Red lips together with rosy cheeks and dark eyes were fashionable in the Victorian and Edwardian era. So in this part of my Victorian And Edwardian Beauty Routine And Recipes series I’m sharing with you eleven natural tinted and white lip salve recipes from the 1800s, 1830s, 1870s, 1880s and 1910s.
[Some of the lip salve recipes ask for spermaceti, a wax from the sperm whale, which can be replaced with jojoba oil or a mixture of coconut oil and jojoba oil.
Here you’ll find my Conversion Table for US, UK, and metric system units of measurement.]
Tinted Lip Balm (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
- 1 1/2 oz white wax
- 2 oz spermaceti
- 1/2 pint almond oil
- carmine for crimson tint; alkanet root for vermilion tint
‘Tie the chippings in muslin, and soak in the almond-oil for a few days’. Remove the alkanet, and melt the oil and waxes.
Pink Lip Balm (Encyclopedia Of Practical Receipts And Processes, 1872)
- 2 oz white wax
- 4 oz almond oil
- 3 drachms alkanet
- 12 drops rose oil
Melt wax, almond oil, and alkanet together. Let it stand for some hours, then strain, and add rose oil.
Easy White Lip Salve (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
- 2 oz almond oil
- 1 oz white wax
- optional: 6 drops rose oil
- optional: 1 drachm alkanet root (The Druggist’s General Receipt Book, 1886)
Rose Lip Salve (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Pure glycerin tends to coarsen the skin and dull ‘the colour of the lips’. Better is this lip salve.
- 2 oz almond oil
- 1/2 oz spermaceti
- 1/2 oz white wax
- 1/2 oz alkanet root
Melt waxes and oil. ‘Add the alkanet root, and stir till the whole is rose-tinted’, then strain.
In Victorian times a ‘tiny little rosebud’ was the perfect mouth shape, but in the Edwardian era the mouth has to be ‘like a Bow Unbent’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2). ‘Most woman make too much use of their mouths – speaking strictly from a beauty-culture point of view – and the muscles become overworked and old, prematurely.’
Easy Lip Salve (Health And Beauty Hints, 1910)
- 1 teaspoon of cold cream
- 1/2 teaspoon melted white wax in which a grain of carmine has been stirred
Cacao Butter Lip Balm (Encyclopedia Of Practical Receipts And Processes, 1872)
- 1 part cacao butter
- 1 part almond oil
- 1 part white wax
Melt it together, stir till cold.
German Cacao Butter Lip Salve (Encyclopedia Of Practical Receipts And Processes, 1872)
- 1/2 oz cacao butter
- 1/4 oz almond oil
- 6 drops lemon oil
Melt cacao butter and almond oil, then add lemon oil.
The lips should be like ‘strawberries in cream’ – so white skin and moderately red lips are fashionable. ‘There is a fashion of painting the lips in a vivid hue that outrivals Nature. Exaggeration invariably kills beauty’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2). Store-bought lip salves are often harmful. Don’t bite your lips, rather ‘try the simple little plan of sucking a cayenne lozenge for a few moments’, or make a homemade lip salve.
Lip Salve – Rose Pomade (Henley’s Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes And Processes, 1916)
- 1,000 parts almond oil
- 300 parts white wax
- 3 parts alkannin
- 20 parts geranium oil
Red Lip Salve (Kallopistria, 1805)
- 1/2 pound butter
- 2 oz beeswax
- some oz rinsed, dried, and squashed raisins
- 1 – 3 loth alkanet root (1 loth = 14.6 – 17.6 g)
- 1 spoon orange flower water
Melt butter and wax, add raisins and alkanna. Simmer for 10 minutes, strain through linen cloth, stir till cold and add orange flower water.
Scarlet Lip Salve (The Toilette Of Health, Beauty, And Fashion, 1832)
- 1 pound fresh butter
- 1/4 pound beeswax
- 4 – 5 ounces cleansed black grapes
- 1 ounce bruised alkanet root
‘Simmer them together over a slow fire till the wax is wholly dissolved, and the mixture becomes a bright red colour; strain and put it by for use.’
Scented Lip Salve (The Toilette Of Health, Beauty, And Fashion, 1832)
- 3 oz almond oil
- 1 oz spermaceti
- 1/4 oz virgin rice
- a little powdered alkanet root
- a few drops oil of rhodium
Melt oil, wax, virgin rice and alkanet together ‘over a slow fire […] Keep stirring till cold, and then add a few drops of the oil of rhodium.’ Fresh butter may be used instead of almond oil. ‘Yellow beeswax added, will give it a yellow colour. […] Instead of the oil of sweet almonds [and the oil of rhodium], you may use oil of jasmin, or oil of any other flower, if you intend the lip-salve to have a fragrant odour.’