How To: Lip and Eye Pencil Base

Today, we're going to make an easy, basic lip and eye pencil base that can be used for color cosmetics such as lip pencils, eye pencils, eyebrow pencils, and cheek tint.

You're probably wondering how it is possible to make a texture that is equally good for all these uses. A lip pencil needs to go on smoothly and be firm enough to where the tip doesn't break off. An eye pencil needs to be softer, smoother and not even come close to dragging on the skin. For cheek application, a firmer texture is ideal.

Well, I've been scientifically testing, experimenting, and meticulously logging my results for a few years now (read: I've been having a ball fiddling around with these textures for ages),  and with enough tweaking, testing, and diligence, I finally succeeded in creating a – for me – sublime texture that is great for all of these uses.

This formula has good slip and nice staying power without feeling gluey or sticky.

Note: skin type plays a role in which texture/stiffness/glide-factor feels best, so even though this texture is ace for me, it might not be perfection for you.

However – even if it isn't 100% perfection for you, you can still use it as a base to tweak and fiddle with proportions until you have created your own version of perfection.

Let's Get Busy with the Base!


41 % Cetearyl Alcohol
39.5 % Jojoba
19 % Beeswax
0.5 % E-vitamin

Other Necessities

  • A heat-proof beaker 
  • stirring implement (not wooden! choose something that can be sterilised - like stainless steel)
  • container for your base with tight lid
  • trustworthy reliable scale that can measure down to a tenth of a gram


  1. Decide how big a batch you want to make and figure out your proportions. (this is the part where you get to sit down and enjoy a coffee or tea while appreciating how fun and useful doing math can actually be).
  2. I usually make pencil base annually – which amounts to about 35 grams of product. If you're planning on making products for friends and family, you'll probably want to increase to about 100 grams.
  3. Weigh out your ingredients.
  4. Melt everything slowly over low heat until thoroughly melted. 
  5. Pour into container.
  6. Let cool completely.
  7. Store cool (about 12° C /  54° F)  and dark. A wine refrigerator is the perfect temperature (or, if you have a dedicated ingredients refrigerator, set the temp to the warmest possible temperature - that's about the same as a wine refrigerator) 

Tip: Do not place into the refrigerator until the product is fully cool or you risk condensation droplets (which are seriously bad news for this preservative free formula).

Using the Base

To make an eyebrow pencil or lipstick, weigh out the amount you want, melt, add pigment, stir thoroughly and transfer to your final container.


Most eyebrow and lipliner pencils hold about 2-3 grams.
A lipstick holds between 6-10 grams, depending on the container.

Have fun!

More Make-up

Check the How To Page for more Make-up How-To's


pyariwaseema said…
We need to put this i the refrigerator only if we make the base to be used later right ?

But if we plan to make it in small batches can we avoid storing it in the refrigerator ?
LisaLise said…
Hi Pyariwaseema - yes - I store it in the refrigerator until use. It is recommended to store cool in general. You can also make very small batches for immediate use as well.
María said…
Amazing! I struggle a lot with pencils, but omg, you're a genius!
LisaLise said…
Hi María - Aww thanks - I hope you find this useful :)
CC Mirabella said…
Can't wait to try this... Thank you! I've had a trying time with pencils myself & reformulated repeatedly some of which I've yet to even attempt , I'll be doing this one :)
Thanks again
LisaLise said…
HI CC Mirabelle - I hope you find it as useful and multifunctional as I do! I'd love a comment on how it turns out for you :)
Abygale said…
I just love your tips & recipes!!! Your posts have helped me alot! Making lip & eye pencils is new for me; using your base formula, how do I figure in how much pigment to use without "over wasting" ingredients. I just hate to be wasteful! I'm not sure of the %age in pigment. Can you help me out a bit with pigment figuring? I'm slightly stumped on that.

Thanks much, & keep up the good work!
-Aby :)

LisaLise said…
Hi Abygale - thanks for your kind words! As for adding pigment, it is really up to your preference as to coverage etc etc. Also, oxides are more opaque and stronger in color than micas, so you have to just add a bit at a time until you have the desired effect. Tip: Mix the pigments together FIRST so you know which color you want. Then add your mixture bit by bit. Best of luck with it
Anonymous said…
Thanx Lise for the tip!
-Abygale :)
Abygale said…
Hi Lisa!
I was wondering, is there a substitution one could use for "cetearyl alcohol?" I don't have that, only cetyl alcohol.
LisaLise said…
Hi Abygale - That might work actually - give it a go and do feel free to drop a comment on how it turns out :)
JustineA said…
I used cetyl alcohol instead of cetearyl alcohol and the result is still great :)
LisaLise said…
HI Justine - Awesome! Thanks for sharing :)