Friday, December 27, 2013
Although I haven't yet experienced an ice-sculpted building in person, it is one of the things I would love to try - if only once.
Here is a peek at the beautiful ice building in Kiruna, Sweden.
For more about ice hotels, check out this link.
PS: I'll be back with more skin care tips, articles about ingredients, case studies, product development, giveaways and more in the new year – promise!
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Tonight, all Scandinavians make merry and celebrate Christmas. It is indeed the Eve where the family Christmas dinner is enjoyed, games are played, and presents are opened.
The day-long family festivity is filled with home-baked goodies, traditional roast pork and duck, mulled wine, singing and dancing. The evening culminates with the celebratory opening of gifts.
For many children, today is agonizingly long, but the day is also filled with activities to keep them occupied – baking, table setting, watching the Christmas specials – there's plenty to do.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Yalda, Kwanzaa or any of the other many winter festivals, I wish you a wonderful holiday season.
Now excuse me, I have a roast duck to check on!
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Friday, December 20, 2013
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Wouldn't it be great if it were possible to capture the warmth of summer and joy of lovely fresh flowers – all in one little bottle? We would have the power to stave off mood-dampening wintry darkness with a few drops of golden sunshine.
Well, I've got a little surprise for you. It's possible – and all because of the lovely plant you see above.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Not long ago, we looked at some down-home local beeswax – straight from the beekeeper. To test out both beeswaxes, I decided to try them out by doing a very small portion of lotion bars.
Then it occurred to me.
We've never done lotion bars on this blog!
Prepare for some easy peasy, fun-loving lotion crafting, because lotion bars are actually so easy to do that you (almost) can't go wrong. They're also both fun to use and effective skin care for the whole family.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Isn't this just the image of sunshine and freshness? These lovely plants have all kinds of great things to offer us - both internally and externally.
The common name of calendula officinalis is Pot Marigold. The fact that Calendula's INCI name ends with officinalis means this plant has a history of medicinal use. Let's have a closer look at the properties of this lovely flower.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Tina asked in this post
"I always wonder when I read those very long ingredients lists with good oils, butters and stuff. When you add so many different things, you end up with such a small amount of one specific ingredient on your skin - how much good will it do my skin? Would it be better to keep it simple?
This Q applies to my own oil blends and creams/body butters as well – is there a limit to how many oils I should mix? Does it actually make a product better to keep adding ingredients or is there such a thing as too much of the good stuff?"
This is an excellent question Tina!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
If I had all kinds of super expensive fancy equipment to test my products, I would be able to finish developing them a lot faster.
My products are all tested 'in real time'. Sometimes that means having to dump a product after months of it 'behaving nicely'. Some products will actually fool you and behave nicely for what seems like forever – then go wonky (practically) overnight.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Party season approaches with rapid steps. It's time to get serious. You may be working extra hours, partying hardily or just in need of a pick-me-up.
Eye Love You Moisturising Mask is waiting to sooth and smooth your tired eyes.
No samples sizes this time. I'm getting into the Christmas spirit and giving away full sized products for 3 lucky winners.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Here it is. creamy, lovely and nothing at all like the mush from this previous post. After working on perfecting the texture of my stick deodorant since 2012 and reintroducing ingredients I feared were on the way out (but seem to be on the way in again), it looks like this might just be the winner.
I say this with a certain hesitation.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I know the title sounds odd. Aloe Vera isn't normally associated with anything even close to being hazardous.
Chris asked me to have a look at the growing concerns about the possible hazards of aloe vera. In researching this, I came across several new studies that prompted me to take a fresh view of this succulent.
Let's examine how such a popular ingredient with such an innocent reputation can be any kind of hazard, and also take a look at whether or not it can actually do what proponents claim it can do.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Rikke wrote me the other day and mentioned that she always enjoyed reading but that it was a bit of a chore to leave a comment from a mobile device due to the 'captcha' window popping up and asking you to 'prove you aren't a robot'.
Personally, I'm not crazy about having to jump through all kinds of online hoops to leave comments on blogs either, so I decided to untick the function to see if it mattered all that much.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
A while back, I did a couple of posts about how to make, strain and bottle your own tinctures. It's fun, easy, relatively inexpensive, and quite rewarding! Tinctures offer a world of different uses. Extra bonus: you simply can't avoid getting to know more about your herbs and their properties when you start making tinctures.
Fair warning: making tinctures is fun, educational, and a little addictive.
Today I'm going to show you how super easy it is to make a soothing skin spray with calendula tincture.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Sunday, November 3, 2013
This year has proved to be a truly tincture-filled one as I found a renewed interest in infusing different herbs in alcohol late this Spring. Getting re-aquainted with my favorite herbs 'in an alcohol setting' has been fun and has inspired a few new products.
Above are the herbs presently 'brewing' in my tincture cupboard:
on the left – lavender
on the right – cornflower
These were both started the other day, and the lavender one has already turned a gorgeous deep purple color.
Below are links that will show you how to make your own tincture, but first, let's take a look at tinctures and see what they can be used for.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Happy Halloween! If you've ever wanted to do a bit of artistic face painting, today is the day to let your imagination go wild.
When you're finished creating the most fantastical, gorgeous make-up – go celebrate 'All Hallowed's Eve' without a worry in the world.
Even if you party through the night and arrive home almost too tired to remove your make-up, I'm going to show you how to remove your make-up, cleanse your face, and moisturize your skin – all in one go.
Not only is this method budget-friendly, but it's good for all skin types (even sensitive).
Monday, October 28, 2013
Rooibos is one of those things that trended its way into our lives on the wave of the other 'power foods' that promised eternal youth and anti-oxidant amazingness.
African Red Tea.
It just sounds all kinds of exotic, sexy and a whole lot of other easy-to-sell things, doesn't it?
Cosmetics brand Ole Henriksen offers a African Red Tea series of skin care products. I'll be honest: I try the Mist every time I come across a tester bottle. I love the look of the bottle, the scent of the product, and the whole idea of a tea being good for your skin just agrees with me somehow (and yes, I have read the ingredients list and realize full well Ole Henriksen's African Red Tea Mist contains a whole lot of other things besides rooibos).
So what does rooibos have to offer? Let's have a look!
Friday, October 25, 2013
This is Mr. Bee's head – photographed at the end of January of this year. Mr. Bee is 30-something and otherwise healthy, but I think we can agree there is a visible thinning of the hair.
Mr Bee has been testing my hair and scalp boosting product – Stuart's Formula – since taking this picture. He has also been doing the 30 second head massage daily (or "as often as he remembers") for the same time period.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Some people don't really want on-the-go skincare, but because of their demanding schedules, simply need on-the-go skincare.
Take parents with small children. Imagine this:
- The luxury of a shower without interruptions
- A full 5 minutes to apply make-up
- Enough 'me time' to style the hair
These simple luxuries may very well seem like a distant dream to parents with babies or toddlers. But never fear! You don't have to wait until your child is a fully grown before you can once again allow yourself a few extra minutes of me time.
You Are AppreciatedI herald you dedicated and loving parents for putting your childs' needs first. You – of all people – deserve extra special pampering!
So, just for you – here is a list of all-natural, instant-satisfaction beauty tips that will fit most skin types, hair types, budgets, and time tables.
Friday, October 18, 2013
This looks a bit worse than it is. Well no, maybe it doesn't. But there is actually quite a bit of good news in the story of the stick deodorant you see here.
Ok, let's be honest, it doesn't look much like a stick. It looks more like a mush deodorant.
It also acts and feels like mush. Despite that, it is an effective deodorant that goes on smoothly and has staying power.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Ages ago (January), I started a case study on caffeine and hair growth. The original intention was to take and show bimonthly pictures with myself as well as the participating testers.
Sorry for the delay, but if you have been waiting for this update, I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed. The results so far have surprised even me.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Monday, October 7, 2013
Although I often get questions about 'everything cosmetics, skin and hair care', I recently realized I have never asked you wonderful readers to tell me what you'd like to read about. What's on your mind?
Do you have any questions about cosmetics making, ingredients, production, skin care, hair care? Are you dying to know about soap-free cleansing? Pressing eyeshadows? What makes AHA's work? Why hydrosols do what they do? The best way to exfoliate? Why konjac glucomannan has such a long and unpronounceable name?
Voice your thoughts!
Semi-warningWhen people ask me something that requires research, I always try my best to do a thorough job of it (read: I may end up using quite a bit of time on it). Therefore, please don't be too disappointed if I can't provide an instant answer.
Here's a shortlist of what I've been researching and am working on at the moment – all questions that have been put to me by customers, readers, interested friends etc.:
- natural sun protection - does it exist? (I haven't forgotten, Alicyn!)
- tinctures and what to use them for
- calendula - what it has to offer
- rooibos and skincare - is it healthy or hype?
- how can artificial sweetener ease an itchy scalp
Don't be ShyI look forward to your questions, comments, input, and inspiration!
Friday, October 4, 2013
This might very well be the true story of how little 'Polly Paraben' was born.
Yes, I know it's spelled polyparaben, but I figure if we're going to misspell a name, we may as well give it a bit of pizazz and throw in a pic of an adorable little baby.
So stick with me and hopefully you will be entertained.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Before I started working with essential oils in earnest, I wasn't the biggest fan of the scent of lavender. It seemed a bit too 'clean' and 'soap-like'.
But that was then.
After working with it and becoming familiar with what lavender has to offer, my perception changed dramatically.
A recent article with new study results inspired me to revisit lavender and touch on some of the many uses of this wonderful essential oil. We'll get to the study in a minute, first let's get reacquainted with this wonderful plant.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Monday, September 23, 2013
Friday, September 20, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
This name came to me while I was brushing my teeth. (Yeah okay, maybe that was too much information). But it fits. The main goal of developing this mascara was to create a color mascara that was actually good for lashes, one that could 'feed' or nourish lashes while functioning as a mascara.
Lash Nutrition Mascara.
Makes sense, don't you think?
Sunday, September 8, 2013
With the colder weather fast approaching, it's time to think about extra skin protection. Here's something that may just fit the bill – just for you (and 4 other lucky winners) – Second Skin Body Frappé.
This product has been a winner with the client it was developed for, my testers, and it has already become a staple amongst my daily-use products.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
This fresh tidbit of info on bugs and beasties crossed my path the other day. I know I'm always preaching about bacteria in DIY products and how you need to add broad spectrum preservative as soon as you add plant material to a water-based mixture, and blah blah blah – seriously?
I can already hear loud yawning and eye rolling.
OK, I guess you're allowed to roll your eyes just a little. But let's – for the briefest of moments – celebrate the amazing capabilities of microrganisms, because these teensy little critters are actually quite remarkable.
Monday, September 2, 2013
Friday, August 30, 2013
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Over the past few years, I've had to come to terms with something: researching armpits and how they work as well as deodorant ingredients and how they work is apparently my cosmetics destiny. As unsexy as the care of armpits may sound, it has become quite clear to me that armpits are overlooked and neglected far too often. Armpits deserve every bit as much pampering and care as the face, hands and every other part of the body.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Sunday, August 18, 2013
I got an interesting comment from Penny on this post about witch hazel not long ago. It prompted me to write her, and I'm glad I did. She had all kinds of interesting information to share and it has developed into this little mini-series about the witch hazel, its production, and its many uses.
Along the way, we're also going to get a first hand look at the distillation process by two passionate artisan distillers of witch hazel – Penny and her husband.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
This mascara is still holding up and behaving like a champ: through wind and rain and even extreme sweaty summer heat. It even stands up to direct comparison with a quality commercial brand (Elizabeth Arden's Beautiful Color Lash Enhancing Mascara – specifically acquired so I had something to compare with).
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Thursday, August 8, 2013
I fell in love with this plant ages ago and feel like apologizing for not doing a post on it sooner. Mallow (INCI: Malva Sylvestris) is not only beautiful, it has some lovely (and surprising) properties that make it an ideal addition to a skin and/or hair care product.
The name derives from the Latin Malva which means soft, or capable of softening.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
This is just a quicky post with a super short update on this deodorant – awaited anxiously by a few special folks. After a successful reformulation of my lavender deodorant earlier this year, I recently finished the Melissa one. Here it is! Yay!
The formula is a hit, the label has been redesigned, and all I need to do is replace the pics on my website.
Coming up next on this deodorant reformulation program: Geranium!