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Wild orange and vanilla lip balm by Harriet Birrell

Make your own: lip balm

Why not go waste and chemical-free by making your own home and personal care products from scratch. Here’s a recipe to get you started from Natural Harry, aka Harriet Birrell. 

Natural Harry is a blogger, cookbook writer and now has a new book out that’s all about eco-products called Home. Here’s her recipe for Wild Orange and Vanilla Lip Balm to get you started on your home production efforts:

There are so many delicious combinations you can create with this recipe, and this is my favourite. Chocolate and orange are just made to be together. It smells and tastes so yummy you will want to eat it!

The cacao and shea butters feel incredibly rich and moisturising, and will leave a little shine on the lips. I love making it in big batches of five or so pots so I have a few on hand to gift friends and family. It is also a wonderful way to repurpose and upcycle small, clean and empty make-up and skincare containers. I love swapping the orange oil for two drops of peppermint oil for a fresh choc-mint version.

This recipe also makes a wonderfully rich skin balm: simply double or triple the quantities and swap the essential oils for lavender or geranium.


Makes 30ml

Prep time: 5 minutes 

Equipment: double boiler, fork and small make-up pot


2 teaspoons shea butter 

1 teaspoon cacao butter, finely grated 

1 teaspoon coconut oil 

10 drops orange essential oil 

3 drops vanilla oil


Combine the shea butter, cacao butter and coconut oil in a double boiler and melt gently over a low heat. Remove from the heat and add the orange and vanilla oils. Gently whisk the mixture with a fork to combine evenly. Pour into your small pot and set it on the bench to cool. You may like to stir it a few times as it sets to make sure the ingredients don’t separate.


Home by Natural Harry, Harriet Birrell (Hardie Grant, $34.99). Photography by Nikole Ramsay.