If you're looking for a new lip treatment to help with your summer-chapped lips, Fresh has something interesting up its sleeve. The breezy brand is partnering with influencer and LGBTQ activist Ingrid Nilsen for its Fresh x Ingrid Nilsen Sugar in the City Lip Treatment. The new blackberry shade, which is the result of the brand's first influencer collab, will join 14 other shades in its lip treatment roster.
Nilsen is a beauty vlogger on YouTube, and was one of the original influencers to get a break on the platform nearly 10 years ago. In 2014, Nilsen became CoverGirl's first YouTube ambassador, and in 2017 she became the face of two of BareMinerals' best-selling foundations, Original and Matte mineral foundations.
Nilsen has 1.4 million followers on Instagram and 3.7 million subscribers on YouTube, and was one of the first influencers to partner with traditional beauty brands. Now Nilsen has teamed up with Fresh to create a brand new shade for its best selling Sugar Lip Treatment line, complete with its own package design and branding story.
You might already know Fresh's Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment as Meghan Markle's favorite lip balm. The brand's Sugar Lip Treatment, which Nilsen's shade joins, is the product's color-tinted counterpart.
The shade is called Sugar in The City, and it is a rich berry shade that is the ultimate transitional color to take you from summer to fall. The Sugar Lip Treatment colors intensify the more you layer them, so the blackberry color can deepen depending on your mood or season.
The name of the collaboration is inspired by New York City and Nilsen's pull to it.
"Sugar in The City is about dreaming. I remember being nine years old and visiting New York for the first time — it felt like, 'Yup. This is where I'm meant to be. This is it'," Nilsen tells Bustle. "When I went back to California, I constantly dreamed about going back. I'd watch movies and TV shows set in New York and always admired the women who made the city their own."
Twenty years later, Nilsen has made that dream a reality and lives in NYC now. And lip treatment tube is an ode to the life she always envisioned for herself.
"When you pick up Sugar in the City, you see a glimpse of my life here — walking my dog, the city skyline, a subway station. When people pick up Sugar in the City, I want them to feel open to the possibilities of life, no matter where they live," Nilsen says.
Nilsen chose the blackberry color in particular not because the purple-red hue was the perfect fall shade, but because she was inspired by the rich colors she loved to wear in her mid-twenties, right before she came out in a now famous viral YouTube video.
"The more I grew into myself, the more I loved wearing deep berry colors on my lips — even in the summer," Nilsen says. "I wore colors like this a lot during the summer before I came out, so for me, this color represents living life in a way that's unapologetically expressive."
One of Nilsen's favorite parts of the creative process was creating the berry color for the lip treatment. Nilsen went to the brand's lab in France with Fresh's co-founder, Alina Roytberg.
"I loved seeing how raw pigment is added to the balm base to create any color you want. It was incredible how one tiny drop of blue or black pigment could completely change everything," Nilsen says.