Online Exclusives

Kiss and Tell

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | September 8, 2011

Violent Lips is carving out a niche in the temporary tattoo marketplace.

Shape it, peel it, set it, wet it—seems like odd instructions for a cosmetic product, unless you’re wearing Violent Lips. The brainchild of entertainment industry veterans Isabella and Jeff Haddad, Violent Lips temporary lip tattoos are aiming to become the Minx nails of the facial cosmetics category.
 

When Haddad’s daughters showed up to a charity dinner wearing Chanel’s coveted temporary tattoos on their mouths, heads turned and they knew they were onto something, but their lip look didn’t last past the first bite. The next day, the Beverly Hills-based duo set out to find a solution—safe, natural temporary lip tattoos that stay put.
 

Designs range from bold animal prints and rainbows to fishnet and glam sparkles with new patterns and styles releasing every few weeks.
 

Co-founder Jeff Haddad, based in Los Angeles, took time from his busy schedule to chat with Happi about his trendsetting new product.
 

 
The Pink Polka lip tattoos from Violent Lips.
HAPPI: What type of space did you see in the marketplace for lip tattoos and how did you go about creating the line?

JH: What we wanted to do was make a cool product with never ending styles and colors and patterns that was easy to use offering the consumer a safe long lasting alternative to traditional lip products. We didn’t actually consider the space in the market as a space for lip tattoos, we saw it as lip fashion.

Our focus is on the “wow” factor of the product itself and how we get these colors, glitters and metallics to look and work the way we want to for the consumer. By taking a few of the principle elements to removable tattoos and reformatting the rest we are able to do that. We have found and patented many ways to do this, but the key to us has always been the end result.

What you’re seeing at this early stage is like the first ipad, we have jumped about 10 levels from these first patterns. We think people are going to be very surprised with what’s coming and what it will mean to the daily use of lip products.


HAPPI: What are the key ingredients to your tattoos and how do they make the products work?

JH: The key ingredients are the inks, glitters and metallics and of course none of that would matter unless we used 100% safe and tested materials and adhesives. Our testing standard is for ages 3 and up, and while we don’t expect 3 year olds to wear the product, they can and that standard is important to our company. The product is FDA-approved, vegan and made in the US.

HAPPI: What type of consumer are you targeting with these products? Any celebrity fans?


JH: Artists like Jesse J, Katy Perry, Nikki Manaj and Ke$ha are always do amazing things with their lips. We are not going to say they are using our product, we will let the consumer find that out on their own. We have a lot of celebrity fans, you can check our Twitter or Facebook to see who sends us pictures on their own. We are not asking anyone to wear the lips, if they want to wear them they can and if they want to post pictures they can.

The Fishnet print from Violent Lips.
Our goal is to have a great product in the consumers’ hands and allow them to decide what color, pattern or style best suits them. We can tell you this, the person wearing Violent Lips gets noticed, they stand out from the rest of the pack and its pretty amazing to have people send us messages thanking us for doing this because they had “the best night ever” and tons of attention.


HAPPI: How did you decide on the colors/prints? Which one is the top seller and why?

JH: The first 18 designs are a mix we selected from about 250 total designs. We wanted to put a first run selection in the marketplace and let the consumer tell us what they liked.

We knew The Pink Cheetah and The Pink Polka would be huge sellers but we didn’t know The Rainbow and The Fishnet would be as big and would go over as well. The fact is that the customer always decides and we are able to move very fast. Some designs are already “deceased” and some are on “life support,” but the cool thing is that 28 more patterns launch soon and another 20+ patterns are right behind that. We listen and learn from every sale!


HAPPI: Future plans for the line? Any expansions or distribution deals in the works?

JH: At this stage, it is about the expansion of the lip line, as the glitters, new patterns and metallics get ready to roll out ,we continue to grow the company. We are in talks with several people about distribution and would love a major to come along and click their heals, but the fact is that we built this company so it can survive on its own and grow online daily so our primary focus must be on the product and the consumer.
 

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