Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Though they've never had a major ad campaign or a celebrity face, drugstore beauty brand Carmex has consistently sold since the 1970s. After several decades of selling just one product--their original lip balm, in pots and tubes--the company has slowly branched out. They debuted additional flavors of the balm, including vanilla, lime, and strawberry, over the last few years. And now their new product line bears a strong resemblance to another down-home brand that went boom: Burt's Bees.
Carmex's new line of tinted balms, Moisture Plus, look and feel a lot like Burt's lip shimmer sticks. They've also branched out into skincare, debuting a line of lotions and hand creams. That closely follows the trajectory taken by Burt's Bees, who became known for their lip balms, expanded into shimmer, and then launched hair and skin products. Though Carmex's line is smaller and has a much less substantial marketing budget, it seems clear who they're taking their cues from.
•Carmex [Official Site]
•Burt's Bees [Official Site]