June 2012

If you’ve been following you know that I (Kara) have been experimenting with making my own cosmetics.  If you do not know the story, check out the following post.

Since that post I have been encouraged by friends asking for samples to try some of my stuff.  Mostly I make it for myself, but recently I’ve wondered if I could sell it to friends/family.  I don’t see this as a large venture, just to maybe make enough to pay for materials and time for myself to have good quality cosmetics.  So last week I spent a day making samples and held a combined cosmetic party and a 31 gifts party with a friend.

I made 2 types of lotions, lip balm, deodorant and sugar scrub to sell. I used a varieties of essential oils for each as well as had a few other options for people to order a scent they liked.  There are pictures to show some of the process of the creating.  I do not own a double boiler, so I made due with a pyrex bowl in my fondue pot.  It worked great.  I also use chopsticks (free ones) or skewers for stirring as washing the oily products out of the containers is not very fun.

Most ingredients for all recipes

Edible Lotion – I call this edible, due to the fact that all ingredients are potentially edible.  I would not eat beeswax, however I know that it is not processed, natural and safe.  I like this thick lotion, more like a body butter, but especially for in the kitchen or with babies as I do not feel that I have to wash my hands after applying if I just washed and need to cook. It is also so thick that after applying and washing, I do not have to reapply to still feel like my hands have good moisture.  I feel like that is an important quality since working with children I tended to wash my hands very frequently and in CO the lack of moisture in the air has to be made up somehow.

6 oz beeswax
3 c. oil
1T cocoa butter
vit. e
essential oil
whip until cool

Melt the beeswax is the first step in most recipes.

– This was a bit thick, I may still add a bit of coconut oil to help balance the thickness, especially in the winter when it is not 80 in the house and melting all my butters. . . But still my first and favorite.

Lip Balm

2 Tablespoons beeswax (about 1 oz)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 Tablespoons shea butter – I didn’t have enough so added a bit of cocoa butter and it thickened up quite a bit, ok for summer though
12 lip balm containers
dropper – I also invested in a tray to pour in, so much easier and faster

Lip Balm


Finished lotions

  • 1 Tablespoon Emulsifying wax
    (more if you want it thicker)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup distilled Water
  • 1 teaspoon Vitamin E
  • 10 drops Grapefruit Seed extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Vegetable Glycerin
  • 10 to 20 drops Essential Oil

melted containers trying to sterilize


  • 1-1/2 Tbsp grated beeswax or beeswax beads
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp shea butter
  • 4 tsp clay (bentonite or other) – or arrowroot powder is what I used
  • 20-25 drops essential oil (tea tree, rosemary, lavender, lemon, bergamot, or a mixture of any listed) tea tree is my standard . . .
  • Empty, clean, sterilized deodorant container- beware of how you sterilize containers, I melted lotion containers. opps

Sugar Scrub

– 3 cups white sugar
– 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. good quality oil (I used olive oil, palm oil and coconut oil)
– 1 T. vitamin E
– 10 drops of yummy-scented essential oil per jar

I also made, but not for sale – toothpaste

Homemade Coconut Oil Toothpaste

3 Tbsp coconut oil
3 Tbsp baking soda (less if you have sensitive gums)
1Tbsp aloe gel
Pinch of salt
25 drops peppermint essential oil
2 tsp vegetable glycerin (optional)

I’ve been making homemade mouthwash, but have yet to perfect the measurements of the ingredients yet, however if you want to play with the ingredients here’s the list.

Mouth wash

  • Baking Soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Aloe Gel
  • Water
  • Peppermint essential oil drops

So there you have it, if you are interested in purchasing and you live in Denver metro area great, call me or I did set up a new e-mail address karas.kosmetics@gmail.com. Prices vary from $3-6 depending on product and size.

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Nicolas spent this Saturday with two of his old buddies, Ben and Matt, hiking in the Mt. Evans Wilderness.  It was a beautiful sunny morning to do the 9-mile round-trip hike in the on the Hell’s Hole trail.  After reaching the end of the trail, a light rain and thunder-storm rolled through the area, providing a serene atmosphere.  There were dozens of different types of wildflowers, so I tried to get one of each.  Along the trail was an old (dead) and huge pine tree that I climbed, so be sure to check that photo.

At the close of our day, we landed in Tommy Knocker’s (in Idaho Springs) for some craft brews and grub.  We’ve decided to start calling these trips “Peaks and Pints”!

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This spring I am enjoying my own garden plot (20×20)  in a community garden only a few blocks away.  As Nick puts, it, mine is unique.  I have never liked the straight rows of gardens, so I have patches and some rows mixed up between various types of the same seed (ie lettuce).  I was all excited to try a greenhouse on my patio for starting seeds, however that did not work, so I bought seeds and have hopes for using my own seedlings next year.  Here’s some pictures of my garden.  I’ve planted, lettuce, swiss chard, cucumber, beets, zucchini, squash, melons, tomatoes and pepper plants, beans (green and dried) and peas.

Tomatoes with walls of water to help protect them. The tall poles are for the “cages” when they grow. . . yes it adds to the chaos.


The sad but necessary demise of gardening is always the weather.  This past week we have had crazy storms in CO.  One in particular brought hail and flooding to our area.  The hail was enough to shred all my plants’ leaves, however I think they’ll survive as the flooding thankfully did not wipe out the roots.  The flooding did however provide our creek enough water to flood the bridge behind our place.

The path to the bridge, flooded.

Nick woke up at 4am and the water was at the bottom of this sign.

Last year we discovered, we loved Grant Farms for local delivery of organic  vegetables.  This year we decided to volunteer some hours at the farm.  Kara and a friend from church planted potatoes in April and this past weekend Nick went along to help.  We were assigned to hoeing the perennial garden.  So we hoed for 4 hours.  It was fun, and I was definitely sore afterwards.  Check this blog out to see more from one of the interns and look for friendly faces towards the bottom of the page.

Potato field Kara and Hannah helped to plant.

One of the things that I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to about living in CO is the possibility and likely hood of wild fires in the mountains.  We had the Lower North Form fire in the end of March which burned almost 5000 acres and since it was south-west of us, the smoke was terrible right over our house.  This weekend as we were leaving the farm to get lunch, we spotted the smoke clouds in the mountains which is now known as the High Park Fire, which as of this writing is still burning un-contained. It started apparently by lightning about 6am and has now burned 41,000 acres of land.  It is very sad, but happens frequently out here.

By 3pm the fire had grown significantly.

On a lighter note, here’s the update on our kitty.  It has been determined that unlike her daddy, she prefers the light, cheap beers.

For our “annual” Memorial day weekend camping trip, we ventured to a small campground (Green Mountain campground) near Wellington Lake.  It was another great adventure into the “wilderness”.  As usual, Nicolas reared his chainsaw and ax/hatchet to provide plenty of wood for the entire weekend – and Kara read her books 🙂  Sunday morning, our good friends Ken and Colleen joined us.  Plus we had an unexpected visit from Dan and Angel (and Jude) that evening.