Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Egg Bath Bombs

Easter is approaching so quickly, and I think everyone can agree that March has flown by! Even though it might be a little too late to make Easter soap in time for the holiday weekend, bath bombs are a super easy and fun project to do with the kids. They will go crazy for the colourful fizzy effects in the tub, and, if you're lucky enough to save one to yourself, you're guaranteed to love how they soften your skin. Why not make a festive bath bomb to pop in the tub after you've spent hours in the kitchen and socializing. You deserve it!

Here's what you'll need to make roughly 5-6 eggs:

Mini plastic Easter egg "shells" 

The reason we say that it makes 5-6 eggs is because there probably isn't a standard size for these mini plastic eggs. Depending on how big the eggs are that you purchase, you may get more or less. As you can see, the ones we used fit loosely in a egg carton which contained large eggs. This recipe technically made 6 bath bombs, but one accidentally dropped which is why it's not shown in the photo (whoops!). 

First, mix your baking soda and citric acid together really well to eliminate any possible chunks. Add in your teaspoon of olive oil and mix thoroughly again. This should make the powder slightly more dense. 

Next, try to divide your batch into three bowls as equally as possible.

 Use your desired three fragrances to scent each part. We chose Lavender, Lemon and Pink Grapefruit essential oils for some spring time scents. You only need a few drops to each bowl.

Next, add your colourant! We used labcolors but you could also use mica if you want some added shimmer. How much to add is completely up to you, but a little goes a long way!


The Labcolors can be a little tricky to fully incorporate into your mixture, as they naturally clump up. A small whisk works well to blend everything together. Be persistent! Eventually everything will blend together.
Now is a good time to use your witch hazel to spritz each part. The perfect bath bomb mix is dense enough to stay clumped if you were to squish it in the palm of your hand then let go, but you don't want it to feel wet. If you over-spritz, your solution will start fizzing like the bath bomb in water, making it really difficult to set in your molds as it will be expanding and reacting. 

Next, Pack your bath bomb mix into the halves of the egg cups.

Pack them tightly, and make sure to fill the right to the top so that when you close the egg, the bath bomb mix in each half will push against the other. 

You will also want to cut off the plastic attachment piece that connects the egg halves, if your cups have these. They will prevent you from de-molding the bath bombs.

We let bath bombs sit overnight to ensure that they would be firm enough to take out of the molds. This worked well, and they were great the next day!

There you have it! They smell great and make your skin feel so pampered. The whole process takes only about 5 minutes, so they are a really easy gift if you like to give out little goodies at Easter, too!

All the best from everyone at Voyageur. 
We wish you a happy long weekend and a Merry Easter! 

Happy crafting, 
The Staff of Voyageur Soap and Candle 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Neon Cold Process Soap Project

This week we have a guest post from Tawnee, who was recently experimenting with our Neon Soap Colourants and came up with this fabulous idea for funky, neon soaps! 

Neon used to remind me of big hair, spandex and leg warmers but nowadays it has come back in a big way!  It seems like fashion from the 80's can be found in every mall with retro neon t-shirts, shoes, and sunglasses as well as neon nail polish and makeup.  To encourage this neon revival we brought in 4 different Neon Soap Pigments that are bold and bright: Yellow, Red, Green, and Pink.  These pigments are pre-diluted in glycerin for ease of use, and they worked fantastic in this Neon Cold Process Soap project using our brand new column mold!  The soap recipe we used has a high shea butter content, which helps lay down a protective barrier on the skin, for a bar that's medium-hard with lots of lovely lather.  Here's what you'll need to make one 3lb batch of neon soap:

150 grams Sodium Hydroxide
375 grams Soft or Distilled Water

263 grams Coconut Oil 76
338 grams Palm Oil
375 grams Sunflower Oil
75 grams Shea Butter

Step 1. Get your equipment ready.  You'll need gloves, a scale, 2 measuring cups, 4 mixing bowls, a whisk, and a hand mixer, as well as plenty of paper towel.  Be sure to wear long sleeves and safety goggles. 

Step 2.  Put on your gloves and safety goggles and measure out your lye into a measuring cup.  Be very cautious, lye is a caustic chemical and will burn your skin if it comes into contact!  Measure your water into a SEPARATE measuring cup, then slowly pour the lye into the water.  Remember, ALWAYS pour your lye into water, never the opposite!  After the contents have been fully poured out, gently whisk the solution until no solids remain.  When lye comes into contact with water it spikes up in temperature, so ensure the container you're using is heat resistant. It also releases fumes which are not good to inhale (and painful!), so make sure you're breathing away from the solution.

Step 3.  Put your lye aside in a safe place and start weighing out your soap oils.  Choose a container that is big enough to hold all the oils and mix them in.  After all the oil and shea butter have been weighed out, heat up the oils in the microwave or in a double boiler.  The oils need to be a temperature between 120 - 130 degrees F for this recipe.

Step 4.  Check the temperature of your lye solution.  It needs to be between 120 - 130 degrees as well, within 10 degrees of the melted oils.  If the oils are at the proper temperature but your lye is still too hot you can put it into a cold water bath like this one:

Step 5:  Once your lye water and oils are withing 10 degrees of the same temperature (between 120 - 130) you can pour the lye solution into the melted oils.  Your instinct will probably be to whisk them while you pour, but this could cause splashing so just pour the whole container of lye water in slowly in one fluid motion.  

Step 6.  Whisk the mixture gently for 10-20 seconds.  This will start to activate the saponification process!  After your first round of whisking, use the hand mixer for about 15 seconds, then rotate back to the whisk for 15 seconds, and keep alternating until the soap starts getting visibly thicker.  The reason behind alternating between whisking and mixing is because while blending the soap with the mixer speeds up the process with its faster agitation, it doesn't actually mix the oils as well as hand whisking does.  Using both mixing methods ensures that it doesn't take too long to bring the soap up to the proper consistency, but that all the ingredients are getting mixed evenly at the same time. 

Step 7.  Stop mixing when you reach a light trace.  The "trace" stage refers to the thickness of the soap; the perfect consistency is when you can just start to see the trails that a whisk leaves behind when you drag it through the soap.  When the mixture has reached the trace stage you are ready to add your fragrances and colourants.  Because we are going to be splitting up the soap into 4 separate batches you don't want to add the colourants yet, but you can add the fragrance to the whole batch at this point. 

Step 8.  After adding the fragrance give the soap a good whisking until it has been blended in evenly.  Remember: although the soap mixture might look like inconspicuous pudding at this time, it does still contain active lye and can burn your skin!  Keep baby wipes on hand if you get any of the soap on your skin.  At this point you will want to split up the soap into 4 even batches using mixing bowls or measuring cups.  They don't have to be exact, I just eyeballed it!  Individually add about 3 grams of a neon soap colourant into each bowl, so that each bowl is coloured with a different pigment.  Stir well with your whisk to combine.  

Step 9.  At this point your soap is ready to pour!  Before starting, make sure that the liner inside the column mold is not overlapping, and that the mold is pushed all the way down onto the end cap.  Then pour your first layer as close to the center of the mold as possible, and count to 3 while pouring to ensure consistency of the layers.  Repeat with all the colours, rotating between each pour.  

Here's a look at what our mold looked like about halfway through:

Remember that the thicker the soap is the more distinction will be between each colour.  If you pour the soap at a very light trace where the consistency is very thin, the soap will have more integration between layers and it will look more swirly.  I poured this at a medium-heavy trace so the circles would be more defined, mimicking the shape of the circular soap.  

After finishing all your layers cover the top of the mold with a tea towel, cardboard, or freezer paper.  In order to push the soap through a gel phase (which means that it loses its heat as slowly as possible) I insulated the mold very well with many heavy towels, which made the colours brighter in the end.  If you do not insulate your mold it will lose its heat quicker and may not go through the gel phase, making the colours a bit more muted and pastel-like.  

After 24 hours, de-mold the soap by gently twisting the end cap away from the tube.  After the end cap is off it is very easy to grab the liner and slide it out of the tube, then peel back the liner gently and remove your soap loaf!  You can cut the soap within 24 hours of de-molding, then let the soap cure in an area with good air circulation for 3-4 weeks.  

This soap smells so yummy and is incredibly eye-catching!  My favourite part of these soaps are that each bar is unique and the front is different from the back of each bar.  

I also tested out the neon soap pigments in our Melt and Pour soap bases and found the following results:

The neon colourants stay pretty true to their tone in Melt & Pour.  The only one that had a slight issue was the green pigment, I found that it has a tendency to speckle so it's important to mix it really well.  When used in clear soaps they have more of a fluorescent colour whereas in white soap they are slightly more muted and pastel-toned.  Either way, these colourants look absolutely lovely!  I can just imaging mixing them with micas and other pigments!

Happy soaping,

Voyageur Soap & Candle

Friday, March 15, 2013

Beeswax Easter Egg Candles

It's hard not to get excited about the impending Easter Holiday! Not only does Easter hold religious importance, but it often signifies the presence of loved ones, great food and the beginning of the Spring season.

It's also very easy to get inspired by spring time colours, scents and scenes as pastel hues, smells of fresh flowers and floral prints become trendy.

Perhaps the most symbolic shape which reminds us of Easter is, of course, the egg. Often adorned with paint, stickers and colourful foils, Easter egg decorations are plentiful at this time of year. And what better to use as an inspiration for handmade goodies?

Our brains are running on overdrive with Easter and Spring-time crafting ideas which we have been both inventing and pinning on Pinterest.

The first project we wanted to try was one to make egg-shaped beeswax candles using real egg shells! This was obviously bound to be both a little messy and tricky, but proved to be a worthy cause!

The recipe that we initially found called for natural yellow beeswax which would work just as well, but using white beeswax with candle dyes made for candles that look a little more festive.

Here's what you will need to make three candles:

Three real eggs
Approximately 210 g of white beeswax pastilles

For starters, you will want to wash your eggs with soap and water. I would actually recommend having more eggs than three, even if you only intend on making three candles. Reason being, that you will more than likely break a few (it's fairly inevitable). 

Next, you will need a sharp object to poke two holes in your egg. I tried both scissors and a large gauge metal skewer, and found the skewer to work better.

When making holes, I set my egg in the middle of a roll of tape that I had which held it perfectly. You can also sit it in the egg carton.

Poke one hole in the top, and one in the bottom of your egg. You way want to kind of scratch firmly on the surface of the egg where you want the hole to be. This helps loosen the firm shell. Once you have a little scratch mark, or indent, twist the skewer with gentle force until a hole is created. 

Once you have poked a small hole in the top and bottom, you can make the hole on the top (the smaller end) larger by chipping a bit of the shell away. Your goal is to have a small hole on the bottom and a larger hole on top. This is because on the bottom, you want to just be able to fill it with a wick. The top is where you will pour in the wax, so the bigger the better to some extent. You still want the top to resemble an egg shape, so don't make it too big!

Next, over a bowl, turn your egg upside down so that the larger hole on the top is facing downward and blow the egg out! This is why I suggested cleaning them. Ensure you get as much egg out as possible! You will be able to hear whistling of air out of the hole and should be able to see inside well enough to know when it's cleaned out.

Then, feed your HTP 1212 wick through the bottom of the egg through the top hole. 

You then need to use tape, clay, or maybe even gum to the bottom of the egg to secure the wick to the bottom and seal any areas where liquid wax may seep out. I used tape. Don't be scared to use a lot! You're going to peel it off anyways.

Next, sit your egg back in the carton, or an egg cup where it will sit upright and securely.

Then, melt your wax. I found that you will need approximately 70 g of beeswax per egg. This gives you some excess wax, but you'll probably find that you need it, as it can be hard to land all the wax inside the egg!

When your wax has melted, add a desired candle dye. You can add as much or as little as you want, by shaving bits off the dye block with a small grater, knife or scissors. Remember that your wax will always dry a lighter colour than it looks when it's melted. You can test the colour by dipping in the edge of a spoon or napkin and letting it dry. 

When you're happy with the colour, pour your melted beeswax very slowly and carefully. This is the part that can get pretty messy, especially if your pot doesn't have a spouted edge! Hence the extra precautionary beeswax.

You should still have a little wax left. Either keep this hot, or put it aside and re-melt after about 10-20 minutes. Beeswax shrinks when it cools, you will notice that it will sink down in the egg after a while, and you will want to fill this up to create the full egg shape.

Wait 1-2 hours before removing the shell. Once you feel that your wax has cooled enough, peel away the shell of the egg. You may have some eggy residue on your candle, but it can be easily washed off with water and soap if desired. 

You may want to shave off some wax near the top of the egg to smooth it off. I also used a heat gun to help smooth and shape the candles I had made for display in the store, but this really wouldn't be a necessity for at-home use.

The wick tab at the bottom really helps the candles to stand on their own, so you can display them in so many ways.

 Finally, trim down your wick, light, and enjoy! We can just picture these making the cutest addition to your Easter festivities. If you try these awesome candles, please feel free to share your story and experience with us!

As always, everyone at Voyageur wishes you the best.

PS. Keep your eyes out for even more upcoming Easter and Spring inspired project ideas!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Easter Bath Eggs and Easter Candles

This Easter after long hours in the kitchen and lots of family gatherings, pamper yourself with these adorable bath "eggs"!  These luxurious bath treats have a high shea butter content which means that your skin will feel super soft and smooth after your bath, and they also contain fizzing ingredients and soothing epsom salts.  Here's what you'll need to make 4 bath "eggs":

4 heaping teaspoons Shea Butter Refined
3 heaping teaspoons Sodium Bicarbonate
1 heaping teaspoon Citric Acid
1 teaspoon Shea Oil
Drops of Fragrance Oil or Essential Oil if desired

Step 1: Combine the shea butter, sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, and shea oil together in a bowl.  

Step 2: Add drops of fragrance (we used Citrus Celebration) until desired scent level is reached.  We used about half a teaspoon of fragrance.  

Step 3: Mix the ingredients together with the back of a spoon.  Continue to do so until the mixture is uniform and easily sticks together when you squish it.  If you're finding it to be too dry, add some more shea butter.

Step 4: After the mixture is fully combined start forming little balls in your hand.  Mold them in the shape of an egg. 

Step 5: Add about a tablespoon of epsom salts to a small container.  Colour the salts with your choice of colourant, be it mica, chromium greens, ultramarines, or liquid labcolours.  You can do multiple batches of epsom salts with different colours, we used Violet Mica, Romantic Rose Mica, Chromium Hydroxide, and Canary Labcolour.  

Step 6: Roll the balls in the epsom salts until all sides are covered.  

There you have it!  Throw the little eggs into the bath water as it's being poured for a relaxing, skin softening experience!  These bath treats would make the perfect Easter dinner favour for guests to take home!

Make sure to decorate this upcoming Easter with these adorable Easter candles.  Made in our 2, 4, and 6 oz deep tins they are eye catching and totally in season!  For instructions on how to make soy container candles click here

We used the EcoSoya CB Advanced container wax, Lilac and Lilies fragrance oil, and various candle dye pads.  We found that the 2 oz tin uses the RRD 34 x 2.5" wick, the 4 oz uses the HTP 104 x 4" wick, and the 6 oz tins works perfectly with the HTP 1212 x 3.5" wick.  These cheerful candles bring joy into any environment!  

Happy holidays!


The Voyageur Team

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Nail Polish & Eyeliner

This St. Patty's Day don't be left out!  Make yourself some shimmery green nail polish and beautiful eyeliner to wear as you enjoy a green beer (or two)!  Our Slammin' Shamrock nail polish is super easy to make and turns out beautiful once applied.  Here's what you need for one bottle:

4 x 0.15 cc scoops of Shamrock Shimmer Mica
1 x 0.15 cc scoop of Spring Meadow Mica

Simply measure out your nail polish into one of our measuring cups.  Add the mica and stir well to incorporate. 

Drop the mixing balls into the bottle, then pour the nail polish into the bottle by squeezing the edges of the cup together to form a spout.  

For a fun touch, try "gold dipping" your fingernails in gold mica or glitter after applying the polish while it's still wet and apply a layer of clear top coat.  Here's what it looks like with our sparkle gold mica:


To match those festive nails we created a brand new formula for a gel eyeliner.  Here is what you need to make 50 grams:

5 grams Stearic Acid
3 grams Beeswax
10 grams Dimethicone
27 grams Castorlatum

Measure out all the ingredients except the clay into a heat safe measuring cup, then melt them in the microwave or double boiler.  

Add the white clay to the mixture.  At first it will look like this:

But continue mixing it and eventually it will look smooth and consistent like this:

Pour the mixture into the containers of your choice, we used the 10 ml Black Jar with clear cap.

Add the mica/colourant blend of your choice.  

For the eyeliner above we used 5 x 0.15 cc scoops of Shamrock Shimmer Mica and 2 x 0.15 Spring Meadow Mica.  Continue stirring until no lumps remain.  This could take a little bit, but ensure there are no speckles for an even colour.

For the eyeliner on the right we used 4 x 0.15 cc scoops each of Chromium Hydroxide and Spring Meadow Mica for more of a teal green.  They both turned out equally pretty! 

These eyeliners are designed to be more of a firm cream consistency, and because they are more natural than commercial cosmetics they don't dry out like you would find from drugstore brands.  If using as an eyeliner simply apply with an angled brush, but they can also double as a cream eye shadow!  We tested the two eyeliners on our lovely packager Nicole:

Simply stunning!  

So this St. Patrick's Day green it up with these fabulous, festive cosmetic ideas!

All the best,

The Voyageur Team

Print Friendly