly lit, this tiny shop is nestled between rows of stores on 32nd Street (between 5th and 6th Avenue).
Store

The front is adorable with its neat rows of face masks and delightfully packaged hand creams.
Masks
Apricot Apples Apples 2
I would have taken more pictures for you, but I quickly became distracted by products and of course had to try out everything. The shop owner was attentive and helpful. The products ranged from expensive snail face creams to budget friendly gel liners. And of course there were tons and tons of sheet masks.

In the end, I spent $49.00 on an assortment of masks and an eye brightening stick in an irresistible Panda container. I was psyched to find a snail mask which I, (of course) forgot to purchase it, so I guess I’ll have to head back.  I would have grabbed more products, but I have a Tony Moly Memebox en route, so I didn’t want to end up with duplicates.
Haul
And guess what?  You don’t have to be in NYC to grab your own Tony Moly haul. Most of what I nabbed is available at Urban Outfitters.
Panda
TONYMOLY Panda’s Dream So Cool Eye Stick
(Retail $10.00)
(Photo from UrbanOutfitters.com )
Description: “Keep it cool with this cooling eye cream from TONYMOLY. TONYMOLY Panda’s Dream So Cool Eye Stick is a hard-to-find Korean skin treatment that instantly de-puffs and revitalizes tired, dry eyes with a cooling, moisturizing sensation. Keep it in your bag for a little pick-me-up throughout the day!”
Verdict: Hit!
I’ve had a chance to try this eye brightening stick for a bit and I really like it. It moisturizes the undereye area and adds this light white sheen. It reminds me of the outer edge of Benefit’s Fakeup undereye concealer. I’ve been using it every morning under my Fakeup and I feel that they work really well together.  The Panda only set me back $10, so I’m quite happy with the purchase.

Assorted Masks: (Retail $3.00 Each)
I haven’t had a chance to try these out yet, but for $3.00, take a chance and grab one that interests you.

If Tony Moly has you intrigued (or obsessed) and you can’t make it to Koreatown, Urban Outfitters has even more Tony Moly stuff.

My next NYC feature will be a review of a fabulous Master Makeup class hosted by Birchbox and Benefit, so be sure to check back to find out if Benefit can achieve the impossible and teach me to do winged liner with a gel style pen.

New Feature! NYC Beauty & Fashion: Modcloth Casting Call

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
popup

So I’ve been toying around with adding some more features to my humble little blog. Now don’t freak out, you guys know I love sub boxes and there will always be plenty of box reviews here. (Because as you know I have an unhealthy addiction to surprise mail.)

I have an advantage a lot of other bloggers don’t —I’m located in NYC where there are lots of fun beauty and fashion events that I could (and should) be telling you all about.

So I decided to add on a new feature called NYC Beauty & Fashion. As fun events and opportunities pop up, I’ll post them for folks both near (who can attend) and far (who can live vicariously through the nearby peeps).

When Modcloth (one of my favorite online stores) dropped this fun event into my inbox, I figured that it would be the perfect thing to kick off my new feature.

Modcloth will be hosting an Open Casting Call for ALL in New York City on September 3rd from 1 PM to 7 PM. During this Photo Pop-Up event, they’ll be chatting with fans and snapping their photos. All you have to do is show up in your cutest outfit and you could be featured on ModCloth and across their social platforms. So if you’ve been searching for a special occasion to wear that fabulous Modcloth dress you bought or show off your best vintage finds, grab your besties and make a beeline over to 201 Mulberry St.

Head to the ModCloth blog for more details and RSVP info.

· When: Wednesday, September 3rd from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM

· Where: Openhouse, 201 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

Unfortunately the casting call is exactly when I’ve got a bunch of work projects, so I won’t be able to attend, but if any of you lovely readers do, please tell us all about it!

Keep your eyes peeled for some more fun posts in this section. I have plans to explore the Birchbox store in Soho and the Tony Moly shop in Koreatown…