This idea was born out of perusing one of those in-flight catalogues whilst I was undoubtedly quite bored. You know the type—you can order Arwen Evenstar’s pendant, a mini-putt for the corner of your office, and a brand of makeup you’ve never heard of that is apparently huge in Europe. One of the items in this catalogue was some sort of makeup eraser stick; a compact twist-up tube of some substance that would help you tidy up cosmetic snafus—a cat eye that’s headed for the hills, or some mascara that liked the looks of your eyebrows. I liked the idea, and the ingredients gave it away as a simple cleansing balm, so this is my DIY take on it.

How to Make Makeup Eraser Sticks

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Our cleansing ingredients are emulsifiers—simple emulsifying wax (I used Polawax) and Cromollient SCE. There are several alternatives if you check the list of substitutions at the end of the recipe. These emulsifiers are double-ended molecules: one end loves water, and the other end loves oil. The oil-loving end grabs onto that bit of rogue eyeliner or mascara, and the water-loving end means the whole lot is easily wiped off with the corner of a damp cloth or a moistened cotton bud.

How to Make Makeup Eraser Sticks

The bulk of these eraser sticks is inexpensive, lightweight liquid oil. I’ve used fractionated coconut oil and castor oil, but you’re certainly welcome to use whatever you’ve got on hand in place of the fractionated coconut oil. Sweet almond, apricot kernel, sunflower, or even canola oil would be good choices.

How to Make Makeup Eraser Sticks

How to Make Makeup Eraser Sticks

I’ve thickened the sticks with a blend of silky cetyl alcohol and creamy stearic acid for a super smooth, easy-rinse finish. Please don’t swap either of these for some sort of wax. Waxes don’t wash off nearly as well (especially beeswax) and can leave behind a sticky, tuggy residue—not the sort of thing we want around our eyes!

How to Make Makeup Eraser Sticks

How to Make Makeup Eraser Sticks

I poured mine into four standard (4.5g) lip balm tubes and one slimline (2.1g) lip balm tube, and that was just about a perfect for for a 20g batch. You could also scale up the batch, fill a few lip balm tubes, and put the rest in a larger push-up tube to use as a cleansing balm for the rest of your face!

How to Make Makeup Eraser Sticks

How to Make Makeup Eraser Sticks

As this project is all anhydrous all you’ll have to do is measure, melt, stir, and pour. Voila!

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Makeup Eraser Stick

Heated Phase
2g | 10% complete emulsifying wax (not beeswax!)
1.6g | 8% Cromollient SCE
4g | 20% stearic acid
1.8g | 9% cetyl alcohol
2g | 10% castor oil
8.5g | 42.5% fractionated coconut oil

Cool Down Phase
0.1g | 0.50% vitamin E oil

Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a small saucepan.

Weigh the heated phase into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in your prepared water bath to melt everything through.

Once everything has melted, remove the mixture from the heat. Let it cool a bit before adding the vitamin E—you can do this quickly in an ice bath, or just leave it for about five minutes.

When the mixture has cooled a bit, stir in the vitamin E and then quickly pour the mixture into lip balm tubes. I found 20g of this recipe filled four standard (4.5g) lip balm tubes and one slimline (2.1g) lip balm tube just about perfectly.

Because these eraser sticks does not contain any water, they do not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Be sure to keep them dry to ensure it lasts as long as possible—don’t let any water get into the container and it should easily last a year.

Substitutions

As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.

  • As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using this batch calculator from Making Skincare. As written in grams this recipe will make 20g.
  • Polysorbate 80 will work in place of the Cromollient SCE
  • I don’t recommend swapping out the stearic acid or cetyl alcohol. You could try cetearyl alcohol, but you may have to adjust the recipe to get the right consistency.
  • I don’t recommend swapping out the castor oil as it is part of the cleansing function, but if you have to, just use more of whatever liquid carrier oil you’re using
  • You can use a different inexpensive liquid carrier oil in place of the fractionated coconut oil
  • Please don’t add any essential oils as this is likely to be used around the eyes

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