With the green beauty + minimalist makeup look all the rage, now is the PERFECT time to make this DIY tinted lip balm with mica to sell online.
Tinted lip balm is a moisturizing, protecting salve (just like untinted lip balm) that leaves a sheer color on the lips when applied.
To be 100% clear before you dive into the tutorials below, lip tint is meant to be reapplied throughout the day and does not stick to lips like a lipstick or lip stain does. Because it is lip balm…with tint!
In this article, you’ll learn how to make 6 shades of organic tinted lip balm (with mica) that have sold incredibly well on my e-commerce site.
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links (at no cost to you). Please read the disclosure for more information.
Why Make ORGANIC Tinted Lip Balm?
I can argue the importance of using natural cosmetics all day long, and lip tint is no exception.
Cosmetic formulators love to put flavors and scents into their lip products and they’re very popular, especially amongst a younger market (I still distinctly remember the ‘Strawberry Cheesecake’ lip balm from my youth) – NOT great for the health and wellness of their customers.
Adding flavors and artificial scents make the individual lick their lips more (which dries lips out) and also can cause allergies and sensitivities.
Making your own organic tinted lip balm ensures that you are using ingredients you trust, scenting only with essential oils, and keeping away from lip-drying additives that are completely unnecessary.
Natural Colorants for DIY Lip Balm
In handmade cosmetics, colors can be easily created with mineral pigments (micas and oxides) and ground herbs, roots, and seeds.
Micas are naturally occurring minerals that have been purified and ground into a very fine powder. They are popular in cosmetics and other handmade products (such as soap and candles) since they add a natural shimmery finish.
Cosmetic micas that contain ONLY mica minerals and iron/titanium oxide are considered natural – there are some available on the market that are colored with FD&C colorants, such as blue and green (which we do not promote on our site).
Ground Herbs and Roots
Ground herbs and roots create a vast array of natural colors. While they can be added to handmade soap recipes directly, they are most effectively used in lip colors through infusion.
Both micas and ground plant materials must be labeled as ‘cosmetic grade’ to be safely used in skin care and cosmetic recipes.
Which Type of Colorant is Best for DIY Lip Tints?
DIY tinted lip balm with mica is shimmery, whereas infused root lip tints have more of a berry-kissed look (without shimmer).
The choice depends on your target market – some customers do not consider mica to be natural, whereas others are comfortable using micas as long as they are not artificially colored with lakes and dyes.
This post focuses directly on creating lip tints made with naturally colored mica powders.
Can I Sell Handmade Tinted Lip Balm Online?
According to the FDA Cosmetics Laws & Regulations, tinted lip balm is considered a cosmetic. Under the FD&C Act, cosmetics do not require approval to be sold.
That being said, if you use certain terminology in your product name, on your label, or in your online sales page description that implies your lip tint can heal, cure, or be a treatment, you’ll be putting your products in the ‘drug’ category – which DOES require approval before selling.
Once you hit on a few shades that you love and can market in a way that keeps them in the ‘cosmetic’ category, you absolutely SHOULD sell your tinted lip balm – online, in person, in singles, in bulk…any way you can think of.
Since the no-makeup-makeup look is trending big time, it is such an easy thing to promote on social media to get some eyes on your natural skin care line.
There are exponential ways to combine lip colors into gift sets (either together or with other products that you make).
Here are a few of my top-selling listings to get your ideas rolling:
How Much Does it Cost to Make DIY Tinted Lip Balm with Mica?
The tinted lip balm base doesn’t cost that much at all – when calculated out individually, the balm ingredients are only nine cents a tube.
Micas are what drive up the cost of this product, as each jar is about fifteen dollars (there are eleven colors used to make the six shades in this tutorial).
That being said, mica has an infinite shelf life and they have paid for themselves tenfold in my own shop; if you market yourself well there’s no reason to expect any different for your own line.
The other costs come down to your own business decisions:
• The type of packaging that would attract your customers to buy
• How you decide to get your labels printed
• The unboxing experience you choose to provide
Organic DIY Tinted Lip Balm Recipe with Mica
DIY Lip Tint Making Supplies:
Organic Lip Tint Ingredients:
Organic Lip Tint with Mica Recipe:
1. Fill saucepan with a couple of inches of tap water. Put your double boiler on top of the sauce pan, making sure a portion of the bottom is submerged to heat properly.
2. Measure out ingredients in ramekins on the scale. Add to the double boiler:
- 1 oz. organic beeswax
- 1/2 oz. organic shea butter
- 1/2 oz. organic jojoba oil
- 1/2 oz. organic sweet almond oil
- 1/2 oz. organic castor oil
3. Put the pan on your stove or hot plate on low heat and wait for the ingredients to melt.
While the ingredients would melt faster at a high temperature, this compromises the benefits of the natural ingredients – as well as make plastic lip balm containers melt or leak.
Mix with a glass stir rod as it melts to speed up the process.
Give a final stir once all ingredients are melted and the base is completely transparent.
4. Add the designated amount of mica (see six different color blend options further down in this post) – mix together until all clumps are gone and the color is consistent throughout the heated liquid.
Remove from heat, add the following, then mix with a glass stir rod:
- 4 drops of Vitamin E
- 15 drops of organic lavender essential oil
- 15 drops of organic peppermint essential oil
5. Transfer liquid balm into heat-safe containers (options listed below) based on your business branding.
If filling tubes, use plastic pipettes until there is about 1/4″ of space left from the top and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Continue stirring the liquid balm as you pour – the mica quickly settles to the bottom of the double boiler and you want it to stay evenly dispersed for consistent application.
6. After the lip tint has hardened for several minutes, fill the tube the rest of the way.
As the tint is hardening it creates a ‘sink hole’ in the middle of your poured balm when it is in a tube.
Letting it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before filling completely will result in a more aesthetically pleasing product.
7. Once your tinted lip balm has hardened, you can safely add the caps and lids to your balm container.
Label and safety seal according to your personal branding.
How to Tint Your Lip Balm with Mica Powder
Mica is mixed straight into the heated lip balm base while still on the stove – it works best if the balm is stirred after each new color is added to reduce the chance of the mica clumping up.
You’ll want to stir pretty consistently as you are transferring the liquid balm into the containers, as the mica settles back to the bottom of the double boiler quickly.
The six shades of mica tinted lip balm below are just suggestions – I look forward to seeing new combinations you create for your own line!
Colorless Shimmer Lip ‘Tint’
Light Pink DIY Lip Tint with Mica
Dark Pink DIY Lip Tint with Mica
Light Brown DIY Lip Tint with Mica
Medium Brown DIY Lip Tint with Mica
Dark Brown DIY Lip Tint with Mica
How to Market Your DIY Lip Tints to Sell Online
Lucky for us, the natural skin care and cosmetic industry is trending up, up, UP – if you have branded your business well, you’ll have no problem selling your tinted lip balms.
The biggest issue with marketing lip tint is their COLOR!
Firstly, they are very sheer and meant to provide a barely-there look. This is difficult to capture on camera depending on the shade.
Secondly, all cosmetics look different based on the skin color they are applied to.
This is a FANTASTIC opportunity to get your customers involved in your marketing! Ask willing volunteers to send in selfies while wearing the lip tint – user-generated content (UGC) is one of the best marketing strategies for cosmetics.
You could also send free products in exchange for pictures from your audience! Promote your giveaway on Instagram or other social channels:
“New lip color in the making! Needing all you beauties that are comfortable having your selfie used in my marketing to hit me up! Specifically needing light, fair, medium, mid brown, dark brown, and very dark brown skin tones! If you want to model my new pale pink lip shimmer, send me a DM!”
Branding for Your Handmade Lip Tint Business
Tinted Lip Balm Containers
The containers that you decide to use for your organic tinted lip balm entirely depend on the niche you are trying to sell to.
You are not going to successfully sell a $10 sustainably packaged lip tint to a college student, just like you wouldn’t successfully sell a plastic tube to the eco-conscious retiree.
Think about your specific target market and their lifestyle, beliefs, and financial situation fully before deciding on your lip color packaging.
PLASTIC LIP BALM TUBES
If you sell regular lip balm in your shop, you can easily save money by using the same exact packaging. And that means you can stick to the same size labels as well!
If your target market has a budget, these plastic tubes are a great choice. They come in a variety of colors, and you can even get oval-shaped containers, which are growing in popularity.
THIN LINE LIP BALM TUBES
Another plastic tube option, yet in a more feminine, cosmetic-y form. Thin lip balm tubes only contain 0.07 ounces of product, about half the amount of a regular lip balm tube.
Having a different container can be helpful when quickly looking through an online shop, making the variety of products easier to identify. Up to your branding!
PAPERBOARD LIP BALM TUBES
Paperboard is a recycled material that sells well with an eco-conscious target market that has a larger budget.
It still has the functionality of a plastic tube, but with a push-up bottom rather than a turn dial.
Paperboard lip balm tubes are twice the size of standard lip balm, so your customers can expect to pay more for the extra product as well as the packaging.
Labeling Your Lip Tint
Your tinted lip balm labels need to be as carefully considered as the actual container.
When considering your labels, think about the material:
- A plastic-coated label will hold up well if used on a tube going in a pants pocket.
- A kraft paper label makes sense if your customer is going to recycle the container.
- A clear label would show the color of your packaging or lip color inside.
When designing your label, consider font pairings that will speak to your target market.
Younger audiences gravitate more towards casual, sans-serif fonts.
The mature audience tends to lean towards a more traditional serif font.
Even though tinted lip balm is not regulated by the FDA, you still need to follow labeling standards.
Marie Gale’s book on Soap and Cosmetic Labeling is a highly reviewed resource for those in the United States, but laws vary by country.
Pending specific requirements for your particular country, the following elements are considered the ‘bare necessities’ when it comes to label info and design: company name, logo, product name, ingredients, instructions for use, your website url.
More Branding Ideas for Your Skin Care Business
These six tinted lip balm shades have earned my business thousands of dollars and HUNDREDS of happy reviews.
But guess what? I have given this recipe away to MANY other sellers. And I’m still able to make a living selling the actual lip tint that customers buy from me.
How??? Because our customers aren’t just buying a natural lip color…they’re buying an experience with our brand specifically.
The absolute BEST thing that you can do to sell your tinted lip balm (or any other handmade skin care product in your line) is making sure your business branding is speaking directly to your chosen target market.
To have a high-converting product and a business that customers return to again and again, you need your skin care line to be consistently branded in every product you sell, color you use, and email you send.
Whether you are just getting started in your entrepreneurial journey or are considering a rebrand, be sure to check out the Skin Care Business Branding Guide below!