This lightly tinted lip balm was borne out of my new (and tepid) fondness for red lipstick. It’s very “in” right now (I know, even I’m amazed I noticed). It’s fun to wear, but then it inevitably gets on things, can taste funny, and thanks to all the pigment, lipstick just isn’t as moisturizing as lip balm. You also have to remember that you’re wearing it so you aren’t constantly licking your lips and wiping your mouth on things, which I’m not very good at. All that isn’t that great, so I don’t wear it that often.

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So, this lip balm is a beautiful shade of cranberry red. It’s a slight, light tint, and a nice, moisturizing, lower maintenance alternative to a full-on lipstick. Without the titanium dioxide that my other tinted lip balm has, it’s a much subtler effect.

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It’s made with lovely ingredients like mango butter and sweet almond oil, and you can scent it with whatever you like. I used spearmint essential oil, but peppermint, or even lavender essential oil would be nice alternatives.

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Lightly Tinted Lip Balm

7g | 0.25oz beeswax
8g | 0.28oz mango butter
5g | 0.17oz cocoa butter
7g | 0.25oz kuikuinut oil or castor oil
7g | 0.25oz sweet almond oil
1/32 tsp red iron oxide (I use these tiny measuring spoons for tiny measurements like this)

20 drops spearmint or peppermint essential oil

Weigh the beeswax, mango butter, cocoa butter, kuikuinut oil, and sweet almond oil out into a small heat resistant glass measuring cup. Place that measuring cup in a small saucepan that has about 1″/3cm of water in it, and bring that water to a gentle simmer to create a water bath that will melt all the oils and waxes together. Once melted, remove the measuring from the water bath, dry it off, and let it cool a bit, stirring.

Once the mixture has thickened marginally (to something like a creamy soup), stir in the oxide, a wee little bit at a time, using a flexible silicone spatula to blend and mash the pigment into the oil base. If the base starts to thicken too much, just pop the measuring cup back in the water bath to loosen it up again before continuing.

Once the mixture is the colour you’re looking for, and you don’t see any clumps of iron oxide floating around, pour it into some lip balm tubes and let cool before capping and labelling (I love these labels). If there’s excess oxide in the last of the oil at the bottom of the measuring cup as you’re pouring, don’t scrape it out into the tubes—it will make that lip balm all chalky and icky.

This recipe will fill about eight 4.5g lip balm tubes.

Don’t have some of the oils or butters called for in this recipe? Read this for information on how to make good substitutions.

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