Author’s note: this review is NOT sponsored! I bought this product on my own without any encouragement from the owner or any affiliated business partners. Opinions expressed are my own.
The Lip Bar was founded by Detroit native Melissa Butler, who was inspired by her own wellness journey to create lipstick that was vegan, cruelty-free and on trend with flattering (and sometimes funky) colors. When she went on Shark Tank in 2015 to pitch her business with the hopes of gaining an investment from the sharks, she and her business partner were dismissed as nothing more than “colorful cockroaches” (Sounds out of pocket? Watch the clip if you don’t believe me). Even so, the show gave her brand exposure that took it into the stratosphere. and as of 2018, her company is worth $7 million, complete with a launch in 142 Target stores and a flagship in the Motor City itself.
I’ll bet the sharks wish they would have taken the bait, huh?
Now, I am always on the hunt for ways to streamline my makeup routine without sacrificing quality. I am also all for supporting independent brands, especially when they are owned by kick-ass Black women that I admire. With this in mind, I was eager to get my hands on The Lip Bar’s Fast Face Kit, a system designed to “create a great look that lasts all day” in seven minutes. For $99, the kit includes a foundation, face quad, dual-sided brow pencil & brow gel, eyeliner, mascara, and liquid lip color-the basic elements needed to create a polished look appropriate for just about any occasion. It also comes with a nifty, purse-friendly makeup bag for carrying your beat through the streets.
After matching your foundation to one of their 26 shade offerings using their matching tool, the site takes you to the kit curated for your skin tone. In my case, I was sorted into the “Boss Moves Fast Face,” which is said to be ideal for one with a caramel complexion across all undertones. The kit did come with a few options for customization: the foundation shade, the lip color, and the brow pencil/brow gel duo. I went with the Skin Serum Foundation shade recommended for me (Shade 3:02), the 2N1 Brow Gel in the dark brown shade “Arch Nemesis,” and the Liquid Lipstick in “Bawse Lady,” a beautiful shade of brick red that I can take from day to night. The other elements of the kit-namely, the 4N1 Face Palette, Lash Flash Strengthening Mascara, and Straight Line Eye Liner in a shade of black named Straight Out of Patience -are pre-selected for you by The Lip Bar.
My Fast Face Kit arrived in an adorable mailer with the message “We can’t WAIT to see you in this, BABE!” printed across the front. I didn’t even open it yet and I already felt special. Everything arrived without a single scratch, totally pristine and ready to use.
I also received an unexpected gift: a dual-ended face brush! The bristles are so soft with an easy-to-grip handle that lends itself to maximum control. I can already tell that this will come in handy when I apply my Fast Face 4N1 Palette. What’s more, everything fit inside the handy travel bag, brush included. Score!
Now, let’s review each element of The Fast Face Kit, step by step:
- Foundation: The Skin Serum Foundation comes with a built-in brush attached for a no-nonsense application. The medium-to-full coverage formula boasts hyaluronic acid and Irish moss extract among its ingredients intended to keep the skin hydrated, dewy, and fresh. After going through my own simple morning routine (which I will share with you in a later post), with a couple of clicks from the bottom of the foundation brush I was ready to begin. The formula applied smoothly, but the brush was a bit dense for my tastes; I ended up using my own flat top kabuki brush to buff it out even more. With that being said, the coverage stayed true to its claim and my skin stayed hydrated throughout the day. I still used a bit of my beloved Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer in Flax for my under eye darkness, but in hindsight I could have gone without and still look pretty seamless. I was also initially shocked with the undertone of the foundation being so different from what I normally use, but as the foundation sat on my skin, it evened out beautifully.
- Face: My 4N1 face palette came with a golden highlighter named “Now Hiring,” a terra cotta blush named “Grinding,” a chocolate contour powder named “Making Bets,” and a flesh toned setting powder named “Cashing Checks” that complimented my chosen skin tone. Naturally, this is where the dual-ended brush proved the most handy. Like I had hoped, I was able to apply all elements of the 4N1 with ease. I love how the blush warmed up my face and the golden highlight powder gave me a perfectly sun-kissed glow. I applied the setting powder with a fluffy brush of my own and it knocked out the little bit of shine I had on my forehead without looking ashy. I’ll definitely be incorporating this palette into my everyday, even if I’m not using the kit.
- Brows: I don’t typically use a brow pencil or brow mascara on myself (I prefer applying powder with an angle brush), but I do love how easy these are to use on my customers. As for the 2N1 Brow Gel, the pencil tip is a retractable type with a triangular shape, which I have used on clients to create a full look with little effort. The application was pretty straightforward: I started applying color at the tail of my brows and move my short strokes forward, letting the color fade out as I reach the inner corner. After lightly topping it off with the brow mascara, I was left with a brow that was perfectly filled, but still soft. I used my own flat concealer brush to clean up the lines. While I could definitely use the pencil on its own, the brow mascara added warmth and tamed a few unruly hairs. Next time, I’ll be trying the brow mascara on its own, just to see if it can be used solo and still achieve the coverage I enjoy.
- Eyes: The one thing the kit does not come with is an eye shadow, but no need to panic: the highlighting powder in the face kit did double duty as a gilded, shimmery shadow with the setting powder used to define my crease. The eye liner applied like butter with a highly pigmented gel formula that was easy to manipulate. For fun, I dragged a clean skinny liner brush across the line to create a slight cat eye with no problem. The mascara, which contains green tea extract to condition lashes, was… decent. I prefer a more dramatic, lengthened look to my lashes, but this mascara is truly a natural finish. On the upside, it applied without any clumping and the brush was a good size to get to the corner lashes with no problem.
- Lips: And now we get to the crown jewel, the product that started it all. This lip color is a true liquid matte; the formula could be described as watery and I did slide the applicator across the rim to squeeze out extra product to prevent dripping. Even so, the color payoff was HUGE. I only applied a single coat and the color was smooth, intense, and POPPIN’ on my lips. Although it dried down to a matte finish, my lips felt nearly weightless and throughout the day, the color did not dry out or flake. I only touched up a teensy bit after I ate, but other than that it held for the entire day. I could also see me adding a little clear gloss on top to change up the finish. Color me highly impressed!
And now, the big reveal:
Not bad, huh?
Overall, I am quite pleased with this kit. Even with my own modifications I was done in about ten minutes, which cuts my get ready time in half. If I didn’t go in with my own little changes, I could see how the Fast Face Kit could take about five minutes to apply from start to finish. I’d say that The Fast Face Kit is ideal for a woman on the go who wants a fool-proof way to look polished when time is scarce. I would also recommend this for one who is a makeup novice and wants a simple routine without a steep learning curve. In all, I’ll be keeping this handy for the days where I want to get up, get glam, and go! I’ll also be adding a few more of The Lip Bar’s lipstick shades to change up the overall look. Cheers and plenty of smooches to The Lip Bar!