A Tale of Two Lip Balms

Abdullahi Fawale
5 min readSep 29, 2021
Ochayyy, Blow won ni kiss. You’re doing well.

A short story of how I became a lip balm hoe, plus the flurry of life lessons that followed.

Before we begin, let’s get a few things out of the way.

You know how God created us in His image?


Now, don’t you think it’d be completely disrespectful (almost sacrilegious) to that image to be walking around with dry ass, chapped lips? No, really, just ponder on it for a sec. Or do people think lip balms are expensive? I’ll tell you for free that they’re not. You’re welcome.

So, a couple of months ago, I jumped in the shower because I needed to wash myself. Lol. No. I’m not saying the last time I had a shower was a few months ago. Lol. That’d be bonkers. I’m trying to make reference to a particular day, months ago. As a matter of fact, a particular night. I had had a long ass day and needed to freshen up for Netflix (because how dare you welcome the ‘Tudum’ with smelly arms and a face that hasn’t been lathered with soap and clean water all day?).

In no time, I’m in my birthday suit, giving the walls something to ogle. I power on my bluetooth speaker and pair the thing with my phone. Oxlade starts playing.

The thing about Oxlade and his harmonies is that though you sound so effing terrible when performing his music — even in the bathroom, which is honestly depressing because bathrooms hand out Grammys everyday — you don’t hear your vocal inadequacies. He’s enveloped you in his sound and his passion. You’re most likely grunting like a car with a damaged silencer but you don’t hear that. The feedback you get from your own voice is something like Michael Jackson’s. Omo. Incredibly powerful stuff.

Oxlade is sha playing. And I’m belting these notes in the shower. Feeling like I could have been Beyonce’s vocal coach because, chile, Where. Did. That. Head. Voice. Come. From? If Giveon had heard me in that shower, he’d have given up.

I carry that energy out of the shower and walk hurriedly to the shelf to grab my lip balm. I rummage through the items on top of the furniture for about two seconds before I realize I had used up the balm and thrown out the tube the day before.


Here’s the thing; I am crazy about just one lip balm brand. I’m even more obsessed with the Strawberry flavour of said brand. Like many things that have become a constant in my life, I believe my commitment to this brand is deeply tied to the value of loyalty I hold dear to my heart. I still cannot figure out where I found the confidence not to restock when I knew I was running out. Was I expecting that the product would magically appear on my shelf, summoned by the Guardians of the Lip Balm Galaxy? Hell nah. Was I a shameless procrastinator who had himself convinced that there was more than enough time to dash to the store and pick up the product before its next use? Most likely, yeah.

But now is not the time to mope. Because I’m fresh out the shower, high on Oxlade’s music and still very optimistic. Optimism is good. I begin to recite my mantra to calm myself.

“I’m beaurri, I’m a spec. I drip glory, I’m nobody’s ex”.

Lol. I’m kidding.

Then I remember I had purchased another lip balm, made by quite a popular skin care brand, months prior. I tried it once. Felt strange. Wasn’t digging it. Threw it somewhere that wasn’t the thrash (Thank God.) What had happened? Well, I had almost run out of my “usual” product and spent days combing major stores within the Kano metropolis in search of it, but this LOML lip balm said, “Nah bruh. You aint gettin’ it this time.” I later found the thing in a kiosk close to a friend’s apartment. IN A KIOSK. A KIOSK! See ba? We will talk about this thing someday; how some of the things we want are in places we often ignore. I’ll probably write a whole piece about it.

So, I begin the search for The Isolated. The Condemned. The Exiled. The product I had cast to the lip balm wilderness was about to make its grand return. I soon find it sitting pretty beneath a stack of papers at the bottom of the same shelf. It was sitting too pretty, almost as if it were unbothered; like it had been waiting for this day to come so it could eventually show me who the boss is.


I swallow my pride and pick it up. If I were tripping, I’d have sworn I saw a smirk. Still not convinced, I rolled out the stick, pressed it against my lips and immediately returned to miming my music. I didn’t pay it any mind. Gradually, the first use led to the second and the third and the fourth until I realised I had no problem using this new product and had gotten quite comfortable with it.

One day, I looked in the mirror as I applied the balm and couldn’t recognise myself. What had I become? Who was this person staring back at me? And why did I suddenly feel like a cheat? I couldn’t believe it took me just one day to betray the LOML lip balm.

Men. Are. Scum.

While I never continued with this new product after the first purchase, I had zero regrets. Actually, I had grown to love it. It was good for many things and I particularly loved that it lasted for much longer. But old habits. I had to return to my first love. Would I use this product again? Yes. I actually plan to buy it soon. Lol. I have worked on my guilt.

This experience could have as well mirrored real life situations. How often do we remain in our comfort zones, refusing to try something new? Or when we manage to summon some courage, we step away after the first try, not willing to push further and see what comes next? Remember I had bought this new product, tried it once, didn’t dig it and then threw it somewhere only to try again, months after. If I had been more patient, willing to try again after the first time, I probably would not have missed out on its goodness for months. Do you find this relatable in some way?

One more thing; because something doesn’t feel right one moment doesn’t mean it never will. Sometimes, that is just all it is. The time isn’t right. When you try again some other time, things could work out.

Sometimes, it’s just a lip balm, not the end of the world. We attach ourselves too much to things that are of little importance in our lives and before we know it, we’re overthinking and stressin’ when it’s only just a lip balm. Save all that energy for more pressing issues like your non-existent democracy (cc: the Twitter ban that has been on for four months now amongst many other things) and climate change.

And abeg, I’m not saying you should go and be test running boyfriends and girlfriends because Abdullahi said you should be open to trying out new things o! That’s not what we are saying here. If you like, don’t hear word.

Do you have a similar experience you’d love to share? Let’s hear it in the comments! I’m also taking feedback on social media. I’m everywhere that matters @abdullahifawale.