Sunday, August 14, 2016

Newbie Tuesday on Sunday: Equipment list

If you're following along with our upcoming Newbie Tuesday series for making facial products, here's your equipment list. (If you take $20 and go down to the dollar store, you'll get just about everything you need there!)

Digital scale: You'll want something that can weigh 1 gram (meaning there's no decimal on the scale). You can use a diet scale from somewhere like London Drugs, or find these are your favourite supplier.

We weigh everything we make as weighted measurements are more accurate than volume. (Click here for a post on this topic...) If you try to convert my recipes into volume, they will not work.

If you want to make loads of facial products, I recommend getting a tiny scale, one that measures to the 0.1 grams. You can get these at jewelery stores, drug stores, and those kind of drug stores (if you know what I mean). I bought mine for $25 on sale at London Drugs, and I use it all the time for extracts, cosmeceuticals, preservatives, fragrances, and so on in my products.

This is my favourite little scale, and it's super inexpensive! 

Pyrex jugs: I can never get enough of these. Because we're doing the first 6 projects cold, you could get away with those plastic jugs that look like the Pyrex ones from the dollar store. I recommend getting a bunch of them - say 6 or so - so you can make one project, let it sit, then move on to the next one.

You can get any version of the glass jugs you want, but I encourage you to get the ones with the straighter sides, like these ones, as they fit better into a double boiler with other jugs than the slope-y sided ones. If you can get beakers, all the better as you can get a lot of those into a double boiler. We aren't worrying about this now, but you'll thank me when we get to lotion and moisturizer making soon. 

China markers (optional): Also known as grease pencils, they are great for writing on the sides of your container so you know what you made! I get mine from Staples by the box, but you can get them in all kinds of stationery stores one at a time. They are a bit hard to wash off with soap and water, but a magic eraser cleans it right off! (Get one of those, too!)

Pipettes: If you can get these from your supplier, they're awesome for getting out tiny amounts of extracts and cosmeceuticals, as well as getting your water to just the right amount. I like these ones from Lotioncrafter, but you can get these just about anywhere.

Regular metal spoons and forks: I know this seems a bit strange, but you'll want to mix your products mostly with a fork as it seems to be more effective than a spoon. I mix everything with a fork these days. And spoons are useful for spooning out ingredients, like extracts or jojoba beads. Wooden spoons are only useful when you're making large batches of things, which we aren't.

Funnels: I seem to have a thousand funnels around the house these days, but I need the small ones for small bottles, large ones for large bottles, and medium ones for bottles with random sizes. Get down to your local dollar store and find yourself a three pack of small - medium - large ones and get two of those. I know it seems like you won't use that many, but when you're having an awesome workshop day making all kinds of things, you'll be happy you have a bag of funnels to use without having to wash in between.

Spatulas: I can't have enough spatulas in my workshop. You'll want a few of these to get every last bit from the bowl into your bottle. Again, the dollar store is definitely your friend here!

When we get to the moisturizer and lotion making part of this series, you'll want to get a mixer and a double boiler going.

Take a look at my new beauty! I bought it for the drink blender, which also works as a propeller mixer! Woo! 

To summarize, you'll need:
- A digital scale
- Containers in which to mix your products
- China markers (optional, but awesome)
- Pipettes (optional, but awesome)
- Spoons & forks
- Funnels
- Spatulas

Find your shopping list for this series here! 

Related posts:
Equipment (part one)
Equipment (part two)
How much stuff should I buy when I'm starting out? 


Alexis said...

Just as promised - excellent! Thank you so much Susan! I can't wait for September 6th! Talk about 'heat and hold': I'm bubbling with anticipation! (pardon the horrible joke, I couldn't help myself)

Kim V said...

How about jars and/or bottles? You need to put your end product in something so you can show everyone what you've made! Or is that for an other section?

Ryan said...

Would you be interested is doing a DIY Product Workshop at



Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kim! You'll find those in the shopping list for supplies as I consider packaging a supply, not equipment. But we do need tons of bottles and jars so we can make more more more! :-)

Hi Ryan! Can you send me an email at and we can communicate. I'd love to know more about this.

Nadia said...

Hi Susan, this sounds like a great idea, hopefully I will get my products in time.

I was wondering have you ever used another soap as a base in making your cleansers? For Example Dr. Bronner Castile Soap.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Nadia! No, we aren't using liquid soap as the pH is too high. (Find out more in in this post).

Deb said...

Thanks Susan - but I notice many of your formulations are to .00 grams and this only goes to .0
Have you another recommendation?