Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mini-Review and Swatches: Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencils

Ahhhh, aren't they beautiful?

The Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencils retail for $24 each at I actually got the $25 Christmas gift set full of half-sized pencils, but all of these shades are still available in full size (although Cranberry was advertised as a limited edition color). These are twist-up pencils, which means there's no sharpening or mess involved.

The pencils are advertised as "long-lasting, matte lip color" with tons o' pigment and a soothing, beneficial formulation. As my pictures show, this isn't entirely accurate: these pencils have a definite creamy shine to them. The lasting power is decent--Madeira didn't budge when I ate a cheeseburger, and Quince lasted through a bowl of oily soup before beginning to fade after the second bowl--but I wouldn't consider them "long-wearing." They stay for about 4-5 hours before they need a touch up. They don't slide or feather with the exception of Quince, which did bleed ever-so-slightly in to the fine lines around my lips.

The formula, however, is definitely a dream. They glide on to my lips, absolutely no tugging, and are immediately opaque. They don't dry out my lips or feel heavy, which is impressive given how much pigment they contain. The intensity and smoothness of the formula only becomes a problem when you get to the brighter colors, Cranberry and Quince; they can be a little difficult to control. I would highly recommend pairing them with a lipliner and/or applying the product with a lip brush if you're fussy about sharp lip lines like I am.

And the colors are gorgeous. Rhubarb is a muted plum, the kind of color that instantly makes me think "work." I think it would suit a wide variety of skintones. Quince is a bright fuchsia-purple, although it often photographs as a warmer red. Cranberry is a rich blue-based red reminiscent of Chanel Dragon, and it definitely had the biggest "wow" factor for me. Madeira is the furthest away from my usual comfort zone, as it's a nude, but I do think it's a nice color. Advertised as a pink nude, it tends to look more beige/peach on me, and I greatly prefer to pair it with a lipliner for more definition.

The only other issue I had with the Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencils was a bit of a packaging snafu: the Rhubarb pencil slipped out of the tube, so when I opened it for the first time, all of the product was in the lid. This usually means that the product has either dried up or wasn't pressed down in to the tube hard enough, and because my pencil is as luxuriously creamy as ever, I'm going to say it was the latter.

Overall, I truly love these pencils. They're travel-friendly (although again, the brighter colors may need a little "outside help"), incredibly pigmented, come in beautiful shades, and feel great on my lips. I can't give them a perfect review because they are not, as advertised, matte or long-lasting. But I would absolutely recommend them to anyone and everyone.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Left to right: Rhubarb, Quince, Madeira, Cranberry

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