If you think lip balm’s tha bomb, holla at ‘cha girl! (that’s me, in case you were wondering. Although last week some kid called me lady, which led to a downward spiral of potato chips and self-loathing, but for all intents and purposes of our lip balm talk; you can holla at me). I adore lip balm: I like to keep one beside my bed, one in my purse, one by my desk, one in the bathroom, the kitchen, you get the picture.
One of the greatest joys in life, is that moment, when you reach down the side of the couch, or are reorganizing some drawers and you discover a wayward lip balm. It’s like uncovering buried treasure. That lip balm could be from the turn of the century (I’m talkin’ last century), and be covered in pocket lint, and I’m still gonna uncap that baby and swipe it on. I don’t know why. It’s probably a sickness.
Over the years I have tried at least 30 different lip balm recipes. Most I’ve found on Pinterest, and many of them have turned out to be okay. There have been a few fails, which irritates me in 7 different languages because a) I’m cheap and that means I’m wasting ingredients, and b) I’m lazy, which means I’m wasting my time.
After making enough lip balm to keep a reasonably sized community of chapped lip sufferers well-moisturized, I’ve come up with what I’d like to think is the perfectly perfect lip balm for me. It’s nourishing and shiny. It has a slick feel when applied (yes, that’s a thing, and yes, it’s totally important) and it tingles, which, is like Tiger Balm for the lips and that, my friends, is alllll right. Best of all, you ask? My recipe makes two lip balms. Yup, only two.
The small batch lip balm
Here’s the deal: unless you know 47 million people who want you to make them a lip balm, most of the recipes you’ll come across just make too big of a batch. I’ve been there. With my lip balms all neatly lined up on my counter like little soldiers. And six months later, I still owned 85 of them and I couldn’t feel my lips anymore because they had a bajillion layers of waxy balm on them. When you are making your own beauty products you have to deal with the fact that there are no real preserving agents in them to give them a long shelf life. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because, well, who wants anything that’s creepily termed “preserving agent” on their skin? It’s bad, because the shelf life of your product becomes very short. Like under six months short.
If you’ve tried your hand at making lip balms before, then you know all about the addition of vitamin E as a preserving agent. And although, sure it probably prolongs the product a bit: it’s not exactly Hans Solo in Carbonite, know what I mean?
To keep gross bacteria from multiplying, small batches of lip balm is the answer. Lip balm is quick to whip up: seriously, we’re talking under 10 minutes, including prep and clean up! I have been known to do it while cooking dinner, cleaning the kitchen, or waiting for my kettle to boil. It’s like a multi-tasker’s dream!!
When you are making your own beauty products, dedicate a glass measuring cup (like those pyrex ones with the handle and the little spout) just for this purpose. Butters and beeswax are notoriously difficult to get off things and having a container just for melting these will make your life waaaaay easier. If you can swing it, have a spatula, knife, and spoon dedicated to it as well. You WILL thank me.
Find a local beeswax. There is a bunch of holistic evidence that says that using local honey and bee products can help with allergies and skin afflictions. Mostly I just use it to support my local bees. They work pretty hard, after all. If you live on earth, there should be a farm somewhere near you. If you don’t live on earth. Sorry, can’t help you.
Making lip balm is customizable. Play with the recipe. If you like a harder lip balm, add more beeswax. If you want it less slick and more creamy, swap out some of the coconut oil for shea butter. When you’re only making two lip balms at a time, you have the freedom to play a bit and not worry too much about waste. You can always rejig the lip balms you don’t love into foot creams or salves (I’ll show you how someday. But only if you’re good.)
**So listen: before I give you the recipe, I want to do a call out: if you know how to take apart those EOS ball lip balms and refill them, MESSAGE ME! I’m not even joking. I have followed a bunch of tutorials and still can’t figure it out. Sometimes, I lay awake at night and think about it. Really.**
You’re the balm! (see what I did there?!? I know.)