Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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Two Tone Soap

Last year, just in time for Christmas, I started experimenting with using colours in my melt and pour soap.  I made a few striped soaps and was quite pleased with the result.

That is, until the colours started to bleed and blend with each other.  After that, I stayed away from the stripes for a while.  What’s the point of stripes if they just blend together?

Two-Toned Soap

This year, as the Christmas Soap Making spirit caught me, I decided to try a two-tone soap using a non-bleed colour.

Two Tone Soap

Two Tone Soap

Here it is!  This photo was taken quite some time after I had made the soap and as you can see, there is no bleeding!  The colours have stayed separate!

It may seem like a small victory to some, but it’s huge in my little world.  I’m so pleased with the result.

Blue and White Two Tone Soap

Blue and White Two Tone Soap


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Gift Box of Goodies

A few weeks ago, we spent a long weekend visiting some friends.  We don’t get to see them very often, so it was a very special weekend.

I wanted to give them some treats as a gift.  I decided to make a bunch of different skin care products and then let them divide them up among themselves.

Their gift box included:

  • 1 jar of peppermint foot cream
  • 2 bottles of lotion
  • 3 jars of hand balm
  • 6 tubes of lip lube
  • And a whole bunch of soap!

I had so much fun putting everything together.  Here are some photos of the final product.

Gift Box!

Gift Box!

Gift Box of Goodies

Gift Box of Goodies

Skin Care Treats!

Skin Care Treats!

Lip Lube and Hand Balm

Lip Lube and Hand Balm

Hans Solo Soap

Hans Solo Soap

Fish Soap

Fish Soap

As you can see, I made some specialty soaps for this gift box.  The blue and purple fish and starfish soaps were specially made for our friends’ daughter.  Her favorite colours are blue and purple, so I thought these would be perfect.   And one of our friends is a Star Wars fan.  I thought he might appreciate the Hans Solo soap!


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Soap and Smoothing Serum Gift Boxes

With the arrival of our son, we’ve been busy visiting a lot of family.  One of our trips was to Argentina.  We saw lots of family and friends while there.  Even though they all said it was a treat enough to meet our son, I also wanted to bring a little something for them to enjoy.

I put together some gift boxes that had a bar of soap and some Smoothing Serum.

Soap

I made the soap with Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour and Extra Fine French Red Clay.  I scented it with the essential oils of vanilla and grapefruit.  The bars turned out a dark red colour.

DSC_0239

Smoothing Serum

I also made some Smoothing Serum.  I put it into 10 mL bottles with a dropper cap, so it’s easy to dispense a drop or two at a time.  I like to dab this under my eyes before bed at night.

Smoothing Serum

Labelling

Whenever I give a product to someone else, I ensure that it has a complete label.  That way, it’s really clear what ingredients I chose to use when making it.

Smoothing Serum and Soap

Packaging

I packed each gift in a clear top gift box.  I bound each box with a silver elastic.  Here’s the finished product.  What do you think?

Red Soap and Smoothing Serum Gift Soap and Smoothing Serum Gift Boxes


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Pink Grapefruit Soaps

A few weeks ago, I got a call from a dear friend with a special request.  She was planning on throwing a baby shower, complete with baby shower games, for a friend of hers and  needed some prizes to give to her guests. She thought of me and asked if I could help her out.

We chatted for a bit and then decided on some easy bars of soap for the prizes.

Pink Grapefruit

I chose to make some more of my Pink Grapefruit bars.  They are made with Goat’s Milk and pink clay.  I scented these bars with essential oils of vanilla and grapefruit.  They are perfect for the spring time.

Pink Grapefruit Soap

To complement the pink bars, I also made some white bars of soap, with Goat’s Milk and White Kaolin Clay.  For consistency, I also gave these a grapefruit scent.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a cute name in mind for these soaps yet.  Any ideas?

White Clay Soap

Final Product

Here’s the final product.  I wrapped each soap in plastic to ensure that they don’t dry out.  I then labelled each soap so that all of the ingredients are clearly listed.  Finally, I tied each pair of soap bars together with a silver elastic band.

Soap Prizes


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Baby Skincare

Before my son was born, I made some baby balm and some special soap to use on his skin.  I did this with full knowledge that I had a 50% chance, at best, that they would be good for his skin.  After all, I had no idea what he would need!

Baby’s Bottom

While I was in the hospital, the nurses insisted that I use Vaseline on my son’s bottom.  I’m not a big fan of Vaseline whatsoever, but I had no other option

Unscented Baby Balm

Unscented Baby Balm

while I was in the hospital.   The Vaseline was great at creating a barrier between his dirty diapers and his sensitive skin.

As soon as I got home, I started using my homemade baby balm.  It worked exactly the same as the Vaseline.  The benefit of the baby balm is that it is made from a few oils and some beeswax, but no petroleum products!

I have continued using the Baby Balm at every diaper change since we got home!

Baby Skincare

Coconut Oil in HandWe live in a fairly dry climate, so I wasn’t surprised when my son’s skin was a bit dry.  To moisturize his skin, I give him a massage with coconut oil each day. The oil works great on his skin.  It is moisturized without being oily.

Soap in the Bath

I received many differing opinions about how often to bath my baby and what DSC_0206kind of soap to use.  In the end, I decided to give him a bath each morning, using the mild soap that I made before he was born.  It’s a goat’s milk soap with no scent or additives.  It is gentle enough on his skin that I don’t mind using it each morning in the bath.

What’s Next?

I’m looking forward to concocting some more baby products, using some essential oils, once my son gets a bit older.  I’ll be sure to post about those when that time comes!


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My Secret Soap Project – An Army of R2D2 Soaps

I’ve been working on a secret special project for the past several weeks for a colleague of mine.

She decided a few months ago to throw a family reunion of sorts.  Her guest list included family members and close friends.  It was scheduled for the shortest day of the year (in the Northern hemisphere), December 21st, right smack in the middle of the season of Christmas parties!  To ensure that her guests would remember this party, she picked out a Sci-Fi theme.  It was to be a Sci-Fi Mash Up Family/Friends Reunion.

The Favours

Early on in the planning, I offered to help out with the favour boxes.  My friend was determined NOT to give a gift that would just take up space at her guests’ homes.  She wanted it to be consumable.  I immediately started thinking about all the sci-fi inspired soaps that could be easily made.  I asked her if she minded if I investigated a little bit to see if I could come up with a neat idea.  Of course, the extra added benefit of this approach is that her guests would have a gentle soap that is safer than their regular store-bought soap!

Ice Molds on Double Duty

After a couple of hours searching online, I found a couple of promising options.  Both were ice molds from Star Wars.  One was a mold of Hans Solo and one was an ice mold of R2D2.  I ordered three of each from Think Geek and quickly put together a few samples for my friend to look at.

R2D2 and Hans Solo Soaps

R2D2 and Hans Solo Soaps

We all agreed the grey colour was the best and that the R2D2 soaps were the best for the party.   As much as we liked the Hans Solo soaps, it seemed a little morbid to provide a party favour of someone frozen in ice. So, we agreed to go with the grey R2D2 soaps, scented with Sandalwood.  I used activated charcoal to get the grey colour.

60 “Bars” of Soap Later…

I set out to the task of creating 60 R2D2 soaps.  With only three molds, that meant I had to make 20 successful batches of soap.  It’s true, not every R2D2 came out great.  Sadly, several of them lost their legs in the process.  (Even R2D2 isn’t indestructible!)

An Army of R2D2 Soaps

An Army of R2D2 Soaps

Packaging

R2D2 fit perfectly in these jewelry boxes with a clear top.  I created a “nest” for each soap with some crinkle paper.  Finally, my friend has a great suggestion of adding a silver stretch look to the box to dress it up a wee bit.  I love the result.

R2D2 Favour Boxes

R2D2 Favour Boxes

Favour Boxes

Favour Boxes


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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

This is one of my favorite times of year — full of good food, family get-togethers, and time spent with close friends.

This year, the holidays are extra special because we have a new family member, Emir.

For the past few years, I have made it my new custom to give handmade gifts to friends and family.  This year’s goodie bag was made back in November, as I waited for Emir’s arrival.

Here’s what it has in it!

Soap

There are at least two bars of soap.  Each bag has some combination of striped soap, floral soap or a solid bar of goat’s milk or coconut soap.  Each bar is mild enough for the skin and full of great ingredients.

Striped Soap

Striped Soap

Fancy Feet

Our feet all take such a beating. They deserve a treat.  Each gift bag has a jar of minty foot cream.  It’s thick and moisturizing and the scent is quite refreshing.  It’s a great treat for your feet!

Minty Foot Cream

Minty Foot Cream

Bath Bombs

I tried my hand at something new this year.  I made bath bombs!  As I suspected, it was actually quite easy and I have no idea why I never pursued this before. These provide fizzy fun for the bath and they smell great!

Lip Lube

What would a gift bag be without some homemade lip balm?  My lip balms are moisturizing and good for any season.  I added a variety of flavour oils to them this year.

The contents of each gift bag were meant to be used.  None of these products are good for a hoarder!

Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season!