A Maker – Yes, the word ‘maker’ will soon need a new definition in the dictionary. Because these days you can be a maker without qualifying what it is that you make, unlike in days of old when we had the dressmaker, the shoemaker, or the trouble-maker. Ahuh. You can now simply be “a maker”, an appellation to which I feel a certain kinship. Perhaps this new word use is the English answer to the French artisan?
It’s not because I belong to my community’s first/only ‘Makers Group’ (an annual fee in exchange for monthly presentations and networking over a hands-on activity) but because I have always enjoyed making stuff with my hands. Most people who know me understand that I am a dedicated (crazed?) knitter and sewist. Some also know that I have dabbled in making leather and fur mitts, mukluks and a fringed buckskin coat; bead and molded-silver jewelry; throwing, firing and glazing functional pottery; producing a variety of hats from fulled-wool bowlers to rabbit-fur felt hats steam-shaped on a wood form; stained glass; art quilting; thread painting with a sewing machine; upcycled purses, laptop and carpet bags using discarded wool tweed jackets; spinning yarn and weaving; and I might be forgetting some but the latest is making my own moisturizing creams.
I was recently introduced by sister Z to a natural face moisturizer that I immediately loved and was sorely tempted to buy. But at $65 to $100 for a 30-to-50ml jar, the steep cost kept me from taking the plunge. That cosmetics line out of Montréal offers an impressive number of products for maturing skin. (Yup, retirement comes with one less-than-ideal aspect but I wouldn’t trade it!) Luckily the products are not available locally, which helped keep temptation from materializing on my bathroom vanity! Instead, I decided to try making my own. I had some of the ingredients already and bought a few more from the local health food store. For the price of one jar of ‘the good stuff’, I figured I could go a long way toward making a year’s supply and more.
Through online research and from my personal library, I selected three base recipes with ingredients that are different enough from one another to allow a good comparison. I made an 8-oz jar of each and scented them differently to help identify them easily – 1. clary sage and lavender, 2. peppermint, and 3. orange essential oils.
I’ve been using one as my daily face moisterizer for about 8 weeks and I love it! It goes on smoothly, smells wonderful, and feels silky-soft on my skin. It does leave a bit of a shine on the face until it is absorbed into the skin in about 15 minutes. It’s likely a bit heavy for summertime but perfect for drying skin especially during winter.
Best of all, earlier this week my friend Heather (who also doubles as one of my lovely sewing students) mentioned how good my skin looked! And she didn’t even know that I had switched skin cream and was now using my own. On purpose, I hadn’t told anyone just to see if there was a noticeable difference/improvement. What gratification for this maker!
And now, the big reveal…
Winter Face Moisturizer*
- 85gr coconut oil
- 28gr Shea butter
- 28gr avocado oil
- 28gr aloe gel
- 1/2 tsp vitamin E
- 15-20 drops peppermint essential oil
* All ingredients are organic.
There are loads of tutorials online – choose the simplest! This is not a complicated process. But be prepared to whip the mixture (I used an inexpensive electric beater) over a bowl of ice-water for 12-15 minutes until it forms peaks. Now that I know I will be making my own creams, I intend to get a few simple tools to use exclusively for this process, which will simplify cleaning up.
I would love to know how you make out!
P.S. I use the runner-up cream on my hands as wonderful general moisturizer. Basically, it’s half/half shea butter and coconut oil, a bit of Vitamin E, and 15-20 drops of essential oil for an 8oz jar. (I chose lavender and clary sage.) Enjoy!