Lip stains have become all the rage, offering long-lasting lip color, impervious to eating, drinking, smoking and wear, without the gloopiness of lipstick. To avoid using expensive store-bought brands and their sometimes less-than-natural ingredients, many women are mixing their own lip stains with ingredients found in their local grocery stores. These terrific stains are simple and inexpensive to make and offer control over the ingredients you use on your lips.
Though not the most natural lip stain choice, Kool-Aid is simple and inexpensive, offering several color choices, including violet, berry, and various reds. To use, simply mix a packet of Kool-Aid with enough water to form a paste. Apply using a cotton swab or lip brush, taking care not to stain outside the lip line. Leave the paste on the lips for three to five minutes to allow it to absorb, then remove the excess with a wet tissue, or lick the residue away. (A word of warning: licking unsweetened Kool-Aid from your lips is not as tasty as you might imagine.) To add a bit of glossiness to the look, top with petroleum jelly, beeswax or your favorite lip balm.
For a more natural option free of artificial dyes, Janice Cox, author of "The Herb Companion," suggests this recipe using dried beet root. Melt two tablespoons of sunflower oil and one tablespoon of grated beeswax in a microwave or saucepan. Though the mixture may separate at first, it will congeal as it cools. Gradually add beet powder and mix until you've attained your desired shade, which may take anywhere from 1/8 to a full teaspoon. With this recipe, you should be able to create shades ranging from pale pink to deep red. It makes approximately an ounce of lip stain.
Variations on this recipe include applying juice from canned or mashed beets directly to your lips with a lip brush or cotton swab. Let the juice absorb for three to five minutes before blotting away the excess. As with Kool-Aid, take great care not to apply outside the lip line, as beet juice can stain quickly and be difficult to remove. For a natural, glossy look, top with beeswax or aloe vera gel mixed with a bit of vitamin E oil.
Other natural lip stain options include fresh berry juice collected from cherries, strawberries or raspberries. Either apply these juices directly to your lips or mix with beeswax or petroleum jelly for a glossier look and feel.
Julie Tridle is a freelance writer living in New Orleans. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Nebraska and writes articles, blogs and website copy on an array of subjects. She has written website copy for tourism websites, plastic surgeons, photographers and accountants.