Today we’re kicking off a decadent new theme—Chocolate Cherry—with an equally decadent lip balm! Mouth-wateringly delicious cocoa butter co-stars with oh-so-lovely cherry kernel oil. I thought a lip balm would be a great place to start as the idea of chocolate-cherry has me dreaming about cake and ice cream!
Want to watch this project instead of reading it?
I wanted to give our two big theme ingredients plenty of room to shine, so I developed the base of the lip balm with that in mind. Fragrant cocoa butter is a full 30% of the creamy base, lending its gorgeous chocolatey scent to the end product, and lightweight, silky-smooth cherry kernel oil is nearly half the formulation at 47%. If you like a slower-absorbing lip balm you could try swapping 10–20% of the cherry kernel oil for castor oil—that change will also increase the glossiness of the lip balm.
I chose cera bellina instead of a more traditional wax because cera bellina is made from beeswax and it creates super cool, ointment-y oil gels! I was aiming for a softer, creamier lip balm with this formulation, making cera bellina the perfect choice for a waxy thickener. Please read up on it in the encyclopedia and perhaps review some of my other wax and oil experiments if you’re looking for an alternative.
For an on-theme colour, I’ve employed both a dye and a mica. I chose red 33 for the dye—it’s a deep, purple-y red that reminds me of Bing cherries (swoon!). I opted to use TKB Trading’s liquid version, where the powdered dye has already been thoroughly dispersed into a base of castor oil. If you don’t have it, I’ve listed several alternatives in the substitutions list at the end of the formulation. When it comes to the mica you can choose anything you think would work well with the theme! I tried a deeper burgundy mica and a pink one, and both were really pretty. I think gold, copper, and silver would also be lovely choices—or even a blend of a metallic mica and a pink or red one! Have some fun there 😊
The finished lip balm is a semi-firm ointment-y consistency that’s rich and lovely. You’ll want to package this DIY in small jars or tins—it’s too soft for a traditional twist-up lip balm tube and too firm for a soft squeezy lip balm/gloss tube. In the jar, it’s a lovely rich, red colour, but on the lips, it doesn’t leave any noticeable colour—just a titch of shine and shimmer. Enjoy!
Want to watch this project instead of reading it?
Chocolate Cherry Lip Balm
Cool down phase
0.075g | 0.5% vitamin E
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.
While the mixture melts, set out some wee jars or tins for the lip balm so you can easily transfer it into tins when the time comes. I used two 5mL glass jars for this 15g batch and had some product leftover. (I used these ones, but it looks like they’ve discontinued the smaller sizes.)
After about 20–30 minutes everything should be completely melted through. Remove the water bath from the heat, remove the measuring cup from the water bath, and dry it off with a dishtowel. Stir with a flexible silicone spatula for a minute or two, giving the mixture a chance to cool a bit before adding the vitamin E and stirring that in as well (how long this takes will vary with what you’ve melted the mixture in—heavier glass will hold heat longer than thin metal, etc.).
Continue stirring until the mixture has gained some viscosity and is looking creamy, and then quickly transfer into your containers. That’s it! Leave to come fully to room temperature and you’re ready to rock and roll 🍒
Because this lip balm is 100% oil-based, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.
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 a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 15g.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this recipe, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list (cherry kernel oil, cera bellina) please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- I don’t recommend packaging this lip balm in a twist-up tube (it’s too soft) or a squeeze tube (it’s too firm).
- You could use refined cocoa butter instead, but that will impact the scent and that’s a big part of the theme.
- Feel free to choose any colour of mica you think works with the chocolate-cherry theme. I used Glitter Bordeaux from TKB Trading in the version on the blog (the deeper red version) and Blushed Pink from YellowBee in the version made in the video (the cooler, pinker version).
- You could also eliminate the mica, replacing it with more cocoa butter.
- For the Red 33:
- You could replace it with more cherry kernel oil, which will impact the colour
- You could use a different red or pink lip liquid
- You could use powdered red 33 dye (watch this to see how to incorporate it) at 1% and use more cherry kernel oil for the other 1% (you could also do this with a different powdered dye or pigment)