Friday, January 25, 2008

Li's crafting thoughts 01-25-08

I have been crafting so much in the last few months: making gifts for my family and friends, sending samples to friends that I promised quite a long time ago, and crafting for my future business.

Lip Balm:
I made my most healing lip balm to date that included many healing herbs and essential oils, including calendula. Calendula is antiseptic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory so a great ingredient to use in all types of oils, balms, and creams. This lip balm was extremely time consuming to make, as I had to infuse nearly every herb in oil (so I did it the fast way and not the slow traditional way). Probably the nicest lip balm (texture, glide, and healing wise) I've made to date.

Whipped Shea: I actually made this twice. The first time it came out nice and fluffy, but then I rewhipped some of it (I didn't scent it enough initially) and while some of the fluffiness disappeared it turned more creamy. I need to buy a Kitchen Aid eventually because it's too time consuming making it with regular beaters, but since stand mixers are so expensive, that will have to wait a bit.

Mineral Makeup eyeshadow:
Made three new colors. Two of them were very unusual ones. I am still only making shimmers. ;P I need to do some semi-matte or matte because I think most people wear those during the day more than the shimmer. I am the complete opposite; I tend to wear shimmer but I like my eye color intense when I actually do wear makeup; I'm strange in that regard since most days I don't even wear any.

I've made three new creams so far. One that is totally awesome and contains organic immortelle essential oil from corsica (which is now selling for about the same price as rose absolute, one of the most expensive absolutes), one that is rich but absorbs easily but the texture was a bit off (too much butters?), another (that for the first time in many years) that completely bombed. It was my first attempt at making a cream with a high amount of an herbal extract/alcohol to preserve and to scent (I am experimenting with blends of natural preservatives now). It smells good and absorbs into the skin okay but the texture is 'blah'. Back to the drawing board for the last two.

Eye balm: I made the most melt-on-your-skin, non-greasy, fast absorbing fantastic eye balm. It contains some of my most favorite oils and butters including sea buckthorn so the color is very orange! I seem to be on a roll with making balms as of late! I need to work on an essential oil blend for this though.

Soaps:I've been working on both bar and liquid soaps. One liquid soap I absolutely love, the other liquid soap I like very much--probably great for normal to oily skin (which is what I designed it for). One bar soap was a total bomb (don't ask) and the other is heaven on earth. I need to work on the essential oil blends of the soaps (and actually on all of my products).

Perfumes/essential oil combos:Have been hard at work on many essential oil combinations for all types of products; I've been combing through seven years of recipes and notes for my favorite combos, as well as creating many new combinations. Some of the ones I made in the aromatherapy class I took in October may be used too :) All of my products will be scented with essential oils (some like for the serums will be complex, others will be simple combinations) but a true perfume will probably be offered a little later than I thought (since perfumes are made with such a high concentration of the more expensive essential oils). It is so hard choosing my favorites that I think others will enjoy too (I love them all! I think out of the dozens of combos I've done I've only had 2 or 3 that bombed).

Serums: Still working on my skin serums. They are nearly ready but I had to pared down my line from sixteen serums to maybe four or five (since I am crafting with such a wide range of costly ingredients, and had to choose only a few to offer). I hope to offer all of them one day! :)

Been working on products with hydrosols and for the last several months I've been reading everything I can find about them; there aren't that many books out there (but the ones I managed to find are amazing!), and though I know most of the general properties of the common ones like rose, I've been learning all of the properties of more unusual hydrosols or ones I haven't used yet, like rosemary. I now have a little hydrosol stash of many 1 to 4 oz sizes that I have been working with :)

Bad news though. I think I am allergic to the natural vitamin E I am using. In very small dilutions I don't react at all, but if it makes up a certain percentage of a formula then I've been having allergic reactions. The funny thing is I've been using this vitamin E from the same company for seven years. But the vitamin E content used to be a lot lower but over the years has risen. The last time I bought it was a couple years ago (and I didn't react to that one) but the new higher content one I am allergic to (unless highly diluted), and it is derived from different plants now. It is fine for me to use in lotions but for products that require a higher amount of vitamin E, I've been reacting to it :( . I don't like crafting anything (and don't intend to sell anything) unless I love it and use it myself, so now need to now find a new vitamin E oil (natural preferably or may use synthetic which I am not allergic to), or may just use a different antioxidant. Or just learn to use less! ;P

Future crafting:

I am going to work on two other bar soaps, and hopefully finally finish the serums. I still have to work on matte colors for eye shadows too (which are a tad different than crafting shimmers). I am also working on a couple toners.


beXn said...

I love that jar of whipped shea creme you gave us! It's super!

Anonymous said...

Hiya! Will you have a mailing list available for when you are ready to start selling some of your products? Everything you're working on sounds great; I work at a spa and it's hard to find quality cosmetics and facial products that are also trustworthy about their ingredient list.

Solarkat said...

Hi J

Glad you like it! Love you! :)


Solarkat said...

Hi Anon

Thank you for your interest :)
I will have a website but I will only be selling at the retail level and not wholesale. Hopefully I'll open my business within the next couple of months (I have to finish grad school first).


joaquin said...

I just discovered your blog. How can I find out about your products?

Solarkat said...

Hi Joaquin

Thanks for posting :)

I will be opening my business sometime within the next couple of months (whenever I finish my thesis/grad school. No idea on the exact start date yet). I will be posting an entry when I open, so keep checking my blog for more information :)