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.

However.

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).

Friday, March 31, 2017

Formulating Green Comes Naturally if You Already Think Green


I recently read an article about cosmetics formulating that caught my interest. The author maintained formulating with plant-based/natural/green ingredients was akin to working with ones hands tied.

Interesting standpoint.

Not having worked with very many petroleum based ingredients throughout my formulating years (subtle pun intended), It took me a bit to process this line of thinking.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Straining Tinctures, Extracts, and Glycerites



It took me a mere moment to strain this chamomile tincture because of a vegan drinks maker. I know that sounds odd, but it's absolutely true.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Important Stuff Goes in Front



I've been working on a new book for a while, and it has everything to do with that picture up there.

The book is about making tinctures, infusions, glycerites and other ingredients-nerdy stuff only cosmetics making folks (and very patient husbands) could understand.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

What Makes Colloidal Oatmeal Colloidal?


I've been on an extensive, several-part research session that turned up differing answers, more questions and a whole lot of interesting info about microns, particle sizes, and oats for skincare that we're going to be looking at today.

Who could imagine oats could be such a mind-blowing ingredient?

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Get ready for a bit of a ride as we examine colloidal oats, because there are going to be a few twists and turns along the way!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Stinky Skincare Ingredients: How to Work With Cocoa Butter


Welcome to part 4 in this mini-series of working with stinky ingredients!

Now that you've been exercising your nose and making all kinds of amazing discoveries at how clever your nostrils are at picking out subtle details and undertones (if not, check the links below to previous posts), let's get busy with today's project.

We're going to 'bend' the scent of a very popular ingredient for skincare and haircare: cocoa butter.

It almost seems unfair to call this a stinky ingredient. Most people love the smell and taste of a chocolate bar. I know I do. I actually also love the scent of cocoa butter if I am thinking of food.

But we're putting it on our skin.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Babassu Oil - Worth Falling in Love With


That creamy-looking balm up there is actually an oil. It's from Brazil and goes by the name Babassu Oil.

I started getting acquainted with it sometime last year (or was it 2015?). I'll admit I've had quite a bit on my plate for longer than I care to admit, so when my first order arrived (way back when), it just sat there in the stockroom cooler for a couple of months.

When I finally got around to testing it out, I fell in love.

A whole lot.

Let's have a look as what Babassu (also called Cusi) oil has to offer.

Monday, February 27, 2017

How To: Easy Face Mask with Fresh Cucumber Juice


It's at least a zillion years since we did a fresh food mask around here. Correction: it's a zillion years since we even did a mask around here.

You think I'm exaggerating? Do a search and see for yourself. The last one was in 2014. That's three (zillion) years ago!
(insert small gasp)

That changes right now!

Do you have a bit of cucumber?

A bit of clay?

You've already got the basics at hand. Let's get busy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Infusing Oil With Coffee


If you have been following this blog or my Instagram account, you've probably noticed all kinds of different infusions and straining techniques going on throughout much of last year. (I've been working on material for an upcoming book.)

Some of what I've been experimenting with has been coffee in oil, and that's what we're going to do today: make coffee oil!

Friday, February 17, 2017

How to: Calm Steam Face Tea


This is simple, fun, inexpensive, and ridiculously easy to make.

And it's beneficial for the skin.

Not only is a face tea a perfect gift or giveaway, if you package it up a little fancy (check the glass tube up there), it's also a bit of eye candy.

That's just got to be a win win win.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

How to Dose Essential Oils in a Formula


In connection with this previous post, today's subject details a bit about why precision is so important when making formulas for skincare products.

We're going to touch on something some DIY'ers hardly even give a thought  –  how to dose essential oils in a formula.

You: Seriously, Lise? We need lessons in counting drops?

Me: You mean you're measuring by the drop?