Thursday, April 17, 2014

First SkinTastic Video

Renae Christine at Rich Mom Business motivated me to make a product video. I wanted to be part of her new, exciting project. That's all I can say, but if you want to know more, here her big plan revealed.

I happened to have my Cotton Candy Lotion ready to photograph. It had taken some preparation, because I wanted some pink cotton candy for the videos. But with three hungry teenage boys here, even if I got ahold of cotton candy it would never last long enough to get my pictures. So I dyed some stuffing pink. Can you tell?

And then then I used Renae Christine's suggestions to make a video. I ended up using different tools though. I used the video on my Samsung Galaxy 3 for the the video and then added sound and pieced it together on Windows Live Movie Maker and converted it to an mp4 for viewing. Here it is.

Does that look like cotton candy?

Monday, March 31, 2014

SkinTastic Giveaway Winners

We have winners!

Michelle L. won the Awapuhi lotion and soap set.

Sarah T. won the Pixie Dust Soap

Alison R. won the Patchouly Soap

Beth R. won the Sunflower Soap

Holly E. won the Vanilla Lip Balm

Amber G. won the Cucumber Melon Lip Balm

Twas fun! Watch for more SkinTastic Promotions. If you want to be sure you aren't missing anything, subscribe to the newsletter.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Soapmaking Classes

For years I've been teaching people to make soap.

I've created handcrafted soap for over fifteen years, and there is such a fascination with that. Even people who don't want to learn to make soap are curious about the process. When people ask "How do you make it?" or "What's in it?" I struggle to come up with a quick answer. It's more involved than a ten second answer. Of course I usually say something about it being made of vegetable oils, water and lye. It's a general answer, but sometimes all they want to know.

Of course I would like to tell them about the properties of coconut oil and how it creates a big bubble lather. Or about combining it with oils like palm and olive to create the perfect hardness and mild conditioning properties. But mostly I want them to understand that I superfat with something cool like avocado oil to make it the perfect bar of soap that won't be drying to your skin. And there is so much more I want to tell them. But I have ten seconds.

However, some people really do want to know more. They want to get their hands on the oils and understand the process.Because of these requests and my love of teaching, I've decided to make my classes a more regular option.

The first one is scheduled for April 12. I've also scheduled a lotion making class on May 10.

If you are one of those people who is interested in understanding the process, and you are close enough to get here, I invite you to join us.

Read more about it on our website.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lotion Making Day

I have seven new varieties of lotion on my SkinTastic shelf. Here you see the seven batches at the cooling phase. At this point I am stirring and using the stick blender to work them into that perfect consistency as the emulsion sets and becomes stable.

What are the new fragances?

Drumroll please...

Red Roses

Juniper Breeze

Cotton Candy

Ocean Breeze


Moonlight Path


My husband and kids all have their favorite of the new batches. My sixteen year old son loves the Red Roses and Pear. My seventeen year old son likes the Juniper Breeze and my husband always loves Huckleberry.

Which is my favorite?

Oh! That is so hard. Kind of like choosing a favorite child, which my children always try to get me to do, but I never could. The Cotton Candy is fun. The Red Roses really do smell like roses. And the Moonlight path is surprisingly sensual and soft. But if I absolutely had to start choosing favorites, I might be able to narrow it down to Juniper Breeze, Huckleberry and Pear.

Which one would you love to try?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Growing Calendula

Calendula easy to grow. Here you see my calendula already starting to grow on its own. It's located in a warm spot on the south side of my house and tends to show up with my early blooming daffodils. However I'm starting more inside also. This gives it a warm start and gets it going more quickly.

To do this I mix half peat moss and half perlite for my soil. It is spread into my growing tray. Sometimes I fill the tray all the way and then poke holes where I'm dropping the seeds. However, this time I only filled it most of the way and then sprinkled the seeds on top. Then I covered it with a thin layer of soil.

The great thing about calendula is that it starts growing quickly. This is less than two weeks growth. They are ready to separate.

To separate the seedlings, remove them from their tray and gently pull the plants apart.

Prepare the new tray with soil. Make sure it is moist, but not too wet. Poke holes in the spots you are transplanting and insert the seedling. Plant it deep enough that most of the stem is underground. Press the soil gently around each plant and water.

Make sure your plants have enough water and sunlight every day. If the stems seem like they are getting too long, the plants need more light.

By fall these seedlings will have produced the flowers that will be made into and herbal balm.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Collecting Calendula Seeds

You don't have to buy new calendula seeds every year. Collecting them from your existing plant is fun and easy. It's almost as easy a harvesting the flowers, but you wait a little longer before you pick them.

As the bright yellow and orange calendula blooms start drying up and fading out, watch for the seeds to mature at the base of the petals. At first the seeds will be green. For best results you want to leave them on the plant until the seeds turn brown. Then pick the dried up flower from the plant.

The seeds will almost fall off into your hand. If not, rotate them between your fingers to encourage the seeds to pull away from the base. Collect these and save for next year. Or sometimes I just sprinkle them back into the garden. They may not do as well this way as if you grow them inside in the spring, but many of them will grow.

Propagating new herb plants can be fun.

Some other great herbs to collect seeds from are basil, fennel, parsley, mullien, chamomile and dill.

Have you collected any of these? Or any others?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Using Calendula

My favorite flowers to grow are the ones that are beautiful and useful.

Calendula definitely fits that description. These bright flowers are easy to grow and add a splash of yellow or orange to any herb garden. But their blossoms are more than just pretty. They offer a multitude of health benefits. It's an herb that has been used for centuries in Egypt and Europe.

Calendula is used for diaper rash, minor wounds, skin irritation, scrapes, cuts, acne, bruises, insect bites and stings, dry skin and chapped lips. It has also been been used for conjunctivitis and earaches.

One of the nice things about calendula is its mildness. It's an herb you can choose for children. It's fun for the kids to help harvest too. Think about it. Kids love picking flowers and this is the time it's encouraged. As the flowers blossom you just pick them and dehydrate. In the dry climate of Utah, I just lay them out on the counter for a day, or until they are dried. Or you can put them in a dehydrator on a low setting. That's all it takes. Then I gather them into a jar to save.

How do you use calendula once you've preserved it? This herb can be made into tea, oil infusions, tinctures, balms, eye washes, poultices and more. If you aren't sure how to make these, stayed tuned into my blog. I will be doing posts on all of these in the upcoming weeks.

For now....plant your calendula. In some areas it's getting close enough to spring to soon plant outside. But if you want to give them a nice warm head start, plant inside and transfer them out in a couple weeks. That's my plan.

Have ever planted calendula before? What is your favorite thing to do with calendula?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Free Room Spray or Lip Balm

This is the week for giveaways. Not only can you sign up for our online giveaway, but if you live anywhere close to Tooele, you can get a free SkinTastic gift, just by participating in our simple Product and Marketing Survey.

What's the gift?

You have a choice of an 8 oz. room spray or a lip balm. Either is absolutely free if you are willing to fill out the one-page survey and return it to me at the boutique I will be participating in this Saturday, March 15, between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

I will be at  SHS JLTC Spring Boutique held at the Tooele Armory located at 16 S. 1st Street.

Here's the link to the survey.

Just print it off, fill it out and bring it to me that day.

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

SkinTastic Giveaway

It's a SkinTastic Giveaway with Rafflecopter. I'm excited to sponsor our first giveaway. Pictured above are the handcrafted soap, lotion and lip balm we are awarding to the winners. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get the big value points. Also, you can get daily points by tweeting about the giveaway.

It ends March 31. Product will be shipped only within the continental US.

Looking forward to your comments below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Upcoming Boutique

This Saturday, I'll be participating at a boutique in Magna. Mention this blog when visiting my booth and get a free lip balm. If you're in the area be sure to stop by.

Where: Our Lady of Lourdes - 2840 S. 9000 West, Magna, Utah.
When: February 22, 2014 from Noon to 7 p.m.

Hope to see you there.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Soap on a Rope Failure

The soap on a rope didn't work out so well. In November I posted about a batch of soap I saved. I'd forgotten to superfat the batch and couldn't sell it that way, so I grated it up and experimented with adding castor oil to it. Since I was experimenting I tried making soap on a rope. Here you can see a partially used one. It started out looking like a round ball of soap on a rope, but the problem is, as you can see here, that they knot is causing issues with the use of the soap being pleasant.

Live and learn.

However, I molded the rest of the batch and we've been using it.

Amazing what that castor oil did for the batch. Because of that I made a new batch of honey oatmeal a few weeks ago and formulated castor oil into the batch. The honey oatmeal is about cured and can be packaged soon.

As for the soap on a rope, there is probably some other way to do this.

Do people even use soap on a rope?

Would you?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Blog Tour Giveaway

SkinTastic Creations is sponsoring the Blog Tour hosted by Lucinda Whitney to promote Rules of Engagement. We are donating lotion and sugar scrub for the giveaway. They are both sweetly scented with Brown Sugar and Spice. Yum!

The sugar scrub is a fabulous way to exfoliate the dead skin while moisturizing. I love the feel of my skin after a sugar scrub. And the lotion is smooth and creamy, and made with plant-based oils that soak into your skin. Of course. We never use mineral oils or other petroleum products.

So join in the blog tour. I hear it's a fabulous book and can't wait to read it myself.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bath Bombs Galore

We had a big bath bomb making day and rolled out a bunch of them (my husband is so wonderful to help). We did several small batches with a variety of fragrances. Here are the fragrances we did.

Ocean Breeze
Sandalwood Vanilla

Unfortunately a large portion of them cracked and can't be sold. Time for a big spa party at my house I think.

When the bath bombs don't crack they look beautiful though. One of these days I'll figure out how to consistently keep them from cracking down the middle. In the meantime I'll be giving a lot of bath bombs away.

Anybody want to soak their feet?

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Do You Have Eczema?

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Do you have eczema?

Many people do. I never knew how many until I started putting this sign out at my boutiques. Now people passing by stop and tell me about their grandchild or friend who struggles with eczema. Or better yet, they lift their pant leg or push up their sleeve so they can show me the struggle they are having with this annoying skin condition. Often they've tried everything from prescription creams to whatever else they can find that might work.

Eczema is complicated. Generally it is caused by some factor that can be hard to identify. Your doctor may have recommendations about changing your soap or what you put on your skin. If the condition persists they may begin testing for allergies or other things that may be triggering the miserable rash.

Over twenty years ago my oldest daughter started having problems with eczema. We would lube her up with lotion, not having a clue that the mineral oil and other petroleum ingredients in the product we were using only complicated the condition, instead of helping. When we changed to a natural soap and better skin products it all went away. Our struggle was a small one.

One of my favorite stories to tell is of a dear friend, who at age 65 had been struggling with eczema on his feet for twenty five years. He was using a combination of a quality cream on the market and a prescription cream. By doing this he had been able to manage the eczema, but never get rid of it. He decided to give our herbal balm a try. He religiously used the balm a couple times a day and was able to clear the rash completely for the first time in twenty five years. I suspect the reason this worked so well for him was that he was using a product with no preservatives or other additives, and certainly no mineral oil. The simplicity of the five ingredients of the balm are what make it so effective: olive oil, beeswax, calendula, comfrey and chickweed.

What have you tried for your eczema? What success have you had?

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Apples for Healthy Skin

Eating right influences the health of your skin as dramatically as what you put on it. One source of skin loving nutrients is an apple. The vitamin C in an apple helps your body produce the collagen needed to give the skin elasticity and a plump appearance.

Apples are fabulous fresh, but the apple is versatile and adds the right touch to many dishes. Here's one idea for adding apples to breakfast.

When you have an abundance of apples, core and peel them, then cut them into bite-size pieces and dehydrate them. I use a Nesco dehydrator, which lets me dehydrate eight trays at a time.

Then add the apples to an instant oatmeal mix, like the oatmeal packets you can buy for the microwave. Here's the recipe:

2 cups oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup powder milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup dehydrated apples.

Mix this all together and store in an airtight container.

To prepare measure:
2/3 cup instant oatmeal mix
3/4 cup water

Microwave for 2 minutes and enjoy your apples and one more way to healthy skin.

What variations of this oatmeal mix have you seen or tried?

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Look for my Site

I finally have a new look for my SkinTastic website. It's been a long time coming. Here's a peek.

There's more to see at And still more to come. We are working on adding all our products to the site again, as well as leaving them on Etsy, thus offering two easy options for purchasing.