Part of my zero waste initiative of 2015 has been to start making my own toiletries and beauty products. For the most part, I use recipes I find online, but sometimes I tweak and alter them until I have something that fits my tastes. This is one of those recipes. I’ve been trying out a few different combinations of ingredients to get a lipstick like texture. So far I haven’t found it, but this recipe makes a great tinted balm that leaves a good amount of color on your lips.
I started by searching for vintage lipstick tubes. I didn’t want to spend time and money making all-natural products just to store them in plastic. Especially when a big part of zero waste is eliminating plastic completely. I browsed several styles on Etsy, and decided on these vintage Revlon tubes from Frugal Resale. They appear to be brass, and since brass commonly had lead in their composition, I picked up a surface lead test from my local hardware store. They were negative, which means, hooray, lead free! I scraped out the remnants and boiled the containers for a few minutes to clean them. I did have one of the labels fall off, so I’ll be gluing it back on. I’m particularly fond of that “Touch of Genius” shade 😉
Many online recipes call for specialty ingredients you have to order online. Since my goal is to hopefully one day source all the ingredients locally, if not completely from my homestead, I tried to find some more basic supplies. Most of this can be found at your local grocery or health foods store. In fact, I ground up dried hibiscus leaves from my HEB bulk section (it was with the spices), and peeled, sliced, and dehydrated and then ground fresh beets into a powder.
One tip that I found handy with my hibiscus powder was to strain it through a fine mesh sieve. In this case it was a tea strainer. This keeps the larger clumps and flower parts from getting into your coloring powder, keeping the shade a bit more even. Still, hibiscus is a bit more finicky than the beet root. In the stick, it’s hard to tell a difference.
Beet root is on the left, hibiscus on the right. I had a bit of clumping there since I waited just a touch too long to start mixing it up and pouring it into the tube. Here is the beet root balm (it appears a bit darker in real life):
And below is the hibiscus (also a bit darker and slightly more even):
You can see the graininess that the hibiscus can have. It’s less noticeable in person, and you can rub your lips together and work most of it in. I would also say that while the beet root gives the better color, I like the flavor and texture of the hibiscus more.
Now enough hemming and hawing, let’s get to the recipe!
DIY All Natural Tinted Lip Balm Recipe
• 1/4 t beeswax (grated or pellets)
• 1/2 t shea butter
• 1/4 t cocoa butter (I only had coconut butter, and that worked well)
• 1/2 t olive oil (or sunflower/almond/jojoba/whatever oil)
• 1 t coloring powder (beet root, hibiscus, paprika, cocoa, or a mix of several)
• 3-5 drops essential oil of choice (I chose grapefruit since it’s uplifting and makes me happy)
Melt the beeswax, shea, cocoa and olive oil in a double boiler over medium heat. Be sure not to fill it too high to keep water from splashing in. I used a 1 cup pyrex pouring measuring cup for this, stirring with a wooden skewer. This will take up to five minutes, as the beeswax takes a while to fully melt. Once melted, still in the pot, I add in my color powder and make sure it dissolves and blends well into the mixture. Remove from heat and cool. Once it’s cool to the touch, add in your essential oils. You don’t want to do it too soon while it’s hot or it will denature any of the good properties of the oil, leaving just a pretty scent. Allow it to continue cooling, as the oils and colors can separate. Every few minutes stir the mixture with your spoon/skewer, making sure they stay combined. Once it’s the texture of warm butter, begin to coax it into your tube or container. I like to scoop in a bit then tap it on the counter to make sure it’s compacted. I did this several times until it was full to the top. Allow it to cool and set overnight.
Apply as desired! It also makes for a nice cheek or eye stain as well. It’s a subtle color, that needs frequent application. Hopefully soon I’ll come up with the perfect lipstick recipe to share here as well!