Sara Happ was born with beauty on the brain. And, as soon as she was old enough, she applied that fascination to her lips.
The Chicago-born alchemist was inspired to create her first simple product, a lip exfoliator, when she couldn’t find one on the market. She didn’t realize how big it might grow: Soon after launching, People ran a story about it and thousands of orders flooded in. A few tireless years later, she created what she envisioned as the most healing and deeply hydrating glossy balm ever, The Lip Slip, which became an instant hit and continues to be her bestseller.
Here, she talks about why she prefers to do one thing well and not sweat goals in the meantime:
Live The Process: Have you always been interested in beauty?
Sara Happ: Always! The first thing I ever bought with my own money was a Strawberry Lip Smacker. I’ve been a lip junkie since preschool, basically.
LTP: What ultimately inspired you to launch your lip scrub line? Why is it important to exfoliate?
SH: I created our first product, The Lip Scrub, in 2005, out of sheer necessity. I’m a magazine lover and beauty junkie, who kept reading articles in which editors said, “Exfoliate lips with a wet washcloth or toothbrush.” That seemed crazy to me! I have a scrub for every other part of my body, so why were there none for my lips?
To my kitchen, I went, and The Lip Scrub was born using mixing bowls and spatulas. I was obsessed with my formula and had a strong sense that other girls would be, too.
You know that slightly grayish, dull layer of skin on top of your lips? Exfoliation removes that dead skin and shows off your beautiful natural lip color. Your lips are the only part of your body that don’t have sweat glands, so, no matter how much water you drink, you need to topically hydrate, and exfoliating first helps those hydrating ingredients penetrate.
LTP: Your company donates to charities regularly—which ones and why?
SH: We give to Baby2Baby yearly. This charity is near and dear to my heart: I met them when I was pregnant with my daughter, Julia, and bombarded by expensive baby gear—only to learn that 500,000 littles in LA alone live under the poverty level. This group of moms started this charity to give their $600 Bug-A-Boo strollers to families in need, then realized what people in LA really need is diapers and formula. So, they merged the concept and B2B was born. I can’t usually talk about this group without tearing up. What they do is amazing, and the families they serve have stories that are unthinkably heartbreaking.
We also give to HelpUsAdopt, a non-profit that provides non-discriminatory grants and pro bono legal advice to hopeful adoptive parents who would otherwise have a tough time adopting within the system, as it generally works now (i.e. same-sex couples, those without religious affiliations, people without partners who’d make great single parents).
LTP: Are there any beauty or wellness rituals that keep you feeling balanced and healthy?
SH: I take a bubble bath every single night after my daughter goes to sleep. Some people watch TV or cook to unwind; I take a bath. It’s nice knowing I have a ritual and a place that I know will help me to be grounded and centered. I recommend finding what works for you and sticking with it!
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
SH: Happiness is knowing the people in my life feel my love for and my gratitude to them.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
SH: I love this notion. It means embracing every step of the journey.
Goals are good. Some people thrive on them. I don’t. I try to just enjoy every step of my work, of my life, and, when things are hard and not enjoyable, trust that it’s all meant to be and part of a larger picture. Suddenly then, you’re achieving things that some might consider goals, organic.ADiscover More