Sunday, August 21, 2011

BooBees Lip Balms

We all know women that have been diagnosed with breast cancer and I'm sure you may even know a few men who have. Like many other people, I have family members that are survivors. I wanted to do something that would show support for everyone affected by this disease. The idea I came up with was my BooBees line of products. 10% of all sales of every BooBees product goes to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. They have a program for small business to partner with them and I hope to do that soon.

I created the BooBees Lip Balms to provide a wonderful lip balm and support breast cancer research all at the same time.

These are formulated with mango butter (find out more about the benefits of mango butter here)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mango Butter!

Mango butter? Does that go on toast? No, but if they did have mango flavored butter, you can bet I'd be buying it by the bucket load. Mango butter is often used in personal care products. It is similar to shea and cocoa butters, but harder than shea and softer than cocoa. It also lacks the very strong smell of unrefined shea butter, it has a sweeter smell. Mango butter will melt on your skin and can be smoothed in for a rich body treat; however, you might want to blend it with shea butter or liquid oils because it can be a little hard on its own.
Photo by Micaela Vega

Mango butter is pressed from the kernel of Mangifera indica, which I'm sure we are all pretty familiar with. Mango butter is good for softening the skin and restoring its flexibility and elasticity. It has even been recommended to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Mango butter is thought to be useful for a number of conditions including: dry skin, healing rashes and other skin problems (such as eczema), healing the skin after a burn or small cuts, smoothing tough skin, fighting off fine lines, and generally promoting healthy skin.

Mango butter can be used to make terrific body butters, body balms, or lip balms. Actually, its uses go far beyond that (massage creams, soaps, shaving butter, or hair products), but balms and butters are the most common. butter, maybe I should look into mango jelly!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Little Hearts

I enjoy reading many blogs and some of my favorite posts are about...SOAPMAKING! I know, you didn't see that coming at all. Several of the blogs that I follow how classes for specific soapmaking techniques. I hope that in the not-to-distant future I will be able to start attending some of these classes. I learn a lot from ready tutorials and have tried a lot of my own, but I think it would be great to actually get to go and mingle with other soapmakers, while actually making soap!

One of the classes I'd love to attend would be Bramble Berry's Soap Weekend Intensive. It is a whirlwind weekend of soapmaking. I get to read all of the posts and see all of the great pictures, but I want to actually go and participate. One of the pictures from the latest SWI in June really inspired me.

Can you guess which one? I know its tough, but I love the picture with the little gold and purple heart swirls (you can see the soap here). How perfect would that be for one of the new kids' scents I wanted to make!?! I couldn't find a tutorial on how to do (although I'm sure there is one), so I decided to wing it. After all, I can see the way it would be done.

So, here is what I did...I made some soap :)
  1. I separated out a very small portion of the unscented soap and colored it with rose clay and some pink mica and poured it in a squeeze bottle (like the ones for mustard and ketchup at picnics).
  2. I scented the rest of the soap and blended until a thicker trace. I wanted my colored soap to sit on top easily. The base is scented with a vanilla blend, so it should turn a nice dark brown to contrast the rose color.
  3. I poured the thick soap into the mold.
  4. I very carefully made lines of little soap dots with the colored soap down across the soap.
  5. I ran a skewer through the dots in in a swirl pattern. I considered just running straight down each line, but decided I wanted more swirled hearts. 
I'm happy with the overall look of the soap and I can't wait to cut it! I think it will be even prettier after it cures and the main soap darkens!

What do you think? Did I overdo the heart swirls or did I do pretty good for my first time?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Playing With Scents

One of the things I love about certain companies is that I will always receive a free gift when I order from them. Sometimes they are not really things I will use, but I like getting free stuff anyway! Some companies send tiny little fragrance samples that I can't use, but I can sniff away just the same. Pens are always great to get because those walk off at shows a lot! One of my favorite companies sends 1/2 oz sample scents with every order and I really like that because it would be enough to use. I've just never really been able to use them in much, until I found the perfect size mold! You can read the details here and I talk about the scents and what I did.

Today, I'm sharing photos of the finished, cured soaps!

First, I must apologize because I don't have pictures on the Spiced Mahogany or the Summer Fling. I made the soaps and a bottle of lotion out of those and then took them to my family reunion for the auction. I will say this, the two bars of soap and the 8 oz bottle of lotion sold for a ridiculous price because of bidding wars. The Spiced Mahogany was a beautiful dark brown color that I think would have covered up any colorant used, but it was so lovely, I'd just go with it. The Summer Fling did not discolor at all and smelled much better in soap than in the lotion (I mentioned, I'm not a fan). Neither accelerated trace.

I know the soaps all look a little dark, but it is more the lighting than any discoloration that is not mentioned. I use a high percentage of olive oil too (I can't help myself).

First we have...Sweetgrass!
I love this scent! It is very mellow and soft. I can't stop sniffing it. It is very herbal and down to earth, I'm thinking a St. Patrick's Day soap next year! It soaps perfectly, no acceleration and no discoloration.

My favorite...Passionfruit Rose! (Psst...this one is a fragrance and a flavor oil, I didn't know that or I might have made some lip balms too) Sorry there is only one bar, someone wanted the other.
This one will discolor slightly, but I think it is lovely. A very light brown color, what I would call "latte." How does it smell? Wonderful! This scent held up well in the soap and smells just like it did before it went in to the soap, which doesn't always happen with CP.

Next we have...Amber Musk, I can't find it on their site, so it may be discontinued, but this is where I purchased it from. No, this one was not a free sample, but it was worth the chance I took (I hate buying before sniffing).
You can see that it did discolor and it has a strange mottled look to it, but it smells wonderful. It may have mottled like that because of incomplete gel phase or I unmolded too soon, who knows. If I knew I could repurchase this oil, I would experiment more before counting this FO out because of the look of the soap. It smells great and soaped wonderfully (other than coloring).

Last (but not least)...I have no idea! It is a BB scent, but the name rubbed off the label :( It is a masculine scent, almost like a cologne, but that is all I have for you.
I can say that it smells so HOT! It discolored slightly, but again, more of a "latte" color. No acceleration. The soap smells just as good as the original FO and I could definitely see this being a great "guy" scent. Too bad I can't tell what it is!

Stay tuned because I have more "Test Drive" scents coming soon! They will all be available at the markets and craft shows I do, but not online. If you are interested and can't make it to any shows, let me know and we'll work something out!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Monster OUT! Monster Repelling Spray

Hey Kids! Do you have monsters lurking under your bed or in your closet? Do your parents refuse to believe that they are there? Don't worry, we understand what you are going through. That is why we are pleased to bring you Monster OUT! Monster Repelling Spray! This spray has a light vanilla almond scent that monsters just HATE! Plus, it is so easy to use, you can do it yourself. Simply spritz under your bed or in your closet (why not both, just to be safe) and monsters will stay away all night. Reapply each night for best results. Don't worry, it won't stain your clothes or carpet!

Hey Parents! Does your child's room smell like old gym socks? Maybe some forgotten experiment left in their closet? Not to worry, this spray will take care of that problem too! This is the perfect way to kill two birds...uh, make that monsters, with one stone! Spritz the closet, under the bed, the laundry basket, the sheets, or anywhere else that smells "a little off" and enjoy the smell of their room for once. You can even let your kids use it and chase away the monsters themselves.

Monster OUT! is a skin safe linen refresher. So, don't worry it they get it on them, but do avoid contact with eyes and mouth (it doesn't taste good, but won't hurt them).