Make Your Own Semi-Homemade Tinted Lip Balm

tinted lip balm I HATE BUYING LIPSTICK! Sorry for shouting….but, I do! How in the world do they expect you to pick out a lipstick shade that you like and that looks good on you from looking at the little sticker they plaster on the end of the tube? (Which by the way looks NOTHING like the shade when it hits your lips!)

And what is up with the stupid names they give these different shades? Fiery Veil? Blushing Sequin? Desperately Mauve? Violet Chiffon? Brazil Nut? Come on….that tells me almost NOTHING. How about “Really, Really Red”, or “Pink With A Tiny Bit of Shimmer To It”???  Now THAT’S helpful! :-)

In all the years I’ve been wearing makeup and lipstick I can probably count on one hand the different shades of lipstick I have used on a regular basis, because once I find one I like (by dumb luck!) I will stick with it!

As you can probably tell…I’m a bit fed up with lipstick in general. That’s why lately I’ve been crushing on Benefit Benetint.


Originally designed to give exotic dancers a natural flush, this cheek and lip stain is crazy popular, and expensive! But of course I KNEW there had to be a better, less expensive alternative. After all, Benetint, is colored with carmine, a red dye made from crushed insects (ewwww!) and is $28 a bottle!

I came across this article from Marianne at Forever Chic that suggested organic food coloring is basically the same thing as Benetint and I decided to put it to the test. Guess what? It worked!
tinted lip balm
I found this bottle of vegetable food colorant made from beet juice at Whole Foods and put a TINY bit on a Q-tip and rubbed it on my lips really, really well. It gave them the same natural stained/flushed look as the Benetint!

So I decided to take it one step further and see how the food coloring/Benetint replacement did as a colorant for homemade lip balm. Well, SEMI-homemade. I wasn’t really in the mood to make lip balm from scratch (which is really rather simple…see previous post on how to make it here!), so I improvised with a petroleum jelly alternative made of soybean oil, beeswax, rosemary oil, and vitamin E that I also found at Whole Foods and tried mixing up some tints of my own.

tinted lip balm


tinted lip balm

From left to right….the 3 pots of lip balm/gloss contain 1 drop, 2 drops and 4 drops of the coloring respectively. While they don’t offer as much lip COLOR as the stain itself…they are a much more moisturizing alternative. I actually wore the darkest color to a wedding reception tonight and got several compliments on it. :-)  Score!

So if you’re fed up with lipstick like I am….or if you would just like to see what you can come up with on your own…I would recommend giving this a try. You might be surprised, LIKE ME, at how much you will like it!


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  1. Penny Hannah says

    Good one, Jillee! I guess cochineal [also made from beetles] or the gel food colourings [easy to apply] would work just as well.

  2. phyllis nowosad says

    Loe this idea and I am so going to try it too:) I am still lovin myhomemade Dove body wash that I tweked a bit. I added coconut oil and NipaSapa ( coconut sap vinegar:).

  3. Colleen says

    ….. This made me laugh because my biggest pet peeve is how often they change/discontinue products! As soon as I find something I like, POOF! it’s GONE and I spend precious time and money searching out a suitable replacement. That’s another good reason to start making my own. Now to figure out how to get the soft shade of coral I like. Hmmm, maybe beet and carrot mixed together, lol? Thanks for the post!

  4. Jen says

    I have been experimenting with lip stains and tints and now, after reading this, I am going to Whole Foods to find some vegetable food colorings. What I have learned is that beet powder has no staining ability at all. One wipe to the lips and it was gone, I hope the vegetable colorants will work better. The problem I wanted to solve was to create a lip color that wouldn’t disappear in an hour. So I started looking for stains. Bonne Belle made a good one, but I think it has been discontinued. I had no luck finding a natural stain (I tried beet powder, red sandalwood, and paprika). The “eureka” lip stain I have found is not natural, but the stain lasts and lasts – it’s Kool-Aid. Lick your lips and apply a little dry powder with a brush or your fingertip. I tried Tropical Punch and Black Cherry, but there is no difference in color on the lips.

  5. Mary says

    Thank you for pinning it, Lisa, because I just found it on Pinterest. Someone gave me a trial sample of Benetint – it looks like a little goes a long way! I am going to try it with Alba Botanica’s Un-Petroleum Jelly.

  6. says

    I totally know where you are coming from. It’s hard to find a good color of lipstick just looking at what they have at the store. Anytime you find something you really like anywhere, buy more than one! Often a color may be discontinued and comes back as a different name. AND names are another thing! I do wish there was more info in a name for lipsticks!! Also you have to remember that the chemistry in your body can change a color when it goes on your lips. That’s the very reason I’m a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant! I can help someone find the best color and formula for them. You can try it before you buy it and then it’s 100% guaranteed to return if you don’t like it! We have some colors that have been in our line since I began 18 years ago that I love and go back to often. They keep that color even when they change the formula. Yeah!

  7. Kristin says

    Thanks Jillee! After my daughter was born in January I will get contact dermitis whenever I wear ANYTHING besides white petroleum on my lips. My doc says I’m obviously allergic to a common dye or scent in lip cosmetics. Anyway, this post has solved my lip color woes!

    • Liz says

      @ KRISTIN

      I have the same problem. I could wear any kind of lip product and then one day…POOF!!! I was all of a sudden allergic to so many things. I had a Rx cream to clear up the inflammation and now can only use Aquaphor made by Eucerin. I can’t use chapstick or even the organic lip balms such as Alba or Burts Bees. It’s crazy!!!

      • says

        I have an all natural beeswax lip balm I LOVE! The guy who makes them even makes all his own scents from scratch and all natural ingredients! There are no colors or dyes. They are amazing! is his website… but he loves beeswax more then technology… his site is sparse. You’ll have to contact him for a list of flavors. His name is Jay.

  8. Tasheena says

    Yet another one of my needs met by this totally awesome website. you forgot to mention how nasty lipstick smells and tastes, this is GREAT idea! Thank you for doing this I’m learning something new from here almost everyday. As a soon to be mother of five I’m always looking for ways to cut costs and simplify, I REALLY can’t thank you enough! btw Oil cleansing totally worked for me–TY! baking soda shampoo and vinegar conditioner saved me at least $400/ yr on WEN. I’m gathering the ingredients for dry laundry detergent and looking forward to making my first batch-I do massive laundry, we are looking forward to saving BIG TIME. Toothpaste recipe also was a huge help, the kids call it “Mom’s special toothpaste” they love it! The best thing is the new mindset I have about homemaking; doing it all better-cheaper-safer, you can’t beat that!

    • says

      haha…I don’t know! Actually…I am far from awesome all the time….just have spurts of awesomeness now and again. ;-) You’re sweet….thanks Jo!