The Lip Bar Just Launched a Skincare Line—And We Tried It

TLB Skincare

TLB Skincare

When Melissa Butler started making lipsticks in her kitchen in 2012, she never imagined she'd one day be running a multi-million dollar beauty brand. However, her brand, The Lip Bar (also known as TLB), has reached countless milestones—like securing over six million in funding, landing partnerships with Target and Walmart, and securing creative collaborations with people like Michelle Obama.

Having dominated the makeup space, Butler is now setting her sights on skincare. Enter: TLB Skincare. "Any product we launch really comes from our customers," Butler tells me. "Every time I go into our downtown Detroit store, I ask people, "What do you love?' or 'What do you think we're missing?' Over the past several years, some people would outright ask, 'When are you creating skincare?' So having those conversations is what led us to launch skincare." 

The Products

Melissa Butler

TLB Skincare

Butler's face lights up with enthusiasm as she walks me through the products. She strived to make her skincare line an extension of her makeup line—meaning she wanted the products to be equally simple, accessible (everything is under $20), and made with nourishing ingredients. The initial line consists of the Total Meltdown Makeup Remover Balm, Clean Up Gel Facial Cleanser, Dew Me Moisturizer, and Snap Back Toner Serum Drops. All the products are formulated with hyaluronic acid for moisture, rosehip oil for radiance-boosting, and mushroom extract for nourishment.

"You can't have great makeup without thinking about your skin first," Butler explains. "I hate when I get my makeup done, and they don't prep my skin because I know it won't last or be smooth. So when we launched this, we created it with the idea of [your prep and post-makeup routine]."

Butler intentionally launched a small assortment of products because she believes in uncomplicated beauty routines. "At The Lip Bar, we didn't want makeup or skincare to be complicated," she says. "10-step routines are fun, but [most of us don't have time] do that daily. So we wanted to create products you didn't have to think too much about."

The Launch

As a 10-year veteran in the beauty industry, Butler is no stranger to the highs and lows that come with being a business owner. Over the last year and a half, many cosmetic businesses struggled with pandemic-induced challenges like inflation, scarce ingredients, and shipping delays. All of these factors made Butler's skincare debut more difficult than expected. For example, the Snap Back Toner Serum Drops were delayed due to limited access to ingredients. "It took us a long time to develop this line—we've been working on it for two years," she says. "There are so many nuances. You have to pick ingredients that work for all skin types, packaging, and artwork."

Butler says she's appreciative of the journey she's been on while launching her skincare line despite the ups and downs. "I've gotten really comfortable with the idea that if something goes wrong, it's part of the journey," she explains. "Sometimes, things being delayed is a blessing because maybe you want to change it. Maybe you've gotten new insight, focus group results, or survey results. It's important to be comfortable with pivoting and know nothing is perfect. I don't even want perfection. I want opportunities to grow."

The Future

Now that TLB Skincare is here, Butler is most excited about being able to serve her community further. "We're hoping we can grow in this category so we can get more affordable pricing from our suppliers," she shares. "We wanted to take a bet on ourselves and continue to show up for what we believe in—high-quality, non-toxic, and vegan products should be available to everybody."

Our Review

Olivia Hancock, editor

Olivia Hancock

Olivia Hancock

"I was able to test the Total Meltdown Remover, Clean Up Gel Facial Cleanser, and Dew Me Moisturizer. I’ve been using the entire suite of products for about two weeks. I’m a big fan of cleansing balms, and I’ve been impressed at how easily the Total Meltdown Remover melts away my makeup (even stubborn mascara). After rinsing it off, my skin feels incredibly moisturized. However, I always like to follow up with another cleanse, so I also use the Clean Up Gel Facial Cleanser. The thick, gel texture feels so soothing, and it helps removes any remaining traces of makeup or dirt (without leaving my skin feeling stripped). To finish things off, I like to apply a few pumps of moisturizer. As someone with super dry (and often dull) skin, I crave a moisturizer that delivers long-lasting hydration and makes me glow. This one does just that. It feels so lightweight but delivers rich moisture and a noticeably dewy finish."

Aimee Simeon, senior editor 

Aimee Simeon

Aimee Simeon

“I wasn’t prepared to love TLB’s skincare as much as I do, but I am hooked. I’ve been using the cleansing balm followed by the gel cleanser to remove makeup and sebum from the day. My skin always feels clean after but not taut or dry. The moisturizer might be my favorite of the trio, though. It’s super hydrating but not greasy and layers beautifully on top of serums and underneath makeup. Plus, it just makes my skin feel super radiant. It’s easily one of my new favorite must-have skincare products.”

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