DIY Beginners, Lips, MsBarb, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

DIY: Winter Nights Lip Balm

I know. I know. This recipe has been done everywhere. It’s been done on Humblebee&Me to Instructables, to slightly different versions on countless blogs and sites. I first heard of this recipe ages ago from my coconut dealer down in Hainan (I know you are not familiar with Chinese geography; so think of a southern tropical province in China on the ocean, overrun by tourists from China and around the world). I bought a boat load of virgin coconut oil from him for soaping (and I hear you all cringe at the thought of that price. Way back then it was the only way to get coconut oil in China), he sent me a free tube of lip chap that I really liked and found worked well in China’s harsh winters. I inquired about the ingredients, then looked into the ingredients, and discovered it was purely awesome! And pretty easy to make.

Beeswax, you beautiful thing you! 

At the start of cold weather, I’ve one of these tubes scattered in almost every room in the house. I apply it as soon as I wake, after my shower and before I go to sleep. It has saved me more times than I can count. It’s wicked easy to make, and lasts for about a year or more if you stash them in the fridge.

This balm is a VERY tacky balm. It is not all glossy and shiny, it is tacky. Really tacky. You are basically applying beeswax to your lips here.

So yeah. Rub, rub, rub, and draaaaaaag.

IMG_8581Beeswax has been used for ages upon ages to help create designs on fabrics in ancient times, used as sealing wax for documents and cosmetics for ages! It’s been used and is still used as a highly effective waterproof sealant for canvas, still used by woodworkers too as a wood sealant and wood protector. So if it is used as a waterproof sealant, can you imagine how awesome this will be for your lips? Lock that moisture in! Beeswax is of a lot of interest to number of researchers who are currently looking into the antimicrobial properties.

Beeswax in most lip balm recipes is used to prevent meltage and to give your product a longer lifespan. You really don’t want to be putting a tube of lip balm into your pocket and have it melt? Right? That’d just be a little on the embarrassing side. Beeswax is a pain in the arse to melt down as it has a melting point of about 62-65C so that means you are constantly standing there and stirring or just walk away and do your laundry. Clean the bathroom. Write up the corresponding blog post and add pictures later…. You know. You’ve got lots of time. It took about 22 minutes for the beeswax to melt for this recipe.

I find getting a group of ten tubes, elastic around them is the perfect way to decant my tubes. Then I always know exactly how many tubes I’ve made just by a glance. 

In this recipe I used raw beeswax that I actually melted, and separated myself! We had a local hive here where I used to get all my bee stash from, but they moved to… you guessed it. Sunny tropical Hainan and didn’t take me with them. They took their bees. Not me. So sad. But, you can use beeswax pellets or even white beeswax if that’s what you have. Raw beeswax smells powerfully of warm honey, which is VERY noticeable in the finished product and one of my favourite scents!

Mmmmm… pure beeswax candles.

I’ve tried everything from a spoon, a funnel, a syringe, an actual product designed to help with lip balm pouring… the only thing I get consistent results with and little to no spillage is a beaker. I waste much less product this way. 

Beeswax is in my personal opinion the star ingredient to stop chapped or dry lips from happening. It acts like a humectant by drawing moisture from the air and depositing it onto your lips. It traps moisture in your lips and prevents moisture from evaporating.

Next up, coconut oil. For this recipe you want to make sure that you are using virgin coconut oil. The same coconut oil that you would eat or use to cook with. It smells awesome but I find coconut oil alone has a disgusting texture. Gross. Anyways, I find that in lip care where we use coconut oil the smell does not survive. Which is sad. We’re really just using coconut in this recipe to help the beeswax glide over your lips. As I mentioned above, beeswax is tacky and does cause a lot of grief trying to spread just beeswax over your skin.

Even if you don’t have any spills, polish up your tubes so your labels stay better.

There are way too many websites out there today that tell you how wonderful coconut oil is for your skin, and well… who knows. I can’t really find a lot of science to say much one way or another, but in this recipe? As I said, I am using it to help the beeswax to slide more easily over your lips. And that’s the only reason why I am using it here. You can use other carrier oils (sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil to name a few) in its place.

All our Winter Nights Lip Balm all in a row, aren’t they pretty! 

I’ve also decided to get everyone back on the peppermint essential oil train in lip products. I miss my mint! I love applying it and feeling that cool tingle dancing over my lips.

So tuck on in, roll up your sleeves and let’s get creating!

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  1. Prepare your double boiler/water bath and set it on a barely there simmer you want to see bubbles form in the bottom of your pan, but you don’t want to see them float to the surface.
  2. Gather all your ingredients, equipment and tools. Prepare your lip balm tubes or pots.
  3. Weigh out your beeswax and virgin coconut oil into your beaker or heat resistant glass measuring cup and place into your double boiler.
  4. Wait until your beeswax has melted completely before removing it from the water bath. Be sure to wipe off the outside of your beaker or glass measuring cup!
  5. Stir with a stir rod or chopstick well.
  6. Once your beaker or measuring cup is cool to the touch, I’m sorry, but you will have to work very very fast. Add in your Vitamin E and peppermint essential oil and stir well.
  7. Decant your balm into your prepared balm tubes or pots and allow to cool.
  8. Use a tissue to clean up any spills, cap, label and enjoy!

Ready for a BONUS post??? 

Clean up is a pain in the backside when you are working with lip balms and what not. And to make your life easier, here are some simple steps. Use your spatula to scrape as much product out of your measuring cup or beaker as possible. Take a tissue or a paper towel, and wipe out your beaker or measuring cup. Then toss it in hot soapy water and wash. This is truly the only method I’ve found that works.


DIY Intermediate, Lips, MsBarb, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

DIY: Crimson Ribbon Lip Gloss

If you are interested in making your own cosmetics (like actual foundation and powders and eye shadows) check out this book. I always refer to it for colour help and the recipes in it are my guides for my creations for things like lip care. I refuse to buy store bought lip products to see how they feel when applied. That’s what “Make it Up” recipes are for!

If you are following the news, Scrub Me Down- Happy Skin is going to be a year old. And if you know about that wicked news, you will know that we have made an Enchanted Nights Limited Edition Gift Set and smells as one customer who was lucky enough to get an advanced smell spoke about it how it makes her think about Cleopatra and ancient Egypt and the pyramids. Which led me to think about creating a complementing lip gloss. But since I really and truly suck at getting colours just right, this became a whole different blog post than what I was originally planning to do. You’ll see a couple of of these lip glosses in the next month or so, where the colour is just a smidge different, but it’s not quite right! They’ll all have started out in my head to be an Enchanted Nights Lip Gloss, but will quickly become a Christmas Lip Gloss! But Christmas needs its own stash of stuff, so that fine by me! So let’s tuck in and get to it!

IMG_8191Since I have a ton of carmine that will probably last me for the rest of my life, I’ve a 250g bag of the powder and about 40mL left of the stuff dispersed in castor oil. As long as you keep the air and moisture out of the powdered stuff, it will last a very very very long time. Now, one amazing thing when you make things, is you can learn from other people’s experience… if you so choose. I’ve watched a few bloggers spend a lot of time and effort and oodles of money on trying various powders and colourants to get a bold red, but only carmine works. I’ve watched their products go from a beautiful shade of red to dull grey. Pretty neat to watch, but when you are looking at well over 250rmb for 10g of beetroot powder, I can do without that experimenting.

Sonia has told me I should make mention that carmine is actually ground up beetle. It is a pretty pricey ingredient, but if you want some fancy colouring that is bright red, you need it. Or are already wearing it.

When it comes to me making any sort of red tint, or something more than just a light barely there hint of red, I always add in a wee spec of blue. The blue is not noticeable in the finished product at all, but I find that blue gives the red a wee bit of depth. I’m telling you, when it comes to making something with colour, this is where I utterly fail as a formulator. The product will be fantastic, but the colour will make you go eeeek. See the picture that lead you to this blog? I took my final recipe from below, and then added in some red iron oxide and some greeny-gold mica, and my product turned red green. Beautiful for a Christmas Elf, but not for me. I added in some silver to see what would happen and that’s the results I got. So then I just made the recipe again, and followed it!


Anyways, let get cracking here.

The base. In the past I was all about using raw beeswax to make things as I thought it would be a selling feature. Turns out, I was so wrong. These days I am more about performance as that is what our customers desire. So in your recipe you can use either raw beeswax, refined beeswax or white beeswax. I’ll be using the white beeswax as it is easier to colour I find. If you are using the yellowish beeswax, you might need to add a few drops extra of carmine to get the colour you are looking for. I’m using beeswax here to be the “glue” that holds everything together. In the wrong ratio, your gloss will be too liquidy or, will be too thick resulting in a lip “stick”. Beeswax will also be giving us that wee bit of tack and staying power that I desire in a gloss. I mean if you are going to apply a gloss or a lippy, you want it to stay there for more than half an hour.

I’m going to be adding in some coconut oil here as I find coconut oil and lips to be a worthwhile pairing. And oh the shine! In this recipe you don’t want to be using your soaping coconut oil, you want to be using the same coconut oil you use to eat. So look for the virgin or the cold pressed- just make sure it is pure coconut oil and you can eat it. Alas, you might be thinking, oh wow the sweet warm scent of honey through the beeswax, mix that with the yummy deliciousness of coconut oil? Heaven on my lips! Umm… no. For some reason I find the coconut scent+taste and that awesome honey scent doesn’t survive in lip products for some reason.

IMG_8167Castor Oil. Oh the stories I could tell about you about this oil. It’s got a nice long history and is a very good oil for the skin, and I use it many cleansers, but that is not why we are using it here. We are using it for it’s thick and viscous and oh the shine! Shine on castor oil in all your thick gooeiness! This is a gloss right? I need more shine. I need. More. Shine. And castor oil is a good one for this!

Next up, I’m going to use sweet almond oil in this lippy as I want to keep the cost down a little. But, if you have jojoba, that’s a nice wax to use in here. You can also use a combination of sweet almond to jojoba if you’d like. We all know the wondrous ability of both these oils, they are told to us almost constantly. But, yeah. I’ve used other oils in lip stuff to test them out, and honestly? Rice bran, wheat germ, apricot, I don’t really notice all that big a difference other than colour. I am using  sweet almond oil as mine seems to be a lighter colour than jojoba and I want the colour to be easy to work with. If you are thinking about making this to gift me (or someone else for that matter), make it with jojoba oil. Everyone will go ga ga for jojoba.

IMG_8181Vitamin E. Now many people seem to be under the impression that vitamin E is a preservative. It is 100% NOT a preservative. I am using it in this recipe because our winters here in northern China are dry, whatever you are thinking, think more dry than that. And windy. Think more wind. Lips need all the oomph in the oomph department they can get so I am adding in Vitamin E to help them out AND to help extend the lifespan of the oils. Vitamin E is an antioxidant so adding it into some of our oil based creations can help them survive a little bit longer.

So we weigh, toss them all together, smoosh and stir it all up, and pour into lip gloss tubes or applicators, allow to cool then go crazy painting your lips red.

IMG_8209Let’s create!

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  1. remove all the lids and set up your lip gloss tubes or wands so when it comes time to pour, they are all ready to go. This recipe makes 20g, so about 4x5g lip gloss tubes
  2. In a small heat resistant measuring cup or beaker, measure out your ingredients and place into your water bath on a barely there simmer.
  3. Allow your recipe to melt and wait an extra minute or two gently stirring to make sure the beaker or measuring cup heats up.
  4. Remove from the water bath, wipe off the sides and begin adding in your liquid carmine.
  5. Be sure to stir well. I usually place the measuring cup or beaker back into the water bath and stir some more just to make sure that everything is mixed well.
  6. Remove from heat once again, wipe off the water from the outside, then decant into your lip gloss tubes.
  7. Allow to cool, then cap and get all excited for your just made some Crimson Ribbon Lip Gloss! And it’s ready to use!


Remember to take notes about the exact amount of carmine you used so you can replicate or alter your recipe at a later time!
I actually think I did very well matching my lips to the ribbon!
DIY Intermediate, Lips, MsBarb

DIY: Summer Lovin' Minty Lip Butter

Well, I’m tired of pink lips. How about you? I enjoy summer,  but I want to put something on my lips that makes them go va va mint?

I love making soap. I really do. But in the summer when it is so hot and ugly weather going on, making soap is just to hard. I don’t fancy my sweat dripping off my nose into the soap. Yeah, it’s happened before. It’s not pretty. So I end up making small batches of this and that and try out some new recipes, colours in old recipes and give them a go.

2And I love making lip stuff. You get instant gratification (if you think 30 minutes or more is instant), they make neat little gifts, and you can colour them however you’d like!

So back to the pink. I’m tired of pink. I much prefer a deeper shade of red with some sparkles tossed in. So I decided to make it since most lipsticks/glosses/tints here in China I cannot wear. It almost seems like there is orange in the colour and no sparkles.

8The colour is totally optional, this lip butter is fantastic colourless, or you can add in 1/2tsp of of your favourite mica for a light shimmer. Might I suggest forgetting the carmine and just using the gold and pink?

So, I am also tired of thin feeling Lippy’s that are wonderful and beautiful and give your lips lots and lots of shine. I wanted something thicker. I wanted something that was thicker, longer lasting and something that would sink in and provide me with a wee hint of colour.

10Mango butter is lovely as it sinks in pretty quick and is considered to be a dry oil. It has similar properties to shea butter, but, is almost four times the price. I find shea butter leaves my skin feeling greasy and gross. Mango butter on the other hand, sinks in very quick, leaving your skin hydrated and feeling like silk without the grease. And on your lips, it is no different. The mango butter sinks in providing your lips with lots of happy thoughts!

I used cocoa butter and sweet almond oil to help provide glide. Cocoa butter will melt pretty easily against warm skin, and give you a wee bit of shine.

12For an added punch, I decided on adding in some flavourings. Mint and chocolate. I figured with Autumn right around the corner, this Summer Lovin’ Minty Lip Butter can work double time right into winter. YAY! Same with the colourants, you don’t have to add anything. Keeping it plain still gives you a fantastic lip butter!

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  1. weigh out your cocoa butter, beeswax, mango butter and sweet almond oil into a small heat proof glass. Place the heat proof glass over your double boiler and allow to melt keeping your stove top at a barely there simmer. This will take about ten minutes
  2. once everything is melted, remove from heat stirring with a stir rod or a clean chop stick
  3. add in your colourants and stir well
  4. add in your peppermint essential oil and cocoa absolute
  5. working quickly pour into your prepared lip tubes
  6. if you need to, place your heat proof glass back into the double boiler to melt down the lip butter and then pour again
DIY Beginners, Lips, MsBarb, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

DIY: Summer Shimmer Lip Gloss

Good morning!

And welcome to the Scrub Me Down Kitchen. Today we are going to something completely different! We are going to walk you through making your own lip gloss from scratch. This lip gloss will be in a stick that you can toss into your purse for a beautiful summer shimmer and light tint whenever you want it! Without the worry of melting. Just don’t leave it in your pocket or purse in the summer heat!

Summer Shimmer- 26.jpg
Summer Shimmer in Pink and Bronze

Let’s talk about the ingredients. We are going to need some beeswax. You can use beeswax from your local honey supplier, or the refined pellets, or even the bleached beeswax (called white beeswax). Any one you choose will be good for this recipe. If you choose to use raw beeswax or the refined pellets, your colour might be a little different. But because beeswax is tacky, wicked hard, and pulls at your skin alone, it needs to be softened down a little. But that tackiness and hard factor are what helps to keep this gloss in place.

Summer Shimmer 8.jpg
We decided to use white beeswax from Aroma Zone for this recipe.

Cocoa butter, it smells like chocolate. How can that be bad? Cocoa butter is full of fatty acids that makes dry skin run for the hills. I also find lip recipes that contain higher amounts of cocoa butter to be wickedly shiny. Like super duper high beam shiny. You can used unrefined or refined cocoa butter, we choose to stock unrefined as the scent of chocolate is just too yummy to pass up!

Castor Oil, it is sticky. It’s main purpose we are using it today is to give our lips some HD shine. And who doesn’t want shine in a “kiss” gloss?

Summer SHimmer 9.jpg
Yup, that is almond oil. Need a translator in the kitchen!

Sweet almond oil, we are using almond oil today as our liquid oil. We need some liquid in our recipe so when we apply the lip gloss, it applies evenly and smoothly and slides over the lips without pulling and with no tack and super high shine! And almond oil is brilliant in lip care!

We are going to be colouring our lip gloss today too and giving it a minty cool for those hot summer days! Sonia wanted bronze while I wanted something very pinky in the tube but a soft shiny pink on the lips. You can use any colour mica you have and add more for more tint, or less for just colour. I plan on trying various colours of mica with this recipe so you can have an orange, yellow, green, blue… purple tube of colourless lip gloss. More on that later.

Summer Shimmer 14.jpg
A dash is an actual unit of measurment

The trickiest part of making this lip gloss will be getting the colour evenly dispersed. Its a horrible balancing act, your waxes and oils must be hot enough to pour, but cool enough to suspend the mica within.

Summer Shimmer 19.jpg
The pour! Be careful! Go slow.

Summer Shimmer Lip Gloss

  • 20g sweet almond oil
  • 13g beeswax
  • 11g cocoa butter
  • 9g castor oil
  • 5 drops vitamin E


3 dashes pink mica (or bronze, or gold, or or or or)

10-15 drops peppermint essential oil

  1. Set up your lip tubes
  2. In a pyrex glass (or beaker), weigh out your beeswax, castor oil, and sweet almond oil and place in a double broiler. Stir. Allow to melt.
  3. Remove from double boiler, and add in cocoa butter. Stir until melted.
  4. Add in your vitamin e, peppermint essential oil and mica and stir with a small spatula, or chopstick.
  5. Label, and date your creation. Let sit for an hour or two before using (I usually leave mine for twenty-four hours).
Look at that shimmer!!!

How did yours turn out? Find us on Instagram and let us know!