Amber Parker loves to stand out in a crowd.
And with a vivacious personality and a funky personal style, the petite 32-year-old certainly makes a bold impression.
So it’s only fitting that her makeup line, Loudmouth Lip Attire, features vibrant and unconventional lip and eye colors that are definitely statement looks, which she believes anyone can wear.
"Part of my mission with my brand is encouraging women to step out of their comfort zone and try something new," Parker said.
The makeup line was born out of necessity, and family tradition. Parker’s dad, Theodore, had always been concocting skin care remedies out of natural ingredients. Since they both suffer from dry lips, in 2017, they began experimenting with making a lip balm that would be soothing and healing. Starting with a base of carnauba wax and castor oil, they blended in other natural oils until they perfected the formula.
Days later, a light bulb came on.
Parker, who lives in Town ’N Country, was really into lipstick — the more unusual the color, the better. She realized that by adding natural mineral pigments (ones for cosmetic use), she could create her own lip colors. By playing with different pigments and tweaking the formula to add a variety of essential oils and a gloss to get the perfect texture, her Lip Frostings were born.
Parker works as a senior data project manager for a health care research firm but also has a master’s of business administration. Once she found she could pretty easily create small batches of the lip stuff right in her kitchen, and by sourcing all 100 percent vegan and natural ingredients that already have FDA approval, she decided to draw on her business acumen and have a go at her own makeup line.
And in October 2017, with her "I’m the Balm" lip relievers and Lip Frostings all packaged up with a logo created by her brother, Tampa artist Cam Parker, she launched Loudmouth Lip Attire with a website.
By December, it became clear that many of the pigments could do double duty as loose eye shadows, with little or no tweaking. She also liked that the colors would work well on both African-American and white skin tones, so eye colors were added as 2-in-1 Lip Toppers/Eyeshadows. Certain shades of those — pinks, golds and coppers — can also be used as skin highlighters.
Parker had a great time naming the Lip Frostings, which she describes as a cross between a lipstick and a lip gloss. They come in a small jar, are applied with an applicator or brush and include essential oils. In addition to the bright yellow Butter Than You, Goody Blue Shoes and the emerald Mo’ Money, there are four shades of red, soft nudes and peaches, and a line of golds named after the TV series The Golden Girls.
For her own dry lips, Parker uses a wet washcloth to exfoliate them and then applies an "I’m the Balm" lip reliever. The lip reliever, which soothes dry lips and promotes healing over time, comes in scents including Pink Lemonade, Dill Pickle and a lip-plumping cinnamon.
She has taken a creative approach to getting her line in the public eye. She shares her posts with beauty influencers on social media and has had some reposts. She also loves finding untapped markets. Providing looks for the fierce women of the Tampa Roller Derby during a match last month, where she also sold her products, was a great fit. And after she cleverly gifted Janelle Monae a stack of colors after her July concert in St. Petersburg, it was only right to do the same for comedian Leslie Jones when she was at the Tampa Improv in August.
At the local indie markets, Parker draws a wide variety of admirers, from older folks to kids. It’s here that she can most effectively spread her message that it’s fun to step outside your comfort zone.
"When people ask how I can pull off such a vibrant look, I say, you can too, you just have to do it!" Parker said. "Why not? I’m all about breaking trends."
As for her beauty advice?
"Always add come color. Whether it’s on your face or your clothes, go for that pop. People really do notice it."
Contact Maggie Duffy at [email protected]