This easy-to-make (3 ingredients!) DIY lip stain makes the prettiest color for your lips—and it works for cheeks, too! Beet powder creates a natural color, and the combination of shea butter and castor oil makes a super-nourishing base that's lightweight and perfect for summer.
If you've read this blog for long, then you know we make a lot of stuff. I mean, you should see my bathroom. It's a nightmare of bottles and jars of concoctions to test out. Some make the cut, and some sit for so long I completely forget what's in them (apparently that's what labels are for).
But this lip + cheek stain recipe is one I am so excited about. Because I love, love, love it. I'm all about 'no makeup' in the summer. Multi-use makeup that I can apply with my finger is even better.
Castor oil — Castor oil is very hydrating (it works great on eyelashes) and has a nice, thick texture that makes this recipe feel smooth and glossy. It is known for preserving moisture, and its fatty acids leave the skin feeling nourished.
Shea butter — Shea butter is such a silky, creamy ingredient. It provides healing moisture and also gives the blush its staying power on the lips and cheeks.
Beetroot powder — Using beetroot powder for coloring is the perfect natural option for getting a rosy glow. Plus, beetroot contains anti-inflammatory compounds and powerful antioxidants called phytochemicals that heal damaged cells [source].
See recipe card for quantities.
Start by combining the shea butter and castor oil in a heat-proof measuring cup placed in a small saucepan filled with about an inch of water.
Heat over low heat until the shea butter is melted, then give it a good stir. Add the beetroot powder and give it another stir.
You may find that the beet powder wants to sink to the bottom as the mixture cools (especially if the oils are hot when you add the powder). If so, continue stirring the lip stain as it cools to keep the colorant evenly dispersed.
When the mixture reaches a solid but still pourable consistency (like honey), transfer it to a clean jar or cosmetic tin. Then let it cool to room temperature.
Hint: If you've been a little afraid of venturing into make-your-own makeup territory, this homemade cheek stain might just change your mind!
Essentially, you need a liquid oil, a solid vegetable butter, and a colorant to make lip stain. Here are a few ways to substitute:
Oil options — In place of the castor oil, feel free to use sweet almond, avocado, olive or jojoba oil.
Butter options — If you can't get your hands on shea butter, try using cocoa butter or mango butter.
Color — Don't be afraid to experiment with the color. Add more beetroot powder or try freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries, which can be ground into a fine powder using a coffee grinder. You can also use cranberry or pomegranate powders.
There are a variety of herbs, spices, or mica powders you can use to tweak the color to match your skin tone.
- Cinnamon, for example, will give you a more terracotta hue. Plus, it can naturally plump your lips—just be careful to not overdo it and irritate them too much!
- A little pinch of turmeric will make the color more suited to those with yellow undertones.
- If you have cooler undertones, look for blue or purple powders, like butterfly pea powder, to give it a cooler hue.
Variation: Using Beet Juice
This simple beet lip stain recipe works in a pinch!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin
- 1 fresh sliced beet
In a double boiler, heat the vegetable glycerin until small bubbles appear. Place sliced beets into the warmed glycerin and see the color begin to appear.
Continue to heat the beets and glycerin until a dark color appears. The beets will remain semi-solid.
Once the desired color appears, remove from the heat, take out the beets, and pour your product into a clean, dry container. The shelf-life may be shorter because of the fresh beet ingredient, so plan on using it up in 1–2 weeks.
Variation: Using Cranberry Powder
This creamy whipped coconut cranberry lip stain nourishes dry, chapped lips, thanks to its natural emollient properties and high fatty acid content. Coconut oil also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe irritated lips, prevent infection and promote faster healing [source].
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1-2 teaspoon shea butter
- 1 tablespoon cranberry powder
- ½ teaspoon beetroot powder
In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil. Add the cranberry and beetroot powders and mix. Let stand for 30–60 minutes, or longer, to infuse the oil.
Strain the coconut oil and stir in the shea butter. Keep stirring as it cools. When it's at room temperature, beat the mixture with a spoon to give it a whipped texture that's very creamy and smooth.
Transfer to a small jar with a tight-fitting lid. Apply to lips and cheeks as needed.
Make it a lip balm — You can add powdered pigments, like beetroot or raspberry powder, to make lightly tinted lip balms.
Using Lip + Cheek Stain
Using a stain is a great way to achieve a natural flush of color. To apply, use your fingertip to dot a small amount onto your cheeks or lips and blend into the skin.
Here are some tips for getting a gorgeous glow and making it last all day long:
Prepare your skin. Start with clean and moisturized skin. Exfoliate your lips if they're dry or flaky, and apply a light layer of moisturizer or primer to your cheeks to ensure smooth application.
Apply a small amount. Cheek stain is highly pigmented, so it's best to start with a small amount and build up the color gradually. Begin by applying a few dots of stain directly onto your cheeks and lips.
Blend quickly. Immediately after applying the stain, use your fingers, a makeup sponge, or a brush to blend it into your skin. Work quickly, as the stain can sink in quickly and become difficult to blend if left untouched.
Layer if needed. Assess the intensity of the color after the first application. If you desire a deeper shade, repeat the process by applying another layer of stain and blending it well. Layering allows you to customize the color to your liking.
Use fingertips for a natural look. For a more natural finish, use your fingertips to blend the stain into your skin. The warmth of your fingers will help melt the product and create a seamless, dewy look.
Even if the stain starts a little strong, it's easy enough to blend out to a sun-kissed flush that looks completely natural. I like to bring it across my nose, too—a couple tiny dabs make for the perfect, just-back-from-the-beach look.
This recipe makes a small amount so using it up quickly shouldn't be a problem, but here are some storage tips:
—Clean and sterilize your containers before pouring the lip gloss mixture.
—Choose a small, airtight container that is suitable for storing cosmetics. Glass or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids work well for this purpose. Make sure the container is clean and dry before transferring the cheek stain into it.
—Store the container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Excessive heat or exposure to sunlight can cause the ingredients to degrade or melt. But adding beeswax will help if you live in a warm climate or make this during the summer.
—Moisture can alter the consistency and quality of the lip gloss. Make sure the container is tightly sealed to prevent moisture from entering. Avoid storing it in the bathroom, where humidity levels can be high.
—Use it within 3 to 6 months and throw it out if you notice changes in color or texture or it develops an off-putting odor.
Beetroot powder is a super bright hot pink, but don't let that scare you! If you want to tone down the pink, you could add a tiny, tiny bit of turmeric or cocoa powder.
Yes, if the ingredients used are safe for lip application, you can use the homemade lip stain as a cheek stain or tint. Make sure to check the ingredient safety and perform a patch test before using.
Blush is typically available in powder, cream, or pressed compact form that you apply with a brush. Cheek stain, on the other hand, is often a liquid or gel-based product that provides a more long-lasting and natural-looking color to the cheeks.
To apply the cheek stain, simply dab a small amount onto the apples of your cheeks and blend it out using your fingers or a makeup brush. Start with a small amount and build up the color as desired.
The basic ingredients for a homemade cheek stain recipe typically include natural coloring agents like beetroot powder or hibiscus powder, a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil, and a thickening agent like beeswax or shea butter. Optional ingredients may include essential oils for fragrance and natural preservatives.
Beetroot DIY Lip Stain Recipe
- Measuring cup
- Measure castor oil and shea butter into a small glass measuring cup, then set in simmering water until shea butter melts.
- Stir in the beet powder and pour into a small jar and allow mixture to cool.
- Stir a few times as it cools to keep the beet powder evenly distributed.