Thursday, November 8, 2012

Body Series - Test Lab: Lip Balm, Bath Fizzies, & Body Scrubs

I have a close friend that I have known since I was 15 years old and we have found ourselves living somewhat close to each other after all these years and are lucky enough to see each other a few times a year. Last year around the holidays, she gave me a gift of homemade cookies and treats. My family and I enjoyed that gift so very much--the thought (and love) that was behind it as well as the enjoyment of the baked goods and thinking of her and her family as we snacked on the cookies and candies she made.

So, in that spirit, this year we decided to collaborate and craft homemade items as gifts for other friends and family. First, we canned pears and strawberries and recently, we made homemade bath fizzies, lip balm, and body scrub. We researched many different recipes and decided to try these three, which turned out really nicely. In fact, we were incredibly impressed with how easy they were to do and how pretty they looked (to the point of high-fiving each other all day, I mean, they turned out that well)!    :)

They are awesome projects for beginners, which I definitely am, and they make beautiful, wonderful gifts.

Honey-Kissed Lip Balm
(Original recipe from

1 cup carrier oil - see note #1 below
1/2 cup beeswax
3-4 tbsp local honey
Natural food coloring (optional)
Sugar (optional garnish)

Tools Needed:
Small saucepan (optional, see Method below)
Liquid measuring cup, glass, with 2 cup capacity at least
Spoon and/or whisk, to stir
Small containers to hold lip balm - see note #6
Doo-dads (is that even a real word??) and labels to decorate (optional)

  1. Combine carrier oil and beeswax in a liquid measuring cup and microwave about two to three minutes until softened. I recommend checking and stirring after each minute. Alternatively, if you prefer not to use a microwave, then just add your oil and beeswax to a small saucepan and heat over medium to low heat until beeswax is dissolved. Then pour into a liquid measuring cup.
  2. Add honey to mixture and whisk to mix. If adding any coloring, add now.
  3. Pour into containers and let cool. Before completely cool, sprinkle sugar on top, if using.
  4. Decorate containers, if desired.

Recipe makes just over twice this amount -
5 small containers and 1 large container shown above.

  1. Carrier oil - the original recipe recommends Almond Oil, but we used a mixture of Almond, Jojoba, and Meadowfoam Seed, with a little Sea Buckthorn thrown in for good measure. I would recommend any oil, even Olive Oil, but be mindful of shelf life characteristics, potential for allergic reactions, odor, and temperature tolerances in addition to specific use benefits. For example, I included Meadowfoam Seed oil because it is very stable in addition to having wonderful benefits. I wanted to include Rosehip Oil, but that would have lessened the life of my lip balm. You can review Body Series: Oils #1 and Body Series: Oils #2 for information about particular oils or the Essential Oil page of this blog for a good start.
  2. This took about half of an hour to do (excluding decorating), but you will need to let it completely cool before using.
  3. I would rate this project "easy".
  4. See the picture above, the recipe above makes about 1 1/2 cups, which translates to a little more than twice the amount shown in the picture.
  5. I am not sure if the coloring is worth it. We had a really tough time getting it incorporated and then it seemed to sink to the bottom. We finally achieved a coral looking color, but it doesn't really transfer to your lips. I did try "whipping" it into the hardened lip balm and that made the color change (I used three drops red and 1 blue and got a really nice light pink on my lips) but the lip balm does not re-harden so you're left with a "smooshy" concoction.
  6. Containers - You could buy the metal containers at your local craft or health food stores I am sure. I think I bought the large metal container from Mountain Rose Herbs and all the other, smaller containers were retained from other lotions, face creams, and lip balms I have purchased over the years, washed and with former labels removed.
  7. My Sources - I purchase my honey locally ( and bought the beeswax and oils at Mountain Rose Herbs online. I purchased my decorating items from Michael's or Hobby Lobby, I can't recall which one now.

Bath Fizzies
(Original recipe from One Good Thing by Jillee)


Dry Ingredients
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1/2 cup corn starch
1/4 cup oats, ground

Wet Ingredients (and borax)
2 1/2 tbsp of a light carrier oil - see notes below
1+ tsp essential oil or oil blend of your choice - see notes below
3/4 tablespoon water
1/4 tsp vitamin E oil (optional but recommended)
1/4 tsp borax
Witch hazel in a spray bottle, less than a quarter cup
Natural food coloring (optional)

Save any extra loose mixture in a pretty bottle like the one above and use in your bath.

Tools Needed:
Spray bottle (for witch hazel)
Blender, food processor, or magic bullet (to grind up oats)
Large bowl for dry ingredients
Medium bowl (or 4 cup liquid measuring cup)
Molds - see note #5 below

  1. Grind oats and mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Wet ingredients - combine oils, water, and borax in a medium bowl. Add food coloring if using. Drizzle onto dry ingredients and mix together with your hands.
  3. Lightly spray 2-3 times with witch hazel and keep mixing with your hands. Spray until the mixture just starts to hold together when pressed in your hands, like slightly moist fine sand. If it's not sticking together, simply spritz a little more witch hazel until it does.
  4. Pack tightly into molds, using any size and/ or shape as per your preference. See note #5 below.
  5. Let them dry and harden overnight. If you take out early, they will crumble!
Assistant stirring dry ingredients (Step #1)

  1. Carrier oil - the original recipe recommends Almond Oil or Sunflower, but we used a mixture of Almond, Grapeseed and Meadowfoam Seed. I've also used Shea Nut and Kukui Nut Oils. I would recommend any light colored/ mild smelling oil being mindful of shelf life characteristics and potential for allergic reactions.
  2. Essential oil - any combination, your preference. I used orange and the original recipe recommends lavender. Whatever you like would be great. We thought more would be better, so you might consider using more than the 1 tsp indicated.
  3. We had a hard time with the coloring. It didn't seem to be easily incorporated. I would suggest trying to include it in a small spray bottle and perhaps spraying the mixture before adding the witch hazel, or just not worrying about coloring.
  4. Optional technique - instead of molds, you could simply pour the mixture into pretty bottles to be sprinkled into your bath. We did this with our leftover mixture.
  5. I used a bunch of little molds, but I think I may make bigger ones next time. Anything would work, One Good Thing by Jillee recommends simply using a measuring cup if that's all you have. I bet you could even shape into little ovals with your hands and they would be pretty. I ran out of molds and used a teaspoon size and tablespoon size measuring cup, packed in the mixture, and then popped it out to dry and that worked. Anything would work.
  6. Optional - I sprinkled oats and Epsom Salts into my molds before pressing in the fizzy mixture and that adding a nice texture to some of the fizzies.
  7. This takes about an hour to do.
  8. I would rate this as easy to medium. It's not hard, it's just different. If you are used to this sort of thing, it would be easy.
  9. This recipe makes sixteen 1 1/2 inch bath bombs or about thirty 1/2 to 3/4 inch bath bombs (see picture below, which is double the recipe and we had about a half cup leftover).
  10. My Sources - Mountain Rose Herbs online carried all the ingredients that my local stores did not carry. I purchased my molds from Amazon, they were silicon molds and worked really well.
Update on Bath Fizzies... my friend made another batch recently and used food coloring and scents: green eucalyptus, blue ocean breeze (try 3 parts peppermint, 10 parts sweet orange, 5 parts sandalwood, ten parts lavender or 2 parts lavender, 1 part rosemary, 1 part lemongrass, and 1 part sandalwood), pink cotton candy (try 6 parts litsea cubeba, 3 parts sweet orange, 1 part german chamomile, and 1 part vanilla), and fresh lemon. She's so talented... :)

Sugar & Salt Body Scrubs
(Original recipe from Mountain Rose Blog)

1 cup brown sugar - see note #1
1/2 cup fine sea salt - see note #2
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp carrier oil - see note #3
1/2 tsp organic Vanilla extract (or Essential Oils of your choice)
Optional ingredients - Grated cocoa butter and/or Epsom Salts

Tools Needed:
Magic Bullet, food processor, or blender to grind course sugar and/ or salt, as needed
Small Bowl
Spool to mix
Containers (I used the 4 ounce Ball quilted jelly jars, but you could use anything with a wide mouth and lid)
Labels and doo-dads for decorating (optional)
Grater (if using grated cocoa butter)

  1. Blend sugars and salts together in a small bowl. 
  2. Add oils and vanilla (or other essential oils).
  3. Mix well and pack into containers.
  4. Sprinkle grated cocoa butter and additional salts on top as a garnish (optional). We also drizzled a little extra oil on top, but I'm not sure that was worthwhile.
  1. Sugar - we made three batches and used different sugar combinations in each batch, including regular organic cane sugar, brown sugar, Turbinado sugar (ground finely in a Magic Bullet), and coconut sugar.
  2. Salt - we used a combination of Himalayan and Black Hawaiian. Any salt will work just fine but you'll want to grind up any course varieties.
  3. Carrier oil - the original recipe recommends Sunflower Oil, but we used a mixture of Almond, Jojoba, Shea Butter Oil, and Meadowfoam Seed. I would recommend any oil, even olive oil, being mindful of shelf life characteristics, odor, and potential for allergic reactions when choosing.
  4. We flavored with vanilla essential oil in addition to the vanilla extract as we wanted a stronger smell. I would suggest you experiment to find your favorite.
  5. This takes about 30 minutes to make (excluding decorating time) and each batch makes 8 of the jars shown in my pictures (the small sized canning jars, which are four ounces).
  6. I would rate this project as "easy". Very easy.
  7. My Sources - Mountain Rose Herbs online carried all the ingredients that my local stores did not carry. I purchased my decorating items from Michael's or Hobby Lobby, I can't recall which one now.
  8. Be cautious, these scrubs (actually, the oils in these scrubs) will make your bath slick. Don't wipe out in the tub - that could be dangerous!
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  1. Wow these are all beautiful gifts! You have been very busy! They look so good, almost like you could eat them ;)

    1. Actually, they are mostly made of things you can eat! :) You should give them a try, you will be surprised at how easy they were to do. It was a lot of fun and the little one really loved taking his bath with the fizzies. He thought I was really cool making this stuff. Ha!

  2. I love diy gifts, and these looks beautiful and FUN. Love, love, love.

    Thanks for linking up at Thank Your Body Thursday. Hope you'll come back tomorrow!

    1. Best of all, the little one thinks I am amazing for making something that fizzes in his bath. :) Thanks for the thoughtful comment!


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