Friday, August 29, 2014

Royal Review ❖ Starr Soaps

As many of you know, I plan to do a review once a month for a special soap company that was hand-picked by yours truly. I wanted to create a spotlight for others and their work and will thus be featuring 12 different bath and beauty companies from around the world. So, without further ado, welcome June's review.


 Starr Soaps

I love Crystal Starr. In fact, some might say I adore her. She is so much more to me than just a soap maker, she's a friend and one that I want to keep as I grow up. I can't tell you how much goodness and kindness is in her sweet heart. I wish I could write this introduction with as much zeal and flowery language Starr Soaps and Crystal Star deserves, but she sent me such a marvelous introduction email, I'm going to let her speak for herself

"StarrSoaps company is founded by Crystal-Starr Anderson. Mother of 2. Musician and now soapmaker. Starr Soaps had been making Melt and Pour and bath bombs, lip balms, moisturebars, shower wobblies, bath salt parfaits etc etc from 2011.

But in April of 2013 Starr Soaps launched their Cold Process Soap making! After much research in to the process I started to make my own!! Since then I have made upwards of 50 batches of soap!
So far Starr Soaps has been more a hobby and not really a 'proper business", however I plan to work on launching Starr Soaps even further in 2014, I have not made a profit on this venture much but I have gifted HEAPS and made many people very very happy by doing so! I dreamed of being able to influence peoples lives in a positive way through my music for many years. Now I can do so through my soap too!! I combine the love I have for soap and music and did so when Teach (Cathy McGinnis) asked me to write a song for the Soaping101 family! Thus 'Saponify' was born!

Starr Soaps was originally very much Essential Oils only and that was all that I put in most of my products. To this day I stick to that for all of my lotions, scrubs, moisturebars, etc. but in the Cold Process soaps I will some times use fragrance oils and some times use essential oils. Also Starr Soaps does not use Palm oil at all. Starr Soaps uses Olive, Canola, Coconut, Soy Bean, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter. I always add Mulberry Silk to my soap. And a healthy dose of LOVE!
Unique additives also include nut milks. Walnut, Almond, Brazil Nut and Coconut milks all which Starr Soaps makes (or milks) herself right here in New Zealand."

~ Crystal Starr of Starr Soaps

Well, there you have it. Truly handmade by a talented musician and soap maker!

Here's what is in the box!
Kiwiana Starr Soap Cupcake, Sweet Love of Roses Starr Soap, Pumpkin Chai Starr Soap, 
Love Spell Candle, Cherimoya Starr Soap, Ylang Ylang Fluffy Soft Bubble Bomb


Packaging

Kiwiana Starr Soap Cupcake - Cellophane Baggy with ribbon and a tag complete with the Starr Soaps logo, ingredients, and contact information

Sweet Love of Roses Starr Soap -Cellophane Baggy with ribbon and a tag complete with the Starr Soaps logo, ingredients, and contact information

Pumpkin Chai Starr Soap - Cellophane Baggy with ribbon and a tag complete with the Starr Soaps logo, ingredients, and contact information

Love Spell Candle -Cellophane Baggy with ribbon and a tag complete with the Starr Soaps logo, ingredients, and contact information

Cherimoya Starr Soap - Cellophane Baggy with ribbon and a tag complete with the Starr Soaps logo, ingredients, and contact information

Ylang Ylang Fluffy Soft Bubble Bomb - Cellophane Baggy with ribbon and a tag complete with the Starr Soaps logo, ingredients, and contact information

                                            Fragrance

The fragrances are different from the ones we have here in the US. Not better or worse, just different and it was so cool to get to smell them. My absolute favorite smell was the Pumpkin Chai and I go into greater detail on base notes and undertones in my review video.

Ingredients 

Love Spell Candle - Paraffin Wax, Love Spell Fragrance, Sugar Pearls, Beads
Sweet Love of Roses - Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Water, Whey, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Canola Oil, Soy Bean Oil, Vanilla Flower Fragrance, Fresh Cut Roses Fragrance, Mulberry Silk, Dried Rose Petals
Kiwiana Soap Cupcake - Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Water, Canola Oil, Soy Bean Oil, Coconut Milk, Kombucha, Aniseed, Chamomile and Clove Essential Oil, Basil Fragrance, Beeswax, Mulberry Silk

Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Canola Oil, Water, Soy Bean Oil, Mulberry Silk, Pumpkin Chai Fragrance, Cinnamom

Cherimoya - Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Soy Bean Oil, Water, Coconut Milk, Mulberry Silk, Cherimoya Fragrance

Ylang Ylang Fluffy Soft Bubble Bomb - Baking Soda, Citric Acid, Polyglucose (foaming agent), Tapioca Starch, Yellow Clay, Fragrance

Quality And Performance

Kiwiana Starr Soap Cupcake - Very smelly with a nice, exfoliating grit that takes of the dead skin cells and polishes scratchy places like elbows, heels, and knees! But don't worry, it's not scratchy or painful!

Sweet Love of Roses Starr Soap - I LOVE the smell of this one! It was so strong that it stayed on my skin after the shower! Really really silky too! 

Pumpkin Chai Starr Soap - Talk about yum yum delicious! The fragrance is to die for! Now, if you're allergic to cinnamon, be wary as it is an ingredient, otherwise dive right in! 

Love Spell Candle - I'm burning this right now and it's smelling up the room. I figure the burn time is upwards of 8 hours!

Cherimoya Starr Soap - Although I'm not loving the smell, it's still the silkiest bar I have EVER used! I don't know if it's the mix of good ingredients or the mulberry silk but I am love the slide!

Ylang Ylang Fluffy Soft Bubble Bomb - Bubble fluff extraordinaire! Really really bubbly bomb! Your bath bubbles are gonna get huge!

Conclusion

I think Starr Soaps are on their way to greatness. Combined with Crystal's passion for people and quality products, her ability to create artisan soaps, pursue her music dreams, and mother two kiddos is nothing short of extraordinary! I'm so happy to have picked her for my birthday month review and hopefully you'll hop on over to the Starr Soaps webpages below and support my cheery friend with likes, comments, and by subscribing!

Starr Soaps YouTube Channel
Crystal Starr YouTube Channel
Facebook
Instagram - mrscrystalstarr
Email - starrsoaps@gmail.com

Monday, August 04, 2014

Royal Review ❖ Stargazer Soaps

As many of you know, I plan to do a review once a month for a special soap company that was hand-picked by yours truly. I wanted to create a spotlight for others and their work and will thus be featuring 12 different bath and beauty companies from around the world. So, without further ado, welcome June's review.


 Stargazer Soaps

I found Stargazer Soaps on the YouTube as a suggested video in my sidebar. I had just finished watching a demonstration of the hanger swirl when behold, I see a thumbnail to my right of a beautiful rainbow soap! It looked so perfect that I just clicked to see who the master was! Nicole Farrell, owner and dreamer at Stargazer Soaps, started this company out of concern for her family's health. Her darling daughter had eczema which was being irritated by name brand bars. After doing a load of research, this mama of 4 special needs children eliminated the chemicals at their house and began crafting her own bath and body products.
All of her products are either vegan or vegetarian and her luxury soaps are all named after something in our solar system!! How cool is that? The name "Stargazer Soaps" was inspired by memories Nicole has of her brother who used to lay out under the stars with her and inspired her to follow her dreams. He lost his battle with cancer in 2010, but she honors him with her business name. Isn't that sweet?!

Now, I was shocked when I opened the box! There is seriously so many goodies I had the privilege of reviewing that it felt like Christmas! In June! ;) My mother kept saying 'Can, I have this one? What about this one?" but I told her not to open anything until you beauties got to see her products in all of their packaged glory!

Here's what is in the box!
Comet Luxury Soap Astris Luxury Soap  ,Purely Natural Lavender Soap ♡, Peach Bath Bomb, 
Under Your Love Spell Lotion, Fruity Sugar ScrubCoconut Lotion BarWatermelon Lip Balm
                                                                           ♥ - Vegetarian                
  ♡ - Vegan


Packaging

Soaps  ~ Very very nice, absolutely perfect with a shrink wrap band and two labels, one on the front and one on the back with ingredients and instructions included

Sugar Scrub  ~ Two labels, front and back. The front appears to be weatherproof but the back was not and the ink ran when water hit it so be sure to leave this scrubby out of the water!

Lip Balm  ~ So cute, ingredients were listed and a tamper evident seal was on the lid.

Bath Bomb  ~ Shrink-wrapped and not broken, even in shipping!

Body Lotion  ~ Two labels, front and back, with ingredients and fragrance description listed.

Lotion Bar  ~ This one is my personal favorite!

Fragrance

Now, Nicole told me her products are "lightly fragranced" and while they might not be the strongest, they are PLENTY smelly goody! That emulsifying sugar scrub and lotion especially! For the scent lovers, you're going to be JUST fine. I go into a little more description about each one in the video.

Weight and Specifics

Comet Luxury Soap ♥ Vegetarian - Ingredients can include: Water, Goat Milk, Beer, Olive oil, Coconut oil, Palm oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Almond oil, Castor oil, Kaolin Clay, Cream, Honey, Colloidal Oatmeal, Sodium Lactate, Tussah Silk, Skin Safe Colorants, Fragrance, Cosmetic Glitter


Astris Luxury Soap ♥ Vegetarian - Ingredients can include: Water, Goat Milk, Beer, Olive oil, Coconut oil, Palm oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Almond oil, Castor oil, Kaolin Clay, Cream, Honey, Colloidal Oatmeal, Sodium Lactate, Tussah Silk, Skin Safe Colorants, Fragrance, Cosmetic Glitter

Purely Natural Lavender Soap ♡ Vegan - Loaded with Avocado oil & Cocoa Butter, this purely natural soaps is fragranced with Lavender essential oil, and topped with freshly dried Lavender buds. Each soap weighs between 5.5 and 6 oz.



Peach Bath Bomb - Ingredients can include: Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda), Citric Acid, Corn Starch, Almond Oil, Kaolin Clay, Skin safe colorants, Fragrance.


Under Your Love Spell Lotion -  Ingredients: Water, Aloe Leaf Juice, Avocado Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetyl Alcohol (and) Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Panthenol, Capric Triglycerides, Buckthorn Fruit Extract, Oat Kernel Extract, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol


Fruity Sugar Scrub - Ingredients can include: Sugar, Rice Bran Oil, Coconut Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Emulsifying Wax, Stearic Acid, Beeswax, Fragrance, Skin Safe Colorant


Berry Fruity Lotion Bar - Ingredients can include: Beeswax, Avocado Oil, Cocoa Butter, Rice Bran Oil, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Fragrance.


Watermelon Lip Balm - Ingredients can include: Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Cocoa Butter, Vitamin E, Stevia, Flavoring.

Quality and Performance


Comet Luxury Soap ♥ Vegetarian  ~ I found that these bars are super hard and bubble like crazy BUT the lather is soft and very gentle. Although this is more of a creamy soap, in my opinion, the bar is hard as a rock and the foam is still quite stable!

Astris Luxury Soap ♥ Vegetarian  ~ I found that these bars are super hard and bubble like crazy BUT the lather is soft and very gentle. Although this is more of a creamy soap, in my opinion, the bar is hard as a rock and the foam is still quite stable!

Purely Natural Lavender Soap ♡ Vegan ~ I found that these bars are super hard and bubble like crazy BUT the lather is soft and very gentle. Although this is more of a creamy soap, in my opinion, the bar is hard as a rock and the foam is still quite stable!

Peach Bath Bomb ~ Smells EXACTLY like peaches. I'm really impressed with the quality of the bomb, not to mention it's gigantic. Seriously, more than 5 ounces.

Under Your Love Spell Lotion ~ The perfect lotion, non greasy, quick absorbing, non oily and leaves your skin smells exactly like Victoria's Secret Love Spell fragrance. 

Fruity Sugar Scrub ~ This is my favorite product from Nicole! I can't tell you how awesome this scrub is, you simply must try it for yourself. It's pretty incredible! Leaves your skin feeling moisturized without the oily feeling of a body butter. My suggestion is to use this on extra dry parts of your body (ie. elbows, knees, hands, etc.)

Coconut Lotion Bar ~ Ugh, talk about the best thing ever! No grease, no oil, just a crazy amount of moisture and good smelling stuff! 

Watermelon Lip Balm ~ Wowzers! Talk about some yummy stuff! This is one of the softer lip balms I have use and I am really impressed with how shiny and fabulous my lips look after an application. Though quite glossy, this balm is very moisturizing and it tastes so good!

Conclusion

This has really just been such an honor and pleasurable experience for me! the Duchess of Suds is very impressed. I must say, I think the icing on the cake for me is Nicole's beautiful personage and kindness that is truly wonderful to be touched by. I love the products, but Stargazer Soaps wouldn't give the aura it does without this wonderful woman! You can't go wrong with this company and she has such a variety, everyone can find something they like! Be sure to check her out at the links below and be sure to tell her hey from the Duchess of Suds!




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

An Update on My Life

The Duchess of Suds is a busy person. She has a lot of emails to write, lots of soap to make, lots of numbers to input, and lots of orders to ship. This isn't overwhelming nor is it a pain. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will be processing payments, putting labels on packages, etc. even when I'm sick, as I have been for 7 days straight. Unless I'm absolutely incapable, I'm on the job. This is what having a full-time, cottage industry looks like and I wouldn't trade it for the world. BUT, there is one thing that will stop me dead in my tracks when it comes to business and that's when a family need arises.

On Sunday night, little Pooshie baby wouldn't eat and was running a very high temperature. The Queen and my eldest brother Kenny took her to the hospital. My mother had been concerned all day and her mama instincts were clearly kicking in because little bitty has pneumonia. Since Monday, I have been taking care of the house, breaking up fights, making dinner, etc. Granted, I have been groomed for this very thing and am completely capable of managing the affairs here. I'm certainly no replacement for the Queen, but I can handle a few days.

All this to say, I haven't been very active on any social media for about two weeks. There haven't been any videos, the giveaway isn't up, my two big projects (including another wholesale order) have been delayed and I haven't released anymore bars yet and that's why. One week I was at camp, the next week I was sick, and now I'm still recovering and we have a Pooshie in the hospital.

I'm not complaining, just explaining. I feel I owe you guys one since you're always sticking by me and building me up. I can't tell you how much it means to me to read your sweet comments on FB, YouTube, and here on the blog. It's amazing and truly humbling. I'll be seeing you really soon!

Always smiling! :D

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Royal Review ❖ Vibrant Soap

As many of you know, I plan to do a review once a month for a special soap company that was hand-picked by yours truly. I wanted to create a spotlight for others and their work and will thus be featuring 12 different bath and beauty companies from around the world. So, without further ado, welcome May's review.

Vibrant Soap

Sometimes, you just see someone's work and connect with them. You feel as if they understand you, they know what your mind finds beautiful. This is how I feel about Clyde Yoshida and Vibrant Soap. I first saw his soaps in the Soaping 101 Study Hall, my favorite place to peruse the gorgeous artwork of others. I was stunned and amazed! The swirls and colors were so vivid and...well...vibrant! So, this lucky girl contacted Mr. Yoshida and counted her blessings when he agreed to be a part of my 2014 Royal Reviews. I didn't know what I would be receiving, but golly, I was NOT disappointed.

Here's what is in the box!
Lemon Lime Sublime, Shower Scene, Cranberry Fig, Lavender Gems, Siracco
♥ No Animal Testing 



Packaging

Each bar was individually wrapped in colorful tissue paper with a Vibrant Soap sticker holding the packaging together. The label on the front included ingredients, specific weights, and the Vibrant Soap website. There were not tears in the packaging and I could smell each bar straight through! The only minor thing to note is that the glycerin embeds on top of the Lavender Gems Artisan Soap bar did sweat a little causing the packaging to be a bit damp and allow the "crystals" to poke through. BUT, they weren't damaged a bit!




                                              Fragrance


Shower Scene ~ A very clean, slightly floral fragrance with no green undertones. A touch of ozone, maybe? This is my second favorite!

Lemon Lime Sublime ~ Favorite fragrance! It smells like Mountain Dew or maybe 7-Up? I don't know but it's very potent and DIVINE!

Siracco ~  I'm going to say this is a very versatile, perfume/cologne type fragrance. It's kinda seductive smelling!

Cranberry Fig ~ This one didn't smell like cranberries or figs to me, but I can see why someone might say cranberry. I really can't put my finger on what it smells like exactly, but there is a tart note. Smells good all the same!

Lavender Gems ~ A sweeter lavender than most I have smelled. I liked this one particularly because of it's almost fruit like undertones.

Quality and Performance
 As far as I can tell, all of these soaps have the same ingredients. When you lather up your Vibrant Soap bar, the bubbles are going to feel soft and gentle. This is one softest lathers I have personally encountered and it is very evident that Tussah silk is an ingredient. I was blown away by how hard the bar was too. They were like rocks! Now, I will advise you to keep these lovely products out of the water. As they are so super soft when the water hits them, I find that the bars dissolve a little faster. I hopped out of my showers feel super luxurious and had really soft skin that still smelled like the fragrance of the soap, an extra bonus you don't often get with a handmade product that is yucky stuff free!

Conclusion
Art. It inspires us, it represents us. It creates emotion and draws people in. Clyde Yoshida does this with a 5 ounce bar of stuff that gets you clean. It's amazing what he can do with this medium and I am so excited to see what he creates next! It's absolutely fabulous to have had the pleasure of reviewing Vibrant Soap and I hope each and everyone of you check out his website and Facebook if not for any other reason but to stand in awe of his creativety

I hope you're having a fabulous summer! Watch the video review here!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Royal Review ❖ Missouri River Soaps


As many of you know, I plan to do a review once a month for a special soap company that was hand-picked by yours truly. I wanted to create a spotlight for others and their work and will thus be featuring 12 different bath and beauty companies from around the world. So, without further ado, welcome March's review.



 Missouri River Soaps

I first watched Holly Bailey, the Princess of Rainbows, on YouTube about a year ago after searching for other soap artists who filmed. Granted, she's one of the first results if you type in the phrase "soap making" and isn't hard to find so don't consider my discovery a grand feat. I don't remember what she was creating that day, but her sweet voice and calming nature really grabbed me and I've been an avid viewer since that day. Her soaps just look like smoothies! Every time. Every single time I see them I think about smoothies. She kindly agreed to send me some products to review and when I found that delightful package in the mail, oh how I squealed!!

Here's what I got.

Packaging

Holly's wrapping is adorable. The white paper feels like a sturdier version of parchment paper. What I loved is that some of the glitter fr's wrapom the blue tissue paper clung to the white and made it sparkly too! The ribbons were secured by the information sticker so the ends weren't showing. Her labels are glossy and very professional and made me feel very special and pampered. PLUS, I got a special little love not from the Princess of Rainbows that made my day. (Mom says hi back!)

Cutest little owlett!

Not a tear in that packaging!

Sweet Holly's note!

My gorgeous treasure trove!

Fragrance and Ingredients

F i g g y  C r e a m - This was Mumsy's favorite! As I have never really smelled a ripe fig, who was I whether or not to judge if the name is accurate? BUT, Mother says it was very similar. I thought it smelled absolutely divine and kinda reminds me of a romantic, unisex fragrance. It's warm, inviting, and comforting. The ingredients are listed on the circle sticker. (Yay! Saving me some typing!)


R a i n b o w - PEARS! That's what I smell! Candied, yummy, delightful, succulent, dripping pears with sugar and candy! The first time I smelled this fragrance, I almost died from sheer delight! Mum and Father adored it and have begged me to purchase something like it. I'm just ridiculously in love with it and it's also popular among the kiddos and adults over here at White Grange Academy. ;) 



P a t c h o u l i  R a i n - Imagine the Renaissance times! Fair ladies, knights in armor, tournaments, festival days, flower garlands, elaborate jewelry, and essential oils from the apothecary! All of the glory and wonder of days gone by! THAT'S what this fragrance is in a nutshell. It's enchanting and beautiful with woodsy notes and an organic, natural undertone. It's fantastic and perfect for those who enjoy a less fruity smell but love gorgeous colors! 



Quality and Performance

All of the Missouri River soaps I tried feel and act the same which is....bubble moisture galore! The lather is soft and makes you feel like you've bathed with butter. (minus the greasiness, of course.) I couldn't complain about anything in these bars if you PAID me too. They're perfect! The colors are vivid, beautiful, and bright. The fragrance is so so strong and the bars are luscious on the skin. No running of the colors, all bars are very very hard and almost have a slippery feel without even being wet. I can totally tell she used cream. No dry feeling after your shower and I didn't even have to use lotion!

Conclusion

Buy Holly's soap. That is my conclusion. You will not be disappointed! They are so inexpensive considering the fact that they are 6-7 ounces each and last forever. The Princess of Rainbows has mastered the art of packaging and makes her customers feel warm and loved on! Buy the soap. Just buy the soap.


Thanks everyone for reading now go forth and purchase some of Holly's soaps! She doesn't have a coupon available for you because her soaps sell out so fast as it is! Now is your chance!