Monday, July 16, 2012

Review for Country Soaps by Marlene

This review is for an order from Country Soaps by Marlene, an Etsy shop selling handmade goat's milk soaps, shampoos, and other body products. I happen to be on the same Etsy team as her, WIST Moo Crew - all Wisconsinites! In fact she is based a mere 40 miles from me. I am also a Facebook fan of hers!

I ordered her natural deodorant in the Satsuma scent, which was on sale since the label was misspelled. I also ordered her goat's milk soap in Tangerine Twist. As a bonus, I received a thank-you gift of a small portion of Cucumber Melon scented shampoo bar. Here are my thoughts on these products.

Tangerine Twist Goat's Milk Soap

Upon opening the box and smelling the soap, I was at first disappointed. The tangerine was overpowered by a soapy smell. However, when I took it in the shower and lathered it up in my loofah, the tangerine smell was really let loose. It was very pleasant! This is the official description of the scent: "A refreshing blend of fresh, juicy tangerines, mandarin, and lemon, balanced with soft florals, mint, and sweet green herbs." The citrus was definitely the top note, with just a hint of herbs underneath. Because there are no sulfates, there wasn't a huge amount of lather, but it still did a wonderful job cleaning, and my skin felt lovely afterward. With some bar soaps, there seems to be a residue on the skin - this bar did not leave me with any unpleasant residue. Just a bit of rubbing into the loofah lasted for my entire body, and the soap washed out of my loofah easily.

All in all, I recommend this greatly!

Cucumber Melon Shampoo Bar

I have to admit something here - I am a professional shampoo and conditioner junkie. I love Paul Mitchell and Bedhead, Sexy Hair and Kenra. I worked in a salon for many years and thus received many many free samples. I'm finally running out of my stash, and I've been thinking about trying something more natural for a long time anyway. So finding this little thank-you gift was a nice surprise! However, because I am so used to my professional brands, I was totally at a loss as to how to use this. I tried to lather it in my hands without success. (Once again, the smell really came out when wet, and it was a pleasant, unobtrusive cucumber melon scent.) I did some quick googling and found a description of how to use shampoo bars: Getting the Most from a Shampoo Bar

As the article states, shampoo bars are better for those who are used to washing their hair less often. I am a daily shampooer, though I've been trying to cut that down to every other day. It's better for the hair and better on your wallet! How to apply the shampoo bar? Basically you will be pretending to comb your hair from front to back with the bar. Then lather it up. The article recommends to rinse and repeat. The bar does have conditioners built in, so the second time around leave the lather sit in the hair for a bit before rinsing. As the article points out, your hair will need an adjustment period to get used to this new routine!

The first time I used the bar, since I didn't know what I was doing, I didn't realize it had conditioners built in and so I conditioned it again. My hair felt very heavy and greasy that day. The second time, it seemed too dry afterwards, so I used some spray conditioner at the ends and was mostly pleased. I think I would like to try it a few more times before deciding if I would recommend this one or not. It is definitely an acquired taste, but if you have used bars before, I'm sure it's wonderful. I will have to practice with it some more and get back to you!

Satsuma All Natural Deodorant

This was on sale due to a printing error, but the product itself is just fine! This is the description of the smell: "The Japanese Satsuma is a unique, aromatic citrus fruit. Satsuma fragrance is a wonderful blend of orange, mandarin, mango, peach, lime, jasmine, and orange flowers. Energizing and intoxicating! This was not made with an essential oil but a Phthalate-Free & Nitro Musk Free Fragrance oil" I have to say I am absolutely in LOVE with the scent! Intoxicating is a correct assessment. Even my husband, who was skeptical of the whole idea of a "natural deodorant," admitted the scent was attractive.

I, too, was a little skeptical of natural deodorant, though I dearly wanted it to work. I've been looking for natural alternatives to my normal bath and body routine for awhile. I tried Secret Natural Mineral antiperspirant, but as you can see from this website, the ingredient list is pretty much the same as normal deodorant/antiperspirants. The ingredients of Marlene's natural deodorant are as follows: "natural bees wax, natural cocoa butter, coconut oil, castor oil, fragrance and corn starch." Seems to me like a much better definition of natural!

I put it on after my shower in the morning, and did a vigorous workout immediately after. The scent held up quite well, and there was minimal wetness. I did notice it starting to fail in the wetness department by the end of the day, but in the heat of the summer, I'd say it did a pretty good job. The scent was still there as well, though not as strong. It wasn't until I woke up the next morning that I could really tell it had all worn off.

All in all I strongly recommend this product as well, and in general I'm impressed with Marlene's work! I will definitely be purchasing from her again, and I hope you consider doing so as well!