Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What? What? What?

A few people have asked me lately about new e-books, so I'd like to ask you, my wonderful readers, about the topics that would interest you. What would you like to see in a new e-book? More lotion ideas? Cosmeceutical profiles? Mineral make-up? Or...what? Give me some ideas!!! 

As well, I'd love to hear about what interests you at the moment! What recipes would you like to see? Profiles of ingredients? Revisions of older recipes? Random thoughts about making products? Again, the field is wide open and I'd love your feedback! 

Finally, I thought I'd throw open the floor and invite you to ask me anything you want about...well, anything, although it'd probably be about making bath and body products. What are the questions that vex you? 

This blog can only be as good as the readers who follow it and participate through comments and messages, so I'm looking for your feedback to help me shape what we'll be doing for the next few months around here!!

And this food monstrosity is a BBQ bacon mac & cheese poutine we foolishly ordered in Vancouver last week! We only made it about half way through between the two of us! Thought it made a good picture! 


CC Mirabella said...

I would love an e book on cosmetics :)

SweetAirSoapworks said...

Wow Susan, that BBQ Mac pic is making me hungry! It reminded me of a dish I tackled a few times down in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The dish is called the "Killer Dog" & is like a foot long hot dog, totally covered/smothered in chile, french fries & melted cheese. I tried twice, couldn't finish, but recently, my eldest son was down there & finished the Killer Dog. The waiter told him he was only the 2nd person he'd seen that finished the entire plate, lol.

What I would like to see would be a great reference ebook/manual. For instance, I'd like to see a chapter devoted to Essential Oils, which ones are base notes, middle notes & top notes. Which ones blend well together. Which ones to avoid during pregnancy, & maybe some nice blend recipes.

Maybe a similar chapter on hydrosols, extracts, infusions & so forth. How to make our own infusions, extracts, tinctures, etc...

Then a chapter on soft oils including exotic or less well known oils, characteristics of each, substitution recommendations, shelf lives, any fragrance/odor, which ones to use for certain results or conditions.

Then a chapter on hard oils including exotics, shelf lives, characteristics, substitution recommendations, which oils to use for certain conditions, results, etc...

Then maybe a chapter on measurements, conversions, oz's, gram's, mL's, etc...

Same thing with preservatives, emulsifiers, waxes, etc...

Basically, I think it would be great to have 1 really nice reference book handy with all these types of information that we always seem to need, but can't remember where we bookmarked the info or what post it was in, lol. I've seen all of this type of information throughout your blog in various posts, so maybe it would just be a matter of collating all this information & organizing it into 1 super reference eBook.

In addition to being a great reference tool, it would also be a great learning tool, with all the pertinent information about each type of ingredient in 1 publication.

My 2 cents FWIW.


Erica Echternach said...

Make-up, make-up, make-up!! I just read your email and then saw this post. Figured I might as well just reply here. In case I forgot to say it....Make-Up for the next book!

J Mac said...

I would love another hair care book, but no shampoo and conditioners ... more styling type of products like pomades and gels and what not

Mrs. Understated said...

Well I know this has been addressed.. But I'm such a dummy when it comes to math & formulation. "I" would LOVE....... To see a cheat sheet method for converting percentages to grams & vice versa. I refer to this blog for EVERYTHING. However, I think my creativity would open bloom with a formulation chart of some sort. Ok... So I have my blindfold and cigarette (although I don't smoke) lit, and stand before the firing squad. On your mark... Ready... Aim.... FIRE!!!!!!
Love this resource blog

milesawayfarm said...

I'd love to see a further exploration of solid shampoo bars for different hair types. I'm a soap maker, but would like to invent a syn det shampoo bar, for obvious reasons. I've got a basic game plan on what to do, but different foaming ingredients are only available at certain places (Voyager is in Canada, I'm in the US, Lotion Crafters doesn't carry foamers, The Herbarie has some but not all of what you suggest). So this is what has kept me from moving forward. What I'd love is a recipe with somewhat interchangeable base ingredients (use a or b or c - all will be similar), with options for dry, normal and oily hair. Would be great as an ebook or blog post.

Erica Echternach said...

Oh!! That's a good one too!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi milesawayfarm! Do you mean like this post?
If you click "newer post" at the bottom of it, you'll see that I've written posts with different surfactant combinations. And if you check the surfactants section, you'll see there's a chart comparing all the surfactants for different hair types.
Is this what you were seeking?

Julie said...

Hi Susan, I love your blog and thanks for all the hard work you do! One thing that vexes me is sanitation of the work space. I go on instinct and think that I am being clean, but don't know what I might be missing. I think that a post on basic good practices (or a link) would go a long way for a lot of us, especially the home formulators.

Theresa Dub said...

I love you and your blog! Some more variations of the recipes you have with added extracts and herbs would be nice. Cosmeceuticals would be brilliant! You dont have much on brightening (lightening) products, which has been a big thing in the past couple years. Hair styling products like styling creams, gels, pomades, sprays, etc. would be fantastic! More products that include clays and masks for both face and hair. And fun bath products! Maybe make up new hybrid bath products on bath jellies, bath mousse, actual bath whip formula....just fun,yet protein/vitamin rich products. More variations of syndet shampoo, conditioner and body bars. Makeup too! I could go on and on, lol. Thanks!

Jenifer said...

I agree with cosmetics. Lipgloss, lipstick, foundations, eyeshadows, etc.! Also vegan options. =)

Michelle said...

Hi Susan, Are you able to access your Search Button history? Perhaps knowing what people are searching for would be helpful in creating the next edition. I am still making my way through your blog so I hesitate to ask for a certain topic because it's probably already there, somewhere! Thanks for all your hard work.

Lee Ann said...

I would love to see an ebook on cosmeceuticals and the appropriate use/combination of them. Lotioncrafter has a slew of items that sound terrific and I would love to incorporate a number of them into one serum but I hesitate because I am not sure which ones are appropriate to combine or what the maximum total percentage of the active ingredients should be.

An ebook with additional lotion recipes and one on basic procedures would also be welcomed. As an absolute newbie, I found myself searching your blog for everything from how to measure small amounts without losing any of it to how to add dry ingredients and how to store various ingredients. I did find what I needed and printed it out but it might be nice to have it in one place.

Lisa said...

Hi Susan,
Another vote for make-up! Although I also liked the hair styling products idea.

V said...

I would like to see more about essential oils, and how they can benefit skin. It would be nice to have information from a scientific view point on this. Sometimes you see it written that an essential oil can benefit the skin, but it is not always clear if this has been proven, or if it is more of an old wives tale.

More recipes using cosmeceuticals from shops such as lotion crafters would be nice as well.

Theresa Dub said...

Oh i wanted to throw you another idea-it would be incredible to learn some more emulsifying systems. Not just the all-in-ones like BTMS or e-wax. Playing around with using combinations of products like stearic acid, cetyl alcohol, etc. Ive studied your HLB examples (brilliant) but some tried and true guidance formulas from you would be extremely helpful and educational too! A great basis for those of us that want to further experiment but hesitant to try. I know people are interested in learning to use more "natural" (I'm with you on the whole WHAT IS CONSIDERED NATURAL?! view), so lets just say Ecocert products and essential oils. Thanks again!

Susan M. said...

I would love to learn more about Mineral Makeup! I have picked up a few supplies, but have not been brave enough to start mixing ... I need to know more before I dive in. Also, some more ideas of lip balm. I still struggle with the lip balm crystallizing over time. They are great when I first make them, but they eventually crystalize with use, and can't seem to figure that out. Thanks! Susan

Susan M. said...

Another idea, similar to Sweet Air Soap Works above - I have been collecting information for charts on various products, similar to your charts that come with the downloads. But more extensive, and more products. I am just putting everything into a spreadsheet for now, and adding as I go along and pick up new information. The good, bad, and the ugly about the products. Every time I make a lotion (and I like to always try something new), I search your blog to see what you would suggest, or if one oil is a good substitute, etc. I have soooo many books, ebooks, etc., but I always refer to yours! I love them so much, that I read all of them while on holidays in Mexico! Thanks again, Susan

Momof2ga said...

Make-up for sure! Mineral and other would be great. Love your other books and this blog! Thank you for continuing to add information!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Mrs Understated! Here's a helpful hint. Convert the % sign to the word "grams". Now you have something that will total 100 grams. If you want 200 grams, multiply by 2. If you want 500 grams, multiply by 5. And so on.

For instance...
70% water
10% aloe vera
10% lavender hydrosol
10% chamomile hydrosol

70 grams water
10 grams aloe vera
10 grams lavender hydrosol
10 grams chamomile hydrosol

If you want more than 100 grams, multiply. Want 600 grams?
70 grams water x 6 = 420 grams of water
10 grams aloe vera x 6 = 60 grams of aloe vera
10 grams lavender hydrosol x 6 = 60 grams lavender hydrosol
10 grams chamomile hydrosol x 6 = 60 chamomile hydrosol

I'm afraid I can't think of a way to create a cheat sheet as I would have to create one for every recipe and include at least 10 versions of the recipe to include all the variations up to 1000 grams or higher. I'm afraid I don't have time to do that when I'm bogged down already!

Did this help? I have written a few posts about this in the FAQ if you'd like to pursue this further.

No reason to think we're going to attack you! We don't do that around here! This is a supportive environment where you can learn and make mistakes and share information! I hope there is nothing in my response above that would be less than supportive!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Michelle! Lamentably, I can't, which would be awesome information. I can see what the top posts are, but that isn't helpful as they tend to be the latest post or my Lush duplications. And please, make a suggestion! This is a great way for me to know what is popular!

Keep the ideas coming!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan!
Thank you for ur lovely blog.

I have all ur ebooks and love them soo much..
I would love the new one to be on cosmeceuticals..make up also will be nice..

Thank u again..
sara M

So Rad - Whoot! said...

Definitely make up! Color combo recipes and liquid make up. Mascara and eye liner too:) I have been searching/trying mascara and that's a tough one!

Loved said...

I would love a chapter on ethnic hair care and products. Our natural hair is very dry, kinky curly and coily in nature and I believe it can be easy to manage with the right ingredients in shampoo, conditioners, styling gel and leave in conditioners.


Erica Echternach said...

I think I have maybe changed my mind from make-up to cosmeceuticals, then back to make-up, then....well you get the idea. Can you please do both? LOL Surly you have time between the gym, husband, work, workshops, youth groups. Sleep really is overrated.

Elisabeth said...

I greatly enjoyed your "Why in the world did I buy that, and what can I do with it?" series, and would love to see a second season if you're game. My headache is a bunch of goat milk and yoghurt powders that all of them have to be used soon, and while I've enjoyed them in my soap experiments, I'm a bit wary of putting them into products that contain water (since I don't have a tub, bath powders are out of the question, and I rarely use face masks).
My humble thanks again for this Herculean labour of love you're making available for free.

Kormoran_fly said...

Hi Susan!

I would really enjoy a reference book for ingredients where all the important info for formulating is in one place. This would include more basic information like pH value range the ingredient can be used in, % usage, what stage to add it (heating or cool down), function of the ingredient, solublity, HLB etc. But also more advanced/hard to find information like effect on skin feel of a product, % at which cosmeceuticals have been shown to produce a certain effect, special considerations for formulating, potential synergistic partners (e.g. vitamin C and ferulic acid) etc.

I've been working on a big spreadsheet to put some of this info together, but it would be so great to have a reference book by you with all your years of experience behind it.

Thank you for all your work, your blog is always my first source for info on ingredients.



Kristy N said...

I would love to see recipes for popular brands. I know a lot of people who are obsessed with the Body Shop's Body Sorbet moisturizers. Would love to know how to make that.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kristy. I don't offer duplications for products on the blog any more. (Please click this link to learn more...)

Kristy N said...

Thanks for letting me know, I apologize, I didn't know you had stopped. Do you happen to know anyone that does?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

No, sorry. It's a pretty thankless job as it requires a lot of experimentation, which takes up a ton of time and energy, and very little fun in return. I can tell you that in all the years of writing this blog, I have had not one person thank me or even write to say they'd tried my Lush dupes, even though they're in the top 5 read pages on the blog. What I can suggest is learning about the ingredients and seeing if you can duplicate it. Or make something similar or better!

Hildie said...

I'd love more recipes and education about cosmeceuticals. And also I'd love more recipes for natural products. There is so much demand for everything being organic and natural where I live (austin, tx). I know that just because something is "natural" doesn't mean that it's good and vice versa. But this is what the public thinks and wants. As someone who is just starting to sell my products, I have to make my customers happy. I don't want to get into quarrels about parabens at the farmer's market!

Erin Schullman said...

I understand how Hildie feels. I have some of the same issues. I've been using preservatives that are paraben and formaldehyde free and am in the process of challenge testing.

I would love to see an ebook of either make up/ cosmetics or one on spa type products ie clay masks, both soaks, hair masks etc.

I have all of your ebooks and love them! They are my go to reference