During the first 30 years of my life, I can count on one hand the number of times I used lip salve. In the last 5 years I have been increasing in its use at an almost exponential rate. There isn’t a day that goes by, at this point, where I don’t slather on a lip balm of some sort at least three times. I guess I should also note that I now use lotion on my elbows and face and eye drops in my eyeballs a couple of times a day now too. Without the eye drops, I am pretty sure I would be blind from the absolute lack of lubrication under my lids every morning when I wake up, so it isn‘t a luxury, it is necessity. Further, my elbows itch like I fell in a patch of poison oak and my face falls off like a lepper without healthy dose of Jergins everyday. Is this really my fate? I didn’t think becoming a “Dried-up old codger” really had anything to do with my body‘s moisture content. I drink roughly a gallon of water a day, but do you think anything actually makes into my tissues and skin? Nope, instead I am plagued with a bout of frequent urination that would make you think my bladder is either the size of a walnut or my prostate is the size of a beach ball. Either way, I’m getting up twice a night or wetting the bed. So drinking more isn’t really going to solve my problem.
Hence, if I am indeed resigned to being a crusty, flaky, freak for the rest of my days, I had better choose my hygienic weapons well. So the question is, what lip product can a man keep on his person and potentially use in public without stepping into the cross-gender category (not that there is anything wrong with that)? One may consider following a woman’s approach as they are, in general, prepared for lip battle at all times. In fact, in desperate moments, I’ve sampled many of my wife’s various lip products. I assure you that I have never used any item classified as “lipstick” or “gloss”, nor have I sampled a “shimmer” of any sort when going into public. (What I do in the privacy of my own bedroom is my business!) I just prefer something with a little less tint and a little more sun block and lip-lube. I’m also not a huge fan of smelling menthol, citrus, berries, or any other fruit for 3 hours after applying. It is being slathered less than one inch under my nostrils, you know. While a woman’s bright red, cherry flavored lips may be the pinnacle of seduction for her, that same ruby-red whale lard rubbed on my face does little more than drop my bench press by 40lbs. Yes, they use whale lard in women’s cosmetics, but only from cutest of baby whales, I assure you. Who would want the fat of an old nasty whale on their face anyhow…besides Tom Arnold that is?
That brings us to the most manly facial cosmetic ever made. Chapstick. Good old, smells like an old candle, Chapstick. I think this stuff has got to be 100 years old and although it does come in different flavors now, I prefer the hearty musk of the ancient formula best. Hygiene-wise, the stick method of application is much better in my mind than products like Carmex, where you have to stick your filthy finger that has been touching nasty door handles all day into a tiny vat of goo before transferring that viral jelly to your lips. Just snap off the cap and go to town. Please note that if you blot anything on a napkin after applying you should be punched in the face.
My only word of caution with Chapstick is what I like to call “first chap”. First chap is the first time you use a new Chapstick. When you spin the bottom for the first time, the stick rises with a thin razor of product as a ring around the top of the stick. It is there from when the tube is filled at the factory and makes for a very uncomfortable “first chap”. I can only suggest you work through it like a man and use some hearty pressure to round off those razors so that your second chap onward will be smooth and comfortable. In my home, I always handle the “first chap” for the family. Like eating all leftovers that are over 5 days old, and always eating the heals of the bread, this is just part of being the “man of the house”. Makes you tough, grows hair on your chest. I’m sure my son will handle “first chap” when he is a husband and father. (almost brings a tear to my eye)
Size-wise, a Chapstick is perfect for a pocket, your car’s ashtray, or slipped over your right ear like a pencil. A single tube will last almost a lifetime even if you are “hitting the chap” six times a day like me. Chapstick is also very cheap and will never make you second guess your sexual proclivities. Plus, think about all the extra attention from the ladies if you do happen to slip one of those in the front pocket of your skinny jeans. Like my wife always says “Is that a Chapstick in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?”