The easiest pampering activity I could think of is making homemade lip balm. These were my test runs:
1.5 tsp beeswax pellets
3 tsp grapeseed oil (most recipes use sweet almond oil but this was easier for me to find – most oils that are liquid at room temperature will probably be fine)
lipstick for colour (optional) – for this one I only used a sliver, about the size of three grains of rice (it’s so hard to think up a good comparison!)
about 6 drops scented oil (I used cold-pressed lemon essential oil)
few drops vitamin E oil (as an antioxidant)
The colour of the lip balm will lighten as it solidifies.
2. Add scented and vitamin E oils. Since these will be a room temperature, you’ll probably get some of the lip balm solidifying around the cold droplets, but a gentle shake should turn everything liquid again.
3. Pour into containers and allow to cool.
The lip balm solidifies rapidly as it cools, so you need to work quickly through steps 2 and 3. You can re-microwave for 10 seconds or so, but you might boil off some of the volatile scented oil.
This balm is relatively hard, the same texture as a tube of lip balm, but still soft enough to apply lightly with a finger.
Although I quite liked this lip balm, it wasn’t as nourishing as I wanted. So I replaced ½ tsp beeswax with shea butter for my second run:
Recipe #2: Extra-nourishing shea butter lip balm
This makes enough for two 5 mL (0.15 oz) screw-top containers.
1 tsp beeswax
0.5 tsp shea butter
3 tsp grapeseed oil
lipstick for colour (optional – I didn’t use any for this one)
about 6 drops scented oil (I used sweet vanilla fragranced oil)
few drops vitamin E oil
Instructions – as above, with shea butter added in the first step with the beeswax.
The shea butter melts well before the beeswax, since its melting point is 30 to 35 °C (86 to 95 °F).
As the lip balms cool they shrink to give very professional-looking dimples in the middle.
And that’s it! I think my quest to find an easy DIY pampering project was quite successful, although I’m going to experiment with decreasing the solids to make a softer balm next time.
(When I get access to a good set of scales, I’ll work out costs etc. )