Articles & Experiments

4 tips to make your body butters feel expensive

4 tips to make your body butters feel expensive

If you're looking to make your body butters stand out—make them feel more expensive, lighter, and lovelier—here are four of my top tips to do just that! These tips can be used for all kinds of body butter formulations—whipped body butters, body balms, body butter...

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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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Stop Believing These 6 Lotion Myths

Stop Believing These 6 Lotion Myths

Today we are debunking six lotion making myths that I have heard a lot in the decade-plus I've been emulsifying on the interwebs. I hope you have a bit of fun with this post, learn some things, and feel emboldened to go out and break some rules! Want to watch this...

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5 ingredients that will make your formulations smell awful

5 ingredients that will make your formulations smell awful

Today we are having a bit of fun with some famously stinky ingredients 😂  Whether or not you find the smell of an ingredient to be pleasant or unpleasant (or worth a bit of unpleasant-ness for its otherwise awesome-ness) is a highly personal thing, so please...

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Ten pieces of equipment for new formulators: Part 2

Ten pieces of equipment for new formulators: Part 2

It's time for part two of Ten Pieces of Equipment for New Formulators ❤️ If you're looking for part one, you can find it here. You might not need everything in part two straight away, but I think you'll probably want to have most of these items within...

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Ten pieces of equipment for new formulators: Part 1

Ten pieces of equipment for new formulators: Part 1

As a new formulator, buying ingredients is probably the most exciting type of shopping (there are so many new and promising ingredients!)—but don't overlook your equipment shopping list! After all, you'll need some tools to turn your new ingredients into all kinds of...

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8 mistakes most new formulators make

8 mistakes most new formulators make

Humblebee & Me's tenth birthday was last week, and it's got me thinking about all the things I've learned about making and formulating since I started making things over a decade ago. Today I thought I'd look at eight of the most common mistakes beginners...

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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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Why is my body butter greasy?

Why is my body butter greasy?

If you adore body butters but prefer lighter, non-greasy formulations, then this is the post for you! Today I'm sharing my top formulation strategies to create lightweight anhydrous body butters. Let's dive in! Want to watch this project instead of reading it? Watch...

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Why is my body butter melting?

Why is my body butter melting?

It's July and it's lovely and warm here, so I thought I'd tackle a topic I get a lot of questions about—body butters and the wonky things they can do in high temperatures. It's crazy disappointing to make a lovely, soft, creamy body butter and have it transform into a...

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Why is my body butter grainy?

Why is my body butter grainy?

In the wide world of "body butters behaving badly", I think graininess is the challenge I get the most questions about and have personally encountered the most throughout my formulating journey. It's such a bummer to create a beautiful body butter and find it's gone...

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Let’s Talk About Hyaluronic Acid

Let’s Talk About Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid and I began our relationship over a year ago, with The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum, and that relationship has since grown into quite the love story. HA is one of those ingredients I'd heard all sorts of lovely things about, but last year...

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Bentonite Clay and DIY Beauty

Bentonite Clay and DIY Beauty

Today I'm really excited to share with you an interview on clays (specifically bentonite) with Ian Hutcheon, Professor Emeritus in Geochemistry at the University of Calgary. Bentonite clay has quite a bit of lore surrounding it in the DIY world. It's not at all...

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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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A Quick Guide to Stearic Acid & Liquid Oil Ratios

A Quick Guide to Stearic Acid & Liquid Oil Ratios

Today we're looking at stearic acid, and how it behaves when melted together with olive oil at different ratios. Stearic acid is a pretty humble ingredient—mine is unassuming white beads that are bigger than cetyl alcohol, but not by much. We use it to thicken and...

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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 Quick Guide to Cera Bellina & Liquid Oil Ratios

A Quick Guide to Cera Bellina & Liquid Oil Ratios

I've been having fun playing with a new ingredient lately—cera bellina. Cera bellina is derived from beeswax, and it does some really cool things. For starters, it makes oil gels! Think about ointments—that soft, creamy, translucent texture. Cera bellina does that! It...

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10 Recipes to Make with Cocoa Butter

10 Recipes to Make with Cocoa Butter

I've been thoroughly smitten with ever since my first tub of it arrived. This brittle, cream-coloured butter smells like super delicious chocolate, and it is a wonderful addition in all kinds of body butters, lotions, and balms. It melts...

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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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The Clay Experiments: The Heavy Clays

The Clay Experiments: The Heavy Clays

Today I'm continuing my series of clay experiments with a category I'm calling the "heavy" clays—rhassoul and bentonite. These are the two heaviest"miscellaneous" clays I have, so I figured I'd pair them for this part of my investigation. Here are the questions I...

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The Clay Experiments: The French Clays

The Clay Experiments: The French Clays

I love my clays, and it’s about time I got to know them a bit better. My oil and wax experiments have been invaluable to me and many readers, so I thought I’d take that approach and to my clay collection. Today we’re starting with the French Clays I own: green and...

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