i have a slight obsession with lip balm. i probably have around fifty right now. i’ve dreamt about eos at least two times this year already. but good lip balms can be a little pricey (i really paid $7 for one from sephora), especially when you buy them as often as i do, so i’ve been learning how to make my own. it’s a pretty quick process, & i think all the ingredients are natural, except for maybe the flavoring & coloring, but those are optional.
so here’s the recipe! let me know in the comments if you try it out. :)
materials: – small glass jar
– stirring stick
– lip balm tubes
the first step is to measure out equal parts shea butter, beeswax, & almond oil & put them all in a small glass jar. the recipe calls for one tablespoon of each, but i’m pretty sure i used half of that because i only wanted two tubes of lip balm.
fill your pot with water & put the jar with ingredients inside. it doesn’t really matter how much water you use as long as it doesn’t go over the rim over the jar. put the pot on the stove over medium heat.
once the mixture has melted, add lip stick shavings for color & stir them in until they’re fully integrated. the balm generally cools to be a lighter color, so keep that in mind.
then add your extract! you’ve really just got to experiment to see how much flavoring to add. i had to use quite a bit of peach extract because it’s not as strong as some flavors, like peppermint, which you only need a few drops of. but there’s really no right or wrong amount, it just depends on how flavorful you want your lip balm to be.
once you’ve got your coloring & flavoring blended in, use your pipette to suck up the mixture & deposit it in a lip balm tube. fill it all the way to the top because it’s going to condense as it cools.
put it in the fridge for an hour or two or until it’s cooled all the way through. & then you’re done! the whole process (minus cooling time) takes about twenty minutes, tops, & you get smooth & shiny lip balm as a result.
i’ve given five different flavors to my best friend over the years (raspberry, peppermint, tangerine, vanilla, & peach), & she says that likes them more than store bought lip balm. she even used up the whole tube of raspberry in less than a year, so that should say something about how good this recipe is.
what’s your favorite lip balm flavor? do you prefer lip stick, balm, or gloss?
i just adore skincare. doing my skincare routine at the end of the day while listening to music is one of my favorite ways to relax. my skin is pretty sensitive and dry, so the products i use generally focus on hydrating and cleansing.
obviously, there are tons of products out there that would likely give you better results, but those are all too expensive for me to use on a regular basis. i pick my products based on how affordable they are and if they still produce good results.
i’ve linked to each product that i talk about, and they’re arranged in the order that i use them.
| daily products |
cetaphil gentle foaming cleanser – it’s not sticky, there’s no scent, it’s not drying, and it doesn’t irritate my skin at all (and for someone with sensitive skin, that’s rather rare). it also takes off makeup really easily without a lot of scrubbing.
LUSH tea tree water toner – i don’t currently use this, because it’s a little too expensive for me to keep as a staple part of my skincare routine. but i tried it out last summer and really loved it. it’s infused with tea tree oil, which is useful for treating breakouts. also, it just feels so refreshing on my face and gets rid of any extra dirt or makeup that my cleanser didn’t wash off.
toners aren’t a necessary part of a skincare routine, but if you’re interested in improving your skin and you have some extra money, i would definitely recommend this one.
clean & clear essentials dual action facial moisturizer – i first used this moisturizer all the way back in early middle school and it’s still my favorite. i think there’s a fine line between moisturizers being too heavy or not doing their job, and this one is right in the middle. it soaks in easily and soothes red or dry spots.
olay complete all day moisturizer with sunscreen SPF 15 – personally, i think this moisturizer is a little too heavy, and it takes too much effort to rub into my skin, which is why i only use it in the summertime. if i know i’m going to be outside all day and don’t want to get burned, i’ll put a little bit of this on with my clean & clear moisturizer.
clean & clear advantage acne spot treatment – because i have dry skin, spot treatments are sort of intimidating. i want to dry out any blemishes, but i also don’t want to make my skin even more desert-like. this product is a bit of a miracle worker because it reduces swelling/redness overnight.
| favorite masks |
freeman feeling beautiful manuka honey & tea tree oil clay mask & cleanser – this is my absolute favorite mask right now! personally, i think the tea tree oil scent takes a little bit of time to get used to, but overall it smells very clean and refreshing. it dries ridiculously fast and is really light, although it does take some scrubbing to get off. the freeman website says it’s helpful for oily or acne-prone skin. the only thing about this mask that’s disappointing to me is that it’s white instead of yellow, which is what i was expecting. and that’s not really an issue with the product itself, that’s just me being sad that it’s not a pretty color.
yes to tomatoes detoxifying charcoal mud mask – this mask is specifically designed to treat acne, so i use it whenever i’m having a breakout. it leaves my skin really soft and reduces the swelling of blemishes. my only complaint is that the charcoal sometimes stains my sink and towels a light gray, but it comes off with a bit of scrubbing.
freeman feeling beautiful avocado & oatmeal clay mask – this mask has a slight oatmeal scent to it and is a gorgeous sky blue color. it dries very quickly and feels like it’s barely on your face at all. also, you don’t need to scrub at all to rinse it off. it’ll wash off easily with just a bit of water. this mask leaves me feeling very relaxed, and with super soft skin. also, i’m pretty sure that i read on the freeman website that it’s supposed to help with acne.
so that’s my skincare routine! let me know if the comments if you’ve tried out any of these products, and what your skincare routine is, if you have one.
i had a birthday awhile ago, and i finally got around to putting together a haul for you guys. the gifts from my friends/family are all extremely thoughtful and i’m so grateful for everything i received!
i didn’t plan anything crazy this year, like when i took my friends to d.c. for my last birthday. this time, we just went out for dinner and then watched clueless at my house while eating homemade soft pretzels and discussing astrology. i was trying to combine two friend groups (homeschool friends + public school friends), and that made things kind of awkward, but i’m still thankful that everyone made an effort to bridge the gap for me.
notebook & paper mate candy pop felt tip pens – my favorite section leader from marching band gave these to me and told me that it’s a new poem notebook. i never really talk to any of my friends about my poetry, so i was really touched that she knew that about me.
the notebook that i currently use for poetry is from a camp friend, and it’s still mostly empty. but my journal is approximately ¾ full, so i think i’ll start using this one as a journal once i run out of pages in the other one.
candy bars – nothing makes me feel more loved than when people remember tiny details about me, like what my favorite types of candy are (anything mint or coconut!). that’s why something as simple as candy from someone i love made my day. :)
megan sent me the sweet card on the left, and the small one with the fish is from a girl in drumline. they’re both so gorgeous and my friends’ artistic talent is amazing to me.
(i’ve come to the conclusion that my friends only buy me makeup/skincare stuff because they are tired of my facing looking the way that it is.)
freeman feeling beautiful avocado + oatmeal clay mask – despite their messiness, i prefer clay masks over sheet ones. i guess i like being able to move without worrying about the mask slipping off? anyway, this mask is such a pretty sky blue color and i can’t wait for a night when i have enough time to try it.
under eye gold gel mask, purifying black charcoal mask, & hydrogel lip patch – i always have really dark shadows under my eyes (thanks, insomnia), so maybe the under eye mask will help with that.
baby lips cherry me, pink punch, and my pink – my sweet friend from math class picked these out for me because they’re her personal favorite. i’d never tried baby lips before, but now i really love them. i adore the red tint from cherry me, and my pink smells incredible.
milani flashing light holographic lip topper – this is maybe the weirdest lip product i’ve ever used. i tried it on when i first got it, and it genuinely looks like i put glitter glue on my lips. also, it has this really distinct smell that’s somewhere in between candy, icing, and cookie dough.
e.l.f. moonlight pearls highlight – last halloween, my friend izzy and i were playing around with facepaint to go along with our costumes. i was particularly fond of some white glitter paint, which i used in lieu of highlight. i giggled all evening and took tons of pictures of myself because i loved the way the sparkles looked in the autumn light. it makes me so happy that my friends remembered how much i loved it and then went to the trouble of getting me an actual highlight!
squishmallow pug dog – izzy walked into the restaurant carrying an enormous white trash bag with this cutie stuffed inside. she flipped between proudly announcing that it was the Best Gift Ever and telling me that i would probably hate it. as it turns out, i don’t hate the pug at all, and his name is turtle, and he feels exactly like a giant marshmallow. there is no other way to describe it.
gap year in ghost town by michael pryor – a school friend got this paranormal book for me! it’s been on my TBR for a while, and obviously i’m really excited to read it. it sounds similar to the lockwood & co. series by jonathan stroud, which is one of my favorites, so i have high hopes for this. :)
recipe book – my grandma knows that i enjoy cooking, so she put together a cookbook for me with the help of my great aunt. it already has pages and pages of their favorite recipes with handwritten notes, and it’s such a sweet, thoughtful gift. there are a few meat-based recipes that i doubt i’ll be making anytime soon (april marks my fifth month of being vegetarian!), but i am still so touched by this cookbook.
again, i am so thankful for all the thoughtful gifts i received! it was probably the most chill party i’ve ever had, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. i feel like i would’ve preferred celebrating on my own, though? who knows.
what do you usually do for you birthday? i tend to come up with super complicated cake ideas and chat in the kitchen with my mom as she struggles to create them.
christmas has come and gone, and i’m actually glad that it’s out of the way for another year. i just couldn’t seem to make myself excited about the holiday season, so all the parties and events were a bit of a headache. i feel like a brat for saying that, but i just wasn’t in the spirit this time around.
despite not being that into it, i celebrated on many different occasions. some of my friends and i had a mini christmas feast during lunch. my friends from co-op and i went out to watch the new grinch movie and had bubble tea. i got to see my band and choir friends perform at a christmas concert at school. my best friend and i had a christmas tea. i baked cookies and drank hot cocoa by a lake in the rain. my family saw a christmas carol at a shakespeare center on christmas eve. we visited family on christmas and the day after. just a lot of festive events stuffed into winter break.
before i get into what i got for christmas, i want to make it clear that i’m absolutely not trying to brag. i just enjoy reading and writing haul posts, and this is for people who like them, too. i’m extremely thankful for everything that i received.
with that out of the way, here are some gifts that the amazing, generous people in my life blessed me with. :)
(by the way, photo quality is not super great throughout this post. my camera is being stubborn and no matter what i do, the photos refuse to turn out clear consistently. i’m probably getting a new camera soon, but until then, pictures will be a bit blurry.)
i usually do everything i can to get out of buying full priced books, and i must say that i’ve become somewhat of an expert at it (you can see my tips for getting cheap books here). but there are some books that i just can’t find anywhere and have to end up paying what they’re actually worth. the books that i got for christmas fall under that category. (although since they were gifts, i didn’t really have to pay for them myself, but still.)
the ultimate hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy
uncle montague’s tales of terror
monstrous affections: an anthology of beastly tales
flashback (kotlc #7)
dr. bird’s advice for sad poets
i am so excited to read these books! especially dr. bird’s advice for sad poets, because that one has been on my TBR for awhile.
i got a little bit of jewelry. the necklace is from a girl from my church and has tiny dried flowers inside! and while i don’t wear earrings very often, i wore the glittery bell ones a few times over the holidays. i love how they jingle whenever i nod or move my head.
my mom is an artist who does watercolors and oil painting, and she’s been trying to get me into her kind of art for as long as i can remember. and i do like art, but i’m more partial to drawing than painting. however, she’s still very determined, so she got me a set of winsor & newton watercolors with twelve different paint colors. i still don’t think i’ll ever really like painting as much as my mom does, but it seems like a good quality set, and i’m excited to try it out.
i wanted a portable charger to take with me to summer camp and on long bus rides to competitions next band season, so my mom got me this. it seems to be a pretty good model, but it’s also large and heavy, which makes me wonder how portable it is. it certainly won’t fit in my pocket next to my phone like my friend’s does. however, i’m still thankful to have it, and my mom did say that we could look into finding a less clunky one.
i got a whole lot of beauty products, which is sort of weird because everyone knows that i’m not that into makeup (just lip glosses, really). but these look fun so i won’t complain that much. i got a LUSH lip scrub that i talked about here, a honeydew/honeysuckle eos, and several lip products from sephora. there’s a honey lip scrub that you apply just like any chapstick, but it leaves your lips soft and shiny. and the banana lip balm, which has such cute packaging and smells just like banana candy.
i also got a lip balm making set (the flavors are raspberry, cherry, french vanilla, and chocolate mint)!
my friend gave me a bunch of face masks, plus some african black soap makeup wipes. i’ve genuinely only used one face mask in my life, so i’m excited to try these out and see if they work.
the same friend got me sephora’s midnight kisses lipstick set! it comes with six different colors: celebrate (#12), wanderlust (#33), a little magic (#22), landing in shanghai (#2), festival lights (#51), and golden gates (#31). i’m not a huge fan of lipstick, but this set has some fun colors that will hopefully help me branch out from just glosses.
my friends kelsie, izzy, and i had lunch together at tropical smoothie cafe one day after christmas, and kelsie surprised us with christmas presents. my gift included these super soft black slippers, peppermint lotion, and a bath bomb.
and here comes the Big Gift: i had unwrapped a box to find a single, folded sheet of paper inside. the only thing printed on it was this photo of boston, massachusetts.
around september, i found out that music students/marching band members are allowed to go on a trip to boston in the spring. of course i wanted to go, because i love traveling and wanted to hang out with my band friends after marching season and pep band were over. but the trip is ridiculously expensive, so my mom vetoed the idea pretty quickly, and the spots filled up even faster. but apparently there were eight spots still open by christmas, and my mom had found the money for it somewhere, so i might get to go to boston in the spring! my band director hasn’t emailed back to confirm that there’s a spot for me, but i’m hoping it will work out.
what’s the best thing you gave/received this christmas?
basically the only beauty products i use regularly are lip glosses and balms (i currently have 50+ . . . it’s an issue), so i thought i’d share which ones are my favorites.
also, any of these would make great stocking stuffers for christmas! they’re fairly cheap, easy to find, and they’ll be used and appreciated for months. just a suggestion in case any of you are struggling with gift ideas.
LUSH lip scrub (mint julips)
this is the only sugar scrub i’ve used in my life, so i can’t really compare it to anything else, but it’s an amazing product. it’s very minty in flavor and smell, but not too much as to be overpowering. and it barely takes any amount of the scrub to make your lips soft, so it should last for quite awhile. also, it’s made from all natural ingredients, so once you’ve exfoliated your lips you can just lick off the extra sugar. pair this with a good lip balm and your lips will be softer than ever before.
anastasia beverly hills lip gloss (moon jelly)
this is the best lip gloss that i own. it’s clear and super shiny, with bits of purple sparkles in it to make it stand out. also, it smells and tastes like vanilla, which i love. it’s not sticky, the shimmer and color last, and it adds a unique pop to your look.
vaseline lip therapy (rosy lips)
this makes your lips look full and gives them a pink tint, but the color is subtle enough to look natural. the downsides are that it’s sort of heavy and you can definitely feel it on your lips, and it’s hard to get off your fingers after you’ve applied it. but it’s also the most hydrating balm that i own.
softlips (watermelon & vanilla)
softlips is my absolute favorite brand for lip balm. i take one of these with me everywhere. it’s not sticky or greasy, it has SPF 20 in it, and they all smell incredible. you can also get softlips pearl, which has an added pink shimmer to it.
soap & glory sexy mother pucker XL extreme-plump
i think this product is pretty weird, but i’m including it anyway because i have a fascination with it regardless. i’m not exactly sure what it smells like (maybe vanilla?), but it’s good. the lip gloss is supposed to plump your lips using natural oils, and while i haven’t noticed that happening, it does immediately make them buzz and tingle. despite not really plumping your lips, it’s super glossy, easy to apply, and not sticky at all.
i’m always looking for new lip balms/glosses, so tell me in the comments what your favorite products are!