Monday, October 19, 2009

You Already Own the Perfect Lipstick

Really, you do. All of those failed lipsticks, the ones that you can't bring yourself to throw away because you spent so much money on them, they're just waiting for you. Every red that came out too pink, every coral that was too orange, every copper that was too gold, every mauve that was too gray. They are all your perfect lipstick.

The truth is, just like your ex, you had to see something in them when you brought them home, right? Of course you're wondering "What was I thinking?", but now there is an answer. We're going to combine them to enhance good points and downplay the bad points.

Step one, get a bamboo skewer or chopstick, and scrape all of the contents of your lipstick rejects into a metal cup. A measuring cup with a pour spout will be perfect for this. If it doesn't have a pour spout, you can take a pair of pliers and bend the edge to make a point. This is very important later on. Leave a tiny bit of lipstick in the bottom of each lipstick tube. They have a hole in the bottom, and you want to make sure that stays plugged.
Next, add some lip balm, preferably with sunscreen. Also add any blend you like of shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil or jojoba oil. This will make your lipstick smoother and keep your lips soft. If you want a matte lipstick, you can add some mineral makeup powder to take down the shine.
I can't believe I've been hoarding so many of these lipsticks!
Here's a shot of the crazy mish-mash. There's mood lipsticks, lip stains, lip gloss, body butter, jojoba oil, black gothic lipstick (!) hot pink, purple, silver, and a half a dozen reds that kept wanting to turn odd colors on me.
Now, put down tinfoil on your work surface. If you get the counter a bit damp first, the tinfoil will stick in one place and not fly around. Line up your empty cases. You won't need all of them, so ditch the dollar store lipsticks. Be a diva and save the Chanel and Lancombe cases!
Set your mish-mash over a pan of boiling water and stir frequently. It may take a while to melt at first. Resist the urge to put the measuring cup on direct heat. RESIST!
Some lipsticks will melt faster than others, so keep stirring until the mixture is completely smooth, and then stir some more. You can add a little vanilla extract right now if you want to.
Mmmmmmmm, raspberry sparkle! Can you believe how pretty this color is?
Here's the thing that really got me. I had discovered my "one true love" lip gloss, made by MAC. It's the only beauty product I'll drive halfway across town to buy. My new lipstick color is an EXACT MATCH! All those tones that "almost" worked, combined to make my perfect lipstick.
I couldn't photograph the next step, because I was using both of my hands. What you do is take your lipstick tubes and twist them down all the way to the bottom. Very carefully pour the lipstick into your tubes and set them aside to cool. You'll notice that the lipstick will start shrinking. When all the tubes are filled, let them rest for a bit.
While you are pouring, the lipstick will start to get cold. Put it back into the pan with the hot water and let it melt again. Go back and top off all of your lipsticks with a nice smooth dome. Unless you have a lipstick mold you won't get that pointy shape, but who cares?

Now you have a bunch of lipsticks that are all in your perfect shade! I can't believe I have SIXTEEN gorgeous new lipsticks, and I got rid of a shoe box full of ugly rejects. I had a ton of fun doing it, too. It was the perfect rainy day project (and living in Seattle, it's a good thing to have lots of ideas for rainy days!).

Helpful hint: Your perfect lipstick is also the perfect color for blush. Dab some on your fingers or a makeup sponge and use it like rouge. Put it on a shade darker than you think you should, and then set it with loose powder for a glow that will last all day long without touchups. You'll look very healthy and natural.

Disclaimer: PLEASE do not sell or give away your lipsticks! Keep them for yourself. Otherwise you'll be breaking every health and safety law known to mankind, and reusing the lipstick cases for commercial purposes is a violation of the manufacturer's rights.