Cosmetics Gift Workshop – Southbank Centre

Browsing the Southbank Centre website, I came across a craft workshop for only £5, designed for participants to make their own Christmas gifts. As a huge fan of bath products from places like Lush, I signed up straight away.

The workshop involved making natural cosmetics, the kind that are growing in popularity and are sold in shops like Oxfam, as well as some supermarkets. The session began with a short talk about the history of the company, as well as a discussion of some of the ingredients and their properties, including shea butter and coconut oil. All the ingredients are fair trade and organic.

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Workshop talk

After the talk it was time to get to work! We split into groups to make two bath melts, a sugar scrub and a lip balm for each person. We decided to make the lip balm first to allow it to set, followed by the bath melts and then the sugar scrub.

We found it quite tricky to weigh the ingredients exactly – to the nearest gram. However after some weighing and re-weighing we got into the swing of things and weighing the ingredients for the subsequent cosmetics was much more straightforward. We managed to divide up the work pretty well, with some people taking responsibility for weighing and measuring, others for chopping up the lumps of shea butter and others sorting out the outer wrapping, while one poor bloke who’d been brought along by his partner was relegated to standing in the microwave queue to get our ingredients melted down.

The lip balm was poured out and left to set while we started on the bath melts – scented with lavender. Finally we made the sugar scrub, which looked good enough to eat (but we didn’t).

The finishing touch was a little Christmas gift bag in which we placed our newly-made goodies. Though the workshop was designed to make presents, I don’t really know anyone who likes this kind of thing as much as I do, so I decided to keep it for myself (that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!).

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Beautifully packaged