Monday, September 22, 2014

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Royal Review ❖ Spicy Pinecone

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 September's review.


Spicy Pinecone

Sarah Milroy, mastermind behind Spicy Pinecone, has to be one of the most creative people on the planet. Seriously, the woman can make/fix/create/craft anything. I found the lovely Mrs. Milroy in the Soaping 101 Facebook Study Hall and could not believe the variety of the products she posted pictures of. From bath bombs, to lotions, to fizzy cupcakes, to soap bars, Sarah conquered them all. Her diversity is what first attracted me to her and since then I have also learned that she is a homeschooling mum of four, has a Pinterest-worthy decorating style, and a sense of humor to boot. 



Packaging


Poisoned Apple Bath Bomb - Beautiful label that includes name and ingredients inside a cellophane baggy with a pretty ribbon!
Oatmeal Milk and Honey Bath Bomb - Beautiful label that includes name and ingredients inside a cellophane baggy with a pretty ribbon!
Relaxing Candle - Shiny label on a cute metal tin. Includes burning instructions!
Energizing Candle - Shiny label on a cute metal tin. Includes burning instructions!
Vanilla Spice Luxury Sugar Scrub - This is my favorite for packaging. No-bleed, textured cigar band that includes ingredients, instructions, weight, and description. Tamper evident seal between lid and jar.
Snow Cone Lip Balm - Tamper evident shrink wrap over shiny, weatherproof label. Includes ingredients. No scratches and no rubbing off of ink!
French Toast Lip Balm - Tamper evident shrink wrap over shiny, weatherproof label. Includes ingredients No scratches and no rubbing off of ink!
Pink Berry Mimosa Artisan Soap Bar - AWESOME label on the actual bar that includes ingredients, weight, website, and name. Shrink wrapped over the label!
 Drunk Butter Bee Artisan Soap Bar - AWESOME label on the actual bar that includes ingredients, weight, website, and name. Shrink wrapped over the label!
Sweet Thang Artisan Soap Bar - AWESOME label on the actual bar that includes ingredients, weight, website, and name. Shrink wrapped over the label!
Cherry Berry Lip Scrub - This is my favorite for packaging. No-bleed, cigar band that includes ingredients, instructions, weight, and description. Tamper evident seal between lid and jar.

Fragrance


Poisoned Apple Bath Bomb - A delightful candied apple fragrance! It smells like a super condensed Pink Lady, to me. If you had about 5 tons of apples and put them all in a room, it would smell like this bath bomb!
Oatmeal Milk and Honey Bath Bomb - You can actually smell the milk powder in this! Really delightful, nutty, warm fragrance with a really milky base! Positively edible!
Relaxing Candle - We had a really hard time pinning this scent down but finally decided on a mix between lily of the valley, clean linen, a touch of lavender and a few fresh notes. It's perfect for a soak in the tub or creating an atmosphere of peace and tranquility!
Energizing Candle - Minty, citrusy, get your butt into gear it's time to move fragrance! ;) Smells like there might be some ginger in there too. Makes me want to dance my pants off!
Vanilla Spice Luxury Sugar Scrub - Wonderfully warm blend of buttery vanilla and whispers of spices. So rich, so decadent, so gooey! I. Love.
Snow Cone Lip Balm - This is actually a yummy lip balm that DOES taste like a snow cone. I was kinda blown away!
French Toast Lip Balm - Syrup, eggs, sugar, butter, utter delight in a lip balm, please? You got it right here!
Pink Berry Mimosa Artisan Soap Bar - As I have never had a Pink Berry Mimosa before, I can't testify as to whether or not this is true to its name, but I CAN say that it smells bubbly, fruity, and just downright FUN!
 Drunk Butter Bee Artisan Soap Bar - Yes. Yes. Yes. Honey, Oatmeal, Almond, Milk, and some vanilla undertones all wrapped up into one cute little bar! Amazing!
Sweet Thang Artisan Soap Bar - Heaven help me! This fragrance is SO GOOD! Yummy vanilla with just a few hints of maybe lemon? It's really complex! Sarah says it's "A combination of strawberry, kumquat, pistachio, macaroon fragrance, and lime essential oils" and it smells as delightful as her description!
Cherry Berry Lip Scrub - OH MY GOSH! THE TASTE! I'm not kidding this is probably my favorite of what she sent me! A little goes SUCH a long way and the yummy berry cherry taste is amazing! 

Ingredients

Ingredients: Olive Oil, Organic Sustainable Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Kokum Butter, Mango Butter, Palm Kernel Flakes, Fragrance, Mineral Colorants, Melt and Pour "macarons, cupcakes, and chocolate mini bars", Jojoba Beads.

Ingredients: Coconut Milk, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Aloe Oil, Avocado Oil, Organic Sustainable Palm Oil, Castor Oil, Soybean Oil, Fragrance, Shea Butter, Mango Seed Butter, Distilled Water, Palm Kernel Flakes, Mineral Colorants, Glycerine Berries, Sugar Pearls.

Lip Scrub - Sugar, Beeswax, Organic Jojoba Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Mango Butter, Shea Butter, Vitamin E, Flavor
Lip Balms - Ingredients: Macadamia Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Jojoba Oil, Castor Oil, flavor.

Ingredients: Sugar, Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Fragrance, Emulsifying Wax (Plant-based), Avocado Oil, Stearic Acid (Vegetable-derived), Pumpkin Seed Oil, Soy Wax, Paraben and Formaldehyde-free Preservative, Colorant.

Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Kaolinite (White Clay), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Milk Powder, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Organic Honey (and) Maltodextrin, Polysorbate 80, Fragrance, Rolled Oats.

Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Kaolinite (White Clay), Avocado Oil, Polysorbate 80, Fragrance, Skin-Safe Colorants.


Ingredients: German Beer, Sustainable Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Apricot Kernel Oil, Avocado Oil, Mango Butter, Shea Butter, Fragrance, Heavy Cream, Castor Oil, Organic Honey, Cruelty-free Tussah Silk, Titanium Dioxide (colorant). 


No ingredients listed - It's a candle! lol ;)
Quality and Performance




Want to know what I think about the quality and performance? Watch the video and find out! 

Conclusion

I can't get enough Spicy Pinecone. Now go forth and buy all their products! You won't be sorry and your skin is going to love you for it!

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GIVEAWAY TIME!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway starts on September 21st, 2015 and ends October 21st, 2015. Please make sure that if you are under 13, you have parental permission to enter. Giveaway is open worldwide.

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!