When Melissa Butler presented The Lip Bar on ABC’s Shark Tank four years ago, she was told in so many words that her business was unoriginal and unlikely to succeed. “You only have so many minutes on Earth, don’t waste them trying to sell lipstick,” said one of the panelists. To say Butler proved her detractors wrong would be an understatement. Today, the line of custom vegan lipsticks can be found in hundreds of Target stores across the country. Beyond that, The Lip Bar was undoubtedly one of the first brands in recent memory to value inclusion from its inception. And now, its first-ever complexion product, The Lip Bar Fresh Glow, continues that much-needed tradition.
The two-fer ($20) is a gorgeous, layered compact with bronzer on top, blush on the bottom and a small, flat brush for application. According to Butler, developing all five shade duos of Fresh Glow was a 15-month process, from ideating the incredibly intricate packaging to deciding what would go in it. When it comes to product development, her strategy is simple: to bring innovation to the market.
“It’s been such a long time coming. The packaging alone took 1 year from ideation to shipment because we’re tooling our own molds,” said Butler in an exclusive statement to StyleCaster. “I created this design because I wanted to drive convenience. I mean we’re all strapped for time. We all want our products to work for our lifestyle, so I created something that would do just that. And simultaneously, while the component was being developed, me and my team were working on what would actually go into it.”
In an effort to go beyond launching something that’s already in existence with pretty packaging, Butler ultimately landed on bronzer because unlike the influx of expansive foundation ranges, it’s a product that remains very difficult to find for deeper complexions. And as a Black-owned brand known for its custom shades, it was important for Butler to tackle the issue head-on.
“That was the first driving factor–diversifying the shade range for bronzer. Then we added a second layer to the compact–a highlighting blush. In summer, we all want to glow,” she said. “We want fresh, healthy-looking skin; like the sun kissed us in all the right places.” Butler, a self-professed old school beauty, also prefers compacts to palettes since they’re more travel-friendly and convenient to use; hence the stackable packaging that would steal the spotlight in any #shelfie.
The formula itself is a powder but has the silky-smooth consistency of a cream, making application with or without the brush foolproof. Though both the bronzer and blush have shimmery pigments, the former definitely looks more matte when applied to the skin and in the case of both, a little goes a very long way.
As someone who rarely wears a lot of makeup, what I find most gratifying about Fresh Glow is that it gives me that effortless aura whether I’m wearing foundation or not. And knowing that I have two different products in one compact actually makes me want to wear makeup more because I know it won’t require too much of my time. In this case, I applied the bronzer all over the face and the blush to my cheekbones for a barely-there, healthy-looking shimmer (I’m wearing “Girl’s Night,” by the way). #NoFilter required to see the results:
However, if you’re nothing like me and live for a full beat, Butler recommends pairing Fresh Glow with her go-to lipstick shade, Boy Trouble ($13). “It’s a fiery orange that is bright and pretty descriptive of my personality. It’s one of our liquid matte formulas which is our best-selling lip category because it goes on like a gloss, dries down matte and lasts all day without drying your lips out,” she says. “You can’t tell me a thing when I have it on.” (Pro-tip: you can also use a darker shade of the bronzer for contouring the cheekbones.)
The Lip Bar Fresh Glow is $20 and launches this afternoon on the brand’s website. Here’s a closer look at each of the five versatile shade combos: