a look behind the scenes

For my 100th Dot & Lil blog post I thought I'd give you a little look behind the scenes at how things are made around here! A few weeks ago I posted images to the Dot & Lil Twitter (@DotandLil) while I was making lip balm. It was a step by step showing of images that documented the making of one of my best-selling products. Here are those images all in one spot! Next time I do a step by step picture session I want it to be even more detailed! And thank you to my friend Genia who helped--extra hands!

I clean and prepare my work space, line up my ingredients, and take out my scale.

Vitamin E, as an anti-oxidant to prolong the shelf-life of the other oils. Coconut oil, for moisture and texture and slip. Mango butter, for it's creamy, moisturizing luxury!

Cocoa butter for it's yummy, moisturizing, melty goodness and hardness.

Avocado oil for it's incredibly deep-moisturizing and penetrating properties.

Beeswax to add hardness to the balm and stop it from being too melty. Grated to increase the speed at which it will melt in the pot. I get my beeswax from a local beekeeper. See how wide the natural color variation between the two blocks is?

these are the oil-soluble lip-safe colorants that I use. Just one small drop can color about 50 lip balms.

Sweet almond oil for it's glide, moisture and conditioning.

Shea butter. If you've never tried this stuff you don't know what you're missing! Super moisturizing, extra conditioning, and reportedly has some serious healing properties. Great stuff.

I weigh out all my ingredients, and then line them up to be added to the double boiler. I add the slowest-melting ingredients first, the liquid oils last. The less time the balm is heated for the better!

Chopsticks are my favorite tool for lip balm, soapmaking, and many other tasks--the perfect bath and body instrument! Inexpensive, easy to clean, heat resistant and just the right length.

Once my mixture is fully melted and my colorant has been very thoroughly mixed in, I suck it up one syringe-ful at at a time and pour it into pre-arranged lip balm pots. One batch of Dot & Lil lip balm is about 80 pots.

You can see the balms at the bottom of this picture starting to go opaque as they harden.

I clean off any lip balm that has landed messily on the edges of the pots, put on the lids, and then label them with an ingredient list, weight, and my company name and contact info.

More behind the scenes Dot & Lil stuff is on it's way!
Dot & Lil lip balm is available here.

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xoxo, Anne + the Dot & Lil Team