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Annathie

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Nov 18, 2023
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Auckland, New Zealand
Hi everyone. I have bought some mica, however, whenever I use it to colour, because of the oils, the colour is nothing like the mica colour. I am wanting to make some 'gold bars' for my husband to give to his staff at work. I have bought 'gold bar' moulds to use, but am really worried that they won't come out gold once I try and colour the oils. I will probably use my 'basic recipe' given to me when I learnt how to make soap - olive oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil and lye.
What are the best ways of doing this and how do I get it to look like a gold bar (as best as possible)? I have also bought bright gold mica and gold glitter to use. Any suggestions on how to colour this, so they come out looking gold, would be really, really helpful. I've attached a pic of the mould and what I'm hoping the bars will come out like. Hubby wants to give them out as Christmas presents. He is aware they can't be used straight away, and I will be noting this on the soaps as well as the ingredients.
If I sprinkle the glitter in the mould and then pour in the 'gold' (hopefully) soap, will that affect it in any way, or should I add the glitter to the soap mix?
Thanks heaps.
Gold Bars.jpg

Anne.
(Auckland, NZ)
 
You won't get a gold color by adding the micas to the soap batter alone. I don't use micas for soap, but I once did for the purpose of mixing custom cosmetic colors for myself.

If you want the golden sheen, firstly buy a highly reflective gold mica - or mix a couple of gold micas together to obtain a sheen you're happy with.

I would suggest then mixing some of the gold mica with alcohol once you unmold your soaps, then paint each bar with that alcohol / mica mixture & allow to dry. You may need to add a fair amount of the mica/s to the alcohol to get a nice layer of opaque gold.

Better yet, do that just a day or two before gift giving, so if you touch them while curing, you won't be seeing fingerprints or areas of the golden sheen worn off.

Personally, I'd skip the glitter, but it's your call :)
 
You won't get a gold color by adding the micas to the soap batter alone. I don't use micas for soap, but I once did for the purpose of mixing custom cosmetic colors for myself.

If you want the golden sheen, firstly buy a highly reflective gold mica - or mix a couple of gold micas together to obtain a sheen you're happy with.

I would suggest then mixing some of the gold mica with alcohol once you unmold your soaps, then paint each bar with that alcohol / mica mixture & allow to dry. You may need to add a fair amount of the mica/s to the alcohol to get a nice layer of opaque gold.

Better yet, do that just a day or two before gift giving, so if you touch them while curing, you won't be seeing fingerprints or areas of the golden sheen worn off.

Personally, I'd skip the glitter, but it's your call :)
Thanks. I hadn't thought about 'painting' it. What sort of alcohol would I use? Isopropyl Acohol? I'm assuming not vodka or gin. Hahaha.
 
You can definitely paint the bottom of the mold with the mica, and a lot of it will normally stick to the soap. I've done that quite a bit and was happy with it.

But that won't make your soap look like the bars in your picture. If that's the effect you want, follow QQ's suggestion of painting the bars with IPA and mica, or dmcgee's suggestion of clear M&P.
 
What is clear M & P?
Clear melt and pour soap base. I agree this could be the best option for your project.

you could also try dry brushing the mica on the soap bars. Applying mica to the surface of the bars has always resulted in the mica rubbing off onto hands when being handled regardless of the method. At least that’s what I’ve found. A small area with mica applied as an accent wouldn’t be too bad, but the whole bar covered in mica sounds messy to me.
 
100% you should use clear melt and pour. You won't even come close with CP, it won't work to mix micas into the batter and I think if you try to adhere it topically any other way it will just start to flake off and/or look smudgy by the time you gift it. You won't quite get that ingot look with clear MP, it will still be a little transparent, but it will be pretty and as close as you will get with regular mica.

If you are desperate for that opaque shade - ie, super shimmery but not transparent at all - I've done it in clear MP by mixing micas that contain metal powders with chromiums or oxides, for example, for the gold you'd want to mix something like TKB's Crucible Gold or Mehron Gold Metallic makeup powder - both of which contain bronze powder - and yellow oxide (I have no idea why this works, I just stumbled across it one day). But that is kind of a pain, the metallic micas are expensive, and you have to experiment a bit to get the right shade.
 
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So I've done something similar in 2 different ways. One is I pour my cold process soap in the molds and once it's hard I unmold it then place it on a wire cooling rack and mix gold mica with melt and pour and then pour it over the top like pouring chocolate over truffles. I put it in a squeeze bottle so I can control the amount as it comes out to get a good coating. The second way is I pour a small amount of melt and pour mixed with the mica into the mold in a small layer and then once it has cooled and hardened I pour the cold process soap over the top. This does mean that the sides are generally not gold but you can paint them with mica mixed with isopropyl alcohol.
 
I saw in a YouTube video (sorry don’t remember which) that mixed the mica either with an oil or alcohol and using a little spray bottle, sprayed the sides of the mold, then poured in the soap; this should leave you with the true gold color. But I’ve never done it. Sorry for the vague information 🙈
 

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