Wednesday, November 27, 2013

DIY Melting Snowman (Fizzing Bath Melts)




The whole inspiration and idea to start creating my own bath products came from this product. Lush has a Melting Snowman bath melt and my Mom was--- is obsessed with it. I bought it the first time, two Christmas' ago and she hasn't stopped raving about it since.
This year she asked for a few of them, and normally I would have been fine with that but, at over $5.00 each I thought 'There has to be a way to make these cheaper'. From there the idea was born, research was done and many trial and error batches were made until this recipe was created. It is easy to mold, moisturizing and disperses easily in the bath.


These can be molded like I have shown in my video or you can mold them however you like. You can also press them into silicone molds or cupcake forms. I wouldn't recommend using a metal cupcake pan; they would be very difficult to remove.

These are a great product to make with children; I think the molding aspect and the quick drying time make it an activity that would work really well.


The final product is very similar to Lush's The Melting Snowman, I just didn't add a few ingredients such as titanium dioxide and powdered sugar. The idea of bathing in sugar kind’a creeps me out so I don't include it in any of my products... I just don't think it would be good for your pink parts, but that's just me.

If you want to have the traditional scent of The Melting Snowman than you want combine these scents to make up the 1 oz of fragrance (they are listed in the highest to lowest volume ratio) Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil, Patchouli Oil, Sweet Orange Oil, Clove Leaf Oil, and finally Lime Oil.

Melting Snowman (Fizzing Bath Melts)


Ingredients:

2 Cups Baking Soda
1 Cup Citric Acid
4 oz. Cocoa Butter, Melted
1 oz Shea Butter, Melted
1 oz Sweet Almond Oil
1 oz Fragrance or 7-15 drops of essential oil (I used a fragrance called Sleigh Ride for this batch. I recommend something that has a Christmas fragrance to it. )
Candied Ginger, Cut (see video for cutting instructions)
Chocolate Chips or Juniper berries (for eyes and buttons)

You can substitute any or all of the Butters or Oil for your preferred choice. This is what is in the original Lush Melting Snowman and is a blend that I find very nourishing and soothing to the skin.

 

Tolls:

Disposable rubber gloves
Mask (if you are sensitive to airborne powders)
Sieve
Large Mixing Bowl
Wax Paper

 

Directions:


1.      To get started measure out your Butters and place them in a heat safe container. I like to use a glass liquid measuring cup. Microwave the butters on 30 second bursts stirring in-between until melted, this takes about 2 minutes. Once melted set them aside to cool.
2.      While the Butters are melting (that reminds me of the Aero chocolate bar commercial where they say  “the bubbles are melting”--- sorry got sidetracked) cut your candy ginger into wedges. You can watch the video above to see the exact directions on this but, you pretty much want to get about 12-18 wedges per ginger piece depending on how large it is.
3.      At this point you will want to put your gloves on and mask if you are going to wear one (I only wear a mask when I’m working with SLSA) also lay out a sheet of wax paper to mold your snowman on.
4.      Sift your Baking Soda and Citric Acid into a large mixing bowl.Press through any large clumps with your hands.
5.      Work the dry powders between your hands to break down and lumps in the mixture and to combine thoroughly. Any lumps of dry mixture will cause imperfections in your finished products, so make sure to get the powders smooth at this point.
6.      By now your Butters should have cooled down enough that you can add your fragrance without damaging it. Add your Almond Oil and Fragrance or Essential Oil to your melted Butters and stir to combine.
7.      Add your liquid ingredients to your dry mixture and mix until completely combined. The mixture should resemble wet sugar cookie dough, be easy to mold and hold its shape.
8.      Start by taking a little over 1 oz of the dough, roll it into a ball and flatten into a disk on your wax paper. Then press your finger into the side to create indentations around the disk, this is to make it look like the base is melting and pooling.
9.      Take about ½ that mixture and roll a ball for the head. Place it toward the back (choose which side you feel should be the back) and press firmly around the edges, the mixture is easy to mold so just keep fiddling with it until you have the desired look. Remember these are handmade, by you--- not a machine, imperfections are what give them style and character.
10.  Now that you have the hard part done (it’s not hard) it’s time to decorate! Get your Chocolate Chips (or dried Juniper Berries if you choose to use them) and Ginger wedges. Place three Chocolate Chips, point side down on the body in front of the head in a semi-circle. Add two Chocolate Chips point side out for the eyes and press a ginger wedge point side out in for the nose.
11.  You have your first snowman! Now as your working the Butters will start too cool and harden if, you get to the point where you are having a hard time working with it, don’t panic simple pop it into the microwave for about 15-30 seconds and it will soften up again for you.
12.  Allow the snowman to set for about 30-45 minutes then remove from the wax paper. Store them in a sealed container or Ziploc bag until you are ready to use or package.
 
I’d love to see and hear what you create, hope you enjoy making them as much as I do.

Caution:  the amount of butters in this Bath Melt will make your skin moisturized but, in turn will leave your bath slippery. Please be careful getting out of the bath.

First Snow Fall For Christmas 2013

It Snowed!



I love snow; it just doesn't feel like the Holidays until it snows. Tomorrow my Mom and I are set to drive four hours to Buffalo, New York for Thanksgiving and the Black Friday Madness. This snow just gets me into the shopping and Holiday mood.



I don't know how much we got but, it was enough to cover everything and make it  look like a winter wonderland.



I have my bags packed, my passport and shopping lists ready.

Now I have two days of shopping and I'm officially ready for Christmas. I love getting all my shopping done ahead of time, so that I don't have that stress throughout December.

Wish me luck and follow me on Instagram if you want updates on how it's going.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Go To Bath Bomb Recipe


There are Basic Bath Bombs which add a great fizz and fun to your bath but, not much else. Yes they smell great and yes they do have the skin softening qualities from the baking soda, they usually have a little (and I mean little) moisturizing oil but, they don't pack a huge punch of moisturizer.


I developed this recipe because I love the fizzle of a bath bomb but, the silkiness of a bath melt. Because I do not--- and I mean can't stand to put on moisturizer I will soak in a bath full of butters and oils to keep my skin sufficiently hydrated.

Moisturizing Bath Bombs (Megs Go To Recipe)

 

Ingredients:

2 Cups Baking Soda
3 Tablespoons Kaolin Clay
4 Tablespoons Sweet Almond oil *(see substitution below)
1 oz Fragrance oil (I used Cranberry and Fig Fragrance Oil) or 7-15 drops of essential oil
Mica or Liquid Coloring if desired** (I used Mica - Brilliant Red Glitter)
1 Cup, plus 3 Tablespoons Citric Acid
4-10 Sprites of Witch Hazel in a Spray Bottle
* Substitutions for Sweet Almond Oil can be any other moisturizing oil such as Jojoba, Grape seed, Coconut or Walnut Oil. You can also melt down butters and use any of them for example Cocoa, Shea, Mango, Sweet Almond, Pistachio, Avocado or Ucuuba Butter.
** The water in food coloring will make the citric acid react so be sure to not add too much and to mix quickly if adding after the citric acid has been incorporated

Tools:

Disposable rubber gloves
Mask (if you are sensitive to airborne powders)
Sieve
Large Mixing Bowl
Spray Bottle
Plastic Christmas Bauble Decoration
Sheet pan
Towel
Wax or Parchment Paper


Directions:

1.       Sift the Baking Soda and Kaolin Clay into a large mixing bowl. If you are adding a powdered Mica coloring add now. Mix the powders with your hands (make sure to wear your gloves to save your nails!) until combined and there are no more lumps.
2.       In a separate small bowl mix the Almond oil and Fragrance together.
3.       Add wet ingredients to the dry mixture. If you are adding a liquid or food coloring add now. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are combined.
4.       Sift in the Citric Acid and mix until well combined (30-40 seconds). The mixture should be the consistency of wet sand and hold together when squeezed tightly in your hand.  If it is too dry add a few sprays of Witch Hazel or Water and mix quickly. You want to mix quickly because this will activate the fizzing in the Citric Acid and you don’t want it to react too much yet. Depending on the humidity in your climate you will need more or less sprays. Just use a couple at a time and mix quickly and thoroughly, testing after each addition until the mixture stays together.
***Do Not Add Too Much Liquid! If you add too much your bath bomb will react and when it is setting can react like this Bath Bomb. I exaggerated to show what can happen (used about 30 Sprays).



5.       Once your mixture is holding together get your plastic Christmas tree decoration and over fill each side. Press the Mold together; add firm pressure to get the Bath Bomb to hold its shape. Run your finger along the seam to give it a nice smooth line. Release the Mold and set on a sheet pan lined with a towel and some wax or parchment paper on top.
6.       Let the finished Bath Bombs fry over night.
7.       Store in an air tight bag or container until ready to use or package for a gift.


Caution:  the amount of butters in this Bath Bomb will make your skin moisturized but, in turn will leave your bath slippery. Please be careful getting out of the bath.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Chocolate Ice Cream Bubble Bath Truffle DIY Video Tutorial

A lot of the Bath Truffles that I had come across were usual molded into balls and rolled in flower buds or pressed into Molds and allowed to dry.

The issue with these two methods for me was that (1) I didn't like how the rolled truffles looked and (2) I don’t have a lot of molds, nor do I want to spend a small fortune acquiring them.



So I came up with this recipe a simple bubble bath truffle with the addition of cocoa powder and molded using an ice cream scoop! They are super simple to make and what’s even better super quick to mold.



Just remember that this mixture sets quickly so you want to mold them immediately and work quickly.



Chocolate Ice Cream Bubble Bath Truffle

Ingredients:

2 oz Cocoa Butter
1 oz Shea Butter
1 Cup Baking Soda
½ Cup Citric Acid
5 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
½ Cup Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSA)
1 oz Skin Safe Fragrance Oil or 7 - 15 drops of essential oils (I used an orange blend)

Tools:

Disposable rubber gloves
Mask (if you are sensitive to airborne powders)
Heat safe/Microwave safe container
Sieve
Large Mixing Bowl
Ice Cream or Cookie Scoop

Directions:

1.       Start by weighing your Shea and Cocoa Butters and placing them in a heat safe container (I use a glass liquid measuring cup)
2.       Melt the butters in the Microwave on 30 second bursts stirring in-between times. This will take about 2 minutes. Set butters aside letting them cool while you get the rest of the ingredients together.
3.       In a large bowl, sift together your Baking Soda, Citric Acid and Cocoa powder. Mix well with your hands (make sure to wear rubber cloves to protect you nail polish!) until there are no lumps and everything is combined.
4.       Put on you mask. SLSA is a fine powder and can make you sneeze so gently sift into the rest of the dry mixture and carefully mix to incorporate.
5.       Now that your Butters have had a chance to cool add your Fragrance oil to them and mix well to incorporate. I like to use something that will go nicely with the natural chocolate scent the truffles have, like vanilla, orange, raspberry, mint or even a chocolate fragrance, to make them stronger.
6.       Add your liquid ingredients to the dry mixture and mix until everything is combined. The mixture should be the consistency of cookie dough.
7.       Using your cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and place on a piece of parchment paper. Remember this dough set quickly so make sure to work fast.
8.       Let the truffles sit for 15-30 minutes. Store them in an airtight bag or container until ready to use or package for gifting.

Caution:  the amount of butters in this truffle will make your skin silky smooth but, in turn will leave your bath slippery. Please be careful getting out of the bath.

Check out my post on Ingredients for the Bath Bombs with information on online retailers

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Who's Who In Making Bath Products At Home

With the tutorials in progress (I have to make them covertly so family doesn't know what I'm making them for Christmas) I thought I would write a post detailing the star ingredients for making bath products at home.

Everything I am listing I have used and though you do not need all of the different Butters and oils I tested with, there are some ingredients you cannot make these products without.

I will also list online retailers where you can purchase the products from. I have a few resources in Canada and one main retailer in the US.

The Basics


Bicarbonate Soda (Baking Soda)

Add caption


 If you are a baker or have ever baked think of Baking Soda in this case as your Flour. The Baking Soda is what gives your bath products body and stability. Baking Soda is a white, crystalline powder that is an alkali and produces carbon dioxide when mixed with an acid.

Benefits: It is a good relaxer for tired, sore muscles as well as helping to heal minor skin irritation such as sun and windburn. It is a gentle exfoliate and helps to remove buildup on hair. A natural deodorant and skin softener Baking Soda really is multipurpose.


Citric Acid



While dry citric acid is not active but, once combined with baking soda and dissolved in water a reaction occurs to form sodium citrate and carbon dioxide. You don't really notice the sodium citrate but, the carbon dioxide is released and the gas creates the fantastic fizzing commonly associated with Bath Bombs and why there are often refereed to as "Fizzies". This breaks up the bath bomb and releases the oils and fragrance into the bath water.

Benefits: Helps Bath Melts and truffles break apart in your bath more quickly so that you don't need the water to be super hot to melt them.


Kaolin Clay



The clay is often used in mineral makeup because of its matte finish and the slip it creates. It is a fine powder with a natural colour. I use Kaolin Clay in most of my Bath Products because I love the silky texture it gives to the bath water and it turn my skin. It also help add to the strength and structure of the bath product itself, especially in my moisturizing bath bombs where the oils can be quite heavy. The kaolin makes the mixture rock hard when dry, yet does not compromise the fizz once in the bath water.

Benefits: Kaolin is perfect for sensitive skin, it can stimulate cellular regeneration and has been used in dermatology to help heal acne, scaring, burns, psoriasis and eczema. Because of its antiseptic nature is is great at helping to purify the skin, leaving it healthy and radiant. It produces bath water that has a lovely silky texture and slip to it.


Seaweed/Kelp Powder

image from New Directions Aromatics

 Has a vibrant green colour but, does dry a more earth green.If you want your product to stay that vibrant green colour make sure to add some green mica to the mixture to maintain the desired colour. The powder does have quite a pungent odor, it doesn't bother me but some may take offense to it. I like to add ginger to my Detox Bath Bombs and I find this helps round the scent a bit.

Benefits: The Powder is a powerful detoxifier, drawing toxins and impurities from the skin. It contains Vitamins (including B12 and Vitamin E), minerals, amino acid and other nutrients. It helps to stimulate the body's metabolism and circulation giving a healthy glow to the skin.Seaweed powder is suitable for all skin types and contains fatty acids to combat skin inflammation and irritation.



Epsom Salt

image from Brambleberry.com


I like to use Epsom Salt in my Detox Bath Bombs as well as an embellishment  on top. If I have extra Bath Bomb mixture left over that's not enough to fill a mold, I like to add few tablespoons of Epsom salt to the mixture for a fizzy bath salt.

Benefits: Epsom Salt isn't really a salt its actually a compound of magnesium sulfate. It is said to have anti-inflammatory properties and when absorbed through the skin draws toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system and can reduce swelling, bruising and relax sore muscles. It is also a mild exfoliate.  

Dead Sea Salt

image from New Directions Aromatics

I like to use this salt the same as I would Epsom Salt. It also makes a great Moisturizing Bath Salt with the Epsom Salt.

Benefits: Dead sea salt has a greater concentration of minerals than any other salt, more than 10 times the amount. It helps to regulate fluid levels in the body, helps circulation relieving sore muscles and joints.


Pink Himalayan Salt

image from Bramble Berry

Himalayan salt gets it full name from the pink colour it is known by. It is protected from pollution and impurities since its formations was 200 million years ago, therefor it is considered the purest salt available. It is a beautiful topping to any Bath Product and is a fantastic addition to any bath due to is exfoliating and moisturizing nature.

Benefits: Rich in over 80 minerals and trace elements, the most notable being calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron.


Sweet Almond Oil


This oil is great for making Bath Bombs, it makes it more simple than having to melt butters down. It doesn't have much if any scent which makes it ideal when working with Fragrances that are not strong or clash easily with others.You can also easily find this products in health and drug stores. If you can only afford to purchase one oil or butter or just want to try out making Bath Products to see if it is for you, then I suggest using Sweet Almond Oil. Easy to find, easy to use and very versatile. Substitute this oil for any recommended oil or butter in any of my recipes, just make sure to use the same measurement.

Benefits: An excellent emollient it is know for its ability to soften and re-condition the skin. It makes a great massage oil and is suitable for any Bath Products.


Jojoba oil

This product is actually a liquid wax produced by the seed of the Jojoba plant. Native to Sothern California, Sothern Arizona and North West (no not that North West)  Mexico, jojoba oil is one of the more expensive oils due to the amount of nuts it takes to produce the oil. The oil is very resistant to oxidization and has a very long shelf life, which makes it great for bath products.

Benefits:  Jojoba oil closely resembles the sebum produced by our skin making it an oil that easily absorbs. It can help with acne, clogged pores, skin roughness, flaking and fine lines. Try to purchase an oil that is a golden colour, the paler the oils colour the more refined it is--- and the less of the natural benefits you will have.

Cocoa Butter


Cocoa Butter is solid and I mean Rock Hard Solid at room temperature. Think of working with this product, like working with chocolate. It smells like chocolate and needs the same gentle melting like chocolate as well. I like to microwave it on 30 second bursts stirring in between. It usually takes about two minutes. You can also melt in a double boiler. If you want to make classic Lush Products than you are going to need Cocoa Butter, it is found in about 90% of Lush bath products. You can get a light Cocoa butter (shown) and also a dark Cocoa Butter that has a darker brown colour and looks more like chocolate.

Benefits: Amazing scent! Contains natural antioxidants, it is said to provide a barrier that helps to keep and restore moisture to your skin.It can help firm the skin and is great for women who are pregnant to help combat stretchmarks.


Shea Butter

This Shea Butter can be found here


Shea Butter has a much softer texture than Cocoa Butter it is also found in a lot of Lush Products. The Shea Butter I have is unrefined so has a slight nutty colour and aroma to it. You can also get refined Shea butter that is white with no scent. Even though it is softer that the Cocoa Butter you will still need to melt in the same way.

Benefits: It will melt on contact of skin which makes it great for lotion and massage bars. Hailed for it protecting and emollient properties, rich in cinnamon acid it also protects the skin from harmful UV rays.


Mango Butter


The softest of the Butters yet Mango Butter is the key ingredient in You've Been Mangoed Lush's amazing Bath Melt. The butter melts very easily but, still does require some melting to work with. Mango Butter is expelled from the fruits kernel, the butter is a pale white with little to no scent.

Benefits: has the same properties as both other butter with the added addition of being suitable to use straight due to its easy melting properties.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pop Art Cartoon/ Comic Book Halloween Costume

At this years Halloween Party I decided to go for a Pop Art Comic Book Look.


I ended up winning Best Female Costume!












Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Halloween Costume Ideas

Who's ready for Halloween?

Just in case you need some last minute inspiration here are some ideas that I've been dreaming about.

Image by Stephanie Cammarano

photo by Anthony Bellemare at the Asheville Zombie Walk
 
 
image by kilprity


For the Crazy Cat Lady in all of us. image here

image by Rose Shock

image by Brittany Couture how to video available on her blog

I already have my costume picked out for this year but, this is a big contender for next year.


image from Cheap Frills and Thrills how to video available

The final two are ideas that I would love to combine.



Witch Look:

Witches have been done a lot I know but, its a classic and if done right can be killer.

I'd like to see this costume

image by Mirela Olariu from her Etsy shop
Paired with this Makeup by the always amazing Nic from PixiWoo




And finally these Nails. They are suppose to be Zombie nails but, I think they would be a great Witch too.

image by Caitlin's Creative Corner



Vampire Look:

I  Love this hair, it would be perfect for a vamp makeup.

image by Geoff Jones

These nails are perfect for a Vampire constume. I don't think I would as much "blood" to them, maybe just make them a little more subtle.

image from Not Another Nail Blog


I love these contacts

dead link if you know the original source please let me know


I think this would be the perfect lip, just love it and can't stop looking. It's creepy, scary and still amazingly beautiful.

image from danielle tunstall

Now I know this isn't a Halloween makeup but, I love the eye makeup from this photo for a vampire look.

dead link if you know the original source please let me know

I would add a little grungey look under the eye to make it not quite so pretty.


dead link if you know the original source please let me know

Hope these looks gave you some inspiration, I'd love to hear what your planning to be this year.



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Memories of Halloween Past

Halloween is almost here!

I always loved to come up with a costume and be something ghoulish for a day.

Two years ago I was invited to my first Halloween party in quite a few years. I only had a couple of days to put a costume together and being a lady of the Queen size persuasion finding a "costume" that will fit in stores is damn near impossible--- unless I wanted to be a ghost in a bed sheet. Which, I did not!

So the other option for a costume is to wear what you have and focus on makeup.
image from MissChievous blog

I started searching on YouTube and found a great look by Miss Chievous for a Black Widow inspired makeup.

Now I am not a makeup artist by any means though, I do love makeup and wanted to try to emulate the look.

I didn't have the products that she was using specifically but, I do have a pretty extensive makeup collection so was able to find products that worked.


I added my spiders in a different pattern than on the video and I loved how it turned out.



The Spiders were plastic and I glued them on with duo eyelash adhesive. If you want to do the same thing try to find spiders that are not hollow at the bottom, they stick better.

 
I added a faux hawk (I miss my long hair) and used enough hairspray to keep it in place until the end of time. This hair wasn't going anywhere.

My makeup ended up more purple that the original look but, overall I was really happy with it.

 
Hope you like it.