The Best of 2019

Happy it’s nearly 2020! I can scarcely believe we’re at the end of another decade. I can’t help but think about where I was ten years ago—in 2009 I was pretty sure I’d work as a graphic designer in an ad agency or fancy design firm. I never could’ve imagined I’d be here today—formulating, creating, sharing, and teaching full time. I couldn’t be happier with how things have gone!

These projects are some of my favourites from 2019. They represent new and refined tools & techniques, ongoing ingredient love affairs, things I use every day, and things you guys fell in love with. I am so incredibly thankful for your support this year—I am so, so lucky to spend so much of my time making things I’m proud of and excited about, and then sharing them with so many curious, enthusiastic, and kind people ❤️ You guys are the best!

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A Quick Guide to Ozokerite Wax and Liquid Oil Ratios

Today we’re getting better acquainted with ozokerite wax—a very hard mineral wax similar to ceresine wax. Historically “ozokerite [is/was] a naturally occurring fossil wax found near soft shale“, but today what we call “ozokerite wax” is made from petroleum waxes like microcrystalline wax and paraffin. Unlike most waxes we work with, ozokerite wax is a pretty varied product because it is manufactured from blends of petroleum wax, and those blends can vary. A search of UL Prospector turns up quite a few results for products that have a fairly large range of melting points (as low as 54°C/130°F and as high as 101.7°C/215°F!). The different waxes have trade names like “Ozokerite 2095” and “EU Ozokerite 167/175”, but the INCIs for all of these waxes is plain ol’ “ozokerite”, leaving room for general confusion as all the ozokerite I’ve seen for sale to home crafters is just listed as “ozokerite”. The wax I’m using today is from TKB Trading. I haven’t had an opportunity to try ozokerite from any other suppliers.

A Quick Guide to Ozokerite Wax and Liquid Oil Ratios

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Humblebee & Me is 8!

Oh my goodness, Humblebee & Me is eight! My little blog is a third-grader, and if it takes after me, it’ll be learning and forgetting long division (for the first time, at least) this year. This last year has been full of making things, learning things, and meeting Bees all over the world!

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10 Recipes to Make with Cetyl Alcohol

If you’re on the fence about investing in some cetyl alcohol I’m hoping this post can help convince you to pick up a couple ounces of the stuff. I first started working with cetyl alcohol in early 2017 and it has quickly become something I’ll never want to be without. It’s inexpensive (a kilo/roughly 2lbs is typically in the $11–13 range), has a long shelf life, and is insanely versatile. I use it in everything from lotions to balms to shampoo bars, and it tends to make everything better!

10 Recipes to Make with Cetyl Alcohol

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Lipstick for Lottie

Today’s recipe is something fun I’ve been able to work on with my dog, Lottie, which isn’t something I usually get to do. Lottie and formulating don’t really go together—she doesn’t need an under-eye gel, and what with her being so furry, lotions and body butters aren’t products she uses. She loves watching me get ready, though, and I could tell she has a particular fondness for lipstick given she often tries to lick mine off if I’m wearing any. So, I decided to make her some lipstick of her own—Lottie Lipstick!

April Fools!

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The Tale of the Curdling Body Wash

Today we’re doing something a bit different; I wanted to walk you all through the experiments I did while I was working on last year’s Christmas Tree Body Wash as The Tale of the Curdling Body Wash. It was a really interesting puzzle that I worked at for quite a while—I managed to isolate the trigger, but I still don’t know exactly what is going on, so my only solution for avoiding the curdling is avoiding the trigger. I thought I’d share my process and my results, and maybe we can crowd source a better answer!

The Tale of the Curdling Body Wash

 

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