Forget spending a mint to import an unusual shade of lipstick — and don’t bother wasting time at a makeup counter, torn between two favorites when you can only afford one (or let’s be real, half if we’re talking high-end brands). With a trusty — and cheap — pack of nontoxic crayons in hand and no schoolyard left to storm, you’re ready to take these artistic faves from your first decade and fulfill the makeup artist dreams of this one.

Crayons come in almost any color you can imagine, but you may not want to shell out for the 120-pack. Get creative — make the color you want by blending two, three or even more crayons together. Any crayon type will do, but name-brand crayons typically work better than generic ones.

  1. Cover the cutting board with paper towels to protect it from wax residue.
  2. Peel the paper off the crayon. If the paper sticks, run it under warm water to loosen it.
  3. Cut the crayon into smaller pieces to make it melt more quickly.

Tips

Go half and half or combine thirds for crayon color mixes so you don’t end up with too much lipstick.

The paraffin wax in crayons melts at a low enough temperature for a candle flame, so you have a choice to make: use a double boiler on the stovetop or a metal ladle over a candle. If you’re worried about burning yourself, the candle method is less risky.

  1. Light a candle or fill the bottom part of a double boiler with water and boil it. (If you are using a double boiler, turn the heat down to a medium temperature.)
  2. Place the crayon pieces, shea butter and oil into a large metal ladle or the top part of a double boiler. If you are using a metal ladle, hold it over the candle flame.
  3. Stir the mixture while it melts to ensure an even consistency and no burning.

You may have to experiment a bit to get the exact color and consistency you want from a lipstick or a lipgloss. Crayons are naturally matte and unyielding — it’s the butters and oils that soften it. For a matte look, increase the amount of crayon used. For a glossy lipstick, increase the amount of oil. For soft, sheer lipgloss, use more shea butter.

Tips

Create a makeshift a double boiler with a pot of water and a glass jar. Simply put the glass jar in the center of the pot, add water and put the item into the jar.

  1. Take the mixture off the heat once it’s melted. Add any glitter and mix it in.
  2. Funnel the mixture into a container and close the lid. Be creative with containers: Choose an empty plastic lip balm tube or wash out a cosmetics tin.
  3. Tap the side of the container with the knife to dislodge any bubbles.
  4. Store the container in a refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Let any crayon residue cool off, then scrape it out of the ladle or double boiler and discard it.