By Julie Anderson
Before we were allowed to wear actual makeup, girls of the 80s loved their flavored and tinted lip glosses. We stowed them in our purses, because periodic reapplication was a must. Those sheer colors and glossy shines didn’t last for long.
But that was TOTALLY okay, because these luscious glosses were sweet treats as well! A little hit of Dr. Pepper or strawberry lip gloss was just as yummy as a mouthful of Nerds or Pixy Stix, but it was something you could indulge in at, like, your desk in homeroom.
Here’s a rundown of our very favorite lip glosses of the 1980s:
Bonne Bell Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers
MMMM! This was delish. Like its soda namesake, Dr. Pepper lip balm was a mysterious taste hybrid, sorta like a cola, and sorta like a root beer. Whatever, it tasted great and softed our lips nicely. Color and shine, not so much, but this lip gloss’s great flavor more than made up for that. Bonne Bell produced balms flavored like sodas (such as 7Up, Orange Crush, and Hires Root Beer) and candy (including Tootsie Roll and Good and Plenty), but Dr Pepper was the most popular.
I love this vintage Lip Smackers ad with a rainbow of yummy flavors:
Photo credit: Veritas104
And here’s that Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers you know and love, available for purchase today in an updated tube:
Photo credit: onelasttouch
Cuteness of Container: C-
Color Change Mood Lipstick
It’s like magic, you guys! Like a mood ring, which changed color when you put it on, Color change lipsticks went on basically sheer, but then changed color due to your personal body temperature and chemistry. Awesome! Color change lipstick is still around (and not just for little girls) so you can play lip color roulette again any time you like. There were several varieties back in the eighties, and there are tons of brands for sale today. Girls will never get tired of putting on emerald green, canary yellow, tangerine, and royal blue lipstick and having it turn into girly pink on their lips:
Photo credit: pomadasells
Cuteness of Container: D
Maybelline Kissing Potion
Kissing Potion glosses were in liquid form with roller ball applicators. They were clear and super shiny, and oh-so-yummy. Equate them to licking a Dum Dum and rubbing it on your lips, only with less color and slightly longer-lasting shine. Of COURSE little girls were going to dig them. Add to that the idea that maybe – just maybe – your crush might notice your extra shiny lips and get the idea to go in for a smooch, and you’ve got one bitchin’ lip gloss, ladies.
Here’s a great vintage ad for Kissing Potion featuring Kim Basinger:
Photo credit: twitchery
Cuteness of Container: B+
Avon Figural Lip Glosses
Avon figural lip glosses! OH MY GOSH these were so cute! And such special little accessories for your purse! I had the Nestle Crunch one and just loved it. It had delish chocolate flavor, great lip softening, and a hint of color, too. Check out Andrea Singarella’s entire post about these adorably playful lip glosses from Avon. (I think the packages are super cute, too.) Here’s the Berry Nice Lip Gloss:
Photo credit: Andrea Singarella at Everyday Beauty
Cuteness of Container: A+
Village Lip Lickers
Village Lip Lickers came in an old-timey tin with vintage calligraphy and supersweet flavors. They had a certain Holly Hobbie flair, and would also have been right at home with Laura Ingalls on the prairie. If, you know, Laura had used mass-produced cosmetics. The tins also clicked in a pleasing way (watch the brief and informative video from Laura’s Last Ditch below for a reminder) when you slid them open and closed. Village Lip Lickers had a nice tactile quality when you applied them with your fingertip, but in retrospect, it probably wasn’t the most sanitary kind of lip gloss to use in an elementary school. (Gross.) Anyway, I had the root beer variety and LOVED it. I remember it being very soft in the tin, not terribly glossy, deliciously flavored, fabulous smelling, and basically colorless.
Cuteness of Container: A+
Special lip glosses were perfect stocking stuffers, good grade rewards, and surprise treats. Like any glamorous grown-up woman, we didn’t want to leave the house without our favorite lip products tucked safely into our purses. Girls’ lip glosses were light on the color but high on the flavor and shine, which is just how we liked it in grade school in the 1980s.