I'm so behind! I have been finding time to take baths, but I guess I haven't been finding time to write about them.
First, I have to give props to a Lush product, even though I hate them now. I recently tried Lush's Figs & Leaves soap for the first time (it was from an old order and I didn't realize I still had it until I found it while looking for something else). It is excellent. It smells great and it's really, really moisturizing. I found the bits of fresh fig sticking to the outside of it kind of nasty, but they peeled right off. It's a little bit exfoliating, but not too much. I just love it. Too bad my $7.25 bar has lasted like five showers.
On to happier subjects, I've tried products from a couple more of Lush's competitors. Given that I was so excited about the independent nature of some of the places I'd found online, I decided to dig even farther down into indie businesses and see if I could find some good stuff coming out of somebody's kitchen or something. So I hit Etsy and started browsing around, eventually making orders from three shops (note that this was before the whole not shopping thing). Two of those orders have arrived and been tested, and here's what I think:
Run by a young woman in my home town of Portland, this shop makes body butters, bath bombs, hand salves and (oddly) candy. The products are made without dyes and using only organic materials, and everything is vegan unless stated otherwise. I placed an order for one of the 12 oz giant bath bombs ($4.95), with a "be calm" dead sea salt, lavender, and peppermint blend; two regular 6 oz bath bomb ($4.50) in the cherry lemonade scent, and a Valentine's Day special 12-back of tiny fruit-scented "bath fizzies" ($4.95). As the stock is ever-changing, none of these products are in the store right now.
My order came quickly and was mercifully low on excess shipping paper and junk that would just have to be thrown away. The enclosed note told me that the proprietess was out of the smaller cherry bath bombs I'd ordered, so she enclosed two of the giant size instead (score for me!). Unfortunately, the bare-bones wax paper packaging didn't do much to protect the product, and the two cherry lemonade bath bombs were pretty much smashed. No problem, I poured them into a jar and used them anyway.
The products are nice, with no additives or non-organic shit in them. They make for nice soft water, and the scents are soothing and not artificial. The cherry lemonade scent is particularly pleasant. However, the all-natural scents fade very fast, and I felt like I needed to use a greater amount of the Blue Wool Organics bath bombs than I did of other similar products (for example, the 12 oz bombs are only good for two baths, when I would have expected three). Also, shipping costs were very hefty, with my $14.48 worth of products costing $11.25 to ship. I probably won't order again.
My order from the Ontario-based Rainforest Soap Shack took a bit longer than the Blue Wool Organics order to arrive, but it was very worth the wait. This shop offers a great deal, a half dozen of what they call bath blasters (4 oz one-bath bath bombs) for $15.00 (they also sell individually for $2.99 each). They can even be all different scents, and there's a long list to choose from. The blasters are fizzy and moisturizing, made of dead sea and epsom salts, sweet almond oil, and shea butter. I doubt the colors or all of the scents are natural, but the one I tried last night, Grandma's Kitchen, was a perfect mix of vanilla and spices that made me feel like I was bathing in a pie.
As a bonus with my order, which came well wrapped and labeled, I got small samples of this Pretty in Pink soap and great-smelling body whip, as well as a cute rubber ducky. Shipping on the $15 order was $8, making the whole parcel very cost-effective for this kind of thing. I'll quite likely be ordering again.
The third shop from which I ordered, Downtown Bath and Soap, hasn't sent my order yet. Or rather they have, but they for some reason got it back. Damn postal service. Anyway, they emailed me about it and were very apologetic, and said they'll include some freebies and mail it again. I can't wait!