Unlike the kind of adult women who delight in a Sally Hansen Crayola collab or Care Bears eyeshadow palettes, the nostalgia factor just doesn’t do it for me. I was a miserable child, and most of my memories of my youth involve not trips to Disneyland but rather sulking on family vacations, complaining about being too hot or too cold, and, on a more positive note, the first time my dad showed me a $100 bill.
But I do remember this: In first grade, while sitting cross-legged on the carpet as the teacher read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie aloud for the fiftieth time, I ate a lip balm. It was a Lip Smacker, of course — the classic French Vanilla, if I recall correctly — twisted all the way up, chewed, swallowed. The class cheered; I was a celebrity.
Word eventually got back to my mother. Though we had very few rules at home, one of them, unbeknownst to me, was not to eat Lip Smackers. My collection was confiscated and, as a kind of consolation prize, my mother purchased me several roll-on lip glosses, which I loved. Sure, you couldn’t eat them, but the wet, glossy shine and slippery feel had me hooked. Now that I’m a real live grown-up, I can use whatever type of lip product I want — and eat it, too, if I feel like it. And yet, presented with a choice, I’d go for the rollerball every time. It’s a novelty — you rarely see it marketed toward anyone over the age of 12 — but it really just brings me back, you know?
Finally, I've found a product that both satisfies the part of me that wants to use lip gloss made for children and the part of me that prizes decidedly adult values such as extravagance, luxury, and $100 bills: Tom Ford's new Lip Slicks, which are essentially the rich-person upgrade of the roll-ons I loved so much.
The sheer, pigmented tints come in four rich, shiny, flattering shades on the berry spectrum, and feel comfortable and non-sticky with the addition of jojoba and coconut oil. The shine level and hit of moisture is much the same, but these don't smell overwhelmingly of strawberry-infused plastic — rather, you get an unobtrusive whiff of warm, sugary vanilla. And so that's how the story goes: If you give a girl a rollerball, next she'll want the Tom Ford version...