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
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.