The Secret Bathing Garden: A Haul Post

TBG Main Photo

Or not-so-secret, as here it is, in all its deliciously-scented glory. ūüôā

So it would appear that my previous protestations that I am not a beauty product person were weak efforts made in total vain, because you guys, look at all the pretty beauty products!  I bought so much!  Not one demonstrable ounce of willpower on display, not a one.  Birthday mad money very well spent.

This is the part where I’m supposed to scold myself for glorifying capitalism and mindless retail expenditures. Except it wasn’t mindless! ¬†For that you’ll have to check out this fun story of the time I narcotics-shopped my way into a $200 bounty of shimmery unicorn makeup. ūüėČ

But regardless of where you stand on the “My, that was a silly purchase” spectrum, I think we can all agree that these Bathing Garden items, a lovely treat facilitated by one of my sweet online friends, are absolutely beautiful and well-deserving of a SHOWING OF THE STUFF. ¬†So let’s show it!

TBG Scrubs Collage

First up, we have four lovely sugar scrubs in, from left to right, Sugared Pie Crust, Tea Party with Alice, Fried Candy Donut and Parisian Strawberry Fields. ¬†Shannon, the mistress of all things Bathing Garden, makes the most gorgeous scrubs – they’re finely textured, beautifully scented and not too oily, perfect for everyday use. ¬†I tore through the two scrubs I purchased some months ago with great haste – not too surprising given that I used them (and continue to use them) to buff my tired tootsies every day as a nice little post-workout treat. ¬†I’m really the sweetest smelling, most well-exfoliated lass in the land. ūüôā ¬†These 8 oz. scrubs were $9.00 US each.

TBG Pie Time

Next up, I spy with my little eye something that is…pie! ¬†Regrettably non-edible, but that may be a blessing in disguise when you’re trying to stick to a healthy eating plan, and also when the items in question smell as delicious as this bundle of Sugared Pie Crust sweets. ¬†Not to get all rapturous on you or anything, but these items – the sugar scrub we saw before, a light lotion, a wax clamshell and that adorable little lattice-topped pie slice – smell like sex on stilts. ¬†Sugared Pie Crust, you incredible bakery beast, where have you been all my life?!

Here’s the part where I killjoy all over your piqued interest by noting that this scent is no longer available. Offered as part of The Bathing Garden’s monthly featured scent bundle, Sugared Pie Crust was a bit of a one-and-done (or a one-and-done…for now; these popular scents tend to make annual reappearances.) ¬†The items in each bundle vary slightly from month to month (May’s featured the most adorable little popsicle-shaped wax tarts and a lush whipped soap) but this particular assortment of goodies retailed for $18.50.

TBG Tea Collage

Then following pie time comes tea time – a playing card-shaped wax tart and a tri-layered sugar scrub in Tea Party with Alice, a honeyed tea, clotted cream and strawberry jam fragrance. ¬†Both items are beautiful (even the scrub, with its sadly melted rosebud embellishment) but I’m quite undecided on the scent. ¬†To my nose, the honeyed cream and tea layers combine to create something unpleasantly sour and astringent – it’s an odd combination somewhat redeemed by the rich strawberry jam scent. ¬†The sugar scrub, which we saw above with its yummy sisters, was $9.00, and the gorgeous tri-layered tart, sprinkled with beautiful eye-catching embellishments, was $3.00.

And since no Bathing Garden order would be complete without at least a few clamshells, I picked up some of those. ¬†Plus, you know, nine or 10 others. ūüėČ ¬†These clamshells were $3.75 each.

TBG Clamshells 1 LabelBare Collage

Representing Team Brown, we have Fried Candy Donut, a favourite wildberry donut scent, Eat Me, a complex, beguiling blend of what I swear is chocolate and wood shavings, and that glorious Sugared Pie Crust fragrance, on whose many delicious-smelling qualities I have already expounded.

TBG Clamshells 2 LabelBare Collage

From the recently-retired Spring Collection, we have Sweet Green, a bracingly strong blend of mint, clover and other grassy things, Pomegranate Lime Sweet Tarte, a delightfully yummy fragrance that smells exactly like all four of those descriptors, and Spring Fling, a mild blend of citrus and cupcakes.

TBG Clamshells 3 LabelBare Collage

Next, we have three delicious new favourites, Cheshire Cat, a fun and fruity combination of lemon, raspberry and vanilla, Happy Un-Birthday, a not-so-basic blend of yellow cake topped with mounds of cotton candy icing, and Parisian Strawberry Fields, a super fresh and sweet-tart blend of strawberries and mangoes. Fantastic, all!

TBG Clamshells 4 LabelBare Collage

Finally, we have my three favourite clamshells of this order, both in terms of fragrance and aesthetics,¬†Clowning Around, an I-shouldn’t-like-this blend of popcorn, candy apples and cotton candy,¬†Knave of Hearts, a candy sweet blend of fresh strawberries and brown sugar coconut cake, and¬†Caterpillar Mischief, a sweet and creamy combination of mild coconut cream and apricot. Mushroom-induced fissure notwithstanding, just look at this gorgeous tart! ¬†It’s stupendously beautiful, even a tiny wee bit roughed-up. Tiny wax works of art.

Caterpillar Mischief

Finally-finally, we come to my favourite part of any Bathing Garden order, the free samples and fun little extras. ¬†I suspect I am not alone in my outright awe of Shannon’s generosity, which is second to none – at least one full size item of her choice comes with any order over $90.00, and that’s in addition to the many, many, many sample size items that routinely come with each order as delightful little enablers. ūüėČ

As this order was a little bit mine and a little bit my friend’s, we split the freebies roughly 50/50. ¬†There were, however, a number of scents that simply didn’t speak to me – that happens when 3/4 of the scents you like have the word “cookie” somewhere in their name. ¬†So I left those in the possession of my friend, who I¬†know will sniff and suss out their hidden depths and glories far better than I. ¬†So this bounty, which includes one of the full size sugar scrubs we saw before, represents just my half of the extras, and then just a fraction of those (wow, seriously, so many unintentional fractions in that last paragraph!)

TBG Freebies

Generously-provided freebies, clockwise from left to right, include a full size sugar scrub in¬†Parisian Strawberry Fields, a small tri-layered bundt in Cheshire Cat,¬†a sample size sugar scrub in¬†Knave of Hearts (ooh, this one is so delicious in a scrub, and that red velvet hue is to die for!), a small blue and purple bundt in Summer Twilight, a calming berry-lavender blend, a small green rosette in Summer Melon and Mint, a nose-tinglingly yummy combination of watery melons and mint, a large yellow coin in Bee Smitten, a light, honeyed floral, a small yellow rosette in¬†Happy Un-Birthday, a small pink star in¬†Guava Berry Gelato, a popular blend of creamy vanillas and sweet berries, a large pink coin in¬†Sweet Madi, which regrettably smells a bit like plastic disposable diapers (which is pretty rank, but I suppose you can’t win ’em all) and a small blue rosette in¬†Mid-Summer Song, which smells like a memory from my past that I can’t quite put my finger on right now, but which will undoubtedly come to me in the dead of night or some other thoroughly inconvenient moment.

So there we have it, another lovely Bathing Garden order that more than tickles my fancy – it also exfoliates, moisturizes and leaves my fancy smelling just divine, thank you! Secret no more. ūüėČ

Treating Myself: A Bathing Garden Haul

TBG Main Order Photo 190

I’ve noted in the past that despite all indications to the contrary here on this nail and beauty blog¬†where I talk about such things all the ding dang time, I’m not much of a product person. I never use intensive hair treatments, I rarely slap on a mask and body moisturizer is an only-if-I-remember-I-actually-own-any kind of thing. ¬†Come to think of it, I’ve been using the same brand and make of face wash for the past 22 years (Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream Cleanser, in case you were wondering.)

But with an upcoming milestone birthday (the one accompanied by all those obnoxious black balloons) and the gentle nudging of some dear blogger friends (lovely people, but terrible enablers with their gorgeously photographed blog posts!) and a completely bare beauty cupboard, I thought it was high time to treat myself to some beautiful bath and body care, Bathing Garden-style.

The Bathing Garden, an indie bath, body care and home fragrance vendor popular with the waxie set, does steady, year-round business turning out rotating themed collections of beautifully crafted scented wax and other bath and beauty products.  I have ogled their hoard-worthy wares for years.  Alas, with shipping restricted to the United States, this Canuck has been crap out of luck.  No Bathing Garden for me, eh?

No Bathing Garden, that is, until one of those dear blogger enfriendablers (rolls right off the tongue, don’t it?) allowed me to piggyback on her order, a random enough act of kindness before she also picked up the outrageous shipping as a sweet little pre-birthday treat. ¬†I was so touched. ¬†There are some truly lovely people online. ¬†If your Internet activity centres around Twitter or Reddit or YouTube comment boards, that statement will absolutely not compute, but kindness on the Internet can occasionally happen!

Anyway, enough with feeling all hashtag-blessed. ūüėČ ¬†Onward haul, right?! ¬†Let’s do this thing.

TBG Body 60

Starting off with the body care, you might be asking yourself what a not-a-product person is going to do with so much, uh, product. ¬†Well, I’m going to use it! ¬†Because I’m also one of those “if you’ve got it, use it” kind of people – it irks me when beauty products sit unused in drawers for years. ¬†That’s not going to be a problem with these goodies, though – I’ve already used up nice handfuls of both the sugar scrub and the lotion, and I’ve only had these items in my possession for a few days! ¬†Thank goodness reinforcements are now on the way. ūüėČ

TBG Sugar Scrub Collage

The scrubs I chose were both from the soon-to-be-rotated-out Circus Collection, Poppet’s Coaster Ride (actually a scrub/soap hybrid), a blend of strawberry peach jam, raspberry cake bites and lemon curd (ugh, I want to eat that, it sounds so delicious; it also helps not one bit that the lemon curd side actually looks like lemon curd!) and Clowning Around, a carny-approved blend of toffee apples, cotton candy, popcorn and layer cake.

I’m so in love with these scrubs, they’re beyond gorgeous. ¬†And that’s just the labels! ¬†The scrubs themselves feature a beautifully plush texture – like slightly damp Magic Sand – buff on gently and rinse away cleanly, leaving behind no oily residue. ¬†Best of all, despite sporting such lush, vibrant hues, they don’t stain your hide 12 different shades of turquoise! ¬†Victory! ¬†Clowning Around, the sugar scrub, was $8.00 US for an 8 oz. jar and Poppet’s Coaster Ride, the split parfait, was $12.50 for an 8 oz. jar.

TBG Soap and Lotion Collage

Suds and saturation came in the form of two more picks from the Circus Collection and one from the recently-retired Valentine’s Day Collection, Candy Carousel lotion, a sugary sweet blend of candy floss, apples and cake, Fried Candy Donut whipped soap, a lip-smackingly delectable wildberry bakery blend, and Coconut Crystal Cake whipped soap, which, to paraphrase my friend Julie, smells like a coconut if it didn’t know whether to be dessert or suntan lotion.

I haven’t cracked into the whipped soaps just yet, so I can’t speak to their sudsing power or their scrubbing bubbles, but the texture, which you can see in the above photos, is just divine – thick and rich, like buttercream frosting whipped into stiff peaks (there we go with that “do I eat it or wash with it?” thing again!) Coconut Crystal Cake’s delicate fragrance is unfortunately somewhat obscured by the soap blend used here; Fried Candy Donut’s robust berry bakery holds up much better. ¬†I really wouldn’t kick either out of bed, though. ¬†Each soap was $8.00 per 4 oz. jar.

The light lotion, here in Candy Carousel, looks deceptively thin and maybe even a bit watery. ¬†Looks aren’t everything, though, as beneath the surface lies a powerhouse moisturizer that soaks in quickly and dries down to a soft, touchable finish. ¬†This lotion was $8.50 for a 4 oz. container.

TBG Clamshells Collage

Ah, but did you really think I was going to stop with body care and 799 words? ūüėČ Not when there’s wax to be had, and certainly not when it’s this beautiful! ¬†Because this, this is what lured me in to The Bathing Garden in the first place – the gorgeous little details on these clamshells, to say nothing of the deliciously complex scent blends. ¬†These feel like such sweet little luxuries, I love them.

From left to right we once again have Poppet’s Coaster Ride, the wax version of the lemonberry curd scent featured in the parfait, Fried Candy Donut, also once again, which smells even more scrumptious in a scented wax, and Raspberry Hearts, a soft raspberry-vanilla that smells exactly like this skate shop I used to frequent as a teenager because that’s where all the cute and floppy boys hung out. ¬†Each clamshell was $3.75. ¬†And worth every penny when they’re as gorgeous as this:

TBG Poppet's Clamshell 132

In addition to their fantastic clamshells, The Bathing Garden also offers a number of their scents in adorable little shapes. ¬†Many of these shapes are pressed into service as super generous samples (more on that shortly) but a number are available for purchase. And in my world, if there’s something donut-shaped on offer, you just don’t say no!

TBG Shaped Tarts 140

From left to right we have two frosted donuts in Fried Candy Donut ($1.25 per .8 oz. tart), a glitter-embedded bundt in one of Julie’s favourite scents, Victorian Midway, a sweet, pumpkin-apple cake blend ($2.00 per 1.5 – 2 oz. tart) and a wee little dipped caramel apple in Nights at the Circus, a dupe of one of my mother’s favourite scents, Bath & Body Works’ Winter Candy Apple ($2.50 per 1.8 oz. tart.) ¬†I will never be able to melt any of these because they are just too darn cute.

TBG Samples Collage

Finally, let’s close this beast of a bathing beauty bonanza out with what we all came here to see – the free stuff! Of which, I don’t believe it can be denied, The Bathing Garden goes way, way above and beyond in providing. They are crazy generous, often providing dozens of samples, in addition to full size products. ¬†And this bounty – save one or two extras my friend snuck into the package – represents just my choice of items! ¬†We split the freebies (and the three full size samples) roughly 50/50. ¬†Perhaps I should upgrade that to wicked generous. ¬†So what freebies did I score?

In the top left-hand corner we have a beautiful little bunny tart studded with glittery hearts in Tea with the Queen of Hearts and a wee chocolate gateau in Eat Me.

In the top right-hand corner we have a pair of bedazzled and undoubtedly surgically enhanced lips in Kiss Me Silly and two swirly, twirly hard candies in Big Top Lemonade (top) and Tunnel of Love (bottom.)

TBG Samples 3 218

In the bottom left-hand corner we have, from left to right, a microbead-embedded Peep in Looking Glass, a speckled robin’s egg in Blackberry Fudge (actually a little gift from Julie), a pale-and-pastel Peep in Keep Your Temper, a grape-hued Easter egg in Lavender Vanilla Custard, an absolutely delectable little mica-dusted egg in Caterpillar Mischief (it came in that cute little chick cup!) and a ruby red Easter egg in Strawberry Nonsense.

Finally, in the bottom right-hand corner we have the body care items I chose, a full size body lotion in Cranberry Fig (I’m hoping the scent on this one blooms a bit, because right now all I smell is lotion) and a sample size scrub in Lemon Cheesecake (another one of those scents and consistencies that is seriously testing my “is this food?” boundaries.)

Phew! ¬†So there we have it, my first Bathing Garden order. ¬†Also, as of this afternoon, not my last – I went back for seconds on a few new favourites, and stocked up on a sweet stack of those wonderfully scrubby scrubs. ¬†I’ll be sure to share that gorgeous bounty with you when it arrives, though hopefully this time in fewer than 1450 words! ¬†And I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my conspicuous consumerism! ūüėČ