Maybe you got your very first Lip Smacker in a birthday goody-bag along with a mini Bath and Body Works lotion (Cucumber Melon, because duh), watermelon Laffy Taffy, and Dum Dum lollipops. It was probably Strawberry, Vanilla, or Dr. Pepper scented, and you coveted it and smothered its waxy sweetness onto your lips until you could no longer twist out any more sustenance. That very day, you begged your mom to take you to Target to get more. You spent every last dollar of your allowance on a fleet of vibrant, glittery tubes of all varieties. Cotton Candy, Vanilla Frosting, Sugar Plum, Strawberry Kiwi, the kind with the little plastic jewels on the cap, even LIP GLOSS: You eventually had them all, a true Bonne Bell prowess.
Which is why the very recent news concerning the closing of The Bonne Bell Co. is especially devastating. We ’90s kids grew up with Bonne Bell makeup. It was our essence, our endless love for it was written in the stars, and possibly embedded in our genetic makeup. But as of March 29th, 2015, the cosmetic company will be closing “all manufacturing and distribution operations at the facility located [in Ohio],” according to Cleveland.com. Even sadder, all 91 employees will be laid off for good.
While The Bonne Bell Co. may be no more, the not-so-bad-but-still-why-Bonne-Bell-why news is that the business has been sold to Markwins International Corp. —which owns Wet ‘n Wild and Physicians Formula— so at least our beloved lip products are in good hands. The brand name “Bonne Bell” will be changed to “Bell Family Brands,” and as for the lip-smacking, amazing scents (over 800 of them!) we’ve grown to love over the last 42 years? Well, we can only hope for the best.
Jess “Buddy” Bell Jr. (creator and founder Jesse Bell’s son), told Cleveland.com, “Markwins has a proven track record of creating excitement and bringing innovation to the cosmetic category. They will bring the same excitement and innovation to the Lip Smacker and Bonne Bell brands. I am excited about the future of the Lip Smacker and Bonne Bell brands under Markwins ownership.” I mean. We’re not, “Buddy,” but we’ll survive. Support groups may be necessary, though.