What No One Tells You About Making Cosmetics

As some of you know, I’ve been making my own line of lip products on and off for a few years now. Perfectionism is checking every little detail is put into each lipstick, while I’m making sure I stick to my nonexistent budget and the most cost effective price I want to sell them at.

Aside from all the endless shades you can create and the reward that comes with making your own cosmetics, there’s some things that I’ve noticed many DIY sites don’t tell you about this whole adventure.

Good thing I’m here!.. Lets start, shall we?


It’s Harder Than You Think (in Some Ways)

I did go into this a little doe-eyed. I knew it wasn’t going to be very easy and there would be times I’d get frustrated; but I underestimated my own perfectionism and how I suck with getting the right bases I wanted.
Let me explain what I mean by ‘bases’. Quite simply, it’s the base to your lipstick/gloss/scrub; before all the colours and scent. My lipsticks are castor oil-based with natural waxes (like candelilla and carnauba wax) and the glosses are being tested with two already-made bases.
To really dig my perfection hole a little deeper, I wanted different consistencies such as sheer glosses, matte lipsticks, normal lipsticks etc. Everything coming down to very detailed and boring measurements.

This is the part that I enjoy the least and the part in making lip products that takes the longest. I’m sure it’s not rocket science to a lot of people, but it’s definitely something that’s made me want to put my head in the microwave on multiple occasions.


It’s Easier Than You Think (in Some Ways)

When you finally get the right base you can work with (as well as the tools you need), the real fun begins. One thing to remember is that if your mixture starts to harden and a bit difficult to mix, just pop it back in the microwave and continue making your Holy Grail.

Another thing I’ve found easy is matching my mix to a red or pink shade I already own, but you know what’s actually more fun? Getting to that right shade, then just adding something else that’s completely you. If it’s unique, everything falls into place so easily and before you know it you’ve just powered through making different shades in only an hour. Everything becomes second nature.



You Will Destroy Something

Whether it will be a bowl, a shot glass, spoons, the cupboards or even the microwave, you will destroy something, no matter how careful you are. I cannot stress how important it is to have disposable equipment or even just items that you have that are old and don’t mind going all crazy on.

So, what did I destroy? That’s between my old whisk and me.



The Microwave is Your Everything

If you are like Vivien Harmon from American Horror Story and don’t want anything to do with a microwave, then you’re taking a harder road, honey.
Some ingredients you purchase will only melt at a high temperature, that’s when double boiling over the stove top is going to be your only reprieve from a microwave. See, if you’re doing tests or just making small quantities for gifts, you’re going to waste your time cleaning and trying to spoon out every bit of ingredient left in your containers.

You know what I use the in the microwave? A ceramic soy dish I might have taken from a local Sushi Train.. leave me alone, it’s perfect to mix small batches in!


Scot/Paper Towels and Cheap Dishwashing Liquid Are Your Best Friends

Spillage and getting mixture on the counter tops and in the microwave will happen (like the ‘destroying crap’ scenario), so paper towels (and more than one roll of it) must be there on standby. If there’s another thing that is essential, it’s dishwashing liquid. You don’t have to go all expensive; just some cheap stuff (I use a no-named brand) does the trick in cleaning up my oil-based products.
Both of these things are really cheap and can be bought in bulk which is great, especially if you’re intending to make large quantities of cosmetics.


You Will Spend A Lot of Cash on the Start-Up Ingredients

If are thinking about making your own cosmetics to sell, I can tell you right now- the most overlooked aspect of all this is that no matter how much you plan for equipment and ingredients you want or need to get, you will spend more than you thought on the start-up ingredients in some way.
In my case, I bought too little of my much needed bases for both the lipsticks and glosses. I thought I could get away with 4oz of a lipgloss base, boy did I misjudge that. To make it sting even more, I get my supplies from overseas, which makes shipping not fun at all.

What about to sweeten the deal? Flavourings for the lip products are- in the nicest way I can say it- a joke. I’ve found the two flavourings I want for my products on two different sites (to get them the cheapest and I still don’t know if they’ll be nice) but the quantities are very small.

So between misjudging quantities, finding stores that rip you off completely and shipping, you might find yourself spending a bit more in some areas than you thought.


It’s Very Addictive

It’s a good thing I plan on having quite a few colours and consistencies! From planning the colours and packaging, or even just making the colours itself; it is super addictive to make cosmetics from scratch! The most addictive thing for me was exploring different shades with the micas and pigments, it’s a lot of fun playing scientist with the colours and is actually strangely theraputic.



Research Until Your Eyeballs Fall Out

I’ve been tossing around the idea of making lipsticks back in August 2012 and thought I might actually have it up and running by November that year. Yes, everything.

It’s now mid-May 2016, so what happened to that release date of November? Well, Christmas, many birthdays, unexpected payments and trips, life in general and not-so-great personal issues have arisen as well as the ugly head of my own perfectionism, loads of trial and error on ingredients and changing of many of the ‘visions’ I had for these lipsticks.
You would think that I would be a bit upset that I still haven’t starting selling them, but that’s not the case; it’s actually been a blessing.
As I said above, I’ve changed a lot of things around and researched like a detective, not only from outside influences etc, but researched what I wanted from all of this. It was possibly the best thing that could have happened
Will the lipsticks come out in next year like I’m hoping for? Maybe not, but they will be very close to completion and I definitely know they will be ready well before the end of the year. I don’t mind if I completely change half of it (my wallet, on the other hand..), because I know that the end result will be something I’ll be proud of and ready to show off, give to love ones and all the fun that comes with playing Make Up Ninja.

One thought on “What No One Tells You About Making Cosmetics

  1. Pingback: Common Beauty Misconceptions | Elle Does Stuff

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