Tag Archives: colors

Color Riot

Last month, while I was going through Time magazine, I came across an article about the release of the 2 former members of the Russian punk protest group, Pussy Riot.  Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, who both spent 21 months in prison for charges of hooliganism, have been in the media spotlight for a while, but I never really followed their story.  However, at that moment I was reading the news, I had a sudden hit of inspiration.  It was so clear in my head – I was going to make soap called Color Riot, and it was going to be just that: an explosion of colors.

It was my first time to have the name of the soap come first before the fragrance and the design. I usually decide on the fragrance first, then the look.  The name comes much much later because I usually have a hard time coming up with one.  What about you?  What kind of conceptualisation process do you go through?

If you haven’t noticed, I tend to be a bit restrained with my use of colors.  Aside from titanium dioxide, I normally use just one or two other colors, and more often than not, they’re on the sedate side. It has only been the last few months that I started to achieve better color saturation and contrast.  (Click here , here, and here to see my earlier color-challenged soaps.)  Color Riot is thus quite a departure from my usual look.  It is bold and loud.  So not me.  But I love it!

Color Riot

Color Riot

I really liked the ease and outcome of the drop swirl technique in Desert Dune, so I decided to do the same for Color Riot. For the first time ever, I used 5 colors: white (titanium dioxide), periwinkle blue, raging raspberry, neon yellow, and neon green.  It is scented with Mango Pomegranate – a fun, tart, and fruity smell.
Color Riot 1

Color Riot 2

Bleeding Pink

I made Color Riot last Jan. 26.  I looked at it almost everyday and didn’t notice any bleeding of colors until I steamed it the other day.  It had very light soda ash, mostly just on the two end pieces.  I normally would leave it as is, but because of its name, I wanted the colors to really pop.  Has anyone experienced this after steaming?

Aside from Color Riot, I made one other neon-colored soap last year.  When I saw the colors in the cut soap, I hated it!  I thought it was gaudy.  After a while, I thought it was fun and learned to like it.  Fragrance used was patchouli raspberry, which I renamed Happy Hippie.  I later found out that Lush had a product with the same name.  I will have to think of another name should I do a remake.  The colors used in this soap are similar to those in Color Riot, but I don’t remember now if the colors bled.  If it did, I didn’t notice.
Happy Hippie

Tilted Tiger Stripe

My love affair with the tilted tiger stripe all began with Diva Soap‘s Savanna. Ironically, Maja was avoiding a tilted tiger, so with her usual panache, she came up with something all her own – a cross between a modified tiger and a zebra swirl.

I had never tried the modified tiger stripe before, but the tilting action Maja described in her comments section intrigued me. After my first try, I was hooked! October’s Soap Challenge Club, featuring a similar technique – the Dandelion Zebra Swirl – provided a temporary interruption and a good comparison.  I felt that the results of both techniques were very close (click here to see if you can tell the difference).  I seem to have better luck with the tilted tiger and I find that it is less messy to work with.

I used Black Raspberry and Vanilla for my first tilted tiger stripe.  It was also my first time to use BRV. I lucked out because it was so well-behaved.  It smells like grape and cassis, but I can’t pick up the vanilla, so I’m renaming it Black Currant.


Black Currant

I love the way the stripes and the purple came out! It was my first successful purple after many failed attempts. I would probably still be stuck in my color rut (here and here) if it weren’t for Amy Warden’s post, Coloring Your Cold Process Soap.



Still scented with BRV, here is a variation I made by swirling the stripes with a chopstick:


And another BRV, with tilted pink stripes and normal purple tiger stripes:


brv set

Giving BRV a rest, I made a tiger-looking soap scented with Orange Chili Pepper:

tiger stripe

Next, I wanted to try out Cucumber Wasabi.  Just like BRV and Orange Chili Pepper, it behaved perfectly. I love green scents but this one smells too much like a vegetable.  It makes me a bit sad that this beauty smells weird – not bad, just weird – and has pimples! I think though that it would work well in a blend.

cucumber wasabi 1 cucumber wasabi

I went ahead and blended Cucumber Wasabi with some Orange Chili Pepper. It smells better, but I should cut down further on the Cucumber Wasabi. I tried to do what Maja did – tilt, pour some of the base soap followed by alternating half of the colored batter, turn around the mold, tilt again, then finish pouring alternately the rest of the soap batter.

orange cucumber

I have moved on from my tilted tiger stripe addiction but I know I will be back for more.  Is there a technique you are addicted to? 🙂

For Him: Regatta and Beau Brummel

Last week, I made 2 soaps for men. The first one is a combination of gingered bergamot and tangerine f.o.s.  It smells fresh and clean, and with the blue and green colours, it reminds me of the sea. Italy perhaps? Positano? Amalfi? Capri? I looked up all the names of famous Italian beaches but didn’t find a perfect match. Sniff sniff again….it definitely smells sporty. And that’s when I had a light bulb moment. Regatta!  Yes, the sailing event sounds just perfect!

regatta 1 regatta 2regatta 3

The second soap I made is scented with Beau Brummel and Black Tea. Careless me, I forgot to put fragrance in the upper black part of the soap! Just recently also, I made a batch of honey patchouli soap with a “honeycomb” top.  I was supposed to put honey in the soap but I only remembered after pouring the soap into the mold!  Argh! I really want to kick myself sometimes. Have you experienced forgetting to put an ingredient in your soap?

Beau Brummel 1 Beau Brummel 2

Making a Little Progress

I think I am finally making a little progress in the looks department of my soap.  I didn’t intend for this to look like waves against a cloudy sky, but I’m happy it came out that way.

ocean mist 2

I mixed 1/3 of the soap batter with 1/4 tsp ultramarine blue oxide, another 1/3 with 1 tsp titanium dioxide, and the last 1/3 with 1/8 tsp ultramarine blue mixed with 1/8 tsp green chrome oxide.

I soaped at around 90˚F using olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter and castor oil. Even with the fragrance oils, this took a long time to trace. I think this batch did not gel.  I took a peek before going to bed and it had not yet gelled.  Most of my soaps start to gel within the first couple of hours.

For the scent, I mixed lily of the valley, energy, and green tea & white pear, resulting in a spa-like fragrance.   I think I will name this Ocean Mist.

Help! How to achieve purple?

It has been a month of struggling with colors. I don’t have that much trouble with natural colorants like charcoal and annatto seed powder, but it’s the lab colors, and to a lesser degree the oxides, that I’m having problems with.  I purchased primary colors only, thinking that I could just mix myself to create other colors.  I’m beginning to think it’s not that simple, and there’s good reason why people buy a rainbow of different colors. For the soap below, I mixed 1/8 tsp ultramarine blue oxide and 1 drop red lab color for 500 grams of soap batter. I wanted lavender, but I got gray instead. And obviously, I put too little color.  Perhaps I should name this Lavender Clouds. gray lavender For my second attempt, I wanted to create purple, so I mixed blue and red liquid lab colors. Originally there was more blue, but I could not see the color transformation, so I ended up adding more red.  Being a newbie with colors, I was not surprised that I did not get my mix right, but I was surprised to find the speckles. I researched and found out that the heat from the saponification can cook some colors.  Ahh, I always learn something new. I am also wondering why this soap has white spots. It does not have palm oil – only olive oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil and castor oil.  Could they be bubbles? black amber and lavender I scented the black portion with Black Amber and Lavender, and the pink portion with straight lavender.  I like the way it smells strong and lavender-y, with a hint of sweetness. However, after a couple of days, the brown discoloration of the Black Amber and Lavender has started to migrate to the pink portion.

See how the brown discoloration from the f.o. has migrated to the pink portion?

See how the brown discoloration from the f.o. has migrated to the pink portion?

I just read Otion‘s latest post on Zebra Morph Swirl.  Coincidentally, their creation was closer to the look I was aiming for.  Their purple is beautiful!  It’s good to know that all it takes is Cellini Blue Mica.  But since I don’t have it (and even if I ordered it, it will take a long time to reach me across the globe), I was wondering if there’s another way to mix blue and red oxides and/or lab colors to come up with purple? Would love and greatly appreciate to hear your tips and suggestions!

Struggling with Colors

Except for a few bumps here and there, I felt that I was producing better results with every soap under my belt.  However, with my last few batches, I feel that I have been going downhill.

I only had natural colorants to play with in the past, but since my orders arrived, I now have labcolors and oxides to add to my colour palette. Working with the new colours has been quite a challenge, to say the least.

1.  Green Tea Soap (palm, coconut, olive, grape seed oils)

I added a tiny amount of titanium dioxide to the green, resulting in sea/mint green.  I wanted an earthier green.

I added a tiny amount of titanium dioxide to the green.

2.  Coconut Cream Soap (olive, coconut, rice bran, castor, stearic acid)

color challenged 3

Whoa!!! What a shocking pink! I kept on adding more red labcolor because it looked so faint. Didn’t expect it to turn this pink after gelling. I think it would not have been that bad if the contrast was not nude (uncolored) soap.

3.  Coconut Cream Soap, take 2 (olive, coconut, castor oils)

color challenged 2

Used half the amount of red as the first one, but still not that pleased with this pink. The swirls are not really working out either, but the white part, colored with titanium dioxide, looks nice and creamy.

4.  Coconut Cream Soap with Annatto: (coconut, olive, palm, grape seed oils)

color challenged 4

Used annatto powder to make a yellow soap with white swirls, but I should have colored the supposed white part with titanium dioxide for better contrast. I should have also waited for a thicker trace before doing an in-the-pot swirl.