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Want to know what’s in your lipstick? One way is to make it yourself.

We base the DIY recipes below on three ingredients so you can make the most of your purchases.

Begin by getting ahold of all of the items you’ll need to create your lipstick. First, decide on the container you want to use. You can use lip balm tubes with a twist bottom or small pots with lids. These can be made of metal, glass, or plastic.

Before reusing any containers, soak them in hot water and wipe them out using a cotton ball soaked in white vinegar or rubbing alcohol.

You’ll also need:

  • small heatproof bowl or glass measuring cup
  • saucepan or double boiler
  • glass dropper or pipette
  • spoon or spatula


  • 1 tsp. beeswax pellets
  • 1 tsp. shea butter, cocoa butter, or mango butter
  • 1–2 tsp. sweet almond oil or coconut oil

Shop for beeswax pellets, shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter, sweet almond oil, and coconut oil online.

Options for color

  • 1 drop red or yellow food coloring, like a gel food dye
  • 1/8 tsp. beetroot powder
  • 1/4–1/2 tsp. cocoa powder

Shop for gel food dye, beetroot powder, and cocoa powder online.


  1. Place the beeswax, butter, and oil in the top of your double boiler, glass liquid measuring cup, or heatproof bowl.
  2. Put the bowl or measuring cup in a saucepan filled halfway with water.
  3. Bring the water to simmer. Let it simmer until the mixture is melted.
  4. Remove from heat and mix in any additional ingredients for color or scent.
  5. Use a dropper to quickly transfer the liquid into the tube.
  6. Allow a bit of room at the top since the mixture will expand slightly as it cools.
  7. Cool for at least 30 minutes or until completely hardened before putting on the lids.
  8. Store in a dry, cool place.
  9. Use within 6 months.

The consistency of this balm can be a bit thicker and creamier. Add more beeswax if it’s too soft and more oil if it’s too hard.


  • 1 tsp. beeswax pellets
  • 1 tsp. shea butter, cocoa butter, or mango butter
  • 3 tsp. sweet almond oil or coconut oil

Follow the same directions as above, but use pots as your containers.

Experiment with the ratio of oil to beeswax to achieve your desired consistency. It’s best to start with a small batch while experimenting with any adjustments, substitutions, or changes to your recipe. This allows you to figure out what works best before making a larger batch.

Vegan lipstick

For an animal-free lip balm, swap out beeswax for candelilla wax or carnauba wax. As a general rule of thumb, use about half as much vegan wax as beeswax when making substitutions.

Shop for candelilla wax and carnauba wax online.

Coloring options

To make a lip tint, you can use a small amount of colored lipstick that you already have on hand. Using a lipstick to create a lipstick might seem odd, but if you have multiple colors, you can combine them to create a new hue.

Use a knife to slice off a small amount of the lipstick, and melt it into your blend of ingredients while they’re being warmed in your double boiler.

Additional options for color include:

  • natural food coloring
  • beet root powder
  • cocoa powder
  • cinnamon powder
  • turmeric powder
  • mica powder
  • alkanet root powder
  • annatto powder

Tips for tinting

  • A little goes a long way, so add the color slowly.
  • For the powders, you’ll need anywhere from a pinch to 1/2 teaspoon.
  • To ensure you’re happy with the color, add the color into a smaller portion of the mix before blending it into the entire mixture. This is especially important if you’re mixing a few colors.

Flavoring options

Lipstick that tastes good is an added perk. For a sweet flavor or scent, use a drop of honey, vanilla extract, liquid stevia, agave nectar, or maple syrup. Or use chocolate chips, green tea, or dried flowers and herbs.

Names and labels

Handwrite or print labels to finish off your product. Come up with clever nail polish-worthy names and include original artwork or retro clip art for a pleasing aesthetic boost each time you pull out your lippy.

It may be worth it to invest in containers that’ll stand the test of time and can reused.

If you’re looking for extra lip softening, you may want to consider using a lip exfoliant scrub. It’s certainly not necessary to do, but some people like gentle exfoliation.

Homemade exfoliant has a short shelf life and will only last about a week. Store it in your refrigerator between uses.


  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. shea butter
  • 1 tsp. olive, coconut, or almond oil


  1. Thoroughly mix the ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Once you’re achieved your desired consistency, take out a small amount and apply it to your lips.
  3. Use your fingertips to gently scrub your lips, using small circular movements.
  4. Continue for up to 1 minute.
  5. Use a washcloth to gently remove all of the scrub from your mouth.
  6. Apply a lip balm that includes SPF.

It’s important to note that natural and synthetic ingredients can cause allergic reactions. Always do a skin patch test before trying out new ingredients. To do so, apply a small amount to your inner arm and wait 24 hours to see if any reaction occurs.


Beeswax holds the mixture together, giving it a thick, creamy consistency. It acts as an emulsifier to lock in moisture and create a barrier.

Research shows that beeswax has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal for healing cracked, dry, chapped lips as well as other skin conditions.

Add more beeswax to your blend if you want your balm to be firmer. Reduce the amount to achieve a more oily, smooth lippy.

Plant butters

Shea, cocoa, and mango are the most common types of butters used for DIY lip products. Their thick consistency allows them to stay put on your lips, and their emulsifying action helps your lips retain moisture.

They can also help keep your lips protected from dry, sunny, or cold conditions.

Additional plant butter options include:


Use natural oils to give your lips a soft, glossy sheen. Popular choices include sweet almond, olive, and coconut oil. These oils have moisturizing and antibacterial properties that promote healing and reduce inflammation.

Additional oil options include:

  • pure vitamin E
  • sunflower
  • jojoba
  • apricot kernel
  • hempseed
  • mongongo

For best results, purchase high-quality ingredients from a reputable brand that sources their products in a sustainable, ethical, and safe manner.

Experiment with different ingredients and consistencies to get a feel for which lipsticks you like best. You can start with a small batch and adjust your recipe to perfection.