Beehive Cosmetics

A simple, decadent lemony solid body butter

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Lemony solid body butter

It is an incredibly rainy, windy June day in Eastbourne today, one of those days when one needs to add a jumper to just feel comfortable in the house. It feels more like a late spring day or early autumn one and not at all summer ... but hey ho, one needs to adapt and carry on, regardless. As most of my fellow entrepreneurs know our working day has no beginning and no end and the same with the week ... sometimes Sunday is our Monday and Saturday or Tuesday and we relax whenever we feel that we need a break. This is exactly what I've done today ... after a photographic session (nope I am not the star of this session but a few of my KORINA Collection bags) I felt the need to ... take a break ... an active one. 

As an avid reader, half an hour of reading relaxes me happily but I am also tempted to carry on and carry on .... forgetting about the time ... so trying a new natural cosmetics recipe is what helped me relax today. 

Making my own natural cosmetics is now definitely part of my life ... I love the endless recipes one can try, the delicious ingredients, the smells, the simple act of weighing precise quantities of oils and butters and essential oils (it is exactly the opposite of the way I am in front of an easel when rules are nowhere to be seen) .... the melting and stirring and waiting and melting some more and stirring some more and ....trying with immense curiosity the result of my efforts. It is indeed a highly rewarding activity from many points of view. 

Let me share with you today the recipes I've tried ... it is not the first time I am doing this product .... solid body butter ... I have tried other combinations but today ... it was a lemony solid body butter recipe as I love the lemony smell .... 

What do you need? 

Ingredients 

20 grams cocoa butter 

30 grams coconut oil 

20 grams beeswax 

The beauty of making your own cosmetics products is that you can recycle old cream containers ... and this is exactly what I have done! 

 

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Method 

Add the cocoa butter, coconut butter, beeswax into a double boiler and let it melt slowly. Once melted, remove from the heat, let it stay for a few minutes and add the essential oils. in this case, I have decided to add lemon essential oils about 20 drops. Pour the mixture into your containers and let it cool. If you are impatient you can of course put in in the fridge for half an hour. Hmmm yes do not worry if you spill a bit on the side ... once it cools down you can peel it easily with a knife :) 

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This solid body butter is a great skin moisturiser, perfect for your elbows, feet, knees  .... Have a go ... make your own ... the smell is divine 

 

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Cleopatra inspired milk and Himalayan salt bath

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I am a big fan of everything related to Egypt .... but my post is not about history but about beauty. Nobody knows for sure if indeed Cleopatra used to take long baths in milk but it is a great thought isn't it? Given the cold weather in England and the fact that the Brits are not quite used to keeping their houses very warm (yes I am sure my Romanian fellows will not quite believe this) having a bath is something relatively common ... yes it warms you up, it helps you relax and release the heavy emotional weights one has to carry during the days  .... it allows you to sing your favourite song or listen to an audio book or music or simply be and meditate in the presence of a candle ..... 

Shops are full of products promising the most amazing experiences ... bath gel, bath bombs, bath oils and so on .... Of course I used to buy them in the past and who knows I might buy some in the future but .... one day .... I looked at the ingredients stated on the back of a milk bath pack .... yes the names were written in latin (required by the law), tiny, tiny letters (It made me feel as if I definitely need to change my glasses) and much to my surprise ... the ingredients seemed very simple ... I realised I had them in my cupboard ... and ... I promised myself I will try and make my own Beehive milk bath pretty soon. This was 6 months ago ... today ... it was the day when my muse was ready to spring into action and ... yes I made my first batch. Was it difficult? Nope! Not at all! Was it a pleasant experience`? Oh yes! And ... I did lit a candle ... one made by me :) (but this is for another day)

Surely you already know. it but I will remind you that having a milk and salt bath allows your skin to rejuvenate itself more quickly resulting in radiantly glowing, satiny smooth and soft skin. Have a go! 

This is what you need in order to make your own milk and salt bath. 

1 cup powdered milk 

1 cup Himalayan salt (or sea salt) the fine version but also add a few table spoons of course Himalayan salt

rose buds and rose petals ... they do look good in the bath

10 drops essential oils (in my case I chose to use patchouli as it made me think of India) 

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Mix the ingredients together, add the essential oils and ... store it in glass jars or other air tight containers. 

For your bath add 4 to 6 tablespoons  of milk and salt bath to briskly running water and enjoy a soothing soak. One last thing .... the Himalayan salt helps with cleansing, and detoxifying,  leaving your skin silky and ... refreshed! 


Citrus and Chamomile cold pressed shampoo bars

 

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It's been a year now since I've made my first cold pressed shampoo bar. Of course everything started because of my curious mind .and ... having learned how to make cold pressed soap ... I wanted another challenge so ... cold pressed shampoo was next on my list. 

Years and years ago my mother used to make hot pressed soap at home and she remembered how back in a tiny village in Russia, her parents used to use this type of soap to wash their hair as well so I was not surprised to read that it is possible to make a cold pressed shampoo bar. 

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My hair is bleached and coloured and I've never used lots of lotions and potions on it... let's say I am lazy  ... anyway ... the first time I used my bar of shampoo  I was really curious to see what the result would be ... nope I was not scared ....I was curious. Much to my surprise after I washed it, my hair was not at all entangled and dry as before but very smooth!!!! A huge positive as before I was struggling to comb it after washing it! I have also noticed that my hair was shinier and stayed cleaner for longer .... more positives And last but not least, the bar lasts a long time indeed. (by the way once you buy it from me you can cut it in 2 or 3 sticks and it is easier to use and to carry it with you while travelling) Everything I am sharing here is  based on my personal experience. In time,  friends tried it and became customers ... it is a product I love to make and I really believe in. Here are a few more bits of information about the 2 types of shampoo bars  I currently have.  oh and ....The shelf life? This is a good question ... I still have a piece from my first batch and it's really perfect ... and yes it's one year old :) 

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CITRUS SHAMPOO BAR 

COLD PRESSED 

This shampoo bar is scented with a blend of lime, lemongrass and lemon essential oils that not only give a delightful smell but will boost the cleansing power as well. Mango butter conditions the hair while the natural humectant properties of honey add extra moisture and shine. 

CHAMOMILE SHAMPOO BAR 

COLD PRESSED 

This shampoo bar combines the natural goodness of chamomile tea with nourishing honey to create a wonderful experience for your hair. Chamomile is a soothing herb that suits all hair types even the sensitive ones. Mango butter conditions the hair while the natural humectant properties of honey add extra moisture and shine. 

BENEFITS of using SHAMPOO BARS

  1. Very good value for money 
  2. 100% natural ingredients
  3. Better for the environment
  4. Very practical 
  5. Makes the hair healthier 
  6. Great while travelling 
  7. Are multipurpose - can be used as soap bars and for washing clothes while travelling or camping 
  8. Are space savers 

INSTRUCTIONS TO USE 

  1. After you enter the shower, rinse your hair with plenty of water 
  2. Rub the shampoo bar directly onto your hair. Repeat until you have fully covered your hair
  3. Massage your scalp and hair until a good lather forms 
  4. Rinse the shampoo out of your hair 

I have to say that I do not use any conditioner after using the shampoo bar but, in case you need to use it here are a few options

CONDITIONING / CLARIFYING YOUR HAIR 

1. In case your hair needs extra loving, do apply your favourite conditioner 

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2. It could very well be that you do not need any other products added 

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3. You can prepare a clarifying rinsing combination of 1 part vinegar to 9 parts water, add it to a spray bottle and keep it in the bathroom.  

After you rinse the shampoo from your hair, do spray the rinsing combination on your hair and rinse again with water. The smell will not stay on your hair.  This my darling is a very old way of rinsing the hair, of making it shine using pure natural products. My grandmothers used it ... my mother as well .... it's an old tradition ..... 


Calendula soap for extra sensitive skin

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A year and a bit ago I had no clue what a cold pressed soap was all about or melt and pour or  hot pressed  (actually I had a tiny bit of information but very very tiny and this is a story for a future blog). I have learned in the meantime that making soap, artisan soap ... is an ART. Yep an ART with capital letters. When one starts to investigate  (loving Agatha Christie's books helped me big time) one opens Pandora's box. All sorts of things come out  .... the chemicals that the mainstream manufacturing companies add to the soaps, creams, shampoos on top of a sudden realisation of the tons of wasted plastic bottles,  small, medium, big used which end up in piles and piles all over the world from the bottom of the sea to the highest picks of the mountains. Am I suddenly preaching? Nope ... I was and still am guilty of using plastic bottles all over the house BUT, BUT, BUT ... I am slowly changing my habits ... it's been a year since I bought the last liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner ... yep I am pretty proud of myself ... everything starts with a single step. 

OK enough with the preaching and let's go back to the CALENDULA soap ... a soap recommended even to the people with very sensitive skin and even for children. 

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You might like to know that the healing properties of calendula petals are perfect for soothing an itchy skin as well. Most of the olive oil I use in the recipes is infused with calendula petals or with rose petals. The beauty of calendula petals is that they can be used as you see in the image, even in the mix, creating lovely random designs. The olive oil infused with calendula that has been used in the recipe makes a more moisturising bar, something you skin will thank you for. 

What are the ingredients in this soap? Here they are ... calendula infused olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, distilled water, lye... and yep that's pretty much it. 

Usually the soap needs 4 weeks curing time and it lasts for at least 18 months! 

A little tip 

In order to extend the life of your soap you can cut it in 2 or 3 and use them in different bathrooms. They will soon be available to buy from my new ETSY shop called Beehivecosmeticsshop. 

Calendula soap sensitive skin


What actually is a salt bar?

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I will admit that before buying the "Willow and sage" magazine I have never heard of a salt bar and I have never used one. So yes, curiosity made me try the first recipe and after 6 weeks of waiting for the first batch to cure, I really, really loved the result ... and I still do. It is a very versatile cosmetic product to make, there are lots of recipe variations and I know it will be a product I will always have as part of the Beehive Cosmetics range. 

But let's talk a bit about what is this soap, what does it do and what are the benefits. 

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Let's talk about the Himalayan sea salt bar. Given the name there is no secret that salt is one of the key ingredients in this product. And yes, one can use sea salt instead of Himalayan salt. Himalayan salt crystals contain minerals, small enough for our body and skin to absorb, providing amazing therapeutic benefits to skin, body and mind. The process I am using to make this natural product is called ....  cold pressed. But back to the minerals now .... 

Believe it or not but some of the minerals included are 

Chromium - known to fight cane and reduces skin infections 

Zinc - aids the healing and helps prevent scarring 

Sulphur - keeps the skin smooth and clear, helps diminish dry patches 

Magnesium - great for skin beaus it helps get rid of dry skin. This will also help improve the texture of skin and skin hydration. 

And last but not least Himalayan salt is known as a great exfoliator. 

So, in a nutshell, the Himalayan salt bars

                        - last a long time

                        -  is a great exfoliator

                        - it  moisturises of the skin

                        - it is creamy

                         - it  leaves your skin incredibly smooth

 

A classic salt bar recipe consists of: salt, coconut oil, mango butter. Of course there are lots and lots of variations and I will have quite types  for sale in the next few days from my brand new Etsy shop called Beehivecosmeticsshop. If you live in Eastbourne or in the neighbourhood areas ... you can buy my products from "The Beauty Vault" situated in the Enterprise centre. 

The truth is that a good skincare product does not have to be complicated. My products are eco friendly, cruelty free, natural..... whatever you read on the label is exactly what it is inside! 


Why Beehive Cosmetics?

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So, what is Beehive Cosmetics? What is in a name? Pretty much I can tell you. For me ... it's a connection ... a connection with my ancestors, a connection with my both sides of the family, my Romanian one and my Russian one. My maiden name is Stupu which one could translate .. the one who had beehive. I don't remember my Romanian grandfather but I know for sure that beehives were not part of their lives ... but surely it was part of that side of the family, surely some great grandfathers were beekeepers. I can go even deeper ... deeper down the rabbit hole and say that ... as a Romanian, I come from the Daci and Romans and the land where Romania is nowadays, was called DACIA. It is very well known that the Daci were passionate beekeepers ... the bees were very much revered by them so ... yes my Romanian side has a strong connection to ..the bees.

On the other side, the Russian side I know for sure (from stories) that my grandfather was a keen beekeeper and my mother used to remember time and time again how the honey was stored in huge wooden barrels and during the harsh Russian winters grandfather used to go and cut the solidified honey with a knife and bring it in the house.  

So ... of course when I was searching for a brand name for my cosmetics ... the name Beehive came to my mind .. it actually came during one of my very first days of TM (transcendental meditation) and it is here ... to stay.

OK now that we have an answer as to .. why Beehive Cosmetics ... why am I involved in this activity? Where does this passion to make my own cosmetics come from? 

 

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Simply because about a year and a half ago I came across a magazine called "Willow and Sage" .... I love magazines and I am always with my eyes wide open for whatever is new on the market ... the name attracted me, the design, the idea of recipes for natural cosmetics appealed to me as well. I am a keen cook and a keen experimenter so ... the idea of experimenting with nourishing oils suddenly appealed to me. At the time I was looking for an activity where I was able to simply relax and forget about business, forget about the reality around me ... simply be involved in an activity that is so demanding of ones attention that one is not able to think about anything else ... it is absolutely a way of ... living in the moment. And this is how my journey into cosmetics, natural cosmetics started .. with one recipe ... followed by another ... and another ... and I have started to give it to my friends to try, the positive feedbacks started to come back to me ... and ... here we are some months later ... I am launching my very first products under this umbrella ... the umbrella of BEEHIVE COSMETICS. To be continued .....

 


Introduction to the cold pressed process of making soaps

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I've been making cold pressed soaps for the last 6 months ... it all started out of the blue, after I bought a very interesting and colourful magazine called "Sage and willow". It took me a while to get enough courage to try this technique but once I did my first batch ... I was hooked ...and I still am. It is exciting to create new combinations, to try new recipes and to wait full of trepidation to see the result of your efforts. For this first short blog about the cosmetics I am busily creating in the Beehive Arts Studio I would like to tell you a bit about what is this process all about. So, here we go .... 

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COLD PROCESS SOAP

First of all you need to know that the soaps I am offering are handcrafted in the true traditional cold press method where I  use no heat during production. This means that all the precious, beneficial qualities of the oils are kept intact. During this cold method of soap making, vegetable glycerine [a humectant] is produced naturally during saponification, to enable us to offer the moisturising qualities of naturally produced glycerine soap.

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So, NO CHEMICALS, NO PRESERVATIVES, NO PALM OIL

I  do not use petro-chemical substances, preservatives or detergents. 

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Some of the basic ingredients are: 

Coconut oil Naturally antibacterial, moisturising, cleansing, nourishes the skin, adds creamy lather to soaps

Olive oil 

Skin friendly, generally well tolerated by the majority of people

Sweet almond oil 

High in vitamin E, helps to nourish and moisturise dry skin 

Cocoa butter 

Adds hardness and creamy lather to soaps, nourishes the skin

Castor oil 

Added to help boost bubbles.

More about this interesting process, the soaps, the properties in future blogs.