DIY Black Lipstick For Crafty Goths Like Me

This DIY is in at every disco.
Publish date:
February 25, 2015
DIY, activated charcoal, essential oils, fashion week, black lipstick, diy lipstick

Unless you're fancy enough to have car service, New York Fall Fashion Week is no cake-walk. It's impossible to get a cab and the streets are fraught with as many patches of black ice as there are telephoto lenses. Spring Fashion Week, in September, is much more fun IMHO.

My takeaway from the fall 2015 shows? Gloomy and brooding is in. Nods to rock subcultures continue, with elements of goth style peppered in. One item essential to embracing your Addams Family Values is black lipstick, which, I'm here to tell you, is very simple to DIY.

With six ingredients and a few supplies, you can make enough black lipstick to fill eight small Chapstick tubes.

The lipsticks will last about a year under sanitary conditions, but you can also pass them to friends who appreciate the lord of darkness and/or listen to Slayer. I used a light hand of clove and cinnamon essential oils to give it a Djarum clove cigarette scent.


  • Microwave safe glass cup or bowl
  • Stirring implement
  • Pipettes or a glass dropper to dispense the formula
  • Kitchen scale
  • Waxed paper to line work space
  • Measuring spoons
  • Bartenders' jigger or small measuring cup
  • Containers for the lipstick
  • Base oil (I used castor and grape seed)
  • Beeswax pellets
  • Cocoa butter
  • Zinc oxide powder or cream
  • About four activated charcoal capsules
  • Essential oils to use as fragrance

Optional cheap and helpful tool to grab if you are a frequent DIYer: a lip balm tray. They make it a breeze to load up tubes with whatever you like, and are super easy to clean. I am a fan.

INSTRUCTIONSWeigh 4 grams of beeswax, 11 grams of cocoa butter, and 2 teaspoons of oil into the glass cup.

Microwave in short bursts (total time is depends on the behavior of your unit) until the mixture is fully melted. It shouldn’t take much longer than melting butter.

Pour in 1-½ teaspoons of charcoal powder and ½ teaspoon of zinc oxide into the melted base and stir thoroughly.

Add a few drops of essential oil for scent.

I did a bit of clove and cinnamon cassia, not too much, as they can both be irritating, but I love cassia to play the role of cinnamon stinging lip stuff, so I add a drop or two extra. For a batch of this size, you’d need around 5-6 drops altogether, closer to 10 if you want to feel the burn.

Dispense into lip balm containers. You can also use recycled and cleaned lip balm tins, a jar, or cut the recipe in half and stick in clean contact storage cases.

That’s all, folks!

This is a bit glossy, which is how I wanted to make it, since too much powder is actually harder to dispense and mix up, and tends to make a bigger mess not only in your workspace, but on your face. If you want more opacity and a matte finish, adda half teaspoon of clay powder to the mix.

Putting this on makes me feel like Fairuza Balk, a dark and intense seductress, seen often on the runway this season, and even more frequently stomping around downtown. Goth looks often do the opposite of aging us, they make us look young, brash, and powerful. So embrace the darkness more frequently with this balm. You will be able to better channel your skills in the dark arts with a clove-y, ciggy-scented power balm.

  • Black lipstick fans: How often do you dress like a babe of darkness?
  • Are you going to share these lip colors with your friends and start a coven?

Photos by Darnell Scott