Thursday, May 26, 2016

Free From? Really? Aren't We Past That Yet?

The other day I got an email from a company who wanted me to test and review their 'all natural' products. They were ready to send me a generous selection of creams, lotions, cleansers, and more.

For reasons unknown, this kind of thing happens to me regularly.

I mean, this blog is about how I go about developing a bespoke product, or what I discover while researching ingredients, or DIY's and How-tos.

It has, to my recollection never, ever, ever – not even once – been about reviewing commercially-made products.

Nevertheless, I get these mails.

This one was actually pretty long, and I read the entire text.

(I'm polite like that)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

How To: Make a Complete Skin Tone Palette

A while back I showed you how to match your skin tone using a mere 4 components. Today, we're going to use that foundation color to create a collection of skin tones – from highlighter to blush to contouring.

Here's the coolest part: you're only going to need one additional pigment to make an entire palette of skin tone sculpting colors.

Shall we get started?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Touched HandMade Soap

Making soap is nothing new, and most people don't give soap a second thought, but really, it's an amazing craft. Watching simple ingredients undergo a chemical reaction to create a useful product like soap is fascinating.

I am seriously impressed with people who handcraft soaps. And these days, I've been getting to know quite a few people who do just that.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Refined vs Unrefined Shea - Testing Batch 1

Above: batch one of the 2 whipped shea butters undergoing stringent testing – identical in every way except for the shea itself. The goal: to discover which is the better shea – refined or unrefined.

As I write this, I have been using both butters for about 4 weeks.

Let's have a look at how things went, shall we?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

How To: Easy Matt Powder Foundation

Now that you've learned how to mix pigments to match your skin tone, let's make a matt powder foundation! The only thing you need aside from your pigment mix is a base powder mixture.

Here's the best part:  the base powder is a snap to make.


A snap!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lanolin - Now Unscented

Here's my latest new ingredient arrival: lanolin!

You: New? I distinctly remember reading several posts where you work with lanolin, Lise.

Me: This isn't just lanolin, but ultra-pure refined lanolin. So it's brand new – to me!

This lanolin has all the lovely, skin-loving properties that lanolin normally provides, but it is not heavy-smelling, sheepy-smelling, or anything else undesirable-smelling.

It's scent-free!

(insert little happy dance here)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Skin Cleansing with The Konjac Sponge

Several people have asked me for my take on these 'new' sponges for face care.


All right, you can stop giggling now. I know it's been a while since the konjac sponge hit the market. In my defense, there are quite a few questions that make their way to my to-do list. It's unfortunately pretty rare that a question can be answered by merely dashing off a few lines of text.

So basically, this is all your fault. If you didn't ask me so many interesting, intelligent and inspiring questions, I could have answered this ages ago.

Now let's have a look at this rather unusual little beauty product and see what it has to offer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Refined vs Unrefined Shea - Test Batch 1

Here's the first test batch in the refined vs unrefined shea comparison test. You really have to look closely to see the difference - both are airy, light and even smell almost identical.

Making this first test batch was enlightening.

True to its reputation, the shea threw me an unexpected loop.

Friday, April 15, 2016

How to - Cucumber Glycerine Extract - 2

Not long ago, I started making a glycerine extract using fresh cucumber. It has been agitated daily for about 10 days, and is now ready to be strained and bottled.

Even though straining is pretty straightforward, I thought I'd share this final process with you.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

How To: Mixing Pigments to Match Skin Tone

A colleague recently asked me if it was difficult to mix pigments to match a skin tone.

Nope. It may take a little patience, but it's fun and even quite relaxing.

Today, I'm going to show you how to match your own skin tone.

With a mere 4 components, it is possible to match any human skin color – from the fairest of fair to the darkest of dark – a mere 3 pigments and white are all you need.

Those components are pictured above.

Sound too easy to be true? How about giving it a try and seeing what you think.

Shall we get started?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Vitamin C Skin Freshening Cleanser

Vitamin C is great for skin care and a favorite in skin care products for skin lightening, brightening, and products that help maintain an even skin tone.

I'm actually quite a fan of all the fabulous things vitamin C has to offer. But there's a bit of a hitch.

Ok, it's a rather huge hitch.

Fresh vitamin C looses power, so in order for it to be beneficial for topical application, it needs to be stabilized.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

How to: Cucumber Glycerin Extract - 1

María gets full credit for being the inspiration for this post. Not long ago, she left a comment about having successfully made glycerine extract with both fresh cucumber and fresh strawberries.

That was enough to get me all excited about giving this a try.

Glycerine extracts are useful alternatives for folks who may not want to use tinctures (alcohol extracts) in their products. And even though a glycerine extract won't last as long (suggested 6 - 8 months) as an alcohol extract (4 - 5 years), it does offer other plusses.

With a glycerine extract, you have a dual-functional ingredient: a humectant with 'added botanical power'.

It's definitely a desirable alternative to formulating with fresh food.

Let's make a glycerine extract using fresh, organic cucumber!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Bare Basic Soap

That bar of soap up there may not look like much, but it's a unique piece of hand-crafted skin care.

It was made in Crete.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How To - Hair Rinse with Horsetail

I promised you at the beginning of this year that we were going to get busy making a few final rinses. Today, we begin!

For our first final rinse, I've chosen an ingredient with a hair-loving reputation: horsetail (INCI: Equisitum Arvense).