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the merionwen blog

It is here that you will find all my thoughts, findings and musings on all things skincare related. I shall be adding hints and tips on keeping your skin in tip top condition. I shall share with you the findings of further research into natural skincare. I will post my thoughts and feelings on the ethics of the products and the skincare industry as I find it. I shall entertain you with my adventures in the Merionwen lab and now and again I shall even share with you the odd recipe or two.



a bountiful return

Category: merionwen's musings

Hello folks.

First thing first I feel I need to apologise for my absence. I come bearing a note from home to explain my tardiness.

Suffice to say I have not been sat idle here at Merionwen Towers, quite the opposite. I have in fact been a very busy bee over the last year. As you may remember from my previous blog post, I had taken on a BSc in medical herbalism. I am now a year into the course and am pleased to say I have passed all the exams for the first year.

To say that a full time course and running a successful skincare business has been hard would be an understatement. I am all too happy to put my hands in the air and declare it a steep learning curve. Juggling stuffy technical tomes with time at the formulation table has been tight. It was with this in mind I took the very conscious decision to pull back the on line marketing a little. I never wanted to find myself in a position where I could not bring the highest quality goodies to the shop and let my loyal customers down as I would have to strive for quantity over quality. This would go against every fibre of my being. It was this decision that slowed the marketing to keep up with the customer base I have enjoyed working with so far.

In time, I am sure you can all appreciate Merionwen will benefit from this as I will be able to bring the expertise I am gaining to the product on offer. There will be more and more nourishing and helpful qualities in the goodies I produce.

I am also pleased to announce that I have garnered some new qualifications in this time in reflexology, hot stone massage, anatomy and physiology, biochemistry and of course nutrition.

I no longer feel that I am simply regurgitating pre-read advice when telling you that good skin and hair comes primarily from within. I now have a shiny piece of paper that confirms this. I have always been a firm believer that the hair and skin are wonderful indicators to good health. So, naturally it follows that good health with shine through and keep you looking good.

I have also struck up affiliation with Formula Botanica the expert skin science school that I was lucky enough to do my training with studying both the primary diploma and then the advanced diploma. Soon I hope to also complete the tutor training and a shiny new page will be found added to the website as I offer lessons and training in how to make your own goodies. Of course I wouldn’t want to lose customers but it is more important to us here at Merionwen that knowledge is wealth and that is to be shared. There will be a new blog pot and website buttons soon to sign up to the school and telling you all about the lovely owner and hardworking skincare expert, Lorraine Dallmere.

I am also lucky enough to have a dear friend, Karin who wished to stock Merionwen goodies in her up and coming herbal shop. I will also be found here offering therapies just one day a week. It is based in Metheringham and in good time I shall blog about it to tell you where, when and how. Currently it is being renovated before its grand opening.

Last but by no means have least the techie team and I decided to attempt to bless our family with some tiny feet. (I hope you have guessed by now I use the word team loosely and it is a team of one). You can read all about our trials and tribulations here.. It will be a wonderful new chapter to our life but as far as Merionwen goes it will afford me the opportunity to add a range of delightful tried and tested baby goodies to the shelves. I am thinking mild and gentle soaps for sticky toddler fingers, Calendula infused botty butter and other such goodies. I will also keep in mind that any other herbal affectations I adopt will do well here, so lavender wants to keep moths at bay and tiddly togs smelling divine could be seen in the shop too.

So on my to do list :-

Buttons for affiliation,

More sweet smelling goodies,

Stock for Karin,

Make a baby.

A pretty good list I think. I do love my job.

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15:27:38 23-07-2014
 

what's new?

Category: products

Here we are, as promised.

These are a few things on the drawing board in the potion lab at the moment.

Coming soon.

strawberries

There is a strawberry face mask in production. It will have a variety of gentle and skin loving actives to rejuvenate tired and dull skin. Not least strawberries. There will also be gentle soothing pink french clay.
This will be available as a mix yourself item. It shall offer it with a bottle of orange blossom hydrosol. Simply add a few drops of the hydrosol to a little of the powder to activate, for a smooth and luscious mask. Lay back and relax, then wipe clean with a clean, moist, warm cloth.

Next, I am all too aware of how time consuming oil cleansing can be. So I have formulated a gentle rinse away oil cleanser for daily use. Massage a small amount into the skin as usual, wait just a minute or two and rinse away with clean warm water. due to it's make up it will turn to milk on the skin and be washed away in a trice. Then, perhaps you can save the time consuming oil and steam method for a few time a week.

There is an age defying facial serum about to hit the shelves. Let's keep those wrinkles at bay

We also have a solid hand balm in production. This was suggested at a recent event. Instead of sticky and messy tubes and jars running the risk of exploding in your bag you can simply take along a solid balm. Simply rub it between your hands and the warmth will melt the surface sufficiently to coat your hands. No hassles and no mess.

There are several soaps in production. These have to be made well in advance of when they will be required.

Currently there is a mocha soap, gardener's flowers hand soap, halloween themed pumpkin and toffee apple and an exfoliating honey and oat bar.

Do keep checking back as things are always being added.

Not least an eye gel, moisturiser, foot scrub, shaving oil and post shave balm for the boys, and cellulite tackling goodies.

Also, the sugar scrubs have been reformulated and are almost ready to go. I wasn't quite satisfied with the prior formulation and only want the very best for my customers.

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17:09:16 18-08-2013
 

all the fun of the fair

Category: merionwen's musings
soaps

Happy, sunny Sunday, potion lovers!

It may well be a day of rest but that doesn't comply here at Merionwen towers. However, is potioning really work? It certainly doesn't feel like it.

Today has led to the formulation of a few more goodies that will be coming soon. Stay tuned to find out what they are.

I am also busy buzzing away making more goodies for the coming fair next weekend.

We will be at Barton Marina for the first of a regular monthly outing. It's all rather exciting. Barton Marina is a lovely place and I have family links to the area. My Dear Old Dad was from Burton Upon Trent and we would spend many summer holidays visiting his side of the family (I grew up in Wales).

I am hoping we will find ourselves with a few regular customers from both Barton Marina and a regular monthly outing to Derby Market Hall.

This last few weeks has seen us making our faces known at both the Buxton Dome and Bakewell Town Hall.

Both events were equally lovely and both towns warm and welcoming. We were surrounded by both vintage goodies and wonderful crafts alike.

I would like to say thank you to The Vintage Suitcase,as both Gemma and Allison are a pleasure to deal with. They put on a spectacular show and are superb people.

I'm very pleased to say that we are going to rejoin the team on October 20th back at the beautiful Buxton Dome.

charlie

Charlie was in residence, with added mischief. Possibly because he was in the hands of Andrew the Barefoot techie hero.

We like to drag Charlie around with us to demonstrate our passion for making our products palm oil free.

We actively support Orangutan Appeal UK, and wish this to be known to all our customers as it is something we feel strongly about.

In fact we are in the process of formulation a product with a specific purpose. All the profits from this particular product will go to the charity. we will also continue to show out support by adopting a wee little baby Orangutan.

All in all, it seems we have quite a busy few months ahead of us.

It's all good :)

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16:23:33 18-08-2013
 

from little acorns

Category: merionwen's musings

With just 4 days until opening the shop I am looking at my stock shelves with a furrowed brow.

In an ideal world I would have a huge list of stock, and many products lining the shelves like a veritable superstore.

In the real, and much more sensible world my stocks are a lot smaller.

Here is the reason why.

I wish to make sure I give the best quality products to my customers. To do this I make them in small batches that can be repeated at will. I don't make bulk amounts, nor allow any sort of compromise in the ingredients.

Everything I make is as chemical free as I can get it to be. In aqueous products (products with water) I have to add a preservative by law. Due to my desire to keep any preservative as naturally derived as possible it is more economical to make them in small batches.

This desire to remain as natural as possible also mean that the products have a shorter shelf life from say a body scrub purchased in tesco or sainsbury's. Therefore I cannot afford to have products sitting on shelves using up their valuable shelf life. I prefer to have all my products go out to my customers as fresh as possible. Some of my products will benefit from living in the fridge. I will send them out in double lined packaging to ensure freshness.

With this in mind I do hope my clients will not be disappointed when the shop launches with a limited number of products.

Once launched, however, more goodies will be going up daily.

You may find that the particular product seems to be sold out. This, in itself, should not put the customer off but encourage them to realise that they are going to get the freshest product possible. There will be a facility to request a "sold out" product. This will then be made up and sent to you in less than a week.

There will also be a coming soon symbol. This is to show customers products that are undergoing challenge testing or waiting for essential legal paperwork. It does not mean I have not got around to it. This will also be a valid method of showing you all what soap is available. It will be made up and cut and you will then be informed of what will be available. However, soap has a 4-6 week cure time so selling it immediately is not viable.

There is also scope for limited edition seasonal products. If these are waiting to cure or test then it will be possible to reserve them.

All in all, I simply ask my clients/customers to understand and be patient and they will have the best quality natural skincare I can provide.

M x

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15:24:10 11-07-2013
 

heaven is a massage bar

Category: products

Only five days left until the grand opening of the on-line shop.

Here, in Merionwen Towers we are run off our busy feet.

One of today's goodies being made are massage bars.

There is nothing quite so luxurious as a relaxing massage from a loved one (or therapist, although I'm sure you all love your therapists because we are lovely). Or you could step out of the bath or shower and grab a massage bar to seal in the moisture to keep your skin feeling great.

Merionwen's massage bars are a base of cocoa butter and shea butter. The melting point is just slightly above skin level so they stay firm in the box yet glide silky oils when applied to the skin. The first collection have been made in a pleasing flower shape that echo's the Merionwen daisy. It fits snugly into the hand and allows smooth application.

These first few have a floral them. There is of course vintage rose, a delightfully aromatic jasmine and lavender and ylang ylang.

The lavender and ylang ylang comes from a particular blend of after sun oil I have formulated that will also be hitting the shelves.

I have also been asked to make a few more manly shapes and scents. So far I have rounds of patchouli and peppercorn. This aroma is a particular favourite with us here at The Towers. There is also a blend of rosemary and cedarwood in the offing.

Watch this space and as ever, if you have any requests of suggestions please get in touch.

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15:43:49 10-07-2013
 

lip smacking good

Category: products

Hi,

I just thought I'd pop a quick lunch time blog post up to tell you all what is coming together at Merionwen Towers today.

As we near shop launch I am ensuring there is a good and varied amount of goodies on offer.

This afternoons product is a good stock of lip balm. With the weather heating up it is essential we don't forget to look after our lips.

So, today has brought about :-

Turkish delight lip balm. A cocoa butter base with a rose scent and slight pink hue. (eastern spice)

Melissa and mint lip balm. The nourishing effect of melissa (lemon balm) coupled with the freshness of mint. (country garden)

St Clements lip balm. Orange and lemons! (eastern spice)

Strawberry lip balm. As requested by my teen daughter. A slight pink hue and a delicious strawberry flavour. (country garden)

Soothing calendula. Made with skin loving calendula infused oils. (botanics)

Currently they will be offered in a small glass jar but twist up tubes are on their way too.

Don't forget, I will do requests ;)

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11:54:49 08-07-2013
 

seven days to go

Category: products

Hello there,

Today at Merionwen Towers I am busy filling the virtual shelves with non virtual goodies. After all, shop launch is in a mere seven days. I have so much to do. I am elated, daunted and excited all at the same time. In just a week you will see the shiny new shop tab on the main page title bar and can brows the ethical natural goodies to your heart's content.

The techie team is beavering away making it all shiny and new. We are aiming for easy to navigate, with a fresh and natural look.

Staying within the parameters of the four "ranges"; vintage, country garden, eastern spice and botanics.

The idea is to be able to mix and match the scents and themes to provide a wholesome package that you can style to you own needs. You could mix vintage rose body soap with the eastern flavours of turkish delight lip balm. Or the fresh country garden aromas of lemon and peppermint body and face spritz can enhance the lingering zip of melissa and mint salt scrub. The choice is yours.

In good time there will be many goodies on offer.

However, there will also be a variety of services too.

You could book in for a skincare consultation or an aroma fuelled hot stone massage. We will even be offering a service to have your own range of skincare tailored to your own needs. comprising of skincare routine recommendations, advice upon the nutritional aspects of good skincare. Young and healthy skin is supported by a good diet and you will see the external effects of internal care. and or course you can have your own specialised products formulated and supplied.

In the fullness of we will also be bringing to Merionwen the therapies and holistic services we have to offer. Although, I do currently offer deep tissue massage, swedish massage, aromatherapy massage, phytotherapy consultation, skincare consultation, these are yet to be added to the website. If you are interested in any of these therapies please feel free to contact me through the contact page or directly to my e-mail, helen@merionwen.co.uk.

There is so much to do in the next seven days but you never see a miserable busy bee :)

Health and happiness

Merionwen x

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11:23:42 08-07-2013
 

would you like salt with that?

Category: products

Today's fun in the blending room of Merionwen Towers as produced a delicious bath salt.

If, like me, you live in a hard water area there is nothing better than a generous scoop of salt in the bath to add softness. Coupled with that is the mineral benefits of adding natural salt to a bath.

Himalayan salt is hand mined, washed and dried at the foot hills of the Himalayas in Pakistan. I personally do my best to seek out a sustainable source and make sure it is fairtrade certified wherever possible.

Himalayan pink salt contains an almost identical set of elements to those in our body - in the same proportions as occur in our blood. The distinctive rose pink colour is a result of the high mineral content in the salt (iron, potassium and magnesium). So in my opinion why would you put in your bath something you would not put into your mouth. With this in mind I find this particular salt ideal.

I am blending it with a variety of good aromaceuticals, for both properties and wonderful scent. Of course there will be blend with finely ground rose petals. We all love roses right? Anti ageing, soothing and they smell great.

However, I am also looking at a spice blend, something floral, a botanical aspect and a citrus zing.

These salts have a dual aspect as they can also be used as gentle shower scrub. What better way to start a morning or sooth an evening?

Served up in a sweet kilner jar to make your bathroom look pretty. Or, if you so choose you can add to the experience with an ethically sourced wooden tub and scoop. These will also be available through the shop. I will also be making available bags of refills so you don't need to worry about having to ship a new jar each time.

I have tried to think of everything!

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10:32:43 21-06-2013