This liquid lipstick is a bit of an experiment. There are many ways to make liquid lipstick and I’m working my way through various ingredients to get to know them a bit better. This is all with the aim of taking the best parts of all this formulas to create ‘the perfect’ formula. Though everyone will be different in what they are looking for, so I hope some of these experiments help you out.
This is an anhyrdrous formula, meaning that you do not need a preservative. We’d advise a shelf life of 6-12 months, but you can do your own testing. This may change depending on oil choice.
Remember that you need to stability test and obtain a CPSR before gifting or selling your finished products.
- Heat proof beakers or bowl
- Pan for Bane Marie or double boiler
- Stirring rods
- Thermometer – glass or digital
- Small dishes or beakers for ingredients
- Cosmetic Syringe
- Lipstick tubes
- PPE – Gloves, mask, apron, hairnet
- 50% (25g) C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate – An emollient which is softening and texture enhancing. It is an ester that is soluble in oil and gives a silky, non-greasy feel to finished products. It is suggested that it may have antimicrobial properties. It also helps to keep ingredients dispersed within the formulation.
- 5% (0.75g) Silicone resin – Texturizer and film former that provides a waterproof barrier and prevents transfer. Provides a non-tacky and silky feel when applied.
- 15% (7.5g) Castor Oil – An emollient, thickener and humectant, helping the lips to retain moisture and prevent water loss, promoting hydration.
- 10% (5g) Candelilla wax – a thickener which enhances the feel of the finished product giving a smooth application, acting as a binder for the other ingredients and improving spreadability of the final product. It also has moisturising qualities.
- 2% (1g) Carnauba wax – A thickener which helps to stabilize the formula and give staying power to the finished product. Use in small amounts for liquid lipstick as it is a hard wax with a high melting point.
- 5% (0.25g) Cetyl Alcohol – Emollient which soothes dry skin and thickens and stabilizes cosmetic formulations. It gives the end product a more luxurious feel. In lipstick it aids in the colour staying power.
- 5% (0.75g) Kaolin – a texturizer and mattifier – The reason this is all lonely in its own phase is because we can adapt liquid lipstick recipes to stop before adding colour. You’d do this is you wanted to create a bulk amount of base to use for multiple colours later. See below on creating a base only.
- 10% (5g) Pigment Blend – Lakes, oxides, and natural pigments giving an Intense colour pay off. These are the main colour base for the product.
- 5% Isododecane (2.75g) – A Synthetic hydrocarbon which is used for its emollient properties. It enhances feel, locks in moisture and helps to give the finished product a matt texture. It aids the staying power of makeup products.
- 2% (1g) Mica colour – to enchance the colour and add tonal variation
- 5% (.75g) Flavour oil – to improve the scent and taste
5% (0.25g) Vitamin e oil (tocopherol 70%) – an antioxidant that also soothes and prevents cell damage.
Method: Recipe for 50g batch
- First adhere to GMP and clean down your workspace and equipment.
- Create your pigment blends in advance. If working with natural pigments and lakes, grind them together to a finer powder. Make sure that you have noted down the percentages for the colours used within it. Put to one side.
- Add Phase A ingredients to a beaker and heat gently in a Bane Marie to 70 degrees C until the silicone resin has dissolved. Do not over heat. You will need to agitate it to dissolve the resin as it does like to clump. It will fully dissolve with some time and persistence.
- At the same time add all of phase B ingredients into a second beaker and heat gently in a Bane Marie until melted and fully combined. We add this separately to phase A, as the carnauba wax has a higher melting point than the silicone resin.
- Mix each separate phase well to ensure all ingredients are dissolved.
- Take off the heat and allow phase A and B to reach the same temperature and add phase A to phase B.
- Mix well.
- Add phase C (the kaolin) and mix thoroughly.
- If you want to make a batch of base only, then wait for phase A and B to cool to 40 degrees C and add the vitamin e. Store in a cool dark place in a sealed container. Then when you want to use it, portion it out and add the additions in their percentage ranges.
- If using the full formula straight away then move on to phase C.
- The add phase D (the pigment blend and Isododecane) and mix well. Add phase D to your base mixture of A, B and C.
- Add the phase E ingredients starting with vitamin e and flavour oil and mix well.
- Add your final phase E ingredient (mica colours) to achieve your desired colour up to 2% in total.
- Mix well.
- Put into lipstick tubes or pots.
- If the mixture is too thick to get into tubes, then you may heat to just below 40 degrees to thin a little. Do not heat more than this or you may lose the effectiveness of the vitamin e and flavour oil.
Creating a base only:
- Complete the phases up to phase C when you add the Kaolin. Allow the mixture to cool to 40 degrees C and add your vitamin e oil. You can now pour into a container for use later.
- When you want to use your base mix, just mix in the colours, flavour as if continuing with the formulation. The only slight issue with this is that it may require heating slightly to thin enough to get into tubes, and you need to watch the temperature to not compromise the vitamin e which has already been added.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with this formulation. It feels really nice going on and isn’t sticky when worn. It needs blotting, but once dried on, it is substantially transfer proof. It doesn’t feel like it’s drying out my lips and it didn’t crack.
The scent from the flavour oil was pleasant at 1.5%, so I’d keep it around that level. The C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate supposedly stabilises added scents and helps them to come through in the finished product. This seems evident.
If I was making it again, I think I would up the pigment percentage, Isododecane and silicone resin slightly to give a better colour pay off and make it slightly more transfer and waterproof. This will also help it to be slightly more matt in texture.
I like it though. I’d wear it as is. It’s also easily removed with micellar water make up remover.
3 days later it’s not changed other than to set a bit more in the tube. It’s easily mixed with the wand though, and any slight clumps (likely due to the small addition of the harder carnauba wax) are still easily spreadable.
I think I’d market it more as a moisturising liquid lipstick, and I definitely want to increase the staying power of it, so will be experimenting with more film formers next time.
There are many ways to make a liquid lipstick, this is just one formula that I am experimenting with. When making a liquid lipstick there are certain basics that you need:
- Film-formers – usually silicones
- Preservative (optional – as this is an anhydrous product)
Read up on ingredients in these categories and try and create your own anhydrous (without water) formula based on what you want from your lipstick. It is possible to make a lipstick without silicones, but these won’t be completely transfer proof. I’ll be experimenting more with other formulas on YouTube and Patreon.
Disclaimer: These formulas and recipes are experiments created for the purpose of sharing on Patreon and YouTube. Revega does not make any claims as to their qualifications or the efficacy of the formulations which are listed here for entertainment purposes and accepts no responsibility for how you use these. We are self-taught and offer these videos from our years of knowledge and experience in making our own cosmetic products.
Remember that if you intend to use one of these formulations for your own product range, do your own research, experiments, adjustments and tests before using, gifting or selling.