From Online to In-Store: Josie’s Beauty Boutique

I have enjoyed seeing Josie’s beautiful soap on the Bramble Berry Facebook page for some time. Right away, Josie showed immense talent and an eye for design. Josie began selling her soap on Ebay, and several weeks ago opened a brick and mortar store, Josie’s Beauty Boutique, in Grants Pass, Oregon. Josie creates both melt and pour and cold process soap, as well as body butters and lotions. Josie specializes in colorful, feminine designs including her gorgeous soap cupcakes. Read more about Josie’s soapy journey, including her tips for opening a store in the interview below! -A.M. 

Josie in her store, Josie’s Beauty Boutique, located in Grants Pass, Oregon.


Argan & Sandalwood Vanilla Lotion Bar

  • Difficulty:Beginner
  • Time:30 minutes
  • Yields:Three 4 oz. lotion bars

The cold months take a toll on the skin, making moisturizing products a crucial step in winter skincare routines. When skin becomes dry and needs extra TLC, lotion bars made from luxurious oils are a fantastic option. Created with argan oil, mango butter and cocoa butter, these Argan and Sandalwood Vanilla Lotion Bars defend skin from the elements.

Argan oil, mango butter and cocoa butter are all amazing ingredients for the skin. Argan oil absorbs quickly and is full of vitamin E and essential fatty acids. Mango and cocoa butters  are both rich, solid butters, and help to create a barrier to protect skin.

Scented with Sandalwood Vanilla Fragrance Oil, these lotion bars leave a warm, creamy and slightly spicy scent on the skin (don’t use too much, or it can smell a littler perfume-y). The Batik Dome Flexible Mold results in an intricate design, and releases the bars easily. Simply apply the bar directly to the skin, and massage in to help absorb.

As an added bonus, several ingredients used in this recipe including Sandalwood Vanilla Fragrance Oil, mango butter and the Batik Dome Flexible mold are 25% off, now until October 27th at midnight (PST). Use the code: COLORSPICE during checkout. To see all the “Color, Spice and Everything Nice,” sale ingredients, click here.


Mad about Madder Root Powder

Experimenting with various soap ingredients is part of what makes soap making so much fun. In addition to scent and shape, adding color to soapy creations gives your product personality and flair. Luckily there are plenty of colorants to choose from, including LabColorspigmentsmicas and natural colorants such as clays. If you prefer to use natural colorants, madder root powder is a great orange-red colorant option for both cold process and melt and pour soap.

A plant species in the genus Rubia, madder (INCI: Rubia tinctorum) is a climbing plant with small flowers and long roots. Madder root has been used for centuries as a dye for textiles and cosmetic products. Traces of madder have even been discovered in the tomb of the Pharoah Tutankhamun and in the ruins of Pompeii. The FDA requires approved cosmetic colorants to be used when specifically coloring cosmetics. Because madder root has not been approved as a cosmetic colorant, it should be used in soap for its herbal properties and not its inherent coloring ability. Madder root is considered not safe for infant products so do not use madder root with baby products.

Rubia tinctorum contains the organic compound alizarin, which give the roots their deep red color. Alizarin is also used to create madder lake pigments, which are sometimes referred to as rose madder and alizarin crimson. Madder lake has been used for centuries by painters to give their pieces rich red tones. In 1869, alizarin became the first natural pigment to be duplicated synthetically.

Soothing Lavender Breast Balm

  • Difficulty:Beginner
  • Time:30 minutes
  • Yields:Two 4 oz. tins

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. It is likely  you may know somebody affected by breast cancer, or maybe you are a breast cancer survivor yourself. Fortunately, death rates from breast cancer have been declining since 1990. Early detection is key; be proactive and schedule an annual breast exam.
This soothing breast balm was created to raise awareness and help women going through breast cancer treatment. The recipe is inspired by Sharon’s Boob Balm for Radiation Burns. Using similar soothing ingredients such as olive oil, vitamin E oil and calendula extract and lavender essential oil, this balm is moisturizing and calming for any ouch or rough patch on skin.  Apply this balm directly to affected area multiple times per day. If you are going through radiation, check out  Sharon’s Boob Balm for Radiation Burns for an extra powerful version of the recipe below.

Guest Post: Should Breast Cancer Awareness Month Be Breast Can Cure Awareness Month?

This blog post comes from my aunt Sharon, who is a breast cancer survivor. In addition, Sharon is an author and a major proponent of positive thinking. October is breast cancer awareness month, and as breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in women, many of us have been affected by the disease. In this post, Sharon asks how positive thinking may affect our perception of cancer. -A.M. 

Whenever I see the word cancer, my fight-or-flight response kicks into high gear. And now that it’s October, I’ll be seeing the word everywhere for an entire month. All of us will. Awareness is good, but . . . is it possible we’re compromising our good intentions by concentrating so much of our attention on the word “cancer”? What would happen if we made one small change to the name of this month’s campaign?



Facebook Photo of the Week (Oct. 11th ~ Oct. 17th)

The temperature keeps dropping here in Bellingham, so here at Bramble Berry we decided to embrace it! This week was full of tutorials that are great for fall and the holidays, like these Neroli and Shea Blossom Wax Tart Melts. Scented with clean and floral Neroli & Shea Blossom Fragrance Oil, these tarts are a simple way to comfort you on a rainy day.


How to Assemble Dividers for Birchwood Soap Molds

Sturdy and durable, wood molds are a favorite when making cold process soap. Bramble Berry offers a wide range of sizes of Birchwood Molds, including a 9 bar, 18 bar, and 36 bar wood mold. Each mold includes a set of plastic dividers that can be inserted to create consistent sized bars every soaping session.

These dividers are easy to use, but can be a little confusing the first time. This video demonstrates how to assemble the dividers and insert them into the mold. Once you get the hang of the dividers, you may never soap without them again!

Do you have any tips for using these dividers? Please share in the comments below!

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