Phone Cases Are Boring. Put a Lip Balm on It

In 2022, Hailey Bieber—the influencer responsible for inflicting the “glazed donut skin” trend on all of us—founded her own skincare line. Rhode’s flagship product is an (excellent, might I say) lip balm. When Hailey and her influencer cadre teased a dedicated lip balm phone case last week, selected corners of the internet (and our Gear Team) collectively freaked out. A lip balm holder? In a phone case? We need it.

The case is available for $35, and you can join the wait-list here. It’s available for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15, plus the respective Pro versions, and there’s a dedicated storage slot for the Rhode lip tint or treatment. Unfortunately, it’s available only in sage green, but its silken silicone curves are so alluring. And you’ll be able to find your lip balm whenever you want! As long as it’s Rhode’s, anyway. But maybe that’s good enough for now.

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What Was I Made For

Let’s get the hard truth out of the way: If you get this case, you are essentially turning yourself into a walking, unpaid Rhode advertisement. Every time you take a mirror selfie, put your phone down on a table, or send a text at the coffee shop, Rhode’s lip treatment will be front and center. It’s a case that’s designed to draw attention and not do much of anything else. You have to remove the case for wireless charging, and you can kiss your mount or MagSafe card wallet goodbye.

We haven’t gotten our hands on it, but what happens if Rhode stops selling lip balm. (God forbid!) What are the odds that it fits a Summer Fridays lip balm or even Aquaphor? The product page says that the case is made of silicone, but beyond that, details—specifically those regarding sustainability—are nonexistent. The company has not responded to a request for comment.

With that said, I’m a huge advocate for feminine tech and tech accessories. (Rhode’s Watermelon Slice Lip Treatment is really good.) This simple, curvy lip-balm phone case highlighted the fact that there is an entire universe of gear that has yet to exist—especially for women. Most phone cases are just boring. We can and should be doing better.

Everyday Art

Photograph: Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

We use our phones for everything. They’re our cameras, our wallets, our maps, our books. They’re one of the few items on our checklist of things to have before we leave the house. There are a lot of pretty utilitarian ways to make use of the back of the phone. Not a fan of phone grips? Try straps, rings, or suction mounts. Prefer being risky and going caseless? There’s a skin for that. If you’re a photographer, you can add lenses. If your device has a charging port, you can add a dust plug. Or if you’re practical, you can add a wallet. Gamers might want charging cases, and so on.