Friday, August 1, 2014

DIY Lush Bath Bombs - Lust Fragrance Hack





Ok, anyone who's ever been in a Lush store knows the distinctive fragrance.  I can walk into a mall and immediately tell if there's a Lush store in there somewhere.  I love the smells!  But I hate the $6 per bath bomb price tag.  I don't think my husband and I have ever gotten out of there for less than $50, and that was a cheap trip.  Sigh...

So let's do it ourselves!  I've made several batches of bath bombs lately and they're so easy!  And fun too.  It's like making cupcakes and sand castles rolled into one.  My 9 year old daughter helped me yesterday and we had a ball.

There are a hundred recipes floating around on Pinterest but here's the one I like best so far.  I've tried with and without arrowroot powder (which I used as a substitute for cornstarch because I had it on hand and didn't have cornstarch) and it works just fine without it.  Since it seems unnecessary I just leave it out now.



Ingredients

1 Cup citric acid (I can't find it locally so I buy online - $10 for 2 lbs)
2 Cups baking soda (buy it in bulk at Sam's Club or Costco and it's a huge bag for $6 or so)
4 Tbsp epsom salts (bought at the dollar store)
1 ounce coconut oil or other light body oil like sweet almond or apricot
Essential oil for fragrance
10-30 drops food coloring
Spray bottle of witch hazel (another Dollar Store find)

Mix the dry ingredients in a  bowl with a whisk.  Get it all really well incorporated.



Then add the body oil and stir.  The small amount of oil makes your skin really soft but it doesn't leave a ton of oil in the bathtub after the bath.  Then add the food coloring (I used about 30 drops of a peach color hoping it would turn more orangey but it never did, so I could have stopped at 10) and your fragrance oils, and stir well.  I find that the oil doesn't make the mixture fizz but sometimes the food coloring does, so add it a drop at a time.  The more your mixture fizzes now, the LESS it will fizz in the tub later.  (The Lush Lust recipe is at the bottom of the page, so keep reading!)



Now we grab the witch hazel.  It works much better than water for helping the mixture bind together, trust me.  Spritz the mix 3-4 times and stir.  Grab a handful and make a snowball.  If it sticks together you're done.  If it's too dry and crumbly spray a few more times and try again.  Don't overdo it or your citric acid will start fizzing and then your bath bomb won't fizz much later.  You'll probably need about 8-12 squirts of witch hazel.

When it's done you're ready to fill your molds.  I have these cute silicone molds I bought on Amazon.



They're really just muffin pans with fancy shapes.  I use them for everything - baking, homemade fruit snacks, homemade chocolate, and bath bombs.  I also have silicone muffin pan liners and they worked great for this too.  They're plain but they work fine.  I don't make spheres because you'd need at least a dozen molds since you want to dry the bath bombs in the molds.  This keeps them from cracking apart as they dry.  If you pack the mold, dump out the bath bomb, and then use the same mold to make the next one the bath bombs don't seem to hold their shape nearly as well while they're drying.  So grab your muffin pan, put some of the mixture in and pack it down like brown sugar.  Then fill it the rest of the way and pack it down again.  Try to make it flat across the surface.  Fill as many molds as you have mixture.  For me this makes 12 smallish and 6 large bath bombs.



Here's my favorite trick:  preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  When it comes to temperature, turn it off.  Put the silicone molds on a cookie sheet for stability and stick them in the oven.  Leave them in the warm oven that is TURNED OFF for several hours.  This really helps them dry out faster, especially if you live in the hot and humid south like I do.

After several hours take them out of the oven and turn them upside down onto the cookie sheet.  Leave them there to dry overnight on the counter if possible.  You might even be able to use one that evening if you let them sit in the oven for at least 4 hours.

Ok, let's talk fragrances.  You can do whatever fragrance combination floats your boat, which is the cool part.  The first time I made bath bombs I did lemon and tangerine.  I used orange food coloring.  Just enough to color the bath bombs and slightly tint the water, but not enough to stain your tub.  Probably 6-8 drops total.  Next I tried spearmint and rosemary with green food coloring, and I used dried rosemary sprigs to make it look cool too.  Put the rosemary leaves in the bottom of the mold before you fill it with your mixture.  Dried rose petals would also be gorgeous.



But the holy grail of fragrance for me is Lust at Lush stores.  According to their web site, it's made from jasmine, ylang ylang, rose, sandalwood, and vanilla.  The jasmine scent is intoxicating.  (Don't even get me started on the Godiva solid shampoo bar.  It's so fabulous I just want to eat it.)  You can buy the perfume from their web site and use that if you like, or just make your own.  I found all these oils for less than $16.00 on Bulkapothecary.com by buying the smallest sizes.  I threw in two pounds of citric acid for another $10 and my whole order before shipping was just over $25.00.  Not bad!  I'll get easily over 100 bath bombs out of two pounds of citric acid.  ***Updated to add: these are fragrance oils, not pure essential oils.  If you buy essential oils the cost will be higher but they will not be artificial.  So it's totally your call.  These tiny bottles have lasted me forever too.***



When trying new fragrances, I mix one drop of each in a bowl and give it a sniff.  Make a list of the fragrances on a piece of paper and put one tick mark next to each.  Then add more of whichever scent you feel is lacking. Update your paper with tick marks next to the ones you added.  (I happen to have a Lust solid fragrance stick in my cupboard to compare it to, so that was very helpful.)  When you're happy with the result your paper should have tick marks next to each scent so that you'll know the ratio to use next time.

Here's what I used and although it's not an exact duplicate, it's pretty darned close!

Lush Lust Fragrance Hack

30 drops jasmine oil
15 drops ylang ylang
25 drops sandalwood/rose blend
20 vanilla sugar

I estimate it cost something like $5 to make 18 bath bombs, which makes them 46 cents apiece.  The citric acid and essential oils were the biggest chunk, but everything else (like the baking soda and apricot oil) cost very little.  Score! Now I just need to find a cute container to store them in.  A plastic baggie really doesn't do them justice.



48 comments:

  1. Just read this--not sure if you still blog but this was super helpful! Cant wait to use this recipe <3

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    1. Thanks! I kind of fell off the wagon when it comes to blogging but I hope to get back into it now that my toddler is potty trained. Phew!

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  2. Can i use water instead of with hazel? Is it just to bind the mixture together?

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    1. Sure thing. The witch hazel is also moisturizing but water will work fine too.

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  3. Can I use soap dye instead of food coloring? Thanks :-D

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    1. Absolutely. I've used both in the past and couldn't really tell a difference. Neither one stained my bathtubs.

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  4. What about mica pigments. I have those and I'm not sure if they'll stain the tub. :(

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    1. I have never used mica before. I almost bought some for DIY lip gloss but decided not to at the last minute because it looked very sparkly online. If your tub is newer and the surface isn't really porous I see no reason why it would stain. Maybe you could fill the tub with water and drop some in, just a little, and see how easy it is to wipe out afterwards?

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    2. You can use micas I sell My bath bombs in stores and I use Micas all the time and have never had a complaint.

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    3. Polysorbate 80 will prevent bath tub ring from micas, and helps suspend the mica in the water do it doesn't float on top

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  5. Do you know how they do the northern lights bath bomb.

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    1. No, I haven't tried that one, but just go to the Lush web site and read the ingredients for it. At least then you'll know which fragrances you need to get. Good luck!

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  6. Replies
    1. I've never had them lying around for more than 6 weeks so I'm not sure, but as long as they don't get wet they ought to last several months I would think.

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  7. Thank you so much Karin for your great instructions! I read ALOT of recipes online before I settled on yours. I made my first two half batches last night! My first batch had one perfect, three good and the rest funny looking blobs (they expanded after coming out of the mold. I'll just use those myself - I hate to waste!) The second batch turned out perfectly! I think I used 1/4 t less witch hazel. I live in super dry SoCal, so it's amazing that such a tiny bit could make a difference! A couple of hints for others with premature fizz issues: I mixed all wet ingredients (coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, liquid food coloring, essential oil and witch hazel together. I had NO pre-fizz! If I needed more liquid to get to the stick-together-in-your-hand consistency, I added the witch hazel 1/4 t at a time. To cut down on cost, I used ice cube trays I got at Walmart for a couple of dollars. The second batch that turned out perfectly, I used an ice cube tray that had silicone on the bottom. I let them set in the tray until I couldn't feel any dampness (an hour or two), then put a cookie sheet that I covered with paper towels over it, flipped and pushed on the silicone bottom and they all popped out nice as you please! My hands are still super soft this morning after making them. I have pics and wrote up health/medicinal benefits of each ingredient, but don't know how to upload them. :( Thanks again and I look forward to more posts!

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    1. So glad it worked out for you! Yeah, humidity apparently makes a big difference in the final product so thanks for sharing your tips.

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    2. Mine kept coming out of the molds too and I just kept pressing them down every 5 minutes or so for the first 20 mins. They came out hard and perfect! Not crumbly at all. Maybe give that a try :)

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    3. Mine kept coming out of the molds too and I just kept pressing them down every 5 minutes or so for the first 20 mins. They came out hard and perfect! Not crumbly at all. Maybe give that a try :)

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  8. How long do these usually keep for?

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  9. Just made these and scent is fantastic. I followed directions to a T and had no fizz at all. I did heat oven to 200 and shut off and put my tins in. The next minute I looked they were rising. Don't think that was suppose to happen. Do you think they will b okay?

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  10. Vanilla sugar from what I understand is where you put vanilla beans in container with sugar and let sit for a week or so. Maybe you can buy but I have never seen it

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    1. Vanilla sugar was the name of the fragrance oil that I bought at Bulkapothecary.com. It's not a pure essential oil, just one that's ok for use in soap, lotion, bath stuff, etc.

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  11. Where did you get your essential oils?
    I've been looking around and the prices that I find them at put the whole project over my broke college kid budget.
    I'm going to try using scented bath salts for now, but any tips on how to get skin safe scented oils for cheaper would be much appreciated.

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  13. This recipe is the best I've tried while making bath bombs!! I'm using lush's vanillary perfume as a scent because even after many experiments I couldn't get the right mix of oils down - It smells so good! Thanks Karin, I think these will be a hit as a bridal shower gift!

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    1. Wow, thanks! I'm glad it worked out so well for you. I need to try to duplicate their Karma scent next. That's my other favorite. Hope the bride loves your shower gift!

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  14. Replies
    1. Yes, I would melt it first so it mixes in easier.

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  15. Yours is my favorite site for these so far! Your description, detailed instruction and tips are incredibly helpful! Thank you! Quick question- for vanilla- can we use vanilla extract from Trader Joe's? Do you have Nother suggestion?
    Thank you much,
    Wendy

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    1. I don't see any reason why you couldn't use vanilla. You might need to adjust the amount but sure, play around with it and see what happens.

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  16. Hello Karin,

    Just a quick question. You said that you combined the following to make your scent for these bath bombs:
    30 drops jasmine oil
    15 drops ylang ylang
    25 drops sandalwood/rose blend
    20 vanilla sugar
    Did you use that whole mixture for one batch of bath bombs or did you only use part of it?

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    1. Wondering the same as to was that muxture used for one batch? And how many...thanks

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  19. This is a lot of help, thank you! But I have one question for you, you use essential oils for this, I was wondering if you think the body oils from the Body Shop would work the same? I just love their smells, and I am hoping they would work the same!

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    1. I haven't tried them so I can't say for sure, but it can't hurt to try! I'd say start with less than you think you need in case they are more like oil and less like fragrance, know what I mean?

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  20. How do you get them out of silicone molds without crumbling or cracking?

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  21. I'm allergic to witch hazel but want to avoid the water fizzing them prematurely. Do you think rubbing alcohol might work? It evaporates fast at least. Also, I read elsewhere that the cornstarch is just to make them fizz slower. Without the cornstarch/arrowroot like you suggest are they gone in a flash?

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    1. I would use water rather than rubbing alcohol. You use a very small amount so as long as you're not too heavy handed it shouldn't make it fizz any more than witch hazel. That's interesting about the cornstarch! But honestly, you drop the bomb in the water and five minutes later it has totally dissolved, so it's not like they disintegrate within seconds without cornstarch. Feel free to add it if you like. It will probably make more bath bombs that way.

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  22. Are these fragrance oils safe for your skin? I thought if you were using something topical, they had to be therapeutic grade?

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    1. I've never had a problem with fragrance oils, but if you would prefer to only use essential oils, by all means go for it! I bought them because they were inexpensive but I understand if you'd prefer essential oils.

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  23. This recipe is great. I however was in a pinch for a last minute activity to do with my 3 year old and he wanted colored water so....we came up with this. Your recipe minus some ingredients since this was a last minute idea and we did not have all ingredients on hand. 1 cup baking soda..3 Tbsp fine sea salt.. 1 Tbsp or so of olive oil..2 Tbsp pure vanilla..and 14 drops of blue food dye. Mixed all ingredients to make a blue bath powder ...scooped one cup into bath and saved the rest in a zip lock bag. It worked out great...nice blue water...smell of vanilla..aand my son loved it. I just added some bubble to the water and he was in heaven. Completely different but this last minute idea worked out fabulous.

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  24. This recipe is great. I however was in a pinch for a last minute activity to do with my 3 year old and he wanted colored water so....we came up with this. Your recipe minus some ingredients since this was a last minute idea and we did not have all ingredients on hand. 1 cup baking soda..3 Tbsp fine sea salt.. 1 Tbsp or so of olive oil..2 Tbsp pure vanilla..and 14 drops of blue food dye. Mixed all ingredients to make a blue bath powder ...scooped one cup into bath and saved the rest in a zip lock bag. It worked out great...nice blue water...smell of vanilla..aand my son loved it. I just added some bubble to the water and he was in heaven. Completely different but this last minute idea worked out fabulous.

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  26. Nice blog and your all presenting information are very great and it's really good well done.

    bath bombs

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