Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Trouble with Tubes

Okay, I have a recipe I like for lip balm tubes (as opposed to jars). It has to be a little more firm in order to work.

After some experimentation, here’s what I like:
½ teaspoon beeswax
½ teaspoon Petroleum Jelly
½ teaspoon lanolin
I melt everything in a double boiler and pout into a tube while the mixture is still hot. It makes just enough for one nifty little tube of balm, so be sure to multiply the amounts according to how many you’d like to make.

I don’t add any color, but you certainly could (my girls are asking for pink and red glosses). It comes out a very natural blonde color on its own.

Here’s the problem… When I pour it into the tubes it settles as it cools and it winds up with a hole in the top of the balm - not very professional looking. The balm feels great but it still doesn’t look as good as the stuff you can get at Wal-Mart or Target. I’m clearly still an amateur.

I’ve been scouring Yahoo and Google for tips on how to properly fill the tubes, so far without any luck. I’m not sure who else to ask - any suggestions?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Breaking News! Coconut Oil is not my favorite.

I tried another recipe today and the results were interesting. I have been scouring the internet, the library and my local Barnes and Noble for ideas and recipes in my search for the ultimate lip-balm concoction. So far I haven’t had a real disaster, but I wouldn’t call it a huge success either.

I’m a Sagittarius, and my horoscope today said today would be a good day to get organized, so that’s exactly what I did - this time I took better notes (and pictures) on what worked and what didn’t. Coconut Oil shows up in lots of the online lip-balm recipes I found, so I ordered some and gave it a try. I love the smell, so I hoped it would work. I made up my own version of what I was seeing in the recipes I found. Here’s what I tested today…

I used 2 Tablespoons of Coconut oil (from
1 teaspoon of beeswax
1 teaspoon of petroleum jelly
3 drops of vitamin E
3 drops of Vanilla Essential oil (also from the
This time I meted the Coconut oil, beeswax and Vaseline in a glass measuring cup in a pan of boiling water. Once everything was melted I removed it from the stove added the vitamin E and the vanilla and poured into my little jars.

The result was okay. It made 4 little pots of balm. The color is very white, but the balm itself is a little oily for my taste - oops! At least I’m still having fun trying things out. Now I just need to get my girls off of Webkinz so I can use the computer to write down my results.

Any questions for me so far? Just ask…

Friday, June 19, 2009

Finally! A real lip balm

I finally got something I like.

I found this recipe from Martha Stewart at I used the “glossier” version.

It works like this:
2 teaspoon beeswax
4 teaspoon “Carrier Oil” (I used Olive Oil)
1 teaspoon honey
6-7 drops essential oil (I didn’t have any, so I left it out)
I melted the beeswax and oil in a double boiler, added the honey, stirred and poured into my little jars.

I have to admit that my biggest disappointment was (again) the honey. It separated out in the pan and essentially never made it into the little jars. Next time I’ll leave it out of the recipe altogether.

I like my final result. It looks great and feels good on my lips. It’s a little hard so I think I’d like to put it into tubes instead of pots, but I can leave that for next time.

Any thoughts about the honey? I’d really like to make a honey lip balm…

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kool-Aid Lip Balm

I had a small success today.

In under 10 minutes, I mixed some "Berry" Kool-Aid into a drop of water and mixed that into some vaseline and scooped it into one of lip-balm pots.

The kids love it and it was super simple. I wouldn't suggest that this is cosmetic-worthy or anything. It has a slightly gritty feel for a minute after we put it on(what do you expect from Kool-Aid?) but, for the kids, it was great. And it really did moisturize our lips.

I also couldn't figure out a way to melt it so that it would have the nice "factory finish" top on it, but whatever. My kids didn't mind.

What do you think?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My first stab at creating my own lip balm

I’m not what anyone would call crafty, and I’m not especially into “natural” or homemade. I just really love the cute little containers full of good smelling balms - I always have. I have a huge collection of half-used pots, jars and tubes. I guess I just figured I’d like to give it a try.
Here’s what I did…

First I looked for lip balm recipes. There are lots of different versions, some use the microwave, and some use a double boiler. I think I’ll start with the microwave version (in case I have to ruin a pan with the double-boiler plan)
3 tablespoons of petroleum jelly
1 teaspoon of honey
Melt in a microwave-safe glass container on low
Pour into containers and let cool

Okay, I need containers. I found some at ordered a set of 10 little jars - although I briefly considered ordering 100 with visions of a home-based business passing briefly through my mind.

5 days later my cute little jars arrived. I had to keep my kids from pilfering them so I enlisted their help with my lip-balm project.

First, we threw everything into a glass measuring cup and melted on low power in the microwave. Guess what? Honey melts WAY faster than Vaseline. THAT didn’t work.
Okay, we threw that batch out, cleaned and dried the measuring cup and tried a second time. This time we melted the petroleum jelly first and then whisked in the honey. It looked better than the first batch. We poured it into the cute little jars and let them cool. Unfortunately, after a couple minutes the honey and Vaseline separated. We decided this didn’t work either.
I’m on a mission. I love the idea of a honey lip balm, so I’m giving up on the petroleum jelly base and opting for beeswax. Makes sense, right? Beeswax…Honey… I guess I should have thought of it earlier. Anyway, I went back to and ordered some beeswax “prills” (which I guess are little pellets). Let’s see if I can do better with those.

I’ll keep you posted, do you have any advice?