The Lip Bar: Brand Review and Our Favorite Products

all eyeshadows laid out on top of swatches

The Lip Bar / Unsplash

It’s almost been 10 years since The Lip Bar burst onto the vegan beauty scene, and it’s safe to say that openly challenging beauty norms and embracing the need for individuality in the beauty industry have made the brand what it is today. From liquid matte lipsticks to multipurpose tinted skin conditioners to caffeine-infused concealers, The Lip Bar is out to prove that beauty doesn’t have to be one-dimensional. Since its launch, the brand is now available in over 1,000 stores nationwide.

The Lip Bar

Founded: By Melissa Butler in 2012 

Location: New York

Pricing: $

Best known for: Bawse Lady, a liquid matte lipstick that goes on like gloss, dries matte, and stays on all day

Hero product: 4-in-1 Minute Finish Face Palette, a face powder, blush, highlighter, and contour powder that are all curated by complexion, making it super easy to achieve a full makeup look in seconds

Fun fact: Bawse Lady is First Lady–approved! Michelle Obama wore the best-selling lipstick last year. 

Other brands you’ll love: Uoma Beauty, Mented Cosmetics, Beauty Bakerie

Since its launch in 2012, The Lip Bar 's mission is to change the way we think about beauty. The brand believes that as a society we are constantly being told how to be beautiful, which doesn’t leave much room for self-acceptance. The Lip Bar prides itself on embracing inclusive ideals and creating makeup that is easy to use. ‘’We want to remind people every day that you don’t have to change to fit a mold. Makeup should enhance what is already there. It should be fun and easy to use,’’ founder Melissa Butler told Byrdie.

Although the lack of diversity in the beauty industry has been a much-talked-about topic over the past year and a half, Butler noticed that there was a gap in the market for an inclusive brand back in 2012. ‘’I was frustrated by the linear narrative and lack of diversity in the industry, so I started the brand from the kitchen of my Brooklyn apartment," she says. Butler also noticed that a lot of beauty products in the market contained excessive amounts of unnecessary chemicals. The brand launched at a time when many people were unaware of how their beauty products were possibly compromising their health, so this refreshing and more knowledgeable approach to beauty has gained them a multitude of fans.

According to the brand, makeup should be personal and standard-free and this ethos is reflected on the company's website, where customers find a Complexion Quiz (to help you with your search for the perfect foundation and concealer) and a Virtual Try On Tool (which gives customers the opportunity to try products before they buy them). ‘’Even though I’m in the beauty industry, makeup felt complex and super intimidating to me, so all of our products have been created with the intention of making life easier," says Butler. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that the average Lip Bar customer desires a glam look in half the time it takes to create one. 

If you yearn for makeup that is 100% natural with a wide variety of skin-enhancing ingredients, here are some of The Lip Bar products we believe are worth every penny.

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Bawse Lady

Bawse Lady by The Lip Bar
The Lip Bar Bawse Lady $13.00

This award-winning lipstick dries matte and lasts all day without drying your lips out. Described by the brand as "the best red you’ll ever meet," it has a blue base that was made for longevity and complements all skin tones. I love a bold lipstick because it makes my makeup stand out. Bawse Lady is super pigmented, and a bonus is that a little bit goes a long way so it doesn’t need to be piled on for effect. Also, if you need another reason to give this lippie a try, it is First Lady–approved. Michelle Obama rocked this best-selling shade in partnership with When We All vote.

In order to get the best out of Bawse Lady, make sure your lips have a smooth surface. Then apply some lip balm and blot off any excess oils and apply the lipstick carefully by tracing the lines of your outer lips first before you fill the rest in.

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Just a Tint 3-In-1 Tinted Skin Conditioner

All shades of Just A Tint Skin Tint laid on top of swatches
The Lip Bar Just a Tint 3-In-1 Tinted Skin Conditioner $17.00

This multiuse, multipurpose skin conditioner hydrates and moisturizes the skin, promoting a flawless complexion. According to the brand, "It’s so easy to wear, you’ll barely know it’s there ,and I agree. My skin had a subtle glow, which made it look so healthy. I can assure you that whatever concerns you may have about tinted skin products will disappear when you have Just a Tint on. It isn’t heavy, it doesn’t dry your skin out, and it provides full coverage. What’s not to love? 

Tinted skin products are perfect for makeup lovers who don’t want to wear too much foundation on warm, sunny days, and the brand has taken this into consideration as it contains SPF 11 to protect your skin from sunburn. 

To apply, squeeze the conditioner onto your fingertips, dot the product onto your face, and then blend it out using your fingers. When you blend the product out, focus on one section at a time. That way, you’ll be able to determine if there are particular areas on your face that may need more coverage.

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Caffeine Concealer

concealers laid out on top of swatches
The Lip Bar Caffeine Concealer $15.00

This easy-to-use, caffeine-infused concealer instantly combats puffiness, conceals dark circles, and brightens the eyes. If you are looking for a concealer that doesn’t settle into wrinkles and fine lines, then you may have met your match. It’s super easy to apply and it left my eye area looking so smooth. Whenever I look for a new concealer, brighter eyes and younger-looking skin are the only things I desire, and the Caffeine Concealer did not disappoint. What I love about The Lip Bar’s products (or TLB as they are called by their customers) is that they take the stress out of finding your shade. They’ve created six shade families that were formulated with all undertones in mind, so you’ll be able to find a shade that’s perfect for you.

If you need another reason to give this concealer a try, it’s also infused with a number of oils such as flaxseed, avocado, olive and argan, so you are taking care of your skin and elevating your makeup routine at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.

For best results, dab the applicator wand into the concealer bottle, then tap the applicator wand onto your face to add a few dots of concealer, then blend it out with your finger or a concealer brush.

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Fresh Glow

Powder by The Lip Bar
The Lip Bar Fresh Glow $22.00

Featuring a luminous bronzer and a beautiful highlighting blush, this 2-in-1 product has given us the glow we’ve always wanted. The Lip Bar is all about skin-enhancing ingredients, and its face products are no exception. Fresh Glow is formulated with green tea extract and grapeseed oil, and like the other complexion products from the brand, it has been created with convenience in mind. What I also love about this duo is that each stacked compact comes with a mirror, so I have total control over the type of glow I’m after by keeping it minimal during the day and making more of a statement at night. 

To discover your best glow, sweep the bronzer all over your face for added warmth or along the hollow of your cheeks for a more contoured look. Use the second layer to highlight the apples of your cheeks and your cheekbones. You’ve also got the option of blending both colors together to get your desired look.

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Straight Line Eyeliner

The Lip Bar Straight Line Eyeliner $10.00

If applying eyeliner and getting it right the first time is a struggle for you, then the Straight Line Eyeliner may be just what you need for a fuss-free application. With a creamy formula that’s infused with aloe vera and jojoba oil, the eyeliner promotes perfectly defined eyes with ease.

It’s so easy to apply, and it holds well, too, so I don’t need to worry about the possibility of it smearing. To apply, glide the pencil along your lower lash line from the inner to outer corners. For a more youthful effect, apply it to your upper lash line.

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