Battle of the Balms: Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker


Were you once young? Do you have lips? Are you an American under age forty? If you answered “yes” to all three, odds are good that you have owned at least one tube of Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker ($2.50/.14oz) in your lifetime.

I’m the odd one out here. Though I owned MANY a tube of Lip Smacker balms as a youth and teen, I never went for the Dr. Pepper flavor. Why? Eh, I wasn’t allowed to drink caffeinated beverages, and I always tried to avoid even the appearance of breaking the rules.

Also, I feel like Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers — with its barely-there chocolate cherry tint — probably had more utility for kids in the nineties who weren’t allowed to wear makeup but still wanted to get that Super Cool Nineties Lip Color. I was a teen in the aughts, so I missed that trend. (Silvery lip balm was everyone’s jam.) I’m trying this now thanks entirely to Collier, who sent this to me for our “Old School” series (thank you! <3).

Tl;dr: I am reviewing this nostalgic lip balm without ever having tried it before.

And you know what? I’m pleasantly surprised!

Lip Smacker promises this has “the smooth, authentic taste of Dr. Pepper;” and while I don’t know that I’d say it’s spot-on, it’s pretty good. It’s got a strong cherry-spicy-cola scent, unfortunately combined with the strong waxy/castor oil flavor found in every Lip Smacker.

The tint is VERY VERY sheer — the phrase “barely there” was probably invented for this lipstick. It’s enough to enhance my own lip color, but not enough to show up strongly when swatched on the back of a hand.

How does it fare as an objectively-judged moisturizer? Let’s find out!

Speed in relieving dryness: Given the fact that this is marketed to eight-year-olds, and that it was produced before cosmetic ingredients got real fancy, I was not expecting this to do much for my chronically-dry lips. Surprise! Rather than sitting waxily on my lips (as I expected), this sunk in within about fifteen minutes. Good job, Lip Smacker!

Depth of hydration: Eh. This softens even the thickest, grossest dry patches on my lips, but it doesn’t sink down to the deepest layers (not even if worn nonstop over a couple of days).

Comfort: The texture is decidedly waxy, but not uncomfortably so (unlike the Nuxe Reve de Miel). It’s neither too thin nor too thick, and applies comfortably to the lips — I notice that my lips look much smoother when I’m wearing this, versus some of my other balms.

Longevity: When talking/snacking/drinking (normal life stuff), this hydrates my lips for a little over an hour. I can still feel it ON my lips for an hour or two afterwards, but it’s just waxy residue — my lips start feeling dry underneath the wax.

Ease of Use: This comes in a twist-up tube and pull-off cap, meaning it’s easy to apply one-handed. The cap also snaps back on securely, so I never worry about it coming off in my purse and making a ginormous mess. Nice job, Lip Smacker.

Scent/Flavor: As discussed before, the smell is great! — a cherry-spicy-cola sort of thing. The flavor is terrible. Don’t eat this.

SPF: No.

Tints? Not really. It’s enough of a tint to make your four-year-old niece feel excited and grown-up, but don’t expect much color from this.

IN CONCLUSION : This gets a MUCH more respectable rating than I expected for a $2.50 drugstore tween lip balm. If your lips aren’t obnoxiously dry, you might be able to get away with using it as your regular lip balm.

Ingredients: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Petrolatum, Beeswax/cire D’abeille, Ozokerite, Polybutene, Flavor/aroma, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/cire De Carnauba, Octyldodecanol, Propylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/stem Extract, Sucralose. May Contain/peut Contenir: Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Red 6 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140).


Dr Pepper Lip Smacker 3 3 4 1 5 Scent: 1 17
Drunk Elephant Lippe 5 5 4 4 4 Scent: 1 23
Glossier Balm Dotcom 4 4 4 3 3 Scent 1; Tint 1 20
TokyoMilk Dark 4 5 4 4 1 Scent: 2 20
Vaseline Rosy Lips 4 5 4 3 2 Scent 1; Tint 1 20
Nuxe Reve de Miel 4 4 4 2 2 Scent: 1 17
Elizabeth Arden 4 5 5 3 5 SPF: 1 23
Lancôme Juicy Shaker 2 1 2 1 3 Scent 1; Tint 1 11
Smith's Rosebud Smith’s Rosebud 5 4 5 2 5 Scent: 1 22
Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask Bite Agave 5 5 4 5 3 Scent 1;  Tint 1 24
Bag Balm Bag Balm 5 5 5 4 4 — — 22
Jack Black Jack Black 4 4 4 3 5 Scent 1; SPF 1 22


Dr Pepper Lip Smacker .14oz $2.50 bullet 17
Drunk Elephant Lippe .12oz $22 fat bullet 23
Glossier Balm Dotcom .5oz $12 tube, no applicator 20
TokyoMilk Dark .7oz $7 tin 20
Vaseline Rosy Lips .6oz $3.50 tin 20
Nuxe Reve de Miel .5oz $15 jar 17
Elizabeth Arden .5oz $22 tube, slant tip 23
Lancome Juicy Shaker .22oz $22 tube, sponge applicator 11
Smith's Rosebud Smith’s Rosebud .5oz $6 tube, slant tip 22
Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask Bite Agave .5oz $26 tube, no applicator 24
Bag Balm Bag Balm 8oz $8 tin 22
Jack Black Jack Black .25oz $7.50 tube, slant tip 22