Essential Reading

If you're new to DIYing, you should really read these articles. They'll help get you started out on the right foot with good habits and the right ingredients!
6 body butter mistakes most newbies make

6 body butter mistakes most newbies make

Body butters are a fabulous place to start your formulating journey. I started with lip balms and body butters and made a lot of mistakes along the way; I'm hoping this post can help save you from a few of them! Want to watch this project instead of reading it? Watch...

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Why is my body butter not whipping?

Why is my body butter not whipping?

Have you ever whipped up an utterly decadent body butter, only to find it transformed into a hard, crumbly brick when left overnight? Or perhaps you were whipping up a gorgeous blend of butters that suddenly collapsed into soft gloppy mess? Whipped body butters are...

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Ten DIY Ingredients for Beginner Formulators: Part 2

Ten DIY Ingredients for Beginner Formulators: Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of Ten DIY Ingredients for Beginner Formulators! In part 1 we covered five anhydrous ingredients that will allow you to create all kinds of awesome anhydrous products—balms, whipped body butters, lip balm, and more. Today we're adding five more...

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Ten DIY Ingredients for Beginner Formulators: Part 1

Ten DIY Ingredients for Beginner Formulators: Part 1

There are literally thousands of cosmetic ingredients for sale, so it's no wonder that shopping for ingredients can be an overwhelming experience for new formulators! Between the sheer number of ingredients and the often fantastical claims made about them, it can be...

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How to Research Your Ingredients: Part 2

How to Research Your Ingredients: Part 2

Welcome to part two of "How to Research Your Ingredients"! Part one was all about what you should be finding out about your ingredients, and the nuance involved in some of those categories (make sure you've read it!). Part two is going to be about how and where to...

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How to Research Your Ingredients: Part 1

How to Research Your Ingredients: Part 1

We're kicking off 2020 with a bit of a multi-part guide on how to research your ingredients—a super important skill! I often hear from people who have bought something but they don't remember what for, so they're left with an ingredient with no defined purpose or use....

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Formulating and DIYing with Spreadsheets

Formulating and DIYing with Spreadsheets

Today I want to talk about something that really isn’t all that sexy or exciting, but it is super useful—using spreadsheets for your DIYing and formulating! Even if you don't formulate I'd recommend stepping away from online recipe calculators in favour of...

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On Throwing Things Away

On Throwing Things Away

I wanted to take some time today to talk about something I find harder than it should be, but something that has to happen: throwing DIY stuff away. Be it past-their-prime ingredients, dubiously useable products, mystery bottles, or packaging you swear you’ll be able...

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How to Scale Any Recipe

How to Scale Any Recipe

Recipe scaling is something I get a reasonable amount of questions about, so I thought I'd write out a how-to on how to scale any recipe so you can confidently make lots (or very little) of the things you love. I've also created a downloadable spreadsheet that you can...

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Research Red Flags & How to Learn About Your Ingredients

Research Red Flags & How to Learn About Your Ingredients

One of my favourite things about this community is the enthusiasm with which people research; the desire to learn more about ingredients, products, and processes is insatiable! However, as anyone who has done much poking about in this space will know, there's a lot of...

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So, You Want to Sell the Things You Make

So, You Want to Sell the Things You Make

This hobby, moreso than many others, seems to have people opening up their own Etsy shops and stalls at local markets within months of making their first lip balm. And frankly, that's a bit concerning. If you told a friend you'd just learned to make a great marinara...

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Why Homemade Sunscreen is Never a Good Idea

Why Homemade Sunscreen is Never a Good Idea

Back in 2012 I published a short post on DIY sunscreen, the gist of which was “don’t make it, you can’t know if it works.” That post continues to get a lot of traffic and quite a few comments, many of which aim to convince me that DIY sunscreen is (or can be) a good...

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A Guide to Making Substitutions in DIY Recipes

A Guide to Making Substitutions in DIY Recipes

I get asked about substitutions, additions, and swaps a lot—hence this guide to making substitutions. I've already got guides on carrier oil substitutions and essential oil substitutions, so this article is going to be a bit more scattered. I'll look at some starter...

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A Quick Guide to Different Emulsifying Waxes

A Quick Guide to Different Emulsifying Waxes

In my time working with emulsifying waxes, I've found that they vary quite a lot. There are two main categories of emulsifying waxes—complete and incomplete. We'll be looking at complete emulsifying waxes (or e-waxes) here as incomplete e-waxes require co-emulsifiers...

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DIY Project Clean Up Tips

DIY Project Clean Up Tips

You might not guess it, but I get a surprisingly large number of questions about how to clean up DIY messes. Beeswax, shea butter, clays, and other assorted powders can make some pretty mighty messes that outclass a kid's pizza party pretty fast. Here's how I deal...

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Tips on Creating Your Own DIY Recipes

Tips on Creating Your Own DIY Recipes

As I'm sure you can tell, I'm not much for following recipes—I'd rather make up my own. Sometimes it works, sometimes it sort of works, and sometimes it's a catastrophic, err, "learning experience". Over the last few years I've learned some lessons when it comes to...

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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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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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