DIY Lipstick: How to make the perfect gift for your squad this holiday

Make your squad an exclusive shade of lipstick for 2017. It's the perfect gift for your group of gal pals!
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I happen to think that a custom DIY lipstick is the *perfect* gift for all your gal pals at Christmas. Just imagine your entire squad wearing an exclusive shade of fuchsia lipstick throughout 2017, a shade that you made and is worn as a clubhouse rule — like the Pink Ladies, only with lipstick as the new satin jacket. It's brilliant!

I'm here to confirm for you DIY lovers that it's unexpectedly easy, and completely fun, to make your own coolest lipstick ever, from scratch in your kitchen. So, let's get started!

Step 1: Source your ingredients

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As a personal fan of healthy and simple beauty products, I began my project doing some research for a DIY lipstick recipe that I could feel good about. I also wanted to work with Canadian wholesalers of natural beauty ingredients. After some investigation, I settled upon Anarres Apothecary in Toronto. Tracey, the owner, responded to my email right away and offered her help on which ingredients to buy for what I wanted to make: a semi-matte, fuchsia lipstick that wasn't too dry or too glossy. If you don't live in Toronto, you can buy from Anarres Apothecary online, or look for another shop that suits you, there are many.  This is what I bought and, yes, this lipstick recipe is vegan:

  • 100 mL Candelilla wax
  • 100 mL Shea Butter
  • 100 mL superfine French pink clay
  • 100 mL Red Reef Australian clay
  • 15 mL fire red mica
  • 15 mL ultramarine pink oxide
  • 15 mL red oxide
  • 10 mL certified organic non-GMO anise flavour oil
  • A handy pocket scale
  • A (cute) surgical mask so you don't ingest mica powders
  • A silicon lipstick mold kit

The base of this lipstick is Candelilla wax, which is a wax derived from the leaves of the small Candelilla shrub, native to northern Mexico. It has protective properties and is an effective emollient, which refers to this wax's ability to remain soft enough to wear as a lipstick.

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The anise flavour oil is a food-grade oil meant to add a sweet scent to your lipstick. You can choose from any number of food grade oils, like coconut or lemon or chocolate, but I happen to love the unexpected scent of black licorice!

Micas will give your lipstick a little hint of sheen.

Clays will make your lipstick super matte.

Oxides will give your lipstick an extra punch of colour.

How do you want your lipstick to look? You decide. Making your own lipstick is total creative expression.

Step 2: Cook up your lipstick

  1. Melt a small portion of the Candelilla wax, shea butter and flavour oil on low heat until melted. If you want a glossy lipstick, you can add a few drops of coconut, grapeseed castor or avocado oil at this stage.
  2. Add your custom blend of micas, clays and oxides until you're happy with your shade.
  3. Mix well with a silicon spatula or small wooden stick.
  4. Pour the mixture into your lipstick mold.
  5. Place molds in the freezer for 15 minutes or until the mixture is solidified.
  6. Unmold and put into your lipstick container.
  7. Wrap up with a bow for your squad!

That's it! It's a really simple recipe that you can make and re-make until you formulate your coolest lipstick ever. If you are a fan of super playful shades of lipstick, I found this handy dandy guide to colour recipes for every shade from metallic violet to navy blue. This lesson on how to transfer the lipstick from its silicon mold into a lipstick holder is helpful too.

Have fun, DIY beauty chemists!