Micas and Glitters
The only mica I use on a regular basis, to date, is the Natural Poppy Golden Mica which is a pearly, gold powder found at local craft stores in the soap making department. However, I don't use it to "color" the soap rather, I use it to enhance a gold-family colorant to a more metallic sheen. Mica is a mined mineral that, for soap making purposes, is ground to a fine powder to which colorizing agents are added. It has a sparkly, reflective quality that is somewhat shinier than some of the other pearl powders. However, micas don't have the glitzy glamour of soap glitters . . . and, to my thinking, aren't as much fun!
Soap glitters are those which are specifically made for use in soap making. DO NOT CONFUSE them with standard craft glitters. Soap glitters are usually quite a bit finer in texture than standard glitters. Though I'm not certain that soap glitters dissolve, per se, I have not found an instance where use in soap making results in glitter on the skin.
FIFTEEN COLOR TIPS
1. When using any liquid colorant, do a color-drop test on a folded, white paper towel first.
2. To get a "true" red with liquid candle and soap colorants, try mixing equal parts of their "red" and orange.
3. To determine how many drops of liquid colorant are required for a given hue, melt one ounce of MAP soap base and add colorant one drop at a time. Five drops in one ounce means you'll need 20 drops in a 4-ounce bar of soap.
4. If colorant bottles (or containers) are not labeled by the manufacturer, label them as soon as they are removed from packaging.
5. In white/opaque soaps, crayons are an especially good choice for blues and browns.
6. Crayon reds tend to bleed orange in white soap. Black becomes gray in white soap. Crayon opacity clouds clear glycerin bases.
7. There can be a dramatic difference in pigment strength in crayons, depending on the manufacturer. Do a test by coloring on a white sheet of paper. A waxy appearance, rather than the color, indicates a weaker pigment level.
8. Enhance gold crayon by adding Natural Poppy Golden Mica. Enhance silvers, brasses and copper crayon colors by adding pearlescent powder, or color-matching soap glitter, to the mix.
9. Crayons can stain. Over-adding crayon increases the chances of staining but may also be too much wax, reducing the lathering quality of the soap or making it crumbly.
10. Non-bleeding colorants may be difficult to find in local craft stores, but online venues offer many options and price ranges.
11. Non-bleeding colors may separate. Shake bottle before each use.
12. For more reproducible results, use a craft stick to drip non-bleeding colorants into melted soap where the squeeze-drop bottle top is not provided.
13. Color cubes are extremely useful in determining the hue and amount of colorant needed with virtually any type of colorant.
14. Non-bleeding colorants are not clear and will cloud the clarity of clear soap bases.
15. Food coloring is a good choice for black colorant in clear soap. if you get a true black in white soap, you've added too much food coloring.