Can you make your own lipstick with wax, oil and food dye?

The hack
Clean beauty fans claim you can avoid synthetic ingredients by making lipstick from coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter and food colouring.

The promise
This DIY recipe aims to match the incredible pigments of today’s hi-tech formulations. Though perhaps the more pertinent question is not whether you can make this yourself, but whether it’s worth the bother.

The test
The method isn’t as complicated as you might expect. In a bain-marie, gently heat a teaspoon each of coconut oil, beeswax pellets and shea butter until they’ve melted. This is your base. The first time I tried this, I couldn’t get the mixture out of the glass bowl in the bain-marie, so I’d recommend getting a proper metal melting pot with a spout – the kind used in candle making. Then add a drop of essential oil (I used rose, for scent), plus a drop of red food colouring, and mix with a spoon. It should cool quickly but you can pop it in the fridge. The resulting “lipstick” was a bright-red balm. I prefer something darker, so I added a quarter of a teaspoon of cocoa powder, hoping the shade would deepen. Alas, it just looked like dried blood.

The verdict
The resulting balm smelled nice but quickly rubbed off my lips. If, like me, you’re a red lipstick purist (I like it bold and matt), this is not for you.

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