Etsy Musings

Etsy Musings: Beautiful Twists Steals and Deals

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Just a quickie update from my latest Etsy Musings, Beautiful Twist. Ella is offering everyone who orders an extra free lip balm with their order. w00t! So if you haven’t already ordered you can take advantage of the offer by simply telling her about the offer in the order invoice during check out that way she can include your extra surprise balm.

Happy Hauling!

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Etsy Musings: Beautiful Twists by Ella Dean

The Muse always loves a little quirk with her lip balms! And quirks abound in a great little shop called Beautiful Twists on Etsy.

Today’s Etsy Musings is all about Beautiful Twists and it’s gorgeous creator Ella Dean who whips up incredible lip balm creations that’s sure to please lip junkies far and wide! I thought we’d take time out to meet up with Ella Dean, the mastermind and genius behind this little shop (or should I say very popular shop) on Etsy.

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The first time I stumbled onto Ella Dean’s shop caricatures of John Lennon and Yoko Uno were staring at me from a tube of a lip balm, obviously anything that has John on it’s packaging was something the Muse absolutely needed (the Muse is a big supporter of Lennon). To this day I associate Ella with the free spirited guru Yoko Uno due to the tiny profile picture she has on her shop (you’ll see what I mean when you see her photo below). With her long flowing hair and a thin headband wrapped around her forehead I couldn’t help but think free loving hippie and it couldn’t be more suitable as all of Ella’s incredible creations are made with good for you ingredients, all hand made, no base, from scratch and completely vegan-friendly ala quite hippie-like. Obviously Ella takes her art serious.

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What’s so special about Beautiful Twists? Everything. Ella makes some of thee most amazing lip balms and perfumes I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing in the e-tailer world. Her creativity is positively brilliant and all her creations are unique and different from anything you’ve tried before.

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Beautiful Twists has quite a cult following on Etsy so much so that orders from Ella takes 10-14 days (I suspect longer once the Muse posts this entry and word spreads!) to receive but boy is that wait well worth your time. Ella specializes in lip balms but she also tries her hat at perfume oils, perfumes, body sprays and exceeds at all of those too!

Now it deserves to be mentioned I’m not really that big a fan of lip balm. I’ll buy a lip balm here and there but I’m not too big a fan. Lip balms are hard, they make my lips feel like they are enclosed in a mask, and I dunno they just aren’t my cuppa really. I love my Labello balms as they have a dreamy formula but really when you think lip balm I’m positive you automatically think of a crummy chapstick tube and a mediocre formula.

Well, Ella takes lip balm to the next level with a creamy, dreamy, glossy, tasty formula that’s simply to die for. At $3.25 USD per a tube (with special deals and packages on sets) the Muse feels guilty purchasing these at such an outrageously low cost! Ella puts alot of love into these babies and it shows. Please don’t let the “lip balm” name mislead you and fool you into thinking of a simple chapstick. Elle’s balms have an incredibly moisturizing formula that’s sure to please even the most snobby balm lover. The only sad thing about her balms is the fact you’ll catch a made frenzy of that dreaded pokemon disease and want to collect ‘em all as she releases them.

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Although I’m crazed for her balms I do so admit to being equally (or even more so) obsessed with her awesome body sprays! These are the perfect Summer-time treat for a light spritz of a gorgeous, unique blend of fragrance. I dunno how she does it but she manages to create a great body spray that lingers on and on and gives off a wonderful throw.

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Ella agreed to be interviewed for Musings about her goodies and it was a pure joy working with her on the article especially considering how busy she is. You can see how excited and passionate she is about her art by reading a little bit about Ella and Beautiful Twists below!


What’s your name and where are you from?
Ella Dean & I’m from Wisconsin, but now live in Ohio.

What made you start selling on etsy?
I had my own website & then I discovered Etsy one day looking for earrings shaped like apples & I just knew I had to open a shop there because I loved how everything was so unique & you could reach people all over the world.

Have you sold your wares anywhere else (Your stuff is so good we want to stalk you)? I have had it in a few boutiques & salons (Cookie Cutters, Salon Lofts etc) & Lane Bryant ordered a bunch of body products last year for promotions & such (how awesome is it her stuff was at Lane Bryant!!!!)

What sort of ingredients goes into your balms and body sprays?
I love using really silky & moisturizing vegan ingredients mixed with a fun dreamy scent.

They are vegan friendly and organic right?
My body products are all Vegan & all my ingredients are 100% vegan friendly. I love using candelilla wax (a wax from a plant) rather than beeswax because bees scare me & I kinda feel bad for them sometimes (yes, I’m a sap). I also love using sweet almond oil because it makes my lip conditioners very soothing & moisturizing & it has a nice mild scent.

How does one even make a lip balm?
You take a moisturizing oils & a wax of your choice & melt it on the stove & then I pour the mixture in a glass container so I can pour the mixture into all the tiny containers, but first (the fun part) you add a few drops of flavor or essential oil & if you want a little color & then stir it up & pour it in before it solidifies, WELLA!!

How long does it take?
I seriously make lip conditioners every day, it’s like brushing my teeth, so depending on how many flavors it takes, about 30-40 minutes (I still love doing it even after & 7 years)

Your blends are all really unique how do you think them up?
Believe it or not a lot come from my dreams or just something I’m hungry for. My niece Madelyn, who is six, just inspired my latest flavor ‘Strawberry Mint Toothpaste’ & the label has a cute tooth fairy on it. She just lost her first tooth & she’s fascinated by the Tooth Fairy. I love to think up different flavors…it’s kind of an addiction to me hee-hee! (The Muse so needs Strawberry Mint ToothPaste!)

What’s the hardest part about creating a new blend?
I may get all excited about a new flavor & then it doesn’t work out. Here’s an example…My husband is my very patient guinea pig throughout the years. He’s basically tried every flavor I have created, even when I came up with a ketchup lip conditioner (yeah, that was a Limited Edition).

Does anything every just not work?
Yes, Ketchup Lip Conditioner. Oh & I once tried to make a grilled cheese sandwich scent…not so yummy.

How do you keep your costs so incredibly low? Especially considering how cute your packaging is!
I want everyone to be able to afford them because everyone deserves smoochalicious, soft dreamy lips!!

Do you do your own cute graphics?
I create all my own labels on my computer, but I can’t draw at all, so I have an artist draw me up the pictures (I give every detail, right down to if they have dimples or not). Many of the characters on my labels were inspired by real women I have met in my life or I have met while traveling around the world. People amaze & inspire me!!

How often do you release new blends and collections?
All the time. My brain just won’t stop thinking of new flavors & collections!! My husband is an Engineer & his brain works very different than mine & he’s always like ‘you have to stop’ & I keep telling him I just can’t. I dream about new flavors & collections all the time. Here’s a little secret for your readers…I’m going to be starting a line of body products that you keep in your fridge, so when you come home from yoga, walking the dog, grocery shopping & you’re all hot, just spritz yourself with a cool mist. This collection is going to have fun, unique scents that will make the carrots in your fridge jealous! (Damn the carrots in my fridge will be jealous? Look out carrots the Muse has Ella Dean goodness coming to a fridge near you!)

Do you think you’ll ever branch out and start making other items aside from balms, perfumes, and body sprays?
I actually use to make bath salts, soap & lotion, but once I got so busy, I just couldn’t keep up. Hopefully, I’ll be able to start again. Oh & I plan on having fun scented bubble bath in my shop soon too (pistachio pudding scented, etc….)

Ella was good enough to share some pictures of her items with us today too, have a peep below!


Thanks Ella! The Muse hearts you!

With blends like Pickle Juice and Green Apples and Cantaloupe and Peanut Butter sandwiches (it’s awesome trust me) I imagine that Ella will be in business a very long time keeping fans like the Muse clamoring for more please! Beautiful Twists by Ella Dean is an incredible Etsy experience and I’m pleased to bring you an Etsy Musing of it today.

Ella’s entire line is well worth checking out. Her prices won’t break the bank, her unique scents will make you smile, and her incredible lip treats will keep your lips glossy smooth and soft. Plus the added quirk and flavor of her items having their own personalities and stories is too cute to pass up on!

Check out Beautiful Twists by visiting elladean.etsy.com Do tell her where you heard about her shop!

Shop some of my favorite blends:
Smoochin’ at the Car Wash
Peaceful Lemon Soda and Truffles in Bed Vegan Smoochalicious Lip Conditioner
Summer’s Warm Breezes and Sunset Fruits Roll On Silky Perfume Oil
Winter’s Snowflake Kisses Body Mist
Winter’s Cherry Snow Slushie Body Mist

Stay tuned next week for a brand new Etsy Musings!

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Etsy Musings: Bead Passion Part 2

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It’s not Friday but I thought I’d share some more Etsy love with you! This is a follow up post from my original Bead Passion from a few weeks ago as I wanted to share with you some of the brand new pendants that arrived in my mail box!

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Jump ahead for a peep!

By now I hope that you too got your package if you ordered from Helen. I got my order yesterday and was thrilled to bits and pieces with it.

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Helen has gotten way more detail orientated since my first purchase hehe! The new cuppycakes are simply gorgeous and so life like!

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I love the new chains she’s shipping the pendants with as well. They are so nice and long so the pendant is really displayed nicely around your neck!

My free goodies!

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In my original Bead Passion post Helen offered free earrings, a free cell phone charm, and stickers to anyone who made a purchase! The above are what I got ;D I’m loving the cell phone charms! Cutes!

Curious minds did anyone order?

If so what did you get?

Feel free to share pics! musings.of.a.muse@gmail.com

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Etsy Musings: Funky Monkey Company

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Another week, another Etsy Musing! This week the Muse is all about the cool baked powders she can find at Funky Monkey Company and I’m positive after you read my review you’ll want one.

Jump ahead for the good word!

One day while randomly searching through Etsy’s beauty listings I came across a really awesome powder that looked super similar to my beloved Physicians Formula Pressed Powder but much prettier!

After clicking I discovered that the powder was a liquid mineral foundation that was baked into the beautiful marbleized creation on my screen. Reading further I learned it had no artificial preservatives, harmful chemicals, or added fragrances…hm likey! I quickly purchased one and waited eagerly for it to arrive.

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When it arrived I was absolutely delighted how pretty it was. It comes housed in a silver compact with mirror. The powder is a domed, baked marble powder reminiscent of a MAC Skinfinish.

I got the lightest shade she had available and it suited my skin tone perfectly. It’s ideal as a light foundation that offers sheer to medium coverage. You can buff it gently onto your skin or use a puff to apply it for heavier coverage. It wakes up dull skin, evens it out, and creates a nice, flawless finish for makeup. It made my skin light up with a gorgeous glow! I actually felt like it was better quality than my favorite Physicians Formula palette. The formula is a smooth, silky powder. The texture of the powder doesn’t flake on my dry skin which is always a plus.

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The artist of this fine palette, Myra, was kind enough to grant me an interview! Check out below what she has to say about her powders and how they are made!


What’s your name and where are you from?

Myra Roldan, I’m from Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico but currently living in Milford, CT. I’ve been in the States for about 20 years.

What made you start selling on Etsy?

I started with Etsy about 2 years ago but didn’t actively pursue it because I had lots going on. About two months ago I rebranded my Etsy page and began actively selling.

Have you sold on any other sites prior to Etsy?

Yes, I own a mineral makeup company, Beautiful Diva (http://www.beautifuldiva.com). I currently have approximately 500 representatives in the US, Canada and Australia who distribute my products. My Esty page is a test market of sorts, where customers who purchase directly from me can get products created by me without the need of a sales rep.

Do you do any other makeup items aside from pressed powder?

My Kiln Baked Minerals aren’t really pressed, they start off as a liquid and then are baked in a kiln. I also offer loose mineral foundations, blushes and pigment shadows. I also offer mineral mascara, gel liners, eye liners, lip glosses and lipsticks. I’m also working on a Mineral Mousse Foundation which I will offer only on Etsy.

How long does it take to make one pressed powder?

The Kiln Baked Mineral formulation takes about 20 to 30 minutes to make, it then must bake in a Kiln for 24 hours. The formula is a combination of iron oxides and liquid botanicals. The liquid is poured into molds and once baked it hardens.

What’s the procedure for making the powder? What sort of ingredients go into it?

I start with my basic pigment blend for the color, this is the same blend I used in created loose minerals. I usually create the pigment (color) blend made from Iron Oxides and Micas first then work on the base whether it is liquid for my baked minerals or powder for my loose minerals. In the case of Baked Minerals, the pigment blend is added to a liquid base which is a combination of different botanical extracts. For Loose Minerals, I have started substituting my traditional base for a more herbal base made up of Arrowroot Powder, Oat Starch and vegetable based Magnesium Stearate. I also add a few drops of jojoba which contains a natural anti-inflammatory and is a natural antixodant and helps extend the shelf life of the product. I also use tea tree oil which is a natural germ killer. This is actually my grandmother’s original formula.

What’s the hardest part when making a pressed powder like this?

Getting the color match every single time.

How do you get those amazing swirls and twirls throughout the powder? The marbleized effect is so pretty!

The swirls are created by the product it self during baking. The ingredients start to separate and creates the cool looking swirls.

What made you start making pressed powder?

Loose powders are messy. I tend to make a HUGE mess when mixing. I’ve been using mineral makeup for years and I can tell you the it’s messy stuff. I wanted something that was less mess.

Are your product vegan friendly or organic?

Yes they are. I try to use vegetable based ingredients staying away from animal by-products.

Overall, I thought the powder was incredible and I’ll definitely be purchasing more from Funky Monkey Company. Loves it! Truly a great Etsy find! I’ve included some pictures of other items that Myra sells on Etsy below. I’m quite excited about the mineral mousse she was discussing in the interview, let’s hope we get to see that soon!

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Here’s me using my powder as a full foundation:

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Visit with Myra and discover her amazing line of minerals at FunkeyMonkeyCompany.etsy.com

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Etsy Musings: Bead Passion

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Happy Friday lovies! Excited for the weekend? I know I am! Last week I introduced you to a brand new catagory that I’d be doing every week or two which would be called Etsy Musings. If you missed my original post I hope you’ll go back and have a peek at it.

As part of my brand new series today I’ll be introducing you to Helen who’s from the Philippines and runs a shop on Etsy entitled Bead Passion.

I’m very excited to introduce you to Helen and her amazing art so jump ahead for a review of her products, an interview with her, and a special steal and deal at her shop!

Helen makes jewelry. I know sounds kinda boring right? So what she makes jewelry what’s so special about that? Well Helen actually makes a special, unique kind of jewelry that should appeal to anyone who 1. loves cupcakes and 2. adores anything with a kawaii flair! Whether we are talking earrings, bracelets, or necklaces, Helen has you covered for a “sweet” jewelry experience. A majority of her items are themed with cupcakes in mind which makes for a unique and sweet jewelry experience. All her cupcake creations are made with polymer clay and are teeny tiny in size for a perfect little piece of conversation starter jewelry! I discovered Helen November of last year and have since been terribly addicted to browsing her shop for her latest creations. I think one of the main reasons that Bead Passion appeals is the ridiculously inexpensive price tag! Each piece is handmade, takes a hour or more to make, is amazingly unique, yet carries a price tag of $10-$20 USD at most! Helen’s unique creations are both cute and budget friendly! We all love that don’t we?

Helen was kind enough to allow me to interview her and ask a ton of silly questions about how in the world does one go about creating such a tiny cupcake!? Plus she included some amazing images of her creations for us to enjoy! Take a look at what Helen had to say below!

What made you start selling on Etsy?

I’ve heard about Etsy in 2006, when my cousin suggested I try selling my beaded jewelries there. Back then I had no idea how online selling was supposed to go there. Then I discovered making jewelries out of polymer clay last year. I have never been so passionate with any other crafts as much as I am now with polymer clay. That’s because these are really unique, one of a kind creations. You can never make 2 pieces exactly alike, that’s the beauty of handmade. So I finally got the courage and confidence to sell online as an international market. It helped also that my husband has been very supportive of my Etsy activities all along. He even made my banner.

I couldn’t agree more with Helen. Truly her pieces are all very unique and one of kind! Some of her cupcakes are too lifelike, must keep away otherwise I’ll take a bite!

Have you sold on any other sites prior to Etsy?

I used to advertise my products on a local buy and sell site, www.davaoexchange.com

I noticed many of your jewelry items are foody in nature like cupcakes and slices of cake? Why food?

Some people love books, dogs, or cats or gadgets. But I believe that the common denominator among them is food, who doesn’t like food? icon smile Cupcakes, I think, is magical food. It’s the most charming dessert ever invented!

Helen’s excitement about cupcake was positively delightful and it really made me smile when I read her response. I couldn’t agree more truly cupcakes are magical food!

How long does it take you to make a single pendant?

On the average about an hour. But that is only for sculpting the piece. It doesn’t include conditioning the clay, baking, and then glossing.

How does one even make such a tiny cupcake? What ingredients are used? Do you need to bake them?

Based from my experience, you will need patience and a lot of love. You will not be able to achieve a quality piece when you are in a hurry or you’re just making it for the sake of selling.

These tiny cupcakes were handmade with polymer clay. Polymer clay is like the clay we used to play with when we were little but baked to harden. Before you start, you need to condition the clay to make it soft and pliable, either by kneading with hand or rolling in pasta machine. I use both depending on the amount of clay I am working with. Then you mold your desired shape by hand. There are many available tools to help with sculpting, molding and texturing. There are also liquid clays to help you achieve a more realistic frosting effect. Once done, the cupcake is baked for about 30mins at specific temperature depending on brand of clay used. Then it allowed to cool. Afterwards comes glossing. For my dessert clay, I do not gloss because they look more realistic with a natural matte finish. However, I would do so upon customer request. Polymer clay has a wide variety of colors, so painting is not necessary in my case.

Are there any shapes or forms you’ve attempted to make but weren’t successful?

I could hardly make face sculptures. I attempted to make several character clays, I can say they look fine but are cartoonish in nature. I made a cake topper for my son’s 2nd birthday and another for a friend, also some religious sculptures, Mama Mary and St.Anthony (you can see these at my flickr photos www.flickr.com/photos/accetera) I’m hoping to achieve realistic sculptures and am currently practicing. Who knows you might see some serious sculpting in my shop in the future.

Which are the hardest parts when making an item?

The hardest part is conceptualizing and making the initial design. Making something new is always a trial and error thing for me. That is why, I usually charge high for custom orders. Also I find it difficult and time consuming, to condition the clay. My hands and arms hurt icon smile Also mixing clay colors to achieve the shade I needed is difficult.

I’ve seen jewelry like yours on Etsy and other sites before but it’s much more expensive! How do you keep your prices so low for a craft that obviously takes so much time?

I didn’t realize my prices are low icon smile My price is based on degree of difficulty to make a piece. Those $5 and below are items I can make within less than an hour, those I’ve mastered doing. I think it also helps that I have a supply shop (www.beadhub.etsy.com) so I can get my supplies in bulk, making them cheaper. These are the chains or wire components that comes together with the clay accessory.

Is there anything else you can tell us about jewelry making?Anything else you want to add?

All handmade items are meant to be treasured. Part of the artist is in there. Like for my item, it is more than a piece of clay, its a piece of art. Please continue to support handmade. Etsy’s got a lot of great artists!

Helen was such a joy to interview as she’s obviously very excited about what she does and her passion for it shines through in her replies to my questions. Her little pieces of “art” are an absolute joy to behold and makes me want to collect ‘em all!

Here are some photos that Helen included with her interview for me to post along with this Etsy Musing.

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Here’s a photo of my cupcake pendant that I purchased a few months ago. When I purchased it came wrapped in a sweet pink box with a pair of fork and spoon earrings (hey, you need utensils to go along with that cupcake), a sweet note from Helen thanking me for the purchase, and a chain for my charm, all this for $10 USD bucks?! Loves it!

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Helen extended a nice coupon for my readers. If you purchase something from her and message her after you’ve checked out telling her you read about her on my blog she’ll include a few surprises with any order that’s $10 USD and above. You’ll get a handmade dessert cellphone charm, stickers, and a pair of earrings! But be sure to tell her where you read about this so she knows to include your extra goodies with purchase plus the coupon is good until July 1st so if you’re not wanting to shop right away, make a wish list and buy it later on!

I hope you enjoyed my first Etsy Musings post and I sure hope you’ll visit and show your support to our fabulous artist Helen at beadpassion.etsy.com

If you do purchase please share your order with me! Curious to see what everyone buys!

Stay tuned next week for another awesome Etsy Musing!

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