LIP BALMSLip balms are fun and easy to make - to be honest, it's the flavouring that's the hardest bit. A lot of companies use scent, not flavouring, so go for a lip safe fragrance (Brambleberry has some great choices) and you'll save yourself the headache of learning to sweeten properly. (You can include some essential oils that also have a taste, but avoid the citrus ones - I know, I love lime! - because they can make you photosensitive! Mint is always nice, as is vanilla.)
There's quite a simple formula you can use, and you can tweak to your heart's content. (This is a formula created by Majestic Mountain Sage and it's the best one I've found...)
25% soft butter (coconut oil, shea butter, mango butter)
15% solid butter (cocoa butter)
40% liquid oil
(If you want to make this a vegan friendly lip balm, use 10% candellia wax and up the soft butter by 5% and the solid butter by 5%)
My personal favourites...
25% soft butter - aloe butter (10%) and shea butter (15%)
15% cocoa butter
40% liquid oil - aloe oil (10% soothing), calendula oil (2%, soothing), castor oil (10%, for shine), and shea or fractionated coconut oil (18%)
NOTE ON OILS: I am a big fan of olive oil as a humectant, which is something lovely in a lip balm, but it tastes kind of weird, very olive-y. You can try it. I didn't like it, and I really wanted to like it! Try to find ones that don't have a lot of flavour like the fractionated coconut oil or shea oil.
Melt all ingredients in a heatproof container in a double boiler. When all the ingredients have melted, add your fragrance or flavour oil, sweeten (optional), then pour into lip balm tubes or pots.
If you are using the lip balm tubes, note that as your lip balm cools, it is going to get a dent in the top. You can live with it, or top it up with a little bit of your left over lip balm, or make it too high and cut the top off. I don't worry about it too much, but some people like it to be pretty! (See above for picture of dent!)
Please check out the Majestic Mountain Sage site for this great recipe on how to incorporate honey into your lips balms. Personally, I love glycerin or honey in a lip balm, but some people aren't fans of lanolin because they think they are sensitive to it. Very few people are, in fact, sensitive to it, but it's an ingredient people want to avoid. The lanolin acts an emulsifier in this recipe, so it is necessary.
FLAVOURING: You will want to use about 3 to 5% of your total weight in flavouring. Most supply stores offer great flavourings for lip balms (or you can use icing/chocolate flavourings by Lorann Oils from cake or chocolate decorating shops), all of which are not sweetened. If you are going to sweeten your lip balms, you can try using powdered stevia or liquid stevia (oil based, not water or glycerin based) and it is a matter of trial and error. Try a drop, taste it, see if you like it. If not, add another drop, and so on. When you like it, pour it into your lip balm containers and let set.
The lipgloss to your right was left uncoloured on one side...but ruby red mica was used in the other side. This is coloured just enough to give it and your lips a tiny hint of colour, as it was intended for a 5 year old!
Anne-Marie (The Soap Queen, fantastic owner of Brambleberry and Otion) has an amazing blog you should check out regularly, and she has posted fantastic tutorials on lipstick making...
- Lipstick ingredients - start here for all the basics.
- Lipstick recipes - great recipe!
- Figure out your perfect colour - great ideas!
- More ideas for colour and recipes - I love this one!
- Colourful lip balms in wonderful colours
- Mother's day lipsticks - best ways to pour lipsticks and lip balms.
- Filling containers and labelling - this post is a must!
When incorporating colours, here are a few hints...
- use oil soluble titanium dioxide in lipsticks. The water soluble will not mix well!
- if you want a sheer lip colour, use micas only. If you want an opaque one, use some titanium dioxide and lip safe ultramarines, iron oxides, and magnesium thingies.
- before pouring into the tube or pot, pour some on a piece of paper and let set (or a wooden popsicle or coffee stir stick). Try it on your lips. If you like it, pour it. If you want more colour, mix it in, then try the test again.
- WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN! I cannot stress this enough. Even if you think you're going to hate the colour, write every single bit down so you will remember later. Because you'll probably like it and want to kill yourself for not making notes!