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Organic. DIY. Experience. Making Handmade Lipsticks at Lab’i

Upon the urging of our friend and lipstick lover, Mela, my barkada went to Lab’i Lipstick Design Studio last weekend. We were all curious about making our own lipsticks and agreed that it would be a fun activity to do together. I mean, if Mela has gone 5 times in the past 5 months, it must be something special!

Friends waving hello

Happiest welcome from my girls ?

They were already there when I arrived. We all tried to settle down while the owner, Eleanor, started to give her introduction; but surrounded by over 150 shades of lipsticks and the cutest cases, it took some time for us to take our seats.

150 shades of lipstick on display

Over 150 shades available to choose from

Lipstick cases on display

More decisions! Pick your case

Step 1: Choose Your Shade

Determining my undertone helped me narrow down the choices. Eleanor explained that picking colors that complement our undertones make our eyes pop, our teeth appear whiter, and allow our aura to shine through. I didn’t know all that, but upon learning that mine was cool, I understood why I had stayed away from oranges and peaches in the past. However, I had always loved nudes and browns despite their supposed suitability to warmer undertones. So while it’s nice to have a guide, part of the fun is swatching and experimenting, and picking something that makes you feel good.

Undertones chart guide

Helpful infographic on undertones

Lipstick tubes

Hygienic swatching: alcohol sprays, makeup removers, cotton pads, and almond oil provided

Mela had joked that we would take 2 hours, just picking our shades. I said I already knew what I wanted, but guess what? I was the last to decide, and it did take us that long to create our final products! ? I was debating whether I wanted a shade that was already part of my rotation or something new, but in the end I gave in to the latter.

Smiling girls with lipstick on

With their chosen shades (I had just wiped my lips clean for the Nth time!)

Animation of choosing lipstick shades

Trying to decide between 2 colors I really liked

Step 2: Choose Your Scent

While the base oils are choices or combinations of olive, Argan, and Moroccan, you can also add oils for fragrance. The studio has 5 choices: lemon, orange, orange-sweet, grapefruit, and lavender.

Step 3: Choose Your Mold and Case

While one wall displayed the lipstick shades, another had the selection of molds and cases. The molds give the shape of your lippie, so there was the standard shape, heart, diamond, cat, flower, and even something raunchy for bridal showers (ya get?) There were cases in a variety of styles, from paper to plastic, classic designs, sophisticated, and cute. There were a handful of choices included in the workshop, but the more premium ones cost P100 or P200 per tube.

Step 4: Choose Your Add-Ons

You may opt to add some extras for an additional fee, such as rose hip oil for extra moisturizing benefits, or the substance that gives lipsticks their matte finish. Note that the mattifier is the only synthetic ingredient in the store, and is therefore only added in small quantities.

Step 5: Do-It-Yourself

After having us fill out slips of paper with our choices of shades, molds, cases, and extras, Eleanor prepared our starter sets. While she was doing so, she asked us to sterilize our spoons, scrapers, and glass stirrers with the cotton pads and alcohol on the counter. It felt like high school lab class as she set our individual flasks, with our oils and pigments, on the table. She also provided a measured container of wax pellets, vitamin E capsules, and sealed brushes.

When everything was ready, she gave the instructions for adding the wax and vitamin E, stirring (the more vigorous, the better),  heating, adding the scented oils, pouring the hot mixture into the mold, and finally for putting it in its case. I enjoyed each step, but especially loved the thrill of finally pulling out the final product. I made my own lipstick!

What I Love About the Experience

It was the perfect new activity to try with old friends. Swatching different shades, both the pretty ones and the ones that made me look funny, was the senseless kind of fun that I’ve always had with these girlfriends. Plus, that studio felt like the lipstick equivalent of a candy shop — I wanted them all! ? Lastly, there’s really a particular sense of fulfillment from making something with my own hands.

… and My Lipstick

It’s entirely unique. I chose #3, a reddish-brown matte, with a diamond tip and smelling of sweet oranges, but looking like a banana. ? Yes, while my friends chose chic metallics, I chose a plastic banana! And no matter how many people come into the studio, I doubt someone will make the exact same set of choices I made for a long time. So for now, this is entirely me and my own, and I love it.

For something that’s so natural, the product is so creamy and buildable. If I dot and spread with my fingers, it looks like a lip tint. If I swipe it on, the color is dense and pigmented. At home, I tried applying it with a lip brush, and I found that the color stayed on longer. No, it doesn’t have all-day wear, but we learned that the products that harden on our lips are made up of entirely artificial chemicals. (Read: bad for you.) Besides, I wouldn’t mind reapplying this lipstick throughout the day, because the formulation is so smooth and actually feels nourishing. In fact, it’s been two days of using my lipstick, and I definitely have noticed less chapping. The bonus? I just tried it this afternoon, and it can also be used as a blush!

Banana-shaped lipstick and box from Lab'i

Voila! My banana lipstick

Diamond tipped banana lipstick

Diamond tip

Girls proud of their lipsticks

With our lipsticks and the passionate owner, Eleanor

Laughing girls

Thankful for another fun afternoon with my girls

Pouting girls

Pout-tested lipsticks!

The studio can accommodate up to 20 people at a time, but is just a really cool bonding activity we can do with our moms, sisters, daughters, and friends. I just really want to share the joy of a healthier lipstick alternative!

Lab’i Lipstick Design Studio is located in Eastwood Citywalk. (Lab’i is said as lab like laboratory, and I like myself). You can contact Eleanor at 0917-880-5866 for inquiries or reservations, and this enthusiastic lady will happily give you more info (and possibly some lip trivia or tips). They have an upcoming promo that will run from November 1-3, and I reaaaaally want to go!

Has anyone else tried this? I want to go get some more. Who wants to come with me? Let’s goooo!

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