Make Your Own Crayon Lipstick - a Good Idea?

Here's a trendy DIY idea – make your own easy peasy lipstick using crayons!

Is it cheap?

Is it easy to do?

Is it fun?

Is it safe?
not necessarily

Is it a good idea?
not at all

I know I may have just rained on your parade, but stick with me a bit. You may just want to think twice before you grab your kid's crayons and coconut oil and rush to the kitchen to melt and mix your own bargain lipstick.

The Ingredients - There are 'only' 2

The ingredients list for DIY crayon lipstick is quite short:

  1. coconut oil
  2. colored wax crayons

We all know coconut oil is, well, coconut oil. It fits quite neatly into the non-toxic and edible category - so, no worries there.

Now let's have a look at a typical ingredients list for colored wax crayons:

  • Wax (for example paraffin, microcrystalline, polyethylene, beeswax, ozokerite, japan, carnauba)
  • stearic acid (palmitic acid) 
  • tallow (beef) 
  • filler (kaolin, talc) 
  • colorant (pigment or dye) 

At first glance, there's really not a lot to be worried about here.

Since crayons have to pass FDA muster (or Euro or Aussie equivilant) before we can feel safe about letting our kids loose with them – and it even says NON TOXIC on the box – there's really no need to worry and we can go crazy making lipstick with them, right?


There's that last ingredient.

Unfortunately, there is a world of missing information in those few words.

Filling in the (Color) Blanks

I sent cosmetics pigment and colorant expert Rebecca Midkiff, owner of, the above ingredients list and asked for her thoughts on whether or not it was a good idea to use crayons as a base for DIY lipstick.

She gave me the following information:
"The colorant on this ingredient list just says 'pigment or dye'.  
If we do not know for certain what the colorants are, we are unable to make an informed decision about whether or not this is safe to use as lipstick. If the green were from chlorophyl, then it would probably be OK, but if it is chromium green, then it is not OK.  
This uncertainty alone would exclude this from use in the US as you are not allowed to use something in a cosmetic that is not on the approved FDA list of colorants. 
Just because a crayon is not toxic if a child accidentally ingests it, does not automatically mean it is safe to use on the lips over time. 
Also, crayons are not intended to be ingested or used on the lips, so crayon manufacturers have no need to use approved FDA colorants for lip products.
In other words: of course crayons should not be used for lipstick."

Thank you for clarifying this, Rebecca.  (Find more about pigments and colorants in the links to Rebeccas companies below)

Nose Candy? I Think Not

My final issue with crayon lipstick is purely aesthetic.

It's the smell.

If you don't believe me, go open a box of crayons and take a whiff. Would you really want to be sniffing that all day?

I rest my case.

Make Your Own (crayon-free) Lipstick 

Here's my how-to for a lip and cheek tint/lipstick. I know it's a bit more involved than melting crayons, but I'm betting your lips will thank you for taking the trouble to pamper them properly. And your lips deserve that, don't they?

Alternatively, you can buy a ready-made melt-and-pour lipstick base from DIY Cosmetics right here.

Links to The Nerdy Stuff

Rebecca Midkiff, DIY Cosmetics
Wholesale Pigments - (Rebeccas Pigment Company)
FDA – approved colorants for cosmetics use
Material Safety Data Sheet for all Crayola's Crayons can be found here
Crayon ingredient page


Nanette said…
Let me guess, Pinterest. Enough said.
Thank you for the links to the "nerdy stuff". At least, I think I mean thank. Now, I will spend, at a minimum, the next hour perusing, bookmarking, selecting...
LisaLise said…
Nanette - you nailed it! It was indeed a Pinterest discovery
Olivia J said…
I am beginning to wonder if some of my DIY stuff I put on my blog are a no-no. I have to check! Honestly, though, when I saw using crayola crayons and even their MARKERS as lip products, I just about died! First the smell, then why would I want to take the time to use crayon colors when I have tried so hard to grow up and get away from being a kid.

Pinterest does have some good stuff but its the DIY makeup stuff that I get scared of. What leaves me wary are some "makeup artists" do those things to save money. I hope they aren't exactly applying the stuff on clients!
LisaLise said…
Olivia - I agree about using crayons and markers as make-up-- and it makes me shudder to think if anyone would do this kind of thing and use on another person!
Tina Rasmussen, CPH said…
Oh dear the crayon lip balmagain... This is just popping up so often and I just don't get why people don't think?! I have jumped in on so many discussussions of this on FB and other media, next time I will just post a link to your blog Lise :-)

I feel like translating a Danish saying: "Against stupidity even the Gods fight in vain".

LisaLise said…
Hi Tina, I was so surprised to see this 'advertised' as a great idea on Pinterest because 'crayons are safe enough for kids to eat a whole boxful'--- I agree with the Gods fighting against stupidity in vain!