I remember my first tube of Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1.
I was in high school, moistening my lips with Carmex, when I realized that it wasn’t doing a damn thing for me. I noticed some of my wealthier classmates pulling a non-descript white tube with black writing, or a white pot with the same black text, out of their bags and using the contents to soften their lip. They didn’t seem to be re-applying every five minutes like I was. They didn’t have lips so chapped by the wind off the East River that they’d bleed. I filed it away, and made do with the Carmex (and later, Body Shop lip balms which were so flavored I felt like I was having a snack every time I slopped it on).
Finally, in college in Chicago, I found myself at Barney’s, specifically at the makeup counter. I had finally discovered the magic (via my best friend Kim) of Kiehl’s Creme with Silk Groom to treat and even style my frizzy hair. In a large glass jar was a pile of lip balm tubes — the lip balm from private school. I tried a sample, and that was it — after cursing the years wasted on Carmex and all other inferior lip balm products, I handed over $5 for my own tube (now $8.50, and worth every penny), and left with my life changed for good.