Joy Howieson launched Project Lip in August alongside a cosmetic scientist over a three-year span.
The 27-year-old make-up artist was inspired to take a risk and follow her dreams after suffering from pulmonary embolism aged 23.
The cruelty free plumping primer has been a huge success since becoming available online, with the product selling out four times on Manchester fashion brand website Pretty Little Thing.
The journey to Project Lip
Joy explained: “It all started when I got a job at MAC in Selfridges. They were happy to let me work there, but said I needed to be doing a qualification alongside that.
“I went to the University of Manchester and did a Makeup degree, that’s how I fell into teaching classes. Over the years I’ve taught makeup at institutions such as Salford City College, Bury College and University of Salford.”
“After a few years I decided to visit some friends in Australia, but upon my return something didn’t feel right. I was back in work doing a [makeup] demonstration in front of the class. As I tried to do it my right side wasn’t being responsive, I collapsed and was taken to Salford Royal Hospital. I found out I had a pulmonary embolism.”
Joy continued: “After this a few things in my life changed and I knew I had one shot to chase my dream. I got in contact with a cosmetic scientist, drove down to see him and from there it snowballed into something bigger.”
Project Lip launched online in August and Joy officially quit her teaching job the following month.
Joy recalled: “The idea came from just being a makeup artist and seeing the increase in desire for plumped up lips. I knew there were plumping lip glosses available – but nothing that worked underneath the lip.
“The idea was always in the back of my mind to create something that doesn’t have a gloss element to it, so you can prime your lips meaning you can wear any lip stick on top of it or under it.”
When asked what Joy thinks of the popular lip injections, she said: “I always encourage people to go for plumping instead of injections of as it enhances your features but still looks natural.”
“It’s taken a long time, this has been three years in the making. Financially, there is no investors in this so I did it all myself, by working full-time to fund it,” pointed out the determined entrepreneur.
Joy joked: “I fill up every single one and hand pack it at home – the spare room in my apartment is currently my office! I’m always up and down Market Street going to the post office.”
With Project Lip fans requesting more products, Joy has revealed that she hopes to be releasing more in Spring time – but they’re still in development.
An amazing response
“The response so far has been amazing, when I first launched Project Lip there was just a few of us sat together whilst the website went live. I had a few orders to begin with.
Joy continued: “Since the launch I’ve just sent it to everybody that I wanted to try it and knocked down every door that I could. Fortunately some of them doors opened, Pretty Little Thing got me to come in and now Project Lip has sold out four times on their website in under two months.”
Joy smiled as she said “the support I’ve had has been fantastic, PLT have been amazing, they’ve managed to get bloggers and influencers reviewing it.”
Just last night TOWIE star Lauren Pope posted Project Lip on Instagram, declaring that she loves it.
“One of my highlights so far is getting a phone call of Pretty Little Thing telling me that they’d all sold out online for the first time. The team there is just incredible,” Jo revealed.
Although Project Lip is still new on the market, it’s safe to say it’s already making big waves in the beauty industry.
Listen to some clips from our interview here: