The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Nostalgialistic: Lip Smackers

I was not a Sephora kid, I was a Lip Smacker kid
Photo by Rossellin Gaitan
Me holding one of my many Lip Smackers.

When looking back on my childhood, there aren’t too many things that I remember but one thing that stands out is Lip Smackers

Growing up in a low-income household there aren’t too many things that I had that were name brand, but one thing that I do remember having was Lip Smackers. It was a small luxury and something that I had seen all the other kids having. 

Lip Smacker may give you a ring of nostalgia like it does for me when I think about them. I encourage you to close your eyes and imagine it with me. Writing this, I can picture it now. The small clear bottle with colorful writing and a light blue cap attached to a lip gloss tube containing cotton candy-flavored lip product (my personal favorite.)

Cotton Candy Lip Smacker (photo from Walmart)

I remember feeling so cool when I would pull up to late elementary school and early middle school with my lip smackers. I have a distinct memory of a glittery one that they made. The grittiness of the product and the overwhelming smell of whatever was put into the mixture that made up ‘Boysenberry Ruby.’ 

The company began in 1973. They were the first flavored lip balm in the world and skyrocketed in popularity from there. From Disney to Coca-Cola, they have collaborated with a variety of brands and pop culture icons for nearly half a century. 

They used to be such an important part of my identity, which sounds silly but it’s true. I remember feeling so beautiful with every small swipe I applied to my face. 

The memories associated with the smell of Lip Smackers faded as I grew up and became a lover of other makeup products. That was until I visited Target in 2021. 

I had been doing my usual rounds around Target’s beauty section here in Eau Claire when I stumbled upon the small packaging containing my once beloved childhood memories. 

As I looked through the selection I saw flavors I once loved, some gone and replaced with new unrecognizable ones. A small wave of sadness and nostalgia flooded my mind. 

My Lip Smackers collection. (Photo by Rossellin Gaitan)

I decided at that moment to buy a pack. The friends I was with at the time did a small chuckle and gave me a look of ‘Are you really gonna buy those? They’re for kids.’ But I decided to buy them anyways.

I did feel a little silly walking up the self-checkout carrying what was deemed a “child product” but I didn’t care. I know little me would have been so excited to get them, so I decided to go ahead with my purchase.

I still have them to this day and have even bought more. Letting that small girl in me have fun with makeup was something that I didn’t realize would give me as much joy as it did and still does.

Now when I carry the lip glosses with me in my bag, I also carry that younger version of me in my heart and in my mind.

I hope that you can find small things from your childhood to indulge in now. I encourage us all to find the excitement in life as we once did. Be as excited as little me was getting a new tube of flavored lip gloss. 

Gaitan can be reached at [email protected].

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