Monday, April 12, 2010

Lip Smackin'

Soft, smoochable lips. Do I want ‘em? You bet. Do I have ‘em? Not a chance. So I decided to try something completely new and I made my own lip balm. (By the way, smoochable is totally a word. Spell check be damned.) I followed Ann Marie’s recipe from the Soap Queen blog. (If you click here you can follow it too.) The lip balm turned out very nicely, but I was a little disappointed in the project.

First off, this project was EXPENSIVE for the amount of lip balm I wanted to make. You only need a couple of teaspoons of each ingredient, but of course you’ve got to buy a whole whopping lot of each item because, well, that’s the quantity it’s sold in. The beeswax alone, for a 1 lb block was around $18. Before you start thinking I’m crazy for paying that amount for a “fun” project I’ll tell you the 2 reasons I went ahead with it.

1. I work for a craft store. I get an employee discount that makes enough of a difference in cutting the costs to make the projects worthwhile for me. Also, I had a 50% off coupon for the beeswax.

2. I have also recently started to dabble in cold process soap making. All of the ingredients used to make the lip balm can also be used in this hobby as well. So sure I bought a 1 lb block of beeswax and only used 2 teaspoons of it, but the leftovers won’t just be a rotting waste of money in the craft closet some place. They have other purposes for me.

The second disappointment about the project pertained to the measurements for all the ingredients. I just estimated by looking at my teaspoon measure, but some of them are just silly. For example, the recipe calls for 2/3 of a teaspoon of olive oil. I have 3 sets of measuring spoons in my possession and none of them have a 1/3, let alone, a 2/3 teaspoon measure. Another one of the weird ones was for the optional 1/16 teaspoon of honey. Who has a 1/16th teaspoon measure? I’ve never even heard of that. Like I said, I just guessed. The lip balm hardened just fine, so apparently I wasn’t too far off.

I ended up with 3 full twist tubes, 1 full lip balm pot, and another pot that was half full. If I wanted I could keep melting and pouring and have enough lip balm to last me a year with all the ingredients I have left. I think I’ll hold off on that, but I may look into finding a way to add flavoring for another batch.

My general findings for this project:

1. Fun to try, execution was really easy.

2. Only kid safe if they know how to handle hot things, and definitely with adult supervision since you’re melting using the stove top and not the microwave.

3. Best if you know you want LOTS of lip balm. (Think party favors or stocking stuffers.) Otherwise, too expensive unless you can find smaller quantities of ingredients.

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