I’ve been addicted to Lush Handmade Cosmetics since I was a school girl, and one of my big dreams has always been to see how they make their divine products. So when I saw that the Make Lounge offer a workshop with renowned perfumer Karen Gilbert on how to make your own Natural Bath and Body Products, I was very excited.
The Make Lounge is a heavenly studio in Islington which offers all sorts of craft workshops, which aim to teach you a new skill in a fun and creative environment. They also have a well stocked shop full of everything you need to continue your new skill at home.
Our tutor Karen shared her wealth of knowledge about blending essential oils, gleaned from a career in Neals Yard Remedies and the perfume industry. It was inspiring to use my nose in a new way, learning to recognise top notes and base notes and which oils complement each other well. We each made a sugar scrub, two different massage bars, a tray of mini bath bombs and a lip balm.
My first massage bar was Ylang Ylang, which promotes well being with its rich heady fragrance. To make a massage bar, simply melt cocoa butter, shea butter and beeswax and pour into a mould with your choice of essential oil. Leave to set in the fridge.
My second massage bar was black pepper (also known as the ‘King of Spices’) and orange, which is spicy and warm and improves circulation.
Bath bombs are surprisingly simple to make, by combining bicarbonate of soda and citric acid with your choice of fragrance; flower petals and colouring are optional. But be warned, never use food colouring as it will stain the bath and your skin!
Not only was the workshop a fun way to spend a morning, it has opened up a whole new area of craft I’ve not previously been confident enough to try. I bought Karen’s book A Green Guide to Natural Beauty, and plan to try making my own bath products at home in the new year. I’m also heading back to the Make Lounge to try Karen’s other workshop Luxury Skincare Products.