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Interview: Marissa Shipman, Founder of The Balm

Here on BellaSugar, I'll be bringing you interviews with the faces behind some of my favorite beauty brands, and I thought I'd kick things off by chatting with Marissa Shipman, the founder and CEO of makeup company The Balm.

I recently lunched with Shipman in San Francisco, where her company is based, and we gabbed about how she got her start in the beauty biz, as well as her current and future products. After a number of years working in TV, the ingenue decided that she wanted to move from New York to the West Coast and start her own makeup company.

Shipman bought eleven makeup recipe books and began concocting her own potions in her kitchen. Her first product was a lip balm, and the name "The Balm" was born. The brand now has more than 10 products in more than 50 wearable and practical colors, and Shipman is humble, beautiful, and an extremely hard worker. To read the interview and get to know her better,

BELLA: How do you come up with your products?
MS: There is a story behind everything that I make. For example, I am obsessed with Crayola Crayons and their packaging. When I created my Pick-Up Liners, I put a pencil sharpener on the side of the box just like they used to!

Also, the liners are small because my grandmother used to snap her makeup pencils in half so that she would have one for her day bag and one for her evening bag.

BELLA: What is the most difficult part of your job?
MS: I find it very difficult to stop working. The Balm is my baby, and I always want to nurture it. It's not even a complaint; I love what I do!

BELLA: What challenges have you faced that you didn't expect?
MS: Everything! (laughs) Everything that can go wrong does. It's Murphy's Law, and you just have to go with it.

BELLA: What's the most fun part about your job?
MS: I am living a dream. It doesn't even feel like I have a job; it's all fun. But my favorite part is product development.

BELLA: What's next for the company?
MS: We have several new products coming out later this year and in 2008. We have recently just launched Balm Shelter, which is our newest SPF tinted moisturizer.

Tune in to BellaSugar later for the full scoop on Balm Shelter!

Join The Conversation
shadowdesigner shadowdesigner 10 years
I bought the product, Stainistic, by The Balm. I really love it. I got it from
AucuneRancune AucuneRancune 10 years
I want to run my own business!
colormesticky colormesticky 10 years
That pug is huuuuuge. I've never heard of her brand, but I'll look for it next time I go to Sephora. I'm also going to look for makeup recipe books. I'm intrigued.
CestLaVie CestLaVie 10 years
Ooooh, you should list some of her stuff in the give-aways.
zandyblue zandyblue 10 years
I am a makeup artist in NYC and I use the balm all the time. It's a really excellent lip gloss. It's one of my all time favorites!
dailyobsession dailyobsession 10 years
Great interview! Look forward to reading the review.
Stephanym Stephanym 10 years
Love this stuff!
naughtymonkey01 naughtymonkey01 10 years
I live her for her dogs lol But the Balm is good i didn't know that is how she started ~*~The Penguins are slowly stealing my sanity~*~
doubleuendy doubleuendy 10 years
aww doggies!
Beauty Beauty 10 years
MSGirl: You can get it at Sephora and, among other places.
Molly Molly 10 years
Great Interview! And I LOVE the pugs!!
MSgirl MSgirl 10 years
Where is it sold? Sephora?
Skinplistic Skinplistic 10 years
I like her story. It is very exciting to see someone so inspired and in love with what they do! Great job with the interview Bella!
calibabi calibabi 10 years
make-up recipe books??? i didn't even know such things existed! anyways, i'm excited to check out more of the balm products!
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