One of the most enduring memories of Lip Smackers wasn’t necessarily the application of the product itself, but the sense of kinship it cultivated among girls of a certain age. You wore it to set the tone for the day, to have fun and feel cute, and to show off your newest additions to your friends. You could buy variety packs and trade ‘em piecemeal with your *~paLz~*, but let’s be real: Dr Pepper was the only flavor that mattered (root beer and cotton candy were close seconds). In addition to its delightful scent and the cool factor of its branded partnership with the soda, it was one of the select few, if memory serves me correctly, that actually provided a subtle rosy sheen.
Where teen magazines — often read by not-quite-teen girls — doled out suggestions for preventing or covering up zits, for the outfit that would make you stand out to your crush, or for ways to tame your frizzy hair, Lip Smacker was the anti–whatever that was. At 13, no girl should be thinking, “What can I be doing to conceal my under-eye circles?” They should be deciding which gem-capped Jewel Lip Smacker flavor (shoutout to their ‘00 launch) to add to their arsenal and coordinating matching looks with their BFF.
Beyond waxing poetic about drugstore visits of yore, what I’m trying to say here, plain and simple, is not to forget that makeup should be fun; the routine of it all is an act that we deserve to enjoy. Of course, it’s the onus of the beauty industry that women need to look better, look younger, prevent, treat, and enhance anything that’s not as “perfect” as it can possibly be. But even acknowledging this, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the quest to transform or conceal the features that don’t align with what conventional standards say they should align with — no matter how feminist or confident or antiestablishment we may be. The best of us fall victim to it at some juncture. Plus, in an era where beauty and skincare routines are now so personalized, there’s something extra-refreshing about reminiscing about those simpler times.
All that to say, don’t lose sight of the pure joy of using beauty products — and the connection with others that it fosters. Okay, g2g, adding this eight-pack to my bday wish list!