Inspired by Nature, Made with Love

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The 'Skin'ny on Soap.. Pt.1

Today's post is an introduction to a little mini series of posts I have planned called "The 'Skin'ny on Soap."  I know the title is kind of lame, but if you can get past that, reading the posts will be beneficial.. I promise.

Now we all know researching is time consuming and I've consciously made the decision to take that time away from my household chores (*gasp!) to share some of my research with you. Who knows you may even just thank me later after the series is complete. Some things I share may actually change how you view everyday products you use and may even change your lifestyle.

But let's start with a little medical lesson right quick before I get to the good stuff.. so bear with me...


Skin is our largest organ- adults carry approximately 8 pounds and 22 square feet of it. This fleshy covering does a lot more than make us look presentable. In fact, without it, we'd literally evaporate. 

Skin acts as a waterproof, insulating shield, guarding the body against extremes of temperature, damaging sunlight and harmful chemicals. It also exudes antibacterial substances that prevent infection and manufactures vitamin D for converting calcium into healthy bones. 

Skin additionally is a huge sensor packed with nerves for keeping the brain in touch with the outside world. St the same time, skin allows us free movement, proving itself an amazingly versatile organ. 

 Let's take a look at skin. 

Skin is made up of 3 MAIN layers:

* Epidermis - your skin's top layer is super thin on some parts of your body (eyelids) and thicker on others (bottoms of your feet). The epidermis layer of skin is in charge of:
  1. Makes new skin cells: This happens at the bottom of the epidermis. The skin cells travel up to the top layer and flake off, about a month after they form.
  2. Gives skin it's color: the epidermis makes melanin, which is what gives your skin it's color.
  3. Protects your body: the epidermis has special cells that are part of your immune system and help you stay healthy.

* Dermis - A lot happens in this layer.
  1. Makes sweat. Sweat glands make you sweat out of your pores. Sweating keeps you cool and helps you get rid of toxins your body doesn't need.
  2. Nerve endings help you feel things. They send signals to your brain, so you know how something feels.
  3. Grows Hair: The dermis is where you'll find the root of each tiny hair on your skin. Each root attaches to a small muscle that tightens and gives you goosebumps when you are scared or cold.
  4. Makes Oils: The dermis also holds your glands, where your skin makes oils. This oil keeps your skin soft, smooth and waterproof. 
  5. Transmitter of blood to skin: Blood vessels are located here. They feed the skin and take away toxins from the skin.

* Subcutis - the base layer.  Also known as the subcutaneous fat layer. Plays an important role in your body. 
  1. The subcutis layer has special connecting tissues that attach the dermis to you muscles and bones. 
  2. Bood vessels and nerve cells that start in the dermis get bigger and go to the rest of your body from this layer.
  3. The subcutaneous fat is the layer that helps keep your body from getting too warm or too cold.  and this fat pads your muscles and bones from falls. 
Way before internal organs manifest disorders in a blood test, u/s, x-ray or MRI, dermatologists can recognize signs on the skin that may point to an internal problem. For instance, tiny red spots can indicate inflammation of blood vessels both in the skin and possibly the internal organs. Quite often the skin serves as a direct indicator about what is happening inside us. 

Children absorb everything through the skin faster than adults do and it is an important part of their developing immune system. 

Far beyond how good it can make you look, your skin is a vital organ..  SO.. what you apply to it does make a difference not only to your appearance but to your everyday and future health.

Stay tuned for "The 'Skin'ny on Soap Pt.2"

until then...

Hope you have a great day!
=) Kristina

Monday, June 10, 2013

For the LOVE of our military and Back by popular demand....

Let me start with explaining the first part of my title.. "For the Love of Military."

When I first created the French Quarter Fig (FQF) scent, I did so using it with a hempseed oil soap base.  I don't know why, but I only ever made it available in my hemp based line. It always sold out and I never thought of offering it in another base.  So after creating it in a shea base for a customer, I sent a sliver to a family member in the military.  Boy did that open a new can of worms.. I suddenly felt compelled to break out of my box of narrow mindedness and make FQF in an Extra Virgin Olive Oil base (*gasp!)..   are you giddy? I am! This opens the opportunity for military families to share in this truly one of a kind, refreshing, invigorating scent.

So here it is: the latest Pièce de résistance: 
** Extra Virgin Olive Oil base, Red Moroccan Clay. Scent: French Quarter Fig, 

Isn't she pretty?  I am also experimenting more with layering, swirling and using more time creating a unique looking soap batch.. I can guarantee that no two bars or batches will ever be the same.

Okay.. so for the second part... "Back by popular demand"..
Now this very same family military member.. not only is she one of my absolute best customers ( & her hubby too ;)  ), she is also crowned  president of my advertising division. This mama promotes me and shares my products with all of her friends and colleagues. She is essentially a walking billboard for my products.   I am truly grateful for all she has done to help promote and support me.  ( love ya mama!)

SO getting back to "Back to popular demand".. while chatting with Sandra on Saturday she said to me.."you know I really miss your citrus soap, the exfoliating one.. I love that one"..  at that moment I KNEW what my next batches of soap were going to be.

So that very next day  (see Sunday June 9th's post),  I made not only (1) but (2) Citrus scented Extra Virgin Olive Oil soaps with this sweet mama in mind!

SO Sandra honey, this one's for you! (oops.. these two are for you!) AND will also be added to the product line and offered on a regular basis so you don't have to miss it any more.

* Extra Virgin Olive Oil base, French Green Clay layered & topped with Organic Orange Peel.
Scent:"Orleans Orange" (my unique blend of Sweet Orange, Tangerine and Bergamot Essential Oils)*


* Extra Virgin Olive Oil base, French Green Clay layered with Finely Ground Pumice. 
 Scent: "Orleans Orange" *


I'm super excited to be "Military Friendly" AND reinstating the Orleans Orange scent. 
Everyday I'm creating, expanding and attempting to reach new heights..  kind of reminds me of one of my favorite Winnie the Pooh quotes:

And with that...  I leave you with a "sweet dreams and good night!" 

Look for the new soaps to be offered in my shop the first week of July! 

=) Kristina 

 ** Orleans Orange** & **French Quarter Fig** are both unique one of a kind blends that I personally created. These are not pre-made blended oils, I create these blends with each soap batch, so there is a slight chance of scent differential between batches, even if ever so slight.

We are officially pulling it all together...

Welcome to Masquerade Market..

We are dusting off and finally launching Masquerade Market the RIGHT way.. it was a tough decision to blend My Time Pads, Let It Shine Design and Le Bain Royal into one entity, but it needed to be done.

So the birth of MM was established.

All of our local market applications have been sent, our FB is up, our ETSY cart is in full swing and accepting orders, our blog is finally done.. ALL that is left to be completed is finishing on main web page and then we will be in FULL internet operation mode.

Will has been very supportive in this new endeavor and combination of businesses, it take hours upon hours to do and "our time" has been me in front of the computer until all hours of the night working... I could never do what I do without his support and understanding.. he is my #1 Fan! (Thanks Sweetheart!)

Also my friends who have supported me and kicked my butt into high gear to get this portion of my business more "public", your support and opinions have all been greatly appreciated. (Amanda & Sandra.. that's you sweet mamas!)

Please stop by and say hello, check out our new "baby"!

I'm hoping for very big things with this new journey we are on and Thanks so much for being a part of it!

Our New Etsy Cart:
A website to direct you to all of websites:

Thank you for joining me in this new adventure.. I'm hoping it's as entertaining and exciting for you as it is for me!

=) Kristina

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Busy Day Indeed....

The morning started around 4:45am with the flashing of light through my windows and the crackling of thunder. For everyone that knows me, knows I love a good ole' thunderstorm, the more thunder the better.

Feeling the urge to get up out of bed, I quickly got dressed, got the coffee pot going and I organized myself to make some soap. Shea Balm, Beeswax Lotion & 3 batches of soap later I'm now officially done with today's creating.

 I also had to revamp my jar labels to reformat on my computer and I had to do the same for my soap labels. Thing is, no matter how much I reformat my soap labels, they will NEVER fit my soap. My soaps are just too large for the 8.5" circumference it allows. Being that I stand firm and proud for the size bars that I make, I refuse to budge to make my bars smaller to fit the bands. So, I'm going to have to come up with a new solution for my soap labels.

 Meh, all in good time.. right? So now that I have 9+ hours of work under my belt for the day.. I'm going to hang up my apron, sit down with my best friend (yes Honey that's you) and watch some good ole' Argentine soccer.

 So until Tomorrow... Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

 =) Kristina

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Future is looking Brighter! ( & much busier)

It appears that the high quality of our products at Masquerade Market are gaining such a positive reputation that I best step up my production.

 Orders are coming in and ideas are being pitched that are taking me to the next level of production. Instead of a couple of times a week making a couple of batches of soap, it appears that for the next few weeks, multiple batches daily are needed to fulfill demand.

 Trust me, I am not complaining, this is what I have prayed for. I put my body product business on the back burner while I tried to figure out what it was that I wanted and/or needed in my life. I asked God to give me a sign as to what I should pursue in my life and he has given me a sign but a huge PUSH in the direction of my body product business. The day I finally said, this is it, I'm done trying to figure it out on my own.. I had 3 orders, consisting of 22 bar soaps, 3 body lotion bars, 2 shea balms and 1 beeswax lotion. It doesn't get any clearer than that.

 It was with great trepidation that I combined my 3 business names into 1 company. Let It Shine Design, My Time Pads & Le Bain Royal became Masquerade Market. So for the past 2 weeks I have focused on making soaps, creating my blog, creating a new website, ordering business materials, applying for local trade shows, markets and fairs, etc etc.

A very busy time indeed.

 This is a very exciting time for me. My gratitude to my friends and family who have stood behind my products and pitched them sure is unexplainable by words, it truly is heartfelt gratitude. Without them Masquerade Market wouldn't have been created and those 3 orders wouldn't have changed my life as significantly as they have.

 =) Kristina