Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Good Search

This was sent to me by my most excellent cousin, Leslie in L.A.:

"GoodSearch.com is a search engine (“powered by Yahoo”) that donates money to your favorite registered charity each time you search. I changed my home page to GoodSearch. Thought you might be interested in the possibilities, either to supporting a cause already there, or getting a non-profit that you love registered for fundraising purposes."

I chose Friends Of El Faro (FOEF). Their goal is to purchase land and build the orphaned children of Casa Hogar Sion a new home. In the mean time there are hungry children to feed, to shelter, keep safe and send to school. So if you feel the need to give while you search anyway, use GoodSearch and fund FOEF unless there is another non-profit you'd like to help.

Let's all do our part. (This one requires no work at all, so there is no excuse.)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Foam

I got confirmation this afternoon that we are featured on page 36 in this issue of Foam magazine. It should be hitting newsstands today. As soon as I get my hands on the magazine, I will be posting what it says. In the meantime, I must gloat, because I am squirming with excitement and can't contain myself!

Go surfer girls!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Rose and Radish


A Soft Wall?

I found this cute online store Rose And Radish that has some really unique gifts you might want to check out. This is one of them, although not really a gift item because the price is $2,000. The Molo Design Softwall is designed by Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen and is totally unique. The description under the photo says, "400 layers of honeycombed translucent white, fire-retardant paper, bounded by natural grey wool felt ends." It is 6 feet tall! I have to say that if I lived in that gorgeous loft in the city with enormous windows, I'd purchase this.

You can see Molo Design creatins at their website molodesign.com. They are a design company based in Vancouver, Canada and "they are dedicated to research and exploration of space making". I think it is neat. It is so inspiring to see new and creative ways to create space and evoke emotions from spaces.

As I say that, I look around my desk at the incredibly messy work area. The desk is piled high with papers to file, the "To Do" box is brimming and my research and development corner of the desk has butters in little jars, herbs in bags, oils in glass bottles. My coffee cup sits in the only spot you can see the actual table. I guess space design is not my strong suit... :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'm Not A Plastic Bag

The re-usable tote bag has become quite a fad these days, but a fad that helps the environment is a win-win situation for everyone. Any "un-plastic" bag can be re-used to carry home groceries and limit the ever polluting plastic bags that we, as consumers, use for grocery shopping.

The two here are quite sleek and not at all frumpy like the older canvas Barnes and Noble ones we had in the 70's (did I just date myself??). There are quite a few out there that have hit the market and have become wildly trendy, such as the "Paper Nor Plastic" bag (below) that has sleek lines and is more sturdy looking than the Anya Hindmarch's bag (shown to the left).

The "I'm Not A Plastic Bag" says, “We are what we do” on the back and is made of polyester and vinyl, it's sturdy, and doesn't create the hassle of storing a bunch of bags in your kitchen pantry (or wherever you stuff them all). The bag was designed by Anya Hindmarch in collaboration with We Are What We Do, a group dedicated to change for the environment, communities and health. It's an interesting organization or "movement" as they call themselves. "I'm Not A Plastic Bag" can be found at the Anya Hindmarch site.

The "Paper Nor Plastic" bag can be found here at papernorplastic.com. They have a section on their website that sheds light on the impact we are having on the planet. I will quote directly:

"According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the United States in 1997 alone used 955,000 tons of paper bags. That means approximately 14.8 million trees had to be cut down.

+ According to the EPA, 11 barrels of oil are saved when one ton of plastic bags are reused or recycled. One ton is equivalent to approximately 132,000 plastic bags. And according to the ELC (Environmental Literacy Council), it is estimated that somewhere between 500 billion to one trillion plastic bags are consumed each year throughout the world. Can you imagine how many barrels of oil can be saved?

+ According to the San Francisco Department of the Environment, San Francisco shoppers consume about 50 million bags each year. An environmental study also shows that the city spends $8.5 million each year to dispose or remove bags from streets
and storm drains.

+ According to the EPA, ELC, The Ocean Conservancy and many other agencies, plastic bags pose a threat to marine life. Sea turtles and whales have mistaken plastic bags for natural prey like jellyfish and squid. Ingesting plastic bags can cause blockage to the digestive tract which leads to starvation. In 2002, a whale washed up the coast of Normandy had 800 grams of plastic elements, including plastic bags, in its stomach."



They are originally $15, but are on sale for $10, and buy three get one free. So if you want one, go get them while they are cheap!

Enough said. I remind myself all the time about everything in life: Baby steps. Baby steps.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Indie Beauty Interview

I was asked for an interview by the Indie Beauty Network's big cheese, Donna Maria Coles Johnson and I thought I'd share with you the very detailed interview I gave. So go here. Scroll down to #4 and you'll see a picture of me and the interview.

It will definitely shed more light on who I am and what I do.

Cheers and thank you Donna Maria!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

OK, OK, I will create honey for you

I got an overwhelming response when I asked you all whether you were interested in a semi-sweet coconut dough scent or a sugar honey scent and the poll has bent the scale towards the honey. So, I will get back to work on my honey concoction and you will have your honey, honey....

I have a few things in m pocket and I am ready to share come Fall.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Mad Scientist 2"

Sounds like a very bad, scary independent film.

Sometimes it feels that way in the formulary and sometimes it's like one of those mornings when you wake up feeling that new, fresh, positive outlook on life. I have been very content making body products for the last 3 years. In fact, we are in the process of completing a new product for Fall. Very fresh, very cool, very yum.

Those of you who have been selected by us will receive a small sample of our "1st go around" before finalizing the secret formula. We like to get folks who are not our friends to try our new prods voluntarily so that we can get the most candid feedback available from people who are true product junkies. We will then open up the gates in late August for the new, ultimate Fall body experience!

As you have noticed I have a pattern of keeping y'all in suspense. . . . . So stay tuned!

:)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mad Scientist

I apologize for the lack of posting lately. I have been furiously concocting formulations of moisturizers and by the end of the day, I am pretty much spent. That energy I get from working a typical day here was depleted, because I was in my mad scientist mode. I am out to make the perfect concoction. A skin moisturizer that leaves skin unbelievably soft,but not greasy....completely natural and smelling lovely. I am working on a way to make a "cream" without water as my base. Butters tend to be, well....buttery and greasy. Lotions and creams are made with mostly water, which helps in that it's not so greasy, but with water one must use preservatives. There are limitations. Natural preservatives like vitamin e and rosemary extract are great for increasing the shelf life of oils, but do nothing for protecting the product from mold, yeast, and preventing against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Once water is introduced to a formulation, it will start to degrade and grow bacteria and/or mold.

There are synthetic paraben-free preservatives, but still sadly synthetic. So here I am trying to create the masterpiece of creams, without chemicals and without being too greasy, and I am frustrated. (sigh).

There are other alternatives, so I must continue researching and just you wait, I will create the elixir magnifique! However, I still remain humbled...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Palm Oil - A Mixed Bag (a reprint)

This is a "reprint" of a blog posting from Soap and The Finer Things In Life, a soaping blog written by Ann-Marie Faiola, soap and business extraordinaire. This might be interesting for the soapers out there.

"Palm Oil is one of my favorite oils in soap making. It contributes to a harder bar and also helps Coconut Oil do its job and lather up big bubbles. Unfortunately, there are some negative repercussions from using Palm Oil to the environment.

How can something natural be harmful to the environment? Demand for palm oil is the leading cause for rain forest deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia, according to Friends of the Earth. The land occupied by palm oil plantations has doubled in the last ten years in Indonesia, endangering the habitat of the orangutan, Asian elephant and the Sumatran tiger. These plantations pollute the soil and water with use of pesticides.

Things that you can do if you're a soap maker using Palm Oil: try to use Olive, Sunflower and Canola in larger proportions in your recipe. Buy sustainably grown Palm Oil that is grown in rehabilitated agricultural areas or from smaller farms that don't harm animal habitat and migration patterns. You can support companies that are part of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Production, co founded by the World Wildlife Fund."

I have great respect for people who hand make cold process soap. I have always dreamed of trying it, but for now, I'll leave it to the ones who can. Thanks, Ann-Marie, for the great info!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It's My Birthday!

Oh, yeah. It is my birthday, so, happy birthday to everyone else who shares it with me!

I'm Taking A Poll

I am working with new all natural scrub formulas and have an important question I'd love everyone to answer if they can. Do you think you'd like the smell of lightly scented semi-sweet coconut dough? Or would you rather scrub with a sugar honey smell?

Please email or post a comment. My email address is jo@productbody.com

Thanks!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I'm Back

I was on vacation for 4 marvelous days at a family reunion. We were nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina near Black Mountain, where I spent every August as a young child.

We came together for so many reasons, including my grandfather's 97th birthday, my cousin's baptism and an all around celebration of family. Goodness, we had grandfathers, fathers, sisters, cousins, in-laws, friends, uncles, aunts and nephews and we all stayed in one house except for two who had a small cabin to themselves. The house sat near Lake Logan (Camp Henry) up in the mountains with the occasional clouds nestled in between the ridges and on the lake. Oh so beautiful!

I will write soon, once I have caught up more.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Morgan: A Dear Customer Of Mine

This is a series of blog postings on Beauty Buys Blog - unfortunately her last posting was on January 30th of this year. Hopefully she'll begin her blogging again soon. She is a very sweet person - I share with you her experiences (I have quoted in chronological order-reverse of blog form so you can read it in the sequence she wrote them):

Jan. 12, 2007
Lust, Love, Or A Crush On You
"I heard about this Product line 'Product Body' through a co-worker of mine who found it on a beauty blog. She was raving about the products, their scent, and how well they worked, so of course me being the product junkie I am I decided to take a try. So I went on their website and ordered their Whipped Shea Butter in Yuzu scent. I received the product, and instantly opened it. The scent was so fresh and citrusy and almost immediately i had wished I could have taken a butter knife and spread it all over my body. It doesn't leave your skin feeling greasy, but it leaves it fresh and moisturized! So then i looked in the box and realized they had also sent me a small sample of this Crush on You Sugar Shea Scrub in Pink Grapefruit scent. I had left it on my dresser waiting for the right time to try it, I mean the jar is so small I didn't want to just waste it. Then I ordered another product, their Mama Bomb, in Citrus Butter, which by the way is excellent for stretch marks, for before, during or after pregnancy, etc. And again in the box was another sample of this crush on you, this time in the same yuzu scent i had my shea butter in.

So 2 nights ago i decided to try it while in the shower. Just to test the product I tried it on my hands. The sugar melts into your skin while exfoliating, it was wonderful, and then when I was done I wiped my hands, probably out of shear force of habit, as not to feel greasy (which this product does not make you feel at all) and I really didn't feel any different, I wondered what the whole hype was about. I mean I had used scrubs before, and never liked the greasy feeling, but as far as exfoliation, it didn't feel any different. The next morning i woke up and felt a huge difference in the way my skin felt. It was insane to think that it actually worked even though immediately after I didn't notice. Then the real answer about Crush on You came. I was at my boyfriends house last night, and while watching my favorite TV show, I started to rub on his chest a little, and he kind of jumped up and said to me "Oh my G-d, your hands are so soft!" Now my boyfriend (like most men) is not the most observant, and he actually noticed, that's when I knew this was the best scrub I had ever used! I love it, and I can't wait to get the large jar; in every scent!"

Jan. 18, 2007
RETRACTION!
"Ok so I am taking back my comment about Crush on you by Product Body! No, not in a bad way, I am talking about in a good way. I had said that immediately afterwards I really didn't notice a difference in the sugar shea scrub, but after speaking with Joanna and doing some heavy duty cleaning I decided to go for another review. Last Sunday I spent the day cleaning. First it was washing 3 cars. The doing dishes, cleaning the house, etc. Well after using all the different products to clean with my hands felt horrible. I now felt like they were made out of sand paper! So immediately I went and grabbed the sample bottle I still had of the crush on you, put some in the palm of my hand and began 'exfoliating'. When you talk about dramatic, this was it, in the context of the change in my hands before use of this product, and after. I love it!!!! This product doesn't deserve my review before! It deserves more. So if you are ever in dire need of some exfoliation, this is the product you should turn to."

Jan. 30, 2007
Explosive!
"I know that recently I have been writing a lot about a company named Product Body, but for any of you that have tried it, you know why. The first product I experienced was the double whipped shea butter, then the samples of crush on you, and now finally I have found my purpose for their Mama Bomb. I love it! But it's not just because it gets rid of those nasty little stretch marks, it's because of a deeper, more personal reason. Now I have a disease that is not too pretty, and certainly does not make you feel to pretty. Genetically, all my appocrine sweat glands are infected. And when I say all, i mean ALL. any where there is one I get these break outs. They come from the onset of stress, or eating unhealthy, etc. Well like I said it's not too pretty. the other day i began to get an outbreak, and when a break out occurs it leaves nasty scars, so I figured what I would do is use the mama bomb to kinda tone down the scarring (they are unbearably hideous). So I applied the mama bomb to the affected areas, and went to sleep. I hadn't really noticed them the next day, but two days later I looked at the area, and they were almost gone, healed, and with almost no scarring! That to me is a miracle, cuz these breakouts usually last weeks! I love this stuff, it is perfect to keep handy for cuts and scrapes you don't want scaring, or maybe a little moisture boost, but to me, it is perfect all around!!!!"

To Morgan, thank you so much for your kind words! I hope you are well and feeling good!!
Love, Joanna

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Brooklyn Baking


I am always browsing the web to find new and interesting Brooklyn indie artists/businesses - Maybe because I lived there most of my life and long the city life so often. It will always be home to me even though I've been gone for 8 years.Very recently, I've been getting heavily into the art form of decorated desserts. How often have you spent the incredible time and patience that it takes to make a cupcake or cake look so priceless.....like a work of art?

These photographs are from a Brooklyn Baker, Sarah Magid. You should go see her website. She even makes golden twinkies! I would love to get a taste of a cupcake or two from there. Maybe we could barter. A cupcake for a little moisturizer. They just make me so happy!

I wonder what the inside looks like....hmmmm. Mmmmmmm.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Oh, Peony!

I have fallen for the gorgeous packaging and intoxicating scent of Henri Bendel's Peony candle. I was browsing through Bath And Body Works yesterday, looking at some of my competition, and I arrived at the candle section. You know how much I love candles. Henri Bendel really has outdone themselves with simplistic, colorful and appealing packaging for their candle series. There are many many scents to choose from, but some of the scents are absolutely foul, but most are lovely so definitely sniff before handing over your plastic. My favorite flowers to look at are pale pink peonies. They are so delicate and sweet and perfectly shaped. Now I can enjoy peony in a candle. I wish the candle was soy or beeswax, but Bendel says the wax is vegetable based which is far better than paraffin.

Then, sort of off the topic of Bendel but on the topic of candles...Thought I'd share some interesting information about paraffin candles that everyone should know:

Soy vs Paraffin

SOY

  • Soy wax is made from soybeans and vegetables, both renewable resources.
  • Soy wax burns much cleaner and purer as it is all natural, non-toxic, and non-hazardous.
  • This wax is biodegradable leading to reduced landfills.
  • Soy wax residue can be washed away with warm water and soap.
  • Purchasing soy products supports the soy farmers of America, which stimulates our economy and lessens dependence on international resources.

PARAFFIN

  • Derived from petroleum, a limited resource
  • The burning of paraffin wax contributes to indoor air contamination by emitting petro-chemicals causing soot deposits and carcinogenic particulate matter.
  • This wax contains petroleum by-products and additives that inhibit biodegradability.
  • Paraffin wax residue is quite troublesome, often impossible, to remove.
  • Purchasing paraffin products not only supports our dependence on this crude oil but also supports an industry riddled with environmental faux pas.
If you find yourself at that store instead of my website buying home fragrance or other products, smell the Henri Bendel candles. Some are very pleasing.