Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Making a red lip salve

Today I tried my hand in "An excellent Lip-salve", a recipe that I discussed here. After reading up I decided to use olive oil instead of rose oil, as that is often use as base oil for just rose oil. I also made a much smaller batch, I didn't want to screw up big.

Updated recipe
Myrrh, 4 g
Honey, 15 ml
Bees wax, 8 g
Olive oil, 22 ml
Iron oxide, 4 g
Rosewood oil, 3 drops Note: A bit late it has come to my attention that Brazilian Rosewood is an endangered species, so my recommendation is to leave the salve unscented or add a few drops of another scented oil.
Edible gold powder, 2 ml (optional and used for half the batch)

I started out mixing everything apart from the pigment, Rosewood oil and the gold powder. It smelled quite nicely of honey and resin.


Mixing it together on low heat in soon became a cohesive mass that first was quite runny and then got thicker and thicker.




The myrrh was supposed to melt into the oil, but in the end it got so thick that I started to be afraid it wouldn't work, so I added the pigment and the Rosewood oil. It turned a pretty brick red colour. I spooned some of it into a small tin, then I added the edible gold and spooned that into two smaller tins. The gold didn't make the lips salve glittery, but it did turn warmer in tone.


It very quickly turned very stiff and it was a bit difficult to use it, but after a while it warmed up by my body heat and spread quite nicely. The colour is quite sheer, but I think that makes for a more natural look and I liked it. The salve itself is very pleasant on the lips and I think it would make a great lip balm without the pigment. The Rosewood oil added a little something to the fragrance on honey and resin, but it is not overly scented and I find it pleasant. It definitely taste honey!


Modern lipsticks on top, Roulette Red from Rockalilly and Ruby Woo from MAC. Below, the gold-toned version and then the one with just red pigment. You can see it is sheerer than the lipsticks.


What I would do different
I definitely heated it for too long and it became too stiff and a bit hard to work with. The gold-toned version even more so, so it definitely needs to get off the heat as soon as it starts to thicken. I kept at it as the Myrrh wasn't completely dissolved, so I would pulverise the Myrrh much better and try to dissolve it in just the olive oil before adding the other ingredients. I would probably not use any gold, but that is just because I like the colour better without.

Would I do it again?
Yes. The colour is nice and it is very pleasant to use, so with ´the changes I noted above, I think it would work out very well. You could probably add more pigment to get more coverage. I also think you could use any lip-safe red pigment if you want another colour.

Now I just need some white paint to get a whole look...


  1. I think it looks very good on you, and I also think the version without gold is nicer (too bad, it sounds so extravagant with a splash of gold in your makeup!)... Nice work!

  2. So interesting! The result looks great. Especially the one without the gold. I need to try this too someday. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Madame Berg: It does, doesn't it? I prefer more cool toned red paint though. Would you like one of the gold ones, btw? I will never be able to work through all these before they spoil.

  4. Augustinytär: I'm glad you think so. It really wasn't difficult to make and I think with less heating time and better grounded Myurrh it would work out excellent.

  5. Oh this is soo wonderful! I'd love to try it but I'd have to buy most of the ingredients online... no chance you'd sell a little bottle for little ol'me would ya? LOL It's ok I totally get it! ;)
    Great job, thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Very nice! I am also in makeup recipes (I found a book and a site for ingedients). Your researches are very interesting.
    I made also a red lip balm with poppy powder. As yours, it is very sheer but quite permanent in the same time. I envoy it very mych: I use it almost every days as a lip balm and as blush!
    I would change the way I make up my face for the 18th century now that I discovered it.
    Thank you again for your researches and for sharing!

  7. Dear Isis,
    That lip salve IS excellent. It is good and thick and doesn't run, the color is good, and it tastes good, and it's safe. What more can one ask?

    The homemade salves I have been given here in the U.S. (never have made one myself) have all been runny and/or sticky, so this is a real find.

    Very best,


  8. Kirsten S: I'm sorry, I won't be selling anything I do as I can't asure that it can be made according to health regulations. However, this was a recipe where I could find everything in local store. Food store for the honey, edible gold powder and olive oil, an artist shop for the bees wax and red pigment and the myrrh and Rosewood oil from a health store. Glad to be of inspiration though!

    Èlisabeth: I'm very glad you enjoy the posts! Poppy powder sounds very interesting!

    Natalie: I think it is the Myrrh that makes the difference and making it thicker. Also the reason that it got too stiff... The next time I make it I will smear some on a plate from time to time so I can break off when the texture is right. :)

  9. Vad du är cool, Isis! Dock ser bild tre och fyra misstänkt mycket ut som senap, men slutresultatet blev ju riktigt bra. Bravo!

  10. Su´sanne: Tack1 Det var inte riktigt så gult i verkligehten, det var lampans fel, men ja, en viss likhet med senap var det.

  11. It occurs to me -- maybe the reason the edible gold changed the color is because edible sparkle is meant to dissolve, unlike actual metal. Maybe if you make another batch you could try a cosmetic mica powder or some artist grade gold sparkle.


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