Today’s DIY is a soft, lightly glossy lip balm that smells deliciously of rosé with a beautiful pink punch. It’s a continuation of our rosé series, starring a stunning scent blend of fresh & dry green cognac essential oil, sweet rose, and bright citrus. This scent blend is always lovely, but it’s positively perfect for lip balm—I gave away about a dozen tubes of this lovely balm at the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild 2019 Annual Conference in Dallas, TX and every recipient remarked on how downright lovely this lip balm smells!
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Our base is a blend of lightweight, slippy oils—some super-glidey babassu oil and lightweight apricot kernel oil form the bulk of it. Some cocoa butter adds a bit of richness and firmness, while a smidgen of rose wax introduces that gorgeous, intoxicating floral note. The whole lot is thickened up with some beeswax to create a firm, creamy lip balm with excellent slip.
While the base ingredients are melting together we’ll assemble our cool down phase, which is mostly the things that make this lip balm smell and look pretty. Green cognac essential oil from Plant’s Power contributes a beautiful wine-like note—it’s dry and fresh, and not at all boozy. You could also use their white cognac essential oil; they’re pretty similar, scent-wise. This beautiful note pairs wonderfully with some bright, citrus-like litsea cubeba, and all that mingles stunningly with the rose wax for a divine olfactory treat.
Our colour comes from some liquid carmine dye, which is wonderfully easy to work with. It’s carmine that’s been pre-distributed in a base of castor oil so all you have to do is stir it in—there’s no need to spend a bunch of time breaking up clumps of powdered carmine. If you don’t have the liquid carmine dye and want to drop it or use something else, please see the substitutions list at the end of the formula! I’ve provided quite a lot of different options down there.
Once you’ve got the base melted and the cool down ingredients stirred in you’re ready to pour, let ’em set, and rock & roll. Let’s get making!
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Rosé Lip Balm
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 heated phase is melting, weigh out the cool down phase into a separate small dish.
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 dish towel. Add the cool down phase and stir with a flexible silicone spatula to incorporate.
Pour the liquid lip balm into tubes or tins and leave to set up before capping & labelling. That’s it!
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 20g.
- 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 please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- You can use coconut oil instead of babassu oil. I’d recommend using refined coconut oil to allow the scent blend to shine.
- You can use a different brittle butter instead of cocoa butter, but I do recommend sticking with deodorized butter to allow the scent blend to shine.
- You can use a different lightweight oil, like sweet almond or safflower, instead of apricot kernel oil.
- I don’t recommend substituting the rose wax. If you have to I’d recommend 0.02% rose otto essential oil (that is the maximum usage level) and 2.38% babassu oil, but this is going to result in a much weaker rose note. Don’t use a fragrance oil as an alternative unless it is specifically noted it is safe for lips.
- Lemon essential oil would work well in place of the litsea cubeba, and the usage rate is low enough not to be photosensitizing.
- You can use a different scent blend if you’d like.
- The carmine dye is optional. At 3% it is quite colourful in the tube but does not tint the lips.
- For a tint you can try doubling or tripling it, reducing the liquid oil to make room for it.
- To remove the colour, you can replace the liquid dye with more liquid oil.
- If you have powdered carmine I would add 1.5% carmine to the heated phase and increase the liquid oil by 1.5%. Make sure you very thoroughly blend the carmine into the oil base with a silicone spatula before adding the cool down phase ingredients and pouring the lip balm into tubes.
- You could try the same powdered swap with a lake dye or red iron oxide, though red iron oxide is a much muddier, browner red tone.
- You can also try a pink mica instead of the liquid carmine dye, in the same amount.
- Do not use powdered botanicals like beetroot powder or powdered rosehip extract; they will create an awful, gritty lip balm.
The green cognac essential oil was gifted by Plant’s Power.