Moisturizing Highlighter Sticks

Creamy Highlighter Sticks DIY
In the world of beauty and cosmetics, highlighting and contouring has become amazingly popular (seriously, it is alllll over Pinterest & YouTube). This beauty technique involves applying darker and lighter shades of makeup to certain areas of the face to create definition. Applying darker shades is referred to as contouring, while applying lighter shades is highlighting. Contouring and highlighting can create the look of a stronger jawline and more pronounced cheekbones. It’s amazing how a little well-placed makeup can change the look of one’s face.

Moisturizing Highlighter Sticks

These Moisturizing Highlighter Sticks focus on the highlighting areas of the face that you’d like to “pull toward you.” Primarily, highlighters are used on the cheekbones and under the eye area. These highlighters are made with moisturizing ingredients such as green tea seed oil and jojoba oil to keep skin hydrated.

Various colors of mica can be added depending on your skin tone. Below, we have formulated a basic highlighter shade with no color, as well as highlighters with a pink and peach tone. You can also add more or less mica, depending on how much highlight and sparkle you like. The amounts below could be considered an “average” amount. The spoon trick is perfect for testing them on your skin prior to pouring them into the containers. To see swatches on the skin, scroll to the very bottom of the post.

Creamy Highlighter Sticks [Read more…]

How to Mica Paint on Cold Process Soap

Mica painting is a great way to add color and sparkle to cold process soap. Learn how in this blog post!
I love adding color and sparkle to my soap. It’s such a fun and easy way to give my projects lots of personality. Micas are a great way to add both color and shine to a wide variety of projects. They work great in melt and pour soap, bath bombs and more. Unfortunately, some micas do morph in cold process soap. This means that they may change color, or even turn to a dull gray. This can make adding micas to cold process soap tricky. Click here to learn more about micas.

Mica painting is a fun technique that allows micas to be incorporated into cold process projects. It even works with micas that morph in cold process soap! Mica painting refers to adding a mixture of oil and mica to the top of wet cold process soap. This mixture is then swirled in various patterns. As the soap hardens in the mold, the oil is absorbed into the soap and leaves behind beautiful swirls of mica. It usually takes a full day for the oil of the mica mixture to sink back into the soap. Mica painting washes off once introduced to water. See the photo below for some fun mica painting examples!

Mica painting is a great way to add color and sparkle to cold process soap. Learn how in this blog post!
To prepare micas for mica painting, they first need to be dispersed in a lightweight liquid oil. I like to use sweet almond oil or sunflower oil. Other good oil options include avocado oil, canola oil or chia seed oil. Disperse 1 teaspoon mica into 1 tablespoon of oil. Then, use a mini mixer to help get rid of any clumps.

If you’d like the mixture to be highly pigmented, you can add up to 2 teaspoons of mica per tablespoon oil. If much more mica is added, the mixture is more likely to be thick and may not swirl as well. If more oil is added, the oil may not soak back into the soap, leaving behind an oily top. When you are finished adding your mica to the top of the soap, spray very lightly with 99% isopropyl alcohol. Spraying too much can disrupt the swirl and cause the mica paint to expand and spread.
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Light Spinach and Artichoke Dip Recipe

Made with fresh spinach, light Greek yogurt and light cream cheese, this Spinach and Artichoke Dip is always a hit at parties and gatherings!At a party or picnic, who doesn’t love creamy spinach dip? Bramble Berry’s social-media-maven-with-the-mostest, Amanda, brought this Light and Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip to the most recent Bramble Berry barbecue and it was a crowd pleaser! This version of spinach and artichoke dip is made with light Greek yogurt and cream cheese for a texture that’s creamy and satisfying. Lemon zest adds a bright flavor that tastes delicious on crackers, veggies and more.

Both Amanda and I prefer to use fresh spinach for this dip, but frozen spinach can also be used as well. If you use frozen spinach, make sure to drain it well to get rid of excess water. I recommend making this dip the night before. The dip thickens in the fridge overnight, and the flavors have time to develop. If you’re in a time crunch, this dip can also be made 3-4 hours ahead of time. Just make sure it has time to cool. =)

Made with fresh spinach, light Greek yogurt and light cream cheese, this Spinach and Artichoke Dip is always a hit at parties and gatherings!

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Soapy Social Media Roundup

Happy Saturday! I hope you’re all having an amazing weekend so far. Today the family and I are going to watch the Bramble Berry team compete in the Muds to Suds event! We compete every year – check out these shots from 2013. It’s fun to watch everyone make it through the different mud pits annnnnd, this year the entire team is going as zombies so that’ll be extra awesome. It is raining, but that just makes the event more fun. Also, the rain is much needed here in Washington state. The wildfires are now the largest in the states history, threatening and destroying thousands of homes. So please, stay as long as you’d like rain clouds!

In soapy news, my new book, Pure Soap Making, is now available for pre-order! The book will hit stands February 2016, but you can be among the first to reserve your copy now. Each pre-order will also include a free Hanger Swirl Tool. This book has been such a labor of love, and I can’t wait for you all to get your hands on it! Click here to learn more.
PureSoapmaking_Main_A_1000pxIn the meantime, checkout my favorite pins, tweets and ‘grams below for more soapy inspiration!

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Facebook and Instagram Photo of the Week (Aug. 22nd ~ 28th)

Crafters often plan projects months ahead of time. This week was all about getting ready for fall. The blog featured several fall projects, including the Pumpkin Spice Swirl Cold Process Soap. The recipe is made with real pumpkin puree and pumpkin seed oil. An orange and brown color palette and Pumpkin Spice Fragrance Oil make the soap feel and smell like a crisp autumn day.

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Pumpkin Spice Swirl Cold Process Tutorial

This Pumpkin Spice Swirl Soap is made with real pumpkin puree. Scented with pumpkin spice, this soap is perfect for fall!

With fall right around the corner it’s time to cook, bake and soap with everything pumpkin. This Pumpkin Spice Swirl Cold Process is made with real pumpkin puree, and scented with Pumpkin Spice Fragrance Oil for a classic fall scent. The swirl is created using the drop swirl technique; check out this Soap Queen TV video to see this swirl in action. We got lucky with this particular batch…the swirls ended up resembling pumpkins in the center!

To keep the soap from discoloring, the fragrance oil is only added to the dark brown portion of the soap. Read more about fragrance discoloration here. When adding water based additives like pumpkin puree, a water discount can be beneficial. This recipe contains a 15% water discount to compensate for the water in the puree. A water discount is optional, but it will help prevent glycerin rivers. It will also cut down on cure time because there is less water to evaporate.

Another thing to consider when working with additives is temperature. The pumpkin puree contains natural sugars which will increase the temperature of the soap. To prevent overheating, you may want to place the soap in the fridge for several hours (up to overnight) after pouring into the mold. I would not recommend insulating or promoting gel phase in this recipe. If you’re looking for more pumpkin-centric recipes, check out the Pumpkin Puree Cold Process Soap and the Pumpkin Spice Latte Cold Process Soap.

This Pumpkin Spice Swirl Soap is made with real pumpkin puree. Scented with pumpkin spice, this soap is perfect for fall!
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Behind the Scenes of Soap Queen TV

This last Saturday, the team and I spent the day creating three full length videos and two shorts for Soap Queen TV. Creating videos for Soap Queen TV is a lot of fun and also a lot of work(!). The projects need to be tested several times (we’re talkin’ 10+ times for those soapy gems) to make sure they work perfectly. The ingredients for each project, and each step of each project, need to be prepped and ready to use. Each video also includes a script to make sure all the proper information is included. It takes a lot of time and manpower of not just me, but also the awesome team at Bramble Berry, to create the videos, but it’s so worth it once the video is released! For those of you watching our Periscope channel Saturday, you got to see some insightful and sometimes-unintentionally-hilarious behind-the-scenes filming. That added an entirely different dimension to our day.

Get a sneak peek into making Soap Queen TV videos!During this filming session, we filmed two Soap Queen TV shorts demoing new soapy tools. These tools are perfect for cutting bars in half horizontally, or slicing off an imperfect top. These tools will be available soon on Bramble Berry, so keep your eyes peeled! Below is a circling Taiwan swirl cold process soap, scented with Energy Fragrance Oil. This swirl technique looks great when cut in half horizontally, then cut into bars.

Get a sneak peek into making Soap Queen TV videos!

In the photo below, you can see the bar on the far left has quite a lot of soda ash. The bar to the right has the soda ash shaved off, exposing a beautiful swirl. This tool is also great for perfecting the sides and bottom of bars. In addition, it creates great soap shavings and curls. Watch these tools in action in the Instagram video below!

Get a sneak peek into making Soap Queen TV videos! Get a sneak peek into making Soap Queen TV videos!
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