Author Archive

It’s the Count Down to the 2014 Central Soapers Workshop!

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Are you going?

Are you going?

I’m so excited for the Central Soapers Workshop that is happening later this month! This year we are sponsoring the Soap Lab so all attendees can make some soap using the new techniques they have learned while at the workshop. We are even going to be there to help run the Soap Lab!

Tina had so much fun last year at the Central Soapers Workshop, that she is going back and bringing Taylor and myself so we can join the party!

What are we providing?
Fixed Oils
Fragrances
Colors
Botanical Additives
Equipment and other soapy supplies!

Did you know there is still time to register? Visit the Central Soapers site to sign up because you don’t want miss out on all the fun!

If you can’t make it, follow us on Twitter for workshop updates! We will be tagging our posts with #centralsoapers. I will try very hard to keep the Twitter feed rolling on our end, but I might be having so much fun that I forget to tweet!

If you are going, let us know and come say “hi”! We would love to talk to you! I’m looking forward to meeting more soapers in person and matching faces to names.

See you in Overland Park, Kansas!

Andee

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TheSage Special Project – Help Needed!

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

uncle-sam-we-want-you1I’m working on a special project for some things we are doing later this year. I want to have some cute labels for these items, but my skills as a graphic artist/designer are severely lacking. I’m much better at processing your orders than being artistic!

So, I’m opening this project up to get help from you! Many of you design your own labels, logos, and even websites. Right now, I have several labels I need to design and I’m drawing a blank! I would love to get your help!

If you are interested in helping me design some great labels for this special project, send me an e-mail through our Contact Us form (pick the Blog Team radio button) with the following information.

  1. Your name.
  2. Your e-mail.
  3. How you would like to be compensated for your work.

I will e-mail you back with the details about the labels needed and where we will be using this special project.

Andee

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Super Easy Lip Gloss

Monday, February 17th, 2014
When I make lip glosses, I always have people asking me “Is it hard to make? Do I need a million ingredients?” The answer is NO! Lip glosses are really easy to make and are used for many simple makeup routines. Come with me and let’s make a lip gloss worthy of YOUR makeup routine!

This lip gloss will not tint or color the lips due to the small amount of color being used. It will give shimmer and shine as we are using Castor Oil and Silver Mica.

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Castor Oil
Carnauba Wax
Natural Vanilla Oil
Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
Silver Mica
Black Oil Soluble Lip Color
Ruby Oil Soluble Lip Color
White Oil Soluble Lip Color
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes
Lip Pens

Recipe: (Makes 1 ounce or 28 grams. Fills approximately 14 lip brush pens.)

Recipe in ounces:
0.95 ounce Castor Oil
0.01 ounce Carnauba Wax
0.03 ounce Natural Vanilla Oil
0.01 ounce Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
q.s. Silver Mica
q.s. Black Oil Soluble Lip Color
q.s. Ruby Oil Soluble Lip Color
q.s. White Oil Soluble Lip Color
Recipe in grams:
26.6 grams Castor Oil
0.3 grams Carnauba Wax
0.8 grams Natural Vanilla Oil
0.3 grams Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
q.s. Silver Mica
q.s. Black Oil Soluble Lip Color
q.s. Ruby Oil Soluble Lip Color
q.s. White Oil Soluble Lip Color
Recipe in Percentages
95% Castor Oil
1% Carnauba Wax
3% Natural Vanilla Oil
1% Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
q.s. Silver Mica
q.s. Black Oil Soluble Lip Color
q.s. Ruby Oil Soluble Lip Color
q.s. White Oil Soluble Lip Color

Recipe Note:
Q.S. means quantity sufficient. You do not need much Silver Mica or Oil Soluble Lip Balm Colors. This recipe needs so little that we can’t measure it! So we use Q.S. to say use as much as you need to achieve the right color, flavor, etc.

Begin by weighing the Carnauba Wax and Castor Oil. After measuring the ingredients, microwave using short time bursts until the wax is melted. Add flavors. Now the color and mica can be added. I used the tip of a clean pipette and pulled it across the top of the color and then used that pipette to stir the mixture until the color was completely mixed in. I then used a new pipette and put the tip into the mica to scoop a small amount into the lip gloss. Using the pipette I used for the color, I stirred the mixture to decide if it needed more mica or not. Once you are satisfied with the color, fill the brushes while the mixture is still warm. Leave them standing upright until they have cooled. After the mixture has cooled, then you can put the tips and caps on. If the mixture gets into the small metal tube before it is completely cooled, the metal can cause the mixture to solidify over the opening and material will be difficult to advance into the brush.

Color Note:
I first added the Ruby Lip Balm Color, but I was not pleased with the vibrant pink color. I added a touch of Black Lip Balm Color to darken the Ruby and I accidentally added too much Black! The color was too dark, so I added White to brighten the color. After I finished mixing the white color into the lip gloss, I decided to stick with the plum color that I had achieved because I didn’t want to mess the color up or make a lip gloss that had lots of color. Next time I would actually add more color to create a lip tint because the finished color is lovely as is!

Flavor Note:
As much as I like the vanilla flavor for this lip gloss, I think I will pick a “pink” flavor for my next batch! I’m currently torn between Watermelon, Pomegranate or Strawberry Swirl. What flavor would you choose? Or would you pick a completely different one? Tell us what flavor you would choose!

I hope you enjoy making this delightful lip gloss that is a perfect addition to your purse or makeup bag!

Finished lip gloss.

Finished lip gloss.

Carnauba Wax being weighed.

Carnauba Wax being weighed.

Added the Castor Oil to Carnauba Wax.

Added the Castor Oil to Carnauba Wax.

Adding the Ruby Color to the melted lip gloss.

Adding the Ruby Color to the melted lip gloss.

Adding the Silver Mica.

Adding the Silver Mica.

Stirring in the Silver Mica.

Stirring in the Silver Mica.

Lip Brush Pens filled with cooling lip gloss.

Lip Brush Pens filled with cooling lip gloss.

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Coffee & Cream Lip Gloss

Friday, February 7th, 2014
I love making lip glosses because they are so simple to make and yet are one bit of makeup that I will regularly wear. Since I’m a total Java Junkie, I created this yummy lip gloss that isn’t overpoweringly coffee and yet still mildly coffee flavored. Think latte or cappuccino and now you have imagined the flavor for this yummy lip gloss!

This lip gloss is easy to make. It does not tint or color the lips because of the small amount of color used. That being said, this lip gloss will give shimmer and shine to the lips since we are using Castor Oil and Silver Mica. Let’s go have some fun!

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Castor Oil
Carnauba Wax
Coffee Butter
Coffee Flavor Oil
Natural Vanilla Oil
Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
Silver Mica
Black Oil Soluble Lip Color
Yellow Oil Soluble Lip Color
Coral Oil Soluble Lip Color
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes
Lip Pens

Recipe: (Makes 1 ounce or 28 grams. Fills approximately 14 lip brush pens.)

Recipe in ounces:
0.87 ounce Castor Oil
0.01 ounce Carnauba Wax
0.05 ounce Coffee Butter
0.03 ounce Coffee Flavor
0.02 ounce Natural Vanilla
0.02 ounce Sugar Baby
q.s. Silver Mica
q.s. Black Oil Soluble Lip Color
q.s. Yellow Oil Soluble Lip Color
q.s. Coral Oil Soluble Lip Color
Recipe in grams:
24.4 grams Castor Oil
0.3 grams Carnauba Wax
1.4 grams Coffee Butter
0.8 grams Coffee Flavor
0.6 grams Natural Vanilla
0.6 grams Sugar Baby
q.s. Silver Mica
q.s. Black Oil Soluble Lip Color
q.s. Yellow Oil Soluble Lip Color
q.s. Coral Oil Soluble Lip Color
Recipe in Percentages
87% Castor Oil
1% Carnauba Wax
5% Coffee Butter
3% Coffee Flavor
2% Natural Vanilla
2% Sugar Baby
q.s. Silver Mica
q.s. Black Oil Soluble Lip Color
q.s. Yellow Oil Soluble Lip Color
q.s. Coral Oil Soluble Lip Color

Note: Q.S. means quantity sufficient. You do not need much Silver Mica or Oil Soluble Lip Balm Colors. This recipe needs so little that we can’t measure it! So we use Q.S. to say use as much as you need to achieve the right color, flavor, etc.

Begin by weighing the Carnauba Wax, Castor Oil, and Coffee Butter. After measuring the ingredients, microwave using short time bursts until the wax is melted. Add flavors. Now the color and mica can be added. I used the tip of a clean pipette and pulled it across the top of the color and then used that pipette to stir the mixture until the color was completely mixed in. I then used a new pipette and put the tip into the mica to scoop a small amount into the lip gloss. Using the pipette I used for the color, I stirred the mixture to decide if it needed more mica or not. Once you are satisfied with the color, fill the brushes while the mixture is still warm. Leave them standing upright until they have cooled. After the mixture has cooled, then you can put the tips and caps on. If the mixture gets into the small metal tube before it is cooled, the metal can cause the mixture to solidify over the opening and material will be difficult to advance into the brush.

Color Note: While the Coffee Butter contributes minimal color, I wanted a little more of a “coffee” color. To achieve that I used approximately 3 parts Yellow, 2 parts Coral and 2 parts Black.

I hope you enjoy making this delicious lip gloss!

Finished lip gloss.

Finished lip gloss.

Weighing the Carnauba Wax.

Weighing the Carnauba Wax.

Adding the Coffee Butter and Castor Oil.

Adding the Coffee Butter and Castor Oil.

Adding Silver Mica to melted ingredients.

Adding Silver Mica to melted ingredients.

Completely colored lip gloss.

Completely colored lip gloss.

Filling Lip Brush Pens.

Filling Lip Brush Pens.

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How do you stay happy?

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

As I was leaving Starbucks last night after meeting a friend, a woman stopped me in the parking lot and asked, “How do you stay happy?” At first, I was surprised and a little flattered that a stranger would stop me and ask such a question. I told her that I try to move on from the negative and bad and that I also try to laugh. We talked for a little longer before we parted ways, but the question stuck with me as I drove home.

How do I stay happy? I thought about this question and realized that even though sometimes I get frustrated or hurt by things that have been said or done, most days I am a happy person. Why? I get to work at a job that I love. When I go home, I play with my family and pets, read books that interest me and have hobbies that are fun. Since I fill my life with things I like, I am happy with my life.

Now, how do you stay happy? How do your soaps, lotions, lip balms and other products that you make (for personal use or sale) help either you stay happy? Tell us how you stay happy because we want to know!

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New Products Review!

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

NewI have some really exciting news for our blog readers! If you haven’t checked out the New Products section of the catalog recently, you really should because we have released some really cool stuff. I’m so excited to tell you about them, so let’s go talk about these new goodies!

Charcoal, Activated
After we brought in all the Botanical powders, we started getting requests from readers like you asking for Activated Charcoal! We listened and after much testing and searching, we found the perfect Charcoal Powder for you. Now you can use Charcoal as another natural colorant for your soap line and happy customers.

CHALLENGE! Submit a photograph of your soaps using this botanical as a colorant and we will send you a goody box!

Dirty Mimosa Fragrance Oil
This scent is fabulous! Just so you know how fabulous this fragrance is, all the testing samples from the R&D lab have disappeared into pockets and I couldn’t even find a tiny soap scrap to smell. I had to go back to the warehouse to find a freshly packed bottle!

Dirty Mimosa is a perfect meld of bright citrus top notes of citron leaf and yuzu, middle notes of sparkling water, green leafy cyclamen and muguet, and neatly balanced with base notes of earthy tobacco, sugar cane, coconut and vanilla.

Watermelon Flavor Oil
If you are fond of watermelon, you will love our Watermelon Flavor! This flavor is almost as good as eating a cold, juicy and sweet watermelon. The best part of this flavor is that you won’t have to wipe any watermelon juice off your chin, but I can’t make any promises about drool!

Which one of these new products are you most excited to play with?

Andee

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Fragrance Testing in Cold Process Soap: Alice, Banana Leaf & Acai, Brown Sugar & Spice, Cotton Candy and Cucumber

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

I’m so excited to announce that this blog post is the beginning of a long series of blog posts that will show the testing of our fragrances in Cold Process Soap. We are testing ALL the fragrances in our catalog at their maximum recommended usage rate for Cold Process Soap and showing you pictures of what the finished soaps look like in a side by side comparison with an unscented control batch. Since these fragrances were tested at their maximum recommended usage rate, I wouldn’t recommend using more fragrance! These soaps are strongly scented and will smell much stronger when wet!

Are you ready to see the first test batches? Let’s go!

Our first fragrance in Cold Process Soap is Alice. According to our catalog, Alice is “super cute and flirty. She is a sparkling orange, lemon and linen. She is delicate with violet jasmine and mimosa. She has a sexy amber, sheer wood and musky side too.” Alice is one of the fragrances that part of our Twilight inspired collection but even if you aren’t a fan of Twilight, this citrus fragrance is wonderful in all soaps, lotions and scrubs. Even in soap, the fragrance maintains the well balanced scent that I find so hard to describe, but has won the hearts (noses?) of so many soapers.

There was not any discoloration of note and this means you can make that orange and white swirl you have always been dreaming of without worrying about the fragrance causing discoloration. We used the maximum suggested usage rate of 2.75%, which is 0.44 ounces of fragrance in our 1 pound test batch.

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

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


Banana Leaf & Acai  scented soap on the left and control on the right.

Banana Leaf & Acai scented soap on the left and control on the right.

Our second fragrance in Cold Process Soap is Banana Leaf & Acai. According to our catalog, Banana Leaf & Acai is a fresh, sweet and authentic banana fragrance that doesn’t smell like a children’s banana candy. This fragrance may not smell like a freshly baked loaf of banana bread, but the banana scent is unmistakable. In the finished soap, the fragrance reminds me of a banana cream pie and yet it isn’t as sticky sweet as a banana cream pie. This is a banana puree type of scent and the Acai gives balance to the scent.

There is moderate discoloration and the soap is a medium tan color or to be more descriptive, the color of a chocolate milk sold in the grocery store. We used the maximum suggested usage rate of 2.5%, which is 0.40 ounces of fragrance in our 1 pound test batch.


Our third fragrance in Cold Process Soap is Brown Sugar & Spice. According to our catalog, Brown Sugar & Spice is a blend of brown sugar, spices and vanilla. This soap is reminiscent of a warm hug from a grandma after she had been in the kitchen baking. There isn’t a strong molasses note like a newly opened jar, but the sweet smell of butter, brown sugar, vanilla and spices that has been creamed together in preparation for cookies.

There is mild discoloration and the soap is a light tan color or to be more descriptive, the color of a latte or the crema on the top of a freshly brewed espresso. We used the maximum suggested usage rate of 2.5%, which is 0.40 ounces of fragrance in our 1 pound test batch.

Brown Sugar & Spice  scented soap on the left and control on the right.

Brown Sugar & Spice scented soap on the left and control on the right.


Cotton Candy  scented soap on the left and control on the right.

Cotton Candy scented soap on the left and control on the right.

Our fourth fragrance in Cold Process Soap is Cotton Candy. According to our catalog, Cotton Candy is pink fluff with vanilla and a hint of cherry to top it off. This is a scent that has been well liked by the teens and for a good reason! It smells like a carnival cotton candy machine! In soap the cherry (not almond) is more recognizable, but the vanilla balances it to prevent the soap from smelling like a plasticky cherry scent.

There is moderate discoloration and the soap is a medium tan color or to be more descriptive, the color of a chocolate milk sold in the grocery store. We used the maximum suggested usage rate of 2.5%, which is 0.40 ounces of fragrance in our 1 pound test batch.


Our fifth and last fragrance in Cold Process Soap for today is Cucumber. According to our catalog, Cucumber is a green, clean scent that is superbly refreshing. Right out of the bottle, this fragrance really does smell like a fresh cut cucumber and the soap smells the same!

There was not any discoloration of note and this means you can make that green and white 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 0.40 ounces of fragrance in our 1 pound test batch.

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

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

Thank you for joining us today! We will be releasing more pictures as we continue testing soaps. If there is a fragrance you would like to see, let us know and we will put it at the top of our list!

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Ye Olde Romance Swap Sign Ups

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Swap gift 2Have you ever wanted to test formulas, packaging or both? I have a fantastic way for you to get a handful of testers who are just like you and get inspiration from other people at the same time! Join our new swap and get a box that comes and makes you feel like Christmas just came again!

This new swap is all about soap and the holidays. Now if you have never participated in a swap before, they are great fun. They are a great way to strut your stuff, get feedback and even test durability of labels and packaging methods. And the best part is that you get to make great friends as well your very own, personal goodie box.

Want to join in the fun? Come join us at the MMS Forum. Sign up for the Ye Olde Romance Swap. Don’t wait too long! Final registration is January 21st. Want more details? Here they are!

Official Details

The theme for this swap is Ye Olde Romance Swap. This swap will be an open swap and will include some fun goodies for you to play with for your creative time. If desired, the recipe for your products can be e-mailed in or sent with the products when shipped. All sent recipes will be included in the swap recipe booklet.

The purpose of this swap is to share products that are inspired by history, historical romance or historical fiction. You can use recipes that you have adapted to modern day ingredients or been inspired by parts of history and/or romance. I’m even going to allow you to choose any point in history, so you can pick any time in history that you want! This swap does coincide with Valentines Day, but you won’t receive your boxes until before White Day (Japan’s second Valentines Day for returning valentines to those who have given to you, March 14th).

To prevent the swap from becoming too big, I am going to limit the group size to 10-15 people. If we have more people that are interested, I will create a second group to allow more people to participate. If you have a limit of items you can or want to prepare, let me know and I will help you arrange to cover any extra participants.

Deadline Dates to know:
Last Sign Up Date: January 21st, 2014
Last Possible Shipping Date: February 21st, 2014
Return Mailing Date: March 5th, 2014

All items will be shipped to MMS.

When you sign up, please list size of your product so I can calculate the box size necessary. Once I know the box size, I will have a postage amount to be included with your package. I will choose the most economical method to ship your package. Normally it is more economical to ship UPS Ground for anyone outside of the state of Utah. If you desire your package to be shipped via one method or the other, please let me know.

What do I included with my package I ship?

  • Your swap items.
  • Money to cover return shipping. (Cash or Money Order ONLY) I will have a total after the sign up deadlines. I will not be able to accept personal checks.

In order to prevent confusion with dates, I will be posting frequently to help remind participants of where we are on our calendar!

If you have any other questions, please feel free to post and ask.

Doesn’t this sound like a fun swap? I hope to see you in the forum.

Andee

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Open Discussion about Starting to Sell on TheSage Forum!

Friday, January 10th, 2014

QuestionRecently on our Facebook page, Lisa asked a really good question. Lisa wrote, I was thinking of starting to make my own products with help of MMS and I was not sure how to go about pricing items? If anyone has any suggestions I am open to ALL. I was mainly going towards lip balms / lip gloss for now, and if all goes well to branch off to other things. How did you all get started in your selling?

We have had a few discussions like this in the past on our forum and they were helpful to the participants. I am going to set up a new discussion to help answer Lisa and your input would greatly valued! Come on over to The Sage Soapmaker’s Forum and register! We would like to hear your suggestions for Lisa.

See you there!

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Carolyn’s Acai Butter Lip Balm

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Acai Butter.

Acai Butter.

Carolyn asked for some help to make a lip balm using Acai Butter. Carolyn wrote: I want to make lip balm with some acai butter I have. I just love the color and the texture. I would like acai to be the main butter so the color can show in the finished product. The lip balm base should be feel creamy and thick on the lips. In my cupboard, I have almond, avocado, castor, macadamia, coconut, sunflower, hydrogenated soybean, palm kernel, and apricot kernel oils. I also have various basic butters including acai, macadamia, and Shea. For waxes, I have beeswax and candilellia. For flavor, I would like to use something that might be like acai: huckleberry or something else. Thanks for all your amazing help!

A lip balm is easy to make, so I created the following formula for Carolyn. Before we jump into the formula, let’s talk about Acai Butter. I agree with Carolyn that it is a lovely color and I would love to see this color in a finished lip balm. That being said, I have yet to get the color to stay while making a lip balm that works well. The purple tones are some of the hardest colors to achieve in a lip balm without using a large amount of color. When I have made different products using the Acai Butter, the color from other ingredients over powers the color of the Acai Butter and the finished product has a lovely tan color. This includes the Lotion Bar and the Superfruit Lip Scrub. While the Lip Scrub only contains less than 5% of Acai Butter, the Lotion Bar contains 25% of Acai Butter and yet still is a lovely tan.

So, let’s make this recipe and see if we are headed in the right direction as far as texture and consistency. If we are headed in the right direction, then let’s make an infusion of Alkanet Root Powder in the Sweet Almond Oil and try this to make a reddish-purple color in the finished lip balm. Or we can use the Oil Soluble Lip Colors and mix Ruby with Blue to get a purple color.

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Beeswax
Palm Kernel Oil
Acai Butter
Sweet Almond Oil
Castor Oil
Huckleberry Flavor Oil
Equipment
Microwave safe container for weighing ingredients
Scale
Transfer Pipettes
Spoons
Containers for the finished products

Recipe: (Makes 100 grams or 3.53 ounces)

Recipe in ounces
0.71 ounces Beeswax
0.56 ounces Palm Kernel Oil
0.88 ounces Acai Butter
0.88 ounces Sweet Almond Oil
0.35 ounces Castor Oil
0.14 ounces Huckleberry Flavor Oil
Recipe in grams
20 grams Beeswax
16 grams Palm Kernel Oil
25 grams Acai Butter
25 grams Sweet Almond Oil
10 grams Castor Oil
4 grams Huckleberry Flavor Oil
Recipe in Percentages
20% Beeswax
16% Palm Kernel Oil
25% Acai Butter
25% Sweet Almond Oil
10% Castor Oil
4% Huckleberry Flavor Oil

Weigh all ingredients into your microwave safe container. Microwave using shorts bursts of time until all of the ingredients are melted. Once all the ingredients have been melted, pour into your desired lip balm tubes or pots. Allow to cool completely before capping. This recipe will fill approximately 22 Lip Balm Tubes of the 0.15 size.

Notes:
There are specks of the Acai Seed in this butter, so don’t be alarmed by any particles that will settle down on the bottom of your microwave safe container. Simply fill the tubes and leave the particles at the bottom of the container.

Carolyn, I hope this helps you with a starting point. Let me know if there are any changes that we should make and we will make the perfect Acai Butter Lip Balm for you!

Andee

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