|One thing I really enjoyed during my stay in China was visiting all of the beauty and personal care shops. Some of the items seemed normal, while others were very exotic. I saw products that were to help lighten the color of your skin. I saw additives like lotus extract, snail secretions, and even hydrolyzed bird’s nest. Needless to say, shopping in these stores was an adventure. Since my return, I have been talking to my coworkers about my adventures overseas. One of the gals on staff, Hyun, is from Korea. Just the other week we got talking about the differences and similarities of Chinese, Korean and American beauty trends. We have embarked on a rather exciting project. We will be making some recipes that are common among handcrafters from each country. If you have recipes from abroad, please share them! We would love to post them on our blog.
One thing that Hyun had mentioned that I had noticed but never paid much attention to was an after-exercise massage oil. After exercising and getting all hot and sweaty, people was up and then apply a massage oil that gives a cooling sensation to the skin. I have seen people applying it after going hiking, running, dancing, etc. However, I never really thought of the specifics of the product. Come join Hyun and I as we make a wonderful after-exercise massage oil.
Weigh the Calendula Extract and Jojoba Oil into microwave safe container. Heat them gently until they are warm. Add the essential oils and menthol crystal. Stir until everything is cohesive. Pour into bottles. Cap and label. Enjoy!
Archive for the ‘Thoughts from The Sage’ Category
|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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Here are the details about our test batches before we added any fragrances!
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Microwave Safe Container
|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)
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.
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!
Just 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.
Napa 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!
Tamanu 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.
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?
A) Amethyst Pink is a dye. The color is migratory and can move throughout the bar of soap, making this color not a great option when attempting swirl bars. We recommend diluting this colorant into liquid glycerin because the color is very intense when used as a powder and it is far too easy to use too much. The customer had already put a 1/2 oz jar into 16 oz of liquid glycerin and the bottle was capped and shaken. For an 8 lb fat batch of cold process soap, we recommend starting with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon for the whole batch. Add until the color is just a bit too dark for the desired soap. Why too dark in the pot? Because soap is translucent in the pot and opaque in bar form so while translucent it appears darker and while opaque it appears lighter. This is why when we add a bit too much it is not nearly so alarming when we look at the soap the next day. Remember, the color should only be a BIT darker in the pot than you desire in the finished soap.
Q) How do I fix a batch of soap where I used too much color?
A) The solution to pollution is dilution. An overly scented bar of soap (I mean OVERLY!) is the same as a brilliantly colored soap – unusable. The best bet to diluting this problem is to either chop or grate the finished soap into shreds or mini cubes then toss them into a new batch that is uncolored or very lightly scented (if at all). I’ve had 2 lbs of fat converted to soap and had the soap maker use 4 ounces of essential oil to scent. That is a polluted bar of soap! Dilute and save the day, and the batch of soap! How do you know if the soap has too much color? Use a white wash cloth and test. You should be able to rinse the cloth completely at the sink and not need a washing machine to finish the job. How do you know if too much scent is used? You can’t smell anything else and when in the tight quarters of a shower your eyes may even burn!
Q) How does a person use the bases? I mean like the lotion or body butter.
A) Scenting the body butters, lotions, shampoo and all of these other bases is easy! Add fragrance and color as desired. Most of the fruit, fresh or herbaceous fragrance oils will need 1 fl oz (sometimes less!) for the entire gallon of base. Add a few drops of color and stir until the whole gallon is evenly colored and the fragrance has been added. Using a strong essential oil or fragrance oil? Use our Fragrance Calculator to get the correct amount of scent! You are always ahead by scenting with half the amount of scent today, mixing well, and leaving for tomorrow. A fresh nose and a clear head do wonders for thinking and finishing a project. Because lotions can be used over and over and over throughout the day it is best to scent more subtly because the layers will build upon each other. You still want to a be socially acceptable in an elevator compartment!
Q) Should I start with the bases or the raw materials to make lotions and lip balms? I have a very limited budget.
A) Starting with the bases means your costs are the base, color (if desired), fragrance (if desired) and containers. This means you can get started for less than $50 for your project. If you start with the raw materials you will need a scale and a wide range of supplies. The MMS bases are not economy type products, they are premium, top-notch, and comparable to what you can make on your own. We know you are seeking quality products and we don’t ever cut quality. If you have a budget of at least $500 to play and you want to make lotions, lip balms and similar products then I would suggest you start with the raw material route. Being honest with yourself is very important. There are lots of raw materials you will wish to try and having a quality scale will make your time far more enjoyable. Fighting your scale is never a fun time and this one item can make or break your success with this hobby. I think those who invest in a quality scale at the onset will find their hobby to be more profitable than those who scrimp on this one purchase. If you don’t know about budgets, may I suggest Dave Ramsey?
The holiday landing on a work day always slows shipping times just a bit. Right now we are shipping almost all orders on the schedule given when the order is placed. Tomorrow we leave early and that means UPS and USPS are shipped early.
If you need anything, please put your order in today! Let us get it out the door before the holiday arrives. If you need a few hours to figure out what supplies are too low in your studio, take this evening and do a search. Put your order in overnight and we will grab it first thing tomorrow morning. Our goal is to get everything shipped by the time our phones go into HOLIDAY ANNOUNCEMENT mode at noon, MDST.
Want a preview of our holiday message? Here it is:
Dear MMS Customers, You rock! We are celebrating the 4th of July right now but we will be back on Monday, July 7. Any orders placed on the website will be processed on Monday and our target is to get everything shipped that day. Have a safe holiday. Enjoy the BBQ, the fireworks, Family and friends, weather and all things we love about the 4th of July. Thank you for celebrating with us. May freedom continue to bring so many people to peace.
|I am so thrilled to announce that the Yellow Lip Balm Color is back in stock! I have been dying to make a few projects using this color and haven’t been able to get any. I know I haven’t been the only one trying to get some. Well, it is back and waiting for you to put it to work.If you haven’t used this fabulous color before, here are a few projects you can do using this fun product!
Plumberry Spice Celebration Soap
Lemon Poppy Seed Soap
Coffee & Cream Lip Gloss
Testing Colors – Part 3
Honey Flavored a la Lip Crème
OK, folks. I need to lean on your shoulders for something that is really bugging me right now. It is GMO, or more accurately, non-GMO.
I don’t want to discuss whether GMO is right or wrong, what I want to discuss are the terms to describe whether a product is GMO free.
Here is the deal: a customer called me the other day and asked if one of our products (a soy product) is non-GMO or GMO-Free. I couldn’t remember with 100% confidence and offered to look it up. She explained she needed to know if it was one or the other, and I was puzzled. I explained these terms would describe the same thing. She said she has been informed this is not the case. My first reaction was to laugh. Why do marketers have to pretend things are, or are not, something just to market them? In a few days I will share with you my thoughts on marketing people muddying the waters for the consumer.
So, I have done more research and I am still not fully satisfied with the answers I have been given. All vendors I have talked with say there is NO difference between non-GMO and GMO-Free. They say these terms are interchangeable. Are they? What is your experience with either term?
I need all readers in Sage-land to educate me on this item. Send your thoughts through the blog or send them to us privately via email. You are welcome to add more questions to this list and are not obligated to provide answers.
One more thought, there is a product out there that is pretty common but is most often wild-crafted. It is harvested where it grows in abundance and sometimes it is planted in big garden plots for harvesting a commercial crop. This same caller asked if this item is also non-GMO. I admit I am rather confused as to why one would market a mostly wild-crafted product as non-GMO. I expect all products that are mostly non-mass grown to be non-GMO.
P.S. The soy product in question is non-GMO, as I suspected it would be. The soy is non-GMO and the product as a whole does not contain any genetically modified materials. Is this the part where the two terms come about? Would the GMO-free mean nothing in a blend is a GMO? My conversation lead me to believe that non-GMO is the favored term and GMO-Free indicated that further processing was done to remove the GMO indicators. The whole time I just kept thinking “WHAT?!” All in the name of making a buck. Confusion in the marketplace! GEEZ!
We all have heard the adage that we should measure twice and cut once, right? Well, let me add a new perspective on measuring twice.
The issue this week has been email addresses that are typed so fast and not verified before sending or submitting that I can not reply to the person who has submitted.
Here are the responses to requests that have no name and an invalid email address:
1) Dry masks made of clay and fragrance do not need a preservative unless the mask will be stored in a hydrated state (after water is added).
2) To pick up your order from our facility requires a will-call appointment. After placing your order online and selecting Pick Up in Nibley please use the confirmation number of the order and call us to make the appointment. We can not make appointments for 10 minutes after your place the order. Please give us adequate time to pull the items from our warehouse to complete your order.
3) In order for us to suggest a preservative for your scrub formulation we must know the full ingredient list. It is not a decision we can make by knowing it is a salt scrub vs a sugar scrub. Preservatives are funny things and we must take into consideration water soluble ingredients, pH of final mixture, difficult to preserve ingredients, and even viscosity. I know you do not want to share your formulation, I completely understand, I can not give advice for something I don’t know anything about. I hope you understand.
4) Yes, we did receive your order and we processed it on the same day. It left from here on Wednesday. It should arrive today.
The UPS tracking number is 1Z***************. The email on your order shows gamil.com instead of gmail.com as your request is showing. I will send to the corrected email address.
5) The corrected email address does not work. I am sorry, there are too many variations in your email address. One says firstname.lastname@example.org and the other shows email@example.com. Neither is a valid email address.
6) I am sorry, shrink bands do not come in shapes for round objects. Items like hockey pucks will always have excess shrink band material where the corners exist. Your best option is to use a bag and seal the bag into a circular shape before shrinking.
7) The required by date does not guarantee air services like Next Day Air shipping. If you live in Utah UPS Ground has a guarantee of 1 day in transit. We will only spend your money like it is our own, we would never send Next Day, Second Day or 3 Day Select to Utah. We do have an awesome UPS shipping map. If you would let me know your ZIP code I can generate a custom chart
just for you to show how many days in transit TO you.
I completely understand typing and clicking SEND/SUBMIT without checking over my work. I’ve done it before and I really would rather not think about doing it again. After getting these emails back I’m going to enter my email address and triple check my double checks.
|Father’s Day is this Sunday and that means it is fast approaching. Ack! Do you have gifts planned out or are you like me and stunned the holiday snuck up on you? Well, I am officially in panic mode. I though it would be good to go back through the archives and find some spectacular (and astonishingly simple) recipes that save time and face.
Here is a collection of things I will make for my father this coming Father’s Day.
Men’s Aftershave Cream
Chocolate Bacon Lip Balm
Mountain Man Cream
Red, White and Blue Swirl Soap