Yesterday, while perusing various makeup blogs, I saw Amazon's insanely-priced Japonesque lipstick kit and thought, "There's a better way!!"

So here it is:

I'm a lipstick junkie, which means that I buy probably about 10 different red lipsticks before I find "the one," and then I get bored of "the one" and look for a new one.

This leaves me with a huge supply of "not quites," which is frankly wasteful and a little embarrassing. For about 9 years now, I get restless and attempt to rectify this, which results in a little bit of lipstick alchemy.

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If anyone's been thinking of doing this โ€” "this" being melting a couple of different shades together to give yourself something closer to what you want โ€” don't bother with the super-expensive Sephora kits or the Japonesque palettes. As long as you don't mind a bit of mess and some trial-and-error, here is the cheapest and easiest way to do this.

Step 1: Buy a "pill reminder" from your local pharmacy. They're usually about $2 and you can decide what size/style is best for your needs. The one above is about 70% of the size of a deck of cards and easy to slide into my handbag as a "travel kit." They also have cute metal ones with decorative tops, which might make for a nicer presentation.

Step 2: Buy or, more realistically, own a spoon, a tealight candle and a tealight candle holder.

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Step 3: Decide ahead of time which lipsticks you want to combine and try to picture what the final product will look like. Do you have a pink that's a little too frosty, and another that's a little too bold? A red that's too blue-based and one that's too orange? You get the idea.

Step 4: Meltdown. Slice about a square centimeter of each, place them in your metal spoon and place the spoon over the burning tea light candle until they are both liquid and just slightly bubbling. Pour the concoction into your first open pill reminder slot.

Rinse, repeat.

You will also want a small toothpick or chopstick to swirl the lipstick in the spoon to make sure that they are mixing. I would also seriously recommend sticking to the same brand/formula for the lipstick. Mixing an "18 hour" with a lip butter will result in a bit of weird clear gunk at the top. And don't do what I made the mistake of doing once and try to add a bit of lip balm to each to make them more moisturizing. It's just a mess.

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When you've filled all of the slots, pop the case into the freezer for about 10 minutes to "set." It will set at room temperature, but you'll notice that the lipstick is often a little too "soft" and prone to crumbling if it hasn't been cooled first.

So boom โ€” even if you have to buy tea light candles and/or a holder, you can do for about $5 what Amazon charges you $18 for.