A look into Bite Beauty's rebrand - is anything going right?

Bite Beauty Daycation Whipped Blush
Bite Beauty Daycation Whipped Blush

Once upon a time, Bite Beauty was a brand that I looked forward to reviewing, and while their line-up was more limited in their offerings, they tended to excel at what they did offer. They were known for their lip products, from lipstick to lip balm to lip pencils. Now, I don’t know what they’re known for, and there are so few readers who seem to enjoy their newer offerings. Their newer product offerings seem to have often alienated previous fans of the brand, while they haven’t seemed to be able to capture a new set of fans to replacement. Bite Beauty announced the discontinuation of their entire range in September 2019, and they had everything cleared out by late November 2019 with the first release launched in January 2020. Let’s take a look at how that’s gone down…

Sales, Sales, Sales

Now, the larger online beauty community that is filled with enthusiasts and less casual beauty fans, so it can’t be the only indicator of a brand’s success or lack thereof, but Bite’s reformulated/newer launches have routinely been on sale for 50% off and seem like they’re being discontinued because they stay on sale.

For example, the Changemaker foundation and powder have been on sale for awhile, and the powder is down to only four shades (from eight originally) at Sephora, which is a tell-tale sign of something being discontinued (it’s like pulling teeth to get a brand to admit to a product discontinuation, I swear!). The foundation still has the majority of shades in stock and any shades that are out of stock haven’t been pulled yet, and the liquid foundation did seem to garner mostly favorable reviews. The better-performing Power Move Creamy Matte Lip Crayons have been marked down to 50% for months and months.

They never previously ran so many sales, and while products occasionally went on sale or 50% off, they were typically when discontinued or limited edition products on their way out. If the products were selling well, it’s hard to see the rationale in offering them at such a steep discount so often or on an ongoing basis.

Timing Issues

After Bite Beauty cleared out their remaining inventory at 75% off, we waited to see how it would all turn out. I know I wasn’t alone being caught off-guard when the first products they launched were complexion in January 2020. (They also launched their Power Move Lip Crayons, which I quite liked, and their Lip Masks, which I didn’t like and lacked lanolin and ended up being less effective for some who had found it to be holy grail previously.)

It made sense for Bite Beauty to eventually expand beyond lip products, but I think it made some scratch their heads a bit as the first release given how famous they were for their Amuse Bouche Lipsticks, Lip Masks, and Lip Pencils in particular. Instead of the relaunch being super excited, it just left some wondering “but what about the lipsticks?” So, I, like many others, waited, and then waited some more, to finally see the grand replacement of Amuse Bouche, which ended up being the Power Move Soft Matte that didn’t launch until July 2021. It was almost two years since they had discontinued Amuse Bouche, and then it wasn’t even a replacement at all!

For some brands, there have been increasing delays and roadblocks due to the impact on supply chains since last March 2020, but Bite’s rebrand was announced in September 2019 and inventory cleared out by end of November 2019, so it doesn’t seem like they should have had any supply chain/launching issues for their initial launches at all.

Formula Flops

They aren’t the only brand that has tweaked or relaunched products to be vegan, and it is becoming more popular to do. First and foremost, Sephora allows you to indicate your preference for vegan products, and there are over 1,000 to choose from. It’s just important for a brand to make sure that a reformulation still lives up to the brand’s reputation, but when Bite Beauty brought back the beloved, much-missed Agave Lip Balm, the reviews came in furious and harsh.

Part of the reason was the removal of lanolin, which is a particularly effective ingredient (but animal-derived, as comes from sheep’s wool) so for some, it was the inclusion of lanolin doing the heavy-lifting and however Bite reformulated didn’t cut it for past fans. Oddly, Bite didn’t see fit to improve the packaging of the lip balm, as people had issues with the end coming undone in the past and still have that issue with the current version. Bite even released a twist-up version, which was reviewed even more poorly (just over 2-stars).

That being said, Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask doesn’t have any animal-derived ingredients, and is a pretty popular product, so it could have found fans but seemed to more of a miss than a hit for many who tried it. Fenty’s Gloss Bomb is also vegan and a staple for many who like hydrating and glossy products. Tower 28 ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss is also a popular lip product that is vegan.

Their Daycation Whipped Blush was both a product and packaging fail, and like most of what they’ve done in the last couple of years, puzzled me to no end. They had Multisticks that were popular enough (my experience was they didn’t work well on my eyes but were decent as cheek/lip products but they were quite loved by others) in convenient, twist-up sticks. Fenty Cheeks Out Cream Blush is vegan and is a fantastic cream-based formula… so it can be done.

Not So Amused Bouche

Finally, when lipsticks–much requested and begged for–finally relaunched, the formula wasn’t just vegan but offered a totally different feel, texture, wear, and shade range. The replacement formula, Power Move Soft Matte, is thin, somewhat clingy, matte, and heavier on silicones; and frankly, it was one of the worse-performing silicone-type matte formulas I’ve come across. There are high-quality vegan lipstick formulas, like NARS Lipstick, Natasha Denona I Need a Nude Lipstick, and Urban Decay Lipstick that are creamier, more emollient, and closer to the Amuse Bouche formula (there are also several vegan, silicone-like matte formulas).

The Power Move Soft Matte formula went for a very matte (as opposed to luminous cream, which wasn’t everyone’s favorite as some found it higher maintenance), they released significantly less shades that were all in all… your typical, soft and muted neutral shades, when they were known for a more extensive offering that even included navy green and inky green. They even say “our mission is to make clean beauty less…beige” and talk about having “bold, look-at-me-now color.”

The last iteration of the Amuse Bouche Lipstick range had 40ish shades available, while the launch of their “replacement” released 20 shades.  The lack of Lip Pencils remains a mystery, as vegan options already exist from competitors, and it would have made sense for them to launch alongside the lipsticks (or at any point since); for example one of the more popular high-end formulas is Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat, which has been vegan exists along with Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils.

There is room for a matte finish from Bite, but all matte and only matte in their return to lipstick–after such a long, long wait–was anticlimactic for those who loved Amuse Bouche. Like if I had wanted a matte lipstick, I wouldn’t care about a return of Amuse Bouche since it had a very creamy finish!

By the by, has anyone else noticed that they’ve kept their Amuse Bouche (or -esque) formula in their Lip Labs? It just seems odd to offer that in-store when they’ve made a big point to be vegan!

Product Ratings Post-Rebrand

Product Ratings Pre-Rebrand

What’s in Bite Beauty’s future?

I hope we’ll see improvements in 2022 and 2023; they have been largely silent with respect to new product launches since summer 2021 with their matte lipstick launch. It’s possible they had other launches planned that are now facing delays that have become commonplace due to the past two years of disruption to supply chains.  The brand feels like it’s lost their identity, which may be partially due to the rebrand but also due to increased competition in the “clean beauty” (sigh, I loathe that term!) space. Their reputation for high-quality products has also suffered, which can be tough to come back from as people become more hesitant about new launches due to past experiences.

Looking through their social media, a lot of fans are wondering if certain product are being discontinued, often remarking about products being 50% off., but there are no responses from the brand over the last few months when asked, so we can only speculate… but steep discounts are rarely a good sign, and being often or continuously on sale, also a red flag. It can also be a trap for the brand that ultimately results in consumers becoming less likely to pay full price when they know they can wait a month for a discount (this is an issue that I’ve seen occur with Pat McGrath and Urban Decay in the last few years as well).

Have you found any new favorites from Bite’s relaunches? Have you become a bigger fan of the brand or have moved on?

38 Comments

Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Kat Avatar

This has been one of the saddest “rebrands” ever, I think. I was a loyal user of their products, their original lip mask was the ONLY lip balm I used for years, I had probably a dozen lipsticks and loved every one. Then they inexplicably discontinued all their most popular products and relaunched with awful formulas. I went from buying from them probably every other month to not having bought a single product in years.

Jujubes Avatar

I still have the Amuse Bouche lipsticks (including the liquefied version) and lip pencils from pre-rebrand, and they were some of my most favorite lip products. I have not had any urge to buy their rebranded products because they have such terrible reviews. This is a cautionary tale of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. It was perfect the way it was and now nobody wants to use their stuff, even at half off on Sephora for months and months now.

kjh Avatar

Thank god for fridges. Most of my pre-rebrand or reformulation goodies are still fine. Sounds NPC, but I rather like preservatives, as long as they aren’t dinged by EWG, Incidecoder, etc.

Jess Avatar

I don’t think it did make sense for them to expand outside of lip products.
Bite was my go-to lip brand– their ENTIRE range was banger.
Palomino remains my favorite shade of lipstick possibly ever, and that old formula was the only one that didn’t turn my lips into a flaky mess out of EVERYTHING on the market.
I have not bought a Bite product since the mass discontinuation of their original line.
They should just go back to their original offerings.

Sydney Avatar

Has a brand ever flopped this hard and this fully? It is baffling. I am still forlorn over the discontinuation of the original Amuse Bouche line. Such a spectacular formula and interesting colors mixed in with the more “usable” ones. I don’t have faith that they will be able to right the ship. They wouldn’t have arrived here without bad decision making. Whoever is making those decisions is not going to mystically get better at leading a brand.

ac Avatar

There’re a lot of changes I would’ve made if I’d been in charge of a rebrand : improve the preservatives and stabilizers in the Amuse Bouche lipsticks (if you’re all about “nourishing natural oils and plant butters” YOU MUST. HAVE. PRESERVATIVES, foh with the “cleaaan beauty” and “omg toxic chemicals!!1” bs — a couple of mine have gone off, despite rarely being used and living in my climate-controlled bathroom drawers, and have developed a funky texture and rancid-oil smell), do a range of cream blush in stick or compact format in shades to coordinate with lipstick range, a sheer gel blush (same and same), and a total overhaul of that AWFUL packaging. Life is too freaking short to shell out $$$ for makeup in boring plain black plastic cases, plus they have that rubberized coating that despite little use and careful handling turns into sticky nasty goop-scuzz over time. (NARS is guilty of this too.) There are so many great brands at that price point now, you have to REALLY stand out in at least one area — color selection, longevity, packaging, something. There’s no standout anything now.

Admittedly, I have not tried the new “soft matte.” I’ve got enough thin powdery silicone-heavy lipsticks (which tend not to adhere to my inner lip area), and with an EXTREMELY limited and samey color range, plus they removed the lovely tart pink lemonade scent from AB … pass. There’s nothing to interest me here.

Eraser Avatar

Exactly – I HATE this so called clean/preservative free trend. Why are people more afraid of preservatives that have been proven to be perfectly safe for years than the bacteria and mold that they prevent? I’ve never bought a “clean” lip product that didn’t turn into a dry crumbling mess in short order. I also dislike the rubbery cases but it does seem like companies are getting away from that. Bite really took a wrong turn.

Kim Avatar

My introduction to Bite was their Deconstructed Rose set of lip gloss. They were a nice formula, great range of colors and perfect size. But they never came out with a similar lip gloss product after that. I would have bought full size replacements, but nothing was available. Huge disappointment and fall from one of my favorite lip products to nothing I can find that I want to purchase.

Francesca Avatar

I used to rave about Bite’s lipsticks some years ago… Of course, as an European Customer, I cannot but dream about them, about the custom lipstick I would create if I went in US (because, of course I would visiti a Bite store!). Now likely the brand is more widely available, but since the rebranding, I’ve lost any interest about it (to be honest, I’ve mostly lost interest for lipsticks, because of the pandemic. Rebranding hasn’t been good for BB; to be honest, I cannot think about a rebranding that improved a brand (I’m thinking also about fragrances market); mostly it distorts the brand’s DNA, making it more like the others, impoverishing one own peculiarities… The rules of marketing, I assume.

Mariella Avatar

What pretty much everyone else has said. I treasure my original Bite lipsticks and know that when they’re gone, well – they ARE gone. It’s really sad that a company that had such a good “niche” line just basically shot itself in the foot repeatedly. As kjh (I think) said, I also don’t fear preservatives and I think all this move to “clean” (which basically hasn’t any real meaning) isn’t necessarily a move for the better.

Michelle Avatar

I too loved the Amuse Bouche lipsticks and some of their glosses and liquid lipsticks. I was very dismayed at the rebranding, none of the products excited me. I get the feeling if they may not be at Sephora much longer since they are clearly underperforming. Probably just the Lip Lab in their future.

Cat Avatar

I would love to know r more about the decision-making process behind the scenes for Bite Beauty. From my point of view, there’s been multiple times I have been a bit bewildered by their choices. I have to say when they changed to vegan I was really rooting for them and perhaps my expectations were high because they had put out such amazing lip products before…. I really wish they had gotten the right employees to create an outstanding vegan lipstick and outstanding vegan lip mask. I think for most of their former customers, that alone would have been enough.

I will say I had a small tube of their Changemaker face primer and I enjoyed it. I still think they really never had to expand into other beauty products if they had nailed lip products.

Lucie Avatar

I think this is one of the most clear examples of “clean beauty” not being the panacea the industry thinks it is.

The Bite rebrand was a bitter disappointment to me. I think maybe if they introduced complexion products and had a comparable lip line ready to go instead of just wholesale discontinuing everything and leaving everyone in limbo for two years, people would have been somewhat more accepting. Instead, this just seemed ill-conceived and ill-planned and still would have been doomed because most of the products are subpar.

I have taken a chance on some of their products in the last year with the constant sales and I will admit that some of the products aren’t quite as bad as their current poor reputation would suggest.

The lip crayons are their best currently available product and are actually quite good overall, not just “good for Bite”. I use them frequently and would repurchase even at full-price. They apply smoothly, are opaque and decently long-lasting, and the medium to deeper shades at least do not emphasize lip texture (I tend to stay away from the lighter shades so I can’t speak to those).

The agave overnight balm/mask in the pot is actually quite good and I like it as much, if not more than the Laneige. I think this product was vegan from the start and never reformulated and I do really like it. It may not be heavy enough for the most severely dry or chapped lips, but I find it works well for my occasionally parched and dehydrated lips. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the rest of their reformulated agave line and I am one mourning the old squeeze tube formula with lanolin.

The Naysayer lipglosses are decent to good if you like that type of product and I think they actually did a good job with the packaging on that, although I could see the silicone top/applicator being divisive (I like it). Would I pick it over any other lip gloss? No, but I do use them occasionally. I just have lip glosses I love much more.

And the complexion products (micellar foundation and powder – I don’t remember if I used their primer although I know I got a sample, but I think I used a different primer when I tried these) are better than I expected. They produced a natural finish that held up through the night, felt very lightweight but provided the medium coverage it promised. Overall, it was a nice foundation and the powder was nice as well, but it didn’t feel like a $44 foundation. I’m pleased with it at the price point I bought it, but wouldn’t pay full price or consider it my holy grail foundation.

I did finally try one of the new power move lipsticks as the one color I liked was decently reviewed in the B range, but unfortunately that was a miss for me. Their formula emphasizes every line and bit of texture on my lips and even found some I didn’t even know I had.

Bite was a brand I previously purchased blind without reviews because they were just that good and just that consistent. It’s a shame to lose that. I still look at the brand every now and again with some hope, but I’ve largely moved on and given the constant sales would not be surprised if they go the way of Becca soon.

Kate Avatar

Completely agree. I will guard my stash of pre-rebranding Amuse Bouche lipsticks (regular and liquid) with my life and I even have a few of the original lipsticks that are miles better than what they’re doing now.

The one product that they’ve done since all the changes that I really like is their mascara. Beyond that, as you say, there’s been a huge drop in terms of quality and in terms of originality of the colour selection. Just sad.

Rebecca F Avatar

I used to work for the brand via Lip Lab and we learned about the pivot to clean early on. A lot of the staff were fans of the brand and to say we were disappointed would be an understatement… I personally loved the brand since its launch. I’m Canadian but moved abroad for school. My goal was to return to Toronto and work for BITE at their headquarters… but by the time I graduated BITE had moved all of its marketing/leadership to San Fran in the Kendo offices. A lot of people loved BITE because it was Canadian but once they were acquired by Kendo people noticeably stopped supporting the brand. Furthermore, they closed the remaining Canadian operations a few years ago, making the founding identity of the brand forgotten, especially with the re-launch.

From my understanding the brand is failing and Kendo is instead pushing for the Lip Lab to become the new BITE identity on its own. They’ve expanded across the US and into Europe now.

Luckily for me I was able to hoard a bunch of the classic lipsticks and lip masks during my time at the brand, and while I do enjoy some of the new lip launches they are definitely not the same and even if they were amazing, they could ever combat the barrage of negativity and frustration from customers over the rebranding. RIP BITE.

Genevieve Avatar

Thank you Christine for that informative article about Bite Beauty. I can’t help but compare this company to Urban Decay…. the attempts to go ‘vegan’ and ending up putting out substandard products that go on sale almost immediately because they just can’t sell it for full price…..
Another brand that strayed from its original roots was Becca – their highlighers were the best, but when they started getting into eyeshadows the brand ran into trouble.
Sometimes all a brand has to do is stick to their core products and do them very well.
It does seem like there was a leadership change at the brand and someone was on a mission to expand, alter, reformulate without the necessary time to develop their formulas.
I do own one Bite Beauty lipstick – Maple and whilst it is good, its not great – maybe I got the newer formula, I don’t know and there is no way to tell from looking at the lipstick tube.
Let’s hope that the brand can get its act together in the future.

Nicole Lineberry-Childs Avatar

Bite is by far the most disappointing for me on cosmetics. A few years ago Amuse Bouche was my all time favorite lipsticks (I loved the luminous creme formula before that but think Amuse Bouche was an improvement). The color range was to die for. I wore Kimchi over the weekend and Gazpacho is still my favorite red. I still have several of my favorites from the Amuse Bouche line, liquid lipsticks and the coordinating lip liners. You’re right; they focused on one area and nailed it. I just don’t understand why they moved away from everything that made the brand what it is (was). I haven’t bought any Bite products since they discontinued Amuse Bouche.

Tara Avatar

I was disappointed in the changes as well. I loved their niche lip brand. They marked it as gluten free which i need for lips and i owned tons of colors of lipsticks and pencils. I was really disappointed at the relaunch and the fact they are not fully gf any longer. Im not particular about vegan products. I suppose i was unaware that so many people bought only vegan products that they felt they needed to revamp to be vegan. I miss the old line. I tried a discounted new lipstick during the Sephora sale and while i like the color i got, the formula seems to b both drying and not long wearing at the same time? Overall such a shame!!

Moxie Avatar

Their agave lip tint pots are awful. They smell bad, oily and greasy and almost like a lip product that split (but it hasn’t), the color is patchy, they dry your lips out but at the same time seem incredibly oily which is quite a feat, they taste awful on the lips because you can taste the scent when you eat or drink or speak or breathe through your mouth, just awful. Awful awful awful.

Helene Avatar

I can’t say much about Bite Beauty as they didn’t ship to Europe back when I desperately wanted to buy loads of lipsticks from them. Most of all I wanted Kale, I still have it on my WL as I just love the perfect deep green so much. I generally look awful with green lips, but I think Kale would have been the one green I could have used.
Jump forward to their reformulated stuff, now they ship to Europe and I have zero interest in buying anything they offer as there are so may brands that make much better products.
Sad, really.

Valerie Avatar

If I had known they were reformulating the lip balm, I would have stocked up. I have a tiny bit let in the original stick form and I’m hoarding it like a dragon.

LG Avatar

I absolutely LOVED their original lip products…I haven’t even been tempted by any of their newer product releases….NONE. Not gonna lie…kinda bitter that they discontinued my favorite lipsticks.

Z Avatar

Dear Companies,
STOP GOING VEGAN. JUST GO CRUELTY-FREE!, STOP GREEN-WASHING, AND DEAR LORD STOP WITH THE WEIRD, GIMMICKY PACKAGING!
I’m also a lover of Old Bite Beauty. I have 2(!!) of the original agave lip masks in maple (as mofo-ing heavenly as it sounds) unopened in a dark drawer. For anyone else who has such good luck with lanolin, you can buy a jar of golden lanolin (no processing and it’s a little sheepy. I personally love it, but you can also find refined lanolin that is clear) from new zealand on amazon (ugh, I know, but I’m on the spot and I haven’t looked for another way to buy yet) for about $10. It’s 2 ounces and in winter you’ll think it was sent straight from heaven.
I wanted to try a new product from them; but as it turns out they loaded their “clean” complexion products with silicones and their sponsored content from youtubers really rubbed me the wrong way (everyone gushed when they came out and then never mentioned anything ever again). And their “reformulated” lipsticks sounded horrible. I really would have purchased one if your rating was C or up – that generous – but the shades they released were so *pink.* They didn’t have a real caramel nude despite having so many unusual nudes before. I *did* try one of those crappy little cheap lip balm tins from a holiday sale…it was pure garbage.
I liked a handful of colors and Kale was/is (cuz I still use it) a holy grail “flattering ass green” color. I have a few other interesting colors for lipsticks, but none quite that perfectly seeweed evergreen.

Alison Avatar

I still have some of the original Amuse Bouches and miss the Agave Lip Balm. The days when a BB mini lippie was a routine Sephora giveaway are long gone. For me their last hurrah was the Zodiac release– not every one of the signs was fabulous — but I thought their Scorpio bright orange was one of their best ever. But as someone who has never worn foundation, I can’t grasp how any business person building a market for their products, would discontinue a popular offering and replace with a totally different type of product. That’s like telling your consumers, “We don’t want you, we want a different consumer.” I basically turned away from the brand and never looked back.

Lys Avatar

I was so disappointed by the rebranding. The Amuse Bouche lipsticks were my favorite lip formula, bar none. I have extremely sensitive skin (have to use special shampoo and soaps etc), and many lipsticks straight up make my lips start peeling within an hour. I can’t use matte lipsticks, they ALL flake on me.

Not only did Amuse Bouche lipsticks last forever on me and not make my lips start peeling, they had an AMAZING range of colors. I loved having green and blue lipsticks that actually WORKED – something I haven’t been able to find again from another lipstick.

Eraser Avatar

I went to the Las Vegas Lip Lab recently and loved it – of course you can choose your formula and I got one in sheer and the other in cream/satin. It reminded me of how great their lipstick was when they started. They made one of my all time favorite shades from any line. In my humble opinion, they could have diversified while keeping what established the brand in the first place and I for one would rejoice if they went back to their lipstick roots.

Quinn Avatar

You are spot on! Bite makes me so sad now since they are a shadow of their former selves.

I know I spent hundreds of dollars on bite between December 2016 and the end of 2019. I loved the holiday sets, the limited edition holiday lipsticks,and I bought myself a beautiful mother’s day set one year.

I loved all the sheers colors and flavors of the lanolin lip mask, maple is forever my favorite after the OG and candy cane and lavender were great too. I stocked up on lip maskes when they discontinued them.

I was super excited when we finally got a local lip lab at the Mall of America last September. I booked a week day and mid-day appointment since I work at night.

I was really disappointed in the experience. I had watched and read several reviews and my store didn’t live up to the hype. First, of all they were missing many flavors and the engraving machine was broken. Picking your personal flavor name and engraving is half the experience! I understand the mall gets tourists but if it was communicated in the confirmation emails and texts before I arrived. I would have rescheduled to a later time.

I was kind of shooed out of my appointment so my color mixer could help another employee with a group of 5 women. It was an extremely disappointing experience for the money.

I will say I picked up a couple lip crayons in Glace that are okay since I loved and finished my Deluxe Glace crayon Sephora gave out as a birthday gift many years ago.

I think Bite is doomed unless they make major changes and basically admit their mistakes and bring back the lanolin.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!