Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mica and Cold Process Soap

I'm pretty strict when it comes to making soap. I only make soap the traditional, Tyler Durden way (cold process, although I'm open to hot process, as well). Since I first began making soap, I've only used natural ingredients: this means plant-based colorants and essential oils in scenting. I'm still all about the natural (um, hello, hippie blog and all), but I've relaxed a little and expanded my horizons to using mica colorants (micas are derived from natural Earth minerals, and I use mica cosmetics, so really, why the heck not). Now, the thing is, micas are known to work especially well  in transparent "melt and pour" soap, but... "melt and pour" soapmaking kinda defeats the purpose of why I make soap. I have nothing against "melt and pour" soaps, which are lovely and kudos to those who enjoy it. But... Tyler Durden is basically my hero, and honestly, do ya think Tyler Durden would make foofy "melt and pour" soaps? Considering that an enlightening moment in the film Fight Club involves NaOH, I wouldn't think so.

"What is this?"
"This... is a chemical burn."

Anyway, where was my point in this? Oh: Since Cold Process soap is opaque, not all micas will work, but some will. One idea: if you're interested in stamping your soap with an image, you can dip a stamp in a little mica and press onto soft, freshly unmolded soap - I've tried this myself and the effects are pretty nice. Another idea is to layer and sprinkle cold process soap with a little mica. Also, as an alternative to Titanium Dioxide, I personally like to use pearlescent mica in lightening my soap. Now, you may be wondering where to get great micas to work with in your soapmaking. I order my mica colorants from Oregon Trail Soapers Supply. They carry awesome mica colorants, among other much-needed soap-making supplies.

Pearlizer mica from Oregon Trail Soapers Supply. 
You can add this to cold process soap to lighten it. 
Even with opaque cold process soap,
the sparkle will reflect in the light.

I recently made a batch of beer soap, made with Guinness and scented with an essential oil blend of Frankincense, Myrrh, Clove, with touches of Vetiver and Vanilla. I lightened some of the soap with the pearlizer mica, and swirled it up. It's a very smoky, spicy scent... perfect for guys and gals alike, and soon to be available via my shop.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Zelda-inspired cosmetics

When Zelda Dungeon shared a post about the Legend collection -- gorgeous eyeshadows inspired by The Legend of Zelda -- my reaction?

(Also, I smashed some pots and sliced some grass, all in complete, gleeful ecstasy.)

Shiro Cosmetics's Legend collection is a gorgeous array of sparkles and shimmery goodness, that'll make you feel like the Princess of Hyrule (okay, so that was corny. Excuuuuuse me, Princess). Wanting to order it ALL AND NAO but couldn't for the time being (i.e., Imma broke arse), I had to meanwhile settle for my top four picks, below.

Swatches, left to right: Princess, Master Sword, Temple of Time, and Din's Fire 
(I think the names of Din's Fire and Princess were confused, but whatever.)

I love peachy shades, so I'm crazy about the warm sparkly hue of "Princess," which is also lip-safe (and available in lip gloss, but I add it to my lipstick, too). I am also crazy about "Master Sword," as it goes with everything. Shiro cosmetics also offers their Fullmetal collection, which is Fullmetal Alchemist-inspired (!!!) as well as There and Back Again: A Hobbit Collection. Especially cool - all are vegan and cruelty-free!

'Definite thumps up from me -- I am officially hooked, and can't get enough!