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.
CLASSIC LIPSTICK BASE
2.5% carnauba wax - (I used candelilla wax as I was out of carnauba)
10% ozokerite wax
2% cetyl alcohol
3% liquid paraffin (polyisobutane)
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!