Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'll stop the world and melt with you....

If you live in the midwest like I do, you're probably dealing with itchy, lizard skin during the windy cold months.  If you live in hot, arid regions, you may also be fighting dry cracked skin, pretty regularly.  That's why I just love these little things!

I've been busy formulating bath melts.  If you don't know what they are, simply explained, they are solid bath oils; made with butters, citric acid and baking baking soda at their base.  You pop one into a running tub of water and they quietly float to the bottom, gently bubbling, releasing and dispersing lovely skin conditioning ingredients that make your skin feel luxuriously soft.  There are many ingredients you can include in a recipe such as butters like cocoa, mango, aloe, shea etc.  One might also choose to add milk powders, botanicals (if all the floaties don't squick you out in the bathtub), oats, glitters, scents, essential oils...the list goes on.  You are only limited by your know-how and creativity.

Today, I've decided to make some with an essential oil blend that is at first heady with patchouli. Hold on, don't get scared!  Even sworn patchouli haters like me love this, because the fragrance then mellows into a delicate mandarin orange with hints of refreshing lemon and seductive ylang ylang. This blend also includes cardamom, sandalwood, vetiver, and jasmine absolute. No kidding, it is the sexiest scent ever!  But first lets get our ingredients together...

The basic butter concoction I'm going to use is cocoa butter and aloe butter, today.  Then of course, you need citric acid, baking soda and a mold. These are the basic necessary ingredients.  The rest is up to you.  I have a silicone multi-cavity heart mold I'm going to make these in, because it was handy.  I'm also using an emulsifier to help disperse the oils.  I don't care for the oil slick on top of the bath water, so I like to use about 5% liquid emulsifier like polysorbate 80 or any high HLB product.  I happen to have Planta Em.  I haven't tried this in bath melts yet, so you're testing with me on this one.  :)  I also have some colorants (more on that in a bit) and some embellishments for later.  So let's get started!

First, combine your butters in a microwave safe container and nuke them in 30 second bursts to avoid crystallization in the cocoa butter.  Mango and shea will do this to your formulations too.  I prefer this method, but you can also use a double boiler.  Hit it with 30 second intervals until liquid and set aside.

Next mix your dry ingredients in a separate bowl, taking care to get all the lumps out.  Set aside.

Now go back to your liquid and add your fragrance oils or essential oils (about 2% FO, but I eyeball it), your emulsifier (if using one), and your colorants.  Now if you try to use water soluable colorants, you are about to be seriously bummed out.  You're gonna get balls of color that won't mix in no matter what you do.  It will look something like this:

Not too cute, right?  So all those neon colorants you see on the counter are worthless in this application. LabColors?  Nuh uh.  I recommend sticking with micas. 

Much better, right? 

Okay, so now you can combine your dry ingredients with your liquid ingredients, and stir until blended really well. 

Pour the mixture into your mold, and I like to stick them in the refrigerator to help them harden up.  Once they harden, you can pop them out.

Now, they are perfectly adorable and useful just as they are, but from here you can decorate them in many ways.  Here is my finished product:

These really smell incredible.  No more winter itch for me, tonight!  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  :)  I'm going to be bringing melts of some form to the website in the future, so keep an eye out for them!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New product!

Who doesn't love a bath filled with big, fluffy bubbles?  I've been wanting to add bubble bath to my product line for a while now, and haven't taken the time.  I've goosed it with a foam booster so hopefully the bubbles will last a good long time.  I'm probably going to start with a scent limit (but we all know I can't resist having every scent known to man available, eventually) and throw it out there to see what customer response is.  My daughter and I liked this very much.  I'm back and forth on the opaque/pearlized colors or clear colors but for right now, we're going with these. 

I have Blueberry, Cucumber & Melon, Yuzu (omg!), Cherry Almond, Green Apple, Beach (the Bobbi Brown dupe), Strawberry & Vanilla Bean Noel.  By the time they're listed in my shop tonight, there will probably be 100 more.  ;o)

I'm super excited about these and and I think you'll like them too.  Available in 8 oz. size bottles.

What do you think?

There are lots of other new goodies coming soon as well.  Stay tuned!