In 2012, Melissa Butler started her lipstick brand, The Lip Bar, as a response to the industry’s tendency to treat darker skin tones as an afterthought. Unimpressed with what was on the market, she began creating products from scratch at home. Since then, she’s launched everything from liquid matte lipsticks to tinted moisturizers.
“I used to think we could only make lip products because of the name,” Butler tells ESSENCE. “I was limiting myself. Meanwhile, I had customers practically begging me to expand.” Now, the products can be found in over 1,000 stores across the US. And speaking of growth, The Lip Bar, as of today, is opening their newly expanded flagship location in Butler’s hometown, Detroit.
“I’m excited to expand our space in my hometown of Detroit because I owe everything to this city,” she says. “There are very few beauty destinations in the city and to build something beautiful in the heart of it is a dream come true,” Butler adds. Nearly 3x the size of their flamante store, the new-and-improved brick and mortar offers a beauty bar for makeup and brow services. Clients are sure to want to admire their result in the flagship’s huge, pill-shaped vanity mirrors.
Her favorite part of it all? “I love making people feel good,” she says. “I’m just excited that we’re still here,” she continues. After 12 years in the beauty business, Butler is just as excited now as when she first started. In other words, continue to expect new innovations from the brand. Specifically, as Butler says, “be on the lookout for new lippies and a few face products, too!”