Pomegranate Body Oil

I like pomegranates. Well, more like the idea of them as I’ve never eaten one before šŸ˜€ . I have tasted pomegranate juice and tea before though – that should count for something.

The first time I sniffed the moonlit pomegranate line in a popular bath and body shop, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying everything on. I even tested the body wash and cleaned my hands on a couple of wet wipes so I could start testing all over again. I was a poor student then so I really couldn’t afford to buy more than a little tube of lotion.

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Photo source: pomegranates.com

Yesterday, I got a sample bottle of a duplicate of this fragrance and I immediately made some silky body oil (a proprietary blend of butters and oil) to use it in. I used the fragrance at 1% because I wanted a subtle effect and all I can say is that I’m thankful for these hot and humid days. More showers = more opportunities to re-experience this silky pomegranate body oil. ā¤

Soapy Party Favours

Last weekend, we celebrated my MiL’s birthday and it didn’t take long to decide what to gift as party favours on behalf of the grandkids šŸ˜€

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These little soldiers are liquid hand soap (200mL), coloured to match the party colour theme which was coral. I know, the soap looks more orange than coral but its not too much of a stretch is it?.

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Fabric swatch of what we girls wore ā¤

My cousin made the soap (I’m yet to venture into the world of liquid soap making although I’m now in possession of everything I need to make a Castile soap like a famous Dr’s brand on the market šŸ˜‰ ) but I blended the fragrance – tangy orange on a bed of yummy vanilla.

Here’s wishing ‘mumsie’ many happy returns of her day in strength and joy!

Fine Old Soap

Long before I ever sold a bar of soap, I made many many batches to test for how oils available to me locally behaved in soap, how climate affected curing, and I also tried keeping soap away for a length of time to see if it was true that old soap was like old wine.

My experience has been interesting. A short while after I started making soap, I had to move house and I packed up a lot of soap in a box that was kept in a store room and I literally cried when I opened the box a couple of months later. While some of the soap looked like they had mould growing on them, rats had also found a way into the box and earned themselves serious tummy ache guaging by what was left behind in the box. I cried, people. Then I asked the gateman to throw the box far far far away (aka the big dustbin outside the gate).

After that episode I paid better attention to storing the soaps and that episode has never been repeated. I’ve been going back into my stash of old soaps and rediscovering the thrill of using extremely mild old soap.

The one I’m currently enjoying is the papaya salt bar I made over a year ago.

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It used to look like a rose šŸ˜€

While the added fragrance has faded, the soap itself is a delight. At first the lather was a little sluggish because of the 20% coconut oil that was not turned into soap floating about in the bar. But after running some water over it and giving it a rub, the lush lather came bounding back.

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The white specks are coarse sea salt crystals

Its been in the bathroom ever since and I only just remembered to take pictures of it šŸ˜€ before its all gone. I’m not sure I’ve drank really old wine but I can imagine its the same experience šŸ˜‰ .

I feel privileged to be able to find an outlet for my creativity through soapmaking at its the old soaps that thrill me because it reinforces how far I’ve come on this journey. And I’m thankful for the opportunity to pass on this passion to others and seeing what they are doing with the skills they’ve learned!

Easy Glide Lip Balm

I went to get my little girl from school and her teacher told me she was to bring a gift for someone for their valentines gift exchange the very next day.

There was no time to think about anything BUT a DIY project. So we made these pretty peppermint lip balms.

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This lip balm recipe was made with nourishing sunflower oil, moisture locking castor oil and organic beeswax. I used one part beeswax to 2.5 parts liquid oils so this is a very firm balm, perfect for tubes.

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The castor oil gives this balm a good glide, kinda like a lipstick which is what I like best about it. Peppermint essential oil gives this lip balm a pleasant tingle. The lovely peachy hue was achieved by a little titanium dioxide and a heaping of 24kt gold mica (both lip safe). ā¤

I've just chucked my old tubes of lip balm and I've put a couple of these in their place…my valentine gift to my lips šŸ˜€

ABS Clay Bar

I’ve been planning this project for a while and tinkering with ratios etc. I wanted a face wash that could also double as a mask…in bar form. Also, I only wanted a maximum of 3 ingredients for a basic bar and then try out a few tweaks.

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ABS Shea Clay Bar. No, you can't eat it!

This bar is a blend of raw Shea butter (30%), African black soap powder (60%) and bentonite clay (10%). The butter is here primarily to bind the black soap powder and clay but it also brings a gentleness to this deep cleansing bar. You can certainly change this recipe to see what works for you.

To make this, soften the Shea butter till its light and cremy. You can also melt it but it makes the process slightly longer. Mix the bentonite clay with the ABS incorporate into the Shea butter a little at a time.

When the mixture is fully incorporated, you can mould the soap by hand or use any kind of flexible mould. You can also pour the mix onto a baking sheet or foil, pat it into a square and cut up into whatever size chunks you desire.

This clay bar has to be kept completely dry between uses so be sure to have a dedicated raised draining dish to keep it on. To use, lightly run water over the bar. You can lather in your hands or use the bar directly on your face. Leave on for a few minutes for a mask or rinse off immediately. Follow with a moisturiser because it will cause your skin to tighten a little…and mositriser is always a good idea.

Remzo Creations Original Black Soap with a ‘surprise’

One of the beautiful things about soapmaking is the creative expression it allows. Soap can be basic and functional, a work of art, or both. This definitely falls into the ‘both’ category.

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This soap (isn’t that pillar intriguing) was created by Funmi at Remzo Creations. This is her original recipe black soap and would you believe those cream coloured chunks are raw Shea Butter! This takes the luxury skin-loving rating of this soap through the roof! I wish I had thought of it šŸ˜€

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Remzo Creations original black soap with shea butter chunks

This particular recipe is targeted at people who want to even out their complexion and achieve a healthy glow. Want some? You can hook up with Funmi by email.

Gold Foiling Soap

I’ve used this 24kt gold mica several times in body butters and a soap embeds but last week I stumbled on a technique for soap stamping using gold mica to give a foiled and guilded effect.

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This batch of fresh soap already had an intriguing pattern inside created during the soap’s cooking process. It wasn’t deliberate but I know exactly how it happened so I can attempt to recreate it.

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This effect is created by gently tapping the soap stamp in mica, dusting off the excess and stamping the soap as normal (you can see those in the top picture). Another method is to stamp the soap and then dust the imprint with a mica loaded brush.

For some extra visual interest, I also painted the top of some bars of soap with the gold mica. In case you were wondering, the mica washed right off in the shower without staining so there’s nothing to worry about there.

Now I can hardly wait for my diamond sparkle mica already inching its way towards me from 1000s of miles away šŸ˜€