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!
How I Would Learn to Formulate (if I could start over)

How I Would Learn to Formulate (if I could start over)

You’ve made your first DIY lip balms, body butters, and maybe even a lotion. You’ve shared your creations with your friends and family, and they love them! Now you’ve got the itch to try creating your own recipes instead of just following ones you found online. But......

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Dangerous Essential Oil Mistakes Most DIYers Make

Dangerous Essential Oil Mistakes Most DIYers Make

Essential oils are are some of the riskiest ingredients in DIY skincare, and most people don't realise it because of all the misinformation out there. There’s this idea that they’re safe and simple to use because they’re all natural, but unfortunately, that’s not the...

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How to make your lotion lighter

How to make your lotion lighter

If you dream of fluid body milks, ultra-light emulsions, and fast-absorbing lotions, this post is for you. Today I'll be teaching you how to make thinner, lighter emulsions—I'm sharing three different strategies that you can mix and match to create the fast-absorbing...

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How to make your lotion richer

How to make your lotion richer

I struggled with what to title this post. I will be teaching you how to make your lotions richer and thicker, but the formulation skill behind that richness & thickness boosting is so much more than that! I will go as far as to say if you don't know how to do...

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How to make your lotions thicker

How to make your lotions thicker

If you want to make thicker lotions and creams, you've come to the right place! In this post I'll be teaching you three different (easy!) strategies for thickening and adding body to your natural lotions. You can use these strategies alone or combine them–it's up to...

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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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