@Meena , watch out, this is how it all begins.... Way to go, and 2 colors on your first time?! Overachiever! And sandalwood is hands down my favorite but out of my budget -- if you got a good price, let me know your source. Gelling isn't necessary but gelling makes the colors "pop" and unmold quicker. After pouring into the mold, I lift up a corner of the towel covering the mold every couple of hours and if it feels warm (it can get really warm), then it's gelling. I wait 24 hours and if it's still warm, I keep it covered another night. I don't know what kind of mold you are using, I have silicone loafs. You can tell if it's ready to unmold if you gently pull the side away from the soap -- if it pulls completely away, it's ready; if there's still a tight seal between soap and mold, wait another 24 hours. For micas, I've long been fine with just dumping the micas directly into the batter and have never had clumps. I've used other colorants that need to get dispersed in oil first and, just personally, find it too "fussy" so I usually always just use micas or other naturals (like paprika).