French women are known for their love of going au natruel, meaning “without elaborate treatment or preparation; naked.” But of course, it can also mean not using too much fake stuff. French women don’t wear lots of makeup, and when they do, they prefer makeup that is chemical-free. I do as well, especially when it comes to what I put on my lips, because it will inevitably end up in my body. Did you know that a lot of commercial lipsticks contain lead? Yes, lead. The toxic stuff that messes with your brain. I’ve got no time for that, and neither do you.
On top of that, it’s that time of year again: chapped lips season. I don’t know about you, but this time of year, my lips are already dry and peeling, and winter’s only just begun! Luckily, going au naturel on your lips is easy because you can make your own all natural, glossy, smooth, beautiful lip balm! And, unlike a lot of other DIY beauty items, you can end up with a product that’s as good or better than store-bought. So, whaddaya say… shall we dive right in?
Adventures in DIY Lip Balm
There are already some great DIY lip balm recipes out there, so I thought I’d start by trying a couple before attempting to create my own. After all, if I like their recipe, why reinvent the wheel, right?
The first recipe I tried was from Wellness Mama. It’s simple, uses easily accessible ingredients, and it creates a very soft, smooth lip balm. It’s just equal parts beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter. She suggests adding peppermint oil, which gives it a wonderfully candy cane-y smell. But if you don’t like peppermint, you can try vanilla, cinnamon, orange, clove…just about any oil that is edible. The result was a very soft lip balm. It would probably liquefy in the summer, so I’d suggest keeping it in the fridge. It’s a tad softer than I would like, but I think it’s perfect for keeping a tube in the freezing cold car in the winter, because the cold will firm up the oils and butters and keep the balm a harder consistency.
Next, I tried one from Happiness is Homemade. This one had the same ingredients as the one from Wellness Mama, but in different proportions. Wanting to experiment a little, I decided to substitute cocoa butter for shea butter because 1) I had some lying around, and 2) I love the smell of cocoa butter. It smells like chocolate! It’s a little harder than shea butter, so I hoped to get a slightly harder lip balm, too. You can see from the photo that I also added coloring. I used all natural ground rose hips to get the pink hue. It doesn’t tint your lips, but it does add a nice dose of vitamin C– great for cold and flu season!
And Now for My Own Version…
So, now that I’ve experimented a little, I’ve come up with my own recipe that I must admit I loooooove!
I used beeswax, coca butter, coconut oil, and shea butter. Yeah, I’m fancy like that. The reason I added the cocoa butter was again to get a little firmer consistency ( and for the chocolate smell!). I also had some bronze mica powder on hand, so I decided to add that, too. Oh, man, am I glad I did. It gives my lips a beautiful, shimmery glow that I am already addicted to. So, are you ready for the step-by-step? Here we go:
First of all, did you know that beeswax is really hard and sticky? Yeah, which makes sense when you think about the fact that bees build their houses out of it. Well, I had this big block of beeswax on hand I was like, “Hey, you brilliant girl you, how about instead of spending 5,000 years hand grating that stuff, you just put it through your food processor?”
2 hours and LOTS of scrubbing later, I was like, “Yeah, not so brilliant.” So, don’t do that. If you have a big block of beeswax for whatever reason, melt that bad boy and pour it into an ice cube tray so you’ve got nice, little tablespoon-sized quantities. Soooo much smarter.
This is shea butter. It’s much softer than beeswax, so it’s easy to cut into the size chunks you need.
This is cocoa butter. I’d say it’s about half way between coconut oil (quite soft) and beeswax (very hard). So, it makes a nice addition, bringing a medium level of firmness as well as that divine scent.
You want to melt all your ingredients together in a double boiler. I DIY mine with 2 sauce pans: put about an inch of water in the bottom one, and then place the second one on top. Just don’t let the water boil over– you don’t want it mixing with your oils and butters.
Once the ingredients are all melted, turn off the heat. Then you can add any essential oils or colorants. Don’t add them before that point or you might burn them. Yuck.
Now, all you have to do is pour the melted oils and butters into your lip balm tubes or pots. I prefer tubes because they just make it easier to apply the lip balm and they’re more sanitary– you don’t have to rub your finger on the lip balm every time you want to apply it. I used a loaf pan to hold the tubes up, since they can be kind of tippy while you are pouring the melted ingredients. It also helps to use either a funnel or a pot with a pouring spout– otherwise, you will probably get your lip balm everywhere except in the actual lip balm tubes.
Now, here’s the nitty gritty…
The Last Lip Balm Recipe You’ll Ever Need
4 T. Beeswax beads
2 T. coca butter
1 T. coconut oil
1 T. shea butter
1.5 t. mica colorant (optional)
20-30 drops essential oil (optional)
Melt. Mix. Pour. Enjoy. You are a DIY boss.