Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Anti-Talc - Day Two - Fragrance and Color

Click here for Day One - set up & explanation of ingredients

Making body powder is surprisingly easy. For an item with high margins, one would think that there is more skill involved. It's more a matter of patience than levels of knowledge or dexterity (see below for sifting and sifting and sifting).

Step One: Measure out your dry powders.

I tried many different combinations of Arrowroot, Dry Flo AF and Rice Flour. Ultimately, the mixture I ended up settling on was the easiest of the bunch. I measured with volume rather than weight (usually a no-no), justifying it by telling myself that many of the Soap Queen Blog readers might not have scales.

Most of the powders are lighter than air so they poof up when pouring. Be prepared for this and either (a) wear a mask or (b) don't breathe. You will be dismayed to find Arrowroot Powder in crevices you never expected. The powder travels.

Step Two: Add color

You can use mica (body safe - no craft store glitters, please) and water based colorants such as Labcolors or True Tones. In my experience, most glitters are too large to fit through the teensy powder shaker holes and don't stick well on skin. Also, pigments do not work well. While they provide adequate color, they tend to stick and turn into clay on sweaty skin. Ewwww ...

Usage rate is to preference. Most micas tend to dust the skin with a glorious sprinkling of color when used at 6% quantities or greater. Labcolors and True Tones will dye the skin if used too freely (anything above .5% is too free with these concentrated colors). Test batches are advised.

Step Three: Add fragrance

As with color, please use body safe and skin safe products only. This means no candle fragrances, potpourri fragrances or random leftovers that have dubious origins. Usage rate varies based on what you want (subtle or perfumey) but I recommend .1 oz to .25 oz. of fragrance oil or essential oil (maximum) per 16 oz. of dry powders. If you use much more, you'll end up with a perfume and not a lovely, subtle addition to your person.

One additional word of caution: Peppermint, Spearmint and Eucalyptus Essential Oils all have a natural component of menthol. Menthol gives a cooling sensation. Powders put in um, sensitive areas, will burn, sting and be uncomfortable with those essential oils.

Step Four: Sift, Sift, Sift

A large sifter is good for the first few strainings but when you're down to the teensy knitty grit, a smaller sifter is better. Push, shove, and rub through the strainer until the last of your fragrance balls are evenly dispersed.

Check back tomorrow for more information on using Labcolors and True Tones to make your powders colorful and unique.