NOLA Brands We Love: An Interview with Lipscape Founder Ingrid Butler

Traveling can take a toll on your skin. From climate changes to cramped hotels, it can be hard to keep up with your day-to-day beauty routine while abroad. New Orleans-based Lipscape offers handcrafted, cruelty-free, paraben-free, naturally based lip products that will keep your lips looking hydrated and stylish, no matter where you are in the world. 

While getting two degrees and reaching her doctoral candidacy in geography at Syracuse University, Lipscape founder and Louisiana native Ingrid Butler hated how the harsh winters damaged her lips. The South Louisiana climate didn't help much either. Frustrated with the lack of lip moisturizers that worked for her, Butler took things into her own hands. With a passion for lip products and an education in geography, Butler invested her time in research and experimentation with what works and doesn’t work in lip products. 

 Tell me about LipScape. What was the inspiration behind the brand and what drove you to create it?

I was a student at Syracuse University in Syracuse for 8 years, earning 2 degrees and reaching doctoral candidacy . (I'm currently a doctoral candidate in Geography at The Maxwell School of Syracuse University, but I'm living in New Orleans.) I love my Alma Mater, but I hated how the harsh winters damaged my lips. Because there were many occasions where my lips were almost frost-bitten, my lips produced this “film” to protect itself from the cold. None of the most popular or highly recommended lip moisturizers worked for me, and most lipsticks and glosses worsened my condition. I assumed things would get better then I moved back home to Louisiana-- it didn't. I went to a dermatologist who prescribed a topical steroid, but there was no change. Frustrated, I started researching how lips are effectively hydrated. I learned that most lip products that claim to moisturize lips only hydrate the top layer of skin. But, because my lips had produced that protective film, I needed a product that could penetrate that. Also, because of my condition, not only did I need moisture, but I needed something that would encourage my lips to produce new healthy skin instead of that protective film. I needed a product that was both deeply moisturizing and regenerative. I researched which natural ingredients would do that and formulated a lip conditioner that worked wonders. To this day, it’s the only thing that works for me. Then I noticed that on days where I would wear lipsticks and lip glosses, my lips would start to revert back its problematic state. That’s when I knew I would also need to make lipsticks and glosses for myself—and that's when the fun began!

What makes LipScape different? 

We “eat off” much of what we apply to our lips. If you take the time to research popular lipsticks from top cosmetics companies, you’re going to find an almost endless list of ingredients, where most have been linked to various health issues. Additionally, when you look at most natural/organic handcrafted brands, the shade are more "traditional." LipScape is different because it offers effective handcrafted formulations using natural and non-toxic ingredients, and the shade range is diverse-- There's something for everyone, every occasion, every mood. LipScape show my customers that they don’t have to compromise health, quality, and performance for beauty.

How do you draw inspiration from traveling, geography, and New Orleans?

As I said, I'm currently earning my PhD in Geography; obviously, I love it! LOL... I think that the world we live in and the ways in which it is studied is incredibly fascinating--it's so much more than rocks and maps! Unfortunately, geography is a rather under-appreciated discipline here in the US. But, let's be honest, some folks can make it sound rather dry and boring. Additionally, Geography is a male-dominated discipline. Bring my love for makeup and Geography together, I wanted LipScape to be a point of intervention into Geography for women in a way that's fun. That's why the name of each of the shade has a story; each shade is inspired by some aspect of physical or human geography.

What can we expect from LipScape in the future?

My long term goal is to be a one-stop shop and resource for women’s beauty and men’s grooming. I’m in the process of rebranding LipScape because I want shift focus away from lip products so that I can offer a wider range of handcrafted cosmetics and skincare. 

Whether you're braving the winter in Upstate New York, or back home in New Orleans, Lipscape lipsticks and glosses will look beautiful, while effectively moisturizing your lips, in any climate. 

 

Lipscape is available online at www.yourlipscape.com or at: 

Hattie Sparks

939 Girod Street New Orleans, LA 

Polite Society

4601 Dryades Street New Orleans, LA

Hi-Brow

126 Sierra Court Metairie, LA

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