We already told you about numbing panties, which, despite the fact that they go on your nether regions, actually have a rather pedestrian purpose. (What you do with them when you’re not getting a bikini wax is your own business.) But now there’s Morphine Lip Balm, and its sole purpose is to help spice up your kisses.
Inspired by the 2006 Kill Hannah song “Lips Like Morphine,” Morphine Lip Balm was developed to “help create a perfect kiss and one that they will never forget.” When you read the ingredient list, you could be looking at any high-end lip product: grape seed oil, blackcurrant seed oil, vitamin E, jojoba. Until you get to the 4% benzocaine–that’s the same numbing ingredient that’s used in over-the-counter products like Orajel and mosquito bite sprays.
We spoke to Sheen Moaleman, Morphine Lips’ founder, to hear more about this fascinating product. Here are a few things we learned:
Sheen has a background in marketing, and has always been a Chapstick and lip balm freak. Just like almost every single beauty editor we’ve met, he loves Fresh’s Sugar lip balm. This love of lip balm and Kill Hannah’s inspirational song set the entrepreneurial ball rolling. He sold his car and got a small cash infusion from his parents–which was intended for law school–to start this company.
As an odd sidebar, the company has a bit of a fairy godmother in Poppy King, who is the lip guru behind Lipstick Queen. Poppy is friends with Kill Hannah’s lead singer Mat Devine, and well, you can figure out the connection. Sheen was in NYC this week to get some mentoring from Poppy and to help get the whole venture off the ground.
Sheen told us that his “market research”–consisting of his friends trying it out on girls in bars–has proved that “girls are instantly intrigued and waiting for the guy to go in for a kiss so they can try it out.” Um, really? Of course we had to ask the obvious question: What about using it on other places? Sheen said, “Well, we have to say that it’s intended for use on the lips only. But I’ve heard it’s amazing and something everyone should try out.”* Sheen helpfully pointed out that some condoms and lubricants contain benzocaine.
(*of course we’re talking about oral sex here)
You can legally use up to 20% lidocaine in an over-the-counter product. They tried 12% in the original prototype but it “numbed your whole face.” The numbing effect in the current formulation lasts for five to seven minutes. (We tried it and it took a good ten minutes to wear off. It’s a very disconcerting, tingly sensation.)
Morphine Lip Balm sells for $17.50, and a lip gloss formulation will be available at the end of the summer. A “no numb” version is also in the works, but we suspect the numbing version will be the runaway best seller. For obvious reasons.
Lips like sugar? Nothing sweet about this balm.