Ladies Camera Club

12 Feb 2015

Love Your Lips

I can't tell you how many lip balms, glosses and juicy tubes I have gone through in my lifetime.  Stemming from incessant chapped lips as a child, I vowed to keep my lips peel-free and soft as soon as I could afford to treat them daily.  I was 16 when I left home and started earning my own living wage; so you could say my lips have been well looked after for **cough cough** a great number of years.

I have a licensed, tested and legal recipe for lip balm retail.  I paid £100 for the privilege (I say that with a degree of sarcasm) but I haven't used it for two years.  The cosmetic industry is ultra strict and you are not allowed to sell homemade products unless you have had them tested and passed for certification.  That goes with every individual product you might want to make and sell.  Each one has to have its own test and certificate - so home produced cosmetics is just not worth the financial horror unless you go hammer and tongs to recoup the investment.  I have a recipe very similar to mine that I'd love to share with you, as my housemate Sally and I made a batch this morning to tackle this bloody harsh wintry bite we are currently facing.
You see the teaspoon of coffee?  Yeah, well erm........... that was an experiment of hideous proportions which ended up in the bin.  Looks fancy though, no?

You need:
2.5 oz of sweet organic almond oil
0.5 oz organic beeswax
1oz organic fractionated coconut oil
1oz organic shea butter
1 vitamin e capsule
5 drops of lip safe flavour oil - I used sweet fig  **optional if you want a gorgeous smelling balm**
10ml tin container

This makes approx ten tins worth.
All products can be sourced on ebay in handy sizes for small batches and homemakers - buy organic where you can.  Except the tin, that's just not organic.  Tee hee.
If you are worried about nut allergies (sweet almond oil) use rice bran oil.

1.  Bung the almond oil, beeswax and coconut oil in a plastic container.  I use a cheap jug that I bought from poundland - I'm such a classy crafter, not an ounce of Martha about me.  Melt at 80 percent for one minute.  Take out, stir and but back in for another 20 seconds.
2.  Remove from the microwave and stir until all the beeswax has melted.
3.  Stir in the shea butter.  Chop finely to get a quicker melt.  If its taking a while to melt, slam it back in the microwave for 20 seconds at 80 percent.
4.  When all the ingredients have melted, stir in a burst vitamin e capsule.
5.  If you don't want a flavour oil, pour straight into the tins.
6.  If you want a flavour oil, stir that in before pouring into tins.

The product will harden within ten minutes.  But not too hard because the shea butter content melts as soon as you rub a warm finger onto it.  The round tin (above) will show you how beautifully it melts with a slight rub.  If you want a more solid balm, add 0.5oz of beeswax to your next batch.  If you are giving this to a friend, be mindful of telling them the ingredients especially with nut allergies.  And remember, you cannot sell these without obtaining a product test and certification to be legally able to do so.

Aromatherapy - my new adventure
I have very sensitive skin.  I have to be mindful what I put on my face, including my lips.  I react immediately to certain products (I will tell you about my recent reaction to Myrrh soon - that was incredible!) which is why I have been forced to buying outrageously overpriced Dermalogica and Clinique for my day skin care routine.  Saying that I have slapped on some of the Simple range for the night - its ok but its not ideal.  Ive even used Bio Oil but recently I have discovered that they all contain a huge stonking pile of crappy chemicals.  They might be "safe" chemicals but they are still chemicals and chemicals, my friends, ain't natural.  So I have been researching alternatives for my skin because I am FED UP of shelling out £30 for a tube of grease and chemicals which I pay over the odds for - just for the branding.  

Cue essential oils.

These wondrous ampules of true mother earth have been picked, distilled and practised with for hundreds of years.  Their holistic properties were used by the Egyptians, Mayans and Romans for herbal remedies, medicinal purposes and healing treatments.  About 90% of perfumes use them as fragrances, cosmetic companies use them in their astringents and moisturisers but best of all, their aromas have a profound effective on our well being.

I have known about them for years because I have Indian head massages on a regular basis.  I vary the combination of oils I have depending on my mood and emotional state.  And I have to say that the entire experience would not be as beneficial to me with just a plain carrier oil.  Essential oils really are effective and need to be honoured and celebrated magnificently.  Recently I have become a little obsessed with various fragrances that I have decided to do a foundation diploma in Aromatherapy.  Just for me and not to be a practising aromatherapist.  I am fascinated with where they are grown, their scent, the latin name, their beneficial properties, their uplifting aromas and don't get me started on blending them - because that almost makes me a perfumer!  Neroli, May Chang, Bergamott, Ylang Ylang and Rose absolute smell bloody gorgeous in their own right.  Mix them all up and you have something to give Chanel a run for their money.  Not only that but blended with organic carrier oils and they are PERFECTION for my daily skin care routine.

I have been using my own blend, on my face, for four weeks now.  I call it my gocce di rugiada (Italian for dew drops) and its not just a catchy name!!  It contains a combination of Organic Rosehip seed oil & Organic fractionated coconut oil with either:
Neroli, Helichrysum and Geranium (helichrysum, which I have to say, bleeding stinks.
Helichrysum, Lavender and Frankincense (all organic).
Got to say, people, my skin feels absolutely gorgeous.  Even though they are oils, they are blended  with more drier carrier oils (Rosehip seed, which also naturally contains vitaimn a and c plus fractionated coconut oil which is an antioxidant and antiseptic) so it sinks in super quick and leaves a dewy glow rather than a slobbering slick on my face.  AND as I have a high skin tone with broken capilliaries, by some way of witchery or black magic, the tone is evening out ........its a miracle!!!  Plus, with Neroli being a blessing for **cough cough** mature skin, I feel like I am putting liquid gold on my face.  Helichrysum is possibly the next best combo for your face, combined with Frankincense, as they have skin renewing properties.

Oh my, the combinations of blending essential oils is incredible.  There is so much to learn but so much to gain from the studies.  And, excitedly of all, I haven't even began to use the aroma side of the study to its best advantage yet!  I feel like I have come home from a horrible, terrifying journey to a cavern of treasures and skin secrets with emotionally healing benefits. 

I will be adding an entire A-Z study of essential oils on a separate page, soon, with my own input as well as indexed affirmations.  Maybe inspire you to make some of your own blends to help give you a lift or blends to relax, rejuvinate or invigorate HOWEVER I am allowed to sell my own fanciful blends which I am going to start bottling soon.  I've bought the most precious little blue ampules with aluminium lids along with all sorts of pipettes, carriers oils, essential oils and absolutes to turn my bedroom, in Aberdeen, into a marvellous explosion of wondrous scents.

I think Im turning into a mad JuJu but Ive got to say, I LOVE IT!!!

Right, Ive written enough now.  I literally could go on and on and on.  But Im exhausted from my enthusiasm, I real am.  Plus it's late and I have a magic pot of oils to slap on my mush to continue my naturally earthy skincare routine.

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