DIY & Crafts

September 3, 2016

Lip balm is something that I am very picky about, I've never been one for heavy, waxy balms but rather go for something a bit lighter (I use Vaseline mixed with essential oils a lot as a homemade fix). But this week I was feeling a bit crafty so when I noticed I was running critically low on balm I took to Pinterest for a new, crafty solution and came across one of their many recipes. So I decided to do a short and sweet tutorial on how I managed to make my new favorite lip product!

The Ingredients are as follows:

-1/2 cup coconut oil
-1/2 cup cocoa butter ( I used Palmer's)
-4 tablespoons of beeswax granules
-3 tablespoons petroleum jelly (I added this to counteract the beeswax so the formula wouldn't be too hard to spread)
-Essential oils of your choice for scent
 (I used Natural Living Peppermint oil and some   Vanilla soap scent I had left over)
-Empty lip balm containers of your choice

You'll be breaking out your double boiler for this recipe (I would not advise trying to cook this in the microwave). And if you don't have one, simply place a metal or glass bowl on top of another pot that contains at least an inch of water, ensure that they fit together snugly and place on top of the stove at Med-Low heat. Add all of the above ingredients minus your essential oils, the scent will be stronger if you let your mixture cool a bit first.

Melt your ingredients together, stirring often until they are completely combined and smooth (it will look a bit like melted butter). Remove from the stove and let sit for a couple of minutes before adding a few drops of your essential oils. You can choose any scent you'd like, or leave it unscented if you prefer. As for the amount, I went by smell and settled on something that was pleasant to me. You could also add any colors of your choosing if you wanted a tinted lip balm, I would recommend using either Kool-Aid (adds scent, color and flavor) or simply add a small chunk of your favorite lipstick color (either option should be done when melting your oils on the stove).

I had gone online and purchased five empty lip balm containers (they are very cheap on both eBay and Amazon) and ensured that they were washed and clean before starting this balm. What I found worked easiest for putting my liquid oils in the container was to take a spoon (I used a measuring spoon) and slowly poured the oil in a bit at a time. Be VERY careful as your oils are extremely hot and can cause serious burns ( I wore thick latex dish washing gloves to protect my hands). You could also use a small funnel to fill your containers as well, I just didn't have one on hand. It would also be easier to place your mixture into tins but I hate getting my balm all over my fingers, so I opted for the twisty containers instead.

Once filled, set on the counter and allow to cool for at least a good half hour.

I had initially only bought five containers as I did not know how much balm this recipe was going to make, but I ended up filling an additional 3 containers I had lying around, as well as I had to put quite a bit of it in a screw lid jar to store in the fridge which I can melt down at a later date. Needless to say I will not be running out of lip balm for some time. And that's fantastic because I LOVE this recipe! I wanted to make something that was healthy for your lips but still felt amazing to wear and this balm met all of my standards. I chose to scent this particular batch with vanilla and mint and I have to tell you that it smells so, so very good. Never again will I be spending money on store processed balm, because this beauty hack is here to stay!

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post, and as always
Have a lovely day

DIY Lotion bars

Ingredients: Beeswax granules, coconut oil, cocoa butter, essential oils in vanilla and lilac, and soap mold

So this week I was feeling a bit crafty and decided to try my hand at a project I had seen on the internet some time ago: homemade lotion bars. The great thing about doing DIY projects like this is that you can customize your project in so many ways. For instance, the measurements were pretty standard but you could choose from any kinds of oil, scents and molds that you wanted. I went with coconut oil (which feels very hydrating on your skin), cocoa butter (I love the smell of it!),  and used oil scents in vanilla and lilac. When it comes to personalization, the possibilities are endless! I decided to go with a simple mold and few additives since this was my first attempt. 

The most important ingredient in these lotion bars in the beeswax, which once melted and reformed, gives the lotion its solid shape, you can adjust the amounts of beeswax depending on how hard or soft you'd like your bars to be, the more beeswax, the more solid the lotion bar. I used about one cup of beeswax to one cup of coconut oil and one cup of cocoa butter and the consistency of my bars was mostly solid after a few hours with a little softness around the edges. 

Before starting this project, I made sure to do my research on the best methods for melting my beeswax, as I wanted to do so in the most efficient and successful way possible, and I'm not going to lie, some of what I found made me a bit nervous. I thought I could just stick it in the microwave and melt it like chocolate, stirring occasionally, but some sites warned against such a process, since beeswax is apparently very flammable and can actually start a pretty nasty fire in your microwave. The best option seemed to be to use a double boiler in order to melt my wax and since I had none, I decided to improvise.

The simplest way to make a double boiler is to take a plain old pot with a handle and fill it with about an inch of water. I then placed a metal bowl so that it fit snugly on top of my first pan (a metal bowl works best because it is a good heat conductor).  I turned on my stove to bring the water to a boil and immediately added:

              - 1 cup of beeswax
              - 1 cup of coconut oil
              - 1 cup of cocoa butter

The most important thing to remember at this stage is to constantly stir in your oils and beeswax until they are completely melted, as it is quite easy for your beeswax to burn to the bottom, which can quickly become a fire hazard. Despite these potential hazardous scenarios and safety warnings hanging over my head I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and easily I was able to accomplish this first step.

        Homemade double boiler

Once completely melted, your mixture should look something like melted butter, as indicated in the picture above. Turn off your burner and remove from heat. Wait a few minutes and then begin adding your scents as desired ( I added my vanilla and lilac scents until I reached a smell that I was happy with) and stir for a few moments in order to fully diffuse the oils.

Finished mixture cooling in the mold

Allow the mixture to cool for about five minutes and then using hot pad holders, remove the top metal bowl from the double boiler and carefully pour the contents into your selected mold, pour slowly to be wary of back splash as your mixture is extremely hot!! Set on the counter away from heat and allow to cool for a couple of hours (you could also put them in the fridge to speed up this process). This recipe yielded four lotion bars.

After about two hours of setting on the counter I went to check on my molds, by then the bars were yellow in color and solid to the touch. Upon trying to remove them from the molds I discovered that it helped to gently bend at the corners of the mold in order to free the bar away from the sides before I flipped the mold over and used my thumbs to push the lotion bar out of the mold. Be sure to push evenly at different places on the mold, not just one spot as this can cause your bar to split and break. ( I learned this the hard way with one of my bars).

After removing the bars from the mold I immediately wrapped all but one in plastic wrap and placed in a Ziploc bag and stored them in my fridge to ensure lasting freshness. I stored the final bar in an enclosed soap dish to keep it from drying out until my first use. 

The final product

The best way that I've found to use this product is immediately after a bath or shower while your skin is still somewhat damp, this helps the bar glide across your skin a little bit easier. The application process takes a little getting used to (I almost dropped it a few times), but I absolutely love the way it makes my skin feel! Even after several hours my skin still felt soft and moisturized (it felt a little sticky at first, so be sure to rub it in really well). And I absolutely love the scent! The mixture of vanilla and lilac blended really well and it smells amazing. 

This project is something that I really enjoyed making and I will definitely make again in the future! 

Hope you enjoyed this post and happy crafting!


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