Make Your Custom Lipstick Shade at a Specialty Shop in Shibuya

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Ayari Yanagida, right, and her friend show off their custom-made lipsticks on Oct. 1 in Shibuya. They mixed pigments that were selected out of 50 possible colors.

All 50 vials of various pigments were placed on a table. As a small amount of blue pigment was added to red- and gold-hued pigments, the color turned into a vivid and deep pink that resembled a rose petal. This sounds like a painter creating a new color on a palette; however, it is the process for making a lipstick.

With all COVID-19 restrictions lifted, people have started regularly going out without a mask. As more and more women begin to enjoy wearing lipstick again, a lipstick specialty shop called Lip_Room in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, is getting popular because customers can create custom lipsticks.

Production starts with picking out the pigments that will be mixed to become your desired shade and mixing lip balm, a basic ingredient of lipstick, with the pigments. Once the color has been created, the clay-like mixture is dissolved and poured into a mold. After the mixture becomes solid, insert the mixture into a container. Then your custom lipstick is complete. You can add fragrances such as rose and coconut according to your preference.

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A shop staff member explains the laws and regulations, such as that the handmade lipstick should only be for personal use.

Hoping to make a lipstick in an autumn color, Ayari Yanagida, 25, a company employee, visited the shop with her friend in early October. She spent about an hour enjoying the process of making a lipstick while receiving instructions from the store staff. “I am fond of the lipstick because I made it. I want to use it with great care,” she said proudly.

The shop opened in August 2022 with the prediction that, if the COVID-19 outbreak was over and if people were no longer required to wear masks, the demand for lipstick would increase. In fact, after the status of COVID-19 under the Infectious Diseases Law was downgraded to Category V in May, the number of customers visiting the shop increased significantly. Atsuya Kawaura, 29, the president of the company operating the shop, said with a smile, “I hope people fully enjoy makeup after the pandemic.”

How to create lipstick

1. First, mix several pigments of your choice with lip balm, a basic ingredient of lipstick. The trick is to thoroughly grind the mixture.

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2. Dissolve the mixture into a liquid state in hot water, pour the liquid into a lipstick mold and wait until it cools.

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3. Once the lipstick has completely solidified in the mold, insert into a lipstick container, and your lipstick is complete.

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