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Flashback Friday: Bonne Bell Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker

By Amalah

OK, so the eye makeup demo submissions are rolling in, but due to various last-minute technical difficulties that are almost entirely my fault, I won’t have one ready for primetime until Monday. The entries are (so far) entirely fantastic, and you are going to LOVE them. Tons of great looks and advice, plus the voyeuristic fun of seeing dozens of make-up products in action.
But since I’ve spent almost all morning futzing around with them with nothing to show for it, I’m going to scrap the advice today and launch a new occasional feature that I’ve been kicking around for awhile: Going back to the nostalgia-heavy and price-tag-lite products of my youth and seeing if any of them are as good (or as awful) as I remember.
I’m talking , , Wet n’ Wild…the kind of products that still exist (many with the same packaging and price!) but I haven’t actually considered using in years and years. Because, you know. I was 12. What the hell did I know?
But do I really know any better now? DUN DUN DUUUUN.
Today I’m starting with the product that sparked the idea — a , Dr. Pepper flavor, purchased as an impulse buy at Target for a whopping buck-fifty.
Oh my God, is there anyone out there who DIDN’T own a Bonne Bell Lip Smacker or five? I got my very first one (bubblegum-flavored) in my Christmas stocking in the fifth grade, when some girls started bringing makeup to school and would spend our washing-up-after-recess time in front of the bathroom mirror, applying 14 coats of lipgloss, while the rest of us tried to do the same thing with our Chapstick.
Lip Smackers were my mom’s only concession in the makeup department, but for me, they were enough. A tiny hint of color, a burst of delicious, and dozens and dozens of flavors to collect. They weren’t REALLY makeup, but they were darned close enough.
drpepper.jpgThe Dr. Pepper flavor was always my favorite.
There’s no need for a detailed review here, obviously. Lip Smackers are exactly like you remember them. Candy-flavored glosses with the consistency of lip balm, a hint of color that lasts about as long as a bag of chips, a soothing creaminess that brings out the compulsive lip balm over-applier in all of us.
Earlier this week, I pulled my Lip Smacker out of my pocket during a playdate and smeared some on (mmmmmyummy) and my friend perked up.
“Is that a Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker? Tell me that is NOT a Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker.”
“Yep, it is.”
“Oh my God,” she said, “I haven’t seen one of those in years.”
I held it out to her, offering her a hit. Just like the cool girls in elementary used to do, once you got on their good sides, and if they took pity on you and your non-tinted Chapstick.
She accepted and applied some. She looked down at the little tube and smiled.
“Who doesn’t love a Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker?” she asked.
“Freaks,” I answered. “And probably communists.”
Tell me. Is there a product like that for you? What’s your Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker?

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • rachelw

    August 17, 2007 at 11:06 am

    When I was young, I had a compact of Strawberry Shortcake lipgloss. Man, I loved that stuff. Unfortunately, since I was 7, I didn’t really understand the concept, so there are pictures of me running around with bright, shiny, red cheeks.

  • LGraves65

    August 17, 2007 at 11:42 am

    Bonne Bell’s 10-0-6 astringent was the freakin’ BOMB. I had (um, HAVE) an oil pit for a face, and that was the one astringent that controlled the oil without making me feel like the Crypt Keeper. BB discontinued it in the 90s, though. Effers.
    Anyhoo, back to the question. I noticed the other day at Walgreens that Love’s Baby Soft was being sold again. I took the lid off, took one sniff, and was transported back to 1978. All I needed was a pair of Dittos jeans and a comb in my back pocket.

  • andrea0418

    August 17, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Holy crap, just going to the wet n wild site gave me flashbacks! The thing I remember most about the 80’s is growing up in an AquaNet-induced haze.

  • Hot Librarian

    August 17, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    I love AquaNet. Isn’t that awful? I bought a can to pull off a crazy updo for Halloween, and I still use the stuff all the time. There’s nothing like it.

  • jodifur

    August 17, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    A friend of mine has intensly curly hair and swears by Dep. She was using very expensive ouidad products and switched to Dep. She is saving like $25 a bottle.


    August 17, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Love’s Baby Soft, Charlie, and those lip glosses that came in the little tins with the lid that slid to the side. God why can’t I remember the name of the lip gloss? It’s only been about 25 years… geez! Maybe it was Village Lip Gloss or Vintage something? So good!

  • procrastamom

    August 17, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    I was around when those Bonne Belle glosses used to come in the really fat tubes (like sausage sized). I used to eat the grape (I mean love it. I’m sure my stomach is still coated in purple wax to this day)
    Favourite teen products: Johnson’s Baby Oil for tanning, Sun-in to bleach my lovely red hair brassy orange, Cover Girl foundation one shade too dark for my skin and Electric Youth perfume (ala Debbie Gibson’s signature scent). Why do I miss the 80’s again?

  • oldladymac

    August 17, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    Did you not put some I-O-Dine in that bottle of baby oil? When I got a job I moved up to Bain de Soleil , same orange look but oh so sophisticated, As for Love’s Baby Soft as an adult I have substituted Crabbytree & Evies “ Nantucket Briar“ … Baby Soft kicked up a notch

  • TasterSpoon

    August 17, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Tinkerbell peel-off nail polish. Because if there’s one habit we want to associate with glamour and instill in our children, it’s picking at their fingernails.
    Speaking of peeling, I loved peel-off masks in high school. Way more satisfying than stupid wash-off clay ones. Like putting Elmers on your palm and peeling it off (you know you did), only cucumber-scented!

  • jen

    August 17, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    a bit off-topic, but holy cow Amalah, I am impressed by your self-portrait skills. taking pics for this eye makeup demo thing is impossible!

  • barbinohio

    August 17, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    I also adored Lip Smakers in grade school. My favorite was Orange Crush and I’d get the big one that had a cord so you could wear it around you neck like a necklace.
    I actually worked in the Bonne Bell factory in Westlake, Ohio during summer breaks in college. I worked many days on the Lip Smaker line and once we broke the record for the number of Lip Smakers made in one day. Sorry LGraves65, working the 10-0-6 line sucked because the machines always malfunctioned and the stuff would leak everywhere and smelled horrible!

  • barbinohio

    August 17, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    And I will type SMACKER over and over to make sure I spell it right next time. With a c.

  • Anne Glamore

    August 17, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    A couple of days ago at the law firm my friend and I were reminiscing about Very Important non-legal things like TICKLE deodorant. With the huge rolly-ball and the polka dots.
    Now, of course, I can’t get the smell of 10-0-6 out of my head since someone mentioned it above.

  • Lori12309

    August 17, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    Anyone remember “Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific” or “Lemon Up” shampoos?
    How about Lifebuoy soap?
    And all those wonderful fragrances from Prince Matchabelli, especially Cachet?
    Cornsilk makeup!
    When I gave birth to my son eighteen years ago, the hospital tried to give me a “sanitary napkin belt.” GAWD. Feminine hygiene products have sure come a long way.

  • MrsHaley

    August 17, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    2 products — how about those little “Shine Free” brand eyeshadows in the TEENY TINY pink compacts — like, the size of a Lego — with shiny shiny eyeshadows? Anybody with me? I had brown, peach, pink, blue, green and purple. ROCK.
    Also how about those little bullet-shaped bonne bell swirly lipglosses — I had a watermelon one (LOVE) and it turned my lips a sickly shade of shimmery green. Now THAT was sexy!

  • April

    August 17, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    I am still addicted to the bonne bell sparkly lip gloss – the celestial strawberry. It’s smells great and is just the right thing!

  • Suzy Q

    August 18, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Love’s Lemon Fresh. Or was it Fresh Lemon? In any event, I apparently liked to smell like a can of Pledge.
    And Clairol Herbal Essence shampoo. The old kind, that smelled like a forest, not that newfangled fruity shit.

  • Sarah in LA

    August 18, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    ha! I totally remember cornsilk. I had their powder. I felt SOOO sophisticated and in the know.

  • Leaf, probably...

    August 19, 2007 at 2:38 am

    I loved $2 shop nail polishes, and not just one at a time either. I experimented with layering. I think my favorite combination was lime green, with a shimmery purple top coat.
    I made me feel like Poison Ivy from Batman… and it peeled super easy – there is nothing more satisfying than getting a whole nails worth of polish off in one go.

  • Stephanie

    August 19, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Oh, TasterSpoon — my mom only let me use the Tinkerbell peel-off nailpolish when I was a kid and I now suffer from the terrible habit of being a constant nail polish picker. It’s no wonder my manicure lasts only a few short days and my nails are in terrible shape.

  • faye

    August 20, 2007 at 6:40 am

    just wanted to say i remember the bonnie bell lip smackers and now i want to go out and buy me one lol
    also wanted to tell all you business or artistic moms out there …….that there is a new site called
    where you can put your business ideas and sellings on the site ….free
    its alot like but different
    its a must see!
    pss tell tom the sun sent ya lol

  • Tara

    August 20, 2007 at 10:02 am

    I don’t know what you’re talking about! I have a Lip Smacker (Strawberry) in my work bag and a Squeezy Lip Smacker (Pink Lemonade) in my purse. And I may have a thing of Jean Nate powder hidden in my bathroom too.

  • AmyM

    August 20, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    You shared your lip gloss? Gross! CAN. NOT. DO. (Some of my friends think this is pretty weird. They make fun of me and say that they would never go into the desert and/or arctic with me because I would totally let them die from chapped lips. But it’s not my damn fault they forgot their ChapStick, is it?)
    Anyhow, I’m slowly starting to let go of the CoverGirl products that I’ve been purchasing since 8th grade. (Thanks, Amalah!) Everything else that I’ve let go of probably should just stay in the past.

  • TasterSpoon

    August 20, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    MrsHaley’s remark on green lip gloss made me think of that color-change lipstick that came in wacky colors like blue and green and purple and yellow that, when applied, turned crazy different colors like hot pink, hot pink, hot pink and coral.

  • Sparkina

    May 11, 2009 at 7:04 am

    I loved Lip Smackers as a teen and still use them! I wish they’d reinstate the flavors/shades from the 70s and 80s that they stopped producing

  • Claire

    August 4, 2009 at 10:34 am

    I love these! Definitely a favorite. I might have to go buy another one right now!
    Your writing on this blog is hilarious. Great job, and keep it up!

  • Sparkina

    February 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Oh, the bullet-shaped lip glosses were Kissing Koolers and were put out by Maybelline, not Bonne Bell. Those were gorgeous (save for the watermelon one) and smelled divine. My faves were the strawberry (pink), the mint (red), and the mixed fruit (lavender).