I’m really excited to finally have a not-deep-pink option for those of you who aren’t suited to pure carmine and my Snow White Lip Stain. This coral hued lip stain delivers a potent punch of orange-tinted red that sticks around for hours, and makes a good cheek stain to boot.


This lip stain is fairly close to my Snow White Lip Stain, with just two new ingredients—a natural orange dye derived from paprika, and silk peptides. The orange dye is water soluble, and it’s what gives our stain its orange tint. The silk peptides are added for two reasons. Silk is a humectant, so it helps the lip stain not feel too drying, and silk tastes a bit sweet, which helps counter the bitter taste of the orange dye.

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After that we’ve got some carmine for some serious red colour. You absolutely, 100%, seriously-don’t-even-try-it-or-ask, cannot replace carmine with anything else. I have tried beetroot powder, rosehip powder, clays, oxides, and anything else red or pink I could get my hands on. Nothing else works, I swear. And yes, carmine is ground up bugs, but I am ok with that. Carmine has been used as a cosmetic ingredient for hundreds of years. It’s safe, and I trust beetles a lot more than petroleum products. If you think it’s gross… well, I suppose this recipe isn’t for you. I do have a coral lipstick, though 🙂

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All that’s left now is some water and glycerin to dissolve everything together. The final lip stain packs a serious colour punch, so you just might want to dilute it with a bit more water if it’s too strong for your tastes (three cheers for customizable homemade cosmetics!).


Without lip or cheek stain.

Without lip or cheek stain.

Coral Lip Stain

2 nips carmine (no substitutes)
1/4 tsp cold water
5 drops glycerin
1 nip silk peptides (optional)
25–30 drops natural orange dye

Dilute the carmine in the water and mix in the glycerin and silk peptides (both are humectants and help the lip stain from being too drying in addition to making it taste a bit sweet).

Begin adding the dye, and start testing the colour after about 20 drops. I found 25 gave a slightly orange tinged red, and I ended up being happy with 30 drops. Be sure to test it on your lips so you get something that works with your skin tone.

The final lip stain is quite potent—if the colour is too strong for you, you can dilute the stain by adding drops of cold water and blending them in until you get your desired strength.

I recommend lining the lips with an oil-based coral lip liner before applying as this stain can bleed.

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