Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nov. 9 - Country Soaps By Marlene Haul/Review

(Excuse the crappy color and lighting in the photos you're about to see.  It's been so rainy and dark here lately that natural light has not been an option.  I used to have a program that could edit photos, tweak the colors and balance, etc., but since I switched to this other computer I don't have a program like that yet.)

You might remember a post not too long ago about the shops that I want to try when I go on my next soap shopping frenzy.  Country Soaps By Marlene was one of them.  I didn't think I'd be trying her things so soon but an opportunity presented itself recently, so I hopped on it.  She had mentioned on Facebook that she had made some body sprays and was looking for a few people to try them in return for feedback.  She had some other Facebook specials that day, so in the end I had compiled a package of sample goodies to try.  I did pay discounted prices on some of these things, and some were included for free.

I chose Pink Sugar scent for my body spray sample.  If you're not familiar with Pink Sugar, it is an Aquolina perfume dupe described as 'A fruity blend of cotton candy, lemon drops, caramel and raspberry jam on a dry down of musks.'  I have no idea what the ingredients are because this is a new product she's making and it's not even on her site yet.  The reason I'm curious about the ingredients is because I've found this spray just stays on my skin.  It doesn't absorb or evaporate for a dry down.  When I eventually wiped it off, the scent was still there and there was no greasy residue, so I'm not sure what could be tweaked in the formula, but as is I would not buy it again.  I tried several times, even trying to get the finest mist with the bottle held as far away as my arm would stretch.  I even compared a commercial body spray that I have to be sure that one did indeed dry down.

I also wanted to try her lotion and chose Pink Sugar scent again.  Since I only saw her lotions in this squeeze bottle form I was a bit leery because I like my lotions thicker, more like the 'frostings' that are out there.  But what the heck, I figured since I was trying things I'd give this a shot.  Again, the scent is awesome, enough to know it's there without being overpowering.  The lotion is a bit thinner than my preferred type but it's not runny, which is great.  It's light and fluffy and sinks in quickly.  It's not a heavy duty lotion though.  I will probably squirt this into one of my empty sample jars and use it up that way because I hate squeeze bottles.

I asked if she had any sample size shower gels and received this small bottle in Lilac scent.  I will admit right off the bat that my experience with homemade liquid soaps is severely limited and I'm not quite sure what's normal.  The couple times I tried them I was put off by the fact that they looked like they had separated and I had to shake them up to remix everything, and by the fact that it seemed like I had to use tons to get even the slightest bit of lather.  Going into this Lilac sample, I wasn't sure what to expect.  It did look slightly separated and I did shake it up but I don't know if I really *had* to.  I was pleasantly surprised with the lather though!  I used it on a pouf in the shower and it surpassed my expectations.  I still had to use more than I would use of a commercial product but compared to my previous limited experiences, this was great.

I don't see them on her site but she apparently does sugar scrubs because I received a sample in Pumpkin Pie Paradise scent.  This was a thick consistency, and I like mine a little thinner and 'wetter,' but I was greatly impressed that the sugar didn't dissolve right away like I've seen several others do.  The sugar in this hung around long enough for a good scrub, and then some.  Again, I don't know any ingredients on this one, and it did leave my tub a bit slippery but wow, my skin felt fantastic afterwards!

Another thing she had for Facebookers to try were Sinus Relief Tabs, and Muscle Relief Tabs.  I chose the Sinus Relief.  They are similar to bath bombs in that you put them in the water and they fizz and release their goodness.  You can put it in your bath or simply set it on the floor of the tub during your shower and it will still work.  As you'd think, being for sinus relief, this smelled like Vicks so it was probably a eucalyptus/mint blend.  I'm usually stuffy in the morning (aren't we all?) so I used this in my morning shower, just plopped it on the bottom of the tub and it fizzled away and made the shower all Vicks yummy.  I can't say for sure that this product cleared me up because just the steam and water from a normal shower often helps but this certainly didn't hurt anything.  This was a fun little product to try, and I still have two more!

She threw in a bath bomb sample too, in Yuzu (grapefruit/citrus blend) scent.  I'm not a bath lounger, so bath bombs are not my area of expertise, but this had a light, refreshing scent, fizzled away easily, and did not leave my bathtub slippery or oily.  My skin didn't feel oily afterwards either.  Since I'm not a bath bomb user, I don't have much to say about this one.

I received two mystery lip balms too.  She had said on Facebook that we wouldn't know exactly what scent/flavor they were because she was using up a mix of oils.  So whatever flavor it was at the start would probably not be the same flavor in the middle or at the end.  That was fine with me.  If the quality of the lip balm itself was good enough, regardless of the scent/flavor, then I would know if it was something I'd be interested ordering in the future.  Unfortunately I did not like these lip balms at all.  When I first opened one tube I immediately noticed some moisture.  When I tried to wipe around the edge of the tube and across the top of the balm a good sized slice of balm easily slipped off with the kleenex.  Odd, I thought, but gave it a try anyway.  Instant dislike.  It was very moist and soft and goopy on my lips.  I had to wipe it off with more kleenex.  I checked the other tube and had the same experience.  I don't know if it might have been because she had used up different oils in these or what but I absolutely did not like these two.

I also received two bar soap samples.  The brown piece on the left is Cherokee Creek scent, described as 'earthy with notes of oakmoss and sandalwood, yet light and airy with just a hint of floral and herbs. Great unisex fragrance.'  The green/tan one on the right is Sandalwood & Clary Sage scent.  I already know I like her bar soaps because I tried a sample a while ago and more recently had bought a bar of Oatmeal, Milk & Honey at a local farmers market.  While I haven't actually tried these two newest samples, I know that her soaps lather great and because they are goat milk soap they are super moisturizing.

So in my fun little package of mixed goodies I found a mixed bag of results.  I'd also like to remind everyone that these are MY opinions of the products.  Perhaps your preferences a different than mine and things I didn't like might be right up your alley.  Country Soaps By Marlene has been doing good business for some time now and she has a large line of products to choose from, so she's certainly doing something right!  I encourage you to check out her shop and give her things a try!

Country Soaps By Marlene on . . . ETSY
Country Soaps By Marlene on . . . FACEBOOK
Country Soaps By Marlene . . . . . WEBSITE

1 comment:

  1. Too bad you didn't like all the stuff. But: On, Wisconsin! :D