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The Lip Bar Branches Into Skin Care

The brand’s founder, Melissa Butler, said the range was years in the works.

One year after launching its second brand, The Lip Bar is also exploring a new category.

The brand, founded by chief executive officer Melissa Butler in 2012, has jumped into skin care with four products — a cleansing balm, a cream cleanser, a toner-serum duo and a moisturizer. The range will debut on the brand’s website, as well as in Target, on Feb. 10. Prices range from $16 to $18.

Butler said the launch was a response to shopper demand. “Every product launch is typically because our consumers are asking for it,” she said. “This one, we launched because they wanted it.”

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The products are centered around prepping skin for makeup, The Lip Bar’s key category, and will be merchandised in-store with the brand’s makeup products as opposed to the skin care aisle. “We decided to go the makeup-adjacent route because we want to make sure people get the most out of our core products,” Butler said.

Butler has been adding skin care benefits to new makeup launches, such as the brand’s 2019 foundation launch, which features hyaluronic acid. “We want to crawl before we run, and that’s why we were intentional about positioning this as makeup-adjacent,” Butler said. “This is an easier conversation to have because we’ve been driving that conversation, and driving that story.”

The skin care launches also include hyaluronic acid, plus mushroom and fruit extracts for added benefits. The aim of the line is to be as soothing and makeup-friendly as possible.

“We didn’t want to come out with clinical skin care, that didn’t make sense for us. People know us for makeup,” Butler said. “We’re all about easy beauty, it’s why we went for something so simple. We have some hydrating ingredients, but we wanted to create a very simple system so anyone could adapt it.”

Skin care typically has higher retention rates with shoppers than makeup, and that brand loyalty is what Butler is betting on. She didn’t quantify sales, but sources estimate skin care could comprise a quarter of The Lip Bar’s business is the next three years. Last year, the company’s revenues were expected to double.

“We have a good amount of trust with our consumers, and we plan on continuing to drive that education,” Butler said.

The mass market has a sunny outlook for the remainder of the year. Makeup is still riding high post-pandemic, and skin care has become a greater strategic priority for both retailers and manufacturers. The Lip Bar is also still in expansion mode. Last year, it became a multibrand company with the 24-shade Target launch of Thread Beauty, and also closed a $6.7 million series A funding round led by Pendulum and Fearless Fund.