DIY Lipstick Salvage

posted in: DIY, Fashion, Make UP | 0

We all have melted a tube of lipstick at one point or another.  Maybe you have a lip color you don’t want to give up even though it’s old.   Or you found a stash of Grandma or Mom’s mail order lipsticks that have never been opened but are waxy and dried out.  Even better…  you find low quality but great color lipstick at the dollar store.  But what do you do with each of these when you want to make it last or make it usable? Here are a few how to’s on doing just those things.

The Melted Favorite!

Spring is in the air! For those of us in the northern hemisphere that means it’s getting warmer outside – finally.  But it also means when you left your purse in your hot car, tucked under your seat, you melted your best lipstick! Possibly all over the inside of your purse!   Now what?  That was your favorite color! And it may have been expensive too.  So what do you do about it?  If you are lucky, the mess is contained in the tube, but still renders your lipstick unusable for its intended purpose as a lip color.  Or is it?  With a little bit of work and some dollar store containers you can bring it back from the brink of lipstick heaven. (AKA, the garbage can)

Supplies: 

  1. “Ruined” tube of lipstick
  2. Cosmetic spatula or similar – don’t use cotton swabs, you waste lipstick.
  3. Small plastic container with screw cap lid.
  4. Wax paper and masking tape
  5. Rubbing alcohol
  6. Paper towel
  7. Glass Ramekin (small bowl, must be microwave safe)
  8. Microwave and hot pads
  9. Permanent marker
  10. Retractable lipstick brush – for putting your lipstick on with later!

What to do:

Wash your hands.  Then, lay down your wax paper over your work surface.  Lipstick will stain counter tops and dining tables.  I like to use a bit of tape to hold the edges down.  Take a paper towel and put some rubbing alcohol on it and wipe out the inside of the plastic container and lid well.  Then set your container aside to air dry.  This will help it be dust and germ free.  Repeat this cleaning process with your Cosmetic spatula.  Take your lipstick to be salvaged and, using your cosmetic spatula, scrape as much of it as you can into your microwave safe ramekin.  In some cases you may need to take apart your lipstick tube to get as much as you can out of the tube. Be as meticulous with this step as you like.  Then take your dish of lipstick and put it in the microwave and heat at 10 to 15 second intervals until it is runny.  Move your ramekin back to your work surface using hot pads and then carefully pour the lipstick from the bowl into your prepared plastic container.  If you are worried about spilling, take a piece of wax paper and tape and make a small funnel then use that to prevent spills.  Then set it aside to cool.  Once cool, screw on the lid and label your container.  Ta-Da!

 

I love this color and won’t give it up!

Most of us have been guilty of this at least once or twice in our life.  But let’s be clear on something.  Lipstick touches our mouths, our mouths have germs and bacteria… that means that our lipstick, by extension, is covered in germs and bacteria. Once you are done grossing out over that though, the general rule for a tube of lipstick is 6 to 12 months and then it should go to lipstick heaven.  Love the color so much you can’t live without it?  You find out they are discontinuing it?  Save up for an extra tube and store it in the refrigerator.  You can also make a color card to shop with to make matching easier.  Take a 3×5 card and give it a nice plump kiss while you have that favorite color on.  Take some clear packing tape and carefully lay it over the kiss print and press to the paper.  Then write all the details of that very favorite color on the card.  File it away in a recipe box similar to what you would put in your kitchen.  Enjoy that beautiful favorite color while you can and then find another one.

 

How to turn low quality lipstick into better quality lipstick

 

            This is my new favorite trick.  After trying the first one on the list for saving a melted tube of lipstick, I decided to try this one.  While I was getting my little containers for saving my favorite color that I melted I had a peek in their makeup isle. I found a really pretty color and figured for a dollar, it’s worth trying out.  That color was great on paper, but putting it on was unpleasant.  It was sticky like the wax was dried out or lower quality.  *shrug* But what was I expecting. However, I didn’t throw it away.  I had just finished arming myself with all the supplies that I needed to salvage my ruined tube of lipstick and decided to try science!

There are a few things that are consistently true about what is in lipstick: Pigment, Wax, Oils, Antioxidants, Preservatives, and sometimes Fragrance and Flavor. The texture you get is all dependent on how much of any of these goes into the batch. It is heated up and mixed well then poured into a mold or container and left to cool and harden. So, taking this into account I went to my kitchen cupboard to see what kind of oils I had that were solid at room temperature. The first one I saw was – Coconut oil. Then I played mad chemist in my kitchen.

Like my previous experiment in saving my melted lipstick, I prepared a work-space.

Supplies: Same as the above project but with slight changes.  

 

  1. Inexpensive or waxy lipstick
  2. Cosmetic spatula or similar – don’t use cotton swabs, you waste lipstick.
  3. Small plastic container with screw cap lid.
  4. Wax paper and masking tape
  5. Rubbing alcohol
  6. Paper towel
  7. Glass Ramekin (small bowl, must be microwave safe)
  8. Microwave and hot pads
  9. Permanent marker
  10. Retractable lipstick brush – for putting your lipstick on with later!
  11. Coconut oil or other body safe oil that is solid at room temperature

After taping down the corners of my wax paper, I got out my favorite little glass ramekins again.  But this time I twisted up that cheap, sticky lipstick and scraped it all into the little glass bowl.  Then I added – just a little- coconut oil to it and carried it to the microwave.  10 seconds at a time I heated it until I could stir it easily.  The Coconut oil melted much faster than the lipstick did so I used a makeup spatula and mashed it up a little bit and heated it some more until it melted enough to mix with the coconut oil.  Be careful on this step so that you don’t “brown” or bubble your coconut oil, it will change the consistency once it cools.  If that means that you need to heat the cheap lipstick first then get it nice and soft and stir in a bit of coconut oil at a time that is also a viable option.  Not all microwaves are created equal.  Patience is the name of the game. I poured the melted and mixed lipstick into a little plastic container and let it cool.  This method is not perfect, I cannot just make it into a stick shape again.  Maybe that will be another tutorial.  But now I have a lip color that I can use a brush to apply and it was inexpensive too.

 

 

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