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! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Royal Review ❖ Eden's Secret

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 February's review.

Eden's Secret

Mrs. Karen was one of the first soap makers I ever came into contact with on the internet. After a cursory YouTube soap making search, the channel "EdensSecret1" popped up with a picture of a beautifully designed logo as the profile picture. I'm so glad I decided to check out the channel and have found countless hours of entertainment in watching her pipe soap cupcakes and bath bomb cupcakes. However, I could not afford the shipping costs from the UK to America. Only just recently was there a sale in which free shipping was offered and of course I had to experience the goodness for myself!

I should note that when I ordered, I simply purchased the Juicy Cute Bath Bomb and Holly Berry Soap Cupcake. Just two products, but the Holly Berry Soap Cupcakes were sold out so Karen sent me a different cupcake soap, 2 Holly Berry Cupcake Bases (same exact soap with no frosting), 2 body butter samples, and a whole entire Cashmere Cream Creme Soap slice as an apology! Talk about service! I was thrilled to death and honestly, I only wanted that cupcake to smell it and since I got TWO bases, mission accomplished!

Here's what I got




Packaging
The packaging for Eden's Secret is very nice! All of the larger products including the soap cupcakes and cupcake bath bombs came in their own cellophane bag with a double-colored ribbon tie and unique label. All ingredients are clearly listed on a sticky label stuck to the bottom of each product except for the two sample body butters I received. The labels even have a cute little union flag (It's not a Union Jack unless it's on a ship, just a fun fact.)




Fragrance

Juicy Cute Bubble Bath Cupcake - This was crazy fragrant! The bathroom still smelled of fruity/floral yumminess hours after I used the bomb. I totally mean it. Everyone in my family (meaning at least 5 people, including both of the adults I live with) commented on how fragrant and delightful it is!
Cashmere Cream Soap Bar - This one is very nice! A soft, powdery fragrance. It reminds me of an older fragrance and Mother says it smells like a perfume her aunt used to wear. I can see why this is a best seller!
Holly Berry Soap Cupcake Bases - Woah. Just....woah. These smell DELIGHTFUL! You know how everyone wants that bit of piney woods fragrance without being overpowering? Well, that's what this smells like with a few other top notes that what smells kinda like a floral and maybe a clean scent. it's very complex and I'm sure I've just butchered the description.
Chantilly Lace Body Butter - This smells like a fancy lady who spends a lot of money on her toilette. The fragrance description on the Eden's Secret website is "A Beautiful and feminine creamy fragrance, with Soft Amber, Very Soft Musk, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean and Vanilla, just decadent."
Fresh Feet and Body Butter - This one is minty and a total wake-up for you! Menthol, eucalyptus, peppermint and camphor are among the fragrances listed to scent this body butter but don't be afraid of that potent, overpowering mint fragrance. It's still nice and subtle and reminds me of cucumber melon mint from Bath and Body Works!
Red Sprinkles Cupcake Soap - My family and I didn't particularly like this one, to tell you the truth. It wasn't strong enough and didn't really have a specific fragrance. Maybe the soap is a little old? I don;t really know, but "hot pomegranate" is the advertised fragrance...and I'm not smelling it really. Don;t get me wrong, it's a gorgeous cupcake still!

Quality and Performance

Juicy Cute Bubble Bath Cupcake - Worth every stinkin' penny I paid! The fizzy lasted about a minute under full blown water pressure from the tub nozzle and made a bubble bath that kept getting bigger and bigger and stayed for 10 minutes! My skin felt AMAZING afterwards and even my hair benefited from the oils!
Cashmere Cream Soap Bar - Lovely, works just like her other Creme Silk soaps and I find these so so creamy and moisturizing! Not a ton of bubbles unless you use a bath scrubby, but I didn't even care!

Holly Berry Soap Cupcake Bases - These are awesome! The one thing I think is really noteworthy is that the red did stain my tub and make the lather very very colored. I thought the colored lather was super fun, but my brother who has to clean the shower complained about the dye! haha
Chantilly Lace Body Butter - Now, I don't use body butter as a rule. I am a lotion girl, but this one has me rethinking my preferences in this area. I loved it! The cream left my skin smelling marvelous and feeling beyond nourished. I have very chapped skin, especially in the winter and this did the trick in one application! I hope I can stretch the sample a long, long way!


Fresh Feet and Body Butter - Applied this one to my footsies and actually felt envigorated and ready to get stuff done! I don;t know if essential oils are present, but it certainly had a rejuvenating effect on me! Just as moisturizing as the other one!
Red Sprinkles Cupcake Soap - Worked like a charm! Again, the lather was colored, but this one didn't stain the tub! The fragrance got strong once I cut the soap in half! 

Conclusion
Eden's Secret is a package deal! While I am most drawn to the design of Mrs. Karen's products, the soaps and body creams deliver quality and skin loving goodness too! The fragrances are fabulous and her recipes are clearly mastered. I really have no complaints. Check out all of the delightful things at the links below!