Tuesday, 29 November 2011

There's a new love in town.

I don't quite know how to start this blog entry, because I have an entire swarm of words and thoughts buzzing in my head currently and it feels like everything is trying to squeeze out all at once...

Hmmm. Maybe we can start with Love.

I have found a new love in my life. And I find myself thinking about it, wanting to be close to it every single day and above all scheming of ways to get more of it. Every night I go to bed with it, and the first thing that I see when I awake is my 'love' right beside me in the mornings. It comforts me, soothes me and best of all, induces endorphins (at least that's how I feel lol)... what more can a girl ask for? ;)

Do I kiss and tell? Oh for sure... it's Moonalisa's Lavender Chocolate cocoa creme.

From my previous blog entry a while back I had made a purchase from Moonalisa after my curiosity got the better of me. And ever since receiving my items about 1.5 weeks back, I've been using her items exclusively every single day. Lavender Chocolate is my current must-have scent now, and it is one of the best (if not the best) bakery scent out there that I've ever had the joy of coming across. It is so realistic that I can envision myself eating the soap and digging a spoon into the creamy, silky and oh-so-whipped texture that is the cocoa creme.

The texture of the cocoa creme is unrivaled by any other. It has that milky, melted ice-cream consistency that just makes you want to slather it all over your body from the first time you pop open the jar. Beautifully scented, and yet without the greasy feel that most body creams or body butters are prone to. It sinks in beautifully into my skin and the scent staying power is approximate to 3 hours and possibly more although by then I'm usually fast asleep so it's difficult to pin-point a specific duration.

Along with the body creme I had managed to get my hands on a couple of Moona's soaps. Now I've had the pleasure of trying from many wonderful soapmakers out there who have crafted soaps that are so beautiful that they are considered pieces of art instead of soap. However, there is a special category that my Lavender Chocolate and Campfire Tales soaps belong to - Masterpieces. Every now and then I meet a company that makes such wonderful and great quality products that I classify them under my House of Soap Fame. Basically companies that belong to this category make soaps that are great quality (lather, texture, creaminess, moisturizing, gentle) but are also very original in terms of design and especially scent blends. It's really something else when a soapmaker is able to blend their custom scent to such a perfection that almost everyone loves that scent. To me, that's just in an entire different league altogether because more effort and fine-tuning is often required for the scent blending process.

Lavender Chocolate is nothing short of sensational. In terms of Lavender I tend to prefer the FOs (fragrance oils) as opposed to the EOs (essential oils) because the the latter usually gives me a headache. The scent description reads: Delicious real cocoa absolute and real Lavandula Angustifolia (true English lavender) essential oil make this bar refreshing and decadent at the same time. So it was a real surprise when I found myself loving the Lavender in this blend because it's such an amazing Lavender! The first whiff will be Lavender, and almost immediately the Chocolate comes through. It's a 
rich chocolate scent with a tad of milk mixed in, and it's very realistic. 

Campfire Tales is as the name suggests - chocolate and marshmallows. The scent description reads: A smoky velvet layer of marshmallow filled toasted graham crackers, smeared with rich melted milk chocolate and a tiny dusting of ground nuts. Marshmallow is another scent that I am not fond of because my experiences with it usually meant that I would be getting heavy milk and vanilla notes, both of which do not sit well with me. The hot and very humid climate that I live in just does not make scents like these flattering at all when worn during daytime or even at night unless it's an air-conditioned room and one is absolutely not going out afterwards. Most chocolate and marshmallow scented soaps that I've come across do not possess the complex layers of scent that true chocolate has, and instead smells kinda shallow (if that's the appropriate word to use lol) and flat. Moona's Campfire Tales is the exact opposite. The rich notes of chocolate and nuts can be detected and it feels like many different notes emerge when I sniff it longer. What a wonderful way of experiencing a scent! I adore soaps that have that unique quality, where different scents emerge one after the other and it's like an orchestra of smells! :D

Of course one of the things I love most about the soaps is that they do not turn into a sludgy mess in the shower. I always test my soaps and leave a sliver to see how they dry up or how long it takes. With these goodies they stay intact and the scent strength does not fade one bit. I left it in the shower for 3 days and it was still intact even when in contact with water and the scent was still amazingly strong afterwards. 

Overall, I am beyond pleased with my purchase and will definitely be buying more from Moona. Yes the TAT (turnaround time) is longer, and the shopping experience is insane at least. BUT, think about it... for 20 minutes of your time, you get one of the best quality products out there in terms of performance, scent and aesthetics. Surely that's worth it.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Another Hit-and-Run!

7.30am (GMT+8; EST 7.30pm).

So here I am again, sitting at my table prepping myself for the Haunt Beguiling Bath & Body online store to open its doors at 8pm EST. Apparently this store's shopping experience is very similar to Moona Lisa's, so needless to say it's gonna be another hectic half hour.

Similarly, there was a preview before the official sale but Erin was unable to set up the preview on time because of technical difficulties. So by the time the preview was on, it was in the wee mornings for me... think 4am THAT sort of time.

8.15am. Site was still under maintenance. Hmmph.
8.25am. No products despite refreshing page countless times. Best get some coffee.
8.36am. 3 products that I wanted were all gone. Sigh.

Not complaining though, it was my own ruddy fault that I stepped away. But I didn't want to sit at the com refreshing my page when the store was already late in opening its doors and didn't give any sign that it was gonna be delayed much longer. Lesson learnt. Incidentally, announcements are posted on Haunt's blog, and there isn't a Facebook page from what I know.

The inventory comprised of 3 pages, most of it were lip balms aka. Lusts and body polishes. There were some soaps which were sold out quickly, and only 1 listing of whipped butter comprising of only 3 scents. I didn't manage to get a SINGLE pot. It was gone in a matter of seconds. Erin had mentioned that the store was to remain opened until Sat midnight EST. However, I really don't see how that's gonna happen unless she restocks. Most of the items will be gone within 2-3 hours tops.

There was no availability bar listed for each item, so you have no clue whether you have any chance at all in getting your hands on this item so it's purely based on luck. Another hit-and-run session for me... frankly I'm getting a little tired of shopping experiences like these even though it's only my 2nd time. I like to be able to take my time to read the stuff and buy things that I actually want, rather than adding products into my cart because NOTHING else is available. It's like buying for the sake of buying isn't it?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

There's always a first for everything.

There is a bath and body company out there that intrigues me greatly. This company relies solely on word-of-mouth for business; does not do any YouTube videos or discounts (not to my knowledge); nor does it sell products all year round. The TAT (turn around time) is 4-6 weeks (usually more) and her Facebook page is used mainly to show photos of past creations rather than for promoting her business with sales or discounts. Her main website crashes when she is finally opened for business due to the overwhelming number of customers dying to get their hands on her products and it has been known that your shopping cart items could be 'stolen' by others because it does not have a 'hold time' feature.

And yet despite all these...
                               her soaps sell out within 20-30 mins ever time the sale starts; other popular bath & body products like her lip butters, Potion lotions, Cream Scrub Parfait and 4-in1 suds sell out within 30-45 mins.

Which company is this? It's none other than Moona Lisa.

Folks who have tried products from this company swear allegiance to it and there is almost a 'cult-like' following to this company. I have not read a single bad review of this company before and those that I've talked to love Moona's products to pieces and say that the long wait is worth it. Check out her Face Book page and you will find it flooded with people thanking the creator for the wonderful items she has made. It is incredible just to read the comments!

Recently Moo (known more commonly by her fans) launched a Halloween collection on 18th at 9.30pm & 19th Sept at 6.30pm. For me, that translates into 12.30am and 9.30am, but luckily I suffer from insomnia so I'm usually awake at most hours.

Prior to the sale, I had spoken to a friend who told me how to shop 'correctly' when the sale hits. I am very grateful to this person, because without her, I would not have gotten my hands on a single item at all! One of the tips was to log in immediately when the sale hits ie. on the dot. If the sale is due on 9.01am, you MUST log in at 9.01am if you wish to secure any items at all. Secondly, get familiar with the scent descriptions beforehand (homework is required before purchase lol) so that when the sale hits, you do not waste time running through the scent list because by the time you are done, the chances are, nothing is left. Thirdly, 15 minutes before the sale hits, the website will be down for maintenance, and when it is almost the sale time, you need to REFRESH your page every few seconds so that you do not miss out. Crazy huh?

On the first day of the sale, I sat at my table prepared. I had done my homework, plugged in the power charger, had my list of items ready and my cup of coffee by my side. True enough the site went down for maintenance. I sat in my chair brimming with excitement, waiting to see how true / insane this experience would be (I secretly did not believe my friend when she told me the level of insanity it was)...with my fingers poised to click the refresh button.

12.28...12.29...12.30am. I clicked refresh.

It felt like a battlefield. I could not see the mob of women sitting out there in the world desperately adding Moo's products into their carts, but I certainly could sense their presence, and more importantly I could witness them in action. The first item on my list were soaps (duh!) and in that 1 min that I lost (slow fingers), there were only 1/6 of the quantity left as shown in the availability bar. *Faint*

This was when I knew that I was not gonna end up with anything if I didn't get to it.

12.32am: Yours truly was desperately trying to add her stuff into her cart but everything she wanted was gone (either being held in another's cart or sold). All the scents I had diligently narrowed down in my homework were gone, and the popular items like scrubs, soaps, lip butters were selling out by the seconds. This was definitely turning into a nightmare.

And of course, I panicked. So I started adding ANYTHING I could get my hands on into my cart, regardless of the scent / product. As long as I could get my hands on something, I would have considered myself victorious that night.

I ended up with 6 items that night, NONE of which was a scent I picked, and there were doubles of items that I did not consider to buy either. Feeling rather disappointed with myself and the sale, I decided to try my luck the next day.


19th Sept, 9.30am (my time) / 9.30pm EST:

Deja vu. I sat again at my table, fingers poised, determined to get at least 3 items of my choice. REFRESH. Click.

Instantly it was madness all over again. Ever watched one of those sci-fi movies when a spaceship does a hyper jump only to emerge right smack in the middle of a war in space with hostile forces firing left right and center? This was exactly how it felt like. Immediately the furious adding of products into my cart began and the desperate attempts to secure my items along with possibly hundreds of women out there in the world.

You would think it was gold or something LOL And yet, there is something thrilling about all this fervor and experience, imagine tons of women out there at the SAME time, logging into the SAME website, trying to add the SAME items into their shopping carts within a matter of half an hour. For that brief moment, everybody is equal and you feel connected (albeit in a strange sort of way) to all the women out there who are in it with you.

My spoils for that evening - 12 items of which most were items that I wanted and in the scents I chose. My battle lasted 15 mins for me, and I checked out in 5 mins. The shopping cart has a hold for 30 mins only, after which all your items will be 'stolen' by others and you will have to restart the entire process with huge chances of having nothing much left to choose from.

Similar to the first day, the popular items sold out within 30-40 mins, however the rest of the items lasted a little longer. Towards the end day, Moo posted a message on FB that the site will be closed and no further purchasing is permitted.

How would I sum up my experience and my advice for those of you who, like me are newbies to Moona Lisa but yet wish to partake in the madness?


Never before have I ever gone through such a shopping experience, but there's always a first time ;)

Monday, 12 September 2011

It's been a while...

It's been a while since I last blogged because so many things have happened. Went on two trips; both my dog and I got sick; and now a mini re-painting project of the house by myself. Between making YT videos and replying comments as well as personal messages, I just have no time to blog :( Sorry everyone...!

Naturally during this period even though I did not blog, it doesn't mean that I ceased my shopping on soap lol! That'll never happen I assure you all :P

Of late I've bought from several other companies but there is a particular one that I really wish to highlight. This soapmaker has been making soaps for more than 10 years and is one of the nicest soapmakers I've ever had the pleasure of purchasing from. Her name is Kimberley and the company's name is My Nature's Art.

During my recent purchase from Kim (which incidentally is my second time doing so), I decided to buy more of her fabulous foaming sugar scrubs (as presents to my aunts) as well as try out her latest Fall Collection. Many soapers have developed a theme for Fall/Halloween and created stunning soaps centered around the theme. Kim's theme for this year is inspired from HBO's series True Blood, Harry Potter and a range called Dark Dreams.

My Nature's Art Foaming Sugar Scrub

Kim's scrubs are one of the best out there. The best part of buying her scrubs is that I am able to customize how thick I want the consistency to be; how well it foams and the scent strength. My personal preference is one that foams well and has gentle scrubbing abilities. These are not harsh on the skin and provides a soothing massage for the skin too. I love scrubs that do not leave me red all over; strip my skin squeaky clean; or leaves a greasy layer after washing it off.

Chai Tea is a soothing scent that encompasses notes of warm tea and slight spice, topped with a tinge of citrus in the background, almost like that of a grapefruit. Overall it is one that I feel works for both warmer and colder months.

Goddess Dancing is another scent which is outstanding. Green apples and citrus with notes of berries fill your nostrils when you pop the jar, after which a sweet candy-like scent emerges...making this scent utterly wonderful! It is one of those happy, cheerful scents.

Kim's scrubs come in two sizes - 4oz or 8oz. There is also an option to purchase 3 (4oz) for $19.99, which is a pretty good deal considering the quality of the product. Her scrubs are colourful, with pretty sugar crystals sprinkled on top to complete the look. Overall, it really is a bath product that should not be missed!

My Nature's Art website: http://www.mynaturesart.net/store/
Kim's YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MyNaturesArt

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Honey Bee Line from SCENTSational Soaps

Being blessed with pimples and acne since high school meant that I had to constantly search for products that could solve my skin woes. I spent alot of money on products that didn't work, and soon after started seeing dermatologists in hopes of curing my acne problem that was clearly making my life miserable. It was only when I was much older than did my skin starting clearing up, but the continued use of bath products that were purchased at drugstores or inappropriate products resulted in having breakouts on my chest and back areas.

Last December I came across several videos on YouTube that featured a soap company called SCENTsational Soaps. Right from the start Sarah's (owner & soapmaker) Propolis & Honey soaps from her Honey Bee Line caught my attention. There are not many handmade soaps out there that contain Propolis or having Honey as the predominant if not main ingredient. The benefits of Propolis and Honey are often advertised in many beauty products but I have not come across one that seemed to be truly natural and organic.

Propolis Soap 
Honey Soap

Both soaps are deemed ideal for skin conditions such as eczema, acne, wounds, itch and many more skin conditions. I decided to take the plunge and try out both soaps hoping that it would at least help to control my breakouts on my chest and back areas. 

It cleared my skin within 1 week. 

In all fairness, I will not deny that both soaps are very strongly scented and it smells more of a herbal soap than the usual fragrance oil soaps that I've been used to. At the beginning I was not thrilled at all with the medicinal scent because I lean towards fragrances instead. In time, I grew to love the scent as it transformed into a scent that was soothing and represented goodness for my skin. Regardless, there are some BIG points about these soaps that soon made me feel that they ought to be a household staple. 

Quality: Smooth to the touch and pumped full of essential oils and real Honey and Propolis.

Lather: Rich foam that is similar to whipped cream on top of a Frappaccino. 

Moisturizing: Great balance. It is suitable for BOTH dry & oily skin.

Design: Neat edges and with a realistic Honeycomb effect embedded on top.

Feel on skin: Had a cooling effect on the skin after shower. Perfect for summers. 

Benefits: Cleared my chest and back acne. Skin felt smooth, balanced and clean. 

The Honey soap had tiny seeds within that provided a gentle exfoliating effect. I'm not entirely fond of the seeds because it felt scratchy as the soap bar wore down from use. However, the soap itself is fantastic. Definitely worth purchasing!

After my success with both soaps, I decided to purchase more Propolis soap for my cousin who suffers from eczema. She loves the soap. To date, it is the ONLY soap that does not bite her wounds when she showers. That's saying alot considering that she has tried so many soaps / cream baths recommended by skin specialists to no avail. Within 2 weeks the open wounds had healed with a whitish-looking scab covering it. And 3 weeks later, the wound was completely healed. Feedback received was that Propolis soap minimized her scratching tendencies at night. 

I'm not saying that Propolis soap is a definite cure for eczema. That would be unrealistic and inaccurate. What I'm saying is that it is an excellent soap that does not irritate the skin and people with eczema like my cousin are able to use it. What I'm also saying is that this soap is great for itch reduction, which means that the skin has a higher chance of healing since the wounds are not constantly reopened from scratching. 

To date it has been 6 months since I've started using Propolis soap and so far, my skin is loving it. Breakouts are almost non-existent or controlled. It feels good!

So take a chance, buy some Propolis soap or any of Sarah's Honey Bee Line soaps. Your skin will thank you for it :D

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Problems with replying to comments on blog

I've received some comments from the lovely folks who are reading my blog but for some reason I was unable to reply any of your comments :( So I googled for help and found a way. The problem is that it wiped out all my existing comments previously made by my followers. Argh!

Apologies if your comments are removed. Please just comment when you can and hopefully I will be able to reply you from now on.

For those who are experiencing similar problems, here is a thread to help you out -

Thank you for posting your lovely comments here, keep them coming! I love to chat :D

Friday, 20 May 2011

Future Primitive Bath & Body Dispensary

There are soaps, and then there are Future Primitive Soaps made by Tiggy.

These are some of the most original and creative cold processed soaps I've ever had the pleasure of using really. Rich creamy and thick white foam greets me in either hot or cold water without fail. Tiggy's soaps are truly a necessity for every household.

Located in the UK, Tiggy draws inspiration from the natural surroundings to make the wonderful soaps that clearly contain a bit of nature in every piece. Most of them contain essential oils instead of fragrance oils, while every single one is vegan and handmade with plenty of passion and painstaking effort.

Because most of the soaps are made with essential oils, they are not going to be your typical fragrances that can be found in the majority of the handmade soaps out there. It isn't something that you can categorize simply as floral, fruity or bakery but instead, each piece is so differently unique that it seems rather unfair to merely slot them into these categories when they are clearly much, much more than that.

Take for instance the infamous Herbaceous soap. This is such an unbelievably magnificent soap that is clearly inspired by nature. This soap showcases Spring in Action - with the soil, pebbles, sunlight, green shoots and petals all encased in a soap! It is breathtaking really. Scent notes include thyme, rosemary, lavender & marjoram with a splash of lemon. Incidentally, this is one of the soaps that I feel is essential for every household because it is so soothing for one's senses especially when feeling unwell. This is also the soap that I literally run for whenever I am down with flu or fever.

Herbaceous Soap

Another highly recommended soap is The White Witch. This is the very first soap that Tiggy made and till this day it remains her best seller. Scent description reads black Indonesian Patchouli, balanced with the prettiest floral Bourbon Geranium. This is a non-intrusive scent that is sure to go well with most people and I cannot imagine anybody not liking this because it's just one of those types that you can use any day at any time. A off-white coloured soap with a black stripe running through the top just gives the impression of simple white elegance. Sometimes less is really more.

White Witch Soap

And then there is the body whip. This is a body butter that glides on like frosting but sinks in almost instantly into your skin without leaving it greasy. It is excellent for dry skin but even for oily skin it is beautiful to use. My skin felt smooth, soft and had almost a powdery feel to it so it is suitable for humid and hot climates too. Rarely have I used a body butter that does not leave that greasy feel that can be quite unpleasant in tropical climates.

Body Whip
Body Whip

 So there you have it, my impression and an unbiased review of Future Primitive soaps. So if you are looking for a soap that's highly original in design, nature inspired, vegan and pumped full of essential oil goodness, look no further. Did I mention customer service is outstanding too?? ;)

Online Store: www.futureprimitivesoap.com
YouTube Channel: http://youtube.com/thefutureprim