Balm Chicky Balm Balm: The 70s Porn-Themed Chap Stick
Picture this: some strange guy walks up to a woman in a bar and says, “Well, hey, now — you’ve got a nice set of porn lips.” Ordinarily, she’d be disgusted, but the situation is different this time. She’s feeling sexy and confident. She tells him the secret to her moisturized, luscious mouth, pulling out her lip balm and offering him some to try. Suddenly, really tacky jazz begins to play over the bar’s intercom and the lights go down. She holds out her chap stick and asks if he’d like to put his mouth on some Juicy Melons. He says yes, so she pops open one side of her lip balm tube saying she’s gonna give him the “Friend End.” He sticks his finger into balm, then rubs some on his lips. “Mmmm,” he says with a grin. “Melons.”
If you’re thinking this is a total fantasy because no woman in her right mind would ever lend a strange man her lip balm, then think again: with Balm Chicky Balm Balm, the 70s porn-themed chap stick, this could really happen.
Lip balm company Balm Chicky was created by Elizabeth Moskow and Abby Schwalb — two women who discovered a way to make sharing your chap stick less icky and skeezy (despite their sleazy, 70s porn branding). To do this, they invented what they call the “Friend End” — which is a second stash of lip balm stored in the base of the chap stick cylinder. Why does one need something like this?
“The Friend End design idea stemmed from a simple act that so many of us balm users encounter — pulling a tube of lip balm out of your pocket or bag and having a friend, co-worker or someone else ask if they can borrow your balm for their own chapped lips,” Schwalb told Packaging Digest. “We’ve noticed that, like yawning, using lip balm is almost a contagious act and so lip balm borrowing runs rampant.”
Being a big germ-o-phobe myself, I thought the idea was fantastic. Not only are mouths breeding grounds for all kinds of infections, but if someone is so desperate for your chap stick that they can’t wait until they get home, chances are their lips are probably cracked open and in poor shape. You don’t want to be rude and uncaring when someone is suffering from chapped lips, but you definitely don’t want their dead skin and/or blood particles on your lip balm.
Moved by the genius of the Friend End concept, I decided to investigate these balms to see if they had more to offer than clever design. The two flavors I tried were Huge Cucumber & Mint and Sweet Baby Ginger.
I like that the balms are made with natural ingredients. Every balm is made with organic extra virgin olive oil, rosemary extract, vitamin E, beeswax, organic palm oil and organic hemp seed oil. The mineral tint is mica, titanium dioxide and iron oxide. (Head’s up, though: even though these are all natural, there are a lot of sparkles in these balms. So if you’re not looking to be shimmery, these may not be for you.)
I wasn’t that impressed by the strength of the balms’ scent or taste. Don’t get me wrong, they both smelled faintly of what they were supposed to, but they didn’t blow me away. Also, the lip balms seemed to simply mask my lips rather than moisturize them. And when my lips were really chapped, I had to use another brand of natural balm to repair and heal them.
These balms currently run at $8.00 – $10.00 a pop, and that’s pretty expensive. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Organic Lip Balm and Hugo Naturals Lip Balm are also excellent, organic brands, and you can get their balms for less than $4.00. The high price probably has to do with the larger size of the lip balm container (you get three times the balm of your typical lip balm), and the fact that you’re buying the gimmick as well as the fun, environmentally conscious package (they make all of their products with recyclable materials).
Speaking of the package — I’d be doing Balm Chicky a disservice by not talking about their branding. Moskow and Schwalb clearly put a lot of effort into presentation. Everything from the balms’ packaging to the flyers that come with them is vibrant, colorful, and sturdy. The balm descriptions on the flyers are hysterical and make you feel like you’re reading erotica with lines like “Inspired by the sweet flesh of succulent ripe cantaloupe, Juicy Melons wills soak your lips with luscious moisture,” and “With notes of raw honey, Wild Mountain Honey tames even the most weathered of lips into supple submission.” Does anyone else need a cigarette?
The only thing I would suggest is that they add more race and gender variety to the characters in their branding. They have thin, white women representing most of the flavors, then they have a token dude with a big ol’ “cucumber,” and a fetishized, big booty black woman for the Hot Chocolate Love flavor. I get that the product is 70s porn-themed and the porn industry is racist and sexist, but I would have been glad to stretch my imagination for that.
Overall, I’d give this product a 7/10. It’s not the most effective natural lip balm I’ve ever used and the flavors aren’t as pronounced as I’d like them to be — but the company’s heart is in the right place. The Friend End design is a genius way to stop the spread of germs, the packaging is environmentally conscious, the product is all natural, and the branding is extremely clever. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these balms to a friend.