Make lipstick with crayons

Kids' crayons? Yes! Making your own lipstick takes only about 10 minutes, costs next to nothing and allows you to choose from a dizzying (and unconventional) array of colors.

Is it safe? Even though Crayola does not publish a detailed and specific ingredient list, they do formulate their crayons so that toddlers can eat a whole box of the stuff without suffering anything more serious than a stomach ache. Crayons consist mainly of paraffin wax and non-toxic pigments. Wax is a major component in any lipstick or chapstick, and crayons' pre-mixed pigments will give you more choices, at less cost than either food coloring (I've tried that too) or the powders and gels cosmetic suppliers will sell you.

This recipe works surprisingly well. The colors last longer, and stick to your lips better than regular commercial lipstick. No need to worry about evidence left on shirt collars, or on cigarette butts carelessly left in ashtrays... although sometimes, depending on the specific crayon color, the pigments might need a little extra smacking of the lips to disperse evenly.

If you're using a chapstick tube (or a lipstick tube of a similar size) and you're making this as a gift, you can download a pop-up, pop art lip balm holder I designed. The template comes in two versions, one with text and the other with an empty speech bubble in case you want to add your own.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
kpizarro1 month ago

i have don one with olive oil it works just as well

karla14402 months ago
wow i followed those steps and it actually worked your a genius
cuteteamgirl 2 months ago
I am gonna try it
n0ukf3 months ago

Here's an alternative for heating the ingredients... For melting candles to pour into molds, I use desktop electric coffee cup warmers, I've seen them anywhere from 9W to 24W. The higher ones will melt it quicker. Covering your melting pot (top and sides) with some kind of larger container (like a plastic jar larger diameter than the heat source) will also contain the heat better to melt faster.

I've also used one of these to melt chocolate as an adhesive for assembling decorative candies (peanutbutter cup graduation caps).

kliu84 months ago
Have you actually researched the safety of Crayola crayons and paraffin wax? I understand that "Non-Toxic" can be a flimsy and unregulated seal but from what I have read Crayola(not sure about Roseart, Prang,etc) does seem to take safety more seriously since toddlers eating crayons is common. However chronic ingestion over a very long period of time like in lipstick might be a different type of exposure than eating a crayon now and then. There are always the "really non-toxic" crayons out there like Clementine and Ecokids.
belsey (author)  kliu84 months ago
Yes, I did my research before testing and publishing this... I discovered that the ingredients considered less safe in commercial lipstick are the preservatives (which this doesn't contain), that paraffin wax is used to coat chocolate, that the danger from most pigments is breathing them in when they are in powder form (not applicable here), and that crayola does not publish its formulas. I also learned that "toxic" is a relative term: chemicals are not intrinsically toxic, they can be toxic in certain quantities, and those toxic quantities will vary depending on the person's size. In this case, even a heavy lipstick user will only be ingesting a tiny fraction of the stuff a toddler will consume whole with no negative consequences -- so I'm quite confident this is perfectly safe. That said, women used to swallow arsenic to look fashionably pale, or powder their faces with lead dust, so it is possible, down the line, that someone will discover lipstick is killing us: but even so I know that this particular lipstick won't be any worse than the rest... Using "organic" brands of kids crayons is a good idea -- it can't hurt.
krissyg65 months ago
I just tried this recipe with my daughters using the crayons, olive oil, peppermint oil, and cocoa butter. We made red and pink, and it worked perfectly! I tweaked it with more olive oil and less cocoa butter, and the consistency is excellent. I love this tutorial and can't wait to try some other colors! Thanks for this :)
ljette16 months ago
Hey there! I tried the instructable and I used cocoa Butter lotion cause i had bought the jojoba oil and was impatient. I used a silver crayon and it took a bit of mixing to finally become one color. As i set it to cool i took some from the container and tried it on. It was a little dry feeling as it sat on my lips. Is there a way to fix that for cheap or should i just use pure cocoa butter? And is there a way to add peppermint smell/flavor cause i added two drops of extract and didnt get any smell or taste XD thanks!!
belsey (author)  ljette16 months ago
If it feels dry (by which you mean stiff and waxy?) then you should increase the proportion of liquid oil. Since we're dealing with very small quantities, you don't need to increase it by much to feel the difference. You can add flavoring, but it is better if you can find one, to get an oil-based flavor rather than, for example, vanilla or peppermint extract from the baking aisle of the grocery store, which tends to be alcohol (i.e. water) based. Water and oil don't mix easily, so if you use a water-based flavor it might separate. Have fun experimenting!
belsey (author)  belsey6 months ago
Sorry, I just re-read your comment more carefully... Yes, you definitely need to use pure cocoa butter rather than lotion. Lotion is an emulsion of water and oil, so the texture will end up completely different if you use it. Also, and more importantly, you don't necessarily know what other ingredients are in the lotion -- and on your lips you want to make sure everything can be safely eaten. Another option if you can't find/don't want to wait for the cocoa butter is to skip it entirely and just use more liquid oil. You'll have to fiddle with the proportions (maybe experiment with colors you don't really like), but you might get an OK result.
ljette1 belsey6 months ago
Thank you!! <3 I shall buy pure cocoa/shea butter for the recipe.
mnoelle8 months ago
can Shea butter be replaced with Vaseline? and i tried this, but there was almost no pigment
belsey (author)  mnoelle6 months ago
Sorry I didn't see this sooner. Yes, shea butter can be replaced by vaseline, it might feel slightly different on the lips, but it will work fine. I don't think it will effect the pigments, which come from the crayon. To increase the pigments you can increase the amount of crayon, then maybe use a bit more liquid oil (and a bit less valeine/shea) to compensate for the extra stiffness from the added amount of wax. Or use a different crayon, some colors and brands have different amounts of pigments.
hastieg7 months ago
this is awesome im doing it for a school project
could i use sweet almond oil
I made this using cocoa butter, a violet-red crayon and canola oil. After melting and blending, I added in the oil from a Vitamin E capsule. I also dipped a toothpick into a bottle of pure peppermint oil and swirled that into the lipstick mixture. It adds just a subtle hint of mint flavor and aroma. I put it in a small plastic container and apply with a brush. The lipstick came out perfect - fantastic project!
nissibob8 months ago
I tried it just now and it came out hard. Then I remelted again and added more oil and Shea butter but more oil hoping it would make it less solid. It didn't. Should I add more shea butter next time?
BunnieBard8 months ago
I just made this in two seconds with cocoa butter, olive oil, and some really old bits of crayon and it IS AMAZINGLY AMAZING LIPSTICK. Not only is it a safer alternative to commercial products, it costs like 20 cents a tube, IF that. I am never buying lipstick again. Thank you so much!

I am going to buy some metallic crayons next! Do you think if you upped the amount of oil... or used a softer butter, like coconut, you could make something closer to lip gloss consistency?
belsey (author)  BunnieBard8 months ago
Yes, you can definitely play with the proportions to get the texture you like... Also the ingredients; for lip gloss I would recommend castor oil which is thick and shiny.
babsflowers8 months ago
This is great! I can't wait to try it! Thanks so much for sharing...
vicki18189 months ago
This is a really well-written Instructable! Thanks so much!!
Veronika711 months ago
Would coconut oil work as a shea butter substitue?
belsey (author)  Veronika711 months ago
The texture of the final lipstick would be much softer because shea butter is solid at room temperature whereas coconut oil needs to be colder. It would be a better substitute for any of the oils.
Ah thank you! I thought I'd ask someone who knew what they were doing before I started changing things on my own. (it won't let me respond in a reply for some reason)
I'm wondering because I wear either black lipstick or a really deep purple, but the purple I finally fell in love with is a limited edition >_< so, doing a dark pigmented Crayons, will the product come off completely opaque and creamy? Or, do you know a way to make it that way? I know it's been a while since you posted this, but any help would be great ^_^
belsey (author)  VanityCalamity1 year ago
The way to get the color to be deeper is to use proportionately more crayon... but then the lipstick texture gets harder. One way to solve this is to replace the shea butter with a bit of extra oil. Test the quantities with you non-favorite color until you get the texture you want. Wait at least an hour for the lipstick to cool completely before you judge your results. Of course you can put it on your lips as soon as it hardens, but to get a feel for the final texture you have to wait.
Interesting... and we have such a lot of old crayons around here, as well as a 12-year-old girl who just started make-up... but a lot of the ingredients, while familiar, are a little bit exotic for my usual shopping list. Where might you find things like jojoba oil, shea butter, lanolin, etc, if you don't usually keep them around for other projects? I have to think that this would make it a not-so-inexpensive project, also, for someone like me who only has the crayons so far, which is a shame because when I see something like this I just want to head straight in and try it.

This would be great for Halloween... yellow-green lipstick, or if I remember my old crayons right... green-yellow instead. That always confused me. I suppose these days they just call one of them chartreuse.
Coming in REALLY late to the party, but in case someone else happens upon it... Lanolin can be found with bottles and breast feeding supplies in the baby section of most supermarkets. Purple bottle, brand name of Lansinoh. The rest is usually at health food stores and such-like.
Whole Foods might have it, as well as any 'health' store.
belsey (author)  irishwhistle4 years ago
I'll update the instructable with more details, but the short answer is I've found these ingredients in health food stores, grocery stores like Trader Joe's (for the jojoba oil) in pharmacies (cocoa butter, jojoba) and even on the streets of Brooklyn (African incense vendors usually also sell tubs of shea butter). Also lots of online stores, like the source I linked to for purchasing the mold. You can also replace the jojoba or castor oil with pretty much any high quality vegetable oil in your kitchen cabinet. Texture and taste will vary of course, but it will still work.
GummiBear1 year ago
Would this, like, taste horrible? Because from past Dares of licking crayons, they taste...horrible.
rrkrose1 year ago
This seems like a lot of fun! I will have to try it soon.
I love this idea and I cant wait to try it. I'm a BIG lipstick fan and I'm always trying out new colors and I was really hoping to get into the business of creating my own line of lipsticks one day and seeing diys like this really makes me want to experiment more and start getting myself out there.
Thanks for the recipe!
kperez61 year ago
Thank you very much!!! Me and my friend have already made 3 of those!!! We totally love it! right now am wearing it and it looks really pretty!!!!!!! Thanks again!!!
mon_star2 years ago
awesome tutorial. I can see how this could be incredibly addicting.
I've been having some trouble with getting the crayon-shea-oil mixture to be as opaque as I'd like. I've experimented with it a lot, but I just can't seem to get it right. What's the magic ratio for those of you who have gotten it to work?
belsey (author)  thatdamnragdoll2 years ago
If you want more pigment you can use a bit more crayon -- omit the shea and replace it with a bit more oil to get the texture right, otherwise if you just use extra crayon (i.e. wax) the lipstick will be too hard.
sarahnedz2 years ago
I just tried this and it works great! It stays on better and feels so good. I love it!
Mauigerbil2 years ago
Oh fine. I used only olive oil and a pink crayon. Only a touch of olive oil, or it will be too watery! You need to let it dry in the freezer for awhile, just so that it will be a little dry but still mostly liquid. Then, get a piece of foam or a soft sponge to apply. It is best to make in a paper cup that is disposable, and then cut most of the cup off so that it is easy to apply. The pink crayon blush gives a very natural look when mixed with a magenta
Mauigerbil2 years ago
I altered your recipie and made blush! The Great And Powerful Trixie does not tell her secrets!
mygibzone2 years ago
I must try this! I hate how expensive makeup is. I love your resourcefulness!

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?


PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!