Combining the oils, butters and beeswax is pretty simple- just make sure to heat the batch slowly as you don't want to burn the oils. As for why I choose these ingredients? I like to use butters and beeswax because these provide a harder and longer lasting bar, plus they are so luxurious on the skin! Another reason for using beeswax is that it will actually cut down your mixing time when you combine your lye solution with your oils- trace will come very quickly. This can be a tad tricky when doing a layered soap, as you have to be quick to put down your layers- but with a pair of extra hands (my husband's), it works pretty well.
As an aside, here's a nifty little Soapmaking Oil Chart that I thought was worth a share! It gives examples of soft, brittle and hard oils/butters in soapmaking.
Before I combine the oils/butters/wax with my lye/water solution, I add my purees and my powdered rosehips to the oil batch. I don't want to worry about everything coming to trace as I'm still trying to ensure the rosehip powder and purees are thoroughly mixed.
Once all is mixed in, I wait for my pot of oils/butters/beeswax AND my pot of lye solution to be at 120°F before I combine the two pots. Then I hand mix with a spatula and mixer, and once it reaches trace, I pour the batch into one of my boxes (lined with parchment to ensure it doesn't leak into the corners). With this particular soap, I sprinkled my dried chamomile buds on top.
In the past I actually did this soap with two layers, separated by a line of powdered charcoal, so I'm curious to see what this batch will look like. Now I have to wait a couple of days for the soap to harden, then I get to cut the bars and set them aside 4-6 weeks to cure. I'll be back next week with some pictures after I've cut the bars!
Would love to hear how you guys craft your soaps- or what types of ingredients you would love to see in my next batch!