Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lipstick: The "classic base"

This is my beloved double boiler. From left to right, clockwise, you see the lip balm base, the classic base, and Croda's super sterol base.

Although I really like the lip balm base for a lipstick base, I couldn't resist trying this recipe for a (supposedly) less greasy, more dry, stiffer recipe than the lip balm.

2.5% carnauba wax - (I used candelilla wax as I was out of carnauba)
20% beeswax
10% ozokerite wax
5% lanolin
2% cetyl alcohol
3% liquid paraffin (polyisobutane)
3% IPM
10% pigments
46% castor oil
0.5% to 1% Vitamin E

So what does each ingredient bring to the party?

Carnauba wax - rigidity and a high melting point
Beeswax - solubility with castor oil, plasticity
Ozokerite wax - high melting point, less softness
lanolin - moisturization and emulsification, if required
cetyl alcohol - conditioning and co-emulsification, if required
liquid paraffin (polyisobutane) - emollient
IPM - emollient and de-greaser
pigments - your colour obviously
castor oil - emollient, glossing agent

Castor oil is a key ingredient in lipsticks you'll see over and over again. It's thick, has a long shelf life, and maintains its viscosity well. Beeswax is partially soluble in castor oil and together they form a more viscous and thick system that will keep your colours from creeping into the fine lines around your mouth. Castor oil is very glossy, and looks very nice. And it doesn't taste bad, which is a huge plus.

The various waxes (more about those tomorrow) have different melting points and offer different types of rigidity to your lipstick, so you want to have two or three in there to ensure you don't have a sloppy product.

Lanolin is both an emulsifier and emollient. A lot of people aren't fans of lanolin for various reasons - you can choose another soft butter in its place but you won't get the emulsification without it.

Cetyl alcohol is a co-emulsifier and adds glide. It will also stiffen up the lipstick.

Liquid paraffin can be a fancy name for a type of mineral oil. It will add a very long shelf life emolliency to your lipstick. Again, some people don't like it, so I'm going to suggest using another light oil in its place. I like fractionated coconut oil, squalene, or shea oil.

IPM is a dry emollient and a little bit goes a long way to lowering the feeling of greasiness.

I've tried this base and it is definitely tenacious! (It's the one on the left). It stays on very well and doesn't feather. In my humble opinion, I think it's too dry and doesn't glide enough. I'd get rid of the IPM next time and add a titch of another, more glidy oil like fractionated coconut oil, squalene, or shea oil. I don't mind mineral oil, but I think there are oils that could offer some lovely therapeutic benefits to my lips, so I'll change that next time as well. I do like the cetyl alcohol - big fan of it! - so I'll keep that in. And I'm going to try it with the carnuaba wax, just to see what the difference might be.

You'll notice I substituted the candelilla wax for the carnuaba wax above. Join me for fun with waxes tomorrow!


Brandi Yates said...

I have the ingredients to make this but noticed you wanted to change the recipe. I will try this with frac coconut oil. Do you recommend any other changes? I will leave out the IPM,

Brandi Yates said...

I made this with fractionated coconut oil and left out the IPM and it was a little hard. I also didnt add enough mica and they are not staining my lips. I was wondering if you have any more recipes for the ozokerite wax or the polyisobutane? Are they for lip products only?

Nesh said...

Can I make this base matte by adding some Zinc Oxide and Magnesium Myristate? I like how the classic base looks but I want a more muted color.

Anonymous said...

To the commenters above: yes, zinc oxide should help make a somewhat more matte lipstick, but bear in mind it will also make the color much lighter and more opaque(can't comment about magnesium myristate as I've never used it). In my experience, substituting a lighter oil like canola or sweet almond for the castor oil will really make the lipstick more matte. Of course you could also use oxides and other matte pigments instead of micas as colorants.

Another comment: to make a lipstick that really stains the lips, try adding F, D, & C dyes. I like using a combination of F, D, & C dyes, oxides/other matte pigments, and micas. Even when the actual lipstick wears off, the dyes have stained my lips so that the color stays around.


Harriet said...

What does IPM stand for? The swatches are balms having barely any color. How about an actual lipstick like the consistency of a MAC satin? Or even a weak Loreal?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Harriet. If you click on the link for IPM, you can learn more about it. Or you can do a search for IPM on the blog. It's worth the effort to learn more about this less greasy feeling light ester!

As for the recipe, if you don't like it, you don't have to make it. There are so many recipes on this blog and on the 'net you could try instead. If you did want to make the recipe, then you could check out some of the other post in the mineral make-up or MMU section of the blog on learning how to make your lipsticks more opaque.

Vanessa said...

I know this is an anhydrous product but if indebtedness a preservative and flavor would I delete from the wax or the oil?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Vanessa. Sorry, I'm having trouble understanding your post. Looks like auto-correct is messing with you!

Nico said...

Hi Susan! I was wondering, would we still need preservatives in lipstick? I mean, it is an anhydrous product but it comes into contact with saliva, which isn't exactly bacteria free. I get that some ingredients can have anti bacterial properties but would that really be enough?