Thursday, February 18, 2010

The LipSync Project: 15 Days of Treats for Your Lips, Day 5

I thought today would be a great day for a recipe and Lip Balm Tutorial!

Making Lip Balm is actually a very easy process - and an amazing introduction into the world of handmade bath & body products! If you’ve ever considered making your own soap, lotions, body creams and more, lip balms are the perfect place to start to get your passion going and creativity flowing!

There are lots of wonderful, Do-It-Yourself Lip Balm-Making Kits available, which make it even easier to jump start your project. They also make fun and educational activities for school classes, birthday parties, girl scout troops and more!

But if you want to start from scratch, here’s a recipe and tutorial along with some guidelines and helpful hints to make your own lip balms.

While every formulator has their own version that works best for them, the basic components of any lip balm recipe include approximately:
40% Liquid Oils - oils that remain liquid at room temperature
25% Solid Oils - oils that are solid at room temperature
20% Waxes
15% Brittle Oils - oils that are solid at room temp with a firm, brittle consistency

And here’s a list of examples of each type of oil:
Liquid Oils: Olive, Sweet Almond, Apricot Kernel, Grapeseed, Avocado, Hemp Seed, Jojoba, Sunflower Seed, Macadamia Seed, Rice Bran, Evening Primrose, Castor, Soybean
Solid Oils: Coconut, Palm, Mango Butter, Shea Butter, Babassu Oil
Brittle Oils: Cocoa Butter, Illipe Butter, Kokum Butter, Palm Kernel Oil
Waxes: Beeswax, Soy Wax, Candelilla Wax, Carnauba Wax

It’s important to remember that each of these oils and waxes will impart different properties to your balm, and each will effect your recipe differently, as well. For example, Soy Wax is much softer and has a lower melting point than Beeswax, so it will produce a softer balm if the recipe is not adjusted with a higher percentage of brittle oils.

First things first - compile your tools. You’ll need:
- Small postal or jeweler’s scale
- Heat-resistant measuring cup
- Stir Stick or Spoon
- Dispensing Pipette (optional)
- 8 Lip balm tubes or alternative containers (small clean tins, jars or pots are okay, too)

Basic Lip Balm Recipe, 2oz Yield (fills about 8 .15oz lip balm tubes or 4 5g size jars):
.8oz Sweet Almond Oil
.4oz Beeswax
.5oz Coconut Oil
.3oz Cocoa Butter
2 Drops Vitamin E (optional - Vitamin E adds moisturizing & protective benefits and helps prolong the shelf-life of your balms)

1) Measure out all oils, butters and waxes

2) Heat gently in Microwave in 20 second bursts until completely melted - Careful! Melted Oils are Very Hot!!

3) Add 2 Drops Vitamin E and stir well (optional)
4) Pour or dispense using pipette into tubes or containers

5) Allow to cool completely before capping and using

Here are some Helpful Hints:
- Some Brittle oils & Butters may become grainy in lip balms unless they are tempered - allowed to remain at a sustained temperature for a period of time (just like tempering chocolate). Heat and maintain a temperature of approximately 100 degrees for Cocoa and Mango Butter, 170-185 degrees for Shea Butter, for a minimum of 15 -30 minutes before cooling and adding to your recipe.
- As lip balm cools, there is a tendency for settling to occur, making for an uneven surface. Keep some melted balm set aside to ‘top off’ your tubes as they cool.
- Flavor Oils or Essential Oils may be added at about 1% off your formula. Be sure to use essential oils that are not photosensitive and flavor oils that are oil-based and intended for use in lip balms (not food flavorings that are alcohol-based!). Too much flavor oil can prevent your balms from solidifying properly and give a bitter aftertaste to lip balm.
- Cosmetic-grade colorants may be added in very small amounts - be sure you are using pigments that are skin-safe and safe for use on lips.
- Lip Balm came out too hard or too soft? Just remelt and add more liquid oils or brittle oils! Lip Balm recipes are very forgiving and correcting mistakes is as simple as reheating and adjusting your oils.

One of the most fabulous things about a basic lip balm recipe is that it’s completely multifunctional:
- add flavor or essential oil for a flavored lip balm
- add a small amount of lip-safe, colored mica for a tinted lip balm
- add peppermint essential oil and tea tree oil for a rejuvenating foot balm
- add Tea Tree Oil and Vitamin E Oil for a healing cuticle balm
- add essential oils for an aromatherapeutic body balm
- add fragrance oil for a solid perfume

The best advice I can give you is to try your recipe with different oils, butters and waxes to find the combination that you like best!

Here’s your LipSync Lip Treat for Day 5:
LipSync Mineral Tinted Lip Butter in Chocolate Truffle - .25oz Slide Tin

LipSync Handmade Lip Butters are extra-emollient and moisturizing and enriched with Vitamin E. Formulated with only the highest quality ingredients - and 3 different ultra-rich butters - they're the ultimate in promoting soft, supple, smooth, kissable lips. And with a hint of sheer color, they can be worn alone, under or over lipstick and lip liners. Chocolate Truffle Lip Butter imparts the scent of dark, rich chocolate and adds a sheer tint of deep brown shimmer to your lips.

LipSync Mineral Tinted Lip Butters are available for $4.00 each plus shipping at!

Discount Alert: Use Coupon Code ‘LipSyncBlogProject’ for 10% off your LipSync Purchase! Just note the Code in the Message to Seller Box during Checkout and I’ll refund your discount!

Tune in for Day 6 of The LipSync Project!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The LipSync Project: 15 Days of Treats for your Lips. Day 4

I know what I like in a Lip Gloss:

High Shine
Glossy Lustre
Subtle, sheer color
Flattering shades
Long Lasting
All Natural
Smooth Application
Moisturizing, Softening & Conditioning Benefits
Protection from the Elements

And I know what I don’t like in a Lip Gloss:

Thick, petroleum feel
Sticky, Slippery or Tacky Feel
Unnatural Looking Color
Chemical-y Fragrance and/or Flavor
Synthetic ingredients
Rubs or slides off easily
Globby, Clumpy Application
Chemical Preservatives

Lip gloss doesn’t have to feel like you’ve spackled Vaseline on your lips!

There are so many benefits to wearing lip gloss, many cosmetic, and some even contribute to the health of delicate lip tissue.

And the best way to obtain those benefits is with a natural gloss.

When coming up with my formula for LipSync Lip Gloss, I kept my list of ‘likes’ in mind and tested and fine-tuned until I managed to get as many ‘likes’ from the list in my Gloss as I could. I was so pleased with the results - and with having an all-natural substitute for my favorite name brand, petroleum-based, chemical-enriched glosses!

Okay, I know Lip Gloss doesn’t tend to have much staying power and needs to be reapplied over and over again throughout the day - but I definitely wanted each application to provide moisture, hydrate & condition lips every single time. And provide great protection from dry, winter air and hot, sun-drenched rays of the sun in summer.

And the color - oh the color!
Natural mineral pigments and mica provide such a wide variety of shades that some days I don’t know where to start - and then I don’t ever want to end - creating gorgeous, glossy colors!

Right now, there are 8 Shades in the LipSync Lip Gloss Line - and I’m adding more during this Project - but I’m also working on developing some fabulous collections! I’m hoping to introduce the Precious Metals Collection (bold, shimmering coppers, bronzes and golds), the Precious Gems Collection (beautifully delicate garnets, opals & rubies) and the Vineyard Collection (rich, stunning plums, grapes and wines) by the end of the year.

But until then, here’s your LipSync Lip Treat for Day 4:
LipSync Natural Mineral Tinted Lip Gloss in Seriously Suede - Net Wt. .340 oz./9.6g

Gorgeous, Glossy Lips - Every Time!

LipSync Natural Mineral Lip Gloss is designed to impart a sheer hint of color and rich gloss to your lips. With natural, good-for-your-skin ingredients like Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and Sunflower Oil, your lips receive a healthy dose of vitamins, nutrients and emollients to help your lips look and feel beautiful!

LipSync Seriously Suede Lip Gloss will moisturize, condition and soften delicate lip tissue while giving your lips a sheer hint of chocolate brown color, tons of shine and a touch of shimmer with every application.

LipSync Lip Glosses are available for $5.95 each plus shipping at!

Use Coupon Code LipSyncBlogProject for 10% off your LipSync Purchase! Just note the Code in the Message to Seller Box during Checkout and I’ll refund your discount!

Tune in for Day 5 of The LipSync Project!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The LipSync Project: 15 Days of Treats for Your Lips - Day 3

Welcome to Day 3 of The LipSync Project!

When it comes to flavoring lip products, we have basically two choices: essential oils or flavor oils.

Essential oils, because they’re derived from natural sources (mostly plant materials), provide a limited selection for flavoring purposes. Many that may be used for flavoring are from the citrus fruit family: lime, lemon, orange, but there’s also anise, cinnamon, clove, peppermint, etc. But some essential oils can cause photosensitivity, and may cause the skin to burn more easily when exposed to sunlight, particularly when used in leave-on products like lip balms.
Flavor oils are synthetic (I always choose pthalate-free!), and therefore can be manufactured in just about any possible flavor. They are available sweetened, but I prefer the unsweetened - with a sweetener, there is a tendency to lick, which may promote dry, chapped lips.

As with fragrance oils, when I add new flavor and essential oils to my inventory, I open each bottle as soon as they arrive and smell the aroma, touch to feel the consistency and try to see how it feels on the skin - and just get an overall first impression for my records.

Along with many formulators, I make up a large batch of lip balm and lip gloss base each week, and then flavor & color smaller quantities to order. I want every customer to receive as fresh a product as possible!

I start testing by melting a small amount of base and adding the manufacturer’s minimum suggested percentage of each Flavor Oil per batch. I test and record how each oil dispurses in the base, how it affects the color and of course, how it smells. Once the base solidifies, I test and record how the flavored balm feels on the skin, how it tastes (even though flavor oils have no actual flavor, too much can create a bitter aftertaste in balm) and how long the aroma lasts.

I then remelt the flavored base, adjust the amount of Flavor Oil as necessary, and then more notekeeping. I may do this several times - or start over from scratch - until I get exactly what I want: intense, long-lasting aroma that doesn’t adversely effect the foundation of the Lip Balm or Butter.

When I have the percentage of each flavor oil recorded for future formulating, I can then start playing with color! I test which shades of mica will work best with each scent, carefully recording amounts and colors so it can easily be recreated later.

And then I can finally name my new Lip product! And that’s a big part of the fun - I love coming up with awesome new blends and fun names for my products. I’ll sit with a notebook for hours on end drawing up potential names - and am usually quite pleased with myself when I come up with a yummy new Lip Butter flavor like Mexican Hot Chocolate (coming soon!) or memorable, descriptive Lip Gloss names like Fiercely Fuschia and Marvelously Merlot (superlatives are a fun trademark of my LipSync Line of Lip Glosses).

And here’s today’s LipSync Lip Treat for Day 3:

LipSync Mineral Tinted Lip Butter in Vanilla Latte, .25oz slide tin
LipSync handmade Lip Butters are extra-emollient and moisturizing and enriched with Vitamin E. Formulated with only the highest quality ingredients - and 3 different ultra-rich butters - they're the ultimate in promoting soft, supple, smooth lips. And with a hint of sheer color, they can be worn alone, under or over lipstick and lip liners.

Vanilla Latte Lip Butter imparts the scent of rich, creamy coffee with a hint of vanilla. This Lip Butter adds a sheer tint of a light chocolate-brown shimmer to your lips.

LipSync Vanilla Latte Mineral Tinted Lip Butter is available for $4.00 + Shipping at my new shop on etsy:

Tune in to Day 4 of The LipSync Project: 15 Days of Treats for Your Lips for more fun - and maybe even a recipe - and of course, a brand new treat for your lips!