Wednesday, July 30, 2008


The photo for her profile reminds me a little of the movie "Saw", doesn't it? :)

I have been enjoying a blog written by a German soaper for months now and really enjoy It. Her handle is macsoapy, but her name is Gabriele Kappes and I quite admire her. If I could understand German, I would be very happy to know more about her and the soap she makes, but can only attempt to understand based on the pictures in her blog and when I make out a few words, such as über, das and seife which I think means soap or something close to it. I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to languages. I never could pick up much Spanish even after 5 years in school taking Spanish as a concentration. My brain just doesn't work in those terms. I suppose I am more of the creative type. A visual person. I think that's why I excelled in Sign Language after college. In any case, I recently "read" einfachseife blog (macsoapy's blog) and found these great patterns for soap wraps. There is a little English on her blog so I know it states that you could download the patterns and use them for free! I think they are adorable and will solve some packaging wishy washiness. I think they are wonderful and would make great gifts. To see the other patterns and to brush up on your German, go read her post: Neue Seifenbanderolen zum Download. Also, if you haven't checked out her blog, do so. I love to see the things she shares. She co-writes which is about soapmaking, soap packaging, recipes, tutorials and more AND she has her own website that shows off her beautiful soaps here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Moonlit Snow Meets Sandy Beaches - True Love!

It's like I went to to meet my soap. I have many favorites, but it has been a while since I had the heart thumping, stick my nose into, lather so lovingly experience in the shower.

Savonara wooed me with the Natural Deodorant I tried a couple of months ago, which, folks, is truly effective and safe. I have permanently thrown out my store bought stick deodorant. Yes, in the trash. I am currently trying to conserve my itty bitty serving of Rosewood Natural Deoderant because there is some shea butter in there and I am waiting until the weather cools before I order more.

Moonlit Snow is downright sexy looking. Look at the white and grey swirling together and topped with the "cherry" on top (circles embedded).
It is described on Sher's Etsy shop like this: This gorgeous cool blue soap has misty white swirled through the blue field, with a cloudy grey moon above... so cool and refreshing in a clean fragrance of fresh linen.

click on red photo for a real close detail shot.

Touching Moonlit is an experience. It is smoother than smooth. No air bubbles, no cut scuffs, it's almost like Sher cut it with her mind. ;)

This is a lather crazed monster, I tell ya. I took this suds photo from Sher's blog, but this is what happened in the shower. I touched it and it began lathering. And shaving my poor, scraped up, sore legs? A cake walk. You know my legs have a fierce sense of evil spitefulness. If I miss a day shaving, havoc reeks. I get itchy and red, and when I scratch the uncontrollable itch, I rub myself raw. So stupid, but true. So I now have a weapon.

So please, if you want to have a yummy, lathery, smell-so-good experience, please go buy Sher's soap. Moonlit Snow (Sher) meets Sandy Beaches (me). Love.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Upcoming Review ::Savonara:: Moonlit Snow

Upcoming review: A magnificent grey beauty....Moonlit Snow you can buy them here.
Review of soap to follow in the next day or two.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Salt Bars On Etsy

Salt Bars in Sexy Laundry Day. Ohhhh. There are only 6 or 7 of them.

It it hard to keep up with posting items on Etsy, writing 2 blogs and running a business, not to mention all of my household mommy things and household laundry and food shopping things. Oh! But now I can have sexy laundry day everyday, because that is how much I wash.

Yeh, every day.

So I better get moving.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Naked Lady Sea Sprite

Naked Lady was the first company that sent me soaps to review on this blog. Yes, my first review here. I reviewed their Fuzzy Navel (mmm) - loved it!

Today, I am reviewing their Sea Sprite Deep Cleansing ~ Dead Sea Soap.

The mother-daughter team has shared again with me. Well. All along, this was the bar I wanted to try because of the salt. Since my initial introduction to the handmade soap world, I have learned quite a bit about salt soap. Recently, I posted the salt soap tutorial and pictures of my Sexy Laundry Day Salt Soap. It all flows naturally into a review for Sea Sprite.

Again, with salt and mud, I feel very wholesome and natural bathing with it. The color is a muddy olive green which I like very much and the lather is delightful. The bubbles grew rapidly and gave me a nice leg shave.

I have used so many all natural soaps, that essential oils are starting to smell somewhat similar... antiseptic and planty. I can't put my finger on the scent in this bar, but I think it has tea tree perhaps and a touch of rosemary? I looked on their site and on the box, but there is no description of the essential oils used. I think Naked Lady Soaps are superior , well thought out and well made.

Thank you Naked Ladies!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Salt Bars In SEXY Laundry Day

These are my salt bars. I have been wanting to make them for months and months and I finally did it! Thank you to Sarah of Ladybug Soapworks, her salt bar tutorial was fabulous. I changed up the oil from avocado (had none) to a blend of castor and soybean oil. I also used a combination of fine Morton table salt ans fine sea salt - I used no large crystals. I noticed that Sarah's bars have wuite a texture to them. Mine are smooth.

The best part of the bars? The absolute heavenly new scent we have introduced at Product Body called SEXY Laundry Day. A super clean, fresh scent with notes of ylang ylang, jasmine and Downy fabric softener. My favorite so far....oooh!

These photographs were taken right after I cut them. They look even better now. I shall take pictures of the cured version and see how much they differ. I have been using the bars as my facial soap and I am loving it so far!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Muddy Waters + White Lyes

Muddy detail (Char's pic)

My last post was about one of the soaps that Char of White Lye Handmade Soaps sent me: Whipped Pomegranate. Today the bar up for review is Dead Sea Mud Soap (aka "Muddy"). Unscented and uncolored, I really enjoyed my mud bar. A fat boy! Look at my hand and how nice that fatso is.

I have tried mud bars before, and barely felt the slip under my razor. I've read all the claims about mud and how great it is for your skin, but mud or clay in a soap never really delivered the goods in my opinion. Very pretty to look at but I didn't FEEL the difference that much. Almost lost it along the way.

Oh Muddy, Mud... how I love you! How have I been washing all these years and not found you, 'ole Mud Mud? I have showered with it and used it to wash my hands. There is a real sense of clean. I feel like it tightens the skin, but not in a drying way. More of a firming feeling. If this bar actually tightens my buns, I will give Char my car.

Poolside with Muddy

There are great benefits that Dead Sea Mud possesses according to several sources. Ask anybody!

On White Lye's website, they are listed: - Improving blood circulation. - Assist in natural skin generation. - Fine grains remove impurities, toxins, dead skin, dirt. - Treat skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, itchy skin. - Moisturize your skin and promotes natural hydration. - Aid arthritis, muscle stiffness and aches, and rheumatism.

So not only is it great for our skin, but it feels great while your sudsing and feels great once you've dried off and slipped into jammies.

White Lye's packaging

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

White Lye Soap


Charlene, of White Lye was kind enough to send me a couple of her hardy bars to test. They were wrapped beautifully!! The bars were wrapped in heat sealed plastic and then wrapped with a band. High quality paper with gorgeous designs.
White Lye Whipped Pomegranate
It had a sweet pomegranate scent, with notes of berries and sugar. Definately not overpowering in scent. I have noticed that no matter where I go, pomegranate scented items, soap, bath powder, candles, etc, all are overpowering and makes my eyes sting. I love candles and I love the scent throw to be full bodied, but when a musky pomegranate starts taking over the living room, the candle meets my closet in unlit form, for life. OK. Back to soap. The Whipped soap wasn't quite as I expected. It wasn't whipped like Gudonya, which was fluffy looking- almost like solid mousse, but Char's bar has a lovely smoothness (as you can see) that I quite like along with the calming color.

Char's bar came into the shower with me and lathered up instantly. No need to rub anymore than one-two-three - shazaaaaam! Bubbles galore! That is a nice treat because sometimes a first timer in the shower can take four-five or six rubs before the bubbles lather nicely. Then of course, it continued. I put the soap down and continued to rub my leg with the lather and the lather practically doubled. This worked great for my shaving with über bubbles for super glide on the razor.

I am glad this wasn't a very whipped bar of soap. The last whipped soap I had didn't last very long. Five or six showers. This puppy is going and going! Five showers had, way more than five left. Way more.
Whipped Pomegranate-wrapped


Char's Bar #2: Dead Sea Mud - Detoxing Scrub Soap (sneak peek)

MMmmm, mud-dy....

ps: She not only has the Etsy Shop, she has her own beautiful website!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Salt Soap Tutorial by Ladybug Soapworks

Sarah, of Ladybug Soapworks generously created a salt soap tutorial after I ungracefully begged her. Since my begging, I have made my own salt bars with some success (at least this is my belief before I've tried them).

Salt Bar Tutorial
By Sarah Marie Auclair
Ladybug Soapworks

Note: These instructions are written for someone who has experience making soap and knows the potential dangers due to working with sodium hydroxide.

1. A sample recipe would have 80% coconut oil and 20% liquid oils. I like to use Avocado oil and castor oil as my liquid oil components. You can play around with proportions, but generally coconut oil should be kept above 50%. You should make sure to superfat between 15-20% to ensure that the coconut does not cause the bar to become too drying. I also like to have a 20% water discount. The following is a sample recipe for you to try out.

12.8oz Coconut oil
2.4oz Avocado oil
0.8oz Castor oil

4.82oz Water (reflects a 20% discount)
2.43oz Sodium Hydroxide (reflects a 15% discount)

16oz Sea Salt

2. As with all soap making, you must have all of your equipment and ingredients fully prepared before you start since the reaction moves quickly.

a. Equipment:

• Scale
• Protective gear: gloves, goggles, face mask
• 2 medium plastic containers (32oz yogurt containers work great as do 32oz paint mixing containers. Alternatively, a glass Pyrex measuring cup works as well)
• 1 large plastic container
• Stick blender
• Stainless steel or silicone spoon or spatula
• Bowls to weigh out salt, fragrance, and colorant
• Mold (I like wooden log/loaf molds) make sure it is lined and ready to go before you start making the soap.

b. Ingredients:

• Coconut oil (76°F)
• Liquid oils of choice
• Fragrance or Essential oil (optional)
• Colorant (optional)
• Sea salt (medium or fine grain)

c. Put on your protective gear. This is very important since you will be working with an extremely caustic base that can and will burn you if you touch it. Noxious fumes are also released from the exothermic reaction that occurs when you mix the sodium hydroxide with water. Wear a face mask or leave the vicinity quickly after stirring the sodium hydroxide into the water. If you get any lye on your skin just wash it off quickly with copious amounts of cool water.

d. Preheat your kitchen oven to its lowest temperature (approximately 170°F).

e. Weigh out the water first. Next weigh out the sodium hydroxide. Add the sodium hydroxide to the water and mix quickly with your spoon or spatula. Leave this solution to cool for about 1 hour. I do not worry so much about temperatures, but I like to have both my lye solution and oils cool enough that I can touch the bottom of the containers they are in without it being too hot to hold my hand there for some time. As you can see in the picture below, I use a stir bar and stir plate to mix my sodium hydroxide solution. However, if you do not have access to such things, a spoon or spatula will work just fine.

f. While the lye is cooling, weigh out your oils, fragrance, colorant, and salt. Mix your colorant into the fragrance if the color is a powder or if it is liquid you can mix it into your salts.

g. Melt your oils in a microwave heating in increments of 30 seconds until the all the coconut oil is just melted. You do not want it to get too hot. Again check to make sure you can touch the bottom of the oil container without it being too hot to hold your hand there.

3. Once both the lye and oils have cooled sufficiently you can add the lye solution to your oils.

4. Begin to stick blend for about 30 seconds or so and then stir with the stick blender. This helps to keep the motor in the stick blender from burning out. Keep the stick blender fully submerged to decrease the amount of air that gets mixed in and reduce the number of bubbles formed.

5. You will see the mixture start to thicken and turn more of a creamy opaque color after a couple of minutes. Once the mixture is at a light trace add your fragrance and coloring. Trace is characterized by lines or drops remaining on the surface of the soap when you remove the stick blender.

6. Continue to stick blend until you reach a medium-thick trace.

7. After mixing in all the colorant, mix in the sea salt. I use a 1:1 ratio of sea salt to oils. You can use slightly more of less depending on your preferences. Do not use Dead Sea salt as the extra minerals seem to cause undesirable excess sweating of the bars.

8. Pour your soap in a lined mold. I use parchment paper with my wooden mold.

9. Cover the top of the soap with a layer of plastic wrap to help prevent ash.

10. Place the mold into your preheated oven and turn off the oven. Leave the soap in the oven for about 2 hours or until the soap feels firm enough to cut. Cut the soap immediately after you take it out of the oven or else it will become too hard to cut.

Below are salt soaps that Sarah made:

jasmine salt soap bar

chocolate covered nuts salt bar

You can also check out her blog here!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Salt Soap Tutorial Posts Tomorrow

Salt Bar Tutorial arrives tomorrow morning. I was too busy today to post it and I am running out tonight.....obligations, you know.

The tutorial has been written and created by Sarah Marie Auclair of Ladybug Soapworks.

Until tomorrow!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Alkali Soap

Mary and Jon are the husband and wife soap team that makes up Alkali Soap. They sent me two lovely soaps to try. Unfortunately, the first package they sent me arrived ripped open and empty. EMPTY!?? I was crushed. Luckily, Mary packed two more and shipped it out to me so I wouldn't start crying. Mary is such a lovely woman.

The blue is called Sonnet and the creamy swirly disc one below it is called Flutter.

Sonnet: ("A beautifully top-swirled bar is a blend of rose, amber, peony, and mandarin.") The best way for me to describe it in layman's terms is: fresh and clean and soapy good. Very very pretty scent.

Flutter: ("Smells like a spring bouquet of flowers - very fresh and lady-like, but not old ladyish/perfumey at all!") Excellent description.

Jon is a professional perfumer (is that the correct term?). I can tell. The scents of both soaps have nice soft blends that are definitely not sloshed together clumsily. Unfortunately, I am not so nasally discriminate because the two bars smelled similar in that they have a clean/floral/clean/fresh/clean scent to them.

The bad news is that I haven't been able to get in touch with them and their Etsy shop is empty of all soap and their blog called Kicking Dirt's Ass One Soap At A Time hasn't been updated since May 15th. Perhaps they are on hiatus.
Hopefully all is well with them.

I urge you to periodically visit their Etsy shop, because their bars of soap are truly works of art and they gave me much pleasure in the shower. Lather was copious, the scent was mild and not overpowering and the beauty...! Wow.

So there you have it. A soap review that you can't do anything with. I tried to hold off, but the soaps deserved the attention and I can always review more when they return if they'd like me to.

I take my hat off to them!


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Saturday Soap Porn!

Balsam - What beautiful soaps I found on Etsy and Trunkt! Nicole makes her own beautiful soaps. Please go peruse her Etsy shop and see what other lovelies she has made!!

Honey Ale ("This unscented bar is made with an Irish ale and raw, organic honey for the nicest suds you'll ever meet! Creamy and lush.")

Daily Grind ("Vanilla lavender scented on the bottom layer, fresh ground Starbuck's Sumatran coffee blended through the top. Gently exfoliating, silky smooth and decadantly creamy.")

Lavender Lemon ( "Lemon meets lavender in this funky, NOT lemon lavender colored bar!")

Happi ("A spot-on duplication of the Clinique fragrance, Happy. Bright, colorful confetti and pretty pink hearts make this soap fun and fresh!")

Ruby Red and Pomegranate ("Ruby red grapefruit meets juicy pomegranate. Silky smooth and decadently creamy.")

Thursday, July 3, 2008

"The Shaving Revolution"

union street soapworks
I reviewed their soaps here. Nate and Jen Whaley are a married couple who have a great sense of soap and humor. See their video and check out their new shaving "kit".