Goals for 2019

January 5, 2019

Now that we reviewed 2018, let’s look at what I hope to accomplish in 2019!

  1. Increase sales.  I’m not putting a number out there this year. I think I have reached a point in the business where it’s harder to increase sales, and I need to not be so down on myself if I don’t reach that number. I think it’s just good to have the goal to increase sales.
  2. On that account I need to come up with specific ways to increase sales and implement them.
  3. Increase online sales.  I have the new webpage.  Now I need to implement a number of ideas I have been playing around with to grow my online business.
  4. Continue to make sure I’m 100% GMP compliant.
  5. Evaluate my teaching schedule/classes/goals and come up with a plan for getting the most out of teaching.
  6. Continue to grow our local New England Chapter.  Have more meet ups.  Proctor test sessions.
  7. Complete (and pass) my Master Exam.  My deadline is April 7th to get all this done.  I can do this. I WILL do this.
  8. Take the new Cosmetic Certification Test.
  9. New Products: Traditional Shaving soap! I also want to learn how to make Liquid soap (not that I have plans currently to add it to my line).
  10. If time permits work on growing sales of my custom favor soaps.
  11. Finish redesigning all my labels. I started that in 2018 and I need to finish up the complete revamping of my label designs!
  12. Less is More! Apply this to my product line this year.  I want to evaluate the products I make and make some decisions on what I should discontinue.  What products are worth making and what aren’t?  And what should I cut out?
  13. Do some serious thinking about where I want the business to go and how to get to that point.
  14. Use FB to promote/sell items more. I have a large following and I need to not be afraid to try and “sell” my products.  Whether it’s featured items, subscription boxes, specialty pre-order items. I need to find a way to really use the potential social media offers.

So, 2019 let’s do this.

 

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A Year in Review: 2018

January 4, 2019

A Year in Review: 2018

It’s that time where I revisit my goals for 2018 and see just how well I did (or didn’t do) in accomplishing them. Not every year is AMAZING.  I realize that, but it can still be a bit disappointing when you look back over a year and it just didn’t end up where you wanted.  This year had a lot going on and was by no means a “bad” year, I just didn’t accomplish everything I’d hoped to.  Here are the goals I posted for 2018.  Let’s take a look at how well I accomplished them!

  1. Increase sales by 25%.  Yup, I’m dreaming big again!

This didn’t happened. There were a number of reasons for this.  I need to readdress a few things and revamp other things.  It’s something I really need to spend some time on and time is one thing I’ve been short of this year.  I know what I need to do. So, now I need to make time to do it.

  1. Increase online sales.  This is kind of a two part plan.  I’ve been working on growing my online sales, but in conjuncture with that I need to update my webpage.  I’ve been doing research on new site platforms and compiling a list of everything I want in my new webpage and I plan to start building that in January and hopefully launch the new site in February.  Change is good!

Well…I didn’t increase online sales, but I did actually accomplish some of these goals.  The BIG ticket item here was updating my webpage.  That DID happen. It was a lot of work, but it got done and (overall) I’m really happy with the new webpage. There are still little things I’m working on with it (I think that will always be the case), but the completely revamped webpage is a big achievement.

  1. Update/Change my current batch code system.  With moving and setting up a dedicated studio space I’m been trying to fully set up/update/comply with GMP standards and with that I’ve come up with a better/new way to do my batch code system.  My goal this year is to get it fully implemented.

I made more progress.  It’s not fully there yet, but overall I’ve got a good system in place and I’m happy with the progress I have made.

  1. Continue teaching and expand on where I teach, classes I teach, and do more Library Presentations.  I’d also like to try and figure out how to really launch a kids soap making program.  This is very dependent on my time, which is going to be occupied by many things this year.

This didn’t really happen. At least not the exploring new options/classes/kid classes.  I did teach a lot of classes this year (on par with the previous years), but I didn’t grow teaching in any way.

  1. Get our Local New England Chapter up and running.  This includes creating a mailing list so I can easily reach out to all our members.  Putting together and holding  a couple “get togethers” this year.  Proctoring a test session.  Three things to start and then I can build on that.

I did get it up and running and I did get one meeting to happen (with a proctored test session).  There was more I wanted to do, but my time was stretched too thin with me trying to take on too many tasks this year.  I will continue to work on building our local chapter.

  1. Revamp my bath bomb sizes, labels, and packaging.  (To be fair I started this the end of 2017, but I need to fully implement it now).

This was successfully done!

  1. Work on my Master Exam.  This includes getting my Research Project Proposal approved.  Doing the research I need for Part 4 of the exam.  And working in the studio experimenting and learning to make the soaps I need to for Part 1.  I have a lot of work that must get done this winter.  I cannot put it off.

Research project was approved and I spent six months working on that. In fact I’m almost done with the project. I just have to finish writing the rough draft and then do revisions and that is almost ready to submit.  This part of the project took a lot of work. I knew it would be time consuming, but I underestimated just how much work it would involve.

I did make progress on the other sections of the test too.  I have three months to complete it and I’m going to be working on it nonstop to get it all done before April of this year.

  1. New Products: I want to play around with bath bomb/bubble bath cupcakes. Whether they’d be introduced as a new product I don’t know, but it’s been on my list of items I want experiment with.

I did experiment and play around with bubble bath (bubble scoops). I decided bath comb cupcakes weren’t going to be a part of my product line and didn’t do those.  But I learned a lot from the experiments I did with bath bombs and bubble bath.

  1. If time permits work on growing sales of my custom favor soaps.

Time did not permit. *sigh*

  1. Less is More: I have a pretty complex set up.  For big winter shows it’s worth it.  But for 2018, especially over the summer I want to streamline my set up to just a 6′ table.  I have created lovely set ups with just one table.  It needs to be my goal for summer markets.  I spend a lot of time on set up/take down and I want to reduce my set up time to under 45 minutes this year.  The time I’ll save if I can do that would be like a two week vacation!

This was accomplished.  It was important to me to simplify things.  I’m glad I did it.

A look at the Highlights of the Year:

  • I participated in 110 markets (Helpers worked 22 of them).  Last year I did 106 events.
  • I taught 34 classes/presentations. (25 Last year)
  • I made just over 6000 bars of soap this year. (About 700 less than last year.)
  • Continued to do my 12 in 12 on my blog.
  • In total I made over 12,000 products this year. (As opposed to 16,000 last year, though this was mostly intentional as I tried to streamline this year).
  • I put together and completed a controlled testing of Meadowfoam oil.
  • Made progress on my Master Exam.
  • Proctored my first Test Session for the Guild Certification tests.
  • Hosted our first New England Local Chapter Meet Up.

Experimenting: Bath Bombs and Bubble Bath

March 10, 2018

I’ve been asked many many times to teach a bath bomb class.  When I teach a class I teach it as a way for students to learn about the ingredients, why you use them, what they do, recipes to try, and experimenting in the class.  It is a comprehensive class that includes a lot of information. So you can image it takes a lot of work to put a class like that together initially.

One of my goals was to do that this winter (during my sort of kind of down time).  This meant exploring new/different recipes and creating some of my own.  To do that I had to do a some testing in my studio!  I forget how much I like to experiment!  I don’t do it often enough (or more accurately I don’t have time to do it as much as I’d like).

I tested over a dozen different recipes for bath bombs, bubble bath bombs, and solid bubble bath.  It was fun!  And I learned a lot.  The best part was I finally go to play around with a few new ingredients I’ve been wanting to!  Here’s some of the results of that process!

BATH BOMBS

I have a recipe I use, but it’s a bit complicated and you REALLY need a mixer to make them, and they’re expensive (more so that most people would want to pay to make them at home).  I wanted a simplified recipe that worked well if mixing by and and still created a nice bath bomb.  I played around with three different recipes and a couple different ways of “mixing” the ingredients. This is right after I made the bath bombs.  The yellow ones did not stay round for long and activated some as well.

Recipe 1: There’s a base recipe I’ve seen all over that I used for this one with a small alteration to it.  They worked well.  They were relatively easy to make.  I could mix them with my hands or a mixer and they worked.  They took a good 24 hours to harden (and still softer than my standard recipe even after 24 hours, but they got hard and have a nice fizz).

Recipe 2: So, I learned a valuable lesson with this recipe: What DOES NOT work! Ha! These were soooooo wet.  It didn’t matter how much cornstarch I added to them they just where not having anything to do with me.

Recipe 3: I think these are my favorite, but they’re also the most expensive “cost” wise to make.  They too worked well though and create a nice bath bomb.  I like these and Recipe 1 and I think they’ll be good ones to use for teaching.

BUBBLE BATH BOMBS

These were interesting to play with.  I’d seen all sorts of varying information on ingredients to use, getting foam vs. bubbles, how well the performed or didn’t…  I learned a few things with these experiments…especially when it came to using liquid surfactants in my recipe.  As you can see some clearly didn’t work, others I managed to salvage with some on the spot recipe changes, and some worked great.

Recipe 1: This one was probably my favorite of the recipes, but it’s also the most expensive ingredient wise.  It gave me little trouble though and the “foam” or “bubbles” aren’t bad.

Recipe 2: Yeah…everything about this one didn’t work.  First off, the surfactant didn’t behave at all like I was expecting it too and even my on the spot alterations couldn’t save it.  I’m pretty sure I figured out which two ingredients didn’t like each other.  I might experiment again with alterations just to see how altering amounts of the two ingredients that didn’t play nice together would work.

An hour later that have completely fallen apart!

No staying power with these bubbles! That was disappointing.

Recipe 3: This one I expected to have similar results as recipe 2 and so I altered the recipe a bit before I even started making it.  I still had to do even more on the fly altering.  It allowed me to make the bath bombs, but I’m not sure how they’ll harden or how well they’ll bubble.

Recipe 4: By the time I got to this recipe I’d done enough trouble shooting that I was able to alter the recipe and it worked.  It wasn’t as easy to make the balls as recipe 1 but the initial results were far better than recipe 2 or 3.  It fizzed and bubble well and the bubbles had staying power.

SOLID BUBBLE BATH

What I wanted to see with these were which bubbled best.  I had three different surfactants I was experimenting with: SLSA, CocoBetaine, and CocoFoam

These are “soft solids” that you can crumble under running water to created your bubble bath.  I like the solid bubble bath and don’t think I’d ever make liquid bubble bath.  Though I’ll never say never!

Recipe 1:

Recipe 2:

You can see that I had some pieces left that didn’t crumble.  Part of the reason for this is I was just using one hand while recording with the other so it made crumbling harder.  Another reason these recipes did get pretty hard.  I think it will break down and dissolve in the water (it was already really soft when I touched the pieces in the water).  This happened for recipe 2 and 3.

Recipe 3:

Bubbles make me smile!  I tested one other recipe (very different from these that isn’t pictured.  It wasn’t a recipe of my own creation, but I wanted to see how it compared to these and what I thought of it).

As you can see I had a lot of fun testing out my recipes.  I also have a very comprehensive handout out coming in at 24 pages to accompany these recipes.  I’m ready for classes to start!


December 12 in 12

December 31, 2017

Well we’ve reached the final month!  It’s been fun to look back over the past twelve months and see a review of the year!  December was a great month. Insanely busy up through Christmas, but then I got to take some time off to spend with family and it was lovely!

December 1, 2017: Christmas Time

I got to put a tree up for the first time in five years. Finally being in my own place with a separate work space has been lovely.  I love my tree and all the decorations I was able to put up this year!

December 3, 1017: Craft Fairs

This was my craziest weekend of the year.  In three days I had 8 shows. 4 which I did and 4 of which I had three other people working for me do.  By the time I got home Sunday I was a zombie :D.

December 5, 2017: Lip Scrubs

After I made it through the weekend I was back at it restocking.  I did pretty good with keeping up with everything this year.  The lip scrubs were really popular this winter season.

December 14, 2017: Test Prep

It’s time to get serious and get my butt in gear with this Master Exam.  I’m a list maker. It helps get me motivated.  When I can cross things off I feel like I’m accomplishing something and it makes me want to do more!  So I started my list of supplied I’d need and what I needed to do to get started on it.

December 15, 2017: Custom Orders

I’ve had a couple of custom soap orders I needed to get caught up on.  So I spent the day working on making those.  One was a custom order for a four color swirl to match a tile patter in someone’s home. I think I did a good job with that! I was pleased with how they came out.

December 17, 2017: Last Show (Part 1)

The last event of the season, a small winter farmers market.  When it was over I did a little happy dance.  I love shows, but they’re exhausting and by the time I get to the end of December I’m exhausted!

December 17, 2017: Old Sturbridge Village (Part 2)

I’m always so busy this time of year I never do anything fun.  One of my favorite places is OSV (a historical village in MA).  They do a program called Christmas by Candlelight and I was like I’m going this year! So, I bought tickets for me and my parents and we had a lovely evening.

December 22, 2017: Test Prep

I went out and bought the binders I needed and printed out all the test requirements and put them all together and I’m ready to start.  There’s a lot of work ahead of me, but it’s all organized and it’s time to start the work!

December 25, 2017: Christmas!

MY entire family was together for Christmas. It was lovely!  This is my and my adorable nephew.  He just melts my heart!

December 26, 2017: New molds!

I’ve started my 2018 goals list already. One thing I knew I wanted to do was change up the molds I use for my bath bombs.  Of course I asked for some of the new molds I wanted for Christmas :D. I’m so excited for these new molds. I absolutely love how the work.

December 27, 2017: Bookkeeping

Started pulling everything out to get all the end of year stuff finalized and ready for my accountant.  Can’t believe year 6 is almost in the books!

December 31, 2017: Total Soap Count

Here you go! The final count on the number of bars of soap I made: 6,723 (the alternate was me counting actually number of soaps made not by the size (full/half/cupcake) bar but just total number made).


October 12 in 12

November 1, 2017

I’m a day late, but at least I made it!  October is always a busy month.  It’s at about this point that I start to panic every year ha!  It’s the constant wondering do I have enough soap made, how will the new items sell, how will I be able to manage my crazy schedule…you think I’d realize by now that things all work out and not to worry, but no, I still worry and stress!  Anyway here you go, a view at hour October went for me.

October 1: Wax Melts

I wanted some winter scents. That’s what inspired a seasonal line.  I hadn’t been planning on making these that day, but I got an order for some and one of my standard scents I was out of (and didn’t realize).  Once I started restocking the standard one, I was like might as well just go ahead and make the seasonal ones. I’ve got everything out.  So, what would have been an hour project basically turned into an ALL day project.

October 2: Grinch Soaps

There are some soaps I make that I absolutely adore.  I love them. They just speak to me.  This was one of those soaps.  I can’t claim credit for the idea. I saw something similar somewhere and I thought it was cute.  So I came up with my own little twist and created these. Love them.  They just make me smile every time I see them.

October 5: Mini Winter Soaps

I quite often this time of year get asked if I have something small for children.  Little stocking stuffers basically.  So, with that in mind I made these soaps.  I’ll package them in sets of 4 and see how they go over!

October 6: Goodbye PO Box

I finally (officially) moved over my PO box to my new town.  It was the last element of the move I needed to accomplish.  It was a little sad to say goodbye to PO Box 1385, but I’ve now made friends with my new PO Box :D.

October 8: Mica Swirls

The first half of October continued my crazy soap making spree.  I restocked on (almost) all my standard soaps.  Pretty much most of my soap making is now down for the year.  There will be some restocking here and there, but it will be for after show season as it won’t be ready before the end of the season.

October 10: Label Creation

I’ve introduced a number of new soaps and new products this fall/winter season.  It’s meant I’ve had to make a lot of new labels.  I changed up my standard bar label a tad for the Grinch.  I also created new labels for all the other new products.  I had quite a day at the computer.

October 12: Lip Scrubs

Restocking on lip scrubs.  Now that the soaps are all made it’s bath product time.  Much to do (as you’ll see over the next few days).

October 14: Emoji Soaps

Let me start off by saying these are a pain in the backside to make.  It took a lot of experimenting to figure out the best way to make these.  They’re definitely not “perfect” by my standards) but they are cute.  I made these because I was asked by a long time Wholesale client.  I’m going to experience the with another method of filling the faces in the winter…once life slows down.

October 16: Photo Day

All those winter soaps…well they needed to be photographed! (They’re all listed on my webpage too if you’re interested).  I have a prop box.  Anyone else have a prop box?  Pictures can be challenging.  Some days they go great other days I can’t get anything to look right.  Luckily this was a good day. It was a bright but overcast day which is the easiest time to take pictures.  And I was happy with how I arranged the soaps for the photos. Some days I can’t get a composition I like.

October 20: Dryer Balls

My plan was make dryer balls in January and February when it’s slow (since these take time and are so labor intensive) and then not have to worry about it during show season.  I looked at the number I sold last year and then increased what I made but 1/4.  Apparently that wasn’t enough because here I am making another batch of dryer balls…and I have a feeling I’ll be making another round of them in November too. Guess that’s a good problem to have.

October 21: Show Season

Of course the weekends have been filled with shows.  🙂

October 25: Bath Bombs

I decided to redo how I label and package my bath bombs.  It was something I knew I needed to do, but took me a bit to figure out how I wanted to do it.  I love the redesigned labels and the new shrink wrapping. Both the old and the new methods had their advantages and disadvantages, but in the long run I think the new packaging looks much more professional and will hold up to wear and tear and not get “beat up” looking.

There you have it. The highlights of my month.  It’s been a crazy month where I think I’ve worked every single day. This snap shot doesn’t seem to do it justice when I look back over it.  But you got the highlights!  Here’s to next month! (Where I can assure you the craziness will continue).


August 12 in 12

August 31, 2017

E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D!  I’m so tired.  While I’m pretty much settled in from the move and finally getting caught up on making everything, I still feel like I’ve run four marathons back to back to back…  A lot has been going on.  It’s just that time of year where the craziness starts and it won’t slow down until Christmas comes.

August 4th: The Corner Spot 

The first two weeks of August I set up in a little pop-up (affectionately called “The Shed”).  This was part of a town initiative in Ashland to create a community space.  They created a park area, and the shed for local artisans and food to come in set up for a time and sell their products.  I had applied to be a part of this back in February when they sent out a call for proposals.  I figured it would be a good experience–especially if I wanted to one day have my own store front.  Here’s my set up. I’ll have a full post soon on more about my time there.

August 7th: Restocking 

One thing I was able to do while set up in Ashland was work.  It was nice to have a space to do stuff when the shop was slow.  I restocked on my Gifts for the Magically Inclined. Going to have to make more soaps! But hopefully I’m restocked for the moment.

August 8th: Soap Soap Soap!

I continued on my crazy soap making spree in August.  Here’s lilac in the mold.  I finally got (mostly) all my restocks made and my fall soaps done.  Now I can start thinking about making the winter soaps ha! It never ends.

August 9th: Baby Shower Favors

Baby Shower favors! I adore these.  The customer wanted an earthy green and it was so much fun to be able to do something just a little different than my normal colors!

 

August 1oth: Bath & Body Class

I had classes all week  while at the corner spot.  This was a teen Bath and Body class that day. It was lots of fun making product with the girls! Hopefully inspiring some young girls too!

 

August 11th: Custom Anchor Soaps

Aren’t these pretty! I love the simplicity of them and can’t wait to design the labels to go with them.

August 13th: Pranks

I house sat for my parents while they were gone in August.  And my dad (an Army guy) played a prank on his neighbor (an Air Force guy) while they were on vacation in July.  Well I walk out on the deck to water some flowers only to be startled by this lovely rat. Ha! Go Army! I was raised right ;).  I know who’s the best.

 

August 14th: Lip Balms

Oh my! If I never see another lip balm tube again. Ha!  It too me a week, but I restocked on all 16 flavors I offer.  Almost 1000 lip balms made. I’m hoping they’ll get me through the winter season, but I have a feeling I’ll be making lip balms again before the year is over.

 

August 15th: My Happy Place: The Dance Studio

Despite all the work and craziness I’ve made time to make it to ballet each week.  It’s my happy place–where I can just forget about all the worries for an hour and lose myself in dance.

August 17th: Transparent Soap!

I make a pink grapefruit soap with goat’s milk. I make my soaps go through gel phase. This soap went through an intensive gel phase! 24 hours after I made it-completely cooled and it has this glassy slightly transparent look. I’ll be interested to see if this changes as it cures! I’ve NEVER had a soap stay this transparent looking!  It’s super cool. You can see my finger behind the soap!

August 18th: Designing Custom Labels 

 

I had a couple custom orders this month. They’re so fun to do for me.  Remember the anchor soap for a few photos up…well I got to design labels for them. I was really happy with how they turned out. This was my initial sketch I started with before I put them into Photoshop.

 

August 21st: Mini Vacation Starts (Sort of) 

Every year I take the last two weeks of August off from shows (I cheated a bit this year I did schedule two weekend farmers markets…but the other 12 days are mine).  I need this time to 1) Work on Winter  Soaps and restocking products and 2) to recoup and relax! I am utterly exhausted by the time I get to the end of August and crazy show season is just about to start.  I need that break to get through the coming four months.  This year more so that normal! I have plans to do some work (what needs to get done) and then I’m doing some day trips, exploring my new town, and just enjoying life and some time off.

Oh…one last thing if you haven’t heard. I offically (finally) started an Instagram account! I know, I know it took me long enough. You can find me here: jennifer_soap


Using Tallow in Bath Products

April 7, 2017

I’ve been on a kick lately with this whole tallow in products.  First it was soap (which I really am likely and am SERIOUSLY–though it’s the last thing I need right now–considering a line of tallow soaps)!  Now it’s bath products.

In February mt friend’s sister asked if I made tallow lotion. I don’t make lotion, but I said I could probably do it in a body butter or balm.  And that kind of sparked my interest in tallow.  I started doing more research.  Products in soap work (to some degree) similarly in bath products, but they are also completely different products from soap.  My research lead to a number of discoveries.

No one’s allowed to get grossed out over tallow! Got it?? 😀  It’s no different from ANY vegetable oil we use it’s just fat from an animal as opposed to a plant!  And it’s good stuff! First, what is tallow? It’s definition:

tal·low (n)

  1. a hard fatty substance made from rendered animal fat, used in making candles and soap.

Tallow comes from cows, deer, mutton, and the like.  Lard is from pigs.  The tallow I’m working with is beef (cow) tallow.

It’s fatty acid profile: (obviously there is variation here from one batch to the next, one animal to the next, but this gives us a general idea.

  • Saturated fatty acids
    • Palmitic acid(C16:0): 26%
    • Stearic acid(C18:0): 14%
    • Myristic acid(C14:0): 3%
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids:
    • Oleic acid(C18-1, ω-9): 47%
    • Palmitoleic acid(C16:1): 3%
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids:
    • Linoleic acid: 3%
    • Linolenic acid: 1%

So, why is tallow so great?  Well let’s take a look at tallow and its properties.

Tallow is an excellent source of niacin, vitamins B6, B12, K2, selenium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and riboflavin. Grassfed beef tallow contains high ratio of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is a cancer-resistant agent. Contrary to the popular conception, tallow is good for health as tallow fat is similar to the fat/muscles in the heart. Recent studies have shown that human beings need at least 50% of saturated fats like tallow and lard to keep the heart pumping hard and healthy. Tallow from pasture-raised cows also contains a small amount of Vitamin D, similar to lard. ~ source beeftallow.com

We all know (and have probably heard endless numbers of times) that our skin is the largest organ of our body.  It absorbs a large amount of what we come in contact with (both good and bad).  Tallow closely resembles our own cellular makeup and it seems like a smart ingredient to use on our skin.

MommyPotamus has done research on tallow and has this to say:

Tallow is uniquely compatible with the biology of our cells. About 50% of the structure of our cell membrane comes from saturated fats, with remaining amounts consisting of monounsaturated and to a lesser degree polyunsaturated fats. According to Nourishing Traditions, it is the saturated fats that give cell membranes the “necessary stiffness and integrity”  necessary for proper function (p. 11). The saturated fat ratio of tallow is 50-55% saturated fat, making it uniquely compatible with our skin. (source) It also contains Omega 3 fatty acids, which support cell membrane structure and therefore help skin hold in moisture. (source 1source 2)

Tallow contains skin nourishing ingredients that plant-based oils do not. Tallow contains an abundance of naturally occurring fat soluble vitamins (A,D,K and E), Omega 3 fatty acids, and anti-inflammatory conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

All of this makes tallow a really good fat to use on our skin!  After my research I was excited to get started on experimenting.  The two products I’m currently experimenting with are a tallow body butter and a tallow foot/hand balm.

My first though when formulating recipes was: How much do I use??? There’s so little information out there.  I looked at blogs, books, YouTube and people don’t use tallow. A lot of times when I formulate I start by making notes of recommended percentage usages of the ingredients I want to use for a specific type product.  Then I’ll jot down other ingredients I know I want/need in the product and their recommend usage rates and then from there start formulating.

Once I have a couple rough formulates I’ll go online and research other recipes that are similar to the product I’m making.  I couldn’t really do this step this time.  There just aren’t any recipes out there.  Which wasn’t a big deal.  It just meant a bit more experimenting on my part and making some (logical) deductions.

I ended up with two body butter recipes each using a different percentage of tallow.  I added Shea butter to both recipes.  I was afraid to do a straight tallow recipe.  My initial though was it would be too brittle (thinking tallow is a hard oil like coconut), but I realized after I made my recipes that tallow, while solid at room temperature, is actually softer than Shea butter.

  1. Recipe 1 used 25%
  2. Recipe 2 used 40%

Both have a wonderful LOVELY consistency to them right now–though I love the 40% feel more than the 25%.  The 40% (recipe 2) one is definitely softer than the 25% one (recipe 1) and I don’t know how well it will hold up in the summer heat.  I have a feeling that it might be too high a percentage of tallow and potentially melt or go VERY soft come summer.  It’s something I’m going to pay attention to and take note on.

My thoughts after testing these for about 6 weeks:

Recipe 1: This was actually preferred by my testers. I liked it, but it was a bit stiff. Probably will bode well for the summer and warmer weather. Overall, it moisturizer well and went on smooth and wasn’t overly greasy.

Recipe 2: this one I liked,  it it wasn’t preferred by my testers. They felt it was too heavy and didn’t absorb in as well. I think not adding any fragrance to it didn’t help as it had a tallow-y smell to it.

Using it on my Face: I loved recipe 2 as a heavy duty face moisturizer. It kept my dry flaky skin nice and if I put it in at night by morning it was absorbed in and I could put make up on and get thru the day without my skin flaking.

Now I want to try and new blend that is a mix of the two recipes. Add a little more Shea  utter and cut back on the tallow from recipe 2. We shall see what the results are.