Well, as about DIY as I get. I may knit, but I’m not usually a crafty person.

Anyway, I don’t know if you’ve been able to tell, but I’m a bit of a lipstick hoarder. 😉 And you know what? I am not ashamed in the least. I have no regrets.

I just have slight confusion, sometimes, when I’m trying to figure out which color I want to wear. (Okay, to be completely honest, sometimes I even forget that I have certain colors.) I can’t remember exactly what shade of fuchsia NARS Funny Face is, or what color coral I had custom made at the Bite Lip Lab, or what undertones MAC Red has and how it’s different from MAC Absolute Power.

I decided that the thing to do was to make a reference book of my colors, kind of like how you swatch them on your hands when you are shopping for a new color. But I wanted the swatches to be available to me all the time.

So I went to an art supplies store. I had initially thought of buying a sketchbook or a watercolor book, but while I was there, I realized that I had overlooked the perfect thing: A Pastel book.

DSC_1046 Canson Mi-Teintes Pastel Paper: Wire Bound Pad, White Paper and Glassine, 9″ x 12″, 16 Sheets

Pastels are creamy and greasy, just like lipstick, so I figured paper that was good for one should be good for the other. The one thing I was worried about was the lipstick staining the back of the previous page, but I found exactly what I needed in this pad.


I had been contemplating possibly putting parchment or plastic in between the pages, but this is even better. There are what they call “glassine pages” over each page, so that the colors are protected.

Without further ado, here is (some of) my lipstick collection, swatched for all our references.

DSC_1049 Fuchsias (whoops, typo in my book!)/Magentas


DSC_1051 Pinks

DSC_1052 Reds (with room for the 2 Surratt colors to compare with Russian Red and Ruby Woo 😉 )

DSC_1053 Oranges/Corals

DSC_1054 Nudes

The only sad thing about it is that it’s not portable enough for me to bring with me when I’m looking at new colors (so I can know when I’m looking at a color too close to something I have). But the good news is, making this book showed me that I do not have anything that looks EXACTLY like something else (I do sometimes wonder!)

How do you organize your makeup? What DIY projects are you most proud of?

9 comments on “DIY—Make your own lipstick swatch book”

    • Thank you! I was really pleased with how it all worked out. You're totally right about the white paper really showing the true pigmentation. It just doesn't always look that way on your face. Glad to share!

      Shani x

  1. Just what I was looking for. I think it'd be brilliant to swatch as a kiss. That way the lipstick doesn't get messed up rubbing it on paper. On the other hand, kisses would take forever to do! I also have a ton of lippies…plus, sensitive lips.

    • Oooh, that's a great idea! I really did cringe at messing up my lipsticks that way. Luckily they smooth out the next time you wear them, but still! Although, applying and removing over and over would really irritate the lips. I guess it's a toss up. 🙂

  2. WOW, I LOVE THIS IDEA! It's even better than the system that I've been using for 30 years.
    I took 3" x 5" index cards, put an individual swatch on each one with description, hole punched each card and slid them in color family order, light to dark, onto a 3 1/2" binder ring. I did the same thing for my blushes. The upside: when I was looking for a color I could just fan the cards out like playing cards and select the one I wanted. This system also made it easy to add and delete colors as I bought new products and used up old. The down side: It is bulky, somewhat unwieldy and difficult to store. (By the way, I rubbed the colors into the cards to get just a thin layer, to counteract the bleed onto the card on top of it. Of course, they did bleed a little but not enough to matter.)
    I think your system looks so much more efficient. I think that the one thing that I will do different is to leave a space, or even two, in between the swatches to make it easier to add swatches in the light to dark order that I like.
    And to delete colors, a little pastel paper swatch adhered with a little rubber cement would free up the space for another swatch.
    Now try this with your blushes. You'll love it too, I'll bet.

    • Your system sounds great, too! I wasn't thinking about what would happen when I purged a product. I guess it'll still be good to have the swatch in case I forget and want to buy it again. 😉

      Oh dear, my blushes…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge