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21  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Re: Making facial cleanser (recipe) on: March 11, 2009 07:17:28 PM
You really know your stuff! I learned a ton from reading your toner tutorial... I have just been mixing witch hazel and tea tree.
Witch hazel is a great astringent, and tea tree is supposed to be a good antiseptic and anti-bacterial. Both are great. I add tons of extras to my toner because I can't use a moisturizer as often as I would like (serious break outs!), so I figure by including things like aloe and lavender hydrosols, as well as the oat protein and panthenol, I'm getting the goodness of a moisturizer in a toner. 

this sounds great but I don't understand what "LSB or BSB surfactant" stands for. And where do I get it? Thanks so much!
I've written a post on surfactants on my blog at: http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2009/03/surfactants-short-guide-to-things.html. I could post it here - and I hope I'm not breaking any rules by posting the link - but it's very long!  

Effectively, LSB and BSB are surfactant blends (detergent blends) you can get at various suppliers. I get my supplies from Voyageur and Aquarius (Surrey and Mission, B.C.), because they're within driving distance for me,  but there are some great suppliers out there of bath & body stuff (The Herbarie in the US has many great surfactants! Brambleberry has awesome fragrances and other supplies!)  

I really recommend learning your ingredients - you can make all kinds of choices about what you want to include, figure out what is causing a reaction or maximize the qualities you want, and change recipes you find on line to be perfect for you! I've been writing a series of posts to describe the benefits of the various ingredients and what it brings to the party! (Again, happy to post them here, but they are fairly long!) 

Awesome! You are now officially my go-to fancy formulator person lol!

Hey, I'm always up for a challenge! :-) Bath & body formulating is my passion (although I dabble in tons of other crafts!) I'm hooked on chemistry and I get great joy out of formulating! If you go to the main site of my blog, you'll see this entire month is all about b&b - I finished the surfactant stuff yesterday, started on conditioners today, and will move on to anhydrous products (without water) next week some time, with posts interspersed with "know your ingredients" kind of information. I'll get around to posting some of the tutorials here on the weekend, but I warn you...some of them are really long!
22  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Making facial cleanser (recipe) on: March 11, 2009 07:27:33 AM
I am always looking out for a good facial cleanser as I have very sensitive facial skin (thanks to years of acne products) and I break out easily. So I've come up with a facial cleanser that works well for my oily, sensitive, acne prone skin....

50% water (you can substitute some water for hydrosols)
20% LSB or BSB surfactant (I like LSB for degreasing, use BSB if you have normal or dry skin)
10% Amphosol CG
10% aloe vera or other hydrosol
2% cromoist, hydrolyzed oat protein
2% panthenol
2% sodium lactate or glycerin
0.5% chamomile extract (optional)
0.5% honeysuckle extract (optional)
0.5% Germall Plus preservative or 1.0% Germaben II preservative
up to 2% Crothix

Blend the LSB and Amphosol CG together until well blended. Add the water and aloe vera or hydrosol into the mixture and mix until well blended. Now add the other ingredients, except for the Crothix and powdered extracts. Put a little warm water into a small cup and mix the extracts together before adding. Allow to sit for about an hour and check the viscosity. You will want to add at least 1% Crothix to this mixture as it is a good anti-irritant. If you wish it to be thicker, you can add another 1% for a total of 2% Crothix to this mixture. Allow the bubbles to settle, then package. A pump bottle is great for this cleanser (as per the picture).

If you want to increase the amount of aloe vera or hydrosol, remove an equal amount of water from this recipe. You can add other powdered extracts in place of the chamomile and honeysuckle - cucumber, green tea, etc. - but please read the information on those extracts before deciding to combine them (see my post on making facial toner at http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2009/03/fun-with-formulating-make-toner.html). Please do not leave out the preservative as there are many botanical ingredients in this recipe that need preserving. Finally, as there are many essential oils that are great for your facial skin, consider researching this topic and finding one you feel would be great for you. Keep the amount below 1% of the total weight of the recipe. You will want to add up to 1% (an equal amount) of polysorbate 20 emulsifier to the oil before adding, to keep the mixture emulsified.

If you want to know more about why I use the ingredients I did use or how to tweak the recipe, please visit the complete post (it's way too long to post here...) on my blog at: http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2009/03/facial-cleansers.html. To celebrate March as National Craft Month, I'm posting a bath & body tutorial every day, with an emphasis on knowing your ingredients. 
23  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Re: Mineral make-up: Make your own basic eye shadow on: February 07, 2009 07:36:00 AM
You would get these supplies at a shop that sells supplies for bath & body or soaping products.

As I'm in Canada, I get my supplies from Canadian suppliers, not only to save on shipping and duties, but it's nice to shop local with people I know! Brambleberry is fantastic - we make pilgrimages to Otion, the retail store in Bellingham, two or three times a year -- and I'd highly recommend their micas and iron oxides. (I get my Dry-Flo here as well.)

If you're in Canada, I'd recommend
If you're between Vancouver and Hope, B.C., you can drive to these locations!

As for the States, I've only ordered from Brambleberry, but I understand TKB Trading and Coastal Scents are good as well.

Thanks for all your kind words about the posts. I am trying to post a new recipe or concept every week because I really love sharing what I've learned about mineral make-up. It's so much fun to have 20 different colours to choose from every morning, and to know that a colour I like can be made instead of hunting through hundreds of shops to find a colour that says "Swift!" It's not a hard thing to make -- finding the perfect base, to me, was the hard part -- and it allows you to be as creative and crafting as you wish. And yes, I've thrown away my fair share of eye shadows so far. We've figured the price out and it's maybe 10 cents per batch (and those are the fancy, mica heavy ones), so it's better to throw it out and start again than get frustrated and not want to make it any more. (Although, often making a mistake can turn out to be the best colour you've ever seen! But make sure you write it down!)

I'm working on some posts about blushes and foundations right now. They're fantastic, but you only need to make one or two, unlike eye shadows!

Well, it's time to get into the workshop and get organized...My best friend is coming over this afternoon for some formulating fun, and it's still a disaster from the chocolate making extravaganza!
24  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Re: Making Mini Taper Candles? on: January 25, 2009 08:59:44 AM
If you can't use paraffin, why not try beeswax if you are having trouble with soy? You could melt it or use the sheets to make small candles. (Here's a link to the tutorial on my blog: http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2008/11/handmade-christmas-presents-beeswax.html. You could get a sheet of smooth beeswax, then cut it to the height you want and start wrapping. It's not difficult and you get a very nice thin candle out of it.

If you want to use soy, it looks like you'll need a hardener to keep it in a taper format. I found this site with some good ideas for making votive candles -- http://www.candlewic.com/candle-making-newsletter/0106.asp and another bit here - http://www.howtomakecandles.info/cm_article.asp?ID=CANDL0301.

I think your best bet is to google soy wax and tapers and see what comes up because there seems to be a ton of information out there.
25  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Re: Featured Projects from Quarter 4 2008 on: January 15, 2009 07:17:51 AM
Wow, thank you very much. What a nice way to start 2009!
26  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Re: Mineral make-up: Make your own basic eye shadow on: January 10, 2009 08:59:28 AM
I've added two new posts on MMU eye shadows for black and grey eye shadows, which brings the grand total to five posts on MMU. I'm working on some colour posts in the next few days! If you are interested, please visit my blog at http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

27  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Re: Mineral make-up: Make your own basic eye shadow on: January 08, 2009 06:43:21 AM
I usually just mix 1 part sericite and 1 part mica together to make eyeshadow. This always makes a really sparkly eye shadow - I'm excited to try out your recipes for a matte finish eyeshadow.

Although the serecite mica alone is really lovely, I find the addition of the titanium dioxide gives it more staying power, and the dry-flo gives it a nice lightness, silkiness, and glide that I really like. The titanium dioxide is also good for mattifying eye shadows, but you can get some great shiny (too shiny for some!) eye shadows as well.

If you don't have serecite mica, you can also use micronospheres (more information can be found here...http://www.voyageursoapandcandle.com/store/details.asp?prodid=60385&cat=51&path=4,51), alone or with titanium dioxide and/or dry-flo (again, dry-flo is optional!)

BTW: I love your pink champagne recipe. I made it a few weeks ago and it always gets comments!
28  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Re: Mineral make-up: Make your own basic eye shadow on: December 30, 2008 03:42:37 PM
Mineral eye shadows are surprisingly easy to make! Coming up with the base can be difficult, but combining the colours to get what you want can be quite simple at times (depending on what colour you're seeking!)

I find the best way is a 3:2 ratio of colour to base. I have a variety of different micas and iron oxides, and it's really a trial and error kind of thing. Some iron oxides are very dark -- black and blue, for instance -- so you'd start with a tiny bit and work up from there. And no matter what anyone says, you need some micas in there or it will be really really dull. (For bases, this is fine, but I think you need some depth to the colours, and micas provide that. For instance, for my black I use black-blue iron oxide, black satin mica, and blackstar blue mica. I find each adds something different. The iron oxide gives me the base black, and the micas give me depth and some light shine. Otherwise, it looks like I used a Sharpie on my eyes!)

Most of the time, we avoid trying something because we're scared to fail. I figure the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work out and I have to throw it away and start again. I've done mineral make-up (blush, finishing powder, glitter powder, and eye shadow) with my youth groups quite a few times and they dive right in and come up with all kinds of insane colours I'd never thought about, and it gives me new ideas (What about pink and brown together? Or white and gold?). Once you start, you won't want to stop! You'll be stopping people in the street, asking what colour eye shadow they are wearing. You'll be trolling the make up sites for colour ideas. And you will start wearing make-up every single day, even when you're having a slobby day in your pjs! It is very addicting, and it is kind of frustrating because you'll make a great colour, then you won't need to make more for a year or so! So you'll have tons to give to friends. Just keep a record of everything you do -- you'll kick yourself when you need more chrome grey and you can't remember what you did (and you will forget, so write it down!)

As a note, if you want something more than these three colours, I have written more on my blog for metallics. I'm working on posting some colour themed tutorials in the next week or so. If you have some ideas or requests, let me know!
29  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Mineral make-up: Make your own basic eye shadow on: December 29, 2008 07:10:14 AM
I've caught the mineral make-up bug, and thought I'd share some of my experiments here.


4 tsp serecite mica
1 tsp titanium dioxide (I use oil soluble)
1 tsp dry-flo

Put the ingredients into a coffee grinder or Magic Bullet and grind for quite some time -- at least 2 or 3 minutes (less with a Magic Bullet). Now put into a container to be used as your base. (Feel free to increase the amounts by the same ratios -- I generally make up 8 tbsp serecite mica, 2 tbsp titanium dioxide, and 2 tbsp dry-flo so I have a ton around!) An eye shadow container takes about 7/8 tsp.

There are tons of variations on eye shadow bases, but you want the base to stick around, to be opaque, and to glide nicely across your eye lid. That's why I've chosen these ingredients.


Cream - a matte base (and a great example of the power of iron oxide)
3/8 tsp base
1 scoop yellow iron oxide
Squish in bag. Squish it well as iron oxides are hard to incorporate at times.
If you like it and want to make more for a container, double this recipe.
That's it! You have a cream eye shadow!

(Notes: This is not a shiny colour. To get shine, we need to add micas. This is intended as a nice basic cream colour to use as a base for other warm colours.)

Tan - a matte base.
3/8 tsp base
1 scoop brown-umber iron oxide
Scoop, squish, test. Rejoice.

So you can see the power of iron oxides to colour your eye shadow. Try these bases with other colours using the same ratio of 3/8 tsp base, 1 scoop of your colour (ultramarine pink, chromium green, magnesium violet, or other iron oxides).

White - a shiny base
2 scoops white mica (satin or matte, depending upon your desired shine level)
2 scoops sunpearl silver mica
3 scoops base
Scoop, squish, test. Put into container.

If you use something like an arctic silver with a blue tinge, you are going to get a white base with a hint of blue. (If you like blue, why not a variation on this white with the arctic blue?)

I've posted a whack of various recipes and ideas, including the breakdown of why to use the ingredients listed and the like, as well as links to other sites with MMU recipes on my blog: http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/search/label/MMU. It's way too long to post here. (This is the blog for my youth crafting programs, and I've been trying to post a tutorial at least every other day for various things -- the main page can be found at: http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/.)

I am now officially addicted to wearing eyeshadow. You can wet the eye shadow and use it as a liner or to foil (which, I found out, does not look good on me!)
30  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Re: making a afterbath splash or spritz on: September 19, 2008 05:59:31 PM
May I suggest two options:
1. Make up a body oil spray with something really light like fractionated coconut oil. Scent it at 1 to 1.5% and put it into a spray bottle. If you are using an oil as a fragrance, you won't need any form of emulsifier. (If you want to use some silicones in here, you can mix it in as well...) Because this is all oil, you don't need a preservative.

2. Make up a nice water based spray -- about 30% witch hazel, 10% aloe vera, 10% hydrosol (lavender, neroli, or rose are all nice), 1 to 1.5% fragrance oil with an equal amount of polysorbate 20 to emulsify (optional, but it saves all that shaking and will keep the fragrance oil suspended...you can eliminate this if your fragrance isn't in oil form), preservative at .5 to 1% (depending upon your preservative choice), and water to 100%. Mix together, put in spray bottle, and use when you feel like a spray! (You can make it just 1 to 1.5% fragrance, equal amount poly 20, preservative, and water to 100% if you want, but I find the other ingredients help retain the scent and feel lovely on my skin, especially on a warm day!)

Cinnamon can burn when used straight, so please dilute it with some kind of oil -- you can use what you want, but around the house you will likely have some sunflower, olive, or soy bean oil, and those are all fine choices.
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