Category Archives: Thoughts from The Sage

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

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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!

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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

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DayGlo Discount!

Soaps made with the gorgeous Dayglo colors!
Soaps made with the gorgeous Dayglo colors!
I love the holidays and they are fast approaching which means plenty of preparations need to be made. This is the time of year where my UPS man and Postal Lady become very familiar with each other. I have plenty of gifts or the materials to make gifts that start arriving in the mail. It also means that I do what I can to make sure that my money is being stretched as far as I can. This is why I am delighted to announce we are having a Dayglo discount!

The manufacturer of the Dayglo colors has discontinued this particular line of colors but not to worry. They are going to be releasing a new line of very similar colors. So what do this mean for you? This means that you get awesome colors at amazing prices! Don’t wait! These prices will only last as long as our limited stock. Treat yourself to some budget friendly fun!

If you are looking for some inspiration, I recommend checking out Andee’s Music Inspired Swirl Soaps. If you have your own ideas, share them. We would love to feature you and your soaps. Happy soaping!

Taylor

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Planning for the Saponification Values of Rosemary Oleoresin 2% and 5%

Rosemary Oleoresin 2%
Rosemary Oleoresin 2%
I love to learn. It is my passion. It is what gets me so excited to get up in the morning and start my day. And you, dear readers, contribute so much to everything I am exposed to. You also encourage me to continue to the question the “familiar”. I have some exciting news to share with you. Are you ready? Drum roll please.

Rosemary Oleoresin 2% and Rosemary Oleoresin 5% both have saponification values. Now what does this mean for you if you add it to soap? Well, this is dependent on how much Rosemary Oleoresin you are adding to your soap. Anything that is added 2% or more will greatly affect the superfat of your soap. This means unless you account for the saponifation value of the Rosemary Oleoresin, you are actually superfatting at a higher rate than what you may realize. It doesn’t mean it is bad, it is just something for you to be aware of.

If you make soap with either Rosemary Oleoresin, you may notice that batches that use it have creamier, silkier lather. Later this week I will be making soap with Rosemary Oleoresin versus without for you to try in samples. Request a comparison in your order! Don’t wait though. I only have a limited amount of samples.

If you don’t want to wait, make your own comparison batches to see the difference. And before you go off to make those tests, allow me to tell you the saponification values. Are you ready?

Rosemary Oleoresin 2%
has a saponification value of 260 mg KOH / g of Fat.
Rosemary Oleoresin 5% has a saponification value of 295 mg KOH / g of Fat.

Wow! Can you believe those numbers? I was pretty astonished myself. Those numbers are pretty high compared to what we generally deal with. See how that can make such a difference in your soap? I am getting more excited for this comparison batch. Stay tuned to see what happens!

Taylor

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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

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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

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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!

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After Exercise Massage Oil

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.

Ingredients
Calendula Extract
Jojoba Oil
Vitamin E Acetate
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Lavender Essential Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil
Menthol Crystals
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
60 grams Calendula Extract
32 grams Jojoba Oil
4 grams Vitamin E Acetate
1 mL Tea Tree Essential Oil
1 mL Lavender Essential Oil
1 mL Peppermint Essential Oil
1 small crystal Menthol Crystals
Recipe in Ounces
2.12 oz Calendula Extract
1.13 oz Jojoba Oil
0.14 oz Vitamin E Acetate
1 mL Tea Tree Essential Oil
1 mL Lavender Essential Oil
1 mL Peppermint Essential Oil
1 small crystal Menthol Crystals
Recipe in Percentages
59% Calendula Extract
31.75% Jojoba Oil
3.5% Vitamin E Acetate
0.5% Tea Tree Essential Oil
0.5% Lavender Essential Oil
0.5% Peppermint Essential Oil
0.25% Menthol Crystals

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!
Taylor

Finished Skin Soother
Finished Skin Soother
Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils
Adding Vitamin E Acetate
Adding Vitamin E Acetate

Adding Essential Oils
Adding Essential Oils
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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!

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