Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gimme Some Lip...

Kiss My Mango shown

In my quest to go as "natural" as possible, I'm phasing out all products I used to make with pre-made bases (This will not apply to my sugar bubbles because frankly, I have no desire to learn how to make whipped soap, but that's another day, another post...) I admitted used a pre-made lip base in the past, and frankly, I wasn't that pleased with it. It was a little too Chapstick-y for my taste. I wanted more of a butter-nothing too greasy, but not waxy either. So I scoured all my favorite DIY b&b blogs for a recipe I could build on, and I think I found one that I can live with.

Mocha Loca

The main ingredient in my formula is mango butter. I really love this butter. It reminds me of shea in its texture, but to me, it's not as heavy. I've also got some new flavors. Some are very conventional like Mint Truffle, but then I have one that is totally bizarre-Dill Pickle. I kid you not, this stuff smells like a real pickle! Personally I love dill pickles, and when I saw this offered as a flavor oil, I could not pass it up. Another change that I made was to not color these new lippies. They were totally unnecessary since they did not stain your lips in any way. I've also color-coded the labels as closely as I could so that the color of the label represented the flavor. I've been slow to add all 12 flavors to my shops, but I'm getting there...Dill Pickle, renamed In A Pickle,  is definitely already listed!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Naked Soap

My latest creation is devoid of scent and color. It looks orange-y in some spots because I, umm, totally scorched the powdered goat's milk I added to it. NEVERTHELESS, this is a great little (literally) soap. I was trying to get that cubed effect that I so desperately love. It's something about soap blocks that drive me crazy. Well, these are more rectangular than square, but I'm getting there. Of course, I hand-carved the name into the soap-another obsession of mine. I hope I won't get tired of that because I'm really loving the way they look, but it is the most tedious process lemme tell ya...

Anybody ever worked with powdered milks and not gotten them to scorch? I added it directly to my oils and not my lye mixture. Could that be the culprit? Let me know...please.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I'm A Versatile Blogger?!

And I thought all I talked about was soap, lol...Thank you Amy at Great Cakes Soapworks for bestowing the honor of being a Versatile Blogger upon me. Here's how it works:

  1. Link back to the person who awarded you. (Done)
  2. Name 7 random things about yourself (Click this link and you'll find 100)
  3. Award the award (ha ha) to 7 discovered bloggers and contact them to let them know they've won (Ok, ya'll read me on the regular, so...SURPRISE if you see your name:)
    1. Burnt Mill Candles and Soap
    2. Random Creative
    3. Duni's Studio
    4. Beaded Tail
    5. Crazy Cool Groovy
    6. IttyBittyFreeForm
    7. Living The Gourmet

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Poor Soap Maker's Custom Stamp

I was stalking one of my favorite soap blogs the other day, and I came across a photo of a soap with an impression of the word "soap" which looked like it was handwritten or etched in the soap rather than stamped. "How cool!" thought I...I'm totally stealing that, and stole I did! I love it! I'm owning it! I can't afford a custom soap stamp right now, so I thought I'd convey either the scent or the experience of the soap by etching it in by hand. Good thing I've got good penmanship...

ps...Thanks Amy for the lovely blog award. I really appreciate it, and I accept it with love and pride:)

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Literal Translation of a Soap Fragrance

Oatmeal, Milk & Honey has got to be a staple scent in every soap maker's arsenal. There's something about the scent that is just innocent and so dang comforting. I decided to make a new batch of nearly every soap maker's fave, but I wanted this soap to not only smell like the classic fragrance, but literally be made with oatmeal, milk and honey. And guess what? I had all 3 ingredients-at the same time!   

The oatmeal portion is actually Crafter's Choice Oat Scrub from WSP. The milk portion is powdered goat's milk. I have not graduated to liquid milks yet, so I'll stick to the powdered variety for now thank-you-very-much! Is it me or does goat's milk stink? Okay, stink is a little harsh, but it has a definite odor. Finally, the honey, is well, honey, hence, the color of the soap.

These bars have a lot of ash on the bottom because I made these in a plastic soap mold usually reserved for melt and pour, but I wanted these particular bars to look like granola bars. I think I accomplished my goal. Just look at the texture and oats poking out of these! They smell good enough to eat. I used less than an oz of fragrance oil in this batch because while I wanted the soap to smell like oatmeal, milk, and honey, I wanted it to be as natural as possible. I'm lovin' it...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Oh how far I've come! Sometimes when I get discouraged, I just look at the old photos and products I made when I first started out. I was known as scentsations by pmh back then. No wonder nobody bought them! They looked like "homemade" crap. From the product itself to the photos. Ugh, the photos! Now, I know some of you may be thinking that this is all subjective, but I can tell you now that these products SUCKED! I think my co-workers took pity on me and just bought stuff to make me feel good.

Melt and pour bars..Oh I thought I was the you-know-what..
I've gotten much more savvy in my scrub-making. Look at the oil just floating on top, lol!

Cute flowers. Awful picture. I would NOT buy this!

A valiant effort at embedding, but, um, NO!

Do you look back on your humble beginnings and marvel at the progress you've made?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Now This Is How A Coconut Soap Is Supposed To Smell!

Amy of Great Cakes Soapworks is an angel! She took pity on me (snark) after my coconut post last week, and graciously sent me a bar of her Coconut Soap. I did not ask for it. She voluntarily sent it to me, and I am in love with this soap! It's a perfectly-cut, perfectly-squared, perfectly-swirled bar of pure coconut-smelling soap. You can smell the fragrance straight through the wrapping, and it hasn't morphed or darkened! Love, love, love...

Amy's blog is a continued source of inspiration and learning for me as a soap maker. She's taught me how to make hot processed soap in my microwave after all! Whoda thunk? If you love handmade soap, add her blog to your daily reads and buy some of her soap. It's the truth! Thanks again Amy<3.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Something Different....

If you subscribe to Bramble Berry’s newsletter, then you saw the 2 layer soap Anne-Marie made with pumice, coffee grounds, and loofah. I loved it and wanted to make something similar to it. I bought some peppermint tea leaves when Southern Soapers was going out of business, but I had no idea I’d get this HUGE bag of loose peppermint tea. I don’t particularly care for mint of any kind in my beverage, so making tea bags is out of the question, but I digress…

I’m not very skilled at making a layered soap. I get easily turned around. For instance, I should have put the orange/yellow layer in the middle and the natural layer on top, but I did the opposite. Anyway, here is the result of my peppermint tea soap. The scent is actually Bergamot & Mandarin. Okay, I’m about to go off on another tangent, but you should be used to that by now…I think bergamot is one of those weird/cool smelling scents. I’m not a huge Earl Grey tea fan as a result. I love the smell, but I’m not crazy about the taste. I have to be really desperate to drink it, and it has to be hot-not warm, and definitely not cold. Yes, I have many quirks…Had I put my thinking cap on, I would have used some Earl Grey tea leaves, but I really wanted a hint of peppermint to smooth out the bergamot. Last tangent: Bergamot reminds me of Bazooka bubble gum too or is it Super Bubble? I can’t remember, but anyway…

I have a ^%#tload of pumice too that I need to do something with. I think I may actually try Anne-Marie’s soap with that because I also have some ground loofah from Bramble Berry. I think that would be a nice homage…Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Creamy Coconut Lust Salt Scrub!

I think I've pretty much given up on making a straight coconut-scented soap. I've done a few versions now, and they all start off smelling like coconut, but then they morph into something Play Doh. Now some of you weirdos may like the smell of Play Doh, and I count myself as one of them. JUST NOT IN MY SOAP!

Being that I am a coconut fiend-coconut cake, Mounds, and Almond Joy...I needed to have something coconut-scented in my repertoire of body delights. I decided on a scrub. What better way to celebrate summertime than with a creamy salt scrub that smells like Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion? I love this scrub lemme tell ya! I used dendritic salt in this formula because I find that they hold scent much better than sea salt...and the particles are tiny and gentle enough for me to use every day. I think I am borderline OCD when it comes to exfoliating. I use this one every day. One because I love the smell of coconut. Two, this scrub is so thick and delicious. And three, I'm borderline OCD when it comes to exfoliating. I love for my skin to feel like butter. I'm constantly rubbing my arms and legs because I can't believe they feel like a baby's skin...seriously.

Creamy Coconut Lust is a limited edition scrub-summertime only (now through the end of September) and only available on my website, The Soap Seduction. I'm off now to give myself a pedi with this....

Friday, July 1, 2011

Disaster Recovery!

So here is the re-working of that clean sheets-scented soap. I cannot get that mantra swirl right to save my life, but it turned out rather unusual-looking making it oddly appealing. I omitted the sodium lactate with this batch, and CPOP'ed this one. I haven't given up on the sodium lactate. I just need to study it a little more and make a test batch before committing to a larger one.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July! I'll be attending the R. Kelly concert tomorrow with my sis and her partner. Then Sunday, I'll be chillin' with the fam for some pre-holiday festivities. We decided on Sunday so we can all use Monday to recover. My neighborhood will be ablaze with illegal firework activity, so there'll be no need to trek down to the National Mall to watch the "official" festivities. Besides, it'll be like 500 degrees down there, and I'm already burnt to a crisp from just driving! I've got driver's arm! Put my two arms side-by-side, and you'd swear they belonged to two different people...Oh well, be safe!