Author Archive

New Products Review!

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

We’ve been having a blast adding some new products to the catalog! I’m so excited to tell you about our newest products and I couldn’t wait for more products to be released! We have two new fragrances and another type of Tamanu Oil. Come on, let’s go talk about the new goodies!

JustForYou2Just for You Fragrance Oil
If you have ever been so lucky to receive a bouquet of flowers that was unexpected and not for a specific special occasion (or apology), then you already have an idea of what this fragrance smells like. Just for You is that big floral arrangement that has the ability to bring a smile to your face every time you walk by the fragrant blossoms. When I smell this fragrance oil, I can smell roses, peonies, lilacs, violets and gardenias. This fragrance is my new favorite floral (and that is saying something as I’m not a floral person!)

Want to make your day a little more cheerful? Make a room spray with this fragrance and I promise you will smile a little more as this happy floral brightens your day! I even have a smile on my face as I write about this fabulous fragrance.


Cabernet3Napa Valley Vineyard Fragrance Oil
A few years ago, I got the chance to tour Napa Valley with Jerry and I’ll have to say that it was an amazing experience. When I got to smell our Napa Valley Vineyard Fragrance for the first time, I was instantly transported back to the beautiful Napa Valley and tasting some of the wines as we sat on sunlit terraces and looked over a vibrant green landscape under a vibrant blue sky. This fragrance has the full-bodied aroma typical of a Cabernet made in Napa Valley.

If you have considered adding a unique fragrance to your product collection, look no further! Worried that you won’t like this fragrance? The name will be the first to draw you in, but the scent will keep you coming back!


300-1361Tamanu Oil, Dewaxed
I love using Tamanu Oil for special skin pampering projects. It is well known for its ability to help skin that has been irritated or inflamed as well as helping soothe very dry skin. I could talk about why Tamanu is one of my favorite oils all day, but that won’t let me tell you about our new type of Tamanu Oil.

Our newest Tamanu Oil has been dewaxed. This means that this oil is clear with a dark yellowish-green color. It can handle cooler temperatures without looking like a semi-solid product or acting like a thick goop. I’ve already been brainstorming about potential uses and I really won’t change how I used this fantastic oil. It just depends on the formula I want to use it in. If you have questions about this oil and which one would be best for your formulation, use the Contact Us form and send a message to our Technical Support Team.


Borage Oil
I know, I know! This isn’t a new product, but I am excited to announce that the Borage Oil is finally back in stock after a long wait. If you were waiting for it to return to the catalog, I’m excited to say “It’s back!”

Which new products do you want to try first? Is there one that jumps out at you and begs to be used?

Andee

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Soap & Sage Leaves: Cold Process Soap with an Oil Infusion

Monday, July 14th, 2014
Sage is one of my favorite herbs. Now, I might be a little biased due to our name, but I love the scent of sun kissed sage in the afternoon. The warm, herbal scent is comforting to me. It doesn’t bring much of the way in food memories to mind, since I primarily grow the plant just for the looks rather than culinary uses.

As I can’t go anywhere without thinking what would be fun to use in soap, I decided to harvest some of the sage leaves and dry them for use in soap. I collected the leaves I wanted and then dried them on a cooling rack used for baking. It didn’t take much time for the sage leaves to dry in our arid Utah climate! After the sage had dried, I had a brown lunch bag filled with dried leaves.I decided to divide the amount into three groups so I could make three different soaps.

Join me today as I make my first batch of cold process soap with dried sage leaves and an oil infusion!

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Shea Butter
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Water
Dried Sage Leaves
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes
Immersion Blender
Soap Mold

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
170 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
142 grams Coconut Oil
113 grams Olive Oil
29 grams Shea Butter
64 grams Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
177 mL Water
7.1 grams dried sage leaves
Recipe in Ounces
6 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
5 oz Coconut Oil
4 oz Olive Oil
1 oz Shea Butter
2.26 oz Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
6 fl oz Water
0.25 oz dried sage leaves
Recipe in Percentages
37.5% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
31.25% Coconut Oil
25% Olive Oil
6.25% Shea Butter
Q.S. Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Q.S. Water
Q.S. Dried Sage Leaves

I began by weighing the oils into a microwave safe container. Then I placed into the microwave and gently heated. Once all the oils had been melted, I added the dry sage leaves to the oil. I let the leaves and oil sit for about 24 hours. When I came back the next day, the oil had solidified so I placed the container back in the microwave to melt the oil again.

While the oils were heating again, I weighed the lye. I slowly added the lye to a container of water I had measured out before melting the oils again. DO NOT add water to your container of lye.

Once the oil had been melted completely, I removed the sage leaves. The leaves were still relatively dry, despite sitting the oil for 24 hours. I suspect this is due to the fact that the oils had cooled and solidified. The weight of my oils changed by 0.08 of an ounce (2.27 grams), so I left my calculated lye amount as I had originally calculated. That being said, I won’t be doing that again! Next time, I will place my dried botanicals in a single oil (preferably liquid at room temperature) and then weigh out the needed amount of oil.

Once my lye solution and oils were within an ideal temperature range*, I slowly poured the lye solution into the oils. I used an immersion blender to mix the oils and lye solution together until I reached trace. After I achieved trace, I poured the soap into the mold and allowed the soap to sit undisturbed for 24 hours.

I came back after 24 hours and cut the soap into bars. Then I placed the cut bars of soap on a piece of cardboard and arranged them to allow for good air flow between bars. I placed the bars on my curing shelf and made a note of their starting weight. As the curing process is the time that allows for any excess water to evaporate, soap cures fairly quickly in our dry climate.

Soap Notes: As I was mixing the soap, it had a slight pinkish hue. That pinkish hue did disappear while the soap was going through the gel phase and the final bar had a nice creamy color.

*Temperature Note: For most soaps, you will want to mix your oils and lye solution when both are somewhere between 110°F to 130°F. In the winter when your soaping area is cooler, you will want to soap at higher temperatures. In the summer when your soaping area is warmer, you will want to soap at cooler temperatures. This particular batch had temperatures around 120°F.

I had so much fun making this soap! Stop by tomorrow and we’ll try another batch with sage leaves!

Andee

Our sage is blooming!

Our sage is blooming!

Dried sage leaves.

Dried sage leaves.

The dried sage leaves sitting in the soap oils.

The dried sage leaves sitting in the soap oils.

Melted oils after removing the sage.

Melted oils after removing the sage.

Adding the lye solution to the oils.

Adding the lye solution to the oils.

Mixing the oils and lye solution together.

Mixing the oils and lye solution together.

Soap after being poured into the mold.

Soap after being poured into the mold.

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Reader Challenge: New Gift Kit Combination Ideas Wanted!

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Help Wanted! I’ve been working on some ideas for new kit combinations using our fantastic bases. I love the ability to use our gift kits when I have an emergency gift I need to make, friends to entertain or even planned out gift baskets for special events like Christmas, birthdays or even just because!

I need your help! I need fresh ideas to pair any of our bases with a fragrance (or flavor) that you think we should put together as a new kit option. I’m open to thoughts and inspiration!

Once I get some ideas from you, I’ll take them to the Graphics Team and we will design some new labels for the kits. If you have any thoughts on that front we would love to hear them!

I am running on a deadline for this project and I will need your ideas by July 25th, 2014. To submit your idea(s), simply tell me in the comments below or use the Contact Us page. Please make sure that your e-mail is correct so I can send a message back to you. We wouldn’t want you to miss out if we choose your idea. You can submit one idea or multiple ideas. No idea is too small! I’ll listen to them all!

Once we have the new kits ready to release, all participants will be among the first to know! If you didn’t enter any ideas, don’t worry. Our loyal blog readers will also get the list of the new kits a few days later. How cool is that?

So, what do you “win” if we choose one of your ideas?

  1. A bundle of virtual hugs!
  2. A really awesome goodie box from the Blog Kitchen.
  3. A special note card from all of us here!

Is your brain already coming up with ideas? If so, yay! We want to hear them! If not, pop on over to the catalog for inspiration. I can’t wait to see what you create!

Andee

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Coffee Lip Scrub

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
I think we are lip scrub junkies here! Lip scrubs are easy to make, and are great additions to gift baskets, product lines and more. If you already offer body scrubs and lip balms, then you should try lip scrubs. They are easy, fun and even tasty!

 

Are you still worried about lip scrubs being complicated? Don’t worry about it! I’ll tell you why I chose the ingredients I did so you can see how easy they are. Let’s go have some fun!

Sugar: To have a lip scrub, one must use an exfoliant and sugar is the kinder exfoliant to the lips. (Plus it tastes good!)

Coffee Butter: To make a proper coffee lip scrub, it is a requirement to use this yummy butter!

Shea Butter: I love the texture that Shea Butter contributes to a finished lip scrub. The creamy feel and low odor of Shea Butter makes it an ideal ingredient to use.

Peach Kernel Oil: I enjoy using Peach Kernel Oil in a variety of lip products because it doesn’t feel a heavy or tacky feeling on the lips like Castor Oil can have.

Vitamin E Acetate: I wanted to extend the shelf life of this product by slowing the oxidation process. Vitamin E Acetate was my first choice!

I flavored this lip scrub with Natural Vanilla Oil and Coffee Flavor Oil. This scrub really doesn’t need the extra sweetener, so we can skip using the Sugar Baby or Sugar Kisses Flavors. Trust me, it is fabulously yummy without these extra flavors!

The finished lip scrub on my finger.

The finished lip scrub on my finger.

Ingredients weighed into the food processor bowl.

Ingredients weighed into the food processor bowl.

Let’s go make some now!

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Sugar
Coffee Butter
Shea Butter
Peach Kernel Oil
Vitamin E Acetate
Coffee Flavor Oil
Natural Vanilla Oil
Equipment
Scale
Transfer Pipettes
Microwave safe container
Food Processor *See Notes*
Spoons
10 mL Lip Balm Jars

Recipe: (Makes 100 grams or 3.53 ounces)

Recipe in ounces:
2.29 ounces Sugar
0.35 ounces Coffee Butter
0.35 ounces Shea Butter
0.35 ounces Peach Kernel Oil
0.04 ounces Vitamin E Acetate
0.01 ounces Coffee Flavor
0.04 ounces Natural Vanilla Oil
Recipe in grams:
65 grams Sugar
10 grams Coffee Butter
10 grams Shea Butter
10 grams Peach Kernel Oil
1 grams Vitamin E Acetate
3 grams Coffee Flavor
1 grams Natural Vanilla Oil
Recipe in Percentages:
65% Sugar
10% Coffee Butter
10% Shea Butter
10% Peach Kernel Oil
1% Vitamin E Acetate
3% Coffee Flavor
1% Natural Vanilla Oil

Weigh all of the ingredients into the food processor bowl. Gently pulse the ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. Once the scrub is mixed together, fill the jars and cap.

Notes:
If you want to make a small batch, you can easily use a small personal blender like I did for these photos. I used a food processor attachment for a stick blender.

How do I use this?:
I’ve been asked over the phone about how I use a lip scrub, so here is how I use a lip scrub. Scoop a pea sized amount out of the jar. Using your finger, rub the scrub over your lips. Don’t scrub too much, or you can irritate your lips. Now you can either wipe your lips off, or lick them! Apply a lip balm and now you have pampered your lips!

This simple lip scrub reminds me of a sweet coffee treat and is a great way to get your coffee flavor fix without indulging on a large coffee. I hope you enjoy this scrub as much as I do!

Enjoy!

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CSW 2014 Special Spotlight: Kenna of Central Soapers Workshop

Friday, June 6th, 2014

cswThis is my last post about CSW and I saved an incredible entry last! Let me tell you about Kenna Cote of Central Soapers Workshop, Modern Soapmaking.com and Gratitude Soapery.

Kenna put together the Central Soapers Workshop (and I use the term “put together” loosely because events like this are so large, it is impossible to do it by oneself.) When an event like the Central Soapers Workshop is pulled off in such a seamless fashion, you know the responsible party (Kenna) has chosen the very best people as coordinators to make the event happen so smoothly. Kenna’s connections created a great ground team that handled speakers, attendees, vendors and other little (and not so little) details with ease and efficiency.

modern-soapmaking-blueIt takes an extraordinary person with a great idea of how they want a event to turn out to get such a fun event for attendees. Kenna is one of those extraordinary people who got help from the right people to bring her ideas to fruition. Kenna’s ideas had the Central Soapers Workshop turn out to be one of the most enjoyable soap events I’ve ever attended! I enjoyed all of the networking games that Kenna had us playing. If you weren’t there, you really missed out on some of Kenna’s awesome ideas!

It was wonderful to attend such a well-done conference and be able to have so much fun with everyone! We are so happy that we got to attend this year and are already talking about our ideas for next year! If you would like to attend next year or even volunteer as one of Kenna’s great assistants, just keep watching the Central Soapers Workshop website for more details.

gratitude2Kenna not only runs Central Soapers Workshop, but also ModernSoapmaking.com. She shares tutorials, business tips, advice for all sorts of things from being more product, slowing down and improving sales. If you haven’t gotten a chance to visit ModernSoapmaking.com, I would recommend hopping over there right away! It is a good resource for many questions and even inspiration.

On top of the Central Soapers Workshop and Modern Soapmaking.com, Kenna still has her soap company, Gratitude Soapery. She started Gratitude Soapery when she realized her previous company, Amathia Soapworks, hadn’t been feeding her soul. It all started when she participated in a 30 Day Happiness Challenge and found her happiness came from helping others! Gratitude Soapery makes some adorable soaps with fantastic descriptions! (If you don’t believe me, check them out!)

Kenna, thank you for allowing us the opportunity to come do the Soap Lab. We had so much fun this year! It was wonderful to laugh and talk with you!

Andee

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CSW 2014 Special Spotlight: Tanya of Baby Duck Soap Co

Friday, May 30th, 2014

cswThis is my second to last post about CSW! Let me tell you about Tanya Rasley from Baby Duck Soap Co.

Tanya held some demonstrations in the Soap Lab and she gave her demonstrations with a smile and didn’t let our little rustles of box folding distract her or her students. She just kept plugging away! Her demonstrations not only inspired many of us to try new things, but also were shared with some wonderful humor.

The adorable Baby Duck Soap Co logo!

The adorable Baby Duck Soap Co logo!

Tanya told us about her move from Tennessee to Oregon and we were impressed! It takes a lot to pick up and move a family AND a business across the country with hopes that the move will make things better for you, your family and your business. I’m still stunned by the fact she drove across the USA in January during a nasty snowstorm and I’m from an area that gets snow! I’m happy to report that she is settling in her new home and even has a special soapy lab/basement/dungeon of her own!

Mimosa Lip Balm from Baby Duck Soap Co.

Mimosa Lip Balm from Baby Duck Soap Co.

Tanya also shared with us the struggles of soapmakers who are looking at opening retail spaces for their soap shops. She told us about how she handled various markets and what she wanted to take from her experiences at markets and to apply to a physical retail space. I loved listening to Tanya describe her ideal location, some decor ideas and how she wanted the space to operate!

When we first met Tanya, she gave each one of us a Mimosa flavored lip balm. Taylor and I both loved ours, but Tina was very impressed!

FruitSoapia by Baby Duck Soap Co.

FruitSoapia by Baby Duck Soap Co.

Tina told me, “I was WOWed by Tanya’s lip balm and it was the first lip balm in a long while that I’ve sampled with a flavor that wasn’t so strong that I wanted to wipe off the lip balm immediately after applying! This light flavor was made just for people like me. People who use Kid’s Crest Sparkle Toothpaste because regular adult toothpaste is too strong!”

Shortly after we got back from CSW, Tina received a box of goodies from Tanya. There were a couple of different soaps, Whipped Shea Body Butter, an Emulsified Scrub and even some yummy food treats from the Oregon Coast! We adored the box and have had a fun time trying the different goodies. After trying the goodies in the box, I would recommend trying some of Tanya’s products!

Tanya, thank you for all the giggles, Kansas City BBQ, and great stories you shared with us! We also want to say thanks for the box! We had fun with you in Kansas and after with all the treats!

Andee

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CSW 2014 Special Spotlight: Ranea and JaRee of Natural Textures

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

cswI’m almost done talking about CSW! Let me tell you about the hilarious mother and daughter we met at CSW, Ranea Underwood and JaRee Carey from Natural Textures.

Deep Hair Conditioner from Natural Textures.

Deep Hair Conditioner from Natural Textures.

This mother/daughter pair had us rolling with laughter as we listened to their good-natured banter. JaRee helped us fold boxes for the Soap Lab as she sat and propped up her leg to allow her knee to heal from recent surgery. We had plenty of boxes thanks to JaRee’s folding! She was so persistent about just moving along despite any pain she was feeling and the friendly teasing she received from all of us, including her mother. I was so impressed with how she never stopped smiling or going! Just like the Energizer Bunny!

The several times we got to talk to Ranea and JaRee, they helped us understand more about the issues AND strengths associated with what the cosmetics industry terms “ethnic hair” or hair that differs genetically from hair that traces its genes to Western Europe. They were so helpful to us and I found I walked away from our discussions with a stuffed brain!

Ranea and JaRee, thank you for all your help in the Soap Lab as well as all the giggles you shared with us!

Andee

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CSW 2014 Special Spotlight: RuthAnn of Divine Scents Soap Company

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

cswIn my last post about CSW, I told you a little about one of the people who made our time at the Central Soaper’s Workshop so wonderful! Today, I’m going try to share our experience with another marvelous person. Let me tell you about RuthAnn Matthews from Divine Scents Soap Company.

Lemongrass Bastile Soap from the All Naturals product line by Divine Scents Soap Company.

Lemongrass Bastile Soap from the All Naturals product line by Divine Scents Soap Company.

RuthAnn was a silent helper in the Soap Lab. When you organize events like the Soap Lab, you always hope for someone like RuthAnn because they are ready to help mentor people who have questions as well as helping show methods and techniques. RuthAnn just stepped in and helped wherever she could! When you would see RuthAnn in the Soap Lab helping, she was not only sharing her knowledge but her smile too!

While I didn’t get as much time to talk with RuthAnn as I would have liked, I loved the brief chats I had with her. When I got back from the Workshop, I visited RuthAnn’s website and found myself drooling over some of her soaps and lotion bars! She makes two different product lines of soap; All Naturals Soap and Nearly Naturals Soap. The All Naturals soaps are made with essential oils and natural colorants and botanicals for decoration, color and exfoliation. The Nearly Naturals soaps are made with fragrance oils. I loved looking at her swirls and layers! Which soap do you find yourself drooling over most?

RuthAnn, thank you for all your help and the mentoring that you did in the Soap Lab! You were one of the strong supports for the Lab!

Andee

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CSW 2014 Special Spotlight: Shonna of Red Shed Soap Co.

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

cswIn my last post about CSW, I told you a little about one of the people who made our time at the Central Soaper’s Workshop so wonderful! Today, I’m going try to share our experience with another marvelous person. Let me tell you about Shonna Hilliard from Red Shed Soap Co.!

During one of the demonstrations that happened in the Soap Lab we had to fold most of our soap boxes along with their liners. While the process could have been distracting due to the crinkly liners being folded, Shonna helped fold boxes and liners in the back of the Soap Lab. Her folding was quietly efficient!

Shonna as she folds liners for the soap mold boxes.

Shonna as she folds liners for the soap mold boxes.

As Shonna folded liners for the soap boxes, she would watch the demonstration without looking at her hands and the liners she was folding. Without Shonna’s help, we wouldn’t have been able to make the Soap Lab as prepared as it was and we are very grateful for her help!

Shonna is relatively new to soapmaking. She has been taking been taking lessons from RuthAnn and her enthusiasm for soapmaking is contagious. She found inspiration while at the Central Soaper’s Workshop, but she was also inspiring in the Soap Lab. Shonna made her batches of soap and even showed newer soapmakers that soapmaking wasn’t as scary as it seems.

Shonna, thank you for all your help and the inspiration that you gave us! It was a pleasure to spend time with you!

Andee

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CSW 2014 Special Spotlight: Stacy of Bluebonnet Soaps N’ Such

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

cswIn my last post about CSW, I told you a little about one of the people who made our time at the Central Soaper’s Workshop so wonderful! Today, I’m going try to share our experience with another fantastic person. Let me tell you about Stacy Durham from Bluebonnet Soaps N’ Such!

Stacy helped us prepare the Soap Lab by folding the boxes that became our soap molds. She became a box folding wizard. While we folded boxes with Stacy out in the atrium, we talked about the products Stacy made. The thing about Stacy that caught our attention is that she talked to us about gluten-free products and the need for them. She doesn’t just talk about this need either! The focus of her company is gluten-free and allergen-free products!

A pile of Vegan Lip Balms from Bluebonnet Soaps N’ Such. Yum!

A pile of Vegan Lip Balms from Bluebonnet Soaps N’ Such. Yum!

Stacy focuses on finding raw materials that are free of not just gluten but other common allergens like peanut, dairy, egg and latex. We had talked about how Wheat Germ Oil is considered gluten free because you won’t find wheat proteins in the oil, but how these proteins can be found in other materials. Stacy told us that when you make any product with the goal to be gluten and allergen-free, you have to know your raw materials. Stacy’s awareness and conscientiousness really sets her apart in her chosen niche.

We loved hanging out with Stacy at dinner because not only is she a hilarious person, but she also has great ideas! Stacy even got to hear about how MMS started. While most people think that MMS is Tina’s fairy tale and the love story of someone who woke up in the middle of the night and said, “Aha, I have a great idea for a business,” the truth is that it was MMS that rescued Tina from the very chaos of life. Stacy even sent Tina the sweetest gift afterwards, a very exceptional Lone Star apron. Tina has even said that she will proudly wear it, even without a tutu because it is that good!

Soaps for men from Bluebonnet Soaps N’ Such.

Soaps for men from Bluebonnet Soaps N’ Such.

If you get a chance to meet Stacy, I think you will find yourself rolling on the floor laughing as you have a great time! In the meantime, take some time to check out her amazing products. I’m sure you will find Stacy’s story, store and products just as interesting as we did!

Stacy, thank you for all your help and the giggles we shared! It was a pleasure to spend time with you!

Andee

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