Bubble Bubble, Suds and (Some) Trouble

Main Soap Photo

Continuing my unfortunate streak of items I wish I had exercised a bit more caution in purchasing, here’s the back half of my large Rhinestone Housewife order, this time a quartet of spooky suds from Dreaming Tree Soapworks.  I noted in a post last month that I had had some trouble with the colourfastness of one of those bars of soap; it was a dark chocolate brown, and in combination with the soap’s plush, but slightly oily, composition, it had the rather gross tendency to leave fatty-looking bits of brown sludge behind on everything it touched.  To the point where I tossed the bar a few days after writing that post.  And not without some regret either, because I really love these olive oil-infused soaps in use; they’re incredibly lush and leave my skin feeling super soft and moisturized.

Soaps in Coffin

Some of these spooky soaps regrettably suffer from the same problem as that chocolate (brown) bar, particularly Monster Mash (a perky fruit punch fragrance) and The Pumpkin King (a spicy squash.)  Using Monster Mash is particularly distressing, as it suds-up into a bloody sort of pink that kind of makes shower time feel like Carrie-on-stage-at-the-prom time.  Which is both seasonally and thematically appropriate, but maybe not the greatest, cleanest-feeling way to start the day.

Soaps in a Row

Ah, but they’re pretty, and they all smell so lovely.  One of the things I do really love about these soaps is the way they really hold on to their scents; they remain strong and true week after week.  Which means if I can get over the kinda gross factor, I’ve got months and months to enjoy Monster Mash and The Pumpkin King, as well as Fruit Fool (far left), a scrumptious apple-blueberry scent, and Poisoned Apple (far right), a zippy, caramel (crab)apple fragrance.

Soaps in the Sun

So I’m well, well covered in the soap department.  Now I just have to turn around this bad shopping juju that has plagued seemingly every retail transaction I’ve made in the past two months.  This, however, delighted the crap out of me (and my husband, who was likewise impressed) – this American Psycho-worthy business card from The Rhinestone Housewife.  We seriously Patrick Bateman’d all over this thing – look at the card stock!  That sucker must be a quarter of an inch thick!  And yes, we really are that easily amused. 🙂

Card

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Sudsy Fandom Fun

Fall Fandom Closeup

Or a Hobbit sandwich on Harry Potter bread. 😉

Here’s a cute trio of fandom-minded soaps from Dreaming Tree Soapworks inspired by the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies and books.  I nabbed these luscious, olive oil-infused soaps from The Rhinestone Housewife, who deal in Dreaming Tree Soapworks’ large collection of beautifully made, gorgeously themed soaps.  I picked up quite a few selections from their Halloween release; I’ll share those with you as we get a little closer to the haunting season.  But of the remainder, I just knew I had to try the fabulously foodie trio of LOTR’s Hobbiton Banana Bread paired with Harry Potter’s Butterbeer and Cauldron Cakes.

Of the three, I’ve only had a chance to try Cauldron Cakes.  On its site, The Rhinestone Housewife describes Cauldron Cakes as smelling like “Devils Food chocolate glazed cakes stuffed with buttercream toasted marshmallow filling.”  Which, holy lord, sounds just frickin’ amazing; can I get some right now?!  After using my bar of Cauldron Cakes for about a week or so now, I can’t say whether it smells like all those delicious things – I mainly get a rich, true chocolate scent, which is really quite scrumptious and pleasing; I ain’t gonna kick it out of the bath.

Fall Fandom Soaps

However, Cauldron Cakes – the dark brown bar – contains unrefined cocoa butter.  I’m going to assume that because the ingredient list does not include any sort of dye, the chocolate brown colour and gorgeous, true-to-life chocolate scent are coming from the unrefined cocoa butter.  And so I think because of its natural ingredients, Cauldron Cakes is not colourfast (if a bar of soap could be said to be such a thing.)  As such, its rich brown hue “runs” when wet; it suds up into a pale mocha hue and leaves rusty-looking water droplets all over your soap dish, counters and towels.  And like all bars of soap, it leaves bits of itself behind in the dish in between every use.  Gummy soap build-up is kind of gross; I submit it’s extra gross when your soap sheds oily shards of brown gunge with every pass, even if that gunge smells like sharp, slightly boozy chocolate.  It just looks like a wet log of poo sitting there in my soap dish, for real.  NOW I’m kicking it out of the bath.

I really hope the other two don’t succumb to Cauldron Cakes’ problem of too-much-hue, although neither Hobbiton Banana Bread (a slightly spiced and lightly fruity bakery blend) nor Butterbeer (fizzy cream soda) contain much pigment, so we shall see.  Fingers crossed, because they both smell so lovely, and overall, I just adore the consistency and formula of Dreaming Tree’s soaps; my skin feels so lovely and moisturized, without the need for additional lotion, and they suds up so satisfyingly.  I just wish those suds weren’t the colour of (wait for it, Jessica!) cat poo.

Fall Fandom Pumpkin

Sunny Days: A Little Haul Post

Sunny's Main Photo

I’ve sung the sweetly scented praises of Sunny’s Body Products before – they’re a favourite indie bath and beauty shop, and their cuticle oils are the only product I use on my nails. Seems we’re both low tech AND brand loyal here at Finger Candy HQ!  Then again, Sunny’s has given me no cause to stray – their products agree nicely with my skin, I’ve never received anything less than stellar customer service, and in combination with their absolutely gigantic scent list (over 650 wide-ranging fragrances) securing a new favourite is practically guaranteed.

But with the exception of a limited edition, Fall-themed box of bath and beauty items I bought some years ago, I’d yet to try any of Sunny’s products that weren’t cuticle oils.  So with a hot little discount code burning a hole through the ones and zeroes of my digital wallet, I marched off to Sunny’s aaaannnnnndddddd…promptly bought a dozen mini rollerball cuticle oils!  What can I tell you, you buy what you know. 😉  Also, eight of these are for friends (hence the unsightly hockey tape still snugly securing some of the lids.)

Sunny's Rollerball Lineup

Staying here with me (where I will give them a very good home) are the four rollerballs in the middle, Balsam & Citrus (astringent fir trees and juicy citrus; I’m really looking forward to using this one at Christmas), Poison Pie (an old favourite that smells like blueberries, cinnamon apples and flaky, buttery pastry), Pumpkin Crunch Cake (another oldie-but-goodie that smells like spiced yellow pudding cake) and Vanilla Snowflake (a take-my-money combination of icy peppermint, coconut flakes and sweet sugar cookies.)

The rollerball applicators themselves are lightweight, but sturdy enough you can stand them on their ends without them all toppling over.  Inside, the light combination of almond, jojoba and avocado oils mingle with just the right amount of fragrance oil, creating a skin-nourishing treat that I frequently press into double agent action as an allover fragrance.  As always, though, the best thing about these rollerballs – all of Sunny’s products, actually – are the labels.  I can’t imagine the work that must go into compiling all of these custom orders and then matching up the graphic design to each individual fragrance, but I do know I really appreciate the effort.  Half the fun of opening up a Sunny’s order is guessing what adorable labels will be wrapped around your items. My favourite from this go-round was Poison Pie, and yes, those are martini glasses and mason jars filled with eyeballs. 🙂

Sunny's Poison Pie Rollerball

But I didn’t just stop at the cuticle oils this time, adding a whipped soap and a donut-shaped bar soap to my order as well.  You know, for quality testing purposes!  It simply won’t do to have a control group of nothing but cuticle oils.  Simply won’t.

Sunny's Order Wrapped Donut

Scented with my all time favourite Sunny’s fragrance, Blueberry Cheesecake, both the whipped soap and the donut soap are sublime.  I’ve actually yet to break into the whipped soap (I have quite a backlog of bars to plow through first) although I like the frosting-like consistency of the glycerin-based blend.  And the scent?  Oof, it’s so delicious, and true to both the cuticle oil and the bar soap – the scent thankfully does not change from product to product.

Sunny's Blueberry Whipped Soap

And what of the adorable little donut-shaped bar soap?  About two days from retirement. Plans to go on a round-the-world trip with its wife once it finishes this one. final. JOB! Oh wait, sorry, think I’m getting my bath and beauty and police procedurals all mixed up.  A-gain.  But the soap *is* nearly finished.

Anyhow, if you can consider yourself to be any such thing, I was actually proud of this little donut – perched at the side of the bathroom sink, it lasted for three weeks, sudsed up nicely, moisturized well, remained scent true (and strong, such a rarity in a cold processed soap) and didn’t disintegrate into a soapy, goopy mess as it neared its final days.  Also, Sunny was kind enough to solicit requests for icing colours, so I went with the rainbow sherbet-like hues I use to decorate our apartment.

Sunny's Soap and Towel

So there we have it, another little Sunny’s order to enjoy alone AND share with friends.  I can’t wait until they get their cuticle oils – I’ve no doubt they’re going to love them, maybe enough to seek out some sweet little donuts of their own.  But no matter the recipient, this was another fantastic order from Sunny’s Body Products, and absolutely not my last.

Salted Caramel Yumminess

Salted Caramel Apricot Basket

Whenever I find a scent I really like from Bath & Body Works – a bit of a rarity, but when it happens, it’s usually a love affair for life – I almost hesitate to tell other people about it, lest they run off to the store, smell its fabulousness and then snatch up every single item in the shop that smells like, say, this fantastic new Fall fragrance, Salted Caramel Apricot. But I’m generous like that, and stealth is clearly not my thing – I just told you right in that first sentence there that I love this stuff!  Although I suspect I am not alone – on a field trip today to pick up a few reinforcements (something I never, ever do – I’m a real one-and-done-er) I found just a handful of Salted Caramel Apricot products to the dozens of other Fall releases.  Bit of a bummer, that, especially this early in the season.  Also a drag in that Bath & Body Works is somewhat notorious for discontinuing fan favourites, so Salted Caramel Apricot’s apparent popularity is no assurance that it will stick around. Bottom line: If you find any bath and body products in Salted Caramel Apricot, jump on ’em (particularly if they’re subject to one of those ridiculous “Buy 6, Get 9 Free” deals.)

Salted Caramel Apricot Basket Closeup

So what does Salted Caramel Apricot smell like?  Well, to me, it smells a bit like Bath and Body Works’ stores themselves – that pleasant, unidentifiably yummy bath and beauty shop scent.  Salted Caramel Apricot is a lot more than the sum of its parts, though – it’s a little bit fruity, a little bit warm, and the honey in the products themselves lends the fragrance a mild sort of floral note that I positively love in combination with all of the above.  It actually reminds me quite a bit of a favourite discontinued shampoo, Timotei’s Honey and Chamomile; both share that sort of sweet-fruity-grassy scent profile.

Salted Caramel Apricot Products

The Salted Caramel Apricot fragrance is available only in the body care line; no candles this time around. Sometimes that’s for the best – what works well on your skin does not necessarily translate to wax.  I nabbed a potent sugar scrub, creamy body wash and luscious lotion while the going was good, although I hope to nip back soon for doubles on all of the above, and maybe one of those cute fragrance sprays as well.  Wish me luck, I may have to fight someone for it (I shouldn’t joke; I’ve never seen such a thing myself, but to paraphrase Elton John, Bath and Body Works’ Semi-Annual Sale is Alright for Fighting!)

Plum Rain: A Mini Lush Review

Plum Rain Collage

With a matchy matchy mani.  But first the suds!  Which would be Lush’s delicious new shower gel, Plum Rain.

I’ve griped on this blog multiple times about the discord I think there is between Lush’s scent descriptions and the actual fragrances themselves.  Nine times out of 10 everything comes out smelling like powdery orange “drink.”  Or a musty floral I uncharitably describe as “granny’s unmentionables drawer.”

Plum Rain blessedly succumbs to neither issue, smelling precisely like its blend of vibrantly-scented ingredients – tart, juicy plums and a zesty, lime-leaning mandarin. Fans of Lush’s Layer Cake soap – I very much was one – will love Plum Rain; they smell quite similar, like cold, clear, freshly-squeezed glasses of juice.

Being a clear shower gel as opposed to one of Lush’s more colour-saturated shower creams, Plum Rain also doesn’t fall prey to the very real problem of staining the crap out of your tub and/or shower and/or skin, despite its deep and dark indigo hue.  It also made my hide feel a little more scrubbed-down than when I use a shower cream, a sensation I actually prefer – all evidence to the contrary, I’m not much of a product person, and I dislike the feeling of slippery, overly-moisturized skin.

Plum Rain Bottle

Ah, but that colour!  Great enough to mimic in this manicure featuring one of Enchanted Polish’s mystery lacquers from January 2015, which is the exact shade of Plum Rain (glittery bits excepted – none of those in here, you glitterphobes.)

039

Plum Rain is available online and in Lush shops right now.  This 100 ml bottle, which will last me the better part of the year (told you I’m not much of a product person!) retails for $10.95 Canadian.

What a Wonder: A Mini Lush Review

golden-wonder-collage

Okay, so I never particularly care for the scent of, well, any of these, and I always have a bit of a hard time watching $7.00 to $11.00 literally dissolve into glittery nothingness in my bathtub in less than a minute, but ding dang, Lush’s bath bombs – fizzy little orbs of multi-coloured sodium bicarbonate tenuously held together with good-for-your-skin essential oils – are just plain fun.  Far preferable to regular old water (although much like dosing your drinking water with flavoured extracts, you really ought to give plain eau de tap a go every now and then; the pigmentation in these things cannot be good for your delicate bits if you’re using them every day.)

But pretty!  And glittery, and colourful, and…okay, so I won’t comment on the smell.  They all smell like powdered (insert approximation of whatever the heck Lush thinks X smells like.)  Weirdly, though, I really like the smell of this pretty little bath bomb, Lush’s Golden Wonder.  Lush’s website tells me its scent notes and active ingredients include lime oil and bourbon extract, which…maybe?  Smells like citrus to me, which I quite enjoy.

Actually, I really enjoyed everything about this bath bomb, from its buttery yellow hue, to its dusting of gold mica, to its secret green and purple core.  I even loved the weird little ghost creature that popped up right toward the end of the bomb’s life cycle, eking out one final, bubbly gasp before dissolving into the glittery gloom.  Really, look at this odd little guy!  I think he looks like one of those swooping ghost baddies from the Super Mario games.  Or Mr. Boo Berry without his hat.  He don’t look like nothin’ now, though, because I sat on his face (in a completely non-sexual way, of course.) 😉

ghost-bubbles

The one thing I didn’t love about this bath bomb was that it, like so many Lush bath bombs I’ve purchased recently, dissolved totally in about 30 seconds flat.  And while I recognize that there’s more to bath bombs than the wow factor (this one was super moisturizing and turned my bathwater the coolest shade of glittery moss green) their main job is to put on a big show.  And when you’ve barely had time to whip out your camera, not drop it in the tub and fire off just a smattering of photos before everything’s said and done, well, that’s not very good value for your money (in this case $6.95 Canadian.)  All the same, the Golden Wonder bath bomb is one I would definitely buy again, should Lush bring it back next holiday season, with or without the little interloping ghost man!

golden-wonder-in-bath-collage

Fall Fun Series: Hand and Nail Care

fall-nail-care

I’ve mentioned on previous occasions that, quite oddly for a nail blogger or just, you know, a human, I’m not much for beauty stuff on my hands.  Lotions?  Hardly use ’em.  Masks and treatments?  Only every now and then.  Hand creams?  Whazzat?  So when the most recent prompt in the Fall Fun Series called for the participants to highlight a favourite body care item, I was flummoxed – my hands-off approach to nail, skin and body care effectively means I have none!

Then I remembered that I still have a number of seasonally-scented items from a themed box I purchased from Sunny’s Body Products two years ago, and best of all, they’re all in perfect condition – the fragrance oils haven’t gone skunky, the creams bear no discolouration and a patch test raised no red, bumpy alarms.  I’d say these oldies, but goodies, are all cleared for takeoff, to slightly muddle my metaphors.

Fall Box

If you’d like to see what I had to say about the Fall box in its original form, you can find that post here.  Of the remaining items – intensive cuticle oil in Caramel Apple, sugar scrub in Autumn Mums and cuticle balm in Pumpkin Crunch Cake – I’m most excited to press the cuticle balm into action as a super emollient foot cream. And the scent?  Divine. It actually reminds me very much of this white cake my grandmother used to make with hard boiled caramel icing – buttery, pudding-y vanilla.  Oh, yum.  And while I can’t say I loveity love love the scent of the Autumn Mums sugar scrub, it’s pleasant enough and quite tolerable.  And the dabber-topped cuticle oil in Caramel Apple?  A wonderfully-scented version of the only nail product I use with any regularity. A definite keeper.

New-ish this year is a KB Shimmer mani shot in Pumpkin Spice.  Tiny, fizzy bath bombs for your hands, feet and nails, mani shots were a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fad.  I received this little guy as a gift with purchase, which seems about right – I’m not sure I’d lay out money specifically for a mani shot, cute though they may be. But in years past, this is right about the time my hands and nails begin to suffer for my lack of a decent skincare regimen, so I’m willing to give this mani shot a shot, and indeed all of these “lost” Fall items, now on their second lives. 🙂