Friday, September 9, 2011

Tutorial: Melting & Making New Lipsticks

Be my guest: learn from my mistakes! I had the clumsiest morning when I did this little project, and I regret not having taken pictures of all my bloopers! But I promise I will tell you about all of them, so you don't have to make them yourself!

There are many other people who have written tutorials about making lipstick - in fact, I never even thought of doing this until I read this post from Vixen Vintage. The only problem is that most people use lipstick palettes or little jars, and I really wanted to make lipsticks again. Also, I wanted to use what I had in the house and not have to go shopping for this little experiment. As you see in the picture above, in spite of all the bloopers, it worked out just fine in the end.

Here is what you need:

We are in my kitchen today, so say hi to my water boiler and spatula!

  • Any number of lipsticks with colors that are not to your liking - too purple, too orange, too matte, too sparkly... I also had a lip-balm ready, but ended up not using it. If you do, the color turns out more sheer and glossy. 
  • If you have little jars like the one in the picture (from an eye cream), you could use that for your new lip-color. I dropped and broke decided not to use mine...
  • Tape - if you have gaffer tape, that would be even better than the one in the picture... 
  • Scissors
  • A melting pot of some sort
  • The little cardboard or plastic tube that sewing yarn is spun onto, or anything that has approximately the diameter of the lipstick you want to make. I think even just a simple pen would work. You only need one.
  • Some sturdy plastic that doesn't melt too easily - mine is from a beauty-product wrapping, but maybe you find something in your office like this:
You will also need a good, sharp crafting knife, cleaning products and a stove (although a candle or blow-dryer would probably do it too) and a fridge (or freezer) .

Try out the colors on your hand or lips to see which ones might melt into a nice shade that you like. As you see, I meant to melt all five sticks on the top right together and poor them into the jar, but I broke it later. Ups.

Cut to size and roll the plastic around your tube/pen and seal it with tape. Make sure the plastic and tube/pen are clean - your lipstick will go into that form, which will touch your lips later, so things should be decently clean.

Now you can slide your tube or pen right out of the plastic tube you made. Now cut the tube and make sure the bottom of it is nice and even (it should stand up on its own). Don't make it too long, or your new lipstick won't fit into the lipstick holder - 4 cm (1,5 inches) is about right.

Now tape the bottom shut. Use several layers of tape, even better, use gaffer tape! I had another blooper coming up here, so mark my words...

Melt your lipsticks. It melts fast, so you can turn the heat off before it is all melted. The hot liquid will take care of the rest and make sure it's not boiling hot anymore when you poor it over your hand into the tube. By the way, don't throw away the old lipstick holders, choose the nicest ones - you will re-use them.

When I poured my first try into the tube, it ran out at the bottom - so that is why you have to make sure it is cut off very evenly and taped shut very well before you pour it! I picked it up to see if there was anything I could do about it, spilled hot stuff over my hand and ended up dropping and spilling the whole thing. Yes, I did that. No need for you to do that too. Above you see the now gaffer-taped new tube...

This one worked really well when I poured the liquid into it. Let it stand and cool right where it is for a while. In the meantime, you can make your next one.

As you see, I got better at making the forms...

Let your lipsticks get firm right where they are at first, then put them into your fridge. I even gave them a half hour or so in the freezer. Now you have time to clean the lipstick holders you want to re-use. Also make sure to remove the labels, or you will end up forgetting that it is your home-made color and go re-buy it, and end up with that same color you didn't like in the first place...
Also clean whatever you used to melt the lipsticks in. Use heavy duty cleaning stuff if it is a kitchen pot that gets used for food again some other time!

Cut off the bottom with a sharp knife. It's ok if you cut a little bit of the bottom lipstick away, this way you won't have tape-goo on your lipstick...

Cut along the seam in the plastic tube...

And you can take out your new lipstick!

Stick them into the old holders - I had to cut some off at the top, as it was a bit too long, but also for hygiene reasons it might not be the worst idea.

My colors all turned out quite similar (though not as similar as it looks in the picture), but I really like them now. It was a fun project - uhm, or at least I was really happy when it all worked out in the end... So while other people definitely have written prettier posts about this subject, mine has been fool-proved now. :-)
Happy melting, everybody!


  1. Vielen Dank für das Vortesten und Zeigen. Ich habe hier auch noch sehr schöne Lippenstifte, die ich wegen der Farben niemals benutzen werde. Das Mixen wäre eine gute Lösung, das probiere ich bestimmt.

  2. pity i threw away old lipsticks, would have never guessed that i can reuse them, good idea

  3. Sounds amazingly easy; will definitely try it. Just need to find Gaffer Tape! Thanks Andrea 

  4. i tried this and came up with a couple short cuts. I used my almost gone lipstick and added other colors to it that i liked mixed together into the existing lipstick tube, placed in microwave and stirred with a wooden shickabob skewer and once blended i placed in freezer. worked perfectly

  5. I have some old (old!) lipstick that I like but am afraid to use because experts warn about bacteria growing after a certain point. Wonder if melting it down and reconstituting would kill any possible bacteria?