to make: adventures in lip balm
lip balm ready to use
My entire do-it-yourself obsession started with lip balm. Of course Martha Stewart was involved. Ok, ready? I spotted the lip balm kit in the Martha By Mail catalog — which belonged to my mother! I swear it! After one night of obsessive deliberation (think of it! my own lip balm! wow! I won’t have to worry about losing my little sticks because I’ll be swimming in the stuff!) I ordered it. It was immediately, irrevocably back ordered. For months and months. And months. (Ask me how long the essential oils soap kit took to get me. Ask me about how it arrived a full day before I loaded up the moving truck for California.) So in that time Google and I became close friends over the words “lip balm”, lip, balm, gloss, containers, “lip gloss”… You would be surprised the number of combinations a search on Google for “lip” and anything return a significant percentage of X-Files erotic fan fiction. (Mulder and Skinner. Come on now.)
I landed at Majestic Mountain Sage, which has the best recipe I have found so far, this one. That’s the one I use (see below for the measurements I use for a smaller batch). This one is great too, especially if you’re looking for something which doesn’t include cocoa butter (some people are allergic) as it is really more of a guideline. I have also heard people gush over the one with honey in it. But heed the part of the directions that have you stir it while it is
cooling, otherwise it’ll separate like, well, like honey and oil mixed together. They sell lip balm jars, lip balm tubes, all the ingredients you’d need, even little lip balm shrink wraps! There are several other suppliers online, check the resources page.
I ordered a bunch of stuff from MMS, got some oils and such from Nature’s Bin, cleaned out an old lip balm jar and had at it. Yay! By the time the stuff from Martha arrived I was way past the “kit” stage, but the containers are nice. The recipe from included in the kit created a greasy solid. The recipe from MMS produces something a little softer and glossier which I prefer.
Small coincidence, almost all of the ingredients and containers in the Martha kit were, in fact, supplied by MMS.
various containers ready
That is how my do-it-yourself obsession became my do-it-without-martha’s-kits obsession.
showing the mirror glued to the bottom of one lip balm container – that’s the reflection of the camera
However, I’m still not happy with the lip balm. I don’t know what is missing, a sort of emollient, heavy, staying-power, wonder ingredient. I myself do not like my balms to be sweet, so honey is out. I have a bottle of jojoba oil that I haven’t tried out yet. As far as flavoring I prefer peppermint essential oil (I overdid the vanilla in the test runs, and still can’t quite stand it).
I present what I learned the hard way: