I was reading one day on reddit (go figure) about things that are cheap to make and have a high markup. One person talked about Makeup. That sent me on another research hunt to find out what it takes to make makeup. One of the easiest things to make is Lipstick.
I took a look at the site www.tkbtrading.com which has a kit with a mold. The only problem I had when I went to their site was that they were out of the lipstick molds. (This seems to be a frequent occurrence because as I write this, they are out of stock.) But I had a problem; I WANTED IT NOW! So I cheated a little. I ordered everything individually that came in the kit minus the lipstick mold (and probably some instructions). I found a few other sites that sold lipstick molds, but the only other place that had an inexpensive lipstick mold that was the exact shape I wanted was Lipstix Remix (and they are currently not taking orders… that’s interesting…) Lipstix Remix is really meant to take the leftover lipstick in the bottom tubes to remelt them and create a new usable lipstick. That’s not really what I was after, I just wanted the molds. I bought two kits so I could have two molds.
So now armed with my materials and tools, I got to work! Here are the basic steps:
- Clean all the materials you are going to use with rubbing alcohol.
- I use olive oil on a cotton swab to rub the inside of the mold so it will release the lipstick bullet easily.
- Melt about 4 grams of the uncolored base in the microwave in 20-30 seconds at a time. WATCH CAREFULLY to not over melt. (I think I use more base than is suggested because I don’t want super strong colors)
- Add colorants to the uncolored base until you get the color you like.
- Remelt in the microwave if it starts to get too hard to stir anymore.
- Once you’ve got the color you like, pour into the mold.
- Place the mold in the freezer. I’m pretty impatient and pull it out of the freezer about 10 min after I put it in, I think recommended is 20 min.
- Carefully press the empty tube onto the bottom of the bullet.
That’s it! Pretty easy and only about 30 minutes worth of work for some professional looking results. The TKB Kit is about $57 and makes 16 lipsticks and comes out to about $3.56 per lipstick. Not too bad and it gets cheaper as you go since the mold is probably half the cost.
Here’s a picture of my first color!
For a little more information on lipstick in general, check out TKB Trading’s FAQ on Making Lip Products
I bought a new Orchid that I will not kill! (hopefully…)
I made another book! Now I have a problem though… It’s so pretty I don’t want to write in it. The paper is embossed and sparkly. Some of the sparkle rubs off too.
To sum up, to take care of the basic Phalaenopsis (aka Moth) orchids, do the following:
- The best way to water is to submerge the whole root base into water for a little bit, then take it out, about once a week. The roots should never stay entirely wet. (Unless it’s packed in moss… then water a LOT LESS FREQUENTLY)
- After the first blooms start to fall, to get it to branch off and bloom again, cut the spike (the part with the flowers) just past a node (joint looking part on the spike) and seal it with cinnamon; it will kill bacteria.
- After the blooms fall and the spike turns brown, cut the spike down near the base. This is a good time to repot. Be sure to check the roots for any problems (bugs, root rot, disease).
- Use Orchid specific fertilizer once a month.
My poor, poor orchids. My husband bought me my first orchid for Valentine’s Day 2010:
Then he bought me a second one Valentine’s Day 2011:
Orchids aren’t super difficult to take care of, but I managed to kill them both.
I killed the 2011 one first about 4 months ago. It was tightly packed into the pot with Sphagnum moss when I got it. I didn’t realize how different watering an orchid in moss would be compared to what my first one was, which was in bark. The biggest indicator I didn’t know about until too late was that a new leaf was growing, but it was curling and stunted and not at all like the other leaves. This meant that the plant was in distress and that I should check the roots. So I took it out to check it. Root rot. Everywhere. The moss had held in so much moisture that it rotted out 95% of the roots. I cut off everything that I could but that only left 2 small roots. I figured it was lost, but I repotted it in the bark media and continued to water the small roots. After a few months, I gave up and called it a lost cause.
Then, just last month, I gave up on the 2010 one as well. Before that, I had succeeded to get it to rebloom after the first bloom, then had an entire new small spike last year! I was happy that at least this one had survived. This one was an “Ice Orchid,” which is really just Phalaenopsis orchid where they advertise a more user friendly way of watering (granted it does work pretty well). However, I was bit timid about watering and changed the way I watered because of the fiasco with the other one. I have a cute little plant mister that I was using to water it and it seemed to do ok for a while. What I didn’t realize was that the mister was not getting the water down to the lower level of the roots. At some point I had done the research and I helped my mother-in-law revive her orchids. I don’t really remember telling her that one of the best ways to water an orchid properly was to submerge the entire pot into water, then let it drain, once a week. When I told her that I had been improperly watering them, she told me what I had told her. Oops… How did I forget that? I could have saved them. 🙁
But, this will not be the end of my Orchid adventure! Armed with my knowledge from my failures, I have my eye on some mini orchids!