#Girlboss Alert: Meet Danielle Houston, The Founder Of Lips By Danilea


Makeup fanatics, take note: LIPS BY DANILEA is about to shake up your lipstick collection in the best possible way.

“Bold” is a word you hear in the beauty world all the time. It’s one of those generic descriptors that’s all but lost its meaning after being applied to anything vaguely daring. When a brand like Toronto-based LIPS BY DANILEA actually walks the walk when it comes to bold, forward-thinking beauty, we can’t help but sit up and take notice.

For starters, the brand’s collection has some shades that you’re unlikely to spot on the shelves at your local Shopper’s (Whatever is a rich emerald green and Black Crush is an all-out, no messing around, true black). Then there’s the makeup junkie-friendly website (which includes actual swatches of each shade modeled on multiple different skin tones), the brand’s diverse and charismatic roster of ambassadors, and it’s #unapologeticallybold mantra. In a beauty landscape dominated by cookie-cutter, clone-producing trends like Instagram brows and contouring, LIPS feels fresh, modern, and necessary.

So how did LIPS come to be? We sat down with Danielle Houston, the founder of LIPS BY DANILEA, to find out.

What?s your earliest makeup memory?

I used to wear blue eyeshadow to school when I was in sixth grade and carry around a little makeup case. My teacher at the time used to call me the “makeup lady”, oddly enough.

What made you decide to create your own makeup line?

I?ve been dreaming of launching this line for years. I’ve always been passionate about the confidence that goes behind applying the right shade of lipstick. It’s always been upsetting to hear friends say they can?t pull off a certain lip colour when they can. LIPS is all about empowerment and being unapologetically bold in every life and lip decision we make.

You?ve rounded up a really inspiring group of brand ambassadors. What made you choose them?

I feel blessed to know my first four bold beauty ambassadors personally. I feel like I didn?t choose them but they chose me. They chose to inspire me by following their passions and dreams. They chose to excite me by creating something unique and impactful. They chose me by being bold day in and day out. I can?t wait to see who chooses me next!

Tell me about the process of building your collection. How did you get from your initial idea to the final product?

What this line looked like at the beginning of the planning process is very different from what [it is] today, but I couldn?t be prouder. My main focus while building this line was to create a colour collection that best represented the people who would be wearing it. By launching a smaller collection of 20 shades, I?ve focused on a really specific fall colour story that’s relatable to my #unapologeticallybold beauties.


What was the most challenging part of it the process? What about the most rewarding part?

The most challenging and rewarding part both happened within the same week. The week leading up to launch was unbelievably difficult and required a lot of attention and time to and pull together everything that I’d been working so hard on over the past several months. The moment we launched was beyond rewarding. That was the moment I launched my dream. Right then, there was no turning back.

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs like yourself?

You need to get rid of your self doubt and you need to do it fast. Believe in your idea and that what you have to offer is important, big, and worthy. If you get rid of your self doubt and replace it with confidence, only amazing things will come.

Who are some of your beauty icons or muses? Did any of them in particular inspire you while you were working on your line?

I find so much inspiration from my friends and from people-watching in the city. This line was created for the everyday person and that, to me, has no boundaries.


There’s a ton to choose from within your line. What?s your go-to shade?

That?s probably the hardest question you could ask me, considering I love switching it up on a daily basis. If I had to choose, I would say our Matte Liquid Lipstick in Berry Bad is something I can throw on with any outfit on any day and always ups my confidence.

What shade would you suggest for lipstick newbies looking to try a bolder style this fall?

I love lipstick newbies! It’s such an exciting time?almost like going on a first date. If you’re a true lipstick rookie, I suggest Cindy Lou…For someone who’s taking their first dive into a non-traditional shade, I suggest Goal Digger, a fuchsia grape tone that’ll give you that pop of colour you?ve been craving!

So what’s next for you and your brand?

You can expect to see a new colour story in just over a month or so which will have some deep reds and plums for winter. I’ll also continue to focus on confidence, empowerment, and the power we hold by using our lips. What we say and where we channel our daily energy can have such a beautiful impact on this world.

Images courtesy of LIPS BY DANILEA

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