Articles & Experiments

A Quick Guide to Beeswax & Liquid Oil Ratios

A Quick Guide to Beeswax & Liquid Oil Ratios

This is an experiment I've been meaning to conduct for ages. For as many DIY concoctions I've made over the years, I still found myself wondering how much beeswax to add to something to get a certain level of hardness or thickening. So, one short winter day I set out...

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DIY For Beginners

DIY For Beginners

Happy New Year! If one of your resolutions is to make more and buy less (well, buy less finished stuffs and more ingredients, that is), this is the post for you—especially if you're super new to this whole DIY thing. I'm going to walk you through which ingredients to...

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A Quick Guide to Buying Your First Essential Oils

A Quick Guide to Buying Your First Essential Oils

So, you're getting into making your own body products and household cleaners. You've found a supplier, you've found their essential oils section... and whoa. There are hundreds. And they all sound amazing. The reviews rave about how this one cured their epilepsy and...

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DIY Habits You Should Get Into

DIY Habits You Should Get Into

As much as I have resisted the idea, a lot of my assorted DIY-ing is scientific-ish. Drat. My high school science teacher was right (though I have never bothered to balance the equation of surplus electrons for anything I have ever made, and I can safely say I never...

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Natural Hair Care: Washing Your Brushes & Combs

Natural Hair Care: Washing Your Brushes & Combs

One of my favourite articles on natural(ish) hair care dates back to the early 1900s, and is written by Mlle. Aline Vallandri, a woman who is famous for the length and health of her hair. The article is accompanied by a rather shocking (to modern eyes, at least)...

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A Quick Guide to Solubility

A Quick Guide to Solubility

Let me preface this by saying I am no scientist, and this guide is definitely a quick one (and based very much on personal experience). I took 12th grade chemistry, and that's it—and that was a while ago. I did, however, convince my brilliant friend Adrian to...

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Why You Should Give The Metric System a Chance

Why You Should Give The Metric System a Chance

Canada, for all of its wonderful traits, is a wee bit confused in the measurement department. We officially switched over to the metric system in the 1970's, but we did a pretty half-assed job of it. We measure distances in kilometers, and temperature in Celsius, but...

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The Different Properties of Make-Up

The Different Properties of Make-Up

I am the first person to admit that I was a terrible teenager. Not in the “sneaking out, smoking, drinking, and destroying private property” way, but in the “dismisses typical teenage behavior as being stupid & irrational, and therefore behaves mostly like an...

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A Guide to Essential Oil Substitutions

A Guide to Essential Oil Substitutions

After writing about carrier oil substitutions, I couldn't wait to write more about swapping this ingredient for that, and why things do or don't work. So, today I'm writing about essential oil substitutions. There are fewer variables here, so it'll be a shorter entry,...

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A Guide to Carrier Oil Substitutions

A Guide to Carrier Oil Substitutions

One of the questions I am asked the most is along the lines of "I don't have ingredient X, can I use ingredient Y or Z instead, or just leave it out?". Sometimes the answer is a quick yes, and sometimes it's a complicated no. So, I put together this guide to help you...

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Why There is No Such Thing As How to Make Soap Without Lye

Why There is No Such Thing As How to Make Soap Without Lye

For anyone who makes soap, this whole entry will be fairly redundant. However, I've been getting a lot of questions lately from people who say they are scared of lye, and want to know how to make soap without lye. They're either afraid of working with it, or they...

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Make Your Own Herb Infused Oils

Make Your Own Herb Infused Oils

Herb infused oils are awesome for lots of reasons, but my favourite reasons are 1) you get the benefit of the herb without having funny chunky bits hanging out in your lotions and balms and 2) they just get better as they age, like whiskey, but cheaper (and you can...

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8 Ways to Naturally Colour Soap

8 Ways to Naturally Colour Soap

I've been asked a few times over the past couple months how I colour my soaps. One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing a store like Lush or The Body Shop branding itself as "natural", and seeing how many artificial, petroleum-derived colourants they use in their...

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DIY Body Product Equipment You Need

DIY Body Product Equipment You Need

Well, I've been making some neat products (and some great messes) over the last few years with my beloved DIY products. In the process, I've figured out that there are two categories of equipment; things that you can share between your kitchen and food prep life, and...

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How to Use Raw Aloe Vera

How to Use Raw Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is known to most people as bright green goop. I imagine that goo comes from an underground river like the one in Ghostbusters. As it turns out, that is not where actual aloe vera comes from. Not even close. Aloe vera is a cactus-like plant with long, meaty...

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My Favourite Butters

My Favourite Butters

I know I have too many body type ingredients. Too many oils, butters, essential oils, powders, clays, and everything else. Oh well. I'm ok with it. And lucky for you, since I have too much, I can tell you what's worth buying and spare you the same fate. These are my...

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How to Render Tallow for Making Soap

How to Render Tallow for Making Soap

There's a bit of a debate in the soap making community as to which types of fat to use for the hardening fat. Lots of people like palm oil. It's cheap, plant-based, and works. But the harvest of palm oil is also threatening a lot of vulnerable real estate and species...

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15 Uses for Baking Soda

15 Uses for Baking Soda

Baking soda is crazy cheap and super useful. See? I no longer recommend putting baking soda on your skin; read this for more information. 1. Wash your face Baking soda is just the right texture to be mildly exfoliating, and it's status as a mild base does a great job...

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Bare Hair Care

Bare Hair Care

It's a bit unsettling to think about, but shampoo has a lot more in common with dish washing detergent than that oh-so-gentle cleanser idea advertising agencies like to sell you. I don't know about you, but my hair has very little in common with the pan I made pasta...

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