Saturday, August 9, 2014

Write a review! Win a prize!

I'm very interested in hearing what you have to say about the recipes you've tried on the blog! I have a number of reasons for asking you to contribute your thoughts...

1. Your review will help other readers decide whether or not to make a product, which is always a good thing. As well, it'll give readers information on how to modify the product, if they wish.

2. It gives me an idea of which products and ingredients you like, and which ones you don't like.

3. I'm hoping to compile the most popular recipes into a collection to share with you, my wonderful readers. I recognize it can be hard to find what you want when I have almost 2300 posts, and if I get an idea of what you like the most, it'll make it easier to figure out how to categorize them on the blog and in future e-books.

4. It helps me spend my time formulating recipes and using ingredients that interest you.

What I am seeking in your reviews?

  • How did you make the recipe? Did you change anything? Did you add something? Did you remove something? If so, why? 
  • How did you make it? Did you use a stick blender or a mixer? Did you heat and hold?
  • What was the final skin feel of the product? How did you package it?
  • Would you make this product again? If not, why not?
  • What else do you think other makers of this recipe should know?

You don't have to post your version of the recipe if it's really close to my original, but if you've changed it dramatically, we'd love to see your modifications. Please write any recipes you post in percentages so it's easier for others to follow. (For information on how to do that, please check out this post.)

Here are the basic rules:

  • Please put the review for the recipe in the correct recipe, not in a random post. If you can't find the post for recipe - for instance, if it came from an e-book - then write to me directly and give me the page number from the e-book or the complete name of the recipe as it is written in the e-book, and I'll post it. 
  • You have to put your name on the post. If you don't have a Google account or prefer not to leave your name, please use your name or a nickname in the comment - a friendly, "Bye, (first name or nickname)" will do. 
  • You really should subscribe to or bookmark the post in which you put your review so you can see if you won. If you win, I will post the information on that blog comment on the Saturday of every week. 
  • You have to be honest. If you didn't like the product, please be really clear about why you didn't like it or why you won't make it again. (This will not count against you when it comes to drawing the names for the prizes. I really want your feedback!)
  • You can write as many reviews as you want in a week. There is no limit. 

I will randomly draw two names per week on Saturday morning for the e-book. I'll put the names on the front page of the blog and the post in which you commented with your review.

The prize? I will draw two names at random a week to win an e-book. If you win and already own the e-books, you'll be one of the first to get the facial products e-book when it's done. (Soon, I promise!) As well, anyone who contributes a recipe may be asked to be a reviewer of the new facial e-book! And, the best of all, you'll have the wonderful feeling of knowing you've contributed something positive to the bath & body making community and helped your fellow crafters!

How long will the contest run? That depends upon you, my wonderful readers! If this works and you contribute your thoughts, then I'll keep it going for as long as you want to participate! I can't wait to see what you write!


Lynae said...

Oh, this will be fun! Seemed rude to leave reviews on recipes you were sharing in such a helpful way, but I have made a lot of them and I do keep notes. So if you want feedback, I'll do what I can!

pat bortolin said...

Hi Susan ok here it goes. I made your basic facial moisturizer
(formulated it July 18/14)and made some mistakes. Heat water phase:30% chamomile hydrosol, 20% rosemary hydrosol & 50% distilled water= 100% oops! next Heat oil: 2% almond oil, 2% olive oil, 2% camelilla oil, 2% jojoba oil= 8%, 4% BTMS-225, 2% cetyl alcohol= 6%, lastly, Cool down: 1% optiphen plus, 2% panthenol, 2% silk protein( both were dissolved in some heated water phase)and 10 drops lavender e.o. This formula was off by 17% + 10 drops of e.o. but I did hold water for 20 min. then used a hand blender to emulsify and cooled down to 45%. The preservative and dissolved panthenol/silk protein was added. Final product turned out mousse like, still very nice and creamy, but will not choose this recipe again, because I prefer accuracy = 100% thanks for all your knowledge and great sense of humor! Cheers Pat

Aljonor said...

I'm in. I have tried a lot of your products and will post starting this weekend

Elizabeth Aqui-Seto said...

Susan, I recently made this lotion bar recipe which I'm using as a sort of Deodorant Bar. I know that I must have arrived at the formula, using some of your suggestions. But I can't locate the original recipe on the blog. Can you help me locate the original recipe? Here's what I used, and my comments:

20% wax (10% beeswax; 10% candelilla)
30% butter (15% shea; 15% cocoa)
39% fractionated coconut oil
10% fragrance (I used EOs: clove bud, peppermint, blood orange, grapefruit, ylang ylang)
1% vit. E.

Notes: The ingredients melted beautifully and set in a nice solid Initially I found the bar too greasy but once I used my fingers to more evenly distribute and rub into my underarms, this worked fine.

Next time round, I would love to revise the recipe to make it more creamy and less greasy, but still want a nice easy slip when applying. Perhaps I should add some stearic acid to the wax. In which case, I need to figure how much stearic acid to use? And perhaps use mango instead of shea butter?

Thank you.

Elizabeth Aqui-Seto said...

Light sprayable lotion

I pretty much stuck to the formula, with excellent results. I like the fact that I can use a regular spray bottle for this lotion, but next time, I would like to tweak the recipe to achieve a lotion that was less dry, especially for Fall/Winter. I realize it is intended as a dry lotion.

Susan, would you change both the oil and the BTMS-50 emulsifier in order to achieve a less-dry product, but still retain the silky feel of the lotion? I also don't want to compromise on the liquidity of the product as I like using spray bottles for lotions and don't want the consistency any thicker.

77.5% water
10% aloe vera juice
3% glycerin
2% phyto keratin

2% BTMS-50
3% avocado oil

1% Vitamin E
1% fragrance oil
0.5% germall plus

Elizabeth Aqui-Seto said...

8% candellia wax
9% beeswax (I was going to use carnauba, but I ran out!)
18% shea butter
12% mango butter
52% liquid oils (28% castor oil, 10% fractionated coconut oil, 7% squalene, and 7% jojoba)
1% Vitamin E

This recipe was so easy - a definite keeper. This was my first time attempting to make a lipstick and am so happy with the result. My only challenge was not having a supply of pipettes on hand and not enough colour pigment. Long story. I got a lot of product and will have to remelt when I get some pippettes to fill up my lipstick tubes. The end product melted very hard, better than some of the commercial lipsticks - outstanding result.

I didn't have all the oils in Susan's recipe on hand, and used the following, still with good results: fractionated coconut, sesame, avocado and apricot, all at 13%)

Next time, I'd like to include castor oil in the liquid oil mix, as it's a heavier oil and probably stays on longer.

Elizabeth Aqui-Seto said...

Lavender & Chamomile Toner
30% witch hazel hydrosol
25% lavender hydrosol
25% water (I substitute the water for lavender hydrosol)
10% aloe vera liquid
2% sodium lactate
3% honeyquat
2% panthenol (I used the powder panthenol and mixed with water phase)
2% cromoist (I used hydrolized soy protein)
0.5% extract (I usde chamomile powder mixed with warm water)
0.5% preservative (I used Phytocide Elderberry)
2% Multifruit BSC
4% water based actives from Croda

I made some small revisions to the recipe, as indicated in brackets.
AND, although I went above the 100% for the total recipe, this is a toner; I think we can take some liberties with a product that is 100% water based. I am very liberal with my toners, so there is no concern with shelf life when I double or triple the recipe.

After using this toner, my skin feels very tight and energized and totally ready to absorb some moisturizer. A definite recipe keeper that is easy to customize.

Elizabeth Aqui-Seto said...

Susan, I've been studying the ingredients on a few high end commercial moisturizers (1 of which I made a trial only purchase for testing - Revita Derm) versus your anti-ageing moisturizer and other moisturizers using Polawax and cetyl alcohol or BTMS-50 and cetyl alcohol. I've made moisturizers using both combinations of Polawax and Cetyl Alcohol and BTMS-50 and Cetyl Alcohol for emulsifying and thickening in the ratios you suggested. I've used the same recipes many times, always with the above mentioned emulsifier-thickener combo and only just realized that the reason I don't really like the end result is, I should be trying a different emulsifier-thickener combo in order to get the kind of product I want. I prefer a creamier, lighter product. I find with Polawax and C.A, it feels heavy and a bit thick. This is the feedback I got from a few of my friends who I shared moisturizers with; and I have to agree, I too don't really like the heavy feel of the product.

I realize in order for you to comment, you'd like to see all the ingredients I used and the % used. This would be a bit lengthy and probably unnecessary, as I am fairly certain that it's the emulsifiers and thickeners that need changing; and not the rest of the ingredients.

I also did some comparisons of the ingredients in a couple high end products and a Base Lotion from ND which I absolutely love and would like to duplicate. I notice that all the products that I like, all have the same emulsifier-thickener-conditioning combo in common: they all use: Cetearyl Alcohol and Ceteareth 20 and Cetyl Alcohol.

If you are interested, this is the list of ingredients in ND's Lotion Base Ultra Premium. These are also the same emulsifiers and thickeners in Revita Derm and

Water, Cetearyl Alcohol & Ceteareth-20, Glycerin, Sunflower Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Glyceryl Monostearate, Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxetol, Vit. E. Sodium Citrate, Carbomer.

Question: Based on your knowledge of the ingredients, do my comments make sense? If you were to revise the formulas in e.g. your Anti-Ageing Moisturizer what percentage emulsifier-thickener would you use if substituted for Cetearyl Alcohol and Ceteareth 20 and Cetyl Alcohol?

I really look forward to your comments.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Elizabeth! Yes, your comments make sense! The emulsifier and thickener combo can make a huge difference. My first thought is to remove the thickener and see if you like the consistency then. The second is to try another emulsifier. You can create your own using the HLB system or use another system. Lotionpro 165 makes things much lighter and air-ier than something made with the other ingredients. Look for the posts I wrote on this emulsifier to see what I think about it.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Pat. Was this post the facial moisturizer you tried. If so, could you put your post in there? That way others will see it when they think about trying it!

Hi Elizabeth! Could you post your review in these posts so people wanting to make those recipes will be able to find your comments easier? Just cut & paste what you've written into a comment on the following posts. Thanks!

Let's make a lotion bar!
Light sprayable lotion
Lip shimmer stick base
Lavender & chamomile toner

Elizabeth Aqui-Seto said...

Susan, to date, this lotion is my ALL TIME favourite. I guess it's my current favourite because I've received a lot of good feedback from family and friends on both the lovely feel and finish of the lotion - light, easy to absorb, dry finish, and because of the herbal oil infusions, it is soothing for dry skin and psoriasis. And for the most part, because of the ingredients, it probably can be labelled as a "natural:" product, but I'm not marketing the product and still at the hobby stage in my exploring and testing. A couple friends with psoriasis tell me the lotion is the best they have tried for their conditions.

Here is the recipe I used and would not change anything. And because I only had .5% IPM remaining, I could easily omit the IPM in future recipes.

I started with your light lotion recipe, as below and did some substituting.

WATER PHASE (you can use 78% water if you don't have the hydrosols!)
58% water - (I used no water)
10% aloe vera - (I used 50% aloe vera)
10% lavender water - (I used 26% lavender)
2% sodium lactate - OK

4% fractionated coconut oil ( I made my own oil infusion for dry skin using Gilead buds, pine buds, rose hips in rice bran and apricot kernel oil) - I upped the oil to 5.5 to make up for the lack of IPM

4% olive oil - (I used sesame oil)
2% cetyl alcohol - (OK)
2% IPM - (only had .5% on hand)
4% emulsifier (25% of my oil phase) - used Polawax)

0.5% to 1% preservative (I used Phytocide Elderberry)
1% fragrance - (OK)
2% hydrolyzed oat protein - I used 1% HOP; and I added a couple Croda actives totalling 4%.

So, my total cool down was over by 2.5%, but worked perfect!!