The summer after 7th grade, I spent most nights at my grandma’s house. After three or four rounds of Hand and Foot, everyone else would go to sleep and my cousin and I would tumble into our blowup bed in the basement and watch reruns of Whose Line Is It Anyway until The 700 Club came on at 2:00. One night, I remember Drew Carey switching up his usual lame joke about the winner getting to do “something special” with him at the end for a different prize: a lifetime supply of chapstick (one tube). My cousin, in all her sparkly-eyeshadowed and lip-lined glory, laughed along with the audience, but I knew this wasn’t something to be taken lightly. Winning a lifetime supply of chapstick would be a serious coup. Even as a fledgling gay, I was already going through a tube a month. Chapstick was and is my lifestyle choice. I buy bulk chapstick the way Mormons prepare for famine. Every bag, pocket and drawer I own has a tube of chapstick hiding in it somewhere.
With roughly 17% of my income going to chapstick (okay, not really, but I buy enough that it’s got its own line in my budget), you can imagine how thrilled I was when Laneia sent me a recipe for a homemade version. Although she was worried that we wouldn’t be able to figure out how to keep it from melting in the sun, with a little bit of tinkering we were able to come up with a formula that’ll stay solid all summer long and is stupid-easy to make. If you can find beeswax, you can make this stuff. Let us know how it goes, what flavors you come up with and if you figure out a way to duplicate Dr. Pepper chapstick in your kitchen. Seriously, I’ll buy you lunch.
+1 part beeswax
+1 part oil (we used olive, grapeseed, and coconut)
+Containers (we used paint cups we found at the craft store and bottle caps)
1. Grate the block of beeswax on a cheese grater.
2. Set up your melting station. We made this double-boiler type thing by putting a pyrex measuring cup in a pan filled with water on the stove. After the water initially boiled, we turned the stove down to medium low because the sound of the cup against the pan was driving us insane and crazy chapstick is not happy chapstick.
3. Decide how much chapstick you’re going to make. The first time we made it, we made tiny experimental batches (2 teaspoons of beeswax, 2 teaspoons of oil) of each flavor. The second time, we made two massive batches (6 tablespoons of beeswax, 6 tablespoons of oil) of the flavors we liked the most and it turned out spectacularly each time.
4. Pour the beeswax and oils into your measuring cup and stir until the wax melts. Add your favors, stir it for another minute and then quickly pour the mixture into a container.
5. Refrigerate it for at 5 to 10 minutes and you’re ready to pop it in your pocket and go.
+Spiced Coffee: grind up coffee beans and spices like garam masala and cinnamon. The spices and coffee grounds rise to the top, so you’ll have to scrape them off before using the chapstick.
+Lemon: A little bit of lemon zest and some lemon-scented vitamin E oil make a refreshing chapstick if citrus is your thing.
+Buttermint: this one was inspired by a recipe for Jeni’s Savannah buttermint ice cream that I made last summer; you need 2 parts of butter flavor and 1 part of mint essential oil. It works best with a tasteless oil like (not extra virgin) olive oil.
+Coconut honey: use coconut oil and add honey. The honey will separate and go to the bottom, but the flavor gets infused through the whole thing.
+Cardamom Mint: grind up cardamom pods and add mint. This one is great with extra virgin olive oil for color and flavor.
+Vanilla Mint: all you need is half vanilla extract and half mint essential oil.
+Chocolate Cinnamon: Cocoa powder, honey, and cinnamon make a deep brown chapstick that tastes like brownies.