Saturday, November 29, 2014

Avon Warmer & Tarts

A month or so ago, I was browsing through someone's Avon book at work and noticed they now have wax tarts and a beautiful tea light warmer.  I debated getting the warmer, thinking it would look so nice during the Christmas season, but also thinking that I already have plenty of warmers.  It was actually hubby who said to go ahead and get it because, yes, it would look really nice for Christmas.  I decided to go ahead and try a pack of the tarts too, just to see how they are.  The 3-wick candle I'd ordered last year was a complete bummer.  Would the tarts be better?

I originally placed my order with a coworker whose friend is the Avon representative.  I heard nothing for probably three weeks, and then the coworker said this was on backorder.  I went to the site and didn't see any mention about it being out of stock or on backorder.  Frustrated, I told the coworker to have her friend cancel the order.  Then I found a free shipping coupon code and placed my order online.  And imagine that, I received this in less than a week.

The warmer is gorgeous.  It's actually bigger than my regular, cheapie tea light warmers that have been my workhorses for years.  I'll have to experiment and see if I need to place something inside, to get the tea light up closer to the bowl.  I've had to do that with one of my others.  Not a big deal.  The bowl is nice and deep on this, looks like it can hold quite a bit for those who prefer to melt larger amounts.  Nowhere near as big as a Glade warmer bowl, but bigger/deeper than most tea light warmers I come across.

There are only two scents of tarts right now, Vanilla Buttercream and Christmas Pine.  We decided to go with pine.  For some reason, I had tea light candle size in my head for these tarts, so I was quite surprised how big they actually are.  This one tart is 1 oz, and there are eight in the package.  It's quite strongly scented too, which is promising.

You can see how much room is left in that bowl even with a full 1 oz. tart in it.

I have not tried the wax or the warmer yet.  If you're curious how they perform, just let me know.  If you'd like to order your own, the warmer sells for $14.99 on the Avon website, and a pack of tarts is $5.99.  (For 8 oz. of wax, that's not a bad price.)  I'm looking forward to using mine now that the Christmas season has officially begun!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Haul - Petals Bath Boutique

If you've been a follower of this blog for a while you're probably familiar with my whining about falling in and out of love with handcrafted bar soaps.  I decided to give it another try, see if I can rekindle that crazy love I had for the stuff not so long ago.  So when Petals Bath Boutique had their winter release last week, I went ahead and ordered some things.  Petals is primarily a bath and body products vendor but lately seems to be offering wax melts more and more.  I really wanted to try a few more of those too.

Just one week later, my winter release haul arrived.  Let's see what I got!

Sugar Plum - 'Not too sweet but just sweet enough. Sugared plums with a heart of citrus zest on a base of warm vanilla musk.'
On the Petals site, this is called Sugar Plum Fairy, but on the label it's just Sugar Plum.  I decided to give her lotion a try, since I already have one of her body custards.  This is indeed a sweet scent.  The plum is there, deep and slightly dark, with the sweet creaminess from the sugar and vanilla.  The citrus adds some brightness, but never really does reveal itself as 'Hey, there's citrus in there!'  This reminds me of a Bath & Body Works type scent.

 Sugar Plum - 'Not too sweet but just sweet enough. Sugared plums with a heart of citrus zest on a base of warm vanilla musk.'
  I got a bar of soap in the same scent.  What a gorgeous piece of soap!  Scents almost always smell slightly different in soap form than in other products, because of the chemical process the soap goes through.  This time the scent has a very obvious musky note that is not really there much in the lotion version.  These two should compliment each other when I use them together.  Hubby even says this is not too girlie, and that he will use this soap too.

Sleigh Ride - 'Top notes of orange zest with a center of tart Granny Smith apples on a warm and spicy base of clove and fresh mint.'
This is the soap we're switching to the day after Thanksgiving.  I was hoping I'd like this scent, and was greatly relieved to find that I love it.  I mainly get a warm, spiced mint scent.  Hubby thought it smelled woody.  Neither of us really get any of the orange or apple notes but I guess I can see how they might be working in the background to push some sweetness into this.  Ohhh, this a great scent.  Can't wait to use this!

Sugared Almonds - 'Toasted almonds topped with sugary notes of raw sugar cane, coconut milk and vanilla.'
I'm not sure if this is part of the winter release or one of the general catalog scents.  I decided to 'regular' scent to have for hubby if I should fall back out of love with bar soaps, or to have for after the holidays if I do stick with them.  SUCH a yummy scent! The almond note is strong, almost cherry candy-like.  The sweetness of the other notes give it a bit of depth.  The vanilla is working hard to make its presence known.  This scent is strong!  I'm sure this will linger on the skin after use.  Oh, and there's goat milk in it!  I hadn't even noticed that when I ordered.  Yay!

Gingerbread Man - 'Fresh bakes cookies, molasses, ginger, cinnamon and spices.'
Ya gotta have a gingerbread scent at Christmas, right?  Since Better Homes & Gardens failed this year and released none of the good classic Christmas scents, I decided to pick this guy up from Petals.  This is a spicy gingerbread, the molasses coming through strong.  This is not the sweeter type, like you get with frosted types.  This cute little guy is 1.7 ounces, so I'll chop him up and spread him amongst my warmers.

 I'll Be Home - 'A deliciously refreshing holiday fragrance that blends pomegranate, strawberries, raspberries, with subtle hints of fresh peppermint leaves and vanilla.'
 This sounded interesting, and the shapes were so festive that I just had to get them.  If I didn't now better, I would have said this was an 'iced cranberry' scent.  There is tartness, but maybe that's just the mint mixing with the dark fruits.  There is a bit of a harsh note that I'm hoping settles down when it's warmed.  I would call this a tart scent, not a mint scent.  The candy cane is .9 ounce, and the stocking is 1.5 ounces.

 Nutcracker - 'A perfect nutty blend of vanilla, hazelnut, maple syrup, coconut flakes, citrus and clove.'
I wanted to try Kia's clamshells tarts, so when I saw this Nutcracker scent, I grabbed it.  I had this scent years ago as a sample from some vendor and *loved* it.  I don't really see it around much, unless it has a different, more common name.  Then again, I don't look around much these days either.  It reminds me of the hazelnut cream scent that I often love.  I don't get any citrus note from this.  Don't really detect any coconut either.  That's okay, because the rest of the notes blend together to make a rich, sweet, yumminess.  It's actually a much darker, red-brown color than what the picture shows.

I was a little disappointed when I saw these clamshells though.  I hadn't noticed that the website says these are 2 ounce packages.  They looked like regular clamshells, but they're actually much more shallow than the clamshells we're all familiar with.  This one is actually only 1.6 ounces of wax.  Oh well, live and learn.

Peppermint Stick - 'Swirls of peppermint candy and sugar crystals.'
I did not order soap in this scent because I already have a bottle of commercial brand peppermint body wash that I thought I'd be using this Christmas season.  I did want to try the scent though, so I got it in wax form.  A very nice, typical peppermint scent.  Perfect for Christmas.  This pack does weigh 2 ounces.

 Peppermint Stick - 'Swirls of peppermint candy and sugar crystals.'
And then I got a sample of this scent in soap anyway.  LOL  That made me happy.  The scent if a little deeper and fuller, almost a little sweeter in soap form.

 Aspen Hill - 'A truly unique and irresistible blend of blue spruce, earthen moss and sugar crystals with hints of cassis and orange.'
I had debated ordering this but had decided not to because I didn't want to walk around smelling like a Christmas tree.  I'm glad I got a sample of it, just so I can see what it smells like.  And it's not really that bad.  I don't even get a strong spruce scent.  There is sweetness, just a hint of juicy orange, and some almost wood resin hints.  Good scent for men, but not strictly masculine.

 Sundance - [no scent description]
No clue what this scent consists of but it's very nice, sort of pretty, like a shampoo.  I see on the label there is goat milk and oatmeal, as well as clay, so I wonder if this will be good for the face.  That's what I'm going to use it for.  This was another free sample.

Mayan Gold - 'A warm spicy blend with notes of sweet orange, sandalwood, vetiver, vanilla bean and decadent chocolate.'
And finally, another free sample, this one looks way messier in the picture than it really is.  The picture doesn't show all the different brown and gold swirls running through it.  With sandalwood AND chocolate, I knew this was not a scent for me even before I smelled it.  I don't really get a chocolate note, but I still don't like this.  It's one of those sophisticated scents that a certain someone I know would probably like.

And that is my Petals Bath Boutique winter release haul.  I can't wait to start using these things, and am especially curious to see how the lotion works for me.

Did you order from the winter release? 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Melted - Vintage Chic Scents / The Stanley House

The Stanley Hotel - 'Harvest (type) and Vanilla Bean Noel.'

I swear I only got cinnamon from this scent for the majority of the four house I had this melting.  Only in the last hour or so did I start noticing the tiniest hints of the Vanilla Bean Noel, and only in that last hour or so did I notice what must be the Harvest notes.  I'm not familiar enough with Harvest though, to really know how much is coming through.  It's a very nice scent, whatever is going on.  Even hubby commented, "Mmm, I like this one!" when he got home from work.  But yeah, if I wouldn't have looked at the description, I would have sworn this was plain cinnamon.

I divided this leaf tart into thirds (about .7 ounce each) and melted them in my tea light and Glade hot plate warmers.  I had medium-strong cinnamon-y scent throughout the downstairs of the house.

Melted - Vintage Chic Scents / House of Wax

House of Wax - 'Sweet maple, butterscotch, marshmallow cream.'

I did not recall the scent description of this when I started melting it.  Immediately, I was oohing and aahing over it, and it was driving me nuts trying to think of what it reminded me of.  Eventually I did have to go look it up and as soon as I saw it was maple and butterscotch I was like 'Aha!'  I'm pretty sure I'm thinking of the maple butterscotch something or other scent from Better Homes & Gardens, which is one of my favorites.  I don't have any of that one on hand to compare though.  

This one is a very sweet scent, but it's a deep, rich sweetness, not like a sugary candy sweet.  The butterscotch might be the stronger note.  The maple is right there but I didn't think of syrup or pancakes, so that's why I think the butterscotch might be stronger.  It's given a bit of a creaminess from the marshmallow.

I divided this leaf into three pieces, around .7 oz each, and melted them in my tea light and Glade hot plate warmers.  I had a medium-strong scent throughout the house.  It was delicious, but any stronger would have made the richness overwhelming.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Melted - Vintage Chic Scents / Autumn In Salem

Autumn In Salem - 'Pumpkin cinnamon sugared donut.'

This is a nice, cozy scent.  I wouldn't really consider it a fall scent, but more of a cold weather scent.  It is a warm bakery scent, more of a cinnamon donut with pumpkin than a pumpkin spice with donut.  It does have a bit of a spicy kick, lots of cinnmaon on those donuts.  The pumpkin reminds me of the canned puree type scent, and is quietly in the background.

I chopped this leaf into thirds and melted about .9 ounces in each of my two tea light warmers and my Glade hot plate warmer.  I had one in each of the three main rooms in the downstairs of our house.  Even with all three going together, the scent remained a very pleasant medium strength.  Usually I always think I prefer scents much stronger, but then I find some that almost seem better when they're not so inyerface.  I think this is one of those.

(This tart was a gift.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Melted - Sweet Fixations / Raspberry Macaroon

Raspberry Macaroon - 'Toasted coconut, caramelized sugar, and raspberry.'

I had this scent once before in one of my earlier Sweet Fixations orders and found it to be light.  I'd wanted to try it again eventually, and see if I had better results, so I was pleased to see this finger shaped sample of it in my last order.  After the surprising success earlier today with a small amount of wax from another vendor, I decided to go ahead and get this small one out of the way too.  At only .5 ounce, I wasn't expecting much but once again, a smaller amount proved powerful.  Melting this in my tea light warmer, I had a nice medium-strong scent throughout two rooms.  The scent itself is a wonderful, deep, sweet candy-like scent.  The toasted coconut is probably the strongest note but sweet fruit comes rushing in close behind on a bed of warm, rich caramel.

I'm glad I got to try this yummy scent again.

Melted - Petals Bath Boutique / Pink Sugar

Pink Sugar - 'A fruity blend of Cotton Candy, Lemon Drops, Caramel and Raspberry Jam on a dry down of musk.

Pink Sugar blends are uber popular in the wax world.  I first discovered the scent way back in the earliest days of my handcrafted soap obsession, and have always preferred it more in bath and body products than in home fragrance.  These two little hearts came as samples in my Petals order from the fall release, and after the success of the Venom tart I melted earlier, I decided to go ahead and give these a try.

The scent, for those who aren't familiar with it, is a deep, sweet musky scent.  It's a heavier scent than the usual bright and pretty floral type perfumes.  I never really pick out any of the notes individually.  They combine to make a sort of rich caramel candy scent dipped in musk.

These two little tarts combined only weighed .6 of an ounce.  I'm one who likes to melt lesser amounts of wax, but even I was a bit leery of just .6.  I super surprised and impressed that find these teeny little buggers were amazingly strong.  They didn't throw all over the house, but in the room where the warmer was, the scent was strong.  And unlike the weird sticky cooled wax of the Venom tart, this popped right out after a few minutes in the freezer.

Can't wait to get my new Petals tarts!

Melted - Up The Creek Scents / Orange Caramel Confetti Cake

Orange Caramel Confetti Cake - [no scent description]

This was a delicious, warm and cozy bakery scent.  The cake note was strong, and the gooey caramel brought a warmth and sweetness.  The hints of orange brightened it all up a bit, keeping it from being a heavy bakery scents.  Very, very YUM.

I melted this whole tart (maybe one ounce?) in my tea light warmer and had only a light to medium scent.  It seemed fairly strong early on but then faded down to the lighter version that remained.  After the tea light went out, I could still smell light hints of this throughout the room.  So even if it was light, it did linger and that was nice.

(This tart was a gift.)

Melted - Petals Bath Boutique / Venom

Venom - 'An effervescent blend of juicy Cherry and berries highlighted with fresh citrus notes and vanilla.'

Petals Bath Boutique has long been one of my favorite handcrafted bath and body product vendors but I'm quite new to Kia's wax offerings.  I had a pumpkin one from the fall release, although I don't think I ever did a Melted post for it.  And this one, called Venom, is a cute Halloween design.  The wax is quite soft, and sort of oily feeling.  The pumpkin one had a light scent so I wasn't expecting much from this one.  Wow, was I wrong.  This guy threw like a champ!  I melted this whole thing in my Glade hot plate warmer and it scented the whole downstairs of my house, with a healthy medium-strong scent.

I already knew I liked the Venom scent.  It used to be known as Bitten, if I'm remembering correctly.  I had it in soap form a few years ago.  It's a bright, happy, cherry scent with a hint of fizzy.  I don't get a distinct vanilla note but it might be toning the cherry down just a bit.  I would not want to melt this type of scent all the time but once in a while is a fun treat for the nose.

One problem I've found with this wax is that is does not want to come out of the warmer after it's cooled back down.  I always do the freezer method, and most wax will pop right out.  This, however, does not freeze hard.  It stays a sort of thick, sticky, gummy consistency and not even my little plastic tool can get it to pop out.  I had to let it get back to room temperature and start digging it out.  That's a huge bummer for me.

(This tart was a gift.)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Haul - Yankee Candle / Votives

I placed my first Yankee Candle order only a few short weeks ago, and even then I knew I wanted to order again when the next dollar sale came around.  Well that happened this past weekend when they had their Veterans Day Sale.
I might have gone a little crazy on votives.  There was a limit of 30 at this sale price.  I got 29.  This isn't really as bad as it might look.  The majority of these are doubles so we can have two at a time burning.  We've really been getting into votives and nice little votive holders lately.  I need to keep my eyes open for some nice Christmas ones.  The ones we currently have are old and kinda blah.

So anyway, let me show you what I got this time.

Christmas Wreath - 'The fragrance of fresh-cut boughs and branches of pine, balsam, and hollyberry makes your home warm, inviting, and festive.' 
A subdued pine scent.  This is good, like you can almost sense the sap from those fresh-cut boughs.
Mistletoe - 'We combined the woody scents of mistletoe, berries, pine boughs, and holly to create a memorable blend that's just right for the season.'
Another soft pine scent, with a hint of sweetness.  I think I like Christmas Wreath better.
White Christmas - 'There's a quiet holiday beauty in this blend of woodsy evergreens and cool, freshly fallen snow.'
Hints of pine but with a strong 'outdoor' note, whatever it is that makes up that sort of ozone scent.  Almost hints at being powdery and perfume-y, but still a nice scent.
Sparkling Snow - 'The crisp, naturally fresh scent of gleaming, snow-covered pines with hints of patchouli and fruit.' 
I'm not a huge patchouli fan but I was intrigued, wondering how they'd make that into a Christmas scent.  If I didn't know it was in here, I'd never guess it.  Soft pine note, something almost spicy, and that 'outdoor' scent again.  Is patchouli the secret ingredient to 'outdoor' scents?!
North Pole - 'A sweet blend of icy cool mint and sugary rich vanilla cream.' 
Vanilla mint?  Yes, please!  ScentyMyWay, on YouTube, ranked North Pole, Jack Frost, and one other on how strong the mint vs. vanilla was in each.  I can't remember where she placed this one.  It might have been the one strong on vanilla, because the mint is soft in here.  I like this, and my mint-disliking menfolk might even be able to tolerate it.

Home For The Holidays - 'The holiday spices of cinnamon and clove, mixed with earthy cedarwood and balsam.' 
I don't think I like this one.  Bleah.  It's very woody, must be that cedarwood.  I don't get a lot of spice.  It comes across perfume-y in a weird way.
Bay Leaf Wreath - 'An aromaticblend of bay leaves, orange, and cedarwood.' 
This one is not a favorite either.  Cologne comes to mind, but then when I sniff again I think it's greenery.  Another bleah.
Holiday Garland - 'The season comes to life in this lush holiday aroma of fresh-cut pine boughs and zesty cranberries.' 
I'm not getting much on cold sniff.  Pine is there but that's about all I get at the moment.  Hope those zesty cranberries come out when we burn this.
Cherries On Snow - 'An enchanted, sparkling blend of bright, juicy cherries with sweet almonds and an icy freshness.' 
I've had this scent before.  Our 'adopted third son' (Ty's friend Matt) got me a candle in this scent a couple years ago for Christmas.  A really nice, sweet cherry scent.  Reminds me of those Luden's cherry throat drops that we used to suck on like candy when we were kids.
Red Apple Wreath - 'This inviting blend with the merry aroma of sweet apples, cinnamon, walnuts and maple sets the stage for a heartwarming homecoming.' 
I usually prefer apple scents for fall but the addition of walnuts and maple had me curious about this one.  I really do like this scent but yes, it does make me think of fall.  I'm mainly getting a spiced apple scent on cold sniff.  That's okay since it's still fall, and I don't start Christmas scents until the day after Thanksgiving.
Christmas Eve - 'The traditional holiday scents of a warm hearth, sugared plums, and candied fruits are the perfect accompaniment to one of the most joyous evenings of the year.' 
This one is very candy-like, sugary sweet, but still somehow manages to have the slightest hint of warmth.  I don't get a smoky note, like you might think the hearth part of this would be.  Not sure how I feel about this one yet.
Gingerbread - 'The aroma of spicy warm gingerbread rich with nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar...'
 And of course I had to get Gingerbread since Better Homes & Gardens failed epically this year when they didn't include it in their Christmas scents.  This one is a warm, spicy, bakery scent but I'm getting a bit of plastic-y note at the moment.  Hopefully that's just coming from the wrapper and will disappear when we burn this.
I also got repeats of the five new Christmas scents that I'd gotten in my first order.  Those are Angel's Wings, Winter Garden, Luscious Plum, Magical Frosted Forest, and Candy Cane Lane.  Descriptions and my thoughts on these can be found [ HERE ].  I'm kinda kicking myself again for not getting more of the Candy Cane Lane, in a larger form perhaps, because I love that scent.  Well, at least on cold sniff so far.  But hey, since Yankee delivers pretty darn fast, I still have time to place another order before the Christmas season.  Hehe!

I think I asked this in my last Yankee post but I'll go ahead and ask it again.  What are some of your favorite Yankee holiday scents?  And do you have any experience with their scented tea lights?  Is the scent pretty strong from those, or no?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Haul & Review - Country Soaps By Marlene / Shower Gel

Oatmeal, Milk & Honey - 'The wonderful fresh aroma of hawthorne, with nuances of creamy French vanilla, soy milk and a base note of nutty almond.'

I've recently started exploring handcrafted shower gels since I can't seem to renew my old love for handcrafted bar soaps.  I was already familiar with this vendor (Country Soaps By Marlene) from back in my own Etsy soap shop days, and this lady is very local to me.  The thing that made me revisit her Etsy shop is that she uses goat milk in these shower gels.  You know I love goat milk soap!
Of course I decided to start with Oatmeal, Milk & Honey, my sentimental favorite soap scent.

The listing was for a 12 oz. bottle but when she went to make this she found she was out, and used two 6 oz. bottles instead.  I'm fine with that.  Shipping was fast, and these survived the journey, unlike the previous one from another vendor I tried recently.  She also included a sample of goat milk soap in Spiced Cranberry scent.  Not only do I love the scent, but I thought it was nice that she remembered our conversation in which I'd asked if she had Oatmeal, Milk & Honey OR Spiced Cranberry scented shower gel.

I find that I do have to shake this up before I use it.  Well, actually, I don't know that I *have* to, but when they arrived the contents looked slightly separated so I shook it up then to bring it back to it's creamy looking state.  And now I just shake it up before each use.  Like the other shower gel I tried, I have to squirt a lot more of this on my shower pouf than a commercial brand.  But I also find that this one lathers better than the other one.  This lathers quicker, into nice creamy bubbles and foam, and lasts through my entire shower.  The scent is light though.  I wish that was a bit stronger.

Of the two handcrafted shower gels I've tried so far, I prefer this one and would gladly order more if I decide to stick with these homemade products.  They are pricy, that's for sure.  I paid $12.50 for 12 oz., and that bothers my cheap side, especially since you have to use so much at a time.

Do you use 'homemade' shower gels?  Who is your favorite vendor?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Order of the Odor - Vol. 3

Two questions this month in celebration of Thanksgiving. We would love to know your answers to these questions too.

1. What does your Thanksgiving Day spread look like?
This was last year's Thanksgiving dinner but it's pretty much the same every year because I'm a traditionalist.  We have turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn, acorn squash, cranberry 'sauce,' and dinner rolls.  It also became my tradition long ago to have 7Up as my drink during dinner.  Back when I was younger, still at home, I always seemed to end up sick right around Thanksgiving so I always seemed to have 7Up at that time.  We don't do pumpkin pie in this house.  The past several years we've enjoyed a Kringle, courtesy of the place Ty works.  When hubby still worked there we had two each year.  The past year or two has only been Ty's.  And now that he's moved out, we've already joked that he needs to bring the Kringle home for dessert.  If we don't get one this year, I'll revert back to our old standard of Cherry Crisp and French Vanilla Cool Whip.

2. In what Thanksgiving traditions does your family participate?
When I was a kid I always tried to watch at least some of the Macy's parade.  Gave that up long ago but last year made it a point to watch bits in between kitchen chores.

We sort of fell into the tradition of having our own Thanksgiving meal the day after Thanksgiving, because we used to always get together with my side of the family on actual Thanksgiving Day.  It's nice to gather with family and all but face it, sometimes you don't get the foods you're craving, or you don't get enough.  Plus I always get a free turkey from work so we started doing our own meal the day after.  I think the last two years though, we haven't gone anywhere on Thanksgiving Day so we've started doing our dinner on the proper day.

I don't think there are any other traditions that we have, besides the traditional foods I make each year.  Oh, we do have football on.  And I do turn the radio on in the evening for the first bits of Christmas music.

I just absolutely love Thanksgiving.  As I've said many times before, it's the calm before the Christmas storm.  It's a holiday of family and food but without the pressures of decorating and gift giving.  It's just a sit back and relax kinda of holiday and that's quite alright with me!

Deb over at It's Always Something has the envious position of being able to visit the Rosegirl's Boutique. She did a pop over very recently and hauled some delicious smells.

LoLo Loves Scents melted a PERFECT 10 scent last week and we all know a 10 out of 10 wax tart does not come around often.... you might want to read about it so you don't miss out on this gem.

Sunnee at Fragrance Obsessed has had the pleasure of trying an up and coming new vendor with nice results. You have to see these gorgeous tarts; the shapes and colors are eye candy.

The Redolent Mermaid has started a new vendor interview series, see what great idea the owner of Vintage Chic Scents has come up with regarding the wax community.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Haul - Ten Digit Creations / Body Wash

Oatmeal, Milk & Honey - 'Classic fragrance of fresh vanilla, soy milk and a base note of nutty almond.'

Any of you that have known me for a while know that I used to be a soap maker.  When I stumbled across handcrafted goat milk soap several years ago, it had me diving headfirst into the wonderful world of handmade soaps and other products.  It introduced me to Etsy.  More recently, I've phased out of my former handcrafted bar soap craze and gone back to retail body washes.  I'm lazy and spoiled by the insta-lather of the store brands.  Very recently it occurred to me that, duh, some bath and body indie vendors also make body washes.  Why the heck don't I try those?  So I placed a couple orders and this one, from Ten Digit Creations, is the first one I received.

It's arrival was quite messy.  Even though the bottle was packaged in a sealed ziploc bag, enough had leaked out that even the inside of the mailer was a drippy mess.  I emailed Ten Digit Creations to let them know about the mishap.  They offered a partial refund, which I declined.  I got the bottle cleaned up easy enough and there was still plenty left.  I couldn't wait to use it!

I've used this body wash several days now.  Somewhere along the way, I got it into my head that handcrafted body washes don't lather as much.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that is incorrect, at least in this case.  The product is very thin and watery, not at all like the thicker gel types that retail brands usually are.  I felt like I was having to use so much because of it's runny consistency but I also found that is not true either.  I've scaled back how much I squirt onto my shower pouf, and I still get plenty of lather.

Yes, this lathers like a charm.  It's still not quite as luxurious as store-bought brands but it's close.  The lather isn't quite as thick, and doesn't last as long.  It still spoils this lazy girl though!  The scent is on the lighter side.  I smell it easily in the shower but don't really notice it lingering on my skin much afterwards.  That's okay if you're going to be applying scented lotions or if you were perfume and don't want scents to clash.  I don't really mind either way at the moment.  Sometimes I'd like my shower scents to hand around longer, sometimes I don't care.

This was a pleasant introduction to handmade body washes.  I love the lightning fast TAT from Ten Digit Creations.  This 8 oz. bottle costs $7.50 on the website.  I think I would probably order body wash again from this vendor, but I'm not ready to commit to that yet because I have one from another vendor coming that I want to try, and I've also found some goat milk body washes on Etsy that I want to try.

Still, I am enjoying this product and am glad I've decided to try it.

I know there are a lot of handcrafted bar soap lovers out there, but do any of you use handcrafted body washes?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Review - Clairol Hair Food (Conditioner)

When I first saw this Clairol Hair Food in my recent Moda VoxBox from Influenster I was a bit leery.  I'm a very low maintenance girl, cheap and quick 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioners for me, thank you.  But in the spirit of the program, I decided to give it a try.  This is a hair mask (conditioner) that appears to be infused with foodie things.  I'm drawn to things like that, for whatever reason.  When you look at the ingredients though, you see a whole bunch of chemicals and big scary looking words, and only honey way down on the list.  Ha.

Well, I decided to give it a try anyway.  The first time I used it, I was amazed.  Even while I was still in the shower, my hair felt a billion times better, so soft and smooth as silk.  That first half of the day, I was still impressed.  It definitely made my hair softer and shinier.  Then my opinion started to change.  I was my hair every other day and that's usually fine.  With this stuff, by the afternoon of the first day it was starting to look like my hair was limp and dirty.  It wasn't dirty, or oily, though.  It was just this stuff weighing it down.  It was still soft and shiny, but my hair just wanted to lay very flat and straight and limp.  I tried it again two days later just to see if it would be any better and no, it wasn't.  My hair just looked heavy and limp by the afternoon.

I stopped using this after two uses and have no further interest in this product.

(I received this conditioner for free, for testing and review.  All opinions are my own.)

Review - Resource Natural Spring Water

I received this bottle of Resource - Natural Spring Water in my recent Moda VoxBox from Influenster.  Having recently taken steps to quit drinking soda (I drink caffeine free now if I find myself reaching for it), I was excited to get this.  Anything that helps me drink more water is a perk!  When I saw the 'natural electrolytes' bit on the label I wondered if this was more than just water.  Was it like Gatorade or something?  After a moment of pondering and shrug, I opened it up and took a swig.

Now, some people say water is water.  No no nooooo.  I was raised on well water and usually hate the taste of city water.  I've also found that not all bottled waters taste alike.  There really is something more tasty about spring water.  And this was one of the good tasting waters.  I don't really know what else to say about it.  I mean, electrolytes don't have a flavor, right?  It was a tasty water that I would gladly drink again.

The bottle is made from 50% recycled plastic and is 100% recyclable when you're done with it.  That's good.  Every little bit helps.

(I received this bottle free from the Influenster program for testing and reviewing.  All opinions are my own.)

Review - Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion

I received this 3 oz. bottle of Jergens Ultra Healing lotion for extra dry skin in my recent Moda VoxBox from Influenster.  I'm always looking for a good lotion for my hands.  The one I used to love seems to be failing me now.  This looks like it could be good for my feet too.  I was a little disappointed to see there are parabens in this, but then again, I've wondered lately if we cause ourselves more stress in worrying about such things than what the actual threat might be.  Ya know?

So anyway, I've been using this for several days now and I'm liking it so far.  It could be a bit more moisturizing, or longer lasting, but I've had far worse than this.  It spreads very easily and absorbs quickly.  There is a pleasant scent that you don't really notice unless your hands are near your face.  It feels very nice.  I just wish it lasted longer.

I don't know if I would buy this product since I've had others that are a little better, but this would be good in a pinch, or if I found a really good deal on it.

(I received this lotion free for testing and review from the Influenster program.  All opinions are my own.)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Haul - Front Porch Candle Co.

I decided recently that I would go ahead and start ordering from Front Porch more often.  I like that this is a vendor that's always open and has a quick TAT.  Shipping is free (factored into the slightly higher prices) so it's not a problem to place several small orders.

Strawberry Mint Ice Cream - 'Blend of Strawberry,Peppermint, and Ice Cream.'
This is really nice, sweet and creamy mint scent.  It's minty, first and foremost, but so creamy and with just enough of the strawberry to add a bit of a twist.  I think the strawberry kicks it off course just enough that this doesn't strike me as a Christmas scent the way mints often do.

(I got this in the 8 oz. bag of brittle because it wasn't available in grubby tart form, and I really wanted to see how this scent compares to the other I'm thinking of.)

Peppermint Coconut Mallow - [no scent description]
This is another sweet and creamy peppermint scent.  I'm not sure you'd ever recognize that there is coconut, specifically, in here.  It mainly just works with the marshmallow to boost the sweetness and creaminess.  The mint is a softer (not lighter) in here.  I prefer this one over the previous one.

Peppermint Eggnog - [no scent description]
Pretty self explanatory, I guess.  Peppermint + eggnog.  Still mainly a mint scent but it's the lightest mint of these three.  I do get the eggnog notes, sometimes stronger than others.  Interesting scent, but probably my least favorite of these three.

Not a huge order.  It was mainly meant to get those first two scents so I could see how closely they compare to the other scents I hinted at.  A separate post about that is coming soon.

Are you a Front Porch fan?  Ordered any lately?