case study


Leading beauty company, The Lip Bar Inc., raises $6.7 million to expand its house of brands, becomes largest Black-owned beauty brand in Target


Award-winning beauty company The Lip Bar Inc. houses two innovative brands; TLB Beauty, the 10-year-old innovative, clean beauty brand, and thread beauty, a newly launched, gender-neutral, Gen Z-focused, BIPOC beauty brand, thread beauty.​ 


First and Last PR was selected by The Lip Bar to serve as its agency of record in September 2022 and immediately began to strategize ways to expand the brand’s voice and position TLB as a beauty industry disruptor and a household name. With the completion of a Series A funding round resulting in an oversubscribed amount of $6.7M, we began to write the press release and focus on media exclusives and story angles. Within less than two weeks, we secured an exclusive Founder interview with Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) to coincide with the public announcement. 

Practice Areas

Beauty & Cosmetics

1000 B
$ 10 M
Monetary Value



Launched in 2012 by Founder and CEO Melissa Butler with just one bold collection of homemade lipsticks, The Lip Bar is a pioneering vegan, cruelty-free, ​non-toxic and intentionally inclusive maximum impact, minimal effort beauty brand. The Lip Bar now offers 26 SKUs of easy-to-apply, solution-oriented products and innovative tools, all individually developed to perfection.  


Founded and led by women of color, The Lip Bar continues to expand its range of products, thoughtfully and intentionally designed for women of color​. Tapping into its customer needs and on the forefront of representation for all, the brand has created a niche for itself with its popular ‘Fast Face’ product bundles. Today, TLB is available nationwide in major retailers including Target and Walmart stores along with their Flagship TLB Store in Detroit. 



Strategically launch the TLB Skincare collection, a new category for the brand.


Reach and ignite TLB’s target consumers via beauty, fashion and lifestyle.


Move the brand away from past television appearances and shift the conversation to what founder Melissa Butler is doing now.


Highlight the brand’s position of championing inclusive beauty as the norm.


Secure consistent Founder Focused stories and interviews showing the brand’s overall point-of-view.




Position TLB as an innovative beauty industry disruptor at the forefront of the big shift to clean ingredients with superior non-toxic formulations, highlighting the brand’s technology as a point of difference.


Develop creative pitch angles, showcasing TLB as the leading inclusive, clean, vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand providing maximum impact, minimal effort products that are easy to use and to express one's personality or mood.​


Further establish TLB’s award-winning reputation as a leader in the industry by submitting TLB for beauty, clean beauty, wellness and lifestyle awards.

Amplify the impact of new product launches through creative pitching and engaging in-person events and exclusive brand features/interviews with top trade publications.


Facilitate relationships between influential Make-Up Artists, Tastemakers and The Lip Bar through organic seeding​.


Pitch Melissa Butler for Founder-focused stories, industry events, and culturally relevant opportunities highlighting her industry accomplishments, including the most recent fundraising, as well as TLB’s dedication to catering to the beauty needs of women of color.



With First and Last PR continually disseminating key brand messaging to top-tier, high-reaching media, beauty experts, and tastemakers, The Lip Bar is positioned at the forefront of catering to consumer needs in the beauty industry.
The Lip Bar is recognized among top beauty press, makeup artists and KOLs as a pioneer in creating easy application, intentionally inclusive, innovative, and solution-based products for a broad range of consumers.
First and Last PR has positioned the brand’s founder, Rachel James, as an entrepreneur to watch and a beauty expert for interviews.
First and Last PR has effectively positioned The Lip Bar Founder and CEO Melissa Butler as a trailblazer in the industry, garnering interviews in many beauty business podcasts including, She Did That Podcast, Naked Beauty Planet Podcast, Beauty of the Nile, and True Beauty Brooklyn Podcast.
Expanded The Lip Bar’s brand awareness through strategic organic product seeding to Makeup Artists and Estheticians
First and Last PR achieved a balance of brand, product and founder placements across top-tier beauty, fashion, lifestyle, trade, business, regional and national news media, with TLB regularly appearing on Yahoo, CNN, People, Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, ELLE, Byrdie, Aol, Bustle, The Real Deal by RetailMeNot, InStyle, StyleCraze, Brides, The Cut, Who What Wear, Oprah Daily, Essence, Women’s Wear Daily, The Everygirl, The Root, International Business Times, Black Enterprise, Ebony, HelloBeautiful, Happi, Beauty Independent and more.
Additionally, Melissa Butler, Founder and CEO, was featured in Yahoo! Life, Forbes, USA TODAY, Inc, Martha Stewart Living, Oprah Daily, Essence, WWD, 21 Ninety, Beauty Independent, Beauty Matter, Forbes, Business Insider, Afrotech and Black Enterprise, raising her profile as a beauty entrepreneur and highlighting the fundraising round and brand growth. Regional wins for Melissa Butler and TLB’s Detroit-based team include WWJ-TV (Detroit, MI), Detroit News, WDIV-TV (Detroit, MI), Detroit Metro Times, Hour Detroit, WDET-FM (Detroit MI), The Michigan Chronicle and Craine’s Detroit Business, and Detroit Business Times.
First and Last PR secured an exclusive brand feature and interview for TLB Founder & CEO, Melissa Butler with top trade publication WWD, announcing the launch of TLB Skincare. To further amplify the new category launch, First and Last PR executed a TLB Skincare Event for Editors, Influencers and Tastemakers to attend and experience the new TLB Skincare collection, in addition to the new and existing cosmetics lines. Over 30 Editors and Influencers with a total audience of 1.2M+ followers attended the TLB Skincare launch event, with the majority trialing both TLB Skincare and TLB cosmetics products and sharing the results on their social media. Additionally, First and Last PR secured and coordinated a social media takeover with Melissa Butler on Byrdie, where she highlighted her wellness routine featuring TLB Skincare to an audience of 576K followers. The social takeover resulted in 600+ additional followers on the TLB Instagram page.
First and Last PR’s strategy resulted in over 9 billion media impressions and a journalist reach of over 1.38M during the first nine months of the contract, with other top-tier press hits in Glamour, Seventeen, POPSUGAR, Allure, Refinery29, The Strategist, NYLON, Elite Daily, E! Online, HuffPost, and The Guardian.