Friday, 4 March 2011

Cosmetics College - Intensive Week Programme

Life changing - fantastic course, excellent teachers, great information

generously shared and lots of lovely take home presents

Although almost a month ago now, we are still on a high from our Cosmetic College Intensive Week programme. What a week it was! Let me share a little insight from the week interspersed with comments from our students.

Sadly we had a last minute cancellation on the Friday before as - due to work commitments - one of our students was unable to come. Although we operate a wait list, we thought the notice was too short for anyone to take up the place, but our replacement student managed to fly in from Malaysia to join us for the 2nd part of the week.

The students had been set a little homework so that they could come armed with information about their chosen essential oil so we kick started the week with a session on blending and creating perfumes and body sprays. From perfumes, we progressed to base oil characteristics enabling us to design and create our own version of facial and body bio-oils. We ended the day elbow-deep in salt and sugar scrubs.

Everything explained so well, no-one was ever left out at sea
From a quiet, shy student group in the morning to a chattering, smiling group who were happy to stay for more rather than go home! The lure of using the scrub soon had everyone scuttling towards the train station and cars!

The groups were split into two on Tuesday morning. Half the group learnt about using everyday herbs and enjoyed making an infusion and a balm, whilst the others learnt about safety assessments, PIFs and creating a GMP - possibly not quite as much fun for this group!
Great blend of making and legal side of business

Tuesday afternoon was messy! We kick started the afternoon with a discussion on natural v synthetic ingredients and the use of preservatives and antioxidants. The practical sessions involved making face masks/body wraps and a creamy exfoliating cleanser.
Brilliant value for money

After the easy homework from the night before, the students came armed with information on the most expensive candle they could find on the web. They then made their own versions of natural container candles and used the blending skills from day one to produce the most stunningly aromatic candles. Most impressive. We discussed different room scenters for when candles weren't the preferred option and the students chose to make either reed diffusers or scented aroma beads.
Great things to take home, more than expected

The afternoon started with the theory session on sourcing packaging and different packaging ideas. Suppliers were discussed at length and students that were already using suppliers shared their experiences.
Plenty of opportunity to ask questions

During the last part of the afternoon the students designed and made a body butter - what a talented lot they are!
Sally is a fabulous trainer, there is nothing more I could have asked or wanted of her

After various reports on how lovely the body butter (scrubs, perfumes, oils - all the products the students had been using so far!) we settled down to a day of soap making.
Excellent - surpassed expectations

Sally chose a willing volunteer to demonstrate how to make up the lye solution and once everyone was confident that they could manage it, the whole class set about making soap. We had liquid soap being made in one corner of the room and cold process everywhere else! The liquid soap making process takes a lot longer, so once that was on the go, everyone turned their hand to making cold process soap.
Good to hear the highs and pitfalls from someone who started small and has built up

We just managed to get the soaps under wraps by (a late) lunchtime so the afternoon was dedicated to a theory sessions of understanding the saponification process, superfatting, substituting liquids and designing your own soap and a practical session making bath fizz. Oh yes, we discussed and created labels too....

By the end of the day, the room was more perfumed than the scent counter at Harrods!
Very thorough and lots of helpful hints and tips

After swapping Tuesdays groups around so that the others got a chance to learn about herbs or cosmetic legislation, Friday became a very busy day! We had a sociable group lunch which also involved unwrapping yesterday's cold process soaps, scenting and bottling the now diluted liquid soap made yesterday and taking the bath fizz out of the moulds. Lots of oohs and aahs and general squeals of delight.
Learnt a great deal in a short time - well measured

After lunch we settled down to a theory session of using active ingredients in creams. From extracts and tinctures to silicones and squalane and specialist luxury oils.... and then finally the students got to make their luxury face cream that they had been designing on and off all week. The results were commendable, what a great job by all!
Perfectly pitched - lots of different levels of experience amongst Plush Folly's trainers

Almost home after presenting the awards and much hugging, swapping of emails and promising to keep in touch, the students made their way back home, back to reality and back to work on Monday to fund their new found passion.
An amazing teacher - super (woman!)

What a great week it was for all of us.
Gained so much knowledge, confidence and now feel able to branch out on my own

Our next available Intensive Week programme is June 13th - 17th.