Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year



Happy New Year to you, you fabulous person, you! See that kiss up there? That's meant for your cheek!

Thank you for sticking with me through various body butter experimentations, soap-free cleansers, lotion bars, lip tint and make-up pencils, decoctions (a special thanks to you, Anon for setting me straight on that one!), and hair cleansing rituals of the barest and most basic kind.

It has truly been a pleasure!

Your questions are inspiring, your comments (most often) warm my heart, and the tips you share are great!

Now, go out and have a fabulous New Years Eve! I'll see you on the other side.

Mwaaah!



Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry After Happiness


No work today. Today, we relax and rest. We may not even cook dinner today. We may just spend the whole day watching films, playing games and snacking on goodies.

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Happiness


It's the Eve of Christmas and in my small Nordic country, the holiday celebrations happen all day today.

It is Danish tradition that gifts are opened and shared tonight.

The Long Long Day

Of course, gift opening doesn't happen until after an – in the eyes of children –  excruciatingly long day. This day is filled with relaxed time with ones loved ones.  Things such as mulled wine, fruits, and baked goodies are partaken of until it's time to eat (!) Christmas dinner.

This year my family will be enjoying roast duck (for the meat eaters) and roast stuffed squash and mushroom (for the veggie-eaters).

Dessert is the traditional rice á la amande (almond rice pudding) with cherry sauce. In one of the servings a whole almond is placed, and the person who finds it in their portion wins the almond prize.

After dinner, singing and dancing around the Christmas tree commences, and when everyone has sung and danced through the beloved traditional songs, gifts are passed out and opened.

Have a lovely day, I'm off for some family time!

Cheers!

Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 - A Bit Different


This year has been a bit out of the ordinary. The picture up there is pretty representative of my 2015, which has consisted in large part of building projects and moving to a new address – simultaneously.

I've learned all kinds of new and exciting things and gotten real up-close-and-personal with sandpaper, spackling equipment, drill bits, power tools, bricks, mortar, wallpaper, and paint.

Needless to say, my skincare routine also changed quite drastically this year.

Tip: sandpaper is great for wood – but total overkill for skin. If you don't love the rough and ready look of a woodworkers hands dangling at the ends of your arms, wear some kind of protective gloves when using sandpaper for any length of time.

(you're welcome)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Battling Anal Itch


In order to make a 100% personalised product for someone, I ask them a lot of questions. This also means I am privy to some very private information – sometimes completely unrelated to the product I am commissioned to create.

Today's post is in the very private category. We're taking a look at a certain itchiness that won't go away.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Final-Rinsing the Hair - An Introduction


So, you're done washing your hair and ready to leave the shower. You've rinsed out the shampoo/hair cleansing product you are using, but did you rinse?

I mean, final rinse?

You: what the heck is final rinse?

Me: I'm so pleased you asked!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

How To - Aromatherapeutic Smelling Salts

Smelling salts have been around for ages. From days of yore, where they functioned as the go-to remedy for ladies who felt faint to today's sports-folks looking for an instant pick-me-up, smelling salts pack a real punch. It's because of their content of ammonia.

But.

What if smelling salts could have other functions?

Like, say

  • a 'Christmas Spirit' blend to jump-start the holiday cheer
  • a 'Clear The Head' blend to help battle stuffy noses
  • a 'Summer Memories' blend to bring a whiff of summer warmth
  • a 'Calm Your Spirit' blend to aid sleep and relaxation

One might even consider making a lovely personalised gift for someone.

Are you inspired?

Good, then let's get started!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Washing Coconut Oil From Hair With Rhassoul




My regular shampoo has been retired for a good part of this year. I have been exploring alternative hair and scalp cleansing methods and ingredients. Even though this (surprisingly lengthy) exercise has meant paring back to the barest of basics, there have been been strict requirements.

Each explored method had to pass muster in several areas to achieve 'shampoo-replacement-approval':

Rhassoul has been an absolute champ and passed every test with flying colors.

Today, I'm going to share my preferred method for washing out a 'pre-shampoo' coconut oil treatment with a rhassoul instant hair wash (links below).

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Winter Cold Fighting Tip


It's coming up on real winter. This time of year, the sniffles are almost unavoidable.

Almost.

Here's a little cold-fighting tip that has always worked quite well for me, and may be just the thing for you too.

And you only need one thing - a small bottle of essential oil.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Quick and Easy Rhassoul Packets


Sooo, you've gotten thoroughly addicted to washing your hair with rhassoul but find it too fiddly to be constantly measuring and weighing portions.

I am on board with that.

Let's do something about it – immediately!

Here's a quick and easy way to prepare your rhassoul in perfectly proportioned packets (say that out loud 3 times, then let's get busy).

Sunday, November 15, 2015

LisaLise's Fail-Safe Whipped Shea Balm


A lot of home crafters (and pro cosmetics makers) have a love/hate relationship with shea butter. That's understandable.


My Position 

Shea has far too much to offer in the way of skin and hair care to be dismissed. Over the years, I have worked with it countless ways - in emulsions, melt-and-pour products, bars, bath products, hair products, and a plethora of skin care products.

Along the way, there have been lots of opportunities to make mistakes. And there have been many. I have also learned from every one of them.

Today, I'm going to show you how I make whipped shea.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How To - Instant Rhassoul Hair Wash


DIY skin and hair care can sometimes be laborious, fiddly, and/or time consuming – but not in this case!

Today we're going to make an instant hair wash that is suitable for all hair types (yes, really).

If you've never tried a hair mask with rhassoul (also known as Moroccan Soap Clay or Ghassoul), then you're in for a pleasant surprise. Not only will rhassoul cleanse your hair and scalp effectively, it's also recommended to help prevent dandruff and soothe itchy scalp.

Extra bonus: rhassoul is equally beneficial for skin.

Extra extra bonus: it's quite pocketbook friendly.

Let's get started!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Rhassoul - Cleansing with Mud


Today we're going to talk about dirt. Well, ok, not quite dirt, but it does come straight from the earth.

It's clay.

We're going to examine a particular clay that has some pretty amazing properties. As far as anyone knows, it is found only one place on the entire planet – in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

What's in the Atlas Mountains


The above pic is a little clue to what's coming up. We are looking at a view of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco – where the ingredient we are going to be focusing on comes from.

Here's a little clue: it's used for both skin care and hair care and has been for ages.

Yeah, I know, that wasn't much of a clue, but all will be revealed very soon. Promise!

Happy November!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween



If you celebrate Halloween, here's a tip for removing childrens face paint after the festivities.

I'm off to celebrate by doing a pumpkin mask...

Literally.

Have a Spooky Fun Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2015

When Words Take on a Life of their Own


Sometimes, a word will enter my brain and promptly proceed to a (hopefully very small) area where there is an apparent constant disconnect. Words that decide to take up residence in this area will consistently mispronounce themselves when they come out of my mouth, or choose to unwaveringly misspell themselves when I write them. They will even be staunchly blind to repeated spell-check warnings and symbols.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

How-To Soap-Free Rose & Red Clay Face Cleanser


Looks like chocolate, smells like rose, feels like silk, and cleanses and nourishes skin like a dream.

Today, we're going to combine powdered rose, rhassoul and red clay for this no-soap, skin-loving cleanser. If you haven't tried making or using a soap-free face cleanser yet, maybe this how-to will inspire you to give it a try.

Don't worry if you don't have these exact ingredients at hand, I've listed possible substitutes.

Here's how I put this product together.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Testing Mallow as a Hair Coloring Agent


Admittedly, this one is pretty far out there. Can mallow dye hair - stain grey, or do anything else 'folk tales' claim?

Not long ago, I made a mallow concentrate with the express purpose of experiencing personally whether or not there was any truth to the stories.

Join me as I give this product a whirl as a hair colorant.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Are Preservatives Necessary in Make-up?


One would think a water-free, powder-based, mineral make-up wouldn't need any preservative. No water = no need for preservative, right?

Well, no.

Except, in some circumstances, yes.

It was Olivia's detailed question about this that inspired todays post.

She was also gracious enough to allow me to share her several-part query with you, so let's get busy with her questions.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Washing Coconut Oil from Hair and Scalp With Soapnut Decoction


Sooo, you've applied a pre-shampoo coconut oil treatment to your hair and let nourish and condition your scalp and hair for 15 minutes. 

You're ready to remove it, but don't want to use shampoo.

You'd much rather use your soapnut decoction because you've fallen in love with what it does for your hair.

But.

You're not inclined to spend an hour and use a barrelful of product just to remove a bit of coconut oil. 

A quandry to be sure.

Luckily, there is a way.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

DIY Hair Cleanser - As Basic as it Gets



My life has changed. That is to say, my hair life has changed. It's utterly back to basics.

What you're looking at may just be my final goodbye to shampoo.

After testing soapnut decoction as a scalp and hair cleanser for 3 months, it has quite simply remained a favorite.

Many repeat batches have been made.

And it continues to work beautifully.

Over 6 months have passed, and it's now my preferred go-to for hair and scalp cleansing.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Soap-free Mean Green Face Cleanser




This would have looked prettier if the product hadn't decided to spill up into the lid while I was transporting it ever so carefully to the right place in the refrigerator so it could set.

Nonetheless: pictured above is my latest fave soap-free cleanser - a combo of green ingredients that are great for the Fall season, look fun on the face (the green monster look is all the rage), and smell fabulous to boot.

Here's how to put together a 'Mean Green' soap-free facial cleanser.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Rose Lotion Bars - a Successful Failure



Even though I haven't written about it for a while, lotion bar development has been a continuous and ongoing process in the LisaLise lab for well over 2 years now.

Lotion bars are not only fun to experiment with, but so easy and fast to make that you can practically formulate on the fly.

Above: my latest batch of lotion bars with ingredients list - fresh out of the fridge after setting. For this batch, I've added an ingredient I've never worked with before: rose floral wax.

The scent?
Absolutely divine!

The feel?
Absolutely superb!

The texture?
Absolutely a re-do...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Floral Wax and Enfleurage




They may not look like much, but the little yellowish lumps you see above are quite multifunctional and the deliciously fragrant star of today's post.

Rose floral wax (as those lumps above are otherwise known) came to my attention via Tina, maker of fabulous handcrafted soaps.

Floral Wax

Floral wax has everything to do with flowers, but not as much to do with wax as the name might suggest. Before we start getting serious about using this lovely ingredient in a product - let's look at how a floral wax comes to be.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

LisaLise at the Make-up Department


Due to reasons beyond my control, I recently found myself standing in a large make-up department in need of an eyeshadow in a specific shade.

A nearby counter displayed a massive collection of colors – a suitable place to start.

A few moments later, a voice said, 'May I show you our selections?'

I looked up with a smile as the saleslady continued  'All of our eyeshadows are really safe - they're 100% paraben-free'.

Aw, jeez.

My smile faded...

Friday, September 11, 2015

Mallow Hair Gel


Pictured above: a long shot.

In all likelihood, this exercise will do nothing more than allow me to cross this one off of my to-do list.

Nonetheless, it must be tried.

Today, we're experimenting with Mallow (INCI: Malva sylvestris). Mallow has lovely properties for both hair and skin. It also has a fabulous, deep purple color – so deep that it colors other things.

Even hair.

Or so some say.

And even though I know this will only work if the gel is combined with a series of additional ingredients (that I would not be happy to put on my hair), maybe – just maybe – it will work anyway.

Because sometimes things don't turn out as expected.

And, if all else fails, this will make a great conditioning hair mask.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Eyeshadow Emergency



This picture pretty much sums up my reaction to the incident that resulted in my very first eyeshadow emergency.

I didn't realize one could even have an eyeshadow emergency.

But one can.

And it happened.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

DIY Honey Cleanser - Packaging Method



If this DIY got any easier, well, I don't even know what to say. Quite simply, it can't get any easier.

Really.

The being easy part isn't even the best part of this exercise. The best part is the skin-loving part.

You probably already know this, but here's a quick recap from earlier posts.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Can Caffeine Make Hair Grow?


Pictured: an artsy computer rendering of a caffeine molecule.

That's what we're looking at today – caffeine. Not from a coffee-drinking viewpoint, but from a topically-applied, hair-growing viewpoint.

Caffeine-laden shampoos have actually been on the market for quite a while - all promising to boost hair growth, but is it just marketing hype?

Can caffeine make hair grow?

If you ask science, the answer is something like:
'documentation from laboratory tests show multiple indicators that topically applied caffeine has the ability to encourage hair growth'.

(that's science-speak for 'yeah, it looks that way')

Friday, August 21, 2015

Dear 200.000 Armpits - It's Not Your Fault


If you are a regular reader of this blog, you might have noticed that 'Popular posts this week' on the sidebar always seems to have the same post at the top.

In fact, the post Why your DIY Baking Soda Deodorant is Causing a Skin Reaction has been at the top for quite some time.

This particular post has been visited over 100.000 times.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Soaproot vs Soapnut Hair Cleanser - Which is Best?


Here's my hair (and a slice of the phone that photographed it). It feels fresh, clean and – if I do say so myself – has a pretty healthy-looking shine to it.

My shampoo has been standing on the shelf for the past 3 months – untouched.

In the name of science (and my insatiable curiosity), I've been testing alternative hair-cleansing methods.

Some people call this going 'no poo'.

I don't.

I call it testing alternative hair-cleansing methods – I'm funny that way.

Regardless of the term, this exercise has been both enlightening and provided some surprising results – almost all positive.

So positive that repeat batches have been made. Several times.

Below are my notes on how decoctions of soaproot and soapnut have functioned as hair cleansers on my (fine, straight) hair for the past 3 months. At the bottom of the post you'll find links to learn how to make your own.

Monday, August 10, 2015

LisaLise at The 'Health Shop'


Normally, I really do try to keep myself from correcting sales people when they dish out thumbsuck about cosmetics ingredients but the other day, I had to make an exception.

The scene: a pop-up health shop
The situation: me, looking for a crystal deodorant

They didn't have what I was looking for, but this particularly perky salesperson didn't want to loose a customer and quickly offered an alternative.

"How about trying a brand new natural deodorant?" she said grabbing a jar from the shelf.

"It has all natural coconut oil and baking soda – it's chemical-free and really effective!" she explained.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How To - Soapnut and Soaproot Hair & Scalp Cleansers








Both soaproot and soapnut are amazing plants. They contain all-natural surfactants that can create suds with the mere addition of water and a bit of agitation. These suds are quite useful for cleaning things - even laundry. But since LisaLise is (mostly) about skin and hair care, we're going to learn how to cleanse our hair and scalp with soaproot, soapnut or even both!

Both of these products are as basic as can be – simple, budget-friendly decoctions that are easy to make.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Which Labels Can We Trust?


Sometimes, researching things presents me with information I am not the least bit happy to discover, like some of the information in todays post.

Let's examine a term that's been around so long, it's a part of everyday Western life. It's found on labels everywhere – household products, products for pets, and childrens products.

The term: Non-Toxic.

Non-toxic is a stamp of approval - an assurance of safety. Any time we see a product labelled NON TOXIC, we feel confident that the contents is safe and can't cause the slightest bit of discomfort to either adults or children, nor will it harm the environment in any way. 

Non-toxic means all that, right?

Unfortunately, no.

In fact, not even close.

Friday, July 24, 2015

SoapNut vs SoapRoot - Which is the Better Face Cleanser?


Testing soaproot and soapnut face cleansing ability this spring/summer has been both interesting and fun. Here are my experiences with these 2 natural surfactants and how their face cleansing properties and abilities compare. 

If you just popped in and want more background, you'll find links to previous posts (and a couple of how-to's so you can make your own) at the bottom of this post.

Now, let's get serious about these test results!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

How Essential Oils May Be the Answer to Anosmia


Imagine having no sense of smell.

It's hard, because we actually use our sense of smell for much more than we realize. For example, without a sense of smell, it's impossible to taste what we're eating.

A sense of smell is necessary to enjoy ice cream...

.. or a spring morning

.. or a flower

.. or the scent of fresh baked bread.

Now, imagine going in for an operation and waking up after the anesthesia with your sense of smell gone.

Completely vanished.

And it doesn't come back.

That's exactly what happened to Birthe.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How To - Foaming Face Wash with Plants




Even though I normally prefer a healthy dose of luxury factor in my products, there were many positives to be had with this little exercise in 'roots' skin care (you'll get the subtle pun here in a minute).

As a matter of fact, these face washes are both so back-to-the-roots, you may even find them too earthy for your taste.

Today, we're going to use SoapNut and/or SoapRoot as a face cleanser (that subtle pun should start kicking in about now).

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Potassium Alum – Aluminium or Not?


Danielle, who is a chemist, left a great comment on an earlier post not too long ago. Her comment inspired me to revisit the ingredient you see above (in crystal form) and try to answer a few questions.

This ingredient is used – among many other things – as an active in deodorants. It's called potassium alum.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Decoction Comparison: Soapnut vs Soaproot


So, we've made 2 lovely soapy decoctions. Before we start testing them for different uses, let's adjourn to the lab and have a look at how these 2 natural surfactants behave in a side-by-side comparison test!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Say Something Nice


I have an account on a social media app called Vine. If you're interested, you can find me there under the name LisaLise.

Above is a screen shot of one of my vines. I added a red ring around part of the comments field because that's the focus of this post.

That little text is visible in every comments field on Vine.

It says: Say something nice.

What a great way to encourage kindness!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

How to - Soapnut Decoction


You're already an old pro at making a decoction from the earlier post where we made one with soaproot, so let's jump straight into making a decoction with soapnuts (also called soap berries). If you're curious to know a bit more about soapnuts, check the links at the bottom of this post.

The method is quite similar, but there are a few soapnut-specific tips to be had, so let's go through the process step by step.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Free From Dangerous Toxins





It is my privilege to get a lot of questions from the readers of this blog.

Lots of the questions I get are (understandably) about what's safe and what's not safe – in commercial brand products, in small company products, in someone else's DIY products, and in your own DIY products.

I love your questions and am constantly inspired by them, but I do get a little worried when you write things like:
"I want to live a preservative-free life because of the dangerous toxins" 
"I am trying to switch to a toxin-free lifestyle, so I need to find/make products without preservatives"

But here's the thing.

The toxins aren't in the preservatives.

The toxins happen all by themselves in the products you're making when you leave the preservatives out.

Really and truly.

Monday, June 15, 2015

How To - Soaproot Decoction





The lovely plant you see above has special magic powers. Its INCI name is Saponaria Officinalis. If you're a language buff, you probably know that Saponaria is from the Latin 'sapo' which means soap.

The common name for this plant is soaproot (or soapwort).

The reason for this name is quite simple: the leaves and roots of the soaproot plant have built-in soapiness qualities due to their natural content of saponins (up to 20% while the plant is flowering).

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Rose and Lavender Cleanser


Both rose and lavender are favorites of mine.

Correction.

I love both to pieces – whether dried, powdered, as essential oil or hydrosol – I'm totally smitten.

In truth, I am so addicted to rose and lavender that I will start to quietly panic if my stock of either starts to get low - in any form.

So, it was only a question of time before these 2 were paired and put into a cleanser.

Here's how I put this nourishing, gentle cleanser together, and what else I included.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Make Your Own Crayon Lipstick - a Good Idea?


Here's a trendy DIY idea – make your own easy peasy lipstick using crayons!

Is it cheap?
absolutely

Is it easy to do?
yes

Is it fun?
probably

Is it safe?
not necessarily

Is it a good idea?
not at all

I know I may have just rained on your parade, but stick with me a bit. You may just want to think twice before you grab your kid's crayons and coconut oil and rush to the kitchen to melt and mix your own bargain lipstick.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

DIY Recipe for Disaster


I love Pinterest. It's a great place to find all kinds of inspirational tips and how to's from cooking and gardening to DIY beauty. 

But sometimes I hate Pinterest, because it also seems to be the go-to spot for misinformation and how-to's that are downright health-hazardous.

Take this recipe for homemade make-up wipes - brought to my attention by J with the (very wise) question 
"Would you have a recommendation on how to do this without having to store it in the fridge?  Could we leave the water out?"
Your hesitation at using this recipe was spot-on, J, and thank you for asking me about it.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Green Tea and Apple Cleanser


In a recent post, I raved to you about the fabulous natural perfuming power of powdered apple. After enjoying it as an addition to my foaming hair and body wash, I just had to add it to a face cleanser to see how it fares in an anhydrous formula.

Guess what.

It fares quite happily.

The scent of fresh apple is an absolutely fabulous treat to the nose while the rest of the ingredients are do their gently cleansing duty.

Here's a peek at the ingredients and process of putting together my latest cleanser.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Vitamin D From Sun Exposure? It Depends



We're not going to talk about sunblock today. We're going to talk about vitamin D and the fact that your skin can magically make vitamin D from exposure to the sun.

Cool huh?

It is said that a mere 15 minutes of exposure is enough time for your body to magically provide you with the necessary daily dose of vitamin D.

In truth however, it depends.

Not only does it depend on which part of the planet you are living, but also what time of year you decide to soak up some rays.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Powdered Apple - Instant Natural Perfume!




Meet my latest (ingredient) love. Not the lady – the apples!

Yes, really - apples.

This common fruit brings all kinds of happiness to your nose when it is added to a skin care product.

Pyrus malus fruit extract is quite literally helping me through this extended time of limited lab space access and product development.

Friday, May 8, 2015

LisaLise Secret Weapon Tip of The Day


Above: a little secret weapon of mine. This little handy dandy machine is perfect for cosmetics.

Perfect.

It mixes pigments for face powder, foundations, and blush perfectly, smoothly, and effortlessly.

It pulverizes dried herbs into powdery perfection. Check what it did with this dried lavender – in one minute flat: