Lip gloss is one of the most underrated self-care items. This low-maintenance makeup moisturizes your pout and adds a hint of color, all while fitting into the front pocket of your jeans. Lip gloss leaves a wet sheen while also give your lips a little TLC with added moisturizers. If you want to skip the wet look and get straight to the benefits, a colorless, matte lip balm is your best bet. By trying your hand at DIY lip care, you may discover a new favorite color, flavor, and shine that works for you.

Materials you need to get started

Making lip gloss or balm at home is possible with ingredients you may already have. Body butters like cocoa or shea add a protective barrier to the skin and dry to a solid. Oils provide a more lustrous, liquid consistency to your lip gloss. Lighter oils such as coconut, grape seed, sunflower, or jojoba absorb quickly, while heavier oils like olive and avocado add weight and shine. You can also use petroleum jelly, aloe vera gel, and vegetable shortening as a base. If you crave color, raid your pantry for Kool-Aid mix, food coloring, or beetroot juice.

Aloe Vera gel moisturizes lips serezniy / Getty Images


Special products you can find online

Look online for DIY lip gloss ingredients that you don't already have. Paraffin and beeswax make for a great lip balm foundation, while several beauty brands use Versagel. This clear synthetic base is a safe and versatile product, easily mixed with powdered pigments and dyes. Search for cosmetic-grade glitters, tints, and fragrances while you're browsing, as well as castor oil, which adds a lustrous shine to your gloss. Don't forget to order lip tubes or pots. You'll also need pipettes for extracting oils from small bottles and cosmetic syringes for filling containers with your finished product.

Colorful pigments are available online shotsstudio / Getty Images


Prepare a clean workspace

Before you start the hands-on process of making lip gloss, make sure you sanitize your work surface with bleach or disinfectant. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and wear gloves to avoid cross-contamination. Open sanitized materials like pipettes right before use. Whether they are recycled or brand new, boil small pots or gloss tubes before filling. If you're working with dyes that stain, such as red food coloring or beet juice, use a plastic tablecloth to protect your furniture and clothing.

domoyega / Getty Images


Start with an easy liquid base

Whether you're making a nude lip moisturizer or a bright, glittering gloss, you'll need to start with a base. Liquid bases are some of the easiest to make since they require no melting. Simply combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir until thoroughly incorporated. An easy recipe to start with is a mixture of equal parts of coconut oil and glycerine. Blend in some castor oil for shine and a few drops of peppermint essence for flavor, and you've got a clear, mint gloss. Once you have a good base, you can build from there.

Liquid bases require no melting DusanManic / Getty Images


Heat things up with a wax base

Melting various waxes and oils together for your base lets you further customize your lip gloss, but it takes a bit more effort. Start with three parts of beeswax flakes in a microwave-safe bowl or a double boiler, heating until melted. Next, add two parts of olive oil, or coconut oil if you want a clear gloss, and mix well. Finish with a few drops of essential oil or flavor extract, melting the mixture again if necessary. If you prefer a vegan blend, melt equal parts of petroleum jelly and vegetable shortening together in a bowl to start.

Order beeswax flakes online Premyuda Yospim / Getty Images


How to make a bright red lip gloss

To make a small, customized batch of red lip gloss at home, all you need is some vegetable shortening and a package of red Kool-Aid. Microwave the shortening in a glass bowl until melted, and then add enough powdered mix to achieve your desired shade. Don't have vegetable shortening? Try melting a tablespoon of Vaseline, then add one teaspoon of aloe vera gel and red food coloring or beetroot juice. Pour the mixture into a container before it thickens.

Make red gloss from scratch svehlik / Getty Images


Mix a shiny, glittery lip glaze

If you prefer shimmering lips, you may want to add a bit of sparkle to your homemade gloss. Begin with one part Versagel or Vaseline, or two for a thicker consistency, and three parts of base oil, like sweet almond or sesame seed. Mix the ingredients, then add a few drops of flavored oil and a sprinkle of cosmetic-grade glitter. Avoid using craft glitter, but do feel free to add some powdered blush or eyeshadow for extra tint and sparkle.

Add glitter for extra sparkle RunPhoto / Getty Images


Recreate your favorite lip colors

When you finally get down to the last of your favorite lipstick, resist the urge to throw it out. Instead, melt one tablespoon of beeswax in a container, then stir in one tablespoon of carrier oil such as jojoba or castor. Add 1/8th of a teaspoon of essential oil and a few shavings of your favorite leftover lipstick. Remelt the mixture and pour your new favorite gloss into a container. If you're low on supplies, simply combine melted Vaseline with lipstick shavings or a sprinkle of powdered blush and mix well. Cocoa powder also adds a nice brown tint with a hint of chocolate.

Make a tinted lip gloss PeopleImages / Getty Images


How to make a moisturizing gloss

A moisturizing gloss will keep your lips supple and soft. Start with two tablespoons of coconut oil and one tablespoon of cocoa butter, melting them until they reach a near-liquid consistency. Next, add a few drops of Vitamin E oil and some carrot seed essential oil, a natural sunscreen. Tint with your favorite pigment, then pour the mixture into lip pots, allowing them to harden before use.

Use moisturizing balm daily Zinkevych / Getty Images


Why make your own lip gloss?

Lip gloss is inexpensive and readily available any day of the week, so why bother concocting your personalized blend? Not only is making your own lip moisturizer easier than expected, but it's also an effective way to sidestep allergy-inducing chemicals and synthetic ingredients. Mixing an organic batch of lip gloss at home allows you to customize your favorite shades, flavors, scents, and beneficial nutrients. Considering a side hustle? You can easily find professional-grade materials and build your own brand of vegan and cruelty-free products.

Store-bought isn't always best zoranm / Getty Images


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