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Reducing Plastic Waste

It seems everyone’s talking about reducing plastic waste at the moment. More and more of my customers are telling me that they are trying to avoid single-use plastics. And not before time! It should be a priority for all of us. But it’s difficult when so much of what we buy comes wrapped in layers of the stuff. Sometimes it’s easy to reject the extra packaging, like the myriad plastic bags we’re asked to place our vegetables into, but other times, not so much.

Until now, I’ve been using plastic shrink-wrap to cover my soaps. It has never really sat comfortably with me, but I didn’t know what else I could use. I need to keep the soap clean, protect it from the many fingers it encounters during an average market, whilst still enabling my customers to see it and smell it. There has to be a suitable alternative out there.

Corrin's Folly - Pomegranate Noir scented soap wrapped in waxed paper.

So I’ve decided to trial waxed paper, instead of shrink wrap, for my soap. Although I have already made this change in my workroom, it will take a while to filter through to my customers, as the already-shrink-wrapped bars sell and are replaced with waxed paper wrapped bars. I hope it will stand up to the job. (If you like the look of this soap, click HERE for more information.)

I know it’s not perfect

But it’s a start. There are a lot of advantages to the waxed paper. There is much less wastage. It takes no electricity for me to wrap the bars. There’s less chance of waste from me having to re-wrap, which sometimes happens if the plastic splits during shrinking. And if we can tackle to problem at source, reducing the amount of plastic produced by reducing the *demand* for it, that’s got to be a step in the right direction. I’ve got a long way to go, both in my personal waste-reducing journey and my professional one. But I’m working on it.

 

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I love Nail Varnish.

I’ve always loved nail varnish. When I was very small, I wasn’t allowed to wear it, but there was a lady I used to see from time to time who had her own nail salon. She always had beautiful long, painted nails. I used to admire them, and swore that when I was old enough, and had saved up enough pocket money, I would have a full set of nails just like hers. At that time, I used to bite my nails, as did my mother. I used to look at my mother’s bitten, stubby nails, and knew I didn’t want mine to look like that. This lady told me that if I wanted my nails to be nice when I was grown up, I must stop biting them straight away. So I did. I must have been no more than seven years old.

Fast forward to now

I still love nice nails, and nail varnish. I’m not so keen on the fashion styles such as the coffin and stiletto shapes, or the very square nails that were popular in the 2000s. I prefer oval or almond shapes – classic and stylish. I never did have the false nails I so coveted, though – having stopped biting them so young, they grew nicely, and are naturally a nice shape.

Nail Varnish and eyeshadow
This is the first nail varnish and eye shadow combination.

A while ago I read a thing on’t’interweb about using old eye shadow to change the colour of nail varnish. I had a couple of unimpressive nail varnishes, and an eye shadow that had started crumbling, so I tried it. I broke up the eyeshadow, added it to the nail varnish, and shook it. (And shook it. It took ages to properly mix in.) But it worked! Instead of having a full bottle of nail varnish I didn’t like, and a crumbling, mostly-used eye shadow, I found myself with a nail varnish I really loved! FOR FREE! This was exactly the shade I’d been looking for! I was absolutely delighted, and resolved never to throw away a disappointing nail varnish again.

 

 

A few months ago, I bought a nice nude-coloured nail varnish, and was somehow shocked when it was barely visible. (I know, I astonish even myself at times.) I put it in my drawer, and there it stayed.

Having no eye shadow of a suitable colour that could be donated, it occurred to me that the colourant used in eye shadow is mica, the same as what is used in soap. Hey, I make soap. I have mica!

<Lightbulb>

Nude nail varnish with mica
Nude nail varnish with mica

Yesterday, I finally got around to digging it out, and dumping some mica in there. This is the result: (Obvs I should have taken a “before” picture, but what can I say? I’m not one for thinking ahead.) Another totally wearable nail varnish.

I’m guessing you’ve got the odd nail varnish you don’t wear. And even if you don’t have mica, you’ve very likely an old eye shadow that’s past it’s best. If you decide to try this out, come and join us in the Facebook group Relax – it’s Bathtime! and show us your pics. (Oh, and remember to take a “before” pic too!)

Oh, and that lady who inspired my lifelong love of nail varnish? Turns out she’s renowned in her field, and is the author of a book that holds bible-like status among nail techs!

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Pleasantly surprised!

Have you had a look at the Facebook Explore feed yet? Since the recent fb changes, posts from friends and family, and pages you interact with a lot, take priority in your news feed. Posts from businesses and other pages you’ve liked will appear in the Explore feed, so you need to actively go there to see them. As a business, this makes it much less likely that my customers will see my posts – not great.

So, aside from being unhappy about it’s potential effect on my business, I thought that as a personal fb user I would hate the Explore feed. I mean, why would I want to go to a special page to see all the companies who are trying to sell me stuff? But I thought I should take a look, so I know what I’m dealing with.

I’m genuinely surprised to say this, but it’s great! I’ve already lost a couple of hours on there this morning. (Hey, leave me alone, it’s Sunday, I’m allowed to loaf around on the internet.) It’s definitely worth checking out. To find it, go to the left hand side of your page, to Explore / See More / Explore Feed.

As a side note, if you want to continue to see my posts on fb, then regular interaction – liking, sharing, commenting – will mean you keep seeing them, as well as helping me to reach new people. (Thank you!) My facebook page is here: www.facebook.com/SnaefellSoaps.

I also have a group called Relax – It’s Bathtime! which you can find here: www.facebook.com/groups/963144557168634/ This group is for general chat about all things Bath & Body related. Maybe there’s something you really want but can’t find – lemongrass scented bath salts, or whatever, or you’ve found a funny meme that sums up your best friend’s soap addiction, post it in the group. I also use this group to get opinions, conduct market research, and ask for volunteer testers when I’m trialling new recipes or fragrances. I also might conduct the odd giveaway 🙂 So if you’d like to be involved with that, join the group and say hello.

 

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Just out of the mould…

A fresh batch of Enchanted Isle, scented with basil, sage, and mint, just out of the mould and sliced. Fresh and clean and lovely. I could get fourteen slices out of the loaf, but I like to keep a piece from each batch to see how it holds up over time. The other small piece will either be cut up for samples, given away, or used at home.

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Relax, it’s Bathtime!

Picture the scene… You’re in the bath, it’s steaming hot, water and bubbles up to your chin, a glass of wine nearby. A gorgeously scented candle adds gentle light and soft fragrance. *Sigh* Isn’t it lovely?

Sadly, that is not the reality for many of us. My bath is so small I can’t lie down in it. If the water is up to my chin, that means my legs are out of the water. Plus, the plug is one of those that is operated by a twist handle that is situated really low down in the bath, so you can only fill it to where the handle is. And the boiler is acting up too, so it’s impossible to run a HOT bath. Sitting barely waist deep, shivering in tepid water just doesn’t have the same appeal. I’d rather skip it altogether, than have an unsatisfactory bath.

That said, I used to live in a rented house where there was no shower, so your only option was a bath. I will admit, the novelty did wear off. Except when the cat jumped in there, not realising it was full. Yeah, that was pretty funny 😊

I’d love to hear about your perfect bath time. Do you read? Watch movies? Do you like bubbles, salts, essential oils? If you use bath bombs, do you like the ones that release flower petals into the water? Either comment below, or join my facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/963144557168634/