Tinted Lip Balm

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Lipstick is not for everyone, and it’s certainly not for every occasion either. Tinted lip balm, on the other hand, is perfect when you want a toned down natural look, and it’s great to use everyday. It makes a great gift too! You can make this berry beautiful lip balm for under R10, and it’ll be ready in just 10 minutes.

Recipe variations & substitutes

Oils & Waxes:

You can simply substitute the shea butter or sweet almond oil for any nourishing oil (eg. olive oil, canola oil, avocado oil etc.). However, you need wax to harden the oil into a ‘balmy’ texture. If you are vegan, you may substitute the bees wax for soy wax or carnauba wax.

My general rule of thumb for any lip balm recipe is to use equal parts of a butter, wax and oil. So you can simply combine one part of any butter (eg. shea butter, cocoa butter, avocado butter etc.), with one part of any wax (eg. bees wax, carnauba wax, soy wax etc.) and one part of any liquid carrier oil (eg. olive, sunflower, grapeseed, sweet almond etc.). Therefore, the recipe is 1 part butter: 1 part wax: 1 part oil. That should simplify things for you in terms of what you can substitute. So the recipe I’ve shared above is just my personal favourite combination of butters, waxes and oils.

Iron oxide:

Iron oxide and mica powder really is the best way to colour a product. However, I have not been able to find mica in South Africa – whereas iron oxide is readily available. You will have to buy mica powder internationally from a website like Amazon. The second best option is to buy a natural eye shadow or natural blush in a shade that you like and use a pinch of that powder instead (it contains mica and iron oxide). You could also use Acai berry powder, Hibiscus powder, beetroot powder, blackcurrant powder or cocoa powder as substitutes for the iron oxide, however they don’t dissolve completely in this lip balm so you will be left with a bit of a grainy lip balm. To help prevent a grainy texture, I recommend first dissolving these plant-based powders in a drop or two of pure alcohol (like rubbing alcohol) before adding it in the recipe. No more than a drop or two, otherwise there will be separation.


Cost Price: R8.69 per 15ml (3 standard lip balm tubes)
Lasted me about:
 6 months (using every morning)
Estimated shelf life: 1 year.

*Costs accurate at time of writing this blog post. Costs based on the best available retail prices I’ve personally found.


Shea butter and iron oxide is relatively expensive, but it’s so worth it. There’s so much you can make with it other than lip balm.


The cost price of this lip balm works out to be a tenth of the average price of tinted lip balm in stores (Eg. Labello goes for about R28 for 5ml, whereas this recipe costs about R3 for 5ml). Not to mention that this recipe is about thirty times cheaper than the average price of natural tinted lip balms (Badger’s tinted lip balm retails for R92, which I think is just crazy!).


  • Unrefined organic shea butter:  UV protection (SPF 5), provides essential fatty acids and nutrients required for collagen production. Softens skin and reduces wrinkles (buy here).
  • Bees wax: UV protection, moisturises and retains moisture in skin for longer by forming a protective barrier on the skin. (buy here).
  • Sweet almond oil: Moisturises and nourishes cracked lips, and vitamin E content is anti-ageing and treats sun damage (buy here).
  • Iron oxide: is a natural pigment used to colour skin care products. Rust is iron oxide – so basically, iron oxides are different colours of rust ground up as a powder. (buy here)

Not sure where to find these ingredients? My shopping guide may help you.

How do you tint your natural lip balm? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you new to essential oils? Please read how to use them safely.

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