A recent (and rare) trip to the mall informed me that berry toned lips are in (as are some pretty poppin’ eyes, if Sephora is to be trusted). I’d been thinking it was high time to blend up some new lipstick shades for a while, and said mall visit proved to be just the thing to get me mixing up pots of colour in my kitchen again.

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Today’s shade is Black Plum—a rich, blue-tinted red tone that’s not-quite-purple, but is sort of thinking about it. It’s not as richly pigmented as some of my other lipsticks, meaning you can layer it up for more of a colour punch, or apply one layer for a lighter tint. I’m enjoying the versatility.

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The colour comes from a blend of red iron oxide and blue ultramarine. The FDA hasn’t approved ultramarines for use around the mouth, but apparently the EU has, and I find the EU is generally more conservative with their approvals than the FDA, so I’ve decided to go with the EU on this one. It’s a pretty minute amount of the blue in any event, especially when you consider it on a per-use basis. If you don’t want to use blue ultramarine I’m afraid you’re out of luck for this shade—I know of no natural, oil-soluble or insoluble pigments that will do the trick.

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As with all my lipsticks, this one comes together easily (though the clean up is a bit of a pain). While the oils melt, blend your pigments together. Then, mix and mash everything together before filling your tubes. Voila!

Black Plum Lipstick

7g | 0.25oz shea butter
4g | 0.14oz cocoa butter
9g | 0.32oz safflower oil
1g | 0.03oz magnesium stearate

4g | 0.14oz beeswax

½ tsp red iron oxide
1/8 tsp blue ultramarine (I use these tiny measuring spoons for tiny measurements like this)
1/16 tsp oil-soluble titanium dioxide

Combine the shea butter, cocoa butter, safflower oil, and magnesium stearate in a small saucepot and melt everything together. We’re leaving the beeswax out at this point because it browns at about 85°C, but magnesium stearate doesn’t melt until ~90°C. So, we’ll melt the magnesium stearate first, and then drop the temperature and add the beeswax.

While everything is melting, measure out your pigments (don’t get distracted, though—keep a close eye on your oils so they don’t scorch!).

Once all the oils have melted, add the pigments and stir and mash everything together with a good, flexible silicone spatula. You want to be super sure you’ve smashed up all the bits of oxide so the final lipstick is nice and smooth.

When you’ve got everything blended together beautifully, pour your lipstick into tubes or tins. This will fill four or five 4.5g lip balm tubes.

I have not experimented with any alternatives to magnesium stearate at this point and cannot recommend any, sorry. I do not recommend eliminating it unless you enjoy “skiddy” lipstick 🙂

Feel free to add a few drops of your preferred lip balm essential oil if you like.

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