Admittedly I am no longer the target demographic for teen fave Bonne Bell Lip Smackers. Though I remember my first Lip Smacker like it was yesterday. It was jumbo sized and Strawberry flavored. That one was soon followed by Bubble Gum, Watermelon, Dr. Pepper (which I also used on my cheeks), Chocolate Cherry, Sugar Plum (my favorite), Banana and probably about 20 other flavors I can no longer remember – it was the early 80’s. I blame Bonne Bell for my lip gloss addiction today. However, I did buy a small Skittles flavored tube a few years ago at Target. I’ll admit it.
I am still shocked/bummed to learn that Bonne Bell Cosmetics will soon be shutting down operations. They have been sold to Markwins International Corp., which already owns brands like Wet-N-Wild, Barbie Cosmetics and The Color Workshop. On March 29, 2015 it is expected 91 employees will be laid off. According to Cleveland.com, Bonne Bell Co. “will be permanently laying off employees and closing substantially all manufacturing and distribution operations at the facility in Westlake, Ohio in connection with the sale of a significant portion of the business.”
Lip Smackers will still be available in Asia, Europe, and Australia, but who knows if they will be the same formula? I am weeping real tears…mostly over my lost youth (Body on Tap and Tickle are long gone and I’m over it – this hurts a lot more).
Here are some fun facts about Bonne Bell:
1927: Bonne Bell was founded in Lakewood, Ohio by cosmetics salesman Jesse Bell
1967: Bonne Bell Cosmetics became the first sponsor of the U.S. women’s Olympic ski team.
1973: Bonne Bell introduces Lip Smackers. There were 3 flavors launched; Strawberry, Green Apple, and Orange Chocolate
1998: 10-0-6 (remember that smell?) is discontinued.
2007: Most of Bonne Bell relocates to Australia, and reduces their American presence.
2012: Bonne Bell boasts there are 400 flavors available
I’m sad. So sad. It’s the end of an era and my first foray into beauty…OK, gloss.
– Lauren Dimet Waters