Sunday, October 21, 2012

What's in your soap dish?

Or dishes as the case may be.

I've been missing "soap chat" lately so I thought I'd check in and see what everyone is using these days.

Sink dish (usually all samples; how many samples can YOU cram on a soap dish?):

Get Lathered - Lime Lager Granola Bar soap
I love lime and I love beer (in soap), so together what more can I ask for. This soap has been in my basement for a couple months and I'm enjoying this now that I'm showing it some love!

Valhalla Soap Co - Norseman and Bergamot & Tarragon soaps
I'm one of those shoppers who is attracted to shops with slick web design, sculptural soap tops, and intricate swirls, but in the end a finely tuned formula wins me over. I like to try to identify the oils that give a soap the properties it has, and I want to say that the castor oil in this gives it its silky quality in use, but I'm sure it's more complicated.

Bodygoodies - Bar None
Love this formula too. I wasn't expecting this to wow me; it's unscented, how much fun is that? But Heidi is the hardest working soapmaker and it's paid off. She mentioned transitioning her entire line to be based on a single formula (the formula used in "crud", gotta love that name), which I'm hoping is the same formula as in this one already.

Maroma Men - Olibanum Citrus soap
This was a bonus in an order from mcfly85 on LiveJournal. It's a melt and pour from what I can tell, and it has a natural woody scent. I'm not familiar with this brand but I just used it and am pleased with it, it has nice lather and is moisturizing.

Tokyo Factory - Beauty Facial Soap with Argan Oil
I just got this one out for the drier, cooler weather. It's gotten a little harder from age/water loss, and I like it but would wait to buy this again when I'll use it right away.

Rainwater Botanicals - Nourishing Facial Soap with geranium and carrot seed oil
Despite the beneficial ingredients added I'm getting some dryness from the base used. This is a melt and pour soap that is alternately offered in an opaque and clear base, and my sample is in the clear base. I'm not sure if the opaque one had butters added or was only colored white but I preferred it.

And outside of the dish waiting for an opening is a 1/2 bar of Arcana Soot soap. I was too impatient to wait to use this - I like the color and it smells like bittersweet dark chocolate.

Bathtub dish:

Moonalisa - Rose Sywch of Virtu soap
The description for this scent is "Four ambers, Frankincense, Pinon Pitch, Copal and a touch of the sacred Damascus Rose." I mostly get the frank and incense; overall I would call this musky. This one has staying power and I like to follow it up with Moona's Mabon body powder, another frank and pine scent.

And finally, little remnants of Bodygoodies Low Tide and Tokyo Factory Caribbean Papaya.

So if you're still reading, what are you using right now??

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Soap Giveaway: help me destash

If anyone is interested in soaps from Magic Hands Workshop, I've got a few extra bars and a bath bomb that are looking for a loving home. Magic Hands was a popular shop on Etsy that closed in 2010. If you can chip in for shipping I'm happy to send them to anyone who wants them, just leave a comment and I'll get in touch with you. I have:

Black Raspberry Cream
Pumpkin Spice
Nag Champa
Gin Martini (sea salt bar)
Fruit Slices - limes (main note), lemons and oranges
Petticoats & Parasols - Wild rose and sweet violet, iris, sweet clover, and hint of powder and heather.

Sweet Tooth bath bomb - A buttery cutout cookie with sweet frosting, candied cherries and fruits, colorful sprinkles and powdered sugar.

Here are Gin Martini and Pumpkin Spice:

I thought this would be a fun way for a soap fan to try an etailer they might not have tried before. (In case you're curious what else I have, I have a link in the upper-right.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

All things minty...

For huffability, mint is tops in my book. When it's hot out and I really want to feel refreshed, I reach for mint. Some of my favorite soaps:

Clockwise from upper left:
Haunt - Black Mint Tea, spearmint and peppermint
Cellar Door - Rosemary Mint, spearmint
Haus of Gloi - Madcap Garden 2010, peppermint
My Planet Earth - Get Your Zombie-Like Ass Out Of Bed And Wake The Hell Up!, peppermint & rosemary

Not shown:
Bodygoodies - Low Tide, peppermint
Moonalisa - Snuggler, peppermint (smells like the little wrapped Andes mint chocolates)

On my "maybe I'll try" list:
Arcana - Filthy Viking, icelandic mint & juniper, and St. John's Apothecary soap in peppermint
Mirasol Farm - Double Mint, mystery mint blend
SV Soaps - Mint Madness, peppermint, spearmint and cornmint
Heirloom Soapworks - Mint Mosaic, same as SV Soaps
Villainess - Triple Mint, same as SV Soaps
Petal's Secret Garden - Mint Leaf Tea, spearmint and peppermint
Solstice Scents - Window Box, cornmint and herbs
New Day Soap Co - Peppermint
Cellar Door - Peppermint Mocha

Anything I should add?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

One more photo for my pron post!

If it wasn't for the wavy cutter used I would not have known this wasn't edible!

This is from Balsam soapmaker (and talented photographer), Nicole.  Here are more of her mouth-watering and heart-warming photos of food, pets, and children.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Coming soon: Natural Beauty Box

It is shipping today! Some of the items will come from Delizioso Skincare, Temptations Bath n Body, Happy Pumpkin, Tsi-La, and Gen Botanicals. I'm not familiar with any of these brands so it will be fun.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Earth tone pron, from Etsy and Soap is Beautiful

Apparently not drinking coffee has me drawn to soaps in coffee shades.

More beer soaps!  Orange Fuzz Boutique.

Oh Canada...Anita's La La Land and Kalanthia Naturals.

Support local businesses?  Not a problem.  Volta Organics.

They say you can't always get what you want.  I never tried soap from Mad Hatter and it appears Balsam will be the same, but after browsing her blog she has other talents keeping her busy. (Update: I spoke too soon, I just got a convo back from the owner that she will return at some point.)

A British bargain.  AromaVille.

Random Etsy finds. Sudstress - Basilwood (sweet basil, cedarwood, and rosemary), BareBare - Frank & Myrhh, Latika - Patchouli Mint, Elsaba (from Russia) - Banana Milk Chocolate

Lip love.  New Nature Cosmetics.

That was therapeutic...putting all my wants in one place got the dwelling out of my system.  Interesting.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

New and old bath favorites

Wow, summer has arrived! Do you have any summer bath routines? My clay and exfoliating soaps are getting the most use right now with the heat wave that arrived this week. How clay manages to be effective in soap when it only spends a short period of time on skin I don't know but my skin feels cleaner. Right now I’m using up the last of a bar of Lemonade Lounger from FuturePrimitive, Swashbuckler from Arcana, and Punisher and Low Tide from Bodygoodies, which has a sandy side for scrubbing feet. (I’ve never paid attention to my feet before but exfoliating with something wet and scrubby feels great! Savor makes a pumice foot scrub I recently picked up off a swap board and will be trying soon.)

My newest soaps are the beer soaps from Bodygoodies. There are five different soaps, which appear to be the same formula with different beers, additives (coffee, chocolate, buttermilk) and scents added. These are the first beer soaps I’ve used that smell like beer, or, actually, like hops. I love herbal scents and spend a lot of time sniffing these. For scent my favorite is the stout beer soap with oatmeal & valencia essential oil and it smells like the skin of an orange.

Next to the soaps is a vanilla lip balm from Mirasol Farm which smells really good too, like someone took vanilla extract and added just enough oil/butter to make it solid. Most of the bath and body products from Mirasol Farm are extremely highly scented. (For lemon fans their Lemon Chamomile soap is a standout for me. Here’s a little overview from Andrea Badgley formerly of Sacred Suds that describes Mirasol Farm in more detail.)

The other soap I’ve been impressed with lately is from My Planet Earth. Kinda like the lip balm I mentioned, the soap "Winter I Freaking Hate You!" below feels like a stick of butter transformed into soap. This soap is on the softer side and I love soft soaps. I was watching a video from Celine of "I Am Handmade" talk about these soaps and "Winter..." was her favorite. (Ha, another funny video with the soapmaker, Mike, talking about this one and using glitter for the first time.)

The other goodies above are Solstice Scents Dead Sea bath salts, in Crumbling Crypt. This was from the last year’s fall release but I just got it through the Solstice Scents forum swap page. This is strongly scented and complex -- Crumbling Crypt is an all natural blend of essential oils and absolutes including Virginia Cedarwood, Patchouli, Oakmoss Absolute, Spruce, Cypress, Amyris, Rosewood, Patchouli, Violet Leaf Absolute, Rosemary, Lavender, Vetiver, Marjoram and Himalayan Cedar. It smells very very dark, woodsy, earthy, dank, green and herbal. This scent reminds me of a very lush forest, like in a scene from the Lord of the Rings. Mmmm, this is a grounding scent.

And the last is one of the conditioners I rotate between, a solid conditioner from Get Lathered in Patchouli Lovers (an essential oil blend featuring patchouli, cardamom, fresh ginger, sandalwood, clove, and mandarin. I also like the Harmony scent: lavender, sweet orange, and patchouli with supporting notes of rosy ho wood, clove bud, black pepper, bright clary sage, and spicy cardamom, which combined smell like orange juice with a bit of spice.) I wasn’t sure if solid conditioners would have the oomph to handle my dry hair but I'm happy with these. Working it in can take time though, so I’ve started cutting slices and putting them in a jar with water so they become soft and feel more like a regular bottle conditioner.

Is there anything you like to use for the summer, or something new you've discovered that has become a favorite?