All posts by Taylor

Formulating from your Cupboard – Day 4

We are halfway through our formulation project. Yesterday we made a vegan lip balm and it didn’t quite turn out the way I had wanted. It was close but it wasn’t there. ( I find creating vegan formulations to be my greatest weakness and it drives the perfectionist in me crazy!) To give myself a break, today’s formulation uses my favorite wax of all time – beeswax!

Finished Lip Balm
Finished Lip Balm

The goal for Formulation #3 is to have a softer, shiny product. I am excited to report that I am pretty sure I nailed it. This lip balm is soft and silky when applied to the lips. It also gives the lips a beautiful shine.

Weighing Waxes and Oils
Weighing Waxes and Oils

Just because this lip balm is shiny doesn’t mean that it is heavy. I was very happy with how light it felt on my lips. This is perfect for individuals who want a shiny product without being heavy, sticky or even gooey! It stays on the lips well without feeling distracting.

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

The last thing I really liked about this lip balm is the flavor. While I did add some Virgin Coconut Oil to this recipe, it is not enough to be distinctly coconut. Rather it adds dimension and intrigue to the Vanilla Banilla Flavor Oil. Wow! For the flavor alone, this might be my new favorite lip balm!

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Formulating from your Cupboard – Day 3

Today we will be making Formulation #2. I targeted this lip balm to be vegan, firm and yet shiny. I have found sometimes it is really hard to formulate a vegan product. It is easy to make them overly stiff and waxy. It can also be hard to obtain a smooth product. Formulating today’s recipe was a big challenge for me. Come join me to see how well it turned out!

Finished Lip Balm
Finished Lip Balm

After applying Formulation #2 to my lips, I was a little unsure about the lip balm. It was a soft lip balm and it had a very different texture. Though it is a softer lip balm, the application wasn’t particularly smooth and creamy. It almost had an ultra-fine gritty texture to it. As I let it sit on my lips, it started to warm up. I rubbed my lips together and I was surprised how the texture had changed. My body heat let it melt and it felt I had applied two products rather than one.

Weighing Waxes
Weighing Waxes

It felt like I had first applied a stiff, durable lip balm to my lips. Then to make sure my lips rubbed smoothly against each other, a tiny amount of a liquid oil was applied. I like this because my lips feel well protected while still allowing a little slip and glide.

While I did like this lip balm, I wasn’t particularly pleased with the slight grainy texture the lip balm had in the tube. This is where the Conditioning Emulsifier comes in. I think all I would need to do to ensure a smooth texture is increase my Conditioning Emulsifier just a little.

Continue reading Formulating from your Cupboard – Day 3

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Formulating from Your Cupboard – Day 2

For each of the lip balms we will be making this week, I gave myself a target. Did I want it to be vegan? Did I want it shiny? Soft? Firm? For our first formulation, I targeted a glossy yet firm lip balm. Come join me for how I approached using materials in my cupboard to make this lip balm.

Finished Lip Balm - Formulation #1
Finished Lip Balm – Formulation #1

When I first applied Formulation #1, I was struck by the creamy sensation of it gliding across my lips. I liked how it felt a little heavier and intense. While it wasn’t as firm as I was expecting, it wasn’t extremely soft either. If I wanted to make this formulation a little more firm, I might consider adding up to 5% of Carnauba or Candelilla Wax.

Weighing Waxes and Oils
Weighing Waxes and Oils

I was also pleased with the light glossy appearance it gave the lips. It wasn’t bright like applying a thick yet still liquid lip gloss. Instead this gave the lips a healthy yet natural looking shine. I think this makes this a great formulation for both men and women.

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

The last thing I might change about this formulation is the usage rate of the Peppermint Essential Oil. While it wasn’t painful, it was strong. It definitely made my lips feel cool. While some people like that strong tingly sensation, I tend to like a more mild lip balm. Each to their own, right?

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Formulating from Your Cupboard – Day 1

ChemistOne question I hear on a regular basis is “How do I formulate with materials I have on hand rather than needing to place an order for XYZ product(s)?” This week I will share my secret by showing how to make a variety of lip balms. Once you learn this method of formulating, you will never want to go back!

The first thing we will need is an “inventory” of all of the materials we have on hand. I like to separate them into categories. I have waxes, liquid oils, solid oils. (I like to separate my solid oils into two categories. Things that are brittle at room temperature and the rest of them. This makes formulating much easier.) I also have categories for my extracts and flavors.

If I have it on hand, I will include Conditioning Emulsifier in my list under the waxes category. The Conditioning Emulsifier gives emolliency to the lip balm but it also makes it easier to use vegetable waxes without the formulation becoming to brittle or hard to apply. Consider Conditioning Emulsifier to being the secret to making a superbly successful vegan lip balm.

Once I have my “inventory” listed in a spreadsheet, I make notes on what I would like my finished formulations to be like. If I want a formulation to be vegan, I note that so I don’t forget during the formulating process. I generally don’t name my formulation until later but feel free to name yours anytime inspiration strikes!

When I start to formulate, I fill my boxes with numbers with the assumption that they are a percentage. This way it is easy to convert from a small recipe to a large recipe. I can even make a small 100 gram test batch!

Check out how I set up my formulation spreadsheet!

I like to use spreadsheets because I can add new products when they arrive or delete ones I have run out of. I always know what I have on hand. I can also make sure that my total is exactly 100. No need to track down floating numbers in my notebook. For me, that is a relief.

For the rest of the week, I will be making all of the lip balms that I formulated today. You will get to see how it is made, why I used the oils I did, what I thought of the formulations and the fabulous labels that Shayla has created for us! Stick around. This week is going to be awesome!

Taylor

 

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Gifts and Goodies

The cute label Shayla designed!
The cute label Shayla designed!

Hey there! My name is Shayla. I have been an MMS employee for almost two years. I work in the Label Department creating and printing custom labels.

Collected Materials
Collected Materials

I love our lotion bases! They are very easy to work with and are great for gifts. I have friends and family that work for the school district and I wanted to give them something to celebrate the luxury of lazy summer days. I had a little get together with my mom and sisters to create our gifts. I decided to use a gallon of our Goat Milk Cream base and 1 fl oz of Paradise Fragrance Oil. We also used the 2oz Clear PET Low Profile Jars with the White Straight Lids.
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Throwback Thursday: Cookoo for Coconut Lip Balm

Finished Lip balm
Finished Lip balm

Our blog has featured hundreds of recipes, adventures and even some hilarious failures. It is a goldmine of information, ideas and inspiration. That being said, there are several recipes that I delight in making over and over again. So when I was asked earlier this week about how to make a lip balm with coconut flavor, this recipe immediately came to mind. Come join me!

Empty Beaker
Empty Beaker

This lip balm has spectacular fresh taste and creamy texture. I wanted something light in texture with a moderate amount of shine. I also wanted something that was easy to apply, regardless of the temperature. The Virgin Coconut Oil allows the mixture to melt when applied to the skin. The Castor Oil gives some of that shine and gloss while the Fractionated Coconut Oil keeps the formulation from feeling overwhelmingly heavy. The result is a lighter, smooth texture that is perfect as a daily lip balm.
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Washable Massage Oil

Finished Massage Oil
Finished Massage Oil

I love treating myself to a massage but I hate that when I finally get to the shower to clean up, I feel like a slippery, oily, falling hazard. I would love to be able to step into the shower and wash most of the oil off with ease while leaving just a tiny amount to keep my skin soft. Well, today I decided to solve this by making my own! Come join me.

I am really pleased with this massage oil. It feels just like your typical massage oil. There is no stickiness or tackiness you might expect from have an emulsifier in the mixture. It rubs into the skin just beautifully. When I rinsed my skin, the water did not bead up like I had lots of oil on my skin. Instead it just flowed across my arm. After I dried my skin, I was pleased to discover that there was only a tiny amount of oil left. It wasn’t enough for me to worry about staining my clothes and it kept my skin soft throughout the day. Wow!

Ingredients
Castor Oil
Golden Jojoba Oil
Hemp Oil
Spray Clear Emulsifier
Optiphen
Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes
Thermometer
Immersion Blender

 

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
25 grams Castor Oil
350 grams Golden Jojoba Oil
102.5 grams Hemp Oil
15 grams Spray Clear Emulsifier
5 grams Optiphen
2.5 grams Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
Recipe in Ounces
0.88 oz Castor Oil
12.35 oz Golden Jojoba Oil
3.62 oz Hemp Oil
0.53 oz Spray Clear Emulsifier
0.18 oz Optiphen
0.09 oz Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
Recipe in Percentages
5% Castor Oil
70% Golden Jojoba Oil
20.5% Hemp Oil
3% Spray Clear Emulsifier
1% Optiphen
0.5% Lemoncello Fragrance Oil

 

Measuring Preservative and Castor Oil
Measuring Preservative and Castor Oil

I love making recipes like this because they are so easy to do. Are you ready? It is even easier than making Tollhouse® Ready Bake cookies!

Measure everything into a mixing container. Mix well. Package into bottles. Label and enjoy!

Adding Spray Clear Emulsfier
Adding Spray Clear Emulsifier

How simple was that? This is a great massage oil that you can use at home or at a spa. You and your clients will love how easily this product rinses the excess off while still leaving enough to keep the skin baby soft. Remember that massage oils should be scented lightly as we continually add product to the skin. A little goes a long way!

Adding Golden Jojoba Oil
Adding Golden Jojoba Oil

Taylor

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Flavor Testing

Setting up test batches
Setting up test batches

I love testing new products. For me, it is like being a kid in a candy store. So when you get a new product, let’s say a flavor oil, how do you determine what usage rate you like the most? Testing. Let me share with you how I test new items in order to determine what I like! You will love how easy it is.

Measuring out Mango Lip Solutions
Measuring out Mango Lip Solutions

Today I will be making some test batches with our Coconut Flavor Oil. I will be making a total of three different batches. Each batch will have 20 grams of Mango Lip Solutions. My first test batch will have 2% Coconut Flavor Oil. (0.4 grams of Coconut Flavor Oil) My second  batch has 3% Coconut Flavor Oil and 1% Sugar Baby Flavor Oil. (0.6 grams Coconut Flavor Oil and 0.2 grams Sugar Baby.) The last batch will have 4% Coconut Flavor Oil. (0.8 grams of Coconut Flavor Oil)

Adding Flavors
Adding Flavors

To start, I set up my three beakers with my Mango Lip Solutions. I heated them so they were liquid. I then added my flavors and stirred well. I distributed the material into some mini lip balm tubes for testing purposes. I then labeled my bags so I could keep them separate. Pretty easy, huh?

Filling Test Tubes
Filling Test Tubes

Out of each of my test batches, I think I enjoyed the one with 3% Coconut Flavor Oil and 1% Sugar Baby Flavor Oil the most. It had great coconut flavor with a hint of sweetness. I felt like it just had an extra oohmp that the others were lacking. Remember, this is just my personal preference and that taste is entirely subjective. What I like may not be the same as what you like, this is why testing is so important!

I will be sending over 100 sample sets to our shipping department. Request one in your order today!

Labeling Test Samples
Labeling Test Samples

Taylor

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New Lemoncello Fragrance Oil!

LemoncelloI have always dreamed of traveling to the Mediterranean and visiting Greece and Italy. While I still haven’t arranged a trip to go there, our new Lemoncello Fragrance Oil is the next best thing!

Lemoncello is an Italian liqueur that is made by infusing lemon zest into distilled grain alcohol.  The zest is later strained off and the liqueur is mixed with simple syrup. This gives the alcohol a slight cloudy appearance. Lemoncello is popular because of the fresh, lemony flavor without being tart or bitter.

Soap made with our Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
Soap made with our Lemoncello Fragrance Oil

Once our Research and Development Department announced that we would have a Lemoncello Fragrance Oil, I did a lot of reading about it. There are some amazing articles out there ranging from the origin and history of lemoncello to how to make it yourself. Did you know that while in the U.S. Lemoncello is often used as a flavoring agent in cocktails, in Italy it is served in small chilled glasses after a meal? This is also known as a digestivo. How cool is that?

When I got my first sniff of our Lemoncello Fragrance Oil, I was struck by how smooth and fresh it smelled. There are no bitter or sour notes that I normally associate with things like lemonade. It smelled more like a citrus grove or a box of freshly picked lemons. Wow! I am in love.

I have already made my Silky Smooth Hair Detangler and a batch of soap using the Lemoncello Fragrance Oil. I can’t wait to make lotions, bath salts and room sprays. Yummy!

Taylor

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Silky Smooth Hair Detangler

Finished Hair Detangler
Finished Hair Detangler

I love Friday nights. Friday is the night of the week where I treat myself and go out. It may be for a simple cup of coffee, dinner at a restaurant or perhaps an art show. Whatever it may be, Friday night is my night to dress up a little. Some nights I think half the fun is getting ready. That is until I get to my hair.

Weighing Citric Acid
Weighing Citric Acid

I think every woman can relate to my eternal fight with my hair. It goes frizzy and wild when I want smooth locks. It goes limp when I want volume. It does everything save for what I want it to do. It has even defied my poor hairdresser. I was reaching my wits end. So for the last few weeks, I have spent time formulating, mixing up various concoctions and testing them. The best part about all of this? I have stumbled across the perfect formula.

Weighing Hydrovance and Extracts
Weighing Hydrovance and Extracts

When I set out to create this detangler, I wanted something that would help the hair relax, resist frizzing and make the hair look shiny and healthy. The best part is that a little goes a long way. I have had a number of gals on staff try this product. The results have blown us way. We have tried it on ultrafine baby-like hair to coarse hair. We have tested it on colored hair, straight hair and tightly curled hair. It has resulted in happy, manageable hair in all cases.

 

Ingredients
Citric Acid
Dimethicone
Cyclomethicone
Hydrovance
Horsetail Extract
Chamomile Extract
Jewelweed Extract
Spray Clear Emulsifier
Liquid Germall Plus
Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
Water
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes
Thermometer
Immersion Blender

 

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
4 grams Citric Acid
8 grams Dimethicone
12 grams Cyclomethicone
16 grams Hydrovance
4 grams Horsetail Extract
4 grams Chamomile Extract
4 grams Jewelweed Extract
18 grams Spray Clear Emulsifier
2 grams Liquid Germall Plus
2 grams Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
318grams Water
Recipe in Ounces
0.14 oz Citric Acid
0.28 oz Dimethicone
0.42 oz Cyclomethicone
0.56 oz Hydrovance
0.14 oz Horsetail Extract
0.14 oz Chamomile Extract
0.14 oz Jewelweed Extract
0.63 oz Spray Clear Emulsifier
0.07 oz Liquid Germall Plus
0.07 Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
11.22 oz Water
Recipe in Percentages
1% Citric Acid
2% Dimethicone
3% Cyclomethicone
4% Hydrovance
1% Horsetail Extract
1% Chamomile Extract
1% Jewelweed Extract
4.5% Spray Clear Emulsifier
0.5% Liquid Germall Plus
0.5% Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
79.5% Water

 

Adding Fragrance, Preservative and Silicone Oils
Adding Fragrance, Preservative and Silicone Oils

Weigh everything into a large mixing container. I like to weigh out my citric first then the rest of my water soluble ingredients. It makes it much easier to ensure it has completely dissolved. Using an immersion blender, mix well.

Mixing Detangler
Mixing Detangler

One thing I have learned that helps prevent separation is to weigh everything except the water into your mixing vessel. Add only part of your water, just enough to cover the bell of your immersion blender. Blend until it won’t separate. Add the rest of the water, mixing well.

Ready to bottle
Ready to bottle

Be forewarned that you may still have a little oil that does not mix in. During my experiments I discovered that if I increased my emulsifier, it made the hair heavy, limp and greasy looking. I decided that a lower usage rate and needing to shake each time I used the product was a far better alternative to having it make the hair heavy.

Directions for use: Shake bottle prior to spritzing. Product can be applied to damp or dry hair. Spritz the hair lightly. Brush or comb the product through. If additional product is needed, spritz the hair again. Style as desired.

See? Isn’t it simple to make and even simpler to use? You will love using this detangler. It even helps with making hair easier to brush! A must if you have little ones. I will be sending about 50 bottles to our shipping department. Request one from our order desk! Hurry before they are all gone!

Taylor

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