A Recipe for DIY Ruby-Colored Lip Tint

Ruby Lip Tint-graphic

Charming Alkanet Root.  The star of this lovely lip tint. If you’re like me, you can’t be bothered with make-up, but sometimes, a little lip tint goes a long way, and can be just what you need to enhance your natural radiance.  Gotta love those kitchen cosmetics!  Alkanet is a root primarily used for dyeing, and the fine folks at Mountain Rose Herbs give a teensy bit of background:

Alkanet Root

Also known as

Batschia canescens, Hoary puccoon, Lithospermum canescens, Dyer’s bugloss


Alkanet root is primarily used as a dyeing and coloring agent, especially for fabrics, soap, and lip balm.

Parts Used

The root is the part used in traditional dye crafts.

Typical Preparations

For oil based products, infuse oil by placing approximately 1 TBSP in ¼ cup of oil.  Shake or stir daily for a few days, then strain out the root.  Heat may be used to help speed up the process.  Ratio of Alkanet to oil will need to be altered according to product being made. Adjust amounts as necessary.


Alkanet root is primarily used as a natural dyeing agent, and it imparts a ruby red color to natural fibers, wool, wood, stone, lip balm, lipstick, ointments, salve, soap, lotion, and to tint oils, vinegar, tinctures, varnishes, or wine.  In the past, Alkanet root was used to improve the appearance of low quality wines and ports, and to give an aged appearance to wine corks.  However, Alkanet root is now mainly used as a dyeing agent, and is not recommended for internal use.  In soap, Alkanet root will yield shades of pink, blue, and purple, depending upon the amount used, types of oil used, and the alkalinity of the soap.


For external use only. Do not apply to broken or abraded skin. Do not use when nursing.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Quite useful little herb; but, as you can see, it will color a variety of mediums, so use caution while working with it.  I wore gloves while straining the herb from my oil–just to be safe.  To work with this root, I first placed two tablespoons of dried, chopped root, in a small glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and I covered it with olive oil.  I shook daily for 2-3 days and strained.  The resulting liquid was dark, purple-y, and to DIY nerds like myself; truly inviting.   Ruby Lip Tint Collage
If we’re all being honest here, this is the blog post that almost wasn’t.  Creating this recipe gave me such heck.   (I have some other choice words for it, but since this is a lip tint for ladies, I may as well play the part, eh?)  I wanted a *perfect* hardness, and it took a few tries to achieve that.  Probably would have been smarter to do a test batch, but, that’s not how I roll.  I’m a wild woman…err, lady…Needless to say, I was a bit hesitant to pass on a recipe I didn’t feel absolutely 100% positive about the measurements, but, I did my VERY BEST to keep track of the kitchen madness for you guys.  It felt criminal not to share, because the end result was completely phenomenal, exceeding all of my expectations!Why didn’t I just recreate this beauty?  Well, because this recipe made about 15 or 18 tubes, and I think I’m good on lip tint for a while 🙂 So, there you have it, folks.  You’ve been warned.
Ruby Lip Tint Tubes

Ruby Lip Tint

I used a blend of lavender, rose geranium, ylang ylang and lemongrass.  If you’re just getting started and want to build your stash, check out these awesome sampler kits you can play around with!

Combine all ingredients in a small double boiler over medium heat until melted.  Decant into lip balm tubes, (find them here), and allow to fully cool and harden before use.  Makes some for you and some for your envious girlfriends.

Although the end result is a moisturizing lip balm with a stunning shade of ruby, it does not apply even close to the color in the tube.  It’s a lip tint, not a lip stain or even lipstick.  It enhances your lips’ natural color, and fills in with a wee bit o’ color where needed.  (Similar to Burt’s Bees tinted chapsticks). For me, when I use it, I feel like my lips have the lovely rosy hue one gets after a day at the beach.  Score.

**Do you wish to deepen your herbal knowledge? Or, are you just starting out on your herbal journey? Cultivate your knowledge with one of the most respected online herbal academies around, The Herbal Academy of New England. They have courses for beginners and intermediates, host an online Herbarium, and give herbal info freely on their website and blog.
Since you understand that vitality grows naturally from the way you live your life, and health doesn’t come from a plastic bottle, you may be interested in investing in it. Check out the herbal courses at HANE, and the many things they offer.

We are herbalists, a spirited group of individuals from all walks of life, joined together by our gratitude for nature and our desire to live and heal with plants.

Along our herbal journey, we have grown closer to the earth and closer to the fellow beings whom it sustains. We have learned and continue to learn how even the smallest, seemingly insignificant plant has value. Real valueto its ecosystem and to us.

This connection that we share, this knowledge that we have gained, and all that we have yet to learn.


My favorite HANE resource is the HERBARIUM!

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  1. I love your love for nature and being all natural. Happy days with that online course. Excited to hear what you learn.

  2. could the alkanet powder be substituted? instead of all the work of steeping the root? thankyou. blessings . soulful returns.

    • Hi Linda,
      I’m sure it could. Ive just not done it before do I have no idea on how to advise you. I am one of those odd people that actually enjoy infusing 🙂 Please let me know if you try it!

    • Hi Romy,

      I get the supplies for this, and most all my supplies online at Mountain Rose Herbs. Please click on a link within the post to be taken straight to the site. I am an affiliate for the company so I will receive commission for your purchase. I’m always grateful for commissions because it helps me buy more supplies!! 🙂

Speak your mind! But, be kind :)