Saturday, June 24, 2017

Tincture Making Failure

Tinctures with vinegars and alcohols, oil macerations and glycerites have been filling my stockroom and taking lots of lab time for well over a year now. It's because I have been doing a pile of research for of some upcoming publications (more on that soon).

Today, we're going to look at a tincture making blooper.

Above: a lovely herbal tincture in vinegar from earlier this year. At the time I started this brew, there were so many jars and bottles in use, I mindlessly grabbed what was on the shelf - a glass pickling jar with a metal lid.

You've probably already figured out what's coming, but it took me a while before I realized my mistake.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

How To: Calming Skin Mist for Sensitive Skin

Sooo, you've got super sensitive skin and are prone to spontaneous rashy redness from things such as putting on a piece of clothing, eh?

Not to worry. There is help to be had. You will be misting away rash in no time with your own handcrafted skin mist.

Not only that, you can choose from a wide range of possible ingredients.

Cool, huh?

Let's make mist!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Living With Sensitive Skin

People with super sensitive skin experience all kinds of fun quirkiness – like an instant rash from the act of simply putting on a piece of clothing.

Sometimes, even the softest, kindest materials – with no scratchy bits – even with every torturous label removed immediately after purchase – will cause what you see above.

And just to be clear: the top is made of 100% knit silk and is washed by hand using the gentlest of cleansers.

Luckily, this doesn't happen every time I get dressed, but it does happen often enough to where I felt the need to create a product for instant skin-calming relief.

That product turned out to be a skin mist.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Positive Side of Portable Make-up

This has been my make-up 'table' for a while now. Think it looks cool? Organised?

Look again.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Why Shirodhara Made my Bucket List

What's happening here? Something that made my bucket list not too long ago. The woman pictured above is receiving a stress-relieving treatment called shirodhara.

The process is quite simple: warm oil (or other liquids) are gently poured over the forehead for a period of time. This simple treatment is said to induce a relaxed state of awareness, erasing fatigue and even making headaches disappear.

The purpose of shirodhara is to reestablish balance in unbalanced chakras.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

When Rhassoul isn't All That

I was chatting online with a client about rhassoul clay recently and a few things came up in the conversation that just didn't jive with my experiences. The mention of 'white' rhassoul was one.

I'd never heard of white rhassoul before. 

A new ingredient?

Interested and intrigued!

It wasn't long before I received a sample from my client. That's it up there on the right. Definitely lighter than the rhassoul I have in stock.

Let's put it to the test!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Difference 3 Drops Make

This happened last Fall while I was formulating a series of products for a client.

Part of the series included 2 versions of a balm: one unscented, one scented.

The balm ingredients consisted of butters, waxes, and a combination of special fixed oils.

Pictured: batch 1 of both versions. The little S sticker on the lid is the scented version. And I know you've already guessed what the U stands for.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Drain Saving Tip on Cleaning Up Fats

Every time I make melt-and-pour products such as balms, butters, or anything containing wax, there is an unavoidable film left in the beaker after pouring up.

Here's a quick and easy way to clean butter or wax-coated beakers and equipment that has always worked well for me.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Dear Science - Are You Sure About The Test Results on Those Allergens?

I've written about this before a few years ago, and have been researching it on and off ever since, because quite frankly, there are some things that





What's worse, I keep hitting walls in my research. So I'll just throw the question out there – again.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

How To: Green Comfort Mask

Today we're going to mix green things together and put them on our face. Why? Because our skin is going to love it, and these particular green things feel downright comfortable and cozy while they are doing their skin-nourishing magic.

It's green synergy at its best!

Let's make a green comfort mask!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How To: Easy Scrubby Bags with Oats and Soap

These skin-friendly oat scrubby bags are the easiest thing in the world to make. Have kids? This is a perfect family project that you and your kids can have fun making and using.

The idea for these came about as a result of making 'colloidal oats' where I was left with a generous portion of oats that were too big to pass through the sieve. If you also make your own soap, then this little how-to is a double bonus!

Let's get started!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Why Vetting Cosmetics Ingredients is a Bad Idea

Over the years, a lot of questions about cosmetics ingredients have been put to me. Being a curious souI, I ask quite a few myself. One of the reasons I started blogging was to collect the results of my research and experiences into a LisaLise Library of Cosmetics Ingredients.

It seemed like a useful thing to do.

"Panthenol? Why yes, you can real about panthenol on my blog" I would find myself replying to ingredients-inquisitive folks.

Having a rudimentary understanding of what you're putting on your skin or hair is not at all a bad thing.


Somewhere along the way – over the past decade or so – it became trendy to hunt for and expose toxins, 'nasties' and 'undesirables' in cosmetics products and place them on watchdog cosmetics ingredients lists.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Three Tips on Using Clay in Balms

This past winter has been all about skin-loving balms in my lab.

I've been working on a few melt-and-pour less-is-more formulas to see how minimalistic it is possible to get without sacrificing function (or luxury factor).

This kind of create-the-perfect-synergy 'roots' formulating has become a bit of an obsession. It's both fun and educational all at once, and you can't help but get real up close and personal with every aspect of every ingredient in a formula.

So let's talk about clay!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Art of Keeping Notes

Today, we're going to talk about the art (and importance) of keeping notes when developing cosmetics products. I'm not going to tell you what to do – just show you how I am able to zippy-fast find exactly what I'm looking for – even if it goes back over a decade.

Maybe you'll find some of this useful – even if you prefer working 100% digitally.

Personally, I find pen and paper synonymous with thinking, wondering, developing and finalizing an idea. I'm old fashioned that way (as is pretty evident from that pic of a few of my notebooks up there).