There have been many reasons why I have not been blogging of late. Not to go into too much detail, but both personal and professional lives have been quite hectic.
I get worked up/stressed quite quickly and easily and over the past few months it was taking its toll, to the point of not sleeping properly, as well other things. I don’t know how I was still able to function.
The week of 17th June was a particularly stressful one, both personally and professionally and yet no matter how that working week ended, I knew I had a workshop to attend and I was really looking forward to it.
Saturday 22nd June, I had booked myself onto the Bespoke Natural Skincare with Jo Evans at The Create Escape. It involved making three beauty products – that we took home – a welcome drink and nibbles, two course lunch and afternoon tea.
The Create Escape is in a beautiful farmhouse near the Cumbrian town of Milnthorpe and with the day being gloriously sunny, the front and back gardens were perfect to sit in and gaze off into beginnings of the Cumbrian fells.
I was the first to arrive I mean I like to be early, but because I hadn’t been there before I like to be super early just in case I get lost. I hate being late. I even like to be a good ten minutes early before the adverts and trailers in the cinema!!
I arrived, parked up and was welcomed warmly by Angela and Debs (hosts of The Create Escape) and Jo of Bespoke Aroma who was doing the workshop. Welcome drinks were tea or coffee and nibbles were four different biscuits/cake (I liked the Lavender shortbread). I already started to feel relaxed. The front room had Smooth radio on, I had no signal on my phone, I tried all four of the nibbles and had a cup of green tea.
Altogether, there were nine of us, travelling from North Cumbria and as far south as Liverpool. Yep, Liverpool. There were three and one had recently won a Facebook competition The Create Escape ran. Something to do with doors… I vaguely remember seeing a post…
Once we had all arrived, got settled and put our starter orders in for lunch (caramelised onion and goats cheese tartlet), we began our workshop.
It began with Jo giving us a brief talk as to how her business, Bespoke Aroma came to be. It was interesting how she began in one profession and how her life choices and ‘decisions at crossroads’ led her to making a successful beauty business.
Shortly after, we were taken through a selection of essential oils. There are so many, Jo brought in total of 17 for us to smell and decide if we want to use them in our products. We could choose a top, middle and base note essential oils, but it didn’t matter if we didn’t have one of the three. It was explained to us that top notes evaporate first/the quickest, followed by the middle than all that’s left is the base note. We were given an information sheet of the essential oils, so we could keep a note of the ones we liked, didn’t like or not too sure of. With this sheet, Jo gave us what the benefits are to each oil and the contra-indications.
(Scroll down to the bottom of this blog for 5 tables of the essential oils and ingredients I used in my blends/products)
After smelling 17 essential oils, we went out into the back garden for a bit of fresh air. It’s long, slightly narrow but with beautiful flowers and an amazing view. I’m no flower expert, I know what a Daisy, Rose and Dandelions look like, but the variations I’m not so sure of. I think it was a Rose and it was beautiful deep red and smelled divine. We were only out for 5 minutes to stretch our legs, clear our sinuses, ready for our first make…
This is a 50ml product, with 3 of our chosen essential oils and an organic cream base. The base was bought in, otherwise to make the cream itself we’d only be making one product. Did you know, that the face creams we made that day only had 1% or essential oils in? It may seem a small amount, but the scent of the oils really do come through. The essential oils I chose:
- Top – Bergamont
- Middle – Rosewood
- Base – Ylang Ylang
It didn’t take long, as all we needed to do was measure about 50-55ml of the cream base, mix our essential oils in and then transfer the mix from the bowl into our glass tubs. Jo demontrated what we needed to do, as well as providing us with sticky labels and Sharpies (arty moment!!!). I called mine ‘Emaz Face Cream’. I know, original. I also made a note of what was in the cream, Jo told us where she gets her ingredients from, so when I run out I may just buy myself some organic cream base and my chosen essential oils.
(Since the workshop, I have mainly been using the cream at night and it’s wonderful stuff!!! So basic and does the same job as the expensive stuff.)
By the time we had all finished our creams, lunch was ready. You know what I had for my starter and for our main was chicken; roasted with butter, garlic, rosemary, some roasted tomatoes along with boiled potatoes and steamed asparagus. I’ve never had asparagus before, very nice. The whole meal was, not a little bit of nothing on a big white plate. No, we were given just enough to leave room for afternoon tea later on.
As it was a cloudless, sunny day we sat outside for a short time after lunch. So there I was, small glass of white wine sitting in the Cumbrian afternoon sunshine in the front garden this time. Again, it’s on a similar scale to the back garden, you couldn’t see the main road, hear it yes but not see it and the vibe was very much an English country garden. I’ve seen these on the telly but never sat in one. We all remarked on how amazing both the front and back gardens are.
To be honest, I think we were all slightly reluctant to go back in and make our other two products. I realised that I had to; although I am not really fair skinned, I do ‘catch’ the sun quickly. You could tell that the sun had burnt my arms a little when we got back inside. And no, I didn’t put any sun cream on. I didn’t know we were going to sit outside!
Our second make. This is a 200ml product, again in a glass tub. Not only were we using salts and essential oils, but carrier oils in order to bind them together. Again, Jo demonstrated and we got to work. With the ingredients we were using, we helped each other to measure out the salts. I used Himalayan Pink and Dead Sea Salt as my base, with fractionated Coconut and a little bit of Avocado carrier oils. My chosen essential oils – which we could’ve kept the same, made a slight change or completely change our blend:
- Top – Bergamont
- Middle – Rosemary
- Base – Cedarwood
Jo used this blend in her demonstration, so I knew it was going to smell amazing!! Again, we decorated our labels, yep ‘Emaz Body Scrwb’. Now thinking about it, I should have spelt it as ‘scwub’, just a play on the word and it’s more phonetic. Oh well. We also had a box to put the scrub in, some of us decorated it whilst I didn’t. I took one look at it and thought I could use that for a make of my own!!
(I used my scrub the following day and my skin felt so soft and renewed. Again, most of the products can be bought in shops/online, so when I run out, I will be definitely making my own scuwb!!!)
We were supposed to have afternoon tea at this point, but we were all still quite full from lunch. So we went onto our third product and to finish the day with our afternoon tea.
Our final make. The mask is a dry make at 50g in a plastic tub. We only need to use a small amount with a bit of water for when we want to use it.
The mask is clay based with powders and essential oils that I chose to help my skin. It’s not the best, I have a bit of acne, it can be oily at times, dry on other occasions. My skin is not the best, so the options I chose is to help and it’s as natural as you’re going to get!! I chose: White and Pink clay, Cocoa, Ginger, Rose Petal and Goats Milk powder with Orange (top), Rosewood (middle) and Ylang Ylang (base) essential oils.
I was careful when mixing the clay, powders and oils together, I didn’t want it to everywhere and even make myself sneeze – with me, it was a possibility!! It smelt divine. Reminded me of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, with the orange top note and using cocoa powder.
(This was the last product I tried at home. I wanted to buy a small pot/tub and face mask brush and measuring spoons before I had a go. Last night I used it on my face (wait for it) and my right arm. I’ve got heat spots/heat rash and thought it might help to calm it down. It did and my face after washing it off felt smooth and refreshed.)
All our products were made and labelled (‘Emaz Face Mask’ in case you were wondering) and the last thing of the day was our afternoon tea. I have only had this once before and I wasn’t overly impressed, but as I walked from our workshop to the dining table and saw what Angela and Debs had done, I couldn’t wait to get stuck in!!! The tea wasn’t ‘out-there’, some little appetisers, including artichoke and parmesan sticks, a couple of sandwiches (egg mayo or smoked salmon with cream cheese) and a selection of puds, like a small scone, but it was the cold apple crumble that was heavenly!
Jo was also running a little competition with The Create Escape that day. She had made up a blend of essential oils that we had to guess; 3 oils to guess. I did: Bergamont, Geranium and Cedarwood. I had no clue, but if the prize was a voucher for another workshop, I was going to give it a go!
Four of us got 2 out of 3. In the end it was Bergamont, Geranium and Frankincense. Our names went into a box and my name was pulled out. It’s not often I win things. Oh, that reminds me, I must check my Euromillions lottery ticket…
It was such an amazing day. Turned out it was ‘Try something new day’ and I certainly did that.
I would certainly recommend trying something new, exploring different things, meeting new people and not having your phone with you.
Thank you ladies for a Great Escape!!!!!
Until next time….
Below is a table of the choices I made to make my products. The information has been taken from the leaflets that Jo provided. There are five tables: Essential oils, Salt, Carrier oils, Clay and Powder.
|Bergamot (Top note)||Antiseptic, uplifting, antiviral, neurotonic, diuretic||Very sensitive skin|
|Rosewood (Middle note)||Calming, antibacterial, mental fatigue, cell regenerator||None|
|Ylang Ylang (Bottom note)||Neurotonic, antiseborrheic, skin tonic, calming, aphrodisiac||Very sensitive skin, low blood pressure|
|Rosemary (Middle note)||Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, muscular aches, neurotonic, antimicrobial||Epilepsy, high blood pressure, pregnancy|
|Cedarwood (Bottom notes)||Antiseptic, sedative, diuretic, antiseborrheic, antibacterial, circulatory stimulant||Pregnancy|
|Orange||Antidepressant, relaxing, sedative, antisborrheic, hormone balancer, antiseptic||Pregnancy, low blood pressure – can be very sedative|
|Himalayan Pink Salt||Contains over 80 minerals, softening and soothing, replenishes essential minerals, supports natural skin healing, salt crystals help to remove dead skin cells||Avoid broken or sensitive skin|
|Dead Sea Salt||Softening and soothing, replenishes essential minerals, supports natural skin healing, salt crystals help to remove dead skin cells||Avoid broken or sensitive skin|
|Coconut (Fractionated/no smell)||Softening, moisturising, healing and a PH balancer||None|
|Avocado||Penetrates deeper than most oils for lasting hydration||None|
|White clay||Mildest of all clays so suitable for all skin types. Stimulates circulation, gently exfoliating, cleansing. Minerals present purify and detox.||None|
|Pink clay||Cleansing, high in iron and minerals for soft, silky skin, antioxident, removes impurities||None|
|Rose Petal||Balances the skin’s moisture by regulating sebum, antioxident, strengthens and regenerates skin tissue||None|
|Goats Milk||Contains lactic acid – removes dead skin cells, high in Vit A to repair damaged skin, reduce wrinkles and provide relief from dry skin conditions, moisturising||None|
|Ginger||Removes impurities, tones, antibacterial||None|
|Cocoa||Antioxident, anti-inflammatory and boosts circulation||None|
Did you know this about essential oils? After smelling them earlier in the day, Jo took our information sheets off us and gave us a little quiz. Some of the information we knew/been told, but some of the questions, I had no idea and guessed. Out of 17, I got 9. Not bad. Anyway, here are some of what I think are the most interesting facts I learnt from the day and quiz about essential oils.
The top note is the quickest to evaporate.
Women have a better sense of smell than men.
You get 5 drops of essential oils from one (average sized) lemon.
Peppermint and lemon essential oils can help with concentration.
There are 28 cups of peppermint tea that equal one drop of peppermint essential oil.
1% of the world’s plants produce essential oils.
250kg of lavender flowers makes 1kg of lavender essential oil.
There are 700 species of eucalyptus!!!
Bergamont leaves are used in Earl Grey tea.
It takes 30 rose heads to make one drop of rose essential oil.