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A Tearful Good-bye to Bonne Bell Lip Smackers

In case you missed it, Bonne Bell Cosmetics, the maker of Lip Smackers, announced that it will be shutting down operations. Lip Smackers will live on, but by the end of March, they’ll be available only in Asia, Europe, and Australia. In tribute to this iconic product, which served as a makeup gateway drug for many preteens of the ’80s and ’90s (myself included), here’s a by-the-numbers look at the history of Lip Smackers.

Bonne Bell Lip Smackers

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1967: The year Bonne Bell Cosmetics became the first sponsor of the U.S. women’s Olympic ski team. Founder Jesse Bell, an avid skier himself, was unimpressed by the waxy, medicinal balms the athletes used on their chapped lips, so he set out to invent a formula that was ultramoisturizing and didn’t taste terrible.

3: The number of Lip Smackers flavors when the line first launched. (If you’re curious, they were Strawberry, Green Apple, and Orange Chocolate.)

1975: The year the brand teamed up with Dr. Pepper to create the delicious soda-scented balm.

20: The estimated number of new flavors the brand launched each year.

400: The number of flavors available as of October 2012.

1: Rank the Strawberry flavor consistently held among the brand’s top sellers. (Is anyone else shocked it wasn’t Dr. Pepper?)

It’s with great sadness that we add Lip Smackers to our list of beloved discontinued products. It will also remain on our list of 50 Beauty Products to Buy Before You Die, because you never know when you might find yourself at a drugstore in Australia.

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