Whilst I'm no hardcore size queen, my first impression of these Bite mini lipsticks is probably best summarised by the eternal ideogram 0_0
Yep, they are pretty darn small, even if at 1.55g or .05 ounces their combined mass is not too far off your average high-end lipstick because those little bastards are getting weenier every time I look at them (the Nars Pure Matte sticks are .07 ounces or 2g, for instance). But a regular Bite High Pigment Pencil is a whopping 2.5g and I've come to associate the brand with generous servings; probably fortunate given their rather painful price-point. Anyways, expectation is a personal thing and I got over mine.
This conjoined set consists of two shades: Poppy, which is a very bright true-ish neutral red, and Scarlet, which is a dark, old-school raspberry-leaning wine.
If neither of those sound very original, it pays to remember that these divine Bite formulas can resuscitate the most played-out shade. Personally, I've had enough bright retro red and vampy darkness on my face to last a damn lifetime, yet I can still find room in my nasty black heart for Poppy and Scarlet. That's the magic of decent ingredients and quality dyes; old, old colours can become revelatory.
Shade-wise, Poppy is bright and clean with a finish toward the glossier end of satin, and that dries down a little. It's a happy, girly red, a nice mood-lifter and the sort of shade that can bring an entire look together. Texturally it's really buildable, to an almost total opacity that settles back down to around 80% after an hour or so of wear. I find these little sticks apply quite neatly from the tube.
Scarlet (below right) looks so thick and brown in the tube but again that lovely Bite formula elevates that stodginess, conferring a really delicious gothy, raisiny shiraz-stain-type vampishness.
warm direct sunlight
Some peeps have complained about Scarlet's lack of pigmentation and tendency to bleed but if you're looking for matte-type performance, buy a damn matte. I'm not going to slap a bitch for doing what it says on the box and that is- Loomeenouss Creeeeme. Luminous Créme means shine and translucency. Shine generally = slippage. Scarlet will migrate if you slurp your hot drink hard; generally I'm not finding it difficult or notably patchy for something this shiny and dark. The condition of your lips is probably the crucial factor.
Scarlet reminds me of a number of classic wine shades but the closest dupe in my collection is UD Shame; there's 10% between them with Shame pulling more purple. The effect is pretty similar. Think I prefer Scarlet, though. It has a classier finish, none of the dirty-looking pigmenty clag and most importantly a more sophisticated colour balance (Bite excels at this) than most in its class.
Poppy, Scarlet, & the two combined
cool outdoor lighting
BELOW RIGHT Poppy, Scarlet and the two shades combined, neutral outdoor light. Very accurate on my monitor.