The more I see lipstick around—on album covers, in fashion shoots, and out on the street—the more I seem to like it. I believe that’s called a mere-exposure bias (“a psychological phenomenon whereby a person develops a preference for a stimulus based solely on his or her repeated exposure to [and subsequent familiarity with] it.” –Robert T. Gonzalez), but that’s fine with me. So, of course, I decided I had to make my own!
I’ve been thinking about trying DIY lipstick for a while, and I’ve learned from my various forays into tinted lip balms. I thought about trying a variety of different colourants, but in the end, I tried my Australian Red Reef Clay first. The colour is just so deep and wonderful that I just had to.
I began with a fairly straight-up lip balm recipe. I included unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada) and avocado oil for their uber-moisturizing qualities. I also added magnesium strearate—just the tiniest bit to help with slip, as I’ve found adding large amounts of powdered pigments to lip balm can make it “skid” rather than slip across the lips.
And for the colouring—the deep, red clay. I mixed it all together with a few drops of peppermint essential oil (USA / Canada) until I had a thick, oily red mess, and poured it into lip balm tubes. After it set up, I gave it a test drive.
BAM. WOW. Now that is lipstick! Dark, red, moisturizing, and pepperminty. Awesome! I love this shade with buffing of my airbrushing powder, filled in eyebrows, some eye bright, a bit of eyeshadow, and a good coat of mascara for a glamorous, 1940’s/50’s inspired look.
NOTE: I no longer recommend this formulation due to clay not being a reliable colourant, and potentially not meeting the safety requirements for lip-use pigments. My book, Make it Up: The Essential Guide to DIY Makeup and Skin Care contains far better lipstick formulations, with both vegan and non-vegan options, and a far wider array of colour possibilities.
DIY Red Rose Lipstick
4g | 0.14oz beeswax (USA / Canada)
7g | 0.25oz unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)
4g | 0.14oz cocoa butter (USA / Canada)
10g | 0.35oz avocado oil
1g | 0.03oz magnesium stearate
2 tsp Australian red reef clay
5–10 drops peppermint essential oil (USA / Canada)
Melt the beeswax, unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada), cocoa butter (USA / Canada), avocado oil, and magnesium stearate together in a small saucepan over low heat. Thoroughly stir in the clay and essential oil, and then pour into 4 lip balm tubes.
Enjoy! I find this lipstick is best applied with a brush as the colour is so dark, so a tin would also be a great place to store it.
Wow, now that is a colour red that I would just love to wear.
Thanks, Almarie! I just love how all the colour comes from a totally natural clay 🙂 It also changes appearance in different lights, taking on more chocolatey tones in lower lights.
Where does one get Australian Red Reef Clay????
I get mine from New Directions Aromatics.
GREAT idea! Nicely done :-). I don’t wear lipstick because I both a) eat if off my lips 5-10 minutes after I apply it, so it seems wasted, and B) it usually dries my lips out. I love how mousturizing this must be, and the endless possibilities for coloring totally boggle me. Wheeee!
Thanks, Christine—those are exactly the problems I was trying to solve! This homemade stuff is super inexpensive (no $50 tubes of lipstick here!) and it is just packed with moisture for your lips 😉 Stay tuned for tons more colouring options!
Wow, love the color! Not too orange, not too pink, just beautiful red! I’ve been making my own lip balm, but now I think I will have to try your lipstick recipe – very glamorous and feminine : ) thanks for sharing…
😀 I can’t tell you how thrilled I was with this when I first put it on—I wasn’t expecting such a perfect, dark red, but it was just what I wanted! Have fun with it, it’s awesome!
The color is perfect! And the ingredients are so simple even I could make this. I have the same problem of eating my lipstick off my face because I snack so often, but I wouldn’t be concerned about eating this haha.
Thanks for the recipe!
😀 It’s practically foolproof, I swear 🙂 And pretty tasty with all the peppermint, lol 😛
WOW Love it! Lipstick is on my TO DO list. I see on your instragram pictures on the side that you ordered from Saffire Blue! Love that store (NDA is still my first go to but Saffire Blue usually carry what NDA doesn’t)
Yes! I actually just ordered from them for the first time because of your recommendation, and I was just going to go dig up your original comment and thank you for the recommendation 🙂 All my goodies arrived in a week and I LOVE them! It’s always awesome to find a new supplier for new goodies 😀 Stay tuned for the lip stain recipe I photographed on Instagram, I am so thrilled with it 🙂
So pretty I love this colour! Where can you get the australian red reef clay!?
I got this awesome clay from New Directions Aromatics!
I wanna play! What other colors can be made and where would I get the pigments? I always ware lipstick but all the chemicals are concerning me
You sound just like me—excited about all the possibilities the second you come across a new idea 🙂 Stay tuned for more entries on tons of different colour variations, I’ve already made at least 6 different kinds of lipstick, lol 😛 For pigments you can use clays and oxides, both of which are super fun to play with! I get pretty much everything from New Directions Aromatics.
Gorjus, gorjus, gorjus 🙂
Thanks 🙂 Stay tuned for lots more awesome lipstick recipes!
I love that red , it looks great on you . My daughter and I just made lip stick and it turned out great also. I hope you do not mind if I share what we dit it was fun and cheap .
We took no toxic crayons added now we used one hole crayon but we would brake up different coloured to make the amount of one crayon, ( the coloured you can make are endless which we love) then add 1/4 honey 1/4 to 1teaspoon 1 teaspoon coconut oil and just a little dab of olive oil. You just melt in microwave a few and stir and put in a lip stick tub or a tin . It works great and it stays on for quite some time.
Thank you for letting me share .
Thanks for sharing, Patricia! This sounds like a fun thing to try with kids, but I can’t say I’ll be putting crayons near my mouth anytime soon as they may be non-toxic, but there’s a big difference between non-toxic and full-on edible lol 😛
Well, I just can’t wait to try the lipstick and Sapphire blue. I just ordered from NDA for the first time, but it will be nice to have a second supplier. Thanks.
Yes! I just discovered Saffire Blue and I love having access to all their awesome ingredients (mostly herbs) that NDA doesn’t have. WOO! More goodies!
I stumbled across a picture of your lipstick on Pinterest, which caught my attention and I ended up on your blog! And I am so glad that I did. I have recently (in the last 6 months) made a switch to as natural of make-up as I can, (along with many other positive changes) and the idea of making my own lipstick, knowing exactly what is in it and having none of the chemicals, preservatives, additives, etc. in something that will get absorbed into my skin is so exciting! I can’t wait to give this a try, thanks for your awesome inspiration! It looks so pretty!
Yay for Pinterest 🙂 Congrats on your switch to all natural make-up, I’ve got heaps of recipes on here that should help you. I’m always working on making natural, DIY versions of the things I’ve found in stores. Feel free to request things, I love a new challenge 🙂 Mascara is the only thing that continues to elude me, but I’ll get it one day!
That’s beautiful! I’m going to have to try it! Thank you!
Have fun with it! And stay tuned for more recipes with lots of different colours 😉
Thank you so much for DIY Rose Red lipstick. My daughter will confirm that there is nothing I love more than a lovely gel eyeliner (again, once of your recipes that I intend to try) and a nice red lip. It is highly wearable both for work, play and date nights.
Plus there aren’t any nasty chemicals!
Maureen—Thanks for reading! I hope to someday develop a good gel/water activated eyeliner recipe… I have thrown out a lot of colourful goop so far, haha. I do love the look, though—a great cat eye and red lips is a totally classic, flexible look!
What is it’s staying power? I love red lipstick, but not on my straw, my fork, or my boyfriend. Also, what would you recommend as a substitute for cocoa butter? My boyfriend is deathly allergic to chocolate and even cocoa butter will make him blister.
I’ve read that kokum butter can be a good substitute for cocoa butter as it has a similar texture, but I’ve never tried it before.
I find this lipstick stays on about as well as any lipstick does. Basically, it’s great at your desk and when you’re out and about, but as soon as you start eating or drinking, farewell, lip colour. That said, stay tuned for my awesome new lip STAIN recipe! It’ll be out in a few weeks and I LOVE it!
Did you ever make lip stains I am very interested in DIY cosmetics? Tyvm for sharing!! Please email me and let me know
You can check out my lip stain recipe here, Marjorie 🙂
sounds like a really neat idea, i am gonna try it some time.
Have fun with it, and stay tuned for lots more lipstick recipes in the near future 🙂
I will NOT get mad if you would like to send me one of these. This color is amazing and I just don’t have the time/ingredients to make it. But I want iittt!!!!
Haha 😛 This is super easy, though, it’ll only take you about 10 minutes to make 4+ tubes 🙂
It’s such a hard thing to find that right shade of red that you apply, and boom you know this is it. The color looks amazing. I must try this.
You’re so right, I’ve tried on so many shades of red that make me look like a clown… or like I got hit in the mouth, lol. I was so thrilled that this one turned out so well the first time around! Stay tuned for lots more lipstick recipes 🙂
Wow ! This is the first time I’ve seen anyone make their own lipstick ! Really beautiful !
Thanks! I had a lot of fun playing around with it—I’ve got lots of recipes for different colours coming up!
I sell Mary Kay and I still love this idea because in the past many prior lipstick brands with hidden titanium dioxide have inflamed my lips and left a literal bad taste in my mouth!
I love everything I sell now and really hope to find a great staining red to fall in love with in my brand. However, DIY always made me happy and I prefer the quality control of making my own for myself or others if needed!
I don’t want to get in trouble but the fun of mixing my own started years ago with samples collected from the mall & sniffed to check for titanium dioxide contamination.
I’m interested to hear that you’ve had bad experiences with titanium dioxide in lipsticks—I have used it before to no ill effect. Are you allergic?
If you’re looking for a staining red, stay tuned for my lip stain recipe! I’m super excited about it 🙂
When you make this does it feel gritty on your lips. I only ask becuase when I tried to make lipstick with beet root powder it felt gritty and yucky.
Nope, it’s perfectly smooth 🙂 I, too, tried making beetroot powder lipstick and it was terrible, lol. That’s because beetroot is water soluble, not oil soluble. Clay is neither, so it blends nicely with the oil rather than clumping up and being gritty and awful.
wow never knew you could make lipstick your really pretty
Aww, shucks 😉
Is there anything I could substitute in for the Avocado oil? (I’m thinking maybe coconut oil)
Avocado oil is a thick, super moisturizing liquid oil, so I would choose something like macadamia nut, jojoba, oat, or wheatgerm oil as a substitute.
this clay is my next NDA purchase bc i *must* make this! i feel like ive got everything else to make this, and am super psyched to do it.
i also fully appreciate the lip balm roots of your recipe as i am completely addicted to lip balm and making lip balm.
just need to convince the husband that i *need* to place an order 😀
Ha, the never ending NDA wishlist problem! Mine is always growing, and every time I need to make an order (“need”, haha) because I’ve run out of some staples I have to delete half the stuff out of my cart so I’m not dropping obscene amounts of money on new essential oils just because I’m curious, lol.
That colour looks really good on you! I’m fair and blonde….I wonder if it’d be too dark? Would half the amount of clay lighten it a bit?
Aww, thanks! If you want to lighten it I’d recommend blending it with something pale/white, like kaolin clay.
Good job! What might I add for sun protection? I live in Arizona & the sun is intense. Thanks
I would recommend layering this over a SPF rated lip balm—I don’t recommend DIY sun protection.
just made this…had to make a couple of substitutions (no cocoa butter, subbed illipe butter; no avocado oil, subbed jojoba oil) and i really like it 😀
i think for me its a tad dark, and unfortunately my clay is more brown than red…but for my first attempt at a lip color, it went well!
it feels nice on, not gritty or heavy like i was worried it would…id never worked with clay as a colorant nor magnesium stearate. but its just like a lipstick, strong pigment leave and everything!
im pretty amazed…but now since i popped my lip color cherry, i need to get some more pigments, STAT! i think i might be addicted…
thanks marie for the recipe!
Yay! I love hearing that somebody’s actually made one of my recipes 🙂 I found that the clay really plays with the light, and can appear a dark, ruddy brown rather than rose red in certain lights. I’ve found I can really only pull off the colour if I’m wearing other make-up that pulls it all together, otherwise the colour is too strong for me (it would probably be a fantastic everyday colour for people with darker skin, though).
For other colourants I’d recommend red oxide, yellow oxide, maybe a mica (for sparkle), and carmine! WOOT! Thanks for reading and DIYing!
Ohh did you get your clay from the same brand that she used? I got my clay today from a different brand and it’s more of a rusty orange color..
Lovely color! I was just wondering if you can recommend something other than beeswax? I am vegan and don’t use beeswax.
Thanks so much!
Your two vegan wax options are carnauba and candelilla. I haven’t had a chance to experiment with either of them in lip balms or lip sticks, but I do know it is not a simple 1:1 substitution as they are both harder than beeswax and have different melting points. I’m sure you’ll get it with some experimentation, though 🙂 Maybe start with lip balm, so you don’t have to fuss with colour as well.
Thanks much! It will be a fun experiment 😉
in my experience, candelillia wax is a good substitute for beeswax. sometimes, in my opinion, it makes for a harder finished product than one with beeswax, so i tend to translate beeswax measurements into ‘scant’ versions when subbing candelillia. (its plant derived, fyi)
I called around town and apparently no one sells it, so I will have to get some online and will keep this in mind.
For what it’s worth I got mine from Saffire Blue. New Directions Aromatics carries it, but the smallest amount they sell is ~1lb, and I didn’t want to pay for that much without experimenting with it first.
Thanks for the tip, Chelle—I am definitely planning on developing some vegan lip balm/lipstick recipes in the future, so I will keep this in mind 🙂
I made this lipstick yesterday, and both my mum and i absolutely love it! <3
I agree it can look chocolatey or red, depending on the lighting (and also how much you apply). This is just the kind of colour i have been looking for. I have an olive complexion, and am wearing it all day – gorgeous! 🙂
New Directions (i bought from the Aussie branch) are lovely, and helpful. 🙂
I absolutely had to comment, so i could thank you for this recipe! 🙂
Awesome!!! I’m so thrilled to hear it 🙂 I’m glad the chocolatey-ness works for your complexion—I find I need to make sure I do my eye make-up and powder my face with a bit of bronzer to be able to pull it off. Would you share a photo of your final product? I’d love to see it!
Brilliant idea! Can’t wait to try. Can you please suggest what other clay / options we can use for pink, purple, brown tones? I have tried beetroot powder but doesn’t give much color to the lips!
Hey—if you poke around I’ve got about half a dozen different lipstick recipes up here, so you should be able to find what you’re looking for 🙂 And yeah, beetroot powder is pretty rubbish for colouring, sadly 🙁 I found that surprising, considering how many shirts I ruined with beets as a child.
Many thanks for a quick response. I will be happier with using clay or some more natural product like alkanet rather than mica for my lip color. Have ordered red reef for red. Still searching for more options. That said i have been reading lots of your recipes for everything and they all sound pretty good 🙂
No problem! You should know that all the clays do come out a lot more brownish than you might be used to. I often cut them with a white clay to brighten/lighten them up. Then again, I’m pretty pasty, and colours that heavy/dark don’t work as well for me as they do for other people. Why don’t you want to use oxides in your lip colour? I’ve had great success with lipsticks coloured with oxides.
Hey, thanks again. Are oxides not harmful to us if ingested ? Also, are they different to mica? I ordered some beige and pastel pink clay and tried a pinch of pastel pink one in my lipstick recipe and it does look good. A but on the brown side but it does actually look quite dark in itself. Might add a pinch of beige the next time to tone it down a little.
Iron oxides are FDA approved for limited use in food (source), so I’m not too concerned about putting them in something I’m not actually going to actively eat. The biggest difference between oxides and micas is the sparkle—micas are CRAZY sparkly. I generally measure micas in pinches and dashes to avoid flash backs to 1997 glitter rollers 😛
Hi there : )
Wow, what a gorgeous shade; it’s very becoming on you! I would love to try it myself, but as a DIY Makeup Newbie, I’m concerned about using actual clay on or near my mouth…perhaps it’s just the thought that I’m having trouble with, lol.
Thanks, Victoria! I really love all my clay lipsticks 🙂 I really wouldn’t be worried about having clay near your mouth since some people actually eat clay, and love to talk about all the wonderful benefits from doing so. While I don’t eat clay, I’m much happier having clay near my mouth than suspicious FD&C dyes. Eeew. I promise you can’t tell it’s clay at all once it’s in the lipstick—try it, you’ll love it 😉
Yes, I would agree with you about the FD&C dyes…and clay *is* used in face masks…hmm…*pondering*….ok, I’m sold! 😀 I must ask, though: Do you have any advice on how I might achieve a “cooler” shade of red?
Thank you for replying and please keep up the fabulous work!
-Victoria (A Fellow Edwardian Enthusiast)
Awesome! You can “cool” colours off by adding a bit of blue iron oxide, and perhaps a bit of titanium dioxide or a white-ish clay to lighten the colour. Have fun with it!
Hi, im not sure if someone already asked this, but do you think that Moroccan red clay would work just aswell as the clay you used?
i also saw a lipstick recipe online somewhere using either beet root powder, cocoa powder, turmeric or cinnamon for color and then bentonite clay for a matte texture.
im going to try that also and see how that works out 🙂
i love all your recipes by the way !! im just about to order some carmine to try another of your lipstick recipes 😀
The Moroccan red clay should work (I’ve definitely done several other lipsticks with different clays), but the colour will almost definitely be different. From what I’ve seen from a quick google images search, you might end up with a really brown lipstick.
Does the lipstick recipe you mentioned contain water? I only ask because the beet root powder is water soluble, but lipsticks are usually oil-based 🙂
Thanks for reading & DIYing with me! Enjoy that carmine, it makes kick-butt lip stain 😉
I made this recipe with Moroccan red, and while the consistency and feel of the lipstick was Amazing…the color came out a bizarre orangey red from the clay. HOWEVER, it makes for a pretty nice cream blush if used sparingly (waste not!).
Marie, could you add a few drops of oil-solube carmine to increase the red punch if the reef clay is too brown? I have both liquid carmine and powdered carmine.
Hi Liz!I haven’t tried carmine yet for correcting clay colours, but I’ve often used oxides. I can’t imagine why carmine wouldn’t work, though 🙂
I love your blog <3 I tried some of you recipes and they are simply amazing!
I am wondering about using clays in lip balms. Don't they come out grainy? I imagine it feels like a bit of peeling? I would like to buy red clay, but if it's grainy in lip balm, maybe it's better using red oxide?
Thank you for you answer and all the best from other continent 😉
Hi Maruska! It really depends on the clay. Something like rhassoul? Definitely very grainy. But the smoother, more finely ground clays like this one are great. I’ve had great results with Australian red and French red clays, as well as kaolin and zeolite ultrafine 🙂 Oxides are also great, of course, and I’ve made some great lipsticks with them, too. Thanks for reading!
I am having so much trouble ordering magnesium stearate. I live in Denmark and there are shipping restrictions on it into the country. I have been unable to find it in any store here. Is there anything I could substitute?
If it’s that hard to get I’d just leave it out 🙂 You may find that you want to use a bit less beeswax to help improve slip (that’s what the magnesium stearate is for), but I’d try the recipe as-is first as I do find it to be quite soft. Have fun!
Hey Marie – I made this tonight and it didn’t come out Rose Red. More like 90’s dark burgundy. I followed the amounts on here so goodness only knows what happened. It’s not a bad color – I’m just too pale to wear it unless I’m trying to get my Morticia Addams on. Any idea what could have happened? I’m gonna try again only using 1tsp of red clay this time just to see what that does. Or mix some white clay in with the regular amount.
Sometimes it’s the light, and sometimes it’s the specific batch of clay, and sometimes it’s a little of both. That said, this lipstick has always been pretty dark for me—I usually temper that by applying it with a brush, working up to a shade that works for me. I do tend to lean towards more diluted lipsticks for day to day use, though—I find this one requires some more dramatic make-up to balance it out on my pale complexion. I’m sure you’ll end up blending something that works brilliantly for you 🙂
This looks awesome, but I am concerned about it staining lips…in a way that it can’t be washed off at night. Did you find that to be the case? New Directions, which I love, has a lot of comments about how much Australian Red stains. Thanks so much. I love your site.
I’ve never had it stain my skin, but it can definitely stain clothing—just like any dark lipstick, really. Even my lip stain can be scrubbed off with a washcloth pretty easily, despite my intentions 😛 Thanks for reading!
Hi I am currently considering which shea butter would be best for lip balm… I stumbled upon your site hoping to find some information but I can’t seem to find any anywhere. Does anyone know if yellow or ivory shea butter is better for lip balm? Thanks!! 🙂 Love this recipe by the way!!
Hi Shandra! It will depend on how much shea butter the recipe uses, and then on whether or not you like the smell of shea butter 😛 In my recipes you can’t notice the scent of the shea butter, so you can really get whatever you like, but if you know you hate the scent of shea butter you’d probably be best to go with the refined stuff (usually called ivory, but double check the descriptions to clarify the distinctions).
I google searched “home made lipstick” and your face popped up! Talk about famous in the diy world! 😉 I wasn’t even on google images!
Ha! Very cool 🙂 Next step, worldwide fame 😛
Awesome recipe! I was so excited to try it out, so I ordered some Australian Red Reef clay from Etsy. My package arrived and I was a little confused because the color of the clay was a bit brownish. Anyway, I made the recipe and it is totally brown lipstick. Deep, dark, brown! Do you think I possibly received knock-off clay? 🙁 So bummed.
Hi Lyza! I don’t think it was a knock-off, it’s just that natural products can vary quite a lot from batch the batch. You can try lightening it up by making a batch with half kaolin (white) clay, half Aussie red reef, which can bring out the red more. You can also try a lipstick recipe that uses iron oxides instead of clays—while not quite as natural as the clays, the oxides are refined and standardized so the colour is reliable 🙂
What can we use instead of cocoa butter if you don’t have it?
You can read about carrier oil substitutions here 🙂
Okey , so I did read the list and I concluded that it can be any of the “brittle” butters, correct? Please tell me if I’m wrong, I’m a complete novice and need your help >__< and since I'm a student I don't want to have to buy another ingredient atm but manage with what I already have at home which is basic carrier oils and shea butter. Thank you 😀
Yup, that’s right 🙂 Basically kokum butter is the only good swap for cocoa butter, though I definitely prefer cocoa butter.
you don’t by any chance sell your creations, do you? i’d love love love to buy a tube of this.
I don’t, sorry!
Hi , great stuff that you post I was just wondering if the clay is safe for the lips or if you happen to be wearing it on when you eat or drink a beverage would it be safe enough if you ingested it? Where exactly does this clay come from?
Hi Niki! Clay is quite safe—some people even eat it for cleanses and similar things, though I wouldn’t recommend that. If you check out clay on Skin Deep you’ll see lots of 0’s—the safest rating there is. Do make sure you get your clay from a good source at that it’s cosmetic or food grade, not industrial grade 🙂
So looking forward to making this over Christmas, my first diy make-up attempt :-)) Just ordered most of the goods online (via Etsy)!
Thank you so much, I love your blog, I’ll get back to tell you how it worked 😉
Exciting! Have fun and thanks for DIYing with me 🙂
Just to say, this recipe worked out really great for me, I said I would let your know, ! I wear it daily now 🙂
It was a bit of a risk since I have light eyes and light skin, dark hair and I wasn’t sure if it would suit me colourwise, but it somehow seems to ‘adapt’.
Since I made it for my mother as well, and her skin is a bit more to the yellow side and dark eyes, dark hair and for her it works as well!
Fantastic! I’m so thrilled 😀 WOOO!
What’s the consistency like? Is the final photo you posted (in the tube) when it’s melted or after it has set? I’m making a huge batch for holiday gifts so want to know before I fiddle and fail :/ I live in mn and coconut oil is solid at room temp, would you recommend replacing avocado oil with coconut oil?
Hi Leigha! That photo is from just after the lipstick has been poured, so it definitely had not set up at all. It’s a bit soft for me up in Canada (where coconut oil is definitely solid!), so for all my other lip balm recipes I drop the avocado oil down to 9g. That’s the only change I’d recommend, though 🙂
Marie, I’ve been looking for a lip balm that stays long, and I’d like your opinion on carnauba wax instead of beeswax?
Check out my experiments with carnauba wax vs beeswax—basically, carnauba will shorten the staying power of your lip balm significantly.
Hey there Humblebee Girl!
It’s great to know on your experience and experiment on making lipstick. 😀 the lipstick that you invent seems like it give a matte finish. I’m looking for on how to make a matte color lipstick. Just wonder if it is a matte finish lipstick?
HIi Adelyinr! I find it’s a reasonably matte finish, but it doesn’t look dry on the lips. It’s definitely not sparkly or high gloss, but it can look a bit wet, especially when first applied.
HI there I love your blog, was wondering did you use white or yellow beeswax and do you think that you absolutely need the magnesium stearate? And if not should I replace it with something? Thank you so much for this treasure of a recipe!
Hi Kadi! It really doesn’t matter if you use white or yellow beeswax. I used yellow.
Magnesium stearate is for slip as I find the oxides can make the base a bit “skiddy”. If you can’t find it you may find that you want to use a bit less beeswax to help improve slip, but I’d try the recipe as-is first as I do find it to be quite soft. Have fun!
Hi, thanks for this wonderful lipstick recipe! The consistency is just perfect. However, the color isn’t what I expected. Mine turned out brown. Should I lessen the amount of Australian red reef clay to achieve a red color?
Hi Roanne! I’ve found that lipsticks coloured with clays tend to vary in colour quite a lot, depending on many things like the batch of clay and the lighting. If you’re looking for something more reliable, try a recipe coloured using iron oxides, which are more consistent. You can also try cutting the red clay with a white clay like kaolin 🙂
Thank you so much! :)…more power to you and your website. Keep up the great work 🙂
Hiya! Could I use bentonite clay instead of kaolin clay? It’s all I have on hand.
Hi Kate! This is big “no”. The clays in this recipe are for colour. Kaolin is white, bentonite is grey with flecks of black—not good for a lipstick. It also behaves really strangely compared to other clays—more on that here 🙂
is there an alternative to beeswax? I have discovered that since I have an allergy to bees that any lipstick with beeswax in it causes me to break out into cold sores. Ulta brand lipstick doesn’t have beeswax so I was just curious to see if you knew if there was an alternative.
I’m actually developing a few beeswax free lipstick recipes for my book 🙂 You might find this interesting reading as a starting point for creating your own, though.
I’m so looking forward to making this Marie!, thanks so much for your recipe. I’m a girl/woman who has a penchant for making products as natural as possible so I will be substituting the magnesium stearate for organic palm oil which apparently has an abundance of it, I’ll also be adding castor oil for that extra bit of glossiness… I’m soo excited!! lol. I think I’ll also take more tips from you by making a few different versions by experimenting with pigment quantities and also I may add some water based vibrant face paint pigments I have, that aren’t 100% organic but they are at least water soluble and should therefore be detoxable imo. Much love and best wishes to you, thanks for all the inspiration it’s very much appreciated 🙂 XXX
Hi Natalie! I’m not sure where you read that palm oil contains magnesium stearate… that’s not true in the slightest. Palm oil contains about 4% stearic acid, which is part of what goes into magnesium stearate, but not at all the same thing as actual magensium stearate. Using palm oil as an alternative is kind of like using a cup of carrots in a cake recipe instead of the cup of sugar sugar it calls for because carrots are roughly 5% sugar… except worse because at least that’s still sweet tasting sugar, and in your case you’re not getting any of the actual ingredient called for with your swap. Not only will the final product have nowhere near the amount of the ingredient called for in the recipe, but you’re also getting a ton of other stuff that the original recipe doesn’t account for. So… please don’t? Sorry to be a buzz kill, but it’s really not a good alternative. Just leave out the magnesium stearate if you don’t have it. But… if you want to make your own cosmetics, you really should get some! I just finished writing an entire book on DIY cosmetics and magnesium stearate is in almost everything. It helps with slip and adhesion immensely, and is truly indispensable if you want your DIY cosmetics to be high quality 🙂
Also… cyanide is water soluble, so please don’t judge the safety of something based on its solubility. Have you checked out Skin Deep? It’s a great place to research the safety of your ingredients.
I also wouldn’t recommend adding water soluble pigments to a 100% oil base; read this for more info. Short version: it won’t work out well and you’ll have a gritty lipstick because the pigments won’t dissolve (see the beetroot lipstick I made in the linked blog).
Have fun with your DIY cosmetics! I just don’t want you do waste your ingredients 🙂
Hi Marie, thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me that’s very kind of you!X. Firstly I’d like to say I’m not a scientist so I don’t speak the jargon fluently… but like yourself and many others, I am undertaking scientific experiments via cosmetics making which I trial on myself first for extended periods (I’m either dedicated to the cause or maybe just a bit stupid lol). Magnesium stearate has many many pages of bad press about it on the internet which I’m sure you are aware of. If I’m unable to verify the safe qualities of an ingredient I will not use it no matter if an ‘expert’ says it’s ok or not, I like to cross reference my information build up a profile and then use myself as a test subject before exposing anyone else to it via a product that I have made. In my first comment I should have said that I found out that magnesium stearate is said to be mostly derived from Cotton and Palm Oil… that apart in itself red unrefined Palm oil has many beneficial qualities: containing carotenes, sterols and vitamin E. It’s also said to improve flowability when added to other more liquid oils. So in this instance I can’t see me adding it to the lipstick mix as being too much of an issue… I will however do small samples and compare them all as I mean to make a few variations. I find experimenting always bring forth new information, and if it doesn’t then it will confirm what someone pre-suggested would happen. I find closely following other people’s footsteps can sometimes lead to confirmation bias, and I like to believe that there are many things that humans still do not know about how our world works and one of the ways to find out if to ‘suck it and see’. On another note there’s nothing wrong with using carrots instead of sugar they’re a great substitute!, have you had any raw carrot cake? it’s delicious! lol x. I have a bias towards not immediately reaching for man derived refined products… unless I know they’re healthy for me, so I can be a little stubborn in that department. I made a lovely lipstain/lip balm using my water soluble non organic high pigment Snazaroo body paints, I made it 9 months ago and it’s still going strong so I’m not worried that extra experiment won’t work seeings as it already has (it did however need to be reblended right up to just before it set so the pigment didn’t drop to the bottom of the bowl). Snazaroo have been independently tested and are said to be ‘safe’, their water soluble nature reassures me that I can flush them out of my system via water and juice detoxes. I’m also not worried about product longevity as making things fresh isn’t a hardship for me. Thanks a lot for the Skin deep link I’m bookmark it!. I’m really in love with the whole creative aspect of cosmetics making, it’s so much cheaper, more effective and way more fun than buying them ever was. DIY-ing:Cosmetics,Dressmaking, Cooking, Raw un-cooking and enjoying our lives on Earth… are all just wonderful creative expressive outlets that bring me endless amounts of joyful fun, I’m very pleased to be sharing these past times with other avid participants such as yourself. Much love XX
I did find this article which reassures me somewhat about magnesium stearate, if and when I buy some I would like reassurance of it’s vegetable based provenance though… I don’t massively trust the ‘industry infrastructure’ we have in place on our planet… they’re mostly profit driven… and many products deemed safe are from from being so… like take mercury for example, banned in many places across the world, yet many UK dentists are still implanting it in people’s mouths and it’s now a proven neuro toxin… one which I suffered the effects from until I got those fillings extracted. I believe experience peaks louder than second hand accounts… but then we all compute and works things out differently don’t we!. Here’s that scientifically referenced Magnesium stearate article http://nutritionreview.org/2013/11/magnesium-stearate-a-safe-and-effective-filler-setting-the-record-straight/
TKB Trading sells veg original magnesium stearate—I’ve honestly never seen animal origin magnesium stearate around, I assume plant based is significantly easier to produce.
Happy experimenting! It’s always good to see somebody doing lots of research and playing 🙂 I just finished writing a book on homemade makeup and found magnesium stearate to be indispensable in creating high quality, high performance recipes, and I did a ton of research on it and found most of the claims of negativity were not terribly convincing and usually related to eating it, which we’re not doing (most of my jewellery isn’t fit for consumption, either, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want it anywhere near me).
And yes, I have had raw carrot cake, but the metaphor still stands 😛 As I’m sure you know, raw carrot cake is not normal cake minus sugar, plus carrots—the entire recipe is formulated around the carrots being there and acting as a sweetener.
Hello, I would like to ask if I could skip using Magnesium Stearate and instead of that add 1g from for example shea butter or skip it completely. Thank you for this tutorial btw!:)
Hey Sarah—please don’t 🙂 The magnesium stearate is there for slip and adhesion, and it really does make a difference! You could make the swap, I suppose, but don’t be surprised if your lipstick doesn’t feel great going on and comes off really quickly :/
Thanks, I’m from Slovakia, and I have no idea where to buy it 😀 buy I will try 🙂
Have you checked my Where to Buy Ingredients page for some places to check?
Yea I did, although most of them (or everyone) don’t ship to Slovakia at all :/ I’ve found it recently on one page but shipping is pretty high, I will see how can I solve that 🙂
Hmm. If you drop the wax content a bit that’ll probably help with the slip, but I’m not sure how long your wear times will be :/ Softer products = shorter wear, in general, without something like magnesium stearate and magnesium myristate to keep things glued down. Let me know what you end up trying!
Hi! I’m wondering if you can use micas that are lip approved and red oxide.. have you experimented with it? If so, what is your formula you created? I have some micas from TKB and red oxide so I’d love to use what I already have. Would I keep the same clay measurements if I would use oxides or mica? Anyway, any help is appreciated. 🙂
I have! You can check out some of the other lipstick recipes I’ve already shared for some ideas, but all the best recipes are in my upcoming book 😀 You should sign up for the pre-order notification list 😉
For the lipstick dose it have to be red reef clay or can I use Moroccan clay?
You can use different clays, but do remember that they are different colours and that will obviously impact the colour of the final product 🙂
I have tried various diy makeup recipes, and this lipstick ranks as the most successful makeup item I’ve made. It really works! In fact it’s the best lipstick I’ve ever used, and is a staple in my makeup bag. I’ve varied up some of the proportions so as to make tinted lip balm and also a less pigmented (more oily) version of the lipstick that I often use for work. Thank you for this brilliant recipe.
I’m so, so glad! You should check out my book, too 🙂