Lifeguards’ Choice

I could always tell if someone snuck a swipe of my “lifeguards choice” chapstick.

About three years ago, my friend Benjamin Sampedro introduced me to the most intense lip-protectant I have ever used: Burt’s Bees Weatherproofing Lip Balm. It’s basically straight beeswax and coconut oil with just enough titanium dioxide to turn your lips completely white if you aren’t careful (but hopefully not enough to give me cancer, apparently). A nice shade of purple can also be achieved by varying the amount applied… Anyway, Ben gave it to me as a gift. It was quite fitting, given the fact that I lived in Florida at the time, spent a good deal of every day in the sun, and was [still am] addicted to applying glossy and/or creamy type things to my lips. Either that or it was a practical joke to get me to unknowingly walk around with white lips. The absence of a make-up mirror on my bike ensured that happening a couple of times.

Regardless, the tube served me well and had great longevity. The longevity aspect is somewhat surprising, given the immense frequency with which I apply product to my lips. This perplexity is easily resolved by the fact that I could only apply tiny amounts at a time to prevent the white-lip look. Unknowing friends did not realize this however, and would so apply just like any normal chapstick. And I could always tell. [This is significant in the world of Alissa Jean because I don’t normally share lip products, or makeup in general. Call me a germaphobe but really, sharing chapstick is like kissing the person. I don’t feel like kissing everyone who forgot their tube of Burt’s Bees.] Tell-tale white lips were a nice way to maintain my small sense of “I know what’s going on in my world”.

Last week was the end of that era. After a thus-far cold and rainy June, summer has finally managed to break through to West Michigan. It has done so with a vengeance. Perhaps it’s making up for lost time, or maybe I’m just not used to the feeling of sunshine (what is that burning ball of fire in the sky? It looks sort of familiar…)

As the sun deigned to shine on West Michigan, raising the temperature about 30 degrees overnight, I felt obligated to soak up some of the rays. The outdoor pool at MVP (my place of employment) is a great location for doing this. It’s also a great location for going down water slides, running through sprinklers, and pretending to be a kid again, but that is a different topic. For those of you already thinking, wait a second, red heads don’t “soak up rays”, you are wrong. This was made quite obvious by the abundance of tan lines that made their appearance just in time for that wedding I went to. But again, that is a different topic. I am here to talk about chapstick, the thing that really matters.

It melted.

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