About me

Who am I?

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My name is CQ. I’m a freelance editor by day and a DIY craft adventurer by night. Originally from Hong Kong, I now live in London with my husband.

How did I get into DIY body/skincare?

It happened (almost) by accident!

A few years ago, I caught the baking bug. I was fascinated by the ways in which simple and ordinary ingredients can be combined to create something that look, smell and taste good! At the height of my baking phase, I was making 2-3 cakes a week. Such level of enthusiasm meant two things:

  1. I was steadily improving my skills.
  2. I was baking way more than I (and my husband/friends/colleagues) could eat – this was not helped by the fact that (a) I don’t actually have that much of a sweet tooth, and (b) most cakes would go stale after a few days and had to be eaten quickly.

So, after a few months of round-the-clock cake eating in order not to waste anything (I even snuck cake into the cinema instead of eating popcorn!), my husband finally asked me one day – in a rather earnest manner – if I could find a new hobby, as he didn’t think he could handle any more of this; apparently, this cake-heavy diet was seriously hampering his endeavour to maintain a peak physique required for his cycling/rock-climbing activities.

So, I found myself wondering what other hobbies are out there that:

  1. involves just as much mixing, melting, whisking, and pouring as baking
  2. creates something “useful”, with a shelf life of more than a few days
  3. does not involve anyone eating anything/make people worry about putting on weight?

The first answer that came to my head was: DIY body and skincare!

So I started looking into it: I read books and blogs, and watched countless YouTube tutorials to learn the basics; I bought the utensils and accessories, and attempted my first lip balm project. I use the word attempted because my first experiment was a bit of a disappointment (see here for the full story). After a few more tries, however, I finally succeeded in making a batch that I was happy with. I gave my balm for some friends to try and was pleasantly surprised when, after a couple of weeks, they came back and asked if they could have some more!

Just as it was with the cakes, whatever I made (deemed good enough) I shared with my growing team of willing test subjects. My creations – which by now consisted mainly of lip balms, body butters and handcrafted melt-and-pour soaps – were very well received (more so than my cakes!). Since no one in my family or close friendship circle had done this sort of thing before, my new found hobby was generating a lot of excitement. Even my husband, who did not previously care very much about skincare, began taking an interest in it, by giving me constructive feedback about the texture and scent of something I made and by giving me lots of encouragement. (Though perhaps he just didn’t want me to go back to baking! Who knows…?)

As for me, I was very happy because I’d stumbled upon a new hobby (which I found myself enjoying more than baking!). Even though I didn’t initially set out to make homemade skincare in order to be self-sufficient or to avoid certain chemicals, I was now very glad to have discovered that it was possible to make effective body and skincare products, using just a few basic ingredients and at a fraction of the cost of what I’d normally spend in shops!

So, what next?

Having realised how satisfying and rewarding it is to make my own body and skincare products, I would now like to share with you what I am learning and making along the way, and also invite you to start your own DIY body/skincare adventure and share your stories with me!

PS: All the photos in this blog are taken by my husband and me, unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.