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).

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Make-Up - Foundation Stick First Batch

This was a test. I've never made a foundation stick before, and thought it was about time I gave it a whirl.

I started this all backwards – by taking a look at my stock to see which ingredients I had at hand – and then formulating from there.

Before you get all impressed at my amazing formulating capabilities, let me just say, this batch was a fail.

But, we'll get to that in a minute.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Unrefined Shea vs Refined Shea - Sneak Peek Test

While waiting for my order of refined shea to arrive, I decided to whip up a quick batch with the unrefined shea - just to get a feel for it.

Above: a quick peek at the difference. The jar on the left is refined shea (from another supplier and previously made) and on the right is the new batch with unrefined shea.

These 2 batches were not made using the same method or additional ingredients, so it's not quite fair to be comparing them .. yet.

But we will!

As soon as my order of refined shea arrives, we'll get busy with some proper comparison testing.

Stay tuned!

Just Get Here?

Check the post that started this

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Mister's Mister - an Anti-itch Body Mist

Here's a peek at product I developed last year for a regular customer. This gent presented me with a particularly uncomfortable problem: full body after-shower itchiness.

Not only did the itchiness 'start like clockwork' after his evening shower, it was impossible for him to find relief.

"I don't take hot or long showers. I've tried using baby soap, less soap, and even NO soap - nothing makes a difference. I itch so badly I can't fall asleep. I'm going crazy from all the twisting, turning, and scratching."

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

How To: Pineapple and Amla Face Cleanser

Combine these few simple fruit powders and in 5 minutes flat you're all set to cleanse and gently exfoliate your face and neck and while treating your nose to a citrussy-fresh scent.

This modular mix can be combined with any number of liquids for an instant face wash – or try it with this cleansing gel for an instant nourishing mask.

Does it get any easier than this? I don't believe it does!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Formulating with Food - Cucumber Serum Under Scrutiny

Here are 2 batches of soothing cucumber eye serum. They both contain real-live, freshly-grated organic cucumber juice. The left-most tall bottle is batch 1 –  a serum made with juiced unpeeled cucumber. The middle bottle is serum batch 2 – made with juiced peeled cucumber the day after batch 1 was made.

The small spray bottle contains preserved pure juice (no peel). This was partly to monitor how the juice behaved (and to try it out as a refreshing face spritzer).

Let's have a look at how these serums and spritzer fared, shall we?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Unrefined vs Refined Shea Butter - A Story Begins

Sooo.. this happened. Quite by accident too.

In all my years of working with shea butter, unrefined shea has never made it to my workbench.

(yes, really)

Until now.