Melissa Butler and Rosco Spears are pitching Lip Bar to the Shark Tank. They say their products are proof that beauty and health aren’t mutually exclusive. Instead, they combine hot, popping colors with natural ingredients that soften and moisturize.

Key Takeaways: Lip Bar on Shark Tank

  • Innovative Approach to Beauty: The Lip Bar founders, Melissa Butler and Rosco Spears, presented a unique concept merging vibrant lipstick colors with natural, moisturizing ingredients.
  • Product Differentiation: Offering an extensive color palette, including unconventional shades like blues and greens, made with organic shea butter, castor, and avocado oils.
  • Customer Engagement: An app that allows customers to design their own lipstick shade and the concept of a mobile shop, the Lip Bar Mobile, for direct interaction.
  • Shark Tank Pitch: Sought a $125k investment for a 20% stake, with a business valuation of $625k, based on $107k sales over two years.
  • Challenges Faced: Skepticism from the Sharks regarding market demand for unique colors, online cosmetic shopping challenges, branding concerns, and competition from established brands.

Company Overview: The Lip Bar

  • Founders: Melissa Butler and Rosco Spears.
  • Mission: To challenge conventional beauty standards by offering vibrant, health-conscious lipstick options.
  • Product Range: Bold and unconventional lipstick colors, including blues, greens, alongside traditional shades, all made with natural ingredients like organic shea butter, castor, and avocado oils.
  • Innovation:
    • Custom shade creation app for personalized lipstick colors.
    • Concept of the Lip Bar Mobile, a mobile shop designed to offer an immersive customer experience.
  • Shark Tank Pitch: Requested $125k investment for a 20% equity stake, valuing the company at $625k.
  • Financials: Generated $107k in sales over two years, with products handmade by Melissa at a cost of $3 per unit, retailing for $20.
  • Shark Tank Outcome: Received no investment; concerns were raised about market demand, online color matching, branding, and competition from larger cosmetic companies.

How Lip Bar Impressed the Sharks, Yet Got No Investments

Melissa says Lip Bar arose from her frustration: why does lipstick come in such a limited color palette, and why so many chemicals? She wanted something bold, and natural.

The product is available in colors ranging from traditional pinks, reds, and nudes to bright blues and greens, and every shade is made with organic fair trade shea butter, and organic castor and avocado oils.

They also have an app that allows a customer to design her own shade, and are in the process of creating what they call the Lip Bar Mobile — a mobile shop with a ‘bar’ and mirror, where customers can see the shades and buy in person. (This notion caused Mark Cuban to do a literal face-palm, Kevin O’Leary to shake his head and groan, and Robert Herjavec to laugh and say, “This is such a bad idea.”)

If the sharks invest in The Lip Bar,

They’re asking for a $125k investment, and offering a 20% stake in the company.

The Lip Bar team has made $107k in two years. Melissa is making the product at home, by hand, at a cost of $3 per unit, and selling it for $20 per unit.

Kevin O’Leary was the first to voice a concern. The makeup industry is huge, a multi-billion dollar industry. If blues, greens, and purples would sell more lipsticks, wouldn’t the big companies already have them on the shelves?

Lori Greiner had another concern. This centered on buying cosmetics online. A color that looked right on-screen might not be the same in person.

Robert chimed in next, bothered by the branding. “I’m not sure I’d want my daughter picking up lipstick with a martini glass and very sexual lips on it.” With that, he was the first Shark to bow out on Lip Bar.

Maintaining that there is no market for the product and that if there was, the big companies would “crush [Lip Bar] for the colorful cockroaches you are,” Kevin turned the investment opportunity down next.

Melissa addressed Daymond John directly, but he replied, “You are never going to create anything new in this world. You know, it’s lipstick. I’m out.”

Mark Cuban called the cocktail theming an antithesis to the brand’s confidence-based market, and he, too, was out.

Lori Greiner, citing the amount of competition in the cosmetics market, also declined to invest.

Lip Bar’s creators left the Shark Tank with no investment.

Photo: Lip Bar