Trials and Errors in Lip Balm Making


The creative process, no matter the medium, requires refinement. What I mean is, in order to create something great it takes consistent effort towards making a creative work better. Sharpening, revising, researching, trying new techniques and supplies, and allowing oneself the space and time to make mistakes, learn from them, and move on, over and over again are all part of making something great.


We have been working on our Fable Sap Lip Balm since last last winter. Often we would work deep into the night researching, debating recipes, and weighing out the cons and pros of materials.

The first few times we lit the double boiler after hauling in supplies from small shops all over New York City and the internet, we found our results to be both exciting and disappointing. Yes!–we created our very own lip balm and, as its creators, thought it was wonderful, but we also knew (to our frustration) that we still didn’t have it quite right. For starters, it was a bit too hard. So, Wolfie and I went back to the drawing board.


More research and modifications (adding more shea butter and reducing the amount of beeswax) brought about some improvement, but then we wanted to bring out an enticing natural smell and that wonderful tingling sensation that many lip balms have on the lips.

We experimented with essential oil mixtures, first setting our sites on a mixture of peppermint, cedar wood, and sweet orange. We kept finding that the smell we were looking for wasn’t coming through. The problem was cedar wood, a smell known for being a bit musty in a good earthy way. It just didn’t blend well with the beeswax.

Thanksgiving was now around the corner. We had been at it for months to no avail. Then, as we walked past a bodega that was putting out fresh evergreen and pine trees along the sidewalk for Christmas, it occurred to us that pine might be the perfect replacement for cedar wood. A few trial batches and some well tested lips later, we finally created the natural lip balm we were looking for.

Patience, persistence, constant striving to get better, and room for spontaneous insight have been known to do wonders for many creators. In our case, we found the process to be fruitful and quite thrilling.

So, create on! Continually figure out how to improve, and you will surely be happy with the results. You can check out our results at


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10 thoughts on “Trials and Errors in Lip Balm Making

  1. jackimay says:

    It is such an interesting process! We attempted lip balm in the tubes and while we finally got the consistency right, it was such a pain to fill those tubes. Now we try to do everything sans plastic so the tubes went bye bye. I will definitely be adding your shop to my favorites!

  2. simplybful says:

    wonderful recipe…never heard of such a combination of essential oils. ☺

  3. lfish64 says:

    What essential oils do you use for your lip balm?

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