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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Batch Certified Dyes

FD&C Blue 1

FD&C Yellow 6
Busy busy here is soaping land.    I have been so swamped getting the new supplies section of our business up and running.    These are bloomed Batch Certified FD&C dyes that I will be stocking soon.  As in next week soon.  VERY EXCITING!!    Blue 1 and Yellow 6 are the first on the list.  Crossing my fingers that I get the repackers approval from the FDA by mid week.    YAY!!!

Getting Ready for Halloween

 I have been working on a variety of projects this year.    This is a blast from the past and I am going to recreate the bottles I made many years ago.    I may revamp the labels but I thought I would share the originals with you.   Feel free to print the labels below.   To get the brown crumply look you will need to get some black tea and steep it.   Once the tea is cold crumple each label and then flatten it out again.   Set the paper fully submerged into the tea.   Allow it to soak in for a few minutes depending on the color you want.    Then carefully lift the paper out and allow it to air dry.   I find that cutting it before I stain it works the best.   After the paper is dry give it a spray with a protective coating.  I like to use spray acrylic that can be found in most craft stores.  Add some spray adhesive to the back of the label and attach it to the jars you plan on using.   Decorate your jars how you like and you are set for a spooky holiday!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Copying the look of other businesses

One of the biggest things I see in the bath and body community is “branding”.    Branding to me is an individual look.  We all look to Lush Cosmetics as an Idol of sorts.  They are a huge company with a fantastic following.   I have personally never tried their products but I hear some of them are pretty amazing.  
Lush has been around a while and the general population knows who and what they are.   How?  Because of their “branding”.    Lush uses a killer font, has fantastic displays and are above all, a company we all strive to be as popular as.  
When we as business owners are starting out or simply trying to update our look, we look to those who are popular at the time.    We want to keep up with the times so to speak.    Why?   Well because we want to be able to compete with our competitors.  Is Lush a competitor?  Well not really?  Unless you are making millions of dollars you are not in competition with Lush so why would you want your display to look like them?
Finding your own look is important not only to you but to your customers as well.   Do you really want your business known as a copycat to Lush?   No way.   You want your customers to know your products as yours.  If your products are a duplication of Lush then honestly what does that say about your creativity?   It says you are only as good as your ability to steal from larger companies.   If your look is a duplication of Lush then what does it say about your company?   It says that you are not above living off the shirt tails of someone elses creativity and hard work.   If you want respect in the business from both competitors and customers you need to make your own way.    Make your own products.   Make your products stand out as your own and not just another “Lush Duplicate”. 
I am not saying duping a recipe is wrong.   I am saying that if you are duping a product and making the labels (font/packaging) similar to Lush or any other company then you really need to rethink your morals and values.   That is just plain wrong in my eyes.  I know there will be some who say we all duplicate every time we make a round bath bomb.   Yes, that is in fact the truth.  We do it when we make lip balms, lotions, creams, soap and every other product out there.   Someone has already done it.   But do we need to duplicate each item to look extremely similar to someone elses?  NO WE DO NOT!  
Why would you want your products to steal from other peoples hard work?   You wouldn’t like it if someone did it to you.  It is NOT flattery.  It is NOT a sign of admiration.   It is NOT a good thing no matter how you justify it.   I don’t care what you tell yourself to make it right in your head.  I would ask how you would feel if someone did it to you but I already know most of the answers.    I wouldn’t care.  I would be flattered.   No you wouldn’t.  You would be angry if you went to a show and saw someone had duplicated your entire set up including how you packaged your products.   Be honest with yourself.  You would not be happy about it.
Please find your own look.  Stop trying to be someone you aren’t.  Be yourself.   Make your business express who you are and your values rather than expressing your ability to copy people :)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Lana’s Non-Foaming Emulsified Sugar Scrub

48% white sugar (see notes below)
13% emulsifying conditioner pastilles
10% rice bran oil
10% hempseed oil
10% pumpkin seed oil
6% jojoba oil
1.5% fragrance
1.5% preservative
= 100% 
Weigh all your ingredients. Place your oils and emulsifier into a heat safe pot (I prefer to use the double boiler method). Heat until melted but do not over heat. Just until melted. Once oils pot is all melted but not hot turn off the heat and let cool slightly. While waiting for the oils to cool add the colorant to the sugar and stir well making sure that all the colorant is distributed into sugar and there are no clumps. Stir poppy seeds/herbs into sugar until well blended. Add sugar to the oil mix and stir to incorporate. Add preservative and fragrance oil. Mix well again. Mix will thicken more when completely cool. 
Please note that the recipe was calculated using plain white sugar. You are welcome to substitute it for a different sugar or exfolient or even a combination of different ones. If you do make changes you may need to adjust your amounts. I suggest alternating your exfolients until your desired texture. Recipe is calculated at 48% using only white sugar. Also note that you can use any oil combinations you wish. I tend to use oils that have specific properties that I desire. You can use 1 oil or 20 oils as long as they are a total of 36% of your recipe.
OPTIONAL: If you would like to make this recipe a foaming scrub you can substitute a portion of the Sugar for slsa. I substitute it at 1% but you can adjust it to your liking making sure not to go over safe usage rates. That being said I have successfully added slsa without adjusting the sugar amount too. 
This product is emulsified, which means that as you rinse it away, the oils and rinse water sort of blend together and leave you feeling soft rather than oily.   I recommend making a small batch to test your oil combinations. Starting small until you get the desired results will make you happier than making a large batch and not liking the results :) 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bubble Bath Bomb Recipe

                   Bubble Bath Bomb Recipe

combine the following 3 ingredients in a bowl and mix
1.25 cup baking soda
.5 cup tapioca starch
2 tbsp cream of tartar

In separate container heat up .5 tsp sodium lactate for 10 seconds

Add these next 3 ingredients to the sodium lactate and mix gently
4 tbsp decyl glucoside
2 tbsp coco betaine


Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well.
You should have a crumbly wet sand texture that sticks together.

Press mixture into bath bomb molds or other shape molds that have little to no details.   Allow to sit for a few days to completely dry.

Testing video was done when bombs were 5 days old.

Please note.. This recipe was printed and given freely for the sole purpose of FREE sharing.  Changing one or two ingredients and calling it your own original recipe is not cool!   Please do not do this and then put it up for sale.  Feel free to share this recipe with all.  No special permission is required...

Everyday Basic Bath Bomb Recipe

Everyday Basic Bath Bomb Recipe
(makes 6 or 7 - 4 ounce bombs depending on how you pack them)

Dry Ingredients: 

•   2 cups baking soda
•   1 cup powdered citric acid

•   1/2 cup powdered epsom salt
Wet Ingredients:

•   2 Tbsp light oil
•   2 tsp fragrance (be sure to check usage rate and adjust as needed)
•    liquid coloring (to your shade preference)

1.  Sift your baking soda and Epsom salt into a mixing bowl and mix well.

 2.  Add your oil, color and fragrance to the dry ingredients and mix to incorporate all the wet ingredients evenly.   Make sure you are scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.

3. Sift your citric acid into the mixing bowl  and mix it well.

1. Molding is the fun part.   You can use the plastic ball ornaments found at hobby shops, metal ball molds from Xen, silicone baking molds, candy molds etc…   Loads of options.   I prefer to use the Xen metal molds in the 2 inch size for my standard bombs.

2. First thing to do is make sure you mix is ready for molding.   To test this you are going to grab a handful of the mix and squeeze.   If it clumps and stays clumped it is ready.   If it doesn’t stay clumped you will need to spritz it with some moisture to get it to a clumping state.   I like to use rubbing alcohol however you can also use witch hazel and water.  Be aware that water and witch hazel will activate the mix more than alcohol so you will spritz and mix, spritz and mix as quickly as you can so that you get as little of a reaction as possible.  Alcohol will also activate the mix but not nearly as quickly.

3.  Now your mix is ready.   Get your mold and pack them firm.   Not hard just firm.  If you are using the ball molds I suggest mounding the mix in both halves lightly and them firmly pressing them together.   Let it sit for 3 seconds and tap the mold with a spoon to release the seal and your bomb will pop right out.

4.  If you are using plastic decorative molds you will need to pack them in tightly and use the back of the spoon to smooth them out.   They don’t need to be perfect.   Let it sit for 30 seconds and flip the mold over.  If your bomb does not pop right out then give it a gentle tap with the spoon.   Keep in mind that the more detail the mold has the harder it will be to release from the mold.  (This is why I choose to use the round ball molds)

5.  Allow your bombs to air dry for 24 hour before packaging.  You do not want any moisture in them when you bag or jar them up or that moisture trapped in there will activate your bombs leaving a yucky mess.

Butter Butt Bath Melt Recipe

Butter Butt Bath Melt Recipe

 Version 1:
This will melt in your hand so handle them as little as possible
Dry Ingredients:
*7 ounces baking soda (depending on how thick you want it you can add more)
*1.5 ounce citric acid

Wet Ingredients:
*6 ounces Cocoa Butter
*1/2 ounce Shea Butter
1/2 ounce coconut oil (solid at room temp 92 degree)

*1/4 oz polysorbate 80

****You can use any combination of softer butters totalling 1/2 ounce****

Version 2: will be a bit more solid but will still melt in your hand if you hold it to long

Dry Ingredients:
*7 ounces baking soda
*1.5 ounces citric acid

Wet Ingredients:
*6 ounces Cocoa Butter
*2 ounces soy wax (I prefer pillar blend)
 *1/2 ounce Shea Butter
1/2 ounce coconut oil (solid at room temp 92 degree)

*1/4 oz polysorbate 80

****You can use any combination of softer butters totalling 1/2 ounce****

*Fragrance oil to recommended usage
*color to recommended usage
*If you do not have 92 degree coconut oil you can replace it with any similar weight butter
*preservative is not required for this recipe
*powdered oats or milk (use 1 Tbsp or to liking.  The more you add the less buttery it will become texture wise)
*botanicals to mix in or top with
*Clays are also a nice addition (remember less is more 1 tsp-1 tbsp)
*you can substitute the soy wax for Candelilla wax, Carnauba wax or beeswax.  You may have to adjust the amount used. Make sure it is a wax that will melt in the tub :)  High melt point waxes will just stay in clumps
*you can also substitute some of the baking soda for other dry ingredients like tapioca starch or corn starch.  Remember that starches feed yeast so... make sure you note this on your products.

Step 1:  Pick your mold and have it ready to go.

Step 2: In a microwave safe bowl weigh out your cocoa butter and shea butter (soy wax if doing version 2).  Heat these 2(3) ingredients in the microwave in 30 second bursts until it is almost completely melted.   Remove from microwave and add your coconut oil and poly 80.  Don't worry about the coconut oil being solid.  It will melt from the heat of the other oils. 

Step 3:  While you are heating your butters, measure your baking soda and citric acid into a bowl.  Sift, blend well and set aside. This is the step where you will add any optional powders like botanicals, clays, oatmeal or milk.

Step 4:  Now go back to your oils and make sure it is all melted.  Stir it up to help any chunks that might still be floating.  If you need more heat only do it at 10 second intervals in the microwave.

Step 5: This is the fun step.  Add all your melted oil and butters into the dry ingredients and stir like crazy. Add in your liquid optionals like fragrance or liquid color.   Remember that as this cools it will start to solidify on you so you need to mix it in well.  This recipe gives you plenty of time for molding so take your time.  No need to rush.  Make sure when you fill your molds you are continuously stirring so that you are evenly distributing the powders that will want to sink to the bottom of your mixing container.

Step 6:  pop them in the freezer for 20 -30 minutes (depending on your mold size) to allow them to cool quickly.  Pop them out of the molds when they are solid.  If you have to press hard and they seem difficult to release then you need to leave them in the freezer a bit longer.  Even detailed molds should release very easily.

I do not recommend shipping these in hot temperatures.



Option 1:  Make recipe as is for a nice plain jane bath melt full of buttery goodness.

Option 2: Make recipe as is but add 1/4 cup slsa for a foaming bath melt.

Option 3: Fill your molds with colored epsom salts or botanicals and pour your uncolored mixture into the mold making sure that all the butters get mixed in as you pour.  The mix is liquid enough that you should not have to worry much about mixing it in.

Option 4: Put some whole oatmeal in the mold and wait until the mixture thickens and scoop it into the mold so that the oatmeal stays on the top.  Some people have added a bit of honey to the mix.  If you add honey you will need to add a preservative.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Foaming Bath Bomber Recipe

I would like to thank the creator of this recipe.  It is actually a very good recipe and does wonderfully well with embeds to make it spin and color.

Now we all know that bath bombs are tricky little buggers.  Some have issues with humidity making them warty and soft while others have no issues at all with that sort of thing.  Thankfully I am one of the lucky ones and never have that problem.  Now that being said this recipe has a lot of options.  I will put them in parenthesis so you know my alterations and they will be marked with red ink.

Dry ingredients:
30oz baking soda
16oz citric acid
2oz SLSa (you can leave this out)
2.7oz cornstarch (tapioca starch and arrowroot powder both work)
.4 oz clay of choice (I prefer Kaolin in the white variety)
Add dry colorant here. (Lake dyes are what will give you the color blast. Straight dyes as well)
Wet ingredients:
2.6oz cocoa butter (2oz without SLSa) (You can also use coconut oil 93degree at 2.3 oz)
1.3oz Fragrance of choice (1 oz without SLSa) (i generally go by smell rather than amount)
.4 oz witch Hazel

While mixing in a stand mixer or with a electric hand mixer slowly pour in the wet ingredients. Add liquid colors at this point. (I find that hand mixing works just as well and less mess)
Mix well this is very Important
It may feel too dry, it's not just mold and go.

If your mix starts to not mold a few things can be done.
First try cleaning out your mold.  Sometimes the mix can get sticky in there.  Clean it well and try again.

If cleaning your mold does not work, spray your hand with witch Hazel and mix mix mix. (witch hazel assists in the hardness of the bomb but 90% or higher alcohol works as well)

Try again.

Hint when trying to mold round bombs BE SURE to have something metal to tap the top/bottom and lightly around the ring to help dislodge any air pockets that may cause the bomb to pull apart and not stay around coming out of the mold. If you try to unmold and it wont EASY , STOP!!! Tap again!!

Rendering deer tallow. Aka. deer fat

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones.   Mine was 2 days of wonderful food and lots of great catching up with family I have not seen in several months.

Along with Thanksgiving... hunting season in Wisconsin is upon us.   Several hunter friends graciously brought me their fat from butchering.  Deer fat makes amazing soap so it is well worth the effort in rendering it.  I promised several people I would document the process for them so let the tutorial begin...

First you will need to get yourself some deer tallow.  Here is a small load that I picked up a few days ago.  7 grocery bags full of tallow.

The next step is going to be the worst part.  It is the cutting process.  Normally I would grind all this in a grinder but mine seems to be hidden from me at the moment so hand cutting it is. You want your pieces to be small so they melt down efficiently.  Mine are not all that great but hey...  7 bags is a lot of cutting. haha

 The next step is tossing it all in a pan to cook.  I prefer a roaster so that I can control the temperature better. Put the lid on and let it cook. DO NOT ADD WATER TO THE CUT OF FAT.    I do dry rendering so I do not add water to the roaster.  I let it cook just like you would if you were making bacon.  Let all that fatty goodness melt down leaving nothing but bits of cracklin's. Now is the waiting game.   I suspect this young hunter has little experience in butchering so you can see that it is not the cleanest of fat.  But..  Beggers can't be choosers so.. here we go.   There is hair and other debris that I did not get out.. That is okay. It will all be gone in a few hours.  This is a lengthy process. 

This picture below is after about 2 hours of cooking.

This pitcher has some goo in it.  I scoop some fat out and pour it into a pitcher with hot water in it.  You do not want to shock the hot fat or the debris will solidify with the oil.  You can see the separation of fat and water.   There is a nice dark line separating them.  That dark line is excess cooked blood and meat that is being suspended in the water.  This is what we want.   After it solidifies I will pop it out of the pitcher, scrape the bottom of the block of fat to get some of the gunk off and put the fat into a pot for washing.  Washing is basically a simple process of combining oil with water so that all the debris in the oil will sink into the water rather than being suspended in the oil.  Hence the "washing" of tallow.  If it is super clean tallow you will have to wash it less.  The more meat and gunk the more washes it will take.  Some people also use baking soda in their wash water.   I try not to do this simply because you will need to keep washing until all the baking soda is out of it as well.   I choose not to use it unless it is a very stinky tallow.

This is after 3 washings.  Notice how the clean it looks.  But it will still need 1 more washing to be perfect.

Here is a stack of tallow that is waiting for its final washing.

This tall stack is sweating after bringing it in so I have towels to absorb the condensation.

This is a pad of tallow that is going into the pan for its 4th and final washing.  I use 16 ounces of water for each pan of tallow.   Once this one is done it will sit on a drying rack so that all the moisture is gone.  Then it will be melted down and placed into molds.  

Here is the cleaned tallow in smaller containers.   I like to mold them into 8 and 16 ounce blocks.  It makes it easier when soaping time comes about. You already know how much each block is going to weigh and it saves you from having to scoop (or chisel it) out of a huge bucket especially if you keep it in the freezer like I do.  After I weigh them out I pop them in the freezer until they are solid.

This is a stack of molded tallow that is just chillin' out waiting for the rest of the deer tallow to be molded and added to the pile for a final count.  The eight (8) on the left are all eight ounces.   The fifteen (15) on the right are all one pound blocks.   So.. with a ton more to go I already have nineteen (19) pounds of tallow this season.  I have more to pick up next week so hoping to have this batch all done today :)