Melissa Says: This is perhaps my favorite offering from LUSH so far. I absolutely am in love with the velvety, fresh scent. It's actually quite a bit more complex than the description sounds, and the orange isn't necessarily predominant at all (which I was happy about). It lingers on the skin beautifully, and even though personally I'd be more than happy to smell like this each day, I imagine for some of you this will be more well-suited as a hand soap (guests will probably love it, and so will you). In that capacity, it still gives you a kiss of scent but also lasts a bit longer. It's not overly-moisturizing, but not drying.
What They Say: "The calm and cleanliness of organic Rosemary and Melon in your hands."
Jen's Experience: I have always used Bath and Body Works hand soaps, but I've been trying to go a little more organic lately, and I picked up this hand soap on a recent trip to Whole Foods. I love this scent; it's the same one in their body moisturizer that I love so. The foaming was new to me (it's similar to dishwashing liquid that foams when you pump it), but it allows the tiniest bit of liquid to really work. It's been a great addition to my kitchen sink area, and I would highly recommend it for someone looking for a natural product to place beside your bathroom or kitchen sink.
Retail Price: $7.00 (KissMyFace.com or Whole Foods Market)
What They Say: "Yogurt. Nourishing. Dermatologically Tested. Dermatological tests show that yoghurt helps to improve the skin's appearance day after day and keep it looking young and healthy. The Cleo formula is enriched with corn oil which has an anti-oxidant effect and makes the skin softer."
Toya’s Take: I am intrigued by these Cleo soaps. I’d never heard of them before receiving them for review and I really like them! Both soaps lather nicely, rinse away cleanly and don’t leave your skin dried out, like many soaps I’ve used in the past. Even my husband has fallen in love and deigns to use them, though he thinks they smell just a bit “girly”. Girly or no, the soaps are great. The only drawback is that I expected my skin to feel a bit softer and moisturized, and that didn’t really happen. However, from what I can tell, they didn’t add to any dryness and flakiness and that’s good enough for me.
Retail Price: $1.95 for bar/$2.95 for liquid (on sale for $1.56 for bar/$2.36 for liquid now at drugstore.com)
Occasionally, I find a new product that redefines the concept of "Totally DeLush", the designation given to our highest rated products. With Tocca's Bath and Body products, I've found a whole line that is so fabulous it should have a category all it's own. Note that Stella, a blood orange scent, is also available in perfume. I will definitely be getting some of the fragrance to round out this line of products!
Tocca Body Wash in Stella
"An ultra-luxurious foaming bath gel that contains natural cleansing agents from olive oil, calendula flower extracts and honey. In the shower or in the tub, Bagno Profumato gently washes and thoroughly hydrates all skin types. Also available in Cleopatra and Florence."
Jen's Experience: I can't wait to use this product every day in the shower. The absolutely delicious citrus scent wakes me up and brightens my morning. The cleanser has a great lather that makes my skin feel clean. The hydrating ingredients feel like they really moisturize my skin, but they wash away nicely. And did I mention the fantastic scent?
Retail Price: $19.00 (Tocca.com)
Tocca Rich Body Cream
"A sumptuously rich body cream combining the benefits of natural ingredients such as cocoa butter and shea butter with our signature fragrances. Absorbs easily and leaves the skin soft and supple with a dewy glow. Also available in Cleopatra and Florence."
Jen's Experience: As with the body wash, the scent is a major selling point for this product. But that's not the only reason this product is fantastic. When I use it right out of the shower, the moisturizer melts right into my skin. It doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy at all -- I can put my clothes on moments after I apply it -- yet it works throughout the day. The scent lasts throughout the day as well. And the beautiful glass jar just tops off the whole package. This is handsdown my favorite body moisturizer. I feel like I should save it for special occasions or something, but I just can't resist using it every day.
Retail Price: $45.00 (Tocca.com)
"A gentle, moisture-rich bar soap that uses key ingredients like Kukui Nut oil, blue-green algae extract and vitamin E to hydrate, firm and repair skin, leaving it soft and glowing. Available in Cleopatra, Stella and Florence."
Jen's Experience: The first thing I noticed about this soap is that the bar is gigantic! And unlike other specialty soaps I've tried, it really lasts a long time and doesn't fall apart. The scent, as with the other products, is still heavenly, although not as noticable as with the body wash. The hydrating effects are just as good as that of the body wash, though. Had I tried this product alone, I would probably be raving about it, but I think I prefer the body wash if given a choice between the two.
Retail Price: $12.00 (Tocca.com)
What They Say: (about the Soap) "Our cream handmade soaps are made with the highest quality olive oil, shea butter, monoi de tahiti oil, fresh cream, goat milk, essential oil, and fragrances. The combination of fresh cream and extra shea butter gives this handmade soap a wonderful thick, silky, and creamy lather.
Unscented soap is always available to those who do not prefer any fragrance.
Designs may vary from batch to batch as our soaps are handmade and handcut.
Cream Handmade Soaps are sometimes referred to as Designer Soaps, due to the design and patterns of the Handmade Soap. 6 oz."
Melissa's DeLush Downlow: What I like about these lovely soaps are the pretty blocks of color and soft lather. Though they don't provide incredible moisture once you're out of the bath, they're still gentle and provide a nice clean feeling without residue. I also want to note that some of the scents in this line can be a bit strong and perfume-y, but others are pleasant. (I tried the Peaches and Cream, Dutch Apple Pie and Creamy Peppermint Sea.) I would recommend that you carefully look for something that sounds like what you'd enjoy. However, I believe many of the scents will appeal more to those who prefer the florals that predominate many of the options. Another option, of course, is to get the products unscented, as they offer.
What They Say: (about the Body Butter) "A little body butter makes everything better!
Especially this luxurious and natural formula of shea butter, monoi de tahiti oil, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, goat milk, vitamin E, and silk fibers.
Handmade with the finest quality of healing oils, butters, essential oils, and fragrance, our body butter is ideal for post-shower or bathing to seal in moisture, leaving you with healthy skin that immediately feels smooth and protected.
Once you start using Whipped Shea Monoi Body Butter you will wonder how you ever did without it."
Melissa's DeLush Downlow: That definitely sounded promising, but I must say I was disappointed with this product. The scent that I had (Gardenia Peach, described as "sweet and feminine tropical floral gardenia, paired with sweet juicy peaches") didn't strike me as sweet at ALL. In fact, I felt a bit bombarded with the floral part, and it wasn't very pleasant. I actually decided to try to wash it off after wearing it for a short amount of time because I felt like it was giving me a headache. Also, it appeared that there were tiny bits of sparkle on my arms after I applied it, which I can only assume were in the formula, though they were hard to see in the jar. Compared to some other body butters I've tried, this one didn't feel nearly as nice on the skin, either. Unfortunately, I think this is a product that needs to be completely re-formulated or simply eliminated.
(the Soap) $5.00
(the Body Butter) $15.00 (8oz) $25.00 (16oz)
(available at Maryam's Soap Nook online - which I also want to note is a bit cumbersome to navigate and could have a much cleaner look)
(the Body Butter)
Dirt Bag Soaps
Dirt Bag soaps handcrafts many different varieties of 100% natural soap, ranging from rough exfoliants to mild moisturizers, for all ages and skin types. Dirt Bag Soaps, LLC is founded by Dan Bollinger, a master soap maker in Brooklyn, USA, who combines his love of cooking with the art of soap making. His philosophy is that not only are natural foods healthy to eat, but that they're great for your skin, too. Therefore, Dirt Bag Soaps are made from ingredients such as: avocado, strawberries, carrot, tomato, wheat germ, green tea, cornmeal, slippery elm, milk, shea butter, Mediterranean red and green clay, and brown sugar. Other soaps use harmful or harsh oils, which leave a filmy or slimy feeling after use. Dirt Bag Soaps use olive, coconut, and palm oils along with essential oils, such as peppermint, lavendar, lemon, orange and grapefruit, leaving skin smooth, soft and fragrant with no greasy feeling.
Until this past year, Dirt Bag Soaps had been sold exclusively at craft fairs in New York City and out of the company's studio on Brooklyn. Due to the overwhelming positive response and increased demand, the company increased its production and now makes soap available to specialty stores in the New York Metropolitan area and beyond.
Visit Dirt Bag Soaps now at DontBeADirtbag.com
Melissa Says: Dirt Bag Soaps sent us 1)Milk/Brown Suga'/Lavender for mildly exfoliating and moisturizing the face; 2)Bee Pollen/Peppermint for face/body/soul; 3)Rasp.Straw.Cran.Berry.Patchouli for exfoliating hands; and 4)Shea Butter/Grapefruit for moisturizing the body/face.
All of these soaps were incredibly mild, with subtle scents that were anything but "fragrance-y" and that lingered pleasantly on the skin afterward. While they mostly leave the skin soft and clean, there is no lotion-like feeling afterward. If you prefer natural products when possible, and like light and earthy/non-perfumed scents, you may enjoy Dirt Bag Soaps' product line.
Milk/Brown Suga'/Lavendar: Soft and very lightly scented, leaving the face with a clean fresh feeling that did not feel tight and stripped of oils afterward.
Bee Pollen/Peppermint: Also quite fresh and clean-feeling..though if you have very dry skin this may not moisturize quite enough and you'll want to apply something afterward or use something else to begin with. This soap is meant to help supress acne as well, so if you have trouble skin, this may be for you. The peppermint scent is very uplifting.
Rasp.Straw.Cran.Berry.Patchouli: This would be a great soap to have in the bathroom that visitors use, because of the incredible mild patchouli scent that gently remains on the skin, as well as the fact that all those seeds makes it(forgive me for saying this, for it is cheesy) kind of a pretty soap. Though it is meant for exfoliating and getting dirt and grease off hands, this could become your favorite everyday handsoap.
Shea Butter/Grapefruit: This skin-softening soap is quite mild and with an almost imperceptable clean scent. If it had been a little bit more moisturizing I would have been happier with it, seeing as it touts the moisturizing benefits of shea.
Remember to visit Dirt Bag Soaps to order now at DontBeADirtbag.com Go here to find out about each of their varieties and what they are for. Go here to find retail locations near you. (Sorry, no international shipping yet!)