Who : Melissa Butler, Founder & CEO of The Lip Bar
Where : A sunny fall afternoon, The Red Hook, Detroit, MI
What : Two women drink golden milk
Deirdre’s Notes : Melissa is well known for an arguably unsuccessful appearance on Shark Tank that propelled her into the spotlight where she rejected traditional business paradigms and secured her place as the Queen of Lipstick. This woman basically cold called Target and now her product is in 450 Target stores. Kiss the damn ring.
Business & Wellness
D: It’s exciting to see you in the space that you’re in right now. Seems like there’s a lot of front facing success, on the back end too. But it sounds like you’re still really figuring it out and you’re so transparent about that - which is really rare. I don’t see that a lot. I can’t tell if I see you in that light because I know you or …
M : A lot of people tell me that I’m transparent. Which I didn’t even consider. It was just like, what else am I going to do ? This is me.
D : I think it’s rare. A woman who’s successful who’s like “here’s my success” but also here’s the real story of what’s actually going on. It’s exciting to me to see someone’s true heart behind what is often just a facade or a brand.
M : Thank you. I just did a Ted Talk on Wednesday. Everyone thought I was just going to tell my story. And I was like, No. You can google my story. I feel like if I’m going to get a platform - I don’t want to just talk about me. I want to talk about something else so I talked about beauty and culture and the conditioning we have to work through as a society. I try not to do the easy thing. That’s always my goal.
D : I get stressed out really easily. Tell me how you deal with stress? And like, divide your two selves : business and personal?
M : It’s funny because I don’t stress out about stuff anymore. The company is 6 ½ years old and everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. I understand that nothing is ever going to be perfect - I’m just in solution mode. So that happened yesterday but today is today and now I have to focus on tomorrow. My goal is to always get better. There are still things that will shift my mood but I know how to get back to that centered place.
D : What do you do to get there ?
M : Sometimes I need to explode. Like sometimes I need to curse everybody out.
(She giggles but she’s for real)
M : Or sometimes it’s a matter of working out. Sometimes it’s a matter of letting people know what they could have done better. Sometimes it’s talking to my mentor. You just need someone to tell you it’s going to be ok sometimes. Like, hold my hand and tell me I’m going to make it past this point. And after that happens so many times - you start to realize “ok I’m going to make it through”. That’s not to say that you should take things lightly - you should run as fast as you can towards that solution but once you become solution oriented, you don’t focus on the problem anymore you focus on the solution. I also like to get massages.
D : What else do you do for overall wellness?
M : I gave up wine two weeks ago. My body has been telling me a lot of things lately. Like sugar is the devil. So I’ve been listening to my body more. I’m always looking at my skin or looking at my poop to determine my health.
D : Looking at your poop?
M : Yeah, you’re supposed to look at your poop. And a lot of people don’t.
D : Oh my god. Am I going to have to start doing that too?
M : Yeah you should.
(Melissa is breezy and comfortable. Deirdre is squeamish)
D : I want to ask you what I should be looking for but I’m just going to google it.
Skin & Beauty
D : What are your skin secrets?
M : I think good skin is about exfoliating. I exfoliate a ton. I try to do a mask day once a week. Sometimes it happens once a month. But when I do a mask day - I’m really into mask day.
The one product that I am married to is the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate. And I’ve tried everything from La Mer to Trader Joe’s.
I try to sweat. Going to the gym is important. I sit in the sauna. Or go to the steam room. Oh my god I love a steam room.
Washing your pillow cases. I have satin pillow cases. Sleeping on just a cotton pillowcase will completely dry your hair out.
I’m a tea drinker. I drink tea every day. My first cup is with apple cider vinegar. Every single day. My favorite tea is Pu-Erh Chai from Socra Tea. It’s just a fermented tea. It’s so good for you.
D : Do you have a go to skin routine ?
M : I love Sunday Riley Good Genes. It’s lactic acid. I wash my face with Trader Joe’s cleanser. Then I’ll use one of the toners I bought in Korea earlier this year or La Mer’s Micellar Water to get all of the excess. I’m always amazed at how much more dirt comes off when I double cleanse my face. Then I use a Trader Joe’s moisturizer that I mix with a few drops of oil . Literally any oil.
D : I’m really in your personal space and you smell really good. What do you wear?
M : Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille. I wanted it for four years before I bought it. Now I wear it every day. I mix it with an oil I got from Morrocco. It’s an argan oil mixed with musk and vanilla.
D : I need to get on your level.