DIY Custom Lipstick; or, How to use up old lippie part 1

Today I’ve got a DIY project to show you, that I’m very proud of – mixing lipsticks to get custom colours.

I’ve recently started buying lippie, inspired by the likes of Michaela and Ling. As a rookie lipstick buyer/wearer, I have a whole collection of shades that look terrible on me – they’d be great if they were sheer, but as opaque colours they are definitely bleh and make me look like an “avoid” from Shag Marry Avoid.

Being frugal, I couldn’t just leave them all lying unused though, so I decided to melt them down and turn them into something I’d actually use. So I madeDIY Custom Lipstick!

I’m in love with the mini Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural lippie I picked up at BBU12 – it’s the perfect understated colour that matches my lips almost perfectly. I kind of wish it’d be a tad redder though, so I decided to try making my own out of some lippies I didn’t like: ulta3 Vixen, Mode Truly Red and Revlon Black Berry.

What you need:

  • Old lipsticks
  • Small heat-safe container for mixing
  • Microwave or double boiler
  • Spatula (I broke off the handle of a plastic fork)
  • Tissues

If you want to make a lipstick in stick form, you will also need:

  • Empty lipstick container
  • Small piece of foil
  • A pen or similar object the size of the lipstick you want to make
  • Hair dryer

1. Decide what colour you want. Having a swatch (just a colour cutout from a magazine, for example) with you is very helpful for colour adjustment, but of course you can just try it on your lips to see the effect. I’m basing my colour on MUFE Natural.

2. Decide how you want to store your custom lippie. The easiest is a lip balm container or empty lip pan (use a lip brush for application). If you want to make a lipstick, follow the optional steps further below.

3. Choose lipsticks to mix. This step requires a bit of practice – it helps if you have a lipstick that you want to change just slightly. ulta3 Vixen is pretty similar to what I want, but I’d like more red (Mode Truly Red) and a bit of brown (Revlon Black Berry).

4. Chop up your main colour into the mixing container.

5. Melt it either gently on the double boiler, or in the microwave (be careful not to overheat your lipstick, 15-30 second intervals is good, with stirring in between). You want the consistency to be quite liquid, as lipstick will solidify quickly at room temperature.

6. Add the other colours, a small amount at a time, and heat further to melt. Make sure it’s all incorporated in before you add more – lipsticks from different brands often melt at different temperatures, and you don’t want to end up with hidden lumps of unmixed colour!

Getting pretty close with mine!

7. Once you’re happy with the colour, melt it once more and scoop it into the container of your choice. If it’s in chunks and you’d like it to lie flat in the container, you can secure it, then blast it with a hairdryer to melt it (make sure the container is heatproof before you do this, and make sure you secure it – a hairdryer blast is surprisingly powerful!). Be careful, hairdryers can get very very hot!

To stick it into a wind-up lipstick (optional):

1. Clean out an old container – I’m using the case of ulta3 Vixen.

2. Find a pen or other cylindrical object that fits in quite nicely in the holder. I’m using a white-out pen.

3. Wrap foil around the object, then flatten the end.

You should end up with a little foil tube like this, with one closed end and one open end.

4. Transfer completed custom lippie to the tube – you’ll want to stabilise it somehow (I’ve put it in a mini jam jar). If it’s all lumpy, blast it with a hairdryer, but be careful – the air from the hairdryer can knock your tube over, and it gets very hot! Leave it to cool – you can put it in the freezer to speed up the process.

5. Unwrap your lippie…

6. … and jam it into the container. Done! If you don’t like the wrinkles on your lipstick, you can smooth them out with the foil, and if you want, you can cut the lipstick at an angle.

I’m super happy with my colour, and I’ve been wearing it quite a lot! Definitely one of my most successful DIYs so far!

Do you have a lot of unused lippies? Have you thought up any good uses for them? Let me know :)


  1. says

    Wow, this is just crazy! I wouldn’t have thought that you could melt them down like that and have them turn out okay again. I guess it makes sense, though. Nice work!

  2. says

    This is genius! I think I’m gonna combine some lipstick with lip balm (like another DIY you have here) to make a tinted lip balm. Thanks for the idea!

  3. says

    Great your tutorial! Living in Germany, I am lucky to have had a long’time ago a shop selling materials for diy cosmetics and have still a lippie mold B-)

    A little tip, you can use the lip balm “sticks” to pour in the liquid lippie… if you have these down under… do you know what I mean?
    It is possible to mix some eye shadow or blush powder in, too but you have to be careful so it doesn’t get too dry

    You can mix unliked eyeshadow or blush powders, too! (And almost anything with colour… if you’r careful)
    Just as a tip for your lab…
    (I’m in a mixing mode these days, takin part in a nail polish open development from a firm here… just fun!)

    Greetings from Berlin,


  4. says

    Great idea!! Especially the part about using the foil to make a tube shape. I have many unloved lippies and thought about mixing them to something new, but didn’t know about how to make them into tube shape. All I could come up with is put them in pots and I know it’s most unlikely I’ll use them if they’re in pots.

  5. says

    A. You’re amazing.

    B. I have a high percentage of “It’s almost perfect, if only it were a bit redder/pinkier/neutral” lippies and yes, I wanted to mix them, but never got round to it.
    I though about just smooching them together but this… this looks much more efficient :) !

  6. says

    i prefer to use a lip brush to get the last of the lipstick out. … but I have a few very beautiful cases that I want to replace lipsticks in. I will buy a new lipstick, freeze it and take it out carefully to fit into my beautiful Guerlain lip case!

  7. Binu says


    I love your post.

    I’m a bit confused though why we use the tin foil to dry the melted lipstick/ how that works!

    I can’t pour my melted lipstick shade that is hot into the emptied out lipstick tube and have it cool off that way?

    Would it still be in the same shape?

    Thank you!


    • Michelle says

      You can, but it might leak into the gaps around the edge and it’ll be a pain to turn up – when lipsticks are made commercially, they’re usually moulded separately then attached into the lipstick case, unless the case is made especially for pouring into (balm style lipsticks sometimes are).

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