I’m often asked about making stick lipsticks, and turning the lipsticks from Make it Up into stick lipsticks, so I was super excited when TKB Trading got in touch and asked if I wanted to try their new (inexpensive!) lipstick mould. I’ve definitely looked at lipstick moulds in the past, but the aluminum ones seem to start close to $200USD with all the parts, plus international shipping and duties. Not only did I not want to spend that kind of money, I was also pretty sure most Make it Up & blog readers wouldn’t want to, either, so I just figured stick lipsticks weren’t in my future and carried on with some pretty glass pots.
Want to see this project in action?
I guess TKB has noticed the gap in the market for a lipstick mold for those of us who want to dabble, so they developed and launched this sleek little $19 alternative. It has three cavities, works beautifully, and I am having a ton of fun playing with it!
I’m really impressed with the mold itself. It’s a simple, white plastic, two-piece deal. The base has three cylindrical cavities in it, with the classic lipstick shaped taper/tear-drop happening at the very bottom. The top has three matching cylindrical holes that line up with the base. The two pieces slot together with a pair of pegs. It’s been standing up to use really well without any noticeable staining, and it’s very simple to clean with a cotton bud dipped in a bit of oil.
To use the mold, rubber band the two parts together and oil up the inside of each cavity with a cotton bud dipped in oil. Pour the molten lipstick into the mold, let it set up a bit on the counter, and then transfer it to the freezer. The instructions recommended freezing for 20–30 minutes, but I found I’d often leave it in longer, mostly due to forgetting about it. TKB says the longer the better, so you could even do this before bed and then unmold in the morning (this is especially helpful if you’re using a softer base).
To unmold, start by removing the mold from the freezer, removing the rubber bands, and pulling the top part straight up. I always found this happened pretty easily, even if it is a touch nerve wracking. Up next, screw the base of your lipstick tube all the way up, stick it onto the exposed nub of lippie, and then pull straight up. If all has gone well the tube of lipstick will slide out easily and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful, glossy tube of lipstick in its own lovely lipstick tube!
In addition to the mold and some rubber bands you will need proper lipstick tubes (not lip balm tubes). TKB has quite a lot to choose from; I mostly stuck to the Economy and Shadow Black as they’re the most inexpensive ones they offer (<$1/piece), and I really like them so far! I’ve been distinguishing my blends from one another with washi tape, which looks lovely on the tubes.
Having never made molded lipstick before, I started with the TKB Trading Lip Stick Base, micas, and their pre-dispersed liquid lip colours, as recommended, so I could start with something that should work and get a feel for it. The basic instructions from TKB are to “blend 0.3 grams (1/8th teaspoon) of mica powder and 0.3 grams (about ten drops) of TKB Lip Liquid to 3 – 4 grams (1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon) of lipstick base.” I found that 3.5g of base is perfect for filling the mold. I also had a lot of fun playing with different concentrations and blends of pigments and micas! I found I generally preferred more pigment than they recommended, but not as much as I usually put in pot/jar lipstick.
From here, let’s dive into my experiments and notes so you can see how things developed! As one of the primary things I was concerned with was pigmentation, I’ve included pigment percentages for each blend, but please take these with a grain of salt. I used pure powder pigments (oxides and lake dyes), micas, and liquid lip colours. Only the powdered pigments are pure pigment, while the micas and liquid colours are diluted with micas and castor oil, respectively. I’m unsure of the concentration of pigment in these diluted colour ingredients so I’ve called all of the ingredients “pigment” for the percentages. This obviously isn’t perfect, but it gives a bit of a starting point for comparisons.