Soap just got more interesting…

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 27 - 2014

I bet there are generations reading this post right now who grew up without ever using an old-fashioned bar of soap as part of their daily cleansing routine.  I think I just missed the moment that soap became thoroughly unfashionable because throughout my 80s childhood, we never did a monthly shop without picking up a couple of bars.  Wrights for my Mum who adored the smell, Pears for us kids because we all loved the fact that it was see-through (simple things, simple minds…), and Imperial Leather for my Dad, because, after all… he is a man, man!

Soap was kind of a big thing in our household and looking back, I can’t remember when this changed.  But change it did, nowadays… the only time soap gets bought is when I spot something on the shelves at TKMaxx that smells (or looks) so damn good, I just can’t leave it behind.  I never purchase bars of soap as a bathroom necessity, simply because it’s not as convenient as its liquid counterparts.

The decline of mass-market purchasing of soap bars isn’t without its benefits though.  Moving into more of a niche market means that manufacturers have been able to really concentrate on turning the humble soap into an indulgence rather than a necessity and nowhere is this more apparent than with a brand like Crabtree & Evelyn.

Crabtree Juniperberry Vetiver Soap

Crabtree Vetiver Juniperberry Soap 03

Crabtree Vetiver Juniperberry Soap

Crabtree Vetiver Juniperberry Soap 04

Now, the truth is… there’s just not an awful lot I can say about soap.  Even soap that’s as beautiful as this Crabtree & Evelyn Heritage Vetiver & Juniper* one.  It smells amazing, it lathers, and it cleanses.  I don’t use it on my face… my skin would never forgive me, but I do have fun chasing it around the shower.  But most of all, you’d pick this up because of its scent, “Incroyable!” as the French would say.

I don’t mind admitting that I called in a sample of this purely because I adore masculine Vetiver and/or Juniper smells… I wanted that gorgeous clean MAN smell near my nose, and I wasn’t disappointed.  It’s warm and woodsy, outdoorsy and a little bracing… Mr. L has taken to shaving with it, and I’ve taken to sniffing him regularly.  Soap just got interesting again.

The British brand do an entire range of Heritage Soaps including: Avocado & Olive Oil, Black Sea Mud & Seaweed (tempted), Milk & Honey, Crabapple & Mulberry, and Verbena & Lavender, priced from £6.00.  Your nose should check them out as a matter of urgency.

This one, the Crabtree & Evelyn Heritage Vetiver & Juniper Milled Soap is priced at £7.00, and is available instore and online at crabtree-evelyn.co.uk.  It’s also currently online a little cheaper, at escentual.com.

Do you appreciate a good bar of soap?  Do you ever buy it?

* press sample

** I can’t stop singing “soap, perfect soap, is the gift of Christ our Lord” – huge kudos if you remember changing the lyrics during assembly too!

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Lemony treats from Marshmallow Blends

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 15 - 2013

There’s something quite exciting about purchasing from indie retailers, when a product isn’t mass-produced and picked from the supermarket shelves you can feel a greater connection with it somehow.

The owner of Marshmallow Blends, Nicoletta is also a beauty blogger… so if anyone knows what we want for our bathtime treats, she’d be pretty high up the list!

A few weeks ago, she sent me a few bits* from her store and today, I’m sharing my two favourites with you.  One in particular, is a knockout and will be a repurchase.  I’ll even let her hold me to that!

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First up is Marshmallow Blend’s Lemon Biscotti Cupcake Soap (£4.50) which looks as much like a traditional bar of soap as I do, Kate Moss.  In it’s ridiculously cute, not-entirely-practical (but who cares) form of a cupcake, it would appeal to most everyone with a sweet tooth.  My daughter adores it and has claimed it as her own.  It has a slight dusting of glitter on-top which I thought might be a bit of a pain in the backside but thankfully disperses after the first use.

The lather is rich and the scent, divine.  It’s not a lively, lemony aroma but a warmed up, fresh from the oven scent with more than a passing nod to some rather-cakey almond smells, not unlike a quitened frangipane!

You can see that the packaging is perfect for gifting and I don’t know a single girl who wouldn’t consider this a lovely gift to receive.  Would be utterly perfect for end-of-year teacher’s presents actually.

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The other product that I wanted to talk about today are the contents of this tin.  I’m crazy about it, let me tell you why…

I’m a bit funny about scrubs, a little bit squeamish if you will…  I don’t very much like the sensation of putting my hand into a pot of sugary/salty goo and scooping out a hand-full.  It’s a messy business as you try to juggle the contents of your palm under the shower as the “goo” slips between your fingers and down the plughole before you’ve even gotten it near your body.  Then you’re left digging out granules from under your nails while the water runs cold.  You get the picture.

Marshmallow Blend’s Lemon Sherbet Sugar Scrub Cubes (£6) is one of the best lemon-scented body-care products I’ve ever encountered.  If you like The Body Shop’s lemon range (which is also a nice interpretation of the scent), I implore you to try these.  As a body scrub, they’re pretty much perfect.  They hold their shape when you run a cube over your limbs, softening under the warmth of your touch without giving up completely!  The scent is super-uplifting and zingy without being artificial, it’s a true “happy” scent that goes a very long way to improving your mood on a Monday morning.  I would love to see Marshmallow Blends offer these cubes in more scents.

On the subject of scents, most of the “flavours” available on the website lean towards the gourmand… it would be good to see a little more diversity, less cream more earthiness please!

I expected Nicoletta’s creations to be nice-enough but I’m pleasantly surprised by just how good and (for want of a better word), robust these offerings are.

* press sample

Inexpensive Beauty Find: Colour block your bathroom with Fred Butler!

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 15 - 2011

I haven’t really gotten on board with the whole colour-blocking thing yet, I mean sure — if I buy a dress that makes use of the trend, fine… but as for me putting together my own colour-blocked outfits?  Well, that’s for someone with better fashion intuition than me.  I’m sure there’s a fine line between colour-blocking and colour-clownpants.

These soaps from Fred Butler look a bit color-clownpants to me, but we won’t tell him that.  I can’t look at these without wanting to lick the screen.  They’re not colour-blocked masterpieces, they’re ZOOM Ice Lolly soaps!!

From November, these will be available in three flavours scents: Mojito, Strawberry Daiquiri and Tequila Sunrise  – they inject a bit of 1980s summertime into a miserable slide toward a 2011 Winter.  Now, where did I park my chopper?

They’ll be priced at just £5.50 each (with free delivery) from FeelUnique.com

Inexpensive Beauty Find: Coconut Exfoliating Bar by Wembe

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 6 - 2011

Well, crack one open (between my thighs) and send me to the tropics because I think I might need today’s inexpensive beauty find in my life.

Wembe is an organic soap company hailing from Brooklyn and the brand have just launched into the UK market!

I love the sound of their Coconut Exfoliating Bar which promises to combine gentle exfoliation from two types of coconut pulp, whilst leaving your skin soft and supple thanks to a blend of rich essential oils and moisturising butters.

Ingredients: Cupassu butter (Theobroma grandiflorum), Sodium Salts from Vegetable Oils, Coconut oil (Cocus nucifera), Coconut Pulp ( Cocus nucifera)

Priced reasonably at £5.85 ensures that this Vegan body treat stays on my radar for a little while longer.

Moroccan Black Soap: a.k.a The Blob

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 19 - 2011

We’ve christened my tub of Moroccan Black Soap “The Blob”.  Well, Mr. L did… I wouldn’t have been so stupid.  Everybody knows “The Blob” was pink.

I’m not entirely sure why I own this, I was at a Moroccan restaurant the week before last and when I went to the bathroom to wash my hands… I happened upon this earthenware bowl of black slime.  Being a country girl, I was a bit confused until I read the little sign positioned helpfully above the bowl informing me that the ‘goo’ was infact Moroccan Black Soap.  Anti-bacterial, moisturising and all that good stuff.

I went a bit Veruca Salt after this and decided that I absolutely must have some of my own black goo and thus did some googling when I got home.

Et Voila.  Goo.

Goo!

It only requires a small amount to build a bit of lather… it doesn’t lather quite in the traditional way, it’s more of a creamy texture with a good amount of slip.  It smells delightfully clean thanks to the Eucalyptus oil and pairs masterfully with a steamy, hot shower.  I can imagine this being a delight if you’ve got a bit of a cold or stuffy nose.

It washes well and leaves my skin feeling clean and conditioned.  Not enough to forego moisturiser but I don’t find it drying.  I should mention that I don’t use this on my face though.

I purchased my Moroccan Black Soap from AromaVille on eBay.  Admit it.  You want some goo now too.

Inexpensive Beauty Find: Monsavon au lait

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 29 - 2010

Soap.  In all it’s soapy glory.

When my parents make their annual French pilgrimage, Monsavon au lait (made since 1925) is one of the items on the (long) list of shopping requests that I send with them.

Inexpensive (well under 2 Euros a bar) and easy to get hold of over there, Monsavon au lait is simply one of the few soaps that doesn’t dry out my skin.  It’s not flash and it’s not glamourous… but it’s a bathroom essential for me with a comforting, soft scent that lingers on my skin.

[stextbox id=”custom” caption=”Ingredients” ccolor=”ffffff” bcolor=”b0c4de” bgcolor=”e6e6fa” cbgcolor=”778899″]Sodium Tallowate (so not suitable for vegans) – Sodium Cocoate – Sodium Palm Kernelate – Aqua – Glycerin – Parfum – Coconut Acid – Sine Adipe Lac – Sodium Chloeide – Titanium Dioxide – Linalool – Lanolin – Coumarin – etrasofium EDTA – Citronellol – Tetrasodium Etironate.  Equivalent of 1% milk.[/stextbox]

Do you have any favourite soap bars?

UK’s First 100% Fairtrade Bodycare Company launches at Waitrose!

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 20 - 2010

Bubble & Balm may only be a year old, but their products are already making a splash at one of the UK’s top supermarkets!

The range includes a selection of liquid and clear glycerine bar soaps that are the first natural soaps to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark in the UK.

Available in Citrus or Lavender and made in the UK using traditional methods, each product is naturally formulated with plant and essential oils and enriched with glycerine to soothe and moisturise. The entire range is suitable for vegetarians to use and is free from parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate and phthalates.

The luxury hand wash retails at £4.95, and the bar soaps – which are packaged in a watertight aluminium tin that doubles up as a soap dish are priced at £4.85 each.

Have you spotted these whilst doing your weekly shop yet?

Dr Bronner’s Pure Castille Soap

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 4 - 2009

I’m a big fan of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, they’re multi-use and an absolute must have for travelling.  Fantastically, they’re Suphate-Free and you can use them for washing, laundry, dish washing, cleaning, shampooing and even toothbrushing!  Although I’m not too sure about that last one…

castillesoap

My favourite use for this little bottle of rose-scented magic has to be cleaning my makeup brushes.  You just need the tiniest amount.  I’ve washed my brushes at least 3 times using the bottle above and it’s barely made any impact at all.

It leaves my brushes feeling soft, clean and conditioned, gets out all the crud and all that remains is a gentle rose-scent.  What more can I ask for?

More varieties?  Well… you can have: Peppermint (nice), Eucalyptus (bleh), Almond (yum), Rose (yay), Baby Mild (boring), Citrus (zesty!), Lavender (bleh) and Tea Tree (meh).   Please excuse the childish running commentary that accompanied the variety listing… sometimes I just can’t help myself.

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Oh yes, they don’t test on bunny rabbits either.

INGREDIENTS: Water, Saponified Organic Coconut, Organic Palm and Organic Olive Oils (w/Retained Glycerin), Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Essential Oils, Citric Acid, Vitamin E

You like?

I purchase mine from EcoHamster ‘cos they offer free delivery and I like hamsters. £4.95 for 236ml.

If cleanliness is next to Godliness…

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 22 - 2009

…then I could do with some extra brownie points.

Post-Sproglette, I’ve become a consummate hand-washer.  Not that I’m suggesting I was a slutty slut pre-child… it’s just that I took all this hygiene stuff for granted.  I didn’t pay much attention to products designed for chores as mundane as laundry, dish-washing, hair-brushing or hand-washing.

Nowadays, things are a bit different…  not only are my hands regularly red raw from scrubbing “Eau de Baby Pooh” off them, but you will often find me lurking infront of the soaps, bubble baths, handwashes and shaving oils at TK Maxx coo-ing over the various scents and colours.  It’s a sad fact that even shaving one’s legs becomes a luxury post-bébé if it means you get to spend time alone in the bathroom.

I was therefore pleased (and secretly excited) to be sent a new hand wash to have a sniff of.

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Method are a brand that pride themselves on non-toxic, environmentally friendly homecare products.  And this hand wash is no exception.  It comes in 3 varieties:

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L-R: Sweet Water, French Lavender & Pink Grapefruit

They say:

Our hand washes are made with naturally-derived, biodegradeable ingredients, contain vitamin E and aloe and have never been tested on animals.  Served up in bottles made from 100% recycled plastic.

I got French Lavender which I immediately thought I’d dislike.  I’m not a huge fan of lavender (French or otherwise), I associate it with those scented drawer sachets that old ladies are so fond of… but this isn’t too overpowering at all.  It’s subtle and leaves only a mild trace of the scent on your skin after washing.

The product foams nicely and most importantly rinses clean quickly.  I hate soaps that leave residue on your skin don’t you?

Perhaps most importantly, I’ve been using this all day today and yesterday and I haven’t noticed it drying my skin out at all.

I love the smell of my Simple Peppermint & Mandarin hand wash (yes I have a favourite… sad) but it dries my skin terribly… to the point where my hands have been cracking thanks to it’s harsh anti-bac ingredients.

Perhaps the best move would be to leave all the nappy changes to Mr. Lipglossiping.  That way, I could go back to concentrating wholly on fabulous things and leave the hand-washing (and laundry) to him.

It’s a nice thought, but whilst I wait patiently for hell to freeze over I’ll content myself with a new-found hand wash that does exactly what it says on the (biodegradeable) bottle.

And even better…. until the 3rd November, you can get a 1/3rd off Method hand washes at Boots, currently priced at £2.15 each.

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Before I go, I was also pleased to discover that Method do a nice line in baby products, look:

methodbaby

Squeaky Green Nappy Cream… Rice Milk and Mallow… yum! Can I eat it?

Leila has the ECO-est bum in the whole of England!

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