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 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!

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!