Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tween Glamour Revisited

So Bonne Bell is going out of business. Buh-bye lip smackers. Farewell streaky bronzer. It was fun knowing you. For a brief period of time in the early 80s – before sensitive skin and allergies took me into the land of Clinique, Bonne Bell was one of those brands that represented grown-up glamour (at least in my middle-school mind). The sad news of the company's demise had me wanting to rush out and seek a final few tubes of Dr. Pepper or watermelon-flavored lip gloss. Instead, I sat down and came up with a round-up of the must-have beauty products of an early-80s tween. Here’s what we put on every morning and discussed between classes. Play some Duran Duran or early Madonna and see if these bring back a few memories…

Village Lip Lickers. Bonne Bell was a favorite, but I always loved those little vintage-looking tins, and while my memory may be a little fuzzy, I think they tasted better. And they’re still available today (I sense an online order coming) Plus, you could get them at Spencer’s, and let’s face it, no store epitomized cool to an 8th-grader more than Spencer’s.

Maybelline Kissing Potion. Yeah, kissing was a major concern back then. We all wanted to be prepared with the perfect shiny, great-tasting lips for anything that might (but probably wouldn’t) happen. What happened instead is that your first attempt at a sexy hair flip would send your hair into your mouth where it would get stuck in a layer of lip gloss that would make the cleanup crew for the BP spill nervous.

Speaking of your bouncy, shiny tresses, who didn’t love the new Studio Effects line from L’Oreal with the bottles that looked like a Mondrian painting?  At least until Aussie Sprunch Spray came out and our bangs could be taken to previously-unknown and grape-scented heights.

And how many of us were convinced that Halsa shampoo (the one that you bought to match the color of your hair) would actually give us highlights?

Of course if you were really serious about highlights, you probably went the Sun-In route, or if you were like me, combed lemon juice into your hair and sat out in the sun for hours.

Not that sitting out in the sun was a problem back then. In the south were I grew up, sunscreen was for wimps. Maybe, if you were really concerned about your skin (or your mom was overprotective) you used a SPF 4 or 6. But if you wanted to get that perfect shade of golden brown, hard-core tanners would skip the Panama Jack or Hawaiian Tropic and go straight for a bottle of baby oil with a few drops of iodine mixed in.

Your perfect tan was set off with purple glitter nail polish (it only took approximately 15 coats to get your nails to look like this), and once you got past your mom and into the girls bathroom at school, some shimmery purple eyeshadow to match too, right?

And speaking of nails, remember when the scoop was that gelatin would help make our nails grow stronger and longer?  I kind of misunderstood that one and mom came home one day to find me soaking my fingers in a bowl of unset lime jello. My nails didn’t grow but my fingers were an odd shade of green for a while.

But didn't we look (and smell) totally awesome, strolling through the halls enveloped in a cloud of Love’s Baby Soft or Impulse Body Spray?


What have I missed?  What were your favorite tween beauty products?