DIY Recipes for Skin and Hair

DIY Recipes For EOS Lip Balm Containers. February 28 2016, 0 Comments

These super cute egg shaped lip balms became very popular in these past few years. Besides being adorable and a decent product they are super inexpensive!

That makes it so easy for us to just go out and buy a new one as soon as the balm goes low, dumping millions of these 3-part plastic containers on our landfills.

Making you own refill will not be easier, more practical or even cheaper than driving into Walgreens and buying a new one, but it will be a lot of fun and you will end up with a much better product.

Since these have to be harder than lip balms in containers, I had to adjust the recipes I had a little, but I have tried them and they are delicious and work out perfectly.

For one container you need about 0.5 oz. of final product. You can always make a larger amount and save in a glass jar for the next time you need to refill. Make sure you use the entire mix within 12 months. Otherwise you will need a natural preservative.

For these containers I use the general rule of: 2 parts of a harder butter, 1 part of wax, 1 part of softer butter, about 30 drops of liquid oils. Most of the recipes follow this rule.

So this is the breakdown of the numbers for  0.4 oz - 1 container.

  • 2 parts = 0.2 oz. hard butter.

  • 1 parts = 0.1 oz. beeswax.

  • 1 parts = 0.1 oz. soft butter

  • 30 drops of a liquid oil.

BASIC

  • Cocoa Butter - 2 parts

  • Beeswax - 1 part

  • Shea Butter - 1/2  part

  • Coconut Oil - 1/2 part

ACAI BERRY OIL

CHOCOLATE LIPS

SUMMER LIPS

HEALING LIPS

You can add FLAVOR OILS or ESSENTIAL OILS to any of these, just a few drops.

You can add MICA PIGMENT for a little glow to any of these.

You can add to these recipes the leftover from the balm that was in the tube previously.

Check this LINK for empty containers,


DIY Body Butter January 27 2016, 0 Comments


DIY Soap - Recipe for my 2 color soap from previous post. September 18 2015, 0 Comments

A couple months ago I wrote about my first soap making experience on Soaping Time, I hadn't added the recipes because I had no idea how they would turn out!!

SURPRISE! People love them! So here are the 2 recipes!

Soap 1 - The Brown Soap

The Orange Soap

 


DIY - Have Yourself A Soap Party! September 18 2015, 0 Comments

I have a great idea for you people! What about a
♥♥ SOAP MAKING PARTY ♥♥
Specially fun for the next cold months ahead of most of the US.

It is great fun fun making something you will definitely use and love, it isn't hard, just come up with a good recipe on this Lye Calculator, then follow instructions carefully, I like this site.

For soap parties I usually buy all the ingredients and my friends pitch in depending on their recipes. It is good to have a few recipes already chosen and printed. It is also a good idea to do a little bit of research on saponification and understand about fatty acids, soap qualities and prepare a short class of sorts for the people in your party. Nothing boring just the basic stuff. Or you can just make them blindly follow the recipes and yell: "IT IS MAGIC!" as they start mixing the lye mixture with the fats.

I get my lye (Sodium Hydroxide) HERE, it is a lot more expensive than some other stuff you can get on eBay, but since I only make a few soaps for personal use, it is worth using something you can really trust, not mentioning, their bottles are very safe and easy to work with.

Since my oils and butters are expensive, I use organic, virgin Coconut and Olive oils as base and smaller quantities of my products, I use no pigments or scents, mostly because I am a beginner and I don't want anything to go wrong... But you can do it, just do a little research first.

This is my third soap, it came out great. Not pretty, but my soaps are ugly but beautiful inside!

You can find Cupuacu HERE, Murumuru HERE, Pracaxi HERE, and Andiroba HERE.

For this soap, I tried something kinda daring, I added Breu Branco, an aromatic, hard resin to it. I ground it using a food processor and added on top of the mix already in the mold. I poured it slowly and mixed it, with a wooden stick. My goal was for it to add scent and work as a scrubbing agent. But as far as I knew it could as well have exploded! It didn't! It works great!

The recipe - you can't just come up with anything you want when it comes to cold process soaping, each fatty acid gives the soap a property, you need to find a balance in your fats, also take into consideration the color you want you soap to be and the cosmetic/medicinal properties you want it to have.

I work with ounces, but this site will allow you to work with Lbs and Grams.

For tips from a beginner (me), check this other soap recipe out.

WARNING: This party is not recommended for children, very young teenagers and drunk people! Get drunk AFTER the soap is already in the mold people!


DIY Soap for beginners - Cupuacu & Buriti September 18 2015, 0 Comments

If you want a gorgeous, delicious smelling soap, go to Etsy and buy it from one of the amazing soapmakers in there.

If you want to have fun making something you will definitely use and love, it isn't hard, just come up with a good recipe on this Lye Calculator, then follow instructions carefully, I like this site.

I get my lye (Sodium Hydroxide) HERE, it is a lot more expensive than some other stuff you can get on eBay, but since I only make a few soaps for personal use, it is worth using something you can really trust, not mentioning, their bottles are very safe and easy to work with.

You can find Cupuacu HERE, and Buriti HERE.

Since my oils and butters are expensive, I use organic, virgin Coconut and Olive oils as base and smaller quantities of my products, I use no pigments or scents, mostly because I am a beginner and I don't want anything to go wrong... But you can do it, just do a little research first.

The recipe - you can't just come up with anything you want when it comes to cold process soaping, each fatty acid gives the soap a property, you need to find a balance in your fats, also take into consideration the color you want you soap to be and the cosmetic/medicinal properties you want it to have.

I work with ounces, but this site will allow you to work with Lbs and Grams.

Tips from a beginner:

For a mold I use empty milk cartons, I wash them well and cut one of the sides off. After I pour the mix into the mold/carton, I wrap it in a towel, put it in a dark, warm place for 24 hours, then take out of the mold (it may stick a little, no big deal since my soaps aren't to be pretty), cut and put in a plate or tray somewhere clean and dry for 4 weeks.

I use an very clean mason jar to mix my lye, less chance of spillage and I can dip it in a bowl with iced water for faster drop in temperature. Also, for this quantity in the recipe, there is almost no fumes.

A lot of people have a few problems here and there with their soaps, so far I have been lucky, one thing that I pay very close attention to is the temperature of ingredients when you mix. One thing I pay no attention to: they say you should avoid bubbles when mixing, but my mixer is a crazy bastard and splashes and bubbles.

The saponification in this recipe started in about 2 minutes after mixing lye and fats. You don't need to have your mixer on the whole time, stir it for a while, then turn mixer on in short spurts, AGAIN - I am a beginner, I am just letting you know what has been working for me.

The result - like I said the soap isn't very pretty but all my test subjects love it!

This recipe made six 4 oz bars of soap, but I still cut them in half for use.

Making soap is fun, can be a great activity with family and friends, just try to start with the wine when the soap is all molded and tucked away.

GOOD LUCK!


DIY - Beeswax, Coconut & Andiroba Candle August 11 2015, 0 Comments

I can spend hours in the candle section of department stores, I sniff them all,  appreciate the colors, labels and wish I had come up with some of their witty names.

But after reading a few dozen mommy blogs and a few serious researches, I simply can't buy them anymore.

What is bad about them? Apparently EVERYTHING, the wax, wick, scents and colors:

"Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned (both are known carcinogens). In fact, the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes. On top of that, many scented candles also have wicks that contain heavy metals like lead, and even a few hours of burning them can create levels of airborne heavy metals that are much higher than the acceptable limits. In the US, candle wicks are supposed to be made of cotton or paper, but studies have found that as much as 30% of candles contain heavy metals in the wicks." source

Beeswax candles are the way to go:

"Beeswax releases negative ions when it burns. Pollen, dust, dirt, pollutants, and any other junk in the air all carry a positive charge, and that is how they can be suspended in the air. The negative ions released from burning beeswax negate the positive charge of air contaminants, and the neutralized ions are sucked back into the burning candle or fall to the ground. Many air purifiers and water filters harness this effective negative ion technology." source

Since they can be quite expensive and SUPER easy to make, this project is right down my alley. #nomarthastewart

I found this recipe for Beeswax and Coconut Oil Candles and decided to incorporate my Andiroba Oil for its mosquito repellent properties and Buriti to add some color to a couple of them. If you want a super detailed, perfect DIY recipe go somewhere else, this one is the fast track, "they will come out ok", "I am no Martha Stewart" recipe. 

I get my wax here, about 8 bucks for a pound, the owner told he will give discounts for larger quantities, since this whole "organic beeswax" is a bunch of baloney, I try to at least stick with raw beeswax.

I bought Dr. Bronners Whole Kernel Unrefined Coconut Oil because it is organic and also fair trade, but any virgin coconut oil will do.

Wicks come in sizes, and people recommend them to be square braided cotton, I got some organic cotton ones on eBay but I have no idea how they were braided!

Chart:

Wick size #1 = Candle diameter of 1 – 1.5″

Wick size #2 = Candle diameter of 1.5 – 2″

Wick size #3 = Candle diameter of of 2 – 2.5″ 

Wick size #4 = Candle diameter of 2.5 – 2.8″ 

Wick size #6 = Candle diameter of 2.8 – 3.2″

Wick size #7 = Candle diameter of 3.2 – 3.5" 

 I had 4 of those cute small glass jars leftover from my Pies in a Jar, you can also use molds.  To fill them up I would need 24 oz of mix, half beeswax, half oils.

So:

12 oz. of Beeswax

7 oz. of Coconut Oil

4 oz of Andiroba Oil

1 oz. Buriti Oil

STEP 1 - cut the wick a few inches longer than the container/mold.

STEP 2 - melt all the wax in a glass jar dipped in a pot with water on low to medium heat. I had to use 2 jars.

STEP 3 - dip the wicks in the wax when it starts melting - try not to burn your fingers like I did. Straighten then and set them on wax paper, I didn't have it so I used aluminum foil. It was ok. 

STEP 4 - after they are dry and stiff. roll the end of the wicks around a piece of wood, a pen, anything that will sit flat on top of your jars. 

STEP 5 - Mix the oils in the melted wax, it will cause part of the wax to solidify again, you can always heat the oils a bit, but I was too lazy for that. Wait until the mix is all melted again. I used the Buriti in just one jar. I was really expecting it to get redder (more red?)

STEP 6 - Pour just a little bit of the wax and set your wick down, make sure it is centered and touches the bottom.

STEP 7 - Once it is solid and the wick firm in place, fill up with the rest of the wax. If your container is too big, do it in 2 steps, so the wax won't melt the bottom wax and displace the wick.

The darker one is the one with buriti, but as soon as it got cold and solid it became pretty yellow, no much different than the non-buriti one.

Observations:

I added no scents, since I have read that even essential oils can be toxic when burning, but it is something that I will let you research, please don't add artificial scents, you will be ruining the whole point of making beeswax candles!

Some people let the candles rest for 24 hours, I didn't (of course) but I am happy to say they did burn ok and I am pretty happy with the results.

 

 

 


Soaping Time!!! July 21 2015, 0 Comments

RECIPES

Everywhere I look I see these gorgeous soaps: Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook. Some of them look like sculptures, I would just put them in my living room and look at it all day long.

But unfortunately I haven't seen many soaps made with the products I sell, which is understandable, as they are a lot more expensive than the regular ingredients most soap makers use: coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter, shea butter. And besides the fatty acids, I am not very sure the butters and oils properties survive the saponification process (if you know, please, send me a message.)

After spending many nights lurking on soap making sites and playing on Soapcalc's lye calculator (they have most of my products on their list of fats and promised to add the ones they still don't have). I bit the bullet and bought the basic tools needed for it - scale, stick blender and a thermometer, it all cost about $35 on eBay.

soap making

I bought a very expensive lye (Sodium Hydroxide)  HERE - there are many cheaper ones everywhere, but for my first batch I decided to splurge. Besides I like the bottle, I don't trust me to buy lye, a poison, in a plastic bag. I will forever use them, great product! 

I improvised for the rest, a milk carton for the mold, jars and spatulas I had in the house.

My first soap was a half batch with Ucuuba and Tucuma Butters, Pracaxi and Brazil Nut Oils.

 

It made a very dark soap, since my mold was too big for such a small batch, 2 days laters I decided to cut this one in small pieces and use it inside a new soap!

For my new soap I used: Cupuacu, Murumuru and Tucuma Butters, Buriti, Andiroba and Brazil Nut Oils.

Followed the instructions to a T (I think), even waited patiently for my fats and lye solution to get down to about 110°F.

The soap got a lot more orange than I thought it would be... I was aiming for a whiter soap, but in order to reach the right balance for my soap I had to use quite a lot of Buriti Oil. The saponification process started super fast which made me freak out. And the soap felt a bit oily to the touch at first, which also made me freak out, actually all I wanted was for an experienced soap maker to hold my hand and say it would be ok.

I couldn't wait to cut it, there were no pockets of lye or grease, the texture felt ok. Even the fine white layer on top of it seems to be normal (I Googled, thankfully soap makers are awesome sharing people).

This is it 4 days later.

I think the hardest thing about soap making it is the wait. Four weeks until I find out if it works, if it won't leave a yellow Buriti layer on everything, if it won't fall apart, and all the other things that can go wrong with a soap (actually I think that the worst has passed.)

So it isn't pretty, but it is mine and very unique! If it turns out good I will throw a party!

Sites that helped me:

http://soapcalc.net/

http://smallnotebook.org/tutorials/beginner-soapmaking/

http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/free-beginners-guide-to-soapmaking-cold-process/

 


DIY - Insect Repellent Wax Melts July 13 2015, 0 Comments

We are bombarded with many different artificial scents all day long. Cleaning and personal hygiene products, air fresheners, candles, bathroom sprays, they all have scents that can be harmful to the human body. They cause problems that can go from allergies and asthma to cancer and birth defects.

"It is estimated that 95% of the synthetic fragrances on the market today are derived from petroleum by-products. Trademarked scent is protected by the law as a "trade secret". These types of protected fragrances are not required to list the concoction of chemicals on the product label. They are only required to list the term "fragrance"." - Natural News 

I know that we are all suckers for a different delicious smell, but there are many ways you can surround yourself with all, or at least mostly, natural scents.

Store bought wax melts are usually made of paraffin wax and scented with artificial fragrances, neither are the things you want burn in your house.

A great alternative is spending 20 minutes making your own wax melts.

My favorite recipe also happens to be insect repellent.

Melt the wax in glass jar inside a pot of water, when it is totally melted add the Andiroba and the essential oils.

I strip my tea candles and use the metal cup as molds (you will need 5 for this recipe), pour the mixture very carefully into each one, after they are cold and hardened I take them out and put the candles back in! No waste!!

You can use an entire piece or cut them in half or quarters.

Keep them in a ziplock in a fresh place. 

Essential Oils with Insect Repellent Properties

Peppermint

Eucalyptus

Lavender

Cedarwood

Rosemary

Geranium

Sweet Basil

Citronella

Lemongrass

Thyme

Cinnamon

Clove

More about Essential Oils!

 

EDIT: Oh well... Just read this and it makes sense: 

"Interestingly, essential oils are not safe options for candle fragrances, either. A  soy or beeswax candle scented with essential oils will release toxins, since combustion changes the molecular structure of these oils."

Source


DIY - Coconut & Passion Fruit Scrub July 13 2015, 0 Comments

Ingredients: 

2 parts of Coconut flakes (dried, unsweetened)

1 part of Passion Fruit Oil

The mix may look a little dry, but when you start scrubbing, the coconut starts releasing its own oil. It is like a luau on your body!

This scrub is perfect for sensitive skins, if you need something a bit "scrubbier" you can add 1 part of raw sugar.

 


DIY - 100% Cacao & Cupuacu Body Butter June 21 2015, 1 Comment

I saw a recipe on a French site a few weeks ago that asked for "black cocoa butter", that got me curious, I called my people in Brazil and they said there was no such a thing.  After little research, I found it on Ebay (what can't you find there?), but when it finally reached me, I realized it isn't cocoa butter, it was what we call in Brazil "cacao mass", raw cacao, what is left behind after removing the butter.

I wasn't sure how that would work on a skin product, but I am happy to say, the results were very nice. It spreads nicely, the skin looks and smells wonderful, I do not recommend it for hair, as it is a bit too thick. Here is my Brazilian version of the French recipe.

Cupuacu Butter - 2 oz.
Pracaxi Oil - 0.25 oz.
Brazil Nut Oil - 0.25 oz.
100% Cacao - 0.5 oz. 


Melt the Cupuacu Butter in a double boiler over low heat heat. Mix the oils in. Separate it into two equal parts and transfer them into two different containers. In one of the two containers, add the cocoa butter cut in very small pieces and heat if necessary to melt. Let cool a bit and then put the two preparations in the freezer for a few minutes.
Take them out and mix them well again, you can use an electrical mixer. Put back in the freezer.
Transfer both butters into a container keeping them separate.

I did mix mine to a whipped butter consistency. For that you definitely need a electrical mixer.

The dark butter will be slightly harder because of the cacao. Use that side for body and the other for neck and face.