1. Gloss-minimization method
The most reliable way to apply ChapStick as a male is doing a few swipes across the lips before taking a nearby Kleenex and wiping off the gloss that might lead someone to believe you are wearing lipstick. Try peering close to the mirror and whispering “Does it look like lipstick?” to verify that the method worked. Also, dispose of that Kleenex outside of your apartment to stop your roommates from questioning your intentions.
2. The ChapStick-finger-mouth application
Sometimes in a public place it is impossible to use ChapStick without getting glares for disrespecting masculinity. To avoid this, try wiping the ChapStick onto your finger (somewhere discreet like under a table) before putting it onto your lips and play it off as if you were massaging your mustache. DO NOT rub excessively.
3. Pretend it’s a vape
If you open your ChapStick and pretend to rip it like a vape, there is almost no chance that anyone will question you. If someone asks why the vape didn’t give off any fumes, tell them it is a carbon-neutral device or just punch them in the face.
4. Sprinkle it on your food and call it parmesan
This method works best in an Italian restaurant, where you can easily smash your ChapStick into small pieces and throw it on your pasta as parmesan. You can also call it Bellicino-Agglio or some other random name to sound sophisticated and prevent further questioning.
5. Create a complicated backstory
Backstories should include some form of emotional component; your doctor prescribed it to prevent Malaria-type infections, you use it to remind you of your mom, or it was the last gift your grandpa gave you before he died. If your audience seems unconvinced, try to force a few tears to complete the story.
If these options fail, you can always just live with cracked lips and a rock-hard ego. If you find someone who appreciates your ability to be both a male and lip-health-conscious, email the Madison Misnomer with that person’s Instagram handle and Snapchat.