All posts by Andee

I'm a twenty something soap snob. I've grown up with hand made soaps and I love them! I really like making melt and pour soaps because they are so easy. My favorite scent is either Velocity or Cotton Candy. I tend to hoard fragrances, I even have an Earl Grey Tea from the MMS catalog. I won't tell you how old it is, but it sure is good!

Reminder: Our Birthday Present to You!

birthdayThere are just a few more days left of the month of September and I wanted to remind you about our super cool birthday present for you! Since it is our 18th birthday, we have a shipping special that is our way of thanking you for supporting us as we have grown over the last 18 years.

What is the special?

  • Any orders that have an item total of $150 or more will have a $10.00 shipping discount.
  • Any orders that have an item total of $200 or more will have a $20.00 shipping discount.
  • Any orders that have an item total of $300 or more will have a $40.00 shipping discount.
  • If your shipping is less than the amount discounted, you get FREE shipping!

How do you get this awesome special? Enter the code 18-BDAY into the Item Code field in your shopping cart, then choose a quantity of 1 and you are ready to go!

This special ends on September 30th at midnight Mountain Time.

Check your cupboards this weekend and put together a shopping list! This is one shipping special you don’t want to miss out on!

Have a fantastic weekend!
Andee

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Caramel Apple Cold Process Soap

Finished bars of soap after being cut.
Finished bars of soap after being cut.
I remember being a teen and having braces. While they were uncomfortable to wear, I remember helping my mom make batches of soft, melt-in-your-mouth caramel that I could eat without damaging my braces. One time, we made a mistake and ended up with a fantastic caramel sauce that was delicious drizzled over apple slices. We still make the caramel sauce to this day and it is always enjoyed!

The release of our new Green Apple and Caramel Toffee flavors had me thinking about the caramels that we used to make and how I loved to pair the caramel sauce with apples. Since I’ve made a Caramel Apple Lip balm, I have to make a soap that is complementary. Come with me and we’ll make a great batch of Caramel Apple Soap!

Continue reading

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Season Change: Autumn Equinox

Autumn Leaves on a pond.
Autumn Leaves on a pond.
Today, autumn officially begins. While the weather has already started to cool down here in Northern Utah and I’m beginning to see pumpkin stands by the side of the road, I still think autumn hasn’t begun until the equinox. I love the cool weather, changing colors of the landscape and even breaking out my baking books for some new recipes. What is your favorite thing about autumn?

Now that I’ve given myself permission to think about autumn (Halloween is the only exception), I’m going to share some of my favorite scent blends that have me thinking of autumn. Let’s go check them out!

Continue reading

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Halloween Lip Balms

Complete set of Halloween Lip Balms.
Complete set of Halloween Lip Balms.

As I told you on Friday, Halloween is my favorite holiday. I’ve decided that now I have some adorable Halloween labels, I have to put together some lip balm samples for the Shipping Department. If you are lucky enough, you will get one of these lip balms in your order when it ships this week.

I had fun making this recipe several times as I made a batch for each flavor featured on the labels last week. Let’s go make some yummy lip balm with the new flavors!

Continue reading

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Lip Balm Label Special!

The super cute Halloween Lip Balm label designs!
The super cute Halloween Lip Balm label designs!
If you have ever heard me plot for and gush endlessly on the subject of Halloween, then you know it is the number one ranking holiday for me out of all the holidays in the year! I always have my Halloween costume planned by early summer and spooky music is usually playing in my car after Easter. This year, I have the chance to share my love of Halloween with you in a new way!

I asked our Graphics Team to design several super cute Halloween themed lip balm labels using our new flavors. If you haven’t checked out the new flavors, STOP! Run, check them out and then come back to read about the label special I have for you.

Are you back now? Which flavor is your favorite? Are you excited to try Cantaloupe, Caramel Toffee or Green Apple? I love all of them, but the little kid in me absolutely loves the combination of Caramel Toffee and Green Apple for a perfect caramel dipped apple. Yum! Doesn’t that just say Halloween and fall to you?

Back to the labels! I loved the labels they designed so much, I asked if I could share them so you can have them too! Guess what? We’re printing a special run of these labels just for you!

Let me tell you about this awesome deal! Each style of label is available in a bundle of 50 labels. These labels are printed on vinyl with UV stable inks. This means these labels are basically water-proof! Can you say sweat-proof?(I still don’t recommend running your lip balm through the washing machine.)

How do you order these labels?

When you place an order, you can add a bundle of 50 labels to any order for only $4.00! Simply enter the item code for the design of your choice.
OCT1 = Green Apple Lip Balm Labels, Bundle of 50
OCT2 = Caramel Apple Lip Balm Labels, Bundle of 50
OCT3 = Caramel Toffee Lip Balm Labels, Bundle of 50
OCT4 = Cantaloupe Lip Balm Labels, Bundle of 50

Can you order more than one bundle? Absolutely! Order as many as you want for favors, limited edition lip balms, treats or even just for handing out to friends and family. The labels don’t have ingredients listings, so don’t feel limited to a specific formula.

Want to look at the labels a little more closely? Click on the image above to see all four labels in a larger format!

Don’t delay! The last day to order these adorable labels is October 20th, 2014!

Andee

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Specialty Ingredients: Ingredient Listings Do Change with Location

ExoticOilMy experiences in China have opened my eyes to how location changes the ingredients that are viewed as specialty and/or exotic ingredients. Here in the USA, we often use ingredients that bring exotic and unique locations to mind. Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, and Argan Oil are all oils that we consider to be specialty ingredients due to their exotic origins and the higher prices that are needed to bring them to the USA. Marketing for big cosmetic brands has also helped bring these ingredients to the forefront of our minds (and our customers too).

Yet in other countries and even regions within the same country, different ingredients may or may not be considered to be specialty ingredients. Here is a comparison for you. Soybeans grow in most of the USA and we use a lot of soybean oil in cooking and frying. It is easy to purchase anywhere, including most grocery stores. While I was in China I could not easily buy any type of Soybean Oil, liquid or hydrogenated. They eat lots of soy based products, but they don’t use the oil in cooking. When I did find it, the price was almost triple the price of Coconut Oil! Sometimes we don’t think about the oils that we find locally as special and it takes new experiences to remind us how special that oil is.

Do you remember my blog post about Snake Oil? Many of you commented about how you found the snake oil to be interesting and some of you even said it had you grossed out! Do you remember Jerry helped me get some Snake Oil so I could try making my own hand cream and soap? Here in the USA, we consider Snake Oil to be a specialty oil because it is something so unique to our markets.

Would you want to try a small amount of Snake Oil? I’ve been able to get a small amount of it for testing purposes and I would like to share it with you! It isn’t something that we will add to the catalog so when my *very* limited supply runs out, I won’t be able to get any more. How do you get some? Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the Contact Us page and select Blog Team.
  2. Send a message including your Name, Address, City ST ZIP, and a comment telling me what you want to do with the Snake Oil. Click SEND MESSAGE.

So, what happens after all of this? Well, I send each valid MMS customer who submitted information, a 2 fl oz sample of Snake Oil AND a handwritten note. (See the catch? You must be a Sage in order to participate.)

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought and even something to play with!

Andee

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

It’s Our 18th Birthday!

It's our 18th Birthday! Grab some cake and celebrate with us. Birthdays are so much fun! Since it is our 18th birthday, I couldn’t resist doing something special for all of you!

We are offering a shipping special ALL month to you to celebrate our 18th birthday. If you were thinking about placing an order, then this month is the perfect time to do so!

  • Any orders that have an item total of $150 or more will have a $10.00 shipping discount.
  • Any orders that have an item total of $200 or more will have a $20.00 shipping discount.
  • Any orders that have an item total of $300 or more will have a $40.00 shipping discount.
  • If your shipping is less than the amount discounted, you get FREE shipping!

How do you get this awesome special? Enter the code 18-BDAY into the Item Code field in your shopping cart, then choose a quantity of 1 and you are ready to go!

This special ends on September 30th at midnight Mountain Time.

Don’t miss out on this awesome shipping special! Don’t have enough on your order to qualify? Get together with your friends, sisters-in-law, sisters, and even your neighbors to place a qualifying order! This special is the perfect reason to get stocked up for your holiday gift giving and/or sales. What will you get?

Andee

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Labor Day 2014

Labor Day2Somehow, Labor Day was able to sneak up on me this year. I don’t know why! It’s always the first Monday in September. I’m popping in to wish you a wonderful day and to remind you that MMS is closed today for the holiday.

We will be back tomorrow to process your orders and ship as many of them as possible. (We’re hoping to ship all of the orders placed over the holiday weekend!) We’ll also be back helping answer any questions you might have about products, recipe troubleshooting and more.

All orders placed after 12:30 P.M. Mountain Time on Friday, August 29th will be processed on Tuesday, September 2nd. Remember that UPS and USPS will be closed today and will not be able to pickup or deliver any packages. Both will resume their shipping services tomorrow.

If you need to travel today, please travel safely. I’m going to be staying home and enjoying a glass of Fresh Fruit Punch while I hang out with my family. I hope you enjoy your day and we will see you tomorrow!

Andee

P.S. Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow because I have some really awesome news for you! I’m so excited that I’ve barely been able to keep this news under my hat for as long as I have and tomorrow I can finally share it with all of you!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Melting Lip Solutions Using the Stove

When melting a jar of Lip Solutions, I often recommend using the microwave to melt it quickly. However, I’ve now lived in places where I did not have easy access to a microwave. A recent question to our Technical Support Team reminded me that sometimes we don’t have access to a microwave and yet we still need to melt a jar of Lip Solutions. Let’s talk about how this can be easily resolved!

Today I’m going to use the Soy Lip Solutions to make a batch of lemon flavored lip balm.

Ingredients

Equipment

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
286 gram jar of Soy Lip Solutions
3 grams Lemon USA Essential Oil
6 grams Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
Recipe in Ounces
10.08 ounces jar of Soy Lip Solutions
0.11 ounces Lemon USA Essential Oil
0.21 ounces Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
Recipe in Percentages
97% Soy Lip Solutions
1% Lemon USA Essential Oil
2% Sugar Baby Flavor Oil

Collect all the equipment you will need. I’ve used the Lip Solutions for many years now and I still forget one item or another. So while you are collecting your equipment and ingredients, I just hang out here!

Got everything? Good! Begin by placing the wire rack/perforated plate in the bottom of your pan. The goal is to prevent the jar from sitting on the bottom of the pan and prevent it from cracking due to uneven heat. The last thing you want is to have a broken jar of Lip Solutions that is no longer usable and leaves a mess in the pot.

Add enough water to the pot to fill the pot till is is about one third full. Your jar of Lip Solutions should not be submersed more than 2 inches. If you need to pull out your measuring tape and mark the side of the jar, go ahead and do it! Then you can add water to the pot until you have reached the mark on the side of your jar. If you add too much water you could cause the water to splash and get inside the jar of Lip Solutions. Remove the lid from the jar of Lip solutions and place the jar in the pot. Turn the stove burner heat on to medium low and allow the water to gently heat. The water will have eventually heated enough to simmer, but not enough to be at a rolling boil. The Lip Solutions will melt as the surrounding water heats. Do not leave the stove unattended to prevent any accidents!

As this method takes time, I HIGHLY recommend using this time to clean the kitchen, label items, knit or any other small tasks that are not attention hungry projects. Do not start a project that needs all or most of your attention. My jar of Lip Solutions had melted in about 10 minutes, but times will vary based on your stove, size of your pot and amount of water.

Once the Lip Solutions is mostly melted (a few small solid chunks), turn off the heat and remove the jar from the water. Stir until the remaining chunks have melted. If you overheat the lip balm, this will cause your pipette to melt, bend and no longer work! Then you will need to wait for it to cool completely and Add any of your desired flavors, extracts and/or colors. I added the Lemon Essential Oil and Sugar Baby Flavor. After stirring well to ensure the flavors had been mixed in completely, I filled my lip balm tubes and allowed the filled tubes to cool before capping.

Don’t forget to check the consistency of your lip balm with the Plate Test before you fill your lip balm containers. This will save you from discovering that your lip balm is too soft or too hard!

Andee

Placing the perforated plate in the saucepan.
Placing the perforated plate in the saucepan.
The perforated plate and water in the saucepan.
The perforated plate and water in the saucepan.
Placing the jar of Lip Solutions on the perforated plate.
Placing the jar of Lip Solutions on the perforated plate.
The Lip Solutions is starting to melt!
The Lip Solutions is starting to melt!
The Lip Solutions is mostly melted!
The Lip Solutions is mostly melted!
The Lip Solutions is completely melted.
The Lip Solutions is completely melted.
Now we are ready to add our flavors and other desired additives!
Now we are ready to add our flavors and other desired additives!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Fragrance Testing in Cold Process Soap: Emmett, Osmanthus, Cucumbers & Melons and Frosted Cupcake

I have more photos for our Fragrance Testing Series! While these tests are a good indicator of how these fragrances will behave, this does not eliminate the need for you to test each fragrance with your own particular formulas.

Emmett scented soap on the left and control on the right.
Emmett scented soap on the left and control on the right.
Our first fragrance in Cold Process Soap is Emmett. According to our catalog, Emmett is a “very masculine scent of bay, rum, lime, mahogany, amber, vanilla and bergamot.” Emmett is a smooth and clean scent that makes me think of mountain air . This masculine combination of wood and citrus makes Elements of Bamboo bring peace, tranquility and balance to mind.

There was very slight discoloration of note, a light tan color. We used the maximum suggested usage rate of 2.5%, which is 0.4 ounces of fragrance in our 1 pound test batch.


Our second fragrance in Cold Process Soap is Osmanthus. According to our catalog, Osmanthus is “sensual, fresh, fruit and herbaceous and wonderfully calming. I think it is the best ever! It can be a personal signature scent so easily.” Osmanthus is a charming fragrance and is one of our most popular scents when we have personal projects that we need to find a scent that almost everybody will like. This fragrance is incredibly true to the fresh Osmanthus trees that I got to smell at the Summer Palace in Beijing!

There was not any discoloration of note and this means you can make any swirl you have always been dreaming of without worrying about the fragrance causing discoloration. We used the maximum suggested usage rate of 2.5%, which is 0.4 ounces of fragrance in our 1 pound test batch.

Osmanthus scented soap on the left and control on the right.
Osmanthus scented soap on the left and control on the right.

Cucumbers & Melons scented soap on the left and control on the right.
Cucumbers & Melons scented soap on the left and control on the right.
Our third fragrance in Cold Process Soap is Cucumbers & Melons. According to our catalog, Cucumbers & Melons is “A perfect blend on melons and cucumber with incredible results in cold process soap!” I find Cucumbers & Melons to be … indescribably refreshing. I know the scent is a combination of melons with cucumbers, but this fragrance always makes me smile and feel like I can tackle my day head on!

There was not any discoloration of note and this means you can make a green and yellow swirl without worrying about the fragrance causing discoloration. We used the maximum suggested usage rate of 2.5%, which is 0.4 ounces of fragrance in our 1 pound test batch.


Our fourth fragrance in Cold Process Soap is Frosted Cupcakes. According to our catalog, Frosted Cupcakes is a “blend of sugar, cinnamon, caramel and pecans. Imagine a German chocolate cake (without the cake) in a graham cracker crust. That caramel scent seems like home-baked fun.” This fragrance is one of my favorites! I love using it in room sprays and salt potpourri because it makes the kitchen smell like I’ve been slaving away over dessert when in reality, it only took me a few minutes to pull something from the freezer and pop it in the oven!

There is a moderate amount of discoloration of note, a very nice shade of soft brown hues. We used the maximum suggested usage rate of 2.5%, which is 0.4 ounces of fragrance in our 1 pound test batch.

Frosted Cupcakes scented soap on the left and control on the right.
Frosted Cupcakes scented soap on the left and control on the right.

Here are the details about our test batches before we added any fragrances!

Ingredients
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Shea Butter
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Water
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
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
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

Our temperatures for lye and oils are between 125°F and 130°F.. We make our soap with a 6% superfat. All of the batches we make are mixed to light trace and then the fragrance is added. After the fragrance is added we mix until the fragrance is incorporated and then we pour into the mold.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)