Monday, January 13, 2014

In Love with "The Process"

So, as many of you read, I was starting work on a new lip and cheek tint. I had recieved both of the herbal powders I had ordered and was ready to start the process of formulating my tint.

I started with the Alkanet root, being most excited about a red lip stain. I started by mixing the powder with some sweet almond oil and heating it slowly on a double boiler for a few hours to infuse the oil with color. I was happy with the result, but the color was not what I had expected. The most wonderful thing about working with natural ingredients is the surprises you find along the way. I used the light mauve colored oil to make some tinted lip balms. I even added a little mineral shimmer. I ended up with about six, very pretty pinky-mauve lip balms. It was not the red I had set out for, but a good start.

Next was the Hibiscus. I tried the same method with the Hibiscus powder, infusing it in oil and slowly heating it. Fail. The pretty pink powder just sat in the oil and eventually almost turned brown. Not a great result. So, I tried another method I had recently learned for making extracts. I added some of the powder to a small bottle and filled the rest with Organic Grain Alcohol. Instantly I was pleased. The alcohol turned a beautiful bright pink. I decided that Hibiscus was best suited for a lip and cheek stain, and the Alkanet for balms.

I let the mixture sit for a few hours and then filtered out the particulate, all I was left with was a dark red, slightly fruity smelling liquid. I filled a roller ball bottle with a mixture of the fresh Hibiscus extract and some Glycerin, as well as a few other magical ingredients, shook it up, and headed to a mirror. I was so excited to try my lip and cheek tint. The color on my lips was not as intense as I had hoped, and I made notes to increase the amount of Hibiscus to Alcohol. It made my lips look like mine, but better. I was pleased with the first draft. I then applied a little to my cheeks, and just for the heck of it, under my eyes. The color was not very noticeable on my skin. I knew I needed to work more on the formula.

I returned to my office to do some more mixing and bottling. I eventually came up with a much brighter and more vivid color from the Hibiscus and am still playing with the Alkanet.

So, I wanted to talk about my eyes. Yes, you remember there when I was playing in the mirror, I patted a little of the Hibiscus extract mixture under my eyes in passing. This is a part of the process I always go through when making  a new natural product, I experiment with it. I like to apply new concoctions to other areas to see where else they may have benefit. While I was in my office, a friend stopped by. He looked at me a little strange, "What?" I asked. "Your eyes look really great, did you do something different?" I mentioned I had been playing with my cheek stain. I have always had trouble with puffiness around my eyes and especially bags under my eyes. "You should go look in the mirror, I think you just made something awesome on accident!" It was so charming that one of my male friends had noticed the effects of something I had just been working on. I went to the mirror, and surely enough, the skin around my eyes and cheeks looked smoother and brighter than it had in ages!

I have stumbled upon an amazing eye serum. I am working to formulate it with even more benefits and a gel consistency for the Etsy, but it is really really awesome! It turns out that along with its pretty color, Hibiscus is packed with Vitamins and Antioxidants that your skin just drinks up. I am telling you, I have never had anything work this well at improving my puffy eyes. I once tried a roller-ball product from the mall that was a close second, but it always left my eyes irritated and burned slightly. This eye serum is going to blow you guys away! I am hoping to have it ready in the next week or so.

The lip tints and cheek tints are still on the way, but this eye serum is too awesome to keep to myself. So, keep an eye out for my new Hibiscus Eye Serum!


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