27 feb. 2012

Soap swirling video

I've been kinda uninspired lately in the soaping area. I've been running around getting everything in order to obtain my health permit and it's really depressing and tiring. I've yet to write up the review for Mika's soaps (sorry Mika) - I want it to be as good and neat as her creations are. I can say that they are yummylicious, but I'll leave the rest for later - pics and all!



I did do a little video on soap swirling I want to share with you. It's for a soap using on of the new fragrances I got in my last shipment form Elements Bath and Body, called Sensuous Black Rose. Really nice rosy scent without it being overpowering, more like the aroma at a flower shop...really really nice!

Hope you enjoy the video!
xoxo
Irene

18 feb. 2012

Goodies in the mail

Look what came in the mail yesterday! A beautiful package of soap goodies from Mika (Savonnerie Mika). They are so beautiful and smell divine! I'm in for some delicious testing this weekend...


Thanks Mika!


xoxo

Irene


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13 feb. 2012

My other stuff

I was thinking the other day that I never talk about the other products I make. Granted they aren't as exciting to make as soap, but they sure are hot sellers! I have three types of lip balm, with the same base for the three: beeswax, olive oil, sunflower oil, cocoa butter and coconut oil, plus vitamin E and flavoring. I make mint and tea tree lip balm - for super damaged lips; honey lip balm, which is my favorite, but I have a hard time emulsifying it; and chocolate lip balm, that I make with chocolate chips for flavor and color - soooo goooood!!

I've always been addicted to lip balm and it's quite expensive. I got to investigating and the formula I work with now is about 50 cents to make including lip tube! I really like it, it is soft on my lips yet really really moisturizing, plus it's a hot seller because I sell it for a third of the price the regular lip balm sells for and it's just soo good on the lips (men really like it too). They're not makeup as I don't put micas or any other color inducing ingredient, but rather moisturizing balms, and the other day I found out they act as sunscreen. I went to the beach and due to the medication I'm taking now my lips and skin around them crack like crazy, so I use the lip balm on my lips and around. I after a day in the sun I looked in the mirror and I had this white "halo" around my mouth. I realized that it must have been the lip balm that prevented me from getting tanned there! I looked really funny for a couple of days :P

I want to include other flavors to the bunch, but I haven't made time to go to the store to see what selection is available. For sure I want to include cherry and strawberry, lemon seems to be a hot seller as well, just need to find the right lemony taste. Which flavor lip balm do you like?

I also make solid perfumes. They're on a base of beeswax, olive oil and sunflower oil. They melt as you rub on them, then apply the product on your skin. It leaves a nice smell, they're not sticky and they last a while. They don't sell as well as the lip balms, I suppose because people are not accustomed to the format, but they are slowly selling better. My supplier keeps discontinuing the pots I buy, but I found someone else to purchase from, it feels like I'm cheating on my husband because I really like the quality of their product and I can buy fragrances + containers in the same place, but the containers they have now are either too expensive or too ugly :( So for now I buy from someone else (please don't tell).

Soon to come...body butter, I just have to find the right name for it...it's literal translation would be something like body lard, which doesn't sound too appealing...so I have to get creative o_O

xoxo
Irene

8 feb. 2012

Liquid shampoo test #6

I'm at it again - trying to figure out this shampoo thing. Only this time I'll make a liquid one. First because it's easier to add the neutralizer (borax/citric acid/vinegar) and then because we're out of liquid soap at home.

I've been noticing a slight rancid smell on the last of my liquid soap, same as for the last tubes of lip balm. the only two things in common are sunflower and cocoa butter, and I don't think it's the cocoa butter...I think it comes from the sunflower oil, so I made this recipe without it.

It's a really cleansing / conditioning soap, which will be perfect for my DDs hair which tends to get really dry - but she's a 7 year old so she needs a really good cleanser. I hope the vinegar doesn't kill the bubbles like it did on my shampoo bar. I suppose you could also use a citric acid solution instead of the vinegar, which is what I'm going to try today, I absolutely hate how vinegar smells, so I can't stomach putting it in the soap while hot (mom used to make her own ketchup and she would boil tomatoes in vinegar for hours on end - the house would stink for hours!!).

I'll infuse the water with calendula, rosemary and mint - just to make it better for our hair/hands, and I'll use my infused olive oil. Mint and rosemary stimulate the muscles and fend off hair nasties. Not sure what fragrance I'll use, tea tree smells too medicine like and I think the only other EO I have is ylang ylang which I don't really like. So I think I'll have to go with FO instead of EO.

Really hoping this works like I want it to. I'm tired of over paying for shampoo that is full of chemicals.

P.D. I've just sent some soap over to Mika form Savonnerie Mika...I can't wait to hear from her when she gets it :)

xoxo
Irene
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2 feb. 2012

Another retail store location added :)

Today I innocently went by a local health store here where I live (population 6000 so you can imagine our "town"). I took some of my soaps and offered to leave them in consignment. I don't mind doing business like that as an introduction of my product to that particular store, so when I noticed the store owner was nervous about buying the soap, I just told him straight out you can have them in consignment. He jumped up at the idea and said yes :) It also helps that I'm a regular as I buy my beeswax from him every month or so.

He also asked me about my production levels. I told him honestly I don't produce much because I don't have many places to sell and it doesn't make sense to make product to have laying around in my lab (insert geeky comment about project management: "inventory is one of the seven wastes identified by 6 sigma"). He told me that this store is part of a bigger chain of stores of about 20+ all around Costa Rica, so he was interested in knowing if I could cope with having product in all the stores. What a question?!? I had to do a quick sum in my head which went kind of like this: I left him with 18 bars of soap - 2 of each kind. 1 batch = 10 bars so 2 batches (to cover 20 stores) of each soap times 9 = 18...each batch is done in about an hour considering mixing, cutting, labeling...so that's 18 hours a month to start with...not bad! so I told him "Of course I can!" I did make it very clear to him that depending on the soap and if I didn't have the qty on hand it could take me from one to four weeks to deliver, that he should take that into consideration. He said that not a problem and then told me that he has a distribution company if I wouldn't be interested in making my product labeling it made by ___ for ____. I said absolutely! Both scenarios would be awesome for my brand! Both have me mildly terrified!!

So it all depends on how the product sells in his shop. Hoping he'll call me tomorrow to say he doesn't have any more left!

xoxo
Irene

1 feb. 2012

Valentine soap - vanilla chocolate hearts

This is a late late addition to my valentine soap. It's scented with vainilla and chocolate delight fragances (2 parts vanilla, 1 part chocolate delight) for a decadent sweet sticky scent that goes perfectly with the black and red theme. I've cut this up in little 3/4 oz rounds and plan to sell them in organza bags (5 to each bag).

As you can see by the first pic, it traced really quickly and I almost couldn't finish the hearts, but they turned out cool in the end. I wish you could smell it - it's so decadent!

I CPOP'd this one so it could be ready for sale by next week, just in time for Valentine's!

What products have you done for Valentine's day?

xoxo
Irene

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