Sunday, July 7, 2024

Testing Shampoo Bars - the Violet #2 edition

I've been making shampoo bars for several years and I love them. I love the convenience, I love that they're zero waste, I love that they're eminently customizable. I have a few recipes that, when I make them for the market, sell out very quickly.

Seeing that my hair has gone pretty much completely grey (I love my hair!), I wanted to test purple shampoos, specifically meant to help counteract any yellowing, or brassiness, in blonde and silver hair. That's what I've been doing this weekend. 

Obviously, one washing isn't going to make a big difference as shampoo is a wash out product but, I assume over time I should see some kind of difference. This weekend, I've made two small batches of purple shampoo bars to test. Both are based on recipes from SwiftCraftyMonkey. I won't post the percentages of ingredients as the recipes are from paid files; I will post the ingredients, though.

For full disclosure, my hair is medium length (touches my shoulder) and on the dry to very dry side. It's quite fine and every single hairdresser I've ever had has commented on just how much hair I have. I can get away with washing it once a week with no issue. 

Recipe #1 - Basic Shampoo Bars with Mango Butter

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSa), Foaming Silk, Mango Butter, BTMS 50, Sodium Lactate, Hydrolyzed Keratin Protein, Panthenol (ProVitamin B5), Fragrance (Baby Powder), and Violet #2 at 0.06%

I made this one Friday afternoon, after work. After 48 hours, it's still on the malleable side but I couldn't wait to test it. HOLY LATHER!! Seriously, it lathered easily and prolifically. My hair feels great; I'm letting it air dry as our temperature is supposed to go up into the 30ÂșC range and it's dry here. As to whether or not it's helping with yellowness, we shall see over time. 

Recipe #1 - Basic Shampoo Bar with Violet #2

Recipe #2 - Hydrating & Conditioning Shampoo Bar

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Cocomidopropyl Betaine, Betaine, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSa), BTMS 50, Sodium Lactate, Hydrolyzed Keratin Protein, Panthenol (ProVitamin B5), Fragrance (Namaste), and Violet #2 at 0.06%

The Violet #2 has a recommended usage rate of 0.06%; I accidentally went slightly over. I won't be able to try this one for a couple of days as I just made it this morning and it needs to harden up. I usually only wash my hair once a week but with the heat coming on, I think I'll be washing it at least once more this week. 

Recipe #2 - Hydrating & Conditioning Shampoo Bar with Violet #2

I'll update this post when I've had a chance to test Recipe #2 and when I can determine the results of using a shampoo especially for blonde and/or silver hair. 


I did end up washing my hair mid-week. With a heat wave in place, I've been sweating a lot more than usual and felt my hair needed a wash. This one, again, is lovely but it's almost a bit too drying for my already dry hair. It needed quite a bit of after-wash conditioning. I think that, for me, this one is a no-go. For someone with oilier hair, this one might be fine. 

I do have a couple more bars I'm experimenting with, not purple shampoos, that I'm trying to perfect for my hair, along with a conditioner bar. I will keep you updated.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Unlocking the Benefits of MSM in Skincare

In the ever-evolving world of skincare, there's a constant search for ingredients that offer natural solutions for common skin concerns. One such ingredient that has been gaining attention for its potential benefits is MSM, or Methylsulfonylethane. While it may sound complex, MSM is actually a naturally occurring compound found in plants, animals, and humans, and its incorporation into skincare products is yielding promising results.

MSM is a sulfur compound that is abundant in nature. It's found in various foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and even in the bodies of living organisms. In skincare, it is often derived from sources like pine trees, or synthesized in a laboratory setting.

The Benefits of MSM in Skincare:

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties: One of the key benefits of MSM in skincare is its potent anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it particularly useful for soothing irritated or inflamed skin conditions such as acne, eczema, or rosacea. By calming inflammation, MSM helps to reduce redness and discomfort, promoting a more balanced and comfortable complexion.
  2. Collagen Production: Collagen is the building block of healthy, youthful-looking skin. As we age, collagen production naturally declines, leading to the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. MSM has been shown to support collagen production, helping to improve skin elasticity, firmess, and overall texture. By incorporating MSM into your skincare routine, you may notice a visible reduction in the signs of aging, leaving your skin looking plump and revitalized.
  3. Antioxidant Activity: In today's world, our skin is constantly exposed to environmental stressors such as pollution, UV radiation, and toxins, which can lead to the formation of free radicals. These unstable molecules can wreak havoc on our skin, causing premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and other damage. MSM acts as a powerful antioxidant, helping to neutralize free radiclas and protect the skin from oxidative stress. By incorporating MSM-rich products into your skincare regime, you can help defend your skin against environmental aggressors and maintain a youthful, radiant complexion.
  4. Hydration: Hydration is essential for healthy, glowing skin. MSM possesses humectant properties, meaning it has the ability to attract moisture to the skin and lock it in. This helps to keep the skin hydrated, soft, and supple, reducing the appearance of dryness, flakiness, and dullness. Whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, incorporating MSM into your skincare routine can help ensure your skin stays beautifully moisturized and radiant.
  5. Scar Reduction: Scars can be a source of frustration and self-consciousness for many people. Whether they're the result of acne, surgery, or injury, scars can leave lasting marks on the skin. MSM has been shown to aid in scar reduction by promoting tissue repair and regeneration. By stimulating collagen production and supporting the body's natural healing processes, MSM can help fade the appearance of scars over time, allowing you to feel more confident and comfortable in your skin.
  6. Wound Healing: In addition to its scar-reducing properties, MSM has also been found to promote faster wound healing. By reducing inflammation and supporting the body's natural healing processes, MSM can help wounds heal more quickly and effectively, minimizing the risk of infection and scarring. Whether you're dealing with minor cuts and scrapes or more serious injuries, incorporating MSM into your skincare routine can help support your skin's healing process and promote optimal recovery.

In conclusion, MSM is a versatile and powerful ingredient that offers a wide range of benefits for the skin. From its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to its ability to support collagen production and promote hydration, MSM has quickly become a staple in many skincare routines. Whether you're lookign to soothe irritated skin, reduce the signs of aging, or improve overall skin health, incorporating MSM-rich products into your skincare regimen can help you achieve the beautiful, radiant complexion you deserve. So, why not give MSM a try and unlock the transformative benefits it has to offer for your skin?

Friday, March 8, 2024

Embrace Shower Indulgence with Our Luxurious Bubble Scrub Bars

In a world brimming with decadent bath products, the joy of indulging in a long, relaxing soak is a luxury many of us crave. But what about those moments when time is short or, heaven forbid, you only have a shower, and the thought of sinking into a tub feels out of reach? For many, including myself, this dilemma strikes a chord all too close to home. 

Enter our over-the-top Bubble Scrub bars - a game changer in the world of shower indulgence. Born out of a desire for luscious products that offer gentle cleansing, abundant later, and irresistably scented skin, these bars embody the essence of shower luxury.

What sets these bars apart is their ability to deliver a multi-sensory experience reminiscent of a lavish bath. With each use, they unleash a symphony of fizz, moisture, and exfoliation, transforming your shower into a sanctuary of self-care.

Crafted with care and infused with skin-loving ingredients like cocoa and shea butters, soothing oatmeal, and herbs, these bars offer more than just a cleanse. They envelope your skin in a cocoon of hydration, leaving it soft, supple, and delicately scented.

Perhaps the true magic, though, lies in their versatility. Thanks to the addition of emulsifying wax, these bars effortlessly transition from exfoliator to moisturizer, creating a rich bubbly lotion when applied to wet skin. Say goodbye to slippery tubs and hello to a shower experience like no other.

So, whether you're seeking a moment of relaxation amidst a busy day or simply craving a touch of indulgence, our Bubble Scrub bars are here to elevate your shower routine. Embrace the joy of showering in luxury and treat yourself to a sensory experience that's sure to leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Indulge in the extraordinary with affordable luxury.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Naughty Soap!

The soapmaking process is what is known as an exothermic process; the process of turning oils, water, and lye produces heat. Additives like honey, or milk can increase the temperature in the mold even more. Oatmeal Milk & Honey soap is a notorious heater and this time was no different. I expected that.

I purposely waited for subzero temperatures before making a batch of this soap, one that overheats for me almost every single time. This past weekend, our daytime temperatures were hovering around -12C so I decided it was the perfect time to make a batch. The intention was to leave the mold outside, in the subzero weather. 

Everything was nice and cool; it was looking good. At one point, I lifted the mold to feel the underside; it was pretty warm to the touch so I put a baking rack under the mold. Once the temperature stabilized, after a couple of hours, I brought the soap inside and left it overnight in my unheated soap room.

The next morning, it was time to cut the soap. The first bar was as expected; there was a bit of a gelled circle so I knew it had gotten warm enough in the middle to gel the soap. The second bar surprised me; as I was cutting it, liquid seeped from it as it did from all the other bars until the last bar. And, there was a hole right through the entire loaf. I wasn't sure if the liquid was lye-heavy (caustic) so I was happy I'd put on my gloves.

This is a classic case of overheating. You can see the darker ring just inside the outer edge and then the sponginess in the middle. This soap really wanted to volcano (expand out of the mold) but didn't. Insead, it created a hole throughout the length of the mold.

Seeing this made me think of monster teeth and I couldn't help but play a little...

Thursday, January 11, 2024


Another market year has ended and a new one will be beginning soon. 2023 wasn't a great year as far as sales went but I know that times aren't easy for most people right now. Costs, including mine, are rising, causing increases in pretty much everything. It sucks. Hard. 

I have no intention of making this a depressing post. I can't do much about prices of supplies; I can, however, continue to make the best products I know how to make. I've decided that I will probably cut back on a few things so you may see fewer products on my table this year. 

What, you ask, will disappear? Well, my liquid soaps really didn't overwhelm so I think they'll be going on sale until they're gone. I may make some for personal use but that's about it. 

What else? Surprisingly, lip gloss. 

Yes, I said "surprisingly". I truly thought they'd be more popular than they were. By the end of 2023, I had quite a few left over even though they're a great product (I'm not a lip gloss person and I really like these!). I won't be making any more this year. Again, they'll be on clearance once the market season starts up again. 

I'm sure there will be other products we'll be thinking twice about. That said, if you have a favourite product you can't live without, let us know. We're more than happy to make custom orders. 

What can you expect to see on our tables this season? Well, soaps, of course. We're already busy making soap every weekend to get our table fully stocked. We've got some amazing new fragrances that we'll be using in soaps as well as hand/body lotions. Match a soap and a lotion for a perfect quick gift! 

Facial products have been very popular so we'll be bringing back our Instant Facials, as well as a few of our other popular face care products. If you haven't seen, or tried, the Instant Facials, you're in for a real treat! It's not a clay mask; it's more like a cleansing balm that turns into a thick, rich cream with the addition of water. Ingredients are added to turn this cream into a gorgeous, skin-loving mask that rinses off cleanly with water, leaving your skin feeling revitalized and pampered. There will be two or three varieties available; they sold out last year so you don't want to miss out!

Another popular item we'll continue making is our lip balm (as opposed to lip gloss). We have two recipes and both continue to be very popular; we won't stop making them. Our regular lip balm comes in a variety of flavours, including peppermint, orange sherbet, chocolate, and more. We've been using the same base recipe for over 20 years. Why fix what ain't broke?

Our Nourishing Nighttime Lip Masque has become a customer fave over the past couple of years. It's a rich, thick lip balm that sticks to your lips, made with the addition of lanolin and castor oil, helping keep your lips moisturized all night. Most people who use it, though, swear by it as an everyday lip balm that actually works! Me included.

I'm really looking forward to our 2024 season and I look forward to seeing all our new and usual customers. Our first market of the season is the All You Need Is Love market on February 11 at the East Kelowna Market. See you there!

Wednesday, November 8, 2023


There are times retail confuses me. Products I think will be popular aren't and products I wish weren't popular... are. Two prime examples are lip gloss and bath bombs.

Lip glosses are easy to make, relatively inexpensive, look and feel amazing. Unfortunately, they get very few likes on Instagram when I post about them (2 likes in a month) and they don't sell well. Lip balms, sure! Lip glosses, don't bother. I don't get it. 

Bath bombs, on the other hand.... I posted this picture on Instagram and within minutes, it had almost 10 likes (I know, that isn't a lot but you get my point, right?). I really don't like making them, though. They're finicky and messy, and I decided long ago not to make them for sale. 

 What would you do? 

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Meanwhile, over on Instagram...

I've never been afraid of the computer and anything related so, when ChatGPT arrived, I was more than happy to dip my toes into the AI pool. I've watched You Tube videos about the app and I've learned a lot. I'm also a Canva Pro user and, using the two together has completely changed my use of both.

Using the two together, I've created a couple of series of posts, 10 posts each. The first series is a "Did You Know?" series about things you might not know about soapmaking and soapmakers. 

The second series features Ingredient Spotlights of ten ingredients commonly used in the skin care industry. 

I had a lot of fun creating both series and am looking forward to creating more of these educational and, hopefully, fun posts. Let me know what you think!

Oh right! Do you follow us on Instagram? You can find us here.... MMSoapery