I know all my blogs are about successes. That’s kind of the point. You don’t surf the internet and read blogs to learn how to not do things. Unless, I suppose, it’s to learn how to REALLY not do things. As in, how to do things wrong the proper way: all in. And after all these DIY projects, I definitely have a few of those.

1. Sugar Scrub Bars that turned into murder weapons

The idea was simple enough. Inspired by Lush, I decided to combine brown sugar, salt, and some water and vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada) into a thick paste. Then I would pack the mixture into muffin tins and bake until firm. And then I would have a handy-dandy exfoliating scrub bar.

Everything went pretty well until I started baking at about 200°. After 20 or 30 minutes it didn’t look baked. So I kept baking. For two hours. They looked fine. And then… they didn’t. They turned into bricks… or possibly something even harder than bricks. I bent a knife trying to get them out of the pan. The sugar scrub fused to the muffin liners, and the liners fused to the tin. It took three days of soaking to get the tin to come clean. Oops.

2. Coverup that changed races

This was a good idea. I swear. It was to be a creamy coverup full of healing ingredients. I even wrote up the entire blog entry because I was so sure it would work. I mean, how could it not? Lotion plus oxides for the colourant. Duh. And it did work. I put it in a little tin and everything.

And then I opened it up a week later… and it had gone from “overly pasty white person” to “seductively tanned Italian”. I have no idea how or why.

3. Vitamin C Mask

I recently received a container of Vitamin C in the mail. I couldn’t have been more excited. The product reviews were full of glowing recommendations. One lady said she made a concentrated solution and applied it as a twice daily mask and noticed great results. So, when my vitamin C arrived, the very first thing I wanted to do was make myself a Vitamin C face mask. For the awesomeness, of course.

So, I took half a teaspoon of Vitamin C crystals (they look like white sugar) and mixed them with just enough water to make a paste. And I spread them on my face. It was more or less then that I remembered that Vitamin C has another name—Ascorbic Acid. And they weren’t kidding about the acid part. Vitamin C has a pH around 2.5. OOOOOOH BOY DID THAT BURN. I wiped it off mighty fast and enjoyed a baby smooth complexion after the pain subsided… thanks to having seared the top layers of my face right off. Nicely done, Marie.

4. Overly Enthusiastic Scent Blend Lotion

Last year I discovered NDA and immediately started ordering everything. Many of those things were essential oils. And many of these essential oils were better off as ideas than as tiny little bottles in my pantry… mostly because even though I like the idea of change and variety, when it comes to scents, I tend to stick to what I know I like. Which does not include 50% of the essential oils I own, unfortunately.

Anyhow, I decided to create an exotic scent blend. Sandalwood, rosewood, ylang-ylang, and a variety of other things that the internet said would smell nice together. Either the internet, my nose, or my method was wrong. That lotion smelled like an incense factory exploded next to a rendering plant. Moral of the story: mix first, smell, THEN add to lotion.

5. Gelatin Free Pore Strips

I’ve noticed that a lot of people are looking for these, so I set off to create my own. I swapped out the gelatin for xantham gum. The resulting goop made me look like I had leprosy and did nothing for my pores.

6. Honey Soap

My second batch of soap was a Honeycomb recipe from About.com. My first batch of soap had worked out without a hitch, so I was feeling confident. Unjustly so, it turned out. The first batch turned into something resembling ricotta cheese, and the final soap had a layer of fat on the top and bottom that had separated out. So I tried again. More cheese. Crap. Fortunately I found some friends who loved the stuff, but to this day I have no idea what went wrong. Something to do with the honey, to be sure, but other than that… nada. I even took photos and sent them to the About.com expert. He couldn’t tell me what I’d done wrong either.

7. Tinted Body Bars

This was another idea I lifted from Lush. Again, it seemed simple. A body bar plus micas and oxides and some titanium dioxide for opacity. What could go wrong? Well, it turns out those things don’t like to stay suspended. So they sink. The end result was a double sided bar. One turned me white (the titanium dioxide is oil soluble), and the other one was basically leg lipstick. I was stained reddish brown for days thanks to all the oxides and micas being concentrated in the bottom 3mm of the bar.