Saturday, December 31, 2011

Plans for The New Year

Here's what I plan to do next year:

Have a good one. 

I hope you you do too.
Now, go celebrate (and go easy on the candy).

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Dark North

It's the dead of winter and the middle of the Christmas holidays here in Scandinavia. Anyone that doesn't have a job in a hospital, police station or other important service is off work right now. And so am I – almost.

While we prepare for the New Year, I thought I'd give you a peek at something that can be observed in dark, northerly skies (Norwegian, Swedish, or Alaskan) – the Northern Lights. They are also known as Aurora Borealis and were named in 1621 after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas (I knew you would be curious, so I figured I'd add this little tidbit of info).

What does any of this have to do with skin care? Zipola. I just thought you'd like a pretty picture to look at while I work on some new blog posts. Now, go relax with your family.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Holiday

This has been a whirlwind month with too many things to do and not enough time to do them all (sound familiar?)

A whirlwind tree is therefore my holiday greeting to you – wonderful readers of this blog. Thank you for your input, questions and inspiration! 

Whatever you may or may not celebrate, I hope you have a good holiday season with time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. 


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Make-up: Making Mascara From Urtegaarden

This summer, a family member told me she hadn't used mascara for years because 'every brand she had ever tried bothered her'. I knew exactly what she meant and told her I made my own from Urtegaardens mascara starter kit. By chance, I had just done up a batch for myself and gave her one of 'mine' to try. Later, when Christmas wish lists were circulating, she had added 'LisaLise mascara' to her wish list.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Emulsifier Twin Mix-up

I wouldn't have done this if I were working on a product for someone else, but this was a personal use product and I was feeling adventurous. Instead of throwing out the batch after discovering my mistake, I decided to see what happens when you get the oil-loving V-E emulsifier mixed up with the water-loving M-F emulsifier.

Friday, December 16, 2011

V-E and M-F - The Emulsifier Twins

To claim that any cream is 100% organic is not true, and it's most often because of the emulsifiers. I have as yet to see a 'properly organic' emulsifier. Properly organic? Well, there are a couple of 'officially qualified organic' emulsifiers on the market that I have been using for years, but they still aren't 'properly organic'.

Curious? Then please join me on a trip into the world of 'almost organic' and meet the most reliable twins I have ever worked with.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Coily Kinky Curly - How's This Logo?

Lola and I are fooling around with a few ideas for our Coily Kinky Curly hair products. We really should have a Coily Kinky Curly logo, don't you think?

I suggested using the first letter of each word, but somehow, this reminds me of something I've seen before...

What do you think?

The Coily Kinky Curly Case
Stay tuned for the exciting adventures of the dazzling duo that dared to take on the scurge of the single strand knot and forge new paths into natural hair care.... whoosh!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Coily Kinky Curly - A New Concoction!

Here is a sneak peek at a serum Lola and I are working on. It shall hopefully help bust (or at the very least alleviate) the single strand knot problem that plagues many coily-kinky-curly haired ladies.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Using The French Clay Cleansing Bar

Welcome to the follow-up on the French Clay Cleansing Bar for face and hair. I have been using the bar for about 10 days as I write this. Here's what I've learned so far...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How to Make a French Clay Cleansing Bar

This is not my idea to begin with. It is 100% inspired by Lola (my partner in a combined-effort quest for the perfect tress-taming products for curly-kinky-coily hair).

I've been playing around with ideas for lotion bars and a couple of other 'solid' products for a while now, so when Lola posted a recipe for a bentonite butter bar (link below), I was immediately inspired to try a version with lavender.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Marvelous Manuka - Part 2

Now that you know piles of things about manuka honey on the sciency-nerdy side (link to part one below) and know what manuka honey has to offer in the way of wound healing, let's take a look at what manuka honey can do on – and in – your face!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Coily-Kinky-Curly Case - Lolas Initial Feedback

The Coily-Kinky-Curly hair care case study is in full operation, but we are forced to deal with distance as Lola and I are on either side of the big pond. Nevertheless, nothing shall stop us from our quest!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Marvelous Manuka – Part 1

Using honey to treat wounds is nothing new. Honey accelerates healing and is a known bacteria buster with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are well documented. Topical application of honey is also an effective and inexpensive beauty treatment that cleanses, moisturizes and balances the skin.

With all those fabulous properties, you wouldn't think it could get any better – but it can. There is one honey that surpasses all the others in spades. In some respects, Manuka honey is a bit of a medical marvel.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Water-Dispersable Oil - No Kidding

This just sounds all wrong – water-dispersable sweet almond oil. Excuse me? Oil doesn't dissolve in water! Anyone who ever tried mixing a plain oil and vinegar dressing knows this – the oil beads up, swirls around, then floats to the top and sits there, glistening defiantly.


There is an ingredient that can be added to transform oil into a water dispersable substance. The cool part is, it doesn't change the look, smell, feel or behavior of the oil – until you add water and see it rinse away as a milky-white liquid (leaving no oily residue). And if you've been reading this blog for a while, you aren't even a complete stranger to what this ingredient is.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Yikes! You Tell Me!

I need your help. There are a gazillion things going on right now and my to-do list is as long as my arm. Seriously, that long.

If you have ever met me, you know the length of my arms is enough to make any basketball player envious, and long-sleeved-shirt salespeople run away in fright. (like I said – long list).

Kind and wonderful readers of this blog (that would be you) – please help me prioritize my notes!

I've put up a little poll on the right. If you would be so kind as to tick off the things you are most interested in reading about on this blog, I shall organize myself, these notes and my upcoming posts accordingly.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Making Infused Oil With Juniper Berries - Part 2

Not long ago (ok, ages ago) I started to infuse some sweet almond oil with fresh organic juniper berries. After the obligatory 4-6 weeks of turning the bottles every day (and doing the occasional nose test to  ensure all was progressing in a proper manner), I pulled out my equipment to strain the oil, and then realized there was no cheesecloth.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Scytonemin - Why You are Going to Love it

Hot off the press! Scytonemin is on the scene! It's fresh – it's exciting! Get ready to love it! In the hopefully near future, you are going to be looking for it – even demanding it – in your skin care products.

Are you ready? Are you with me? Good, because scytonemin is, in fact, a product of bacteria.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Elles Review - Personal Blend Face Oil

If you have been following this blog the past week, you may have noticed an addition to the page (hint: it's the winners badge on the right). LisaLise was chosen as a beaut-e biz winner! Yay!

Because of this, I have had the great pleasure of meeting and working with Elle Mason, the savvy and incredibly charming founder of beaut-e online – a brand new online community for organic, hand-crafted and natural beauty products (my kind of place to be sure!)

It's much easier to write about something you are familiar with, so as part of the give-away prize for one lucky beaut-e competition participant, I made a Personal Blend Face Oil for Elle to try.

I'm hoping you're curious to find out what she thought about the ordering process and how the product works for her. If you are, please visit the beaut-e blog and read Elles review.

Now, excuse me while I dance jauntily around the room in merriment for a week or so.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Rice Bran Oil - Magnificent Multi-Tasking Magic

The more I research plants and what they have to offer in the way of skin (and health) care, the more amazed I am at what nature provides. Sometimes, the most magical discoveries are made on the most common ingredients. Todays plant is so common most people don't give it a second thought. It is utterly unfair, because oil made from rice bran has star quality that deserves a spot in the limelight.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

LisaLise on the Front Page

I'm all agog. I never ever thought I'd make the front page of anything, but here I am: headlining the Health section on the front page of the November 15, 2011 edition of The Last Hurdle. The article links to this blog.

A bit giddy are we? Thanks to beaut-e online for making this happen!!

Visit The Last Hurdle here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Love To Be Loved!

How can you not blush when you see a write-up like this?
I am so thrilled to be part of Beauteonline's wonderful concept and to have participated in their beautition (beauty competition) this past week!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Eyebrow Pencils - Mistakes and Leftovers

Recently, I put together a selection of 3 different colored eyebrow pencils for my itchy eyebrow buddy. Because I always have a hard time throwing out the bits of leftover 'pencil mixture', an extra pencil will often be filled. This is actually not a good idea – at all – but in the world of making make-up, I seem to have an incredibly slow learning curve.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Melt-in Body Frappé - A New Body Butter is Born

Through much of the Summer and Fall, I have been exploring mixing cocoa butter with different oils, and trying numerous production techniques and temperatures in search of the simplest, most basic whipped body butter. Butter has gotten under my skin (literally!) – I can't stop thinking about new combinations with different butters, oils and scents. Ideas for formulas have been swirling around in my mind for weeks. The other day, one of them ended up at my fingertips in the form of this new concoction – immediately dubbed Melt-in Body Frappé.

Monday, November 7, 2011

LisaLise Giveaway at Beauteonline

Shhhh - hardly anyone knows this....yet. How would you like to win a personally blended face & body oil, made by me – especially for YOU?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Whatever Lola Wants...

Hopefully, Lola gets!

Lola Zabeth has a passion for natural hair care. She blogs about it at LolasGreenHair. I have become completely addicted to reading her blog, and am learning all kinds of things about the trials and tribulations of caring for super-curly hair. My goodness there are a lot of things to deal with (read: battle) when you have coily or kinky hair.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Itchy Eyebrows and Iron Oxides

I've started doing make-up for others... kind of.. not really. There have been a couple of urgent requests that I haven't been able to say no to. One is my itchy eyebrow buddy (how can one say no to a bud?). We're working on perfecting the color and function of her eyebrow pencils. She wants a real-dark-grey-almost-black color. Check. As for the function: the pencils I made earlier worked great, but after a few months, an occasional itchiness snuck into the picture. A conundrum to be sure, but I'm not one to take these things lying down.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Catalog Made Me Do it!

Not too long ago, a catalog from one of my fave ingredients suppliers arrived in the mail.

Uh oh. That's downright dangerous.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hydrosol Mix of the Week - Juniper, Lemon and Sage

This is a rather unusual combination that I wouldn't have expected much from. To tell the truth, this combo came about because I had one hydrosol that needed finishing and another with only a splash left in the bottle. The third was juniper. I hadn't yet tried mixing anything with juniper – ever. There was only one thing to do: throw caution to the wind and give it a whirl. I learned something new.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Why is Being in Charge More Important Than Getting the Facts Right?

I recently had a bit of a 'run in' with a person of authority here in Denmark. They were misinforming the public about parabens. I was completely taken aback by their responses to my communications. (Read this posting for details)

The Protest Sign is Back 
Now, I'm not looking to make enemies – I'm just interested in the facts – so I have purposefully not mentioned the person or organization by name. I haven't even revealed if the person is male or female.

But here's the thing: I have more to tell that may well include this person and this organization. And, because it is a bit tedious to continually refer to them as 'that organization with that person who misinformed the public in that article', I've been trying to find a fitting and more condensed name.

I found one.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Custom Shampoo - Take 2

I've been working on a custom shampoo for a couple of weeks. Texture has been my main challenge (as usual). The product works great, but batch 1 was just too darn runny for my liking.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ph Testing Cosmetics Products - A Few Tips

Every time I try a new formula, tweak an existing formula, or replace even a single ingredient with something from a different supplier, I will whip out my trusty PH test strips and do a PH test of the product.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Beaute Online Update

My product wasn't picked for the Beauteonline competition first time around, BUT.. stay tuned because there are exciting things coming up..... can't say anything else here.. yet..

Sunday, October 16, 2011

LisaLise in The Beauteonline Twitter Competition

Are you on twitter? I've just entered this twitter competition at Beauteonline. If they pick my product as the chosen prize, you will have a chance to win this:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Juniper - The Purifying Essential Oil

In almost every scenario, common juniper (INCI: Juniperus communis) isn't really a center-stage kind of thing. In gardening, it's usually a background plant (unless you're into Japanese gardening). In cooking, juniper berries are the kind spice you don't really know what to do with, and for skin and hair care, juniper is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Nonetheless, juniper is the star of today's posting, and for 2 reasons:
1. I have recently experienced juniper hydrosol for the first time
2. I have recently received a generous bag of fresh organic juniper berries that prompted all kinds of fun with juniper

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How To Jam Pack Skin Care Products With Good Stuff

Good Stuff Checklist for Skin Care Products
1. Replace water with organic hydrosol
2. Use organic plant-based oils and fats
3. Replace glycerine with glycerine-based plant extracts
4. Use neutral, skin-friendly emulsifiers
5. Use safe, tested, and approved preservatives

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wash Your Hair Backwards

The title conjures up all sorts of strange images, doesn't it? I actually read this a while back on Beautyspace. Anette had the opportunity to visit with Austrian born Founder of Aveda, Horst Rechelbacher. His recommendation: wash your hair backwards.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Custom Shampoo, Coming Right Up - Almost

A recent order for a custom shampoo has me fiddling around with surfactants and working on texture – again. The lady has been using the Plain & Simple Herbal Shampoo and requested a version with some 'conditioning action' added to it. She also wanted to try a new scent, so I suggested basing it on geranium. Voilá! Except not quite...

Monday, October 3, 2011

When The Packaging Inspires The Contents

These mini-roll-on bottles caught my eye not too long ago, so I ordered a couple – just to see if they were anything that might prove useful. For years, finding new containers would get me so excited I would create a new formula for the bottle/jar/spray dispenser before actually seeing it. And on too many occasions, it would be a disappointment to discover the overall look was too bulky/dainty/opaque/clear for the product I had in mind, or the dispensing system just didn't suit the texture of the product I wanted to fill it with.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Making Infused Oil With Juniper Berries

This is the first time I've tried making an infused oil for topical use. The world is coming together in this little jar. Organic juniper berries from Estonia, organic sweet almond oil from Germany, the infusion process in Denmark, and the inspiration from the USA. Because it is my first try, it will be a relatively small amount.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How To Make Whipped Body Butter

Playing with cocoa butter and different oils to find the lightest, airiest whipped body butter has been great fun, and all of you wonderful ladies who tested and provided feedback during this 'butter' series can take a bow. Thank you! You all deserve applause! But, on this – my one year blog-a-versary day – I have some news.

I recently had a shocking realization....

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thanks to You, it's Already Been a Year!

Tomorrow I have been blogging for a year. A whole year!!
During this past year, I have met a lot of wonderful, talented, and interesting people who have helped to enrich, educate, enlighten, and inspire me!  And, for that, please allow me to thank you.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Feedback From Winners of The Body Butter Giveaway

Thanks to the winners of the Batch 3 Whipped Bare Basic Body Butter Giveaway for sending me your feedback. I've compiled the answers (along with the feedback from my regular testers) and here are your comments:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eyeshadows by LiisK

There's only one thing cooler than doing your own eyeshadows, and that's having someone do them personally for you. Look what I got in the mail the other day – made for me by LiisK (color connoisseur and make-up wiz). I never realized what it was like to be on the receiving end of personalized cosmetics – it feels really great!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

10 Uses For Body Butter - The Multifunctional Skin Solution

Exploring the properties of butters with different oils to make whipped body butter has been fun! I've had some great feedback from you, and I've also had a couple of questions. The most notable one: what is body butter good for? My immediate answer: almost everything having to do with skin care – be it face, hands, feet or body!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Rikke Made - Cream With Zing

See those 'sticks' in the picture above? They add zing to things. It doesn't take a lot of them either. Just a few will add a refreshing, cool bit of zing that can be felt immediately. I've never worked with them before, but Rikke has.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Not Quite The Horses Mouth

I just got an email from the preservatives expert that answered my questions about ethylparaben and methylparaben in this posting.

I have a correction.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dealing With Misinformed People in Higher Authority

I love being right. I love it when I know I'm right about something and can point to evidence and other factual things to back up exactly how right I am. It's incredibly satisfying. (Hey, who doesn't love being right?)

On the other hand, I get incredibly frustrated when I run into a person of higher authority (and we're talking top-of-the-chain-in-a-government-funded-informational-institution-that-services-the-entire-country-of-Denmark kind of higher authority) that publicly presents – as fact – something I happen to know is