Category Archives: Pure ingredients

Bloomin’ Lilac and the March Soap Challenge


I really love this months’ drop swirl technique and no one does it better than Celine Blacow from Iamhandmade.  I’ve spent hours on YouTube watching Celine’s videos, along with her sidekick Titch Holland, as they create delightful and delicious looking goodies…er, um, soap.  It’s almost as yummy as watching a master pastry chef.

Amy Warden, from Great Cakes Soapworks, stated in her tutorial that the best advice for the soapmaker is to limit or restrict the scent use for the drop swirl technique, to those that will behave slowly and not advance trace too quickly.  The scent I choose was a beautiful lilac fragrance oil that I have experience with.  I tolerate this “love/hate” relationship we have because it has a beautiful, true lilac scent and customers love.  Yet I know this fragrance oil can’t be trusted.  I learned from Celine that you can add this untrustworthy friend just before pouring into your molds and although, like any co-dependent relationship, one learns to work with the pouting, it will submit with a little arm-twisting.

Truth be told, my inspiration came straight from some cabin fever. We have experienced record-breaking cold here in the northeastern United States and we’re still having some subzero nights.  Really now!  It’s the middle of March for heavens sake!  If you love floral gardens, and the anticipation of getting some outdoor time,  a local treat is the Lilac Festival, Highland Park in Rochester, New York.  It was established in 1887 and is a world class arboretum and a great way to welcome some warmer weather.  Some early lilacs will start blooming around here by the end of April and I, for one, can’t wait!  But for now, we can enjoy Bloomin’ Lilac Premium Goat’s Milk Soap.Bloomin' Lilac Premium Goat's Milk Soap


Impressive Reasons to Love Hemp Lotion

Serious hydration for seriously dry skin! New to The Soap Hag,  is a  unique “power-house” moisturizer called Hemp Lite Body Lotion. At festivals last year, we tested the waters to see if people would be receptive to a Hemp product because of the oils’ natural ties to the marijuana plant.  We were pleasantly surprised to… Continue Reading

Soap Club Challenge~The Holly Swirl was Just Peachy

This month’s soap challenge, sponsored by Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks, was just plain fun and really worth doing a few  times. The color pairing is endless so I let my scent lead the inspiration for color on my first effort.  The fragrance used was Peach Bellini from Wholesale Supplies Plus.  I used a… Continue Reading

Sea Side Peacock Swirl-International Soap Challenge

The June 2013 International Soap Challenge brought The Peacock Swirl technique, a beautiful design with four colors and the freedom to create a unique representation from nature. Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks introduced a  “new” concept of dividing our soap batter into two separate layers, and scenting only the bottom layer.  Fragrance and essential… Continue Reading

Castaway Cay Disappearing Without a Trace~Challenge Week 2

Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks has been hosting a four-week Soap Challenge, and this weeks experiment was called Elemental Swirl.  This challenge is a technique of  ITP,  or in the pot swirling, using a layer of warm tones and another layer of cool tones separated by a thin layer of mica.   The inspiration for… Continue Reading

What’s All The Buzz About Beeswax In Skin Care

Last week we promised to continue the discussion about the wonderful products that honey bees bring to natural skin care.  We encouraged those with a pioneer spirit to try a honey-based facial mask recipe and let us know what you thought.  Here’s a picture of Emily from Seattle, Washington and one of her Honey and… Continue Reading

Finding Neem Oil

After making another batch of Wild Geranium Clarifying Facial Bar, I decided to do some more digging into an interesting ingredient in our formula.  Neem oil comes from an evergreen tree which is part of the mahogany family, and is native to India, Africa and other hot, dry climates.  Neem has been coined “the village… Continue Reading

3 Reasons Why Pumpkin is Not Just Your Average Veggie

Excitement is in the air as the nights cool down and the days shorten, here in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region in Upstate New York.   Grape harvesting has started as well as many other crops of late summer and fall.  We couldn’t wait to pull out the Spiced Pumpkin Pie soap recipe and get… Continue Reading

5 Reasons You Need All-Natural Soaps

June is the season around the Finger Lakes Region for graduation parties and recently while talking to someone at a party, I was delivered a pointed question which indeed deserves a thoughtful response.  One mom asked “why should I buy your natural soaps?  What makes them any different from Ivory or Dove?”  Here are some… Continue Reading