Founder Melissa Butler started the company in 2012 in her kitchen following a career as a Wall Street financial analyst. Frustrated by the lack of diversity in the beauty marketing space, Butler was inspired to create a brand that catered to more black women like her. “Everyone deserves to have representation. Without it, we are left seeking validation,” Butler said on her website.
She also was frustrated by the lack of cruelty- and chemical-free products, which is why she committed The Lip Bar to such high-quality standards. Butler ensures all products are vegan and free from harsh, unnecessary chemicals. Furthermore, she believes in accessibility. “Responsibly made cosmetics shouldn’t be for the privileged, so each of our products are affordable,” Butler stated on the company’s website.
To gain recognition and financial support, Butler pitched her idea on ABC’s Shark Tank, the popular reality television show where new entrepreneurs showcase their products to wealthy, and often cut-throat investors. The investors passed on her idea, but Butler did not let that deter her. According to Allure, The Lip Bar is now worth nearly half a million dollars.
The Lip Bar line extension into Target includes an array of lipsticks, lip mattes, and lip glosses in a wide variety of colors. To commemorate the expansion, two new shades will be exclusive to Target: Unimpressed, a liquid matte lip color, and Baddie, a lip glosss.
The Lip Bar is one of several emerging companies that offer cruelty-free makeup for a diverse range of women. Beauty Bakerie, Blac Minerals Cosmetics, APDG, and Plain Jane Beauty all provide ethical, vegan, and natural products for women of all ages, race, size, and ethnicity. In addition to sustainable and vegan products, there is a consumer demand for companies who champion inclusivity and diversity. As Allure stated, “Shades catering to lighter skin tones just don’t cut it in 2018.”
Image Credit: The Lip Bar