Not Martha

to make: adventures in lip balm

finished pot of 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.

containers ready
various containers ready

That is how my do-it-yourself obsession became my do-it-without-martha’s-kits obsession.

mirror on bottom
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:

melting set up
set up for melting – pyrex measuring cup in about one inch of water

melting it
I bought a set of inexpensive utensils I use just for making lip balm and bath bombs, including a pyrex measuring cup I use to melt and mix the lip balm ingredients. I add a small amount of water to a shallow sauce pan, place the measure cup in it and heat on low as I add ingredients. I add the beeswax, shea butter and cocoa butter, and almond oil and let those melt. Then I add the vitamin e and the coloring and stir in well. Last I add the drops of peppermint oil right before filling the containers, because the oil will evaporate. I use a disposable droppers to fill the containers. I have read about beeswax becoming grainy if you heat it too high, too low, not long enough and too long. I have yet to get this straight. Honestly though, as long as the balm is for myself or my friends the graininess doesn’t bother me, it melts on your lips. If you are looking to make something to sell you might want to test different techniques to make sure it comes out nice and smooth.

starting to melt
the beeswax and coconut oil beginning to melt – add the color and the essential oil last

Get yourself some droppers. Pouring a hot oil solution into a tiny jar or tube is not fun. Turkey basters just won’t work here. The disposable droppers from MMS are nice because you can just toss ‘em and not worry about how to get the scent cleaned off so you can reuse it. Also, if you’re making a very small batch (my proportions follow) they can measure out in milligrams what translates poorly as 1/16th of a teaspoon. You can also find small glass droppers or larger, graduated plastic ones at a drug store. Check around the eye/ear section, or in baby medicines. Be aware however, the oils in the lip balm completely wore off the plastic numbers on my cheap baby medicine dropper. I mean, undiluted orange essential oil can take the finishing off tables… Also, if you use the droppers to fill your lip balm containers it is extremely difficult to clean the dropper afterwards, the lip balm will harden in the dropper. You can clean it while alternatively running it under very hot tap water to keep the balm in a melted state. Or forget the droppers and pour it. If you spill, let the spill harden, it’s a lot easier to clean that way.

I bought a little whisk to use, but a toothpick works as well to mix

It seems like a favorite pastime on the GetCrafty boards is suggesting lip balm containers. I do not like those snap-lid pillbox types, I find they are not leak-proof, and unpleasant to open. The nice Lee Valley watchmakers tins (as seen so expensively as a wedding favor box over at Martha By Mail) do not have a secure lid, it just sits on top. The small Altoids tins are too large for my taste. I mean, you are rubbing your grubby fingers through there, I want something that has a bit more turnover. Avoid film containers, film is, you know, quite toxic. Anything too narrow and deep is likely to get on your nerves. I like the MMS style lip balm pots, low-profile lip balm pots, lib balm tubes and tins (lip balm container page). The regular pots have a indentation in the bottom deep enough to glue a 1″ circle craft mirror into, which is nice to have right there, believe me. The tins do rust, especially if you use them to store little things in your very small, very steamy bathroom. If you don’t want to buy bulk, Sunburst Bottle has no minimum (but be reasonable, they are a kind, small company and will lose money if you order only 35¢ worth of something) and carry pots, tins and tubes. Or, go to the drugstore, find a cheap lip balm in a pot, or some Bon-bons body glitter, or even a tube of store-brand lip balm (the chap-stick brand labels peel off very cleanly). Clean it out (this takes a bit of patience, and scrubbing with a nice, natural dish soap — a clean mascara wand and an old toothbrush are your friends here) really really well. Sterilize with alcohol if you like (boil at your own risk) and reuse.

get lip stick shaving for color
shaving off a little bit of pink lipstick to add some color

I admire people who strain beet juice to get a nice red color going or other nice natural things. However, a tiny sliver of cheap lipstick (Wet’N’Wild 99¢) is far easier. If you’re just going for a pastel pink, say, choose a hot pink lipstick, you’re only going to use a touch of it anyhow. Already pastel and shimmery colors don’t translate well. Don’t use food coloring. Don’t use food coloring paste. And, dear lord, don’t use pixie sticks and petroleum jelly, shame on you!

mixing in clor
mixing in the color to make a lighter pink

I don’t like sweet flavors. I just add a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Be aware that some citrus oils can make the area applied to photosensitive. A few places do have sweet lip balm flavorings. Before you use a wacky essential oil, check to be sure it isn’t a skin irritant. Don’t use candy flavorings (peppermint, vanilla) as these are alcohol based, and nobody wants that, now do we? Besides, it will not mix in correctly.

The types of oils you choose can really feel different. Try a few out. Avoid getting oils in the cooking section of stores, oils for cooking and oils intended for body use are often prepared differently. I think olive oil is ok though. Especially if it is from a smaller producer. Most recipes call for cocoa butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, etc.

filling container
I use a disposable dropper to fill the containers

cocoa butter
If you use cocoa butter the lip balm is going to smell and taste faintly of chocolate. It’s not mmmmmm cho-co-late, it’s reminiscent smell. Use coconut oil instead if you want to avoid this. Coconut oil comes in several forms, sometimes smelling highly of coconut. I bought a huge jar of Spectrum Naturals coconut oil which is a solid at room temperature (but beware, will melt on hot days) and doesn’t have any scent. I prefer the feel of cocoa butter. Be aware some people are sensetive to cocoa butter, Lush made a lip balm without any for this reason.

If you are a strict vegetarian or vegan there are a number of lip balm recipes which substitute candelilla wax (pure vegetable wax). Also, Lush sells a vegan lip balm, as well as a number of yummy vegan bath products. There are several good hemp seel oil lip balms you can find in stores as well.

filled and ready to cool
containers filled and ready to cool, I stick them in the fridge for a few minutes

I tried, oh how I tried, to put little shapes in different colors in my lip balms like you can find in Target. I even have the itty bitty cookie cutters to prove it. Because of things like contraction when cooling and surface tension, these proved fruitless, and messy looking. On second thought, it worked ok, just don’t expect a perfectly smooth surface.

If you’re all about the product and not about gathering bottles of oils you’ll never use again, several places, including MMS, sell a lip balm base you melt, add color and flavor, and pour into containers. Eee. Zee.

keeping it and sun issues
This lip balm will not keep forever. And it will melt in your pocket. And it will not provide any sun protection. So if you are outside get a lip product with a heavy duty sunscreen. And make sure it has uvb and uva protection (look for these ingredients: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone (also called parasol 1789), or Mexoryl; and read this). The vitamin e (I squeeze one or two capsules into the mixture, you can buy bottles of liquid vitamin e at a drugstore and add a few drops of that) is said to help prevent spoilage of the oils. But this stuff is meant to be used, not kept.

instructions I attached when given as a gift

instructions for use:

  1. unscrew cap
  2. either hold cap or place cap somewhere where you will remember you put it in five seconds
  3. use finger (or brush for those of you who are so inclined and happen to have a brush and enough time to a. find it and b. use it) to place on lips
  4. check self out in little mirror on the bottom!
  5. if it doesn’t meet your lip needs (people are very picky about their lip balm, i am cool with this) may i suggest you use it as a cuticle cream?

lip balm ingredients: sweet almond oil, beeswax, cocoa butter*, beeswax, vitamin e, peppermint essential oil

* if you are allergic to cocoa butter do not use!! lemme know and i’ll make one without cocoa butter for you

my recipe as found taped to the side of my fridge
I approximate the strange amounts.

to make a very little
beeswax .13 .38
shea butter .17 .5
cocoa butter .17 .5
almond oil .2 .6
vitamin e 1 capsule or a few drops
peppermint oil 3 drops  
to make a few at a time
beeswax .5 1.5
shea butter .66 1.98
cocoa butter .66 1.98
almond oil .8 2.4 (11.83 ml)
vitamin e 2 capsules or a few drops
peppermint oil 10 drops  

06.23.01 additions

I made a batch using this mixture – it filled the three containers you see in the last picture above

beeswax .25 .75
coconut oil .33 .99
shea butter .33 .99
jojoba oil .4 1.2
vitamin e 2 capsules about 4 drops
peppermint oil 6 drops  

It came out with an interesting soft consistency, but a bit on the oily side for my taste. It shows sort of medium glossy on the lips though which is nice. Also, the beeswax separated into little beads, which don’t bother me because I know what they are, however, I’d fear giving it as a gift perhaps.

update 01.11.04
I need to add that the recipes you’ll find at places like Majestic Mountain Sage give the measurements for oils and waxes in weight and you should measure out your ingredients as such. I have been far too lazy to get a scale so I just used volume.

Also, a most excellent conversion calculator can be found at MMS – measurement conversion calculator. This is great for when you are drastically reducing a recipe down and need to know how much 1/32nd of a tablespoon is. Note: only works in Netscape browsers, type the number you know into the apporpriate field and hit enter on your keyboard – all the other fields should fill automatically.

another update 01.11.04
This recipe was sent into me by Maria, thanks! Note: measurements are by weight.

Lip Balm from Denmark
5 – 6 grams of beeswax (the scale couldn’t decide which one, so I’m guessing
it was very close to 6 grams – it was a little more than one teaspoon of my
beeswax, when it was grated)
1 teasp of shea butter
6 ml of castor oil (I read somewhere that this gives more glossy lipbalms)
6 ml of almond oil
5 drops of e-vitamin
5 drops of lemon EO

It is a really great lipbalm/gloss! I didn’t want to add any colour, so it came out looking yellow – I’m guessing partly because of the lemon EO. It’s hard enough to have in the lipstick container – and gives a really great gloss on the lips.

Oh, and it’s true that lemon might not be good in very sunny weather – it makes you burn (or tan) more easily. But the shea-butter actually works as a sun screen (factor 4 european – don’t know what that is in american sunproducts), so I guess it evens out.

update Jan. 3rd, 2007
A lot more lip balm recipes have been published on the internet since I originally made these. I encourage you to go see the how to create your own lip balm recipe page at Bleu Arts. She goes over equipment, ingredients and where to shop. Her instructions are wonderful.


127 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Linda // Dec 10, 2006 at 6:31 pm

    I’ve had experience making lip balms, myself, and have suffered from chapped lips all my life. I think the two facts are related. Here are a couple of tips from my experience:

    For those who aren’t allergic, lanolin is FANTASTIC for healing and protecting the lips. Also, a touch of glycerin softens the lips, has a slightly sweet flavor, and seems to cause the lip balm to actually soak in. The lanolin seems to stay ON longer than waxes or oils.

    One thing I learned NOT to do was to put beet powder in, for color. It’s grainy and it doesn’t add color – a stupid idea born from sheer laziness that I thought I’d save someone else from doing.

    Thanks for providing this important, fun service!

  • 2 evelyn // Dec 22, 2006 at 6:08 am

    This is a fantastic site! I’ve started making my own lipbalm not too long ago. However has always been venturing around bottled containers. How about tubes? How do i ensure the balm do not stick to the side of tubes? does it stick at all? have never tried.

  • 3 Tami // Dec 26, 2006 at 10:15 pm

    I have always suffered from chapped lips. I keep something on always. I hate that so many lip balms have menthol. I want to make my own so I can avoid that. I have made a few but I’m going to continue to try different oils until I get one I like. Thanks for the info on this site.


  • 4 angie bowie // Jan 19, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    Please email instructions on how to make almond cookie butter lotions, do you use uncented lotions, if so which are natural? where did you get these instructions from mmm is is martha stewart website and if so which one.
    I would like to do something fun for my daughter birthday and all of us learn how to make lotion, soap, lip balm, shea lotions w/gardena flower, almond cookie smell. where is a good website to find about hypro allergic lotions etc. Thanks

  • 5 Brownie Points » Homemade Winter Lip Balm // Jan 19, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    […] links: Watchmaker Tins of all Sizes, Lee Valley Adventures in Lip Balm, not martha How to: Create your own lip balm recipe, Bleu Arts – McAuliflower | (Permalink) […]

  • 6 Wamecca // Jan 28, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    I think you site is awesome. I am on a quest to find lip balm recipes for gifts and crafts and your site was extremely helpful.


  • 7 Amanda // Feb 11, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Hey this idea was perfect for my daughters birthday bags !!

  • 8 Megan P. // Feb 21, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    Great, easy recipe… I found some great little slide tins(.25oz.roughly the size of a domino)at

  • 9 Emily // Mar 5, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    I’d love to try all this and all the recipes and things you suggest >it all sounds so cool!

  • 10 Cheryl Herrera // Mar 14, 2007 at 6:34 am

    I can’t find the majectic mountain web site. I found it once and didn’t bookmark it and now it isn’t coming up. Do you know the http?

  • 11 L Bailey // Apr 1, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    I believe the site you are looking for is Majestic Mountain

  • 12 beesign // Apr 28, 2007 at 12:13 am

    It’s so cool!
    I’ll try it!

  • 13 therese // Apr 29, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    perfect for home-made lippie treat

  • 14 Terri // May 5, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    You are an angel to put your experiences here on the web for us to learn from and enjoy.

    Lipbalm making is becoming my new passion. Wondering how to small scale market the stuff…just locally. Any ideas?

    We’re looking for a small home based business idea to support our ‘home-school habit.’ Thought lip balms, soaps, shampoos, and lotions would be fun…just locally…maybe even over the net? Need income to buy curriculum supplies and do field trips…Thanks a bunch! Terri

  • 15 Terri // May 5, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Oh, and a good place to get those empty tubes for the balm is … They’re only .20 per tube if buying less than 50. Good deal!

  • 16 Terri // May 5, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Let me try that again..forgot the www. part. for the empty tubes.

  • 17 Caroline // May 24, 2007 at 10:37 am

    great recipe, I make my own soaps and would love to have lip balm to go with the soaps!

  • 18 Jenny // Jul 1, 2007 at 8:22 pm


    Do you know where can I buy a wholesale compact clasp container?

    Thank you.


  • 19 Jennifer // Aug 1, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    The graniness in the balm could be from the shea butter, not the bees wax. Try remelting and then stick it in the freezer.

  • 20 Julie // Aug 7, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Hey there!
    I really like these lip gloss/balm pots. Can you tell me what they are called and where to find them? The ones I am talking about you use – they are the see through ones with the snap top lid. If you could let me know I would appreciate it!

  • 21 Alexandra // Aug 9, 2007 at 9:58 am

    Hi! This has been so much help to me! After I found that you can make your own lip gloss so easily, it’s become my newest obsession! Where did you get those lip gloss or lip balm containers? I’ve been looking around and I’m not sure which one to buy!


  • 22 Merina // Aug 19, 2007 at 8:46 am

    Has anyone successfully blended their homemade beet juice into their lip balm?

  • 23 tamia // Sep 10, 2007 at 4:41 am

    My boyfriend has very chapped lips and is allergic to the oils that lip balms are made of do you have any suggestions of lip balms that are not oil based?

  • 24 schemingturkey // Oct 4, 2007 at 11:41 am

    hey everyone,

    i just joined and wanted to say hi. :)

  • 25 Jody // Oct 7, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Hi,where can i get the lovely lip balm containers? they would be great as wedding favours.

  • 26 debra athanas // Oct 22, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    Hi I have made lip balms with similar ingredients. It is (from what I read the shea butter that turns grainy not the bees wax. Copied these instructions from some shae butter sites:
    Why are some Shea Butters grainy?
    Shea Butter is sometimes grainy for many reasons. But the #1 reason is heat. Shea Butter will melt in the sun, by a heater or any other form of heat. When shea butter is heated at high temperatures, it becomes grainy when it cools. It can still be used. It just feels interestingly grainy.To remove the grainy texture, slowly heat the Shea Butter until it is completely melted, and cool it quickly in the refrigerator. Do not heat above what is needed to re-melt, as that can damage the Shea.
    Also you can avoid scortching the oils by buying a stainless steel bowl or glass pyrex bowl that fits into your pot like a double boiler suspending it abouve the boiling water. which heats waxes and butters more evenly (no hot spots). This woeks for butter balm bars as well.

  • 27 Charlotte // Oct 28, 2007 at 7:36 am

    Hello Everyone.I came across this site via Google when looking for instructions and recipes on how to make lip balm and this is by far the best one I have come across.Some sites are saying to use Petroleum Jelly/Vaseline while others beeswax or to combine the two.I’m thinking of using beeswax as my base but vegetable oil for vegans.There are so many products that people are saying to avoid, such as Shea butter due to the grainy effect but Debra Athanas appears to have the answer to this situation, although Bleu Arts says it can be ‘stinky’ and suggests mango butter instead.The other ingredients: cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, castor oil – are they all really required or is this merely a list that people can take from at their whim?As for pots:I have seen both the 5ml and 10ml plastic screw top ones and also the metal ones (I think they are 15ml but are more expensive).The tubes I have seen from the US as they are cheaper for me to get them from there, including postage, than the UK where I am based.This is a great site and I know it will be my first port of call for any information I require.With thanks and blessings.Charlotte, Glasgow, UK.

  • 28 kathy // Nov 7, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    I use MMS quite often.
    But, for my recipe, I use SoapCrafters

    I’ve used both MMS and SoapCrafter recipes, and have found that the lip balm ingredients from SoapCrafter to make a better product.
    I’ve also used the lip balm base from SoapCrafters, it’s great!

    SoapCrafters is somewhat more expensive, but, in the long run, it makes for a better product, and, greater customer satisfaction.

    I hope this helps!

    Thanks for sharing your tips!

  • 29 Jen Rhuda // Nov 7, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    I see everyone has asked the same question…where can we find the clear, snap-top container…the one you show being filled with the dropper.
    I have checked all your packaging links and can not find it.

  • 30 megan // Nov 7, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Jen – It was a container I bought filled at Target. I cleaned it out to use. I am sorry I don’t know where you can find one these days.

  • 31 Kristal // Nov 12, 2007 at 6:31 am

    Oh my, I just loved reading this. You have a way with words and writing…. I was just about dying. I haven’t tried to make lip balm, but my business partner in AZ does that… I have to send her this page!!!

  • 32 Lauri Chambers // Nov 15, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    you might try they carry a wide range of flip top containers. The ones i use I got from “Storeables” then found this place. draw back they do not appear to sell in small quanties

  • 33 Trudi // Nov 16, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    My recipe uses Aloe Butter. I’ve used this for 5 years now. I ran out of supplies and bought a $7.00 lip balm from a big name store last week due to emergency (LOL!)…I had to reapply it every 5 minutes…yuck! My supplies just came today…yee-hah!

  • 34 Sam // Nov 20, 2007 at 9:22 am

    Hey there all. I Have been making my own lip balm for years. I see that there are alot of you asking where to find lip balm sticks and containers. I get them from LorAnn Oils. I hope it helps.

  • 35 Rita // Nov 20, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    Trudi (post #33) what is your recipe? Can you share it please? I’ve never done this before and need a good recipe! Thanks

  • 36 a random person of sorts // Dec 3, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    This is really cool. i think that you are so great for making this website, and taking the time to try to explain to us girls how to do some [real] fun stuff. Thank you!

  • 37 Marie // Dec 10, 2007 at 7:24 am

    You can find all kinds of lip balm containers, including the flip-top compact style, at The clear compacts are on sale right now for .42 apiece. Also, has a how-to video on making lip balm, as well as several different containers. Have fun!

  • 38 Roleen // Dec 10, 2007 at 11:24 am

    I would love a recipe for lip balm that uses: shea butter, palm kernal oil, soy bean oil, vitamin e and shea butter – NO BEESWAX or wax of any kind.

  • 39 Brittany young // Dec 18, 2007 at 9:21 am

    i think that this is a very good way to make lip gloss compared to all the other web sites i have whent to trying to get the perfect lip gloss for me and i think this is the one… the only thing i had a problem with is the containers i could never find a container so i ended up takeing some lip gloss that i didnt like and emptying that to make a new container…any ways thinks for the great idea!!

  • 40 Claudine // Dec 24, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Awesome page. Thanks for putting this out there. I’ve been working on the “perfect” recipe. Who knows how long that will take… I use sweet almond oil, olive oil, beeswax, distilled water, and essential oils for scent. Sometimes a dab of honey. Lip balms are a great product for allowing you to play around with the process of creating your own. Thanks again for the information. Blessings, Claudine

  • 41 Nhi // Dec 27, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    Thank you for this recipe for the lip balm. It made making lip balm very easy. I made “make a few at a time” recipe and was able to fill up 5 1/4 ounce jars that I bought from this site:

    The texture was smooth and I didn’t have any problems with graininess. I used jojoba oil instead of almond oil and I think I added a little more than 2.4 tsp.

  • 42 Shelly // Jan 18, 2008 at 8:52 am

    You mentioned you’re looking for that “wonder ingredient” that will provide staying power and emoillency, etc…. I think that ingredient might be Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2. It appears to a harmless ingredient and a form of an acid, but I’m not sure how to find it and/or substitute it in my homemade gloss. It would make the balm more of a cosmetic gloss. Have you heard of it and/or have any interest to include it?

  • 43 Marie // Jan 23, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Does anyone clean and reuse lip balm tubes? Is there a good way to do this? To tell you the truth, I would also like to wash the new tubes before using them but don’t want to ruin them. I have made many a batch that I didn’t like and would like to clean the evidence off the tubes. Don’t tell me I am the only one that makes mistakes! Thank you for the great site!

  • 44 Sally // Feb 5, 2008 at 6:30 am

    I’m looking for an easy recipe for Lip Gloss or Lip Balm that DOES NOT require cooking for my “Little Diva” SPA Parties. They’re young girls 8-12 & I don’t want any injuries on my watch :)
    Also, I purchase alot of my supplies & ingredients @ You can also become a member for $10 @ Frontier Products They both have great prices, a huge list of supplies & are both environmentally aware. Love them!

  • 45 Ashleigh // Feb 14, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    For decorations, you dont necessarily need to make ones made of wax…try a small piece of confetti!

  • 46 Sharon // Feb 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    To Marie (post #43): Here is a trick i use when making lipbalms that saves you from having to pour your balms into containers and waiting for them to cool before testing. Just stick a teaspoon in the freezer 1/2 hr before your balm is ready, make your balm, then take out that cold teaspoon and dip it in your balm, the coldness of the spoon will harden your balm immediately so you can slick your lips with it to test.
    To Sally (post #44): Sounds like your best bet is to make liquid lip glosses with those roller ball lip tubes. All you need is a mixture of liquid oils and ingredients, no heating required. You can also add a little lipsafe mica to make them shiny.
    For those who don’t want to use wax in their balms, your balms will most likely turn out more like lip butters and best put into lip pots, not tubes as your mix will be softer than most balms. If you don’t want to use beeswax because you are vegan or allergic, there are some waxes out there that are vegan friendly, such as soy, candelilla or carnauba wax. Candelilla & Carnauba are also harder than beeswax therefore you won’t need to use as much in your recipes, and will not melt as readily in the summer heat.
    Candelilla wax is my favourite as it makes a wonderfully smooth lipbalm.
    Hope this helps :-)

  • 47 Claudia Stanton // Mar 3, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Have you ever seen or tried Goat Milk in a lip balm recipe? I’ve seen an over the counter and would like to try making one.

  • 48 sam // Mar 12, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    wow i havent uesed ur resipe yet but its the best one i found. like all the other r totally bad b\c there like vaseline and cooool aid. thats like totally ewwwwwwww

  • 49 Grace // Mar 15, 2008 at 6:48 pm


    This is fantastic. Could you tell me which WetnWild lipstick colors you used for both lip balms? Especially the darker pink, I love the color…


  • 50 megan // Mar 16, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Grace – It was years ago and I do not recall. Both of my lip balms were colored using the same lipstick, I simply put a little bit more in the darker balm.

  • 51 diane // Apr 10, 2008 at 6:11 am

    great site… found it through the Shine site… i’ll be checking you every day.

  • 52 mai2 // Apr 16, 2008 at 5:52 am

    ive made a research on lip balm making and most of them used and adviced petroleum jelly.. im a bit confused why you dont advice to used petroleum jelly?

  • 53 megan // Apr 16, 2008 at 7:40 am

    Mai2 – No reason other than I wanted to avoid petroleum, you can add it if you’d like, be careful not to catch it on fire while you’re making it.

  • 54 Wendy // Apr 30, 2008 at 10:50 am

    I stay away from petroleum products for ecological reasons.However, my cousin’s spouse had lip cancer, and the doctors warned him not to use any petroleum based products from now on. Two good reasons.

  • 55 J'aime // May 5, 2008 at 1:58 am

    Firstly, thank you for posting this article and for including pictures–I’m a lip balm fanatic and have been toying with the idea of making my own–your site has given me direction.
    You stated that Candelilla and Carnauba waxes are harder than beeswax, and that they make a nice, smooth lip balm; my question: because these waxes are harder, does that make their sheen duller? And do you find yourself rubbing your fingers in the balm over and over to get enough to coat your lips? Thanks.

  • 56 megan // May 5, 2008 at 7:03 am

    J’aime – It’s been years since I made lip balm, but the balm pictured here was actually quite soft because of the coconut oil which melts at a temperature lower than body temperature.

  • 57 Daphane // May 7, 2008 at 8:03 am

    hey we tried this as a project and it turns out great.

  • 58 Tammy L // May 10, 2008 at 8:47 am

    I just found this site. It looks great. I haven’t made any lipgloss yet, I couldn’t get the recipe links at the top of the page to work. I did see the majestic mountain sage site has some recipes and also lip balm solution bases, has anybody tried these bases? Can you add honey to these bases? Thanks for all the help Tammy

  • 59 Jacqueline Kalina // Jun 9, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Oh my Goodness! Nhi #41 left the link that several of you ladies are looking for – the clear, flip-top, plastic container!

    I repeat the link…

    And THANK-YOU for this wonderful and informative website!


  • 60 Leslie // Jun 12, 2008 at 6:49 am

    I am wondering what I can buy to add to the lip balm to make it have sunscreen in it. Any ideas?

  • 61 aiken // Jul 8, 2008 at 9:12 am

    I am no where near as crafty as you, but this is wonderful. I ran across SKS site that offers a way to hold the lip balm tubes, but I like the idea you have of the disposable dropper. The less to clean up, the better. Thanks for your ideas. Can’t say I’m too sorry about Martha; who needs her when you have “not martha”?

  • 62 lauren // Jul 10, 2008 at 7:16 am

    I love you a hundred times over just for your X-Files slashfiction reference. Happysigh.

  • 63 Ditto for DIY « Innersky’s Blog // Jul 18, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    […] Links Ditto for DIY July 19, 2008, 5:23 am Filed under: Uncategorized I lost my chapstick AGAIN the other day so I decided to embark on a DIY adventure in lip palm-making.  Who knew it was so easy?  There are two great websites on instructions and how to create your own recipe at Bleu Arts blog and Not Martha.  […]

  • 64 Katharine // Jul 22, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Great site, although can anyone tell me if you can use candy flavoring oils in your lipbalms as long as the are not alcohol based?

  • 65 Ce Noël, offrez des cadeaux faits à la main! // Aug 4, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    […] baume pour les […]

  • 66 hair guru girl // Aug 5, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    I am so excited that I read this part of the site. We have been looking at adding our own products and this gives us some great ideas for products other than hair care products to sell online.

  • 67 Beth // Aug 11, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Here’s another source for lotion, soapmaking, lip balm supplies.

  • 68 Skip To My Lou » Gifts for her purse // Sep 3, 2008 at 3:51 am

    […] A lip balm cozy —-and make your your own lip balm to go inside […]

  • 69 Leslie // Sep 6, 2008 at 7:50 am

    How the heck to you measure .66 of a Tablespoon, and all these odd measures? I am dying to try this recipe, but I want to be sure that I am measuring correctly.

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  • 71 fern // Sep 16, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    hey- great site! thanks for the tips. my daughter wants to have a make your own lipbalm party.I came across and found lots of great supplies; ingreidents,tubes,pots,flavorings,scales,and packaging supplies. They also have a ready to melt soy base with a spf 15. prices seem very fair, this site is worth checking out!

  • 72 fern // Sep 16, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    sorry about the typo friends. i should proof read before i hit submit, i know. that site is not lipbalb.

  • 73 Brenda G // Sep 18, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Does anyone know of a website where they custom make Lip Balms for customers? I would like a balm that combines these ingredients…candelilla wax, shea butter, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, vitamin e oil, cinnamon leaf essential oil black pepper essential oil, clove essential oil, and menthol

  • 74 Jan // Sep 25, 2008 at 11:31 am

    This comment is for Brenda G asking for custom lip balm. Please visit my etsy store and and send a request for a custom item. I’m still working on the pictures and inventory, but will be glad to make the balm that you’re requesting. I just sold several tubes of something similar at another festival last week – and my customers raved about it!

  • 75 Jeanne Gallacher // Sep 26, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Hi! I have a great idea to create SHIMMER in your gloss–use fine shimmer powder from the cake decorating section of your craft store! They are edible and come in several colors!

  • 76 Ariel // Oct 13, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Hey I just had a quick question…Which butter should I use Shea butter or mango seed butter I am just curious wich one is best to work with.

  • 77 Kelly // Oct 22, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    First, I’ve got to say you’re one of my heroes. Thanks for making the effort to give us this site.

    I’m a guy who’s got a pretty serious problem with chemical sensitivities. Petroleum products are so pervasive (and toxic) that they’re among those I have the most trouble with. Even though I knew this was a problem, with my allergies my nose stays stopped up hours on end for months at a time, (esp in the winter)I thought I had no choice but to use a petroleum based product. When I’m in mouth breather mode my lip splits in the middle.

    When this first started happening I the only thing I knew to do was apply some of the big name brand stuff available everywhere. During one of these periods of mouth breathing, I started having headaches that felt exactly the same and started at the same time every day.

    Eventually I was able to figure out that the one thing I was doing every day, that I hadn’t been doing before, was applying that petroleum based product after eating lunch. For several years I went without anything except for a short time during which I tried cocoa butter. After several months I found it to be slightly noxious as well.

    I also have a problem with some botanicals including those in the mint family, so when I started finding bee’s wax based products the options were pretty narrow. I did find one brand that I was able to use for a few years before some ingredient in it started causing problems (I suspect the sunscreen is the culprit).

    My mom taught me to make vegetable based soap and it was so enjoyable the idea dawned on me that I might be able to make something to use on my lips. So, I did what I do whenever I learn about just about anything – search google.

    This was the first page I found and by far the greatest factor in my decision to try making my own lip balm. Here are some observations I have made during this experience:

    1) The petroleum based products weren’t very effective. Although the crack in my lip was less severe it didn’t always heal completely no matter how much I applied it.

    2) Many, many products have mint and it seems more and more are added all the time. Try to find tooth paste without mint. There aren’t many except for the “natural” brands and those are not readily available at the supermarket. It seems to be another way manufactures try to manipulate buyers because “mint is soothing and comforting or whatever” and they think it’s an inducement to buy their product. Well, what about those of us who can’t stand it? (Sorry, didn’t intend to rant.)

    3) The commercial bee’s wax product I used healed my lip if I kept it applied, but the split came back often.

    4) My very first attempt at making lip balm (based on the information this site) not only healed the split, I haven’t had to apply it as often and the split hasn’t recurred since about the first month I started using it. So, it seems to me it’s actually made my lips healthier.

    Re. Comment #54, from Wendy: Petroleum may cause cancer, but it’s nearly impossible to “prove” it. If one pays close attention to arguments whether anything from power transmission lines and cell phones to PVC causes cancer one will notice that the argument for will cite “cancer clusters” (groups of people with a high incidence of a rare tumer exclusively, or very nearly so, known to be associated with whatever people are arguing about).

    The argument against will be that the incidence per capita in a given cluster is no greater than the incidence per capita of all cancers in the population at large. That is to say that for example: X percent of the people who use cell phones contract a form of cancer almost always known to affect only cell phone users. But the same percent of all humans contract some kind of cancer.

    I’ve read where the plastics industry points to such facts to claim that cured PVC and living near PVC factories doesn’t cause cancer. I’ve also read similar information regarding living near power transmission lines.

    Here’s the point of all this: PVC and petroleum products are toxic which gives them potential to cause chemical sensitivities at the very least. Being able to control the ingredients (even rotate them to help avoid sensitization )is one huge advantage to making my own products like soap and lip balm and I’ll be forever beholden to those who have learned to do such things then made their knowledge freely available to anyone who wants it.

    I hope this comment isn’t as tedious as it is long. -Kelly

  • 78 Sara // Oct 24, 2008 at 6:25 am

    Use alcohol to clean used containers and bottles. It works well. Friends return used containers to me and it is an easy way to clean and rid them of scent.

  • 79 Daina // Nov 20, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    You can find perfect little containers in the Toronto area from a store called Solutions. I’m not sure if the chain is in the states, though.

  • 80 Sarah // Feb 4, 2009 at 8:00 am

    I made this lip balm a few times with diff. flavours; but at the end it never looked good. What can i do to make it look better? Thankyou!

  • 81 Amie // Feb 18, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I have read most of these comments and I am getting ready to start making lip balm. How many different containers do I need to make it and will it be ok not to have a scent?

  • 82 Denise // May 20, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Kelly, you can also add extracts such as St. John’s Wort and Dandelion Root to your lip balm for healing properties. Most likely one of the reasons that your lips have healed is because the Shea Butter has healing properties. There are many natural healing plants that get overlooked because of the drug companies now days. I make my own natural burn ointment, antiseptic lotion, healing lip balm, anti wrinkle makeup remover, bug repellent, etc. They are much less expensive and work just as well if not better without the unnatural preservatives.

  • 83 Inspiration: Whimsical Wednesdays « Rhubarbsky // Sep 7, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    […] Scribble Art by Mary Ann Kohl) Fairy Rings Monoprinting Make Homemade Pretzels Handmade Paper Shapes Make Lip Balm Nature Prints in Sculpey Make a Sundial Shadow Play Ice Treasures Make our own lick and stick […]

  • 84 Emily // Oct 20, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    I love my homemade lip balm but I’m wondering if it’s a little too greasy and what I could use to firm it up a bit.

    I’m using grapeseed oil, beeswax & vitamin E. Is it the grapeseed oil that could be the culprit?

    (also, I know it could be the ratios I’m using too so here’s the formula:
    2tsps grapeseed oil
    1/2tsp beeswax
    1/8 tsp preservative
    sometimes I put in 1/2tsp of flavor oil too.

  • 85 Handmade Gift Ideas Part 1 – Bath And Body | // Nov 23, 2009 at 6:58 am

    […] Making Lip Balm @ Not Martha […]

  • 86 heather // Dec 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I have a bunch of stuff from MMS that I used to make lip balms when I had a body care business. I no longer need any of it and was wondering if anyone would be interested in taking it off my hands. I have at least 3, 10lb buckets of the lip balm solution and several flavor oils (chocolate cream, huckleberry, cucumber melon, and island delight). Email for info. Thanks!

  • 87 heather // Dec 1, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    I forgot my email! Thanks!

  • 88 One evening stocking stuffers that I favor FasterCraft — // Dec 22, 2009 at 9:35 am

    […] I miss those. I might buy myself one this year. But, to tell the truth, I feel a little odd wearing heavily scented shiny, shiny lip gloss in my 30s. Well, during the work day anyway. A great alternative, however, could be a handmade lip balm/gloss in a scent tailored to my needs. Not Martha has a comprehensive tutorial on making lip balm. […]

  • 89 Shannon // Dec 22, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial. I featured it on my blog, I liked it so much!

  • 90 DIY Cupcake Bath Bombs and More: Good Enough to Eat Bath Goodies | Intimate Weddings - Small Wedding Blog // Dec 23, 2009 at 2:23 am

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  • 91 Year Round DIY Gifts at // Dec 28, 2009 at 7:38 am

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  • 92 Gloria // Jan 2, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Thanks for posting all the info on lip balm! about 12 years ago I was burned on the face, hands, arms and a few other places. Thankfully, I have VERY minimal scaring. However, one side of my bottom lip peels ALL the time. It doesn’t matter what I use. I would love to have a bit of color but I am unable to find anything that does not aggrivate my lip and make it peel faster. It kinda dries out like chapped lips. In any case, I seem to have the best luck with the 100% naturals chapstick. I have been desperately looking for a commercial lipstick/lip balm with a bit of color and have spent untold amounts of money on lipsticks/balms/glosses that I have used once or twice and thrown away or given away. I am hoping that making my own is going to be the ticket. I also found another website: which offers supplies for all types of personal care to include lipstick/lip balm. Once i get my supplies and get started, I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for starting this post and sharing what you know! G.

  • 93 DIY: Eee Zee Beauty Recipes; Natural Lipgloss and Lip Plumper « YellowstarEssentialsBlog // Jan 27, 2010 at 1:31 pm

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  • 95 Emmi // Feb 24, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    BUYERS BEWARE!!! After reading the entry from Megan P timestamped Feb 21, 2007 at 7:49 pm – I followed her recommendation and decided to place an order with wholesale supplies plus. Not only did they charge my credit card for the order…they decided to make another charge WITHOUT my consent…I had to file paperwork with my bank, cancel my debit card (now having to wait for a new one), etc. I would moreso recommend as not only do that have the same items for the most part, their customer service is honest.

  • 96 Lani // Mar 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    RE: Emmi’s post (Feb 4, 2010 11:07 pm)

    I have done business with and have not had any issues with them. Their customer service has always been helpful and they have nice products. It sounds like it may have been an honest mistake. I use other vendors as well…depends on the supplies. However, I have been contemplating trying MMS ( No doubt that one has to be careful in selecting a vendor, but there are some very good ones out there.

  • 97 Evelyn Merz // Mar 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Hi I just foend this web site and I must say this is the most informative
    site I have ever seen and it’s free. So I want to say thank you to everyone that added information to this site. I have never made lip balm but I think I will this weekend. I will try to let you know how it turns out. I am a little bit like the guy above, I have a lot of things I can’t use so this way I can pick out the products that I want for me. Thanks to everyone for all this free information. I will return .

  • 98 Nancy // Apr 19, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Lanolin was might be a good product for your lip balm. It has a thicker conistency…and staying power.

  • 99 Green Tea & Cucumber « Cooking by instinct // Apr 22, 2010 at 9:06 am

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  • 100 How self-tanner made me a better person « A blessing and a curse // Jun 24, 2010 at 6:09 pm

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  • 101 Justpeachy13 // Jun 24, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Question, I found beeswax at my local art supply store. Another site said to use only “cosmetic grade wax” anyone have an opinion? Is there a difference between candle and cosmetic grades. Sorry, but new to this and don’t want too many problems.

  • 102 6 hours a day, people « Rhubarbsky // Sep 8, 2010 at 7:57 pm

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  • 103 Chrissy // Nov 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I am curious on how to make goat milk lip balm does any one know how to do this? Or maybe in the above article maybe what I could substitute to put goats milk in there?

  • 104 Pat // Nov 23, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Hello! I just love the information that everyone has put up on this site. I have just started making lip balm but I have one little problem when using honey. How do you keep it from pooling? Thanks to anyone that can offer some advice!

  • 105 Home Made Christmas Gifts | from Groupon's UK Blog // Dec 1, 2010 at 3:01 am

    […] If foodie presents aren’t your cup of tea, how about home-made beauty products? Lip balm is ridiculously easy to make and you can flavour and/or colour to it too. There is a great post about making lip balm over at Not Martha. […]

  • 106 Plato1 // Jan 20, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I love using sheer lip gloss/balms simply for effect. Never needed them for chapped lips. My secret for forever soft lips is applying a tiny bit of butter to my belly button twice a day, just s drop or two is enough. Don’t ask me why it works, but it does, & hasn’t failed me in the past 40 yrs. I keep the gloss only for occasions (rare & frequent), never for everyday use.

  • 107 Lisa // Feb 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I’m having a problem with my lip balm and I thought I’d ask you for help. Why is my beeswax and honey/oil solution seperating? My final product ends up being a gooey solution of honey and oil under the harden beeswax. Any solutions?

  • 108 megan // Feb 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Lisa – I’m afraid I’m no longer familiar with making lip balm the way I used to be. I do remember some people would stir as it cooled, but that prevented it from having a nice shiny top when it set.

  • 109 RC Kennedy // Mar 29, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    I’ve been using Made from Earth’s lip balm for about a decade now and I’ve always loved it. It tastes, smells, and feels great on my lips.

    I’ve tried the other variations of their lip balm such as the blueberry, spearmint, and citrus. the citrus one is a bit too feminine for me. So I’ve come back to the original vanilla flavor and I’ll probably stick with it for awhile. The cooling instantly sooths my dry lips while the beeswax and oils leave my lips feeling soft and moisturized. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should. Bottom line: There’s a reason people swear by this stuff. Give it a shot.

  • 110 Alchemilla // Apr 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    This is a great run-down on how to home-make lip balms. One thing I would definitely not recommend is adding anything from the Mint family to lip products. Mint contains menthol, which has a seriously irritating effect on skin… Even it feels cool and soothing on the lips initially and some people won’t use anything but a product containing mint, it in fact causes a deep inflammation reaction in the skin and a condition we like to refer to “lip balm addiction” – you know, the kind that makes you reach for your lip balm about 20 times a day and freak out if you’ve run out or lost it? Scent really isn’t necessary, but I guess if you really want something, a tiny bit of lavender or orange essential oils are quite nice in lip balms. Enjoy!

  • 111 First Attempt to Make Lip Balm | To Come Full Circle // Jun 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm

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  • 112 How to Make Lip Balm :: Etsy Blog // Aug 15, 2011 at 11:19 pm

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  • 113 Leslie // Oct 31, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Majestic Mountain sage:

  • 114 Roze // Dec 11, 2011 at 11:24 am


    Just wondering what happened to the chapstick recipes that you had on here not too long ago?

    I came back today to get the recipe to make the chapstick again. I made it once about a month ago and L-O-V-E-D it!! Now I cannot seem to find the recipes on this page anymore. It’s as if they’ve been removed.

    Can you please bring back the recipes (particularly, your recipe for a small batch, not necessarily the one containing lemon essential oil). Or you can email it to me, if possible :-)

    Thank you for the instructions on how to make lip balm. A month ago was my first time making lip balm, and used your instructions and small batch recipe. I’m hoping to repeat the recipe so that I can make some for my best friend :)

    Take care and have a wonderful day!

  • 115 Bjoy @ Bees for Sale // Jan 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Fantastic! I know that pure honey can be used to make your skin look great but i can’t imagine that it can also be used in beauty kits. Very nice..

  • 116 Alisha // Jan 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    For the person who was wondering about re-using lip tubes….. i’d say it would be very possible, maybe if (in the case of just cleaning out a tube to re-use)you put the tubes in hot enough water to get most of the scum off and then repeat a few times with the hottest soapy water you want to- without ruining the tubes or,(In the case of wanting to re-do a batch and of course you want to save what’s in the tubes), just screw them out as much as much as possible, scrape off and dig out what you can and then repeat the first prcedure.
    Actually, I have never done this… I am just getting into this fun stuff- but it’s the sort of thing I would do!!!
    Of course this is probably best if it’s just for personal use – or maybe even friends. And it depends on the ingredients that were in there as some may come off harder.

  • 117 Deborah // Jan 24, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Natures Garden offers an awesome, low cost lip balm bit.

  • 118 Natasha // Apr 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    This is great. Maybe I could do something fancier than stinking my finger in the giant jar of coconut oil or using the leftover lanolin nipple cream from when my kids were newborns? Ha ha.

  • 119 Elizma // Apr 19, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Hi there.

    Could you tell me where you got your containers?

    Thank you.

  • 120 Daiva // Oct 2, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Thank you so much for this article!! What a great idea to put some lipstick for the colour! will try it this weekend! :)

  • 121 tanya // Nov 1, 2012 at 6:43 am

    what is the best way to get the melted balm into your containers? or just buy a bigger opening container so that it’s easier to pour into?

  • 122 Have a snowy weekend. « melettapardo // Dec 7, 2012 at 7:42 am

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  • 123 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas | Peppered Thought - The Spice of Life // May 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm

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  • 124 Homemade Beeswax Lip Gloss // Nov 4, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    […] Not Martha has a great tutorial here as well. She has more information than I provide here and she also shows you how to add lipstick to make a tinted gloss. […]

  • 125 Bratz Birthday Party Planning Guide | Color Me Crystal — Color Me Crystal // Jan 2, 2014 at 7:26 am

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  • 126 Make Your Own Lip Gloss | Makeup | Style - Share Your Favorite Link // Feb 17, 2014 at 6:12 pm

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  • 127 Green cleaning and body products // Feb 20, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    […] Lip Balm: I'm still using the lip balm we made last August. I like it okay but it's a little grainy–maybe from the herbs we used. I'm looking forward to trying a new recipe soon, maybe this one at Not Martha. […]

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