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The Rebellious Soap Maker

Example of a soap gone wrong because of rebellion. So pretty on the outside, turned hard as a rock because I doubled my lye water. Had to scrap the whole batch.
You know those unspoken obligations people have to one another when conversing? For example, everyone knows you don't interrupt your hysterical friend when they are telling you about how their beloved cat died for any reason, especially if you just need a glass of water. You can wait. Or how about when Downton Abbey finally premieres and you saw the first episode and your bestie didn't? Is the first thing you say to them when you get on the phone next "You'll NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENED..." and promptly relay the entire 1 and 1/2 hour episode? No. Not friendly.

These rules are set in place to keep relationships strong. Well, anyone that participates in art knows that, like all relationships, you have to do your part to keep this project in tact. The materials, ingredients, etc. can only pull so much weight, you have to be the big person and ya know, not leave that cake in the oven past the timer, tie the knot on that friendship bracelet crooked, or put that color in the corner of that painting. For me, I have to treat soap like it's a living, breathing thing with a mind of its own or else it will undoubtedly flop. I mean it. Respect the intricacy of variables lest you become prey to stupid mistakes. What the heck does that mean? I'll lay out a scenario.

Let's say that you have a brand new fragrance oil. It smells like a goddess and you can't wait to try it out. You put together a recipe with 60% hard oils, a major water discount, and 6 different colors. You also decide to work at 120 degrees because you have things to do. Oh yeah. And the FO is a floral. Now, you COULD make this soap perfectly, but look at all the factors that could lead to failure. You've been selfish and put your soap in a compromised situation. "But I'm on a time crunch!" Well, wait to work on your project then. "But, I don't want to test the FO for ricing, seizing, separation, heat surge, or discoloration." Well, fine. But don't be too shocked it it goes wonky on you.

Good soap makers are methodical. They are patient, they have uniformity with their batches, they know how to implement designs correctly, and can easily pick up on abnormalities and adjust accordingly. That doesn't mean they don't occasionally plop some soap on the floor, get a little hasty with the mixing process, or mis-measure. This isn't about never making a mistake, it's about the attitude and the head space. Good soap makers don't stress their relationship with their soap.

By my own standards, I'm a rebel a good bit of the time. It's not something I'm proud of, but I feel like I owe you some honesty here. I wish I was the type of soap maker who does test batches of their colorants and fragrance oils to see how each of them react with their recipe before dumping 8 oz into a 120 oz batch and praying it works. I wish I was the type of soap maker that never forgets to make batch notes so you don't repeat mistakes. I wish I was the type of soap maker who was patient with their lye water and never soaped too hot.......or cold. I wish I was the type of soap maker who consistently had their temperatures within a 20 degree range of each other. But I'm not, and while I'm working to fix this, to grow my patience, and just become more consistent, I've still got a long way to go.

Just thought I would admit that to you this morning. What makes you a soapy rebel or good girl?

New Lush Soaps

I'm a sucker for LUSH. For my wallet's sake, I truly wish I wasn't. I mean, plunking down $8.95 for a bath bomb and $12.00 for a bar of soap that weighs 5 oz when I know 100+ creators that make these products often more beautifully and ALWAYS sell less expensively makes me feel like a traitor to my profession. But there is something so captivating about those ridiculously scent saturated little shops in the mall, whose color pigmentation nearly blinds you as you walk by. I can't help but be delighted by their charming set up, the enthusiasm of their sales associates, ( Alright, so sometimes they can be a little obnoxious but for me it's really nice to see someone excited about their products. haha) and then of course the good care of their employees which makes my heart happy. So, it's a splurge, but one I make just on occasion. :)

LUSH put out 5 new soaps recently and they are among the more unique ones I've seen. Below is the release announcement photo they posted on their Instagram.

Particularly, Maypole and Outback Mate. They even have a video up on their YouTube channel showcasing the latter being created in their studio!

Naturally, I had to get my little paws on these. Off I popped to the nearest Dallas location, went in and told the very nice man behind the counter which soaps I wanted, he cut them up for me, and I took them home to test out. But goodness knows I couldn't have left with just the items I went in, oh no. You know how it is. There were too many tempting things in that little shop so I got a shower jelly too, scented with Needles and Pines. (If you want to, you can see those little wibbly wobbly things in action here.)

 I have decided that this is my new favorite fragrance, when I use it in the shower, it wakes me up really good and gets me excited about my day. Any scent that can do that at 7AM should be stocked up on! Now, I won't lie, if you like a bar of soap that lathers super well on its own, you won't like a shower jelly BUT if you like using bath poofs or don't care much for suds, the shower jellies will certainly suit your needs. Plus, it's squishy and we all need some more squish in our life. ;)

P.S. Mine got left in a really hot apartment for too long so it turned this lime green shade but it is originally a very dark, translucent, mermaid green. lol

As far as the soaps go, my husband likes the sugary scent of Maypole the best and it's no wonder since they have added fresh peppermint and real Canadian maple syrup to the bar! A very simple, traditional, and extra crowd-pleasin' vanilla mint fragrance is the compiled result and let me tell you, the lather on this puppy is to die for! Visually speaking, one of the reasons I knew I had to buy it was to find out what the heck was in the middle. Is that expanded rice? Tapioca? No, believe it or not, that's soap too, it just looks really weird! haha

As for my favorite, I'm going for the Outback Mate, which is a raw, super zesty citrus blend with just a faint whiff of peppermint. I adore the appearance of this too. Marbled textures are super trendy right now, especially in the bakery work on cakes, in the handmade bath and beauty world too among soaps and packaging both, and in the interior design world on textiles. I guess LUSH probably knows that, they're pretty up to speed. As a disclaimer, this is a super heavily pigmented soap and it will leave blue wherever you set it, though it won't stain as far as I can tell and rinses away pretty easily.

That's it for my little LUSH haul! I hope you guys enjoyed the read and hey! If you're tried any of these do let me know in the comments below, I'd love to know what you think! 

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