Happy sixth birthday, Humblebee & Me! It’s been a whirlwind of a year. This is my 960th post, so post #1000 is coming up! My first book, Make It Up: The Essential Guide to DIY Makeup and Skin Care, was released on December 27, 2016 by Running Press. I did my first book signing and gave a talk at Shelf Life Books here in Calgary for Earth Day, and taught workshops with Market Collective and Windy Point. I travelled to some amazing places, got a dog, and hosted the first-ever Humblebee Meet-Ups in Montreal and Québec City (so fun!).

Humblebee & Me is 6!

After a full year on YouTube I feel much more comfortable on camera and creating video content, and it’s really exciting to see the subscriber numbers climb and a new satellite community form. I’ve also had fun branching out and creating some non-tutorial video content, like walk-throughs on how to dissect a recipe and common Pinterest myths. I’ve also created and shared a ton of new recipes here on the blog; this is the year I fell in love with face lotions, BTMS-50, and mango butter. Swoon!

And now for some lists!

5 Most Popular

  1. A Guide to Carrier Oil Substitutions
  2. A Guide to Essential Oil Substitutions
  3. Winter Wonderland Bath Bombs
  4. A Quick Guide to Beeswax and Liquid Oil Ratios
  5. Citrus Summer Punch Swirl Soap

My 5 Favourites from 2017

  1. Silky Camellia Hair Serum
  2. Winter Solstice Face Cream
  3. Highlighting Moon Drops
  4. Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
  5. Green Tea & Roses Facial Cleanser

My 5 Favourite Innovations/New Things I Tried

  1. Cera Bellina (try this salve!)
  2. Cetyl alcohol (this primer is thickened with it and it’s amazing)
  3. Stearic acid (I’m in love with my Forest Cleansing Balm that’s mostly thickened with stearic acid)
  4. Foaming hand washes
  5. Seabuckthorn Mattifying Moisturizer

My 5 Favourite Gifts

  1. Chocolate Macadamia Nut Vegan Lip Balm
  2. Whipped Pumpkin Spicy Body Butter
  3. Fireworks Lip Gloss
  4. Ginger Silk Summer Lotion
  5. Chocolate and Roses Valentine Soap

My 5 Favourite DIY Purchases

  1. Butcher’s Paper
    I switched from using parchment to using butcher’s paper for lining my soap moulds, and it’s amazing! It peels right off and creases/tapes down much better than parchment.
  2. This wicked 6-pack of spatulas
    These beauties are my new favourite full-sized spatulas, joining my beloved icing spatulas in my spatula hall of fame. These bad boys are inexpensive (about $3 apiece), strong, flexible, and single piece, so there’s no crannies for stuff to get stuck in.
  3. Oak Moss Absolute
    This utterly delightful absolute has the most beguiling, warm, sweet scent that I’m loving in pretty much everything these days.
  4. Squeezy HDPE Bottles
    I’ve purchased oodles of these in a variety of sizes with a variety of caps, and I love ’em. I should probably be used to the novelty that is a squeezy bottle, but I’m clearly not.
  5. Black Plastic LUSH-esque Tubs
    These super versatile, durable tubs from YellowBee have quickly become one of my favourite thing to put concoctions in. He sent me my first tub for free and I’ve since bought quite a few more; the secure screw-on lid, variety of sizes, and pretty strong brand associations mean these tubs never fail to get noticed.

My 5 Favourite Non-DIY Purchases

  1. Japanese Sunscreen
    This stuff is downright amazing; I’ve tried a couple from Bioré and Shisedo, and they’ve all blown the socks off of North American sunscreens. They’re ultra lightweight and non-greasy, meaning re-applying is a non-issue, and they don’t leave any kind of a cast. I’ll never go back!
  2. Hydrocolloid Bandages
    I’ve tried a couple brands of hydrocolloid acne patches, and I like the ones from MEDca best; they’re the cheapest and they stay on really well, which is really important as I’m usually sleeping in them. Hydrocolloid bandages halve (if not better!) the healing time of blemishes by keeping the area moist and not allowing a scab to form, and they are now completely indispensable to my skin care cabinet.
  3. The Angry Chef: Bad Science and the Truth About Healthy Eating by Andrew Warner
    This book is positively addictive and downright wonderful, and I’m going to be very sad when I’ve finished it. Warner has lovely, witty, easy-reading prose and covers a wide variety of dietary fads and why they’re not all that.
  4. Philips Hue
    I pretty much feel like I’m in the Jetsons when I say “good morning!” to my phone and my lights come on. It’s very groovy.
  5. Uni-ball Signo DX UM-151 Gel Ink Pen
    These are the best pens ever, and I would write them a love song if I could. Silky smooth, dark ink, seamless writing… swoon.

I’d love to hear from you! What have you been loving making? What have you learned and loved in the last year?

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