Help me decide which lip tints to bring back!

Supply debacle

http://epicsoap.com
 
Over a week ago I re-ordered my usual 1000-pack of lip balm tubes. I still had plenty left and normally would have gotten the new box well in time, BUT the supplier shipped them the day before Thanksgiving and they won't arrive until Thursday, Dec. 5. (I am continually surprised at how slow UPS is... )

I am totally out of my regular tubes and needed to make several flavors that I'm out of. Averting a lip balm tragedy, I happened to have about 150 oval tubes that I was saving for a secret project for next year. So a few of you will receive some oval-shaped lip balms. Cute!

Black Friday Sale!

Use the coupon code TGIBF for 10% off your order through Monday, December 2, 2013. Christmas ordering deadlines: To receive gifts by December 24, please order by December 8 for U.S. orders, December 1 for international orders (including Canada). Thank you!

Cold process soaps du jour

Kumquat & Fresh Mango, and Lavender Oatmeal with my first draft label designs. If I decide these soaps are good enough, I will be selling them at Laura Tarnoff's holiday fundraiser for the Tarnoff Art Center in Rowe, NM, and they will be available in my Etsy shop starting in January.



Cold Process Soap Saga

I have dreamed of getting into cold process soap for a very long time and I just couldn't wait any longer.

For those who aren't soapy-obsessed, cold process is the old-fashioned method of making soap from scratch with oils and lye... and don't worry, the lye is completely neutralized in a chemical reaction with oils and water. All bar soap that you have ever used is made with lye. It's a beautiful transformation!

 The lye-water solution. I didn't have a lye volcano :)
 Mixing the oils and lye. It's working!!! I used olive, coconut, palm, castor and canola oils for my first batch. The soap batter traced and didn't seize up. I was pretty excited to see this for the first time. 



 Pouring my first CP soap into the mold! I used Lemongrass essential oil and calendula petals for scent and texture. 



 Is this the Manhattan Project? No, we're making soap!

 I made a second soap batch the same day, Green tea soap with brewed Japanese Sencha tea and powdered green tea.

 Two days later, the soaps are ready to unmold and cut. The first two loaves turned out kind of shorty, so I'll increase my batch size next time.


 So proud of my CP soaps!!

 I immediately wanted to make more soap, of course. For this one I tried blueberry tea, blueberry shea butter and blueberry seeds.

 My first attempt at swirling. Many things went wrong with this and it turned out really hideous :(



Pretty blueberry soaps sliced and curing.

The 5 New Holiday Flavors

The idea of an anise lip balm sounded so refreshing and different. And a random note - I have noticed this flavor pairs wonderfully with my cup of morning coffee, just like a real biscotti would :)


A tart cranberries and sweet, rich white chocolate lip balm flavor with a cute festive polka dot label.


 A yummy seasonal flavor with tingly peppermint essential oil and chocolate coffee flavors based on the best-selling Starbucks drink. This flavor tastes a lot like mint Oreo cookies to me.

The taste of sweet vanilla and caramel cookies loaded with roasted chestnuts. A unique holiday flavor!

Sweet cinnamon and brown sugar, a limited edition flavor for autumn and the upcoming holidays. The best-seller so far.

Also returning just for the holidays: Apple Pie, Eggnog, Candy Cane, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Lavender, Sugar Cookie, Hot Cocoa, and Gingerbread House lip balms. White Chocolate Popcorn will be back soon as well.

Out of control rose obsession!

I thought I'd share some of my rose gardening experiences from this summer. Roses are my favorite, but they have a reputation for being difficult to grow. I didn't find that to be true, at least here in New Mexico. Roses love a lot of sun and the low humidity helps ward off black spot and other diseases. Here are some of my favorite rose photos from the garden:

Medallion ~ this one has huge, lightly fragrant flowers, and grew like a weed :)

 Double Delight ~ I grew this one from a little seedling that I mail-ordered from Heirloom Roses.

 Sunbright Rose, bought from Home Depot. Didn't bloom much, but that could be because I have it in a shady spot.

 Awesome "Oranges n' Lemons" orange and yellow striped floribunda rose.

 Don Juan ~ pretty velvety climbing rose that smells epic.

 Tiffany ~ another hybrid tea rose with a really strong fruity scent like Blue Girl.

 Hot Cocoa ~ floribunda rose with a funky russet color and blooms like crazy. Kind of smells like cocoa, too.


Cary Grant ~ a studly big bright coral hybrid tea rose.

New rose perfumes!

Double Delight, a spicy damask rose fragrance with Rose Absolute, carnation and layers of spices that is as true to the flower as possible. This is a more traditional rose that smells totally authentic to me.

Blue Girl, a delicate, light, youthful, not-so-traditional rose fragrance. Keeping true to the flower, I made this perfume with real Rose Absolute and notes of lemon verbena, citrus, and raspberry.





A look at the Lip Balm Wrangler's EE lip balm collection!


In case you haven't visited The Lip Balm Wrangler 's blog yet, you should -- she is the top lip balm reviewer of the moment. I was so happy to see so many EE's in her collection... it hardly seems possible that I have made that many different flavors :D



On making custom perfumes


A lot of people ask me for advice on making their custom fragrances. I love making them, and it's rare that a scent combination doesn't work. Many get a single-note scent of something they know they like. If you want to make a more complex scent, the general rule is to have at least one top note, one middle note, and one bottom note in your fragrance. 

I also find that 2 scent combinations of from the fruity & fresh or floral & spicy categories are nice together. Some examples are Honeydew+Green Tea, Yuzu+Ginger Ale, Carnation+Clove, and Jasmine+Amber.

Some examples of top notes:
Aloe
Bergamot
Birch
Blood Orange
Clary Sage
Cornmint
Cotton
Cypress
Eucalyptus
Grapefruit
Green Apple
Ginger
Ginger Ale
Green Tea
Kumquat
Lemon
Lemongrass
Lemon Lime Soda
Lemon Verbena
Lime
Margarita
Peppermint
Rosemary
Spearmint
Tea Tree
White Tea & Ginger
Tangerine
Yuzu


Middle notes:
Cardamom
Açaí
Blackberry-Sage
Blackberry Tea
Cucumber
Cucumber Melon
Blueberry
Cantaloupe
Currant
Fig
Guava
Honeydew
Huckleberry
Lychee
Mango
Maraschino Cherry
Papaya
Papaya-Coconut
Passionfruit
Peach
Pear
Pine
Piña Colada
Pineapple
Pomegranate
Raspberry
Red Apple
Rhubarb
Sangria
Strawberry
Almond
Apricot
Banana Cream Pie
Chocolate
Coconut
Pumpkin Pie
Cola
Creamsicle
Hazelnut
Honey
Irish Cream
Kahlua
Maple
Marshmallow
Meyer Lemon
Oatmeal, Milk & Honey
Pink Frosting
Raspberry Chocolate Truffle
Vanilla
Yellow Cake
Zucchini Bread


Bottom notes:
Amber
Clove
Cedar
Cinnamon
Coffee
Dragon's Blood
Musk
Nag Champa
Patchouli
Sandalwood
Vetiver
Earth Musk
Leather
Mahogany
Matcha Tea
Oakmoss-Sage
Red Wine
Rooibos Tea
Sedona
Tobacco
Vanilla Bean


I hope that helps! Make your own fragrance HERE and give it a name.

Random 2-Day Sale

I'm having a random two-day sale! Now is a great time to try something you've had your eye on or get an early start on your Mother's Day shopping. Use the coupon code RANDOM at checkout to get 15% off your orders until March 21, 2013 at midnight.

Etsy Front Page

I was thrilled to see one of my products on Etsy's front page on January 13! Yay! It has been at least two years since the last time I was featured.