Friday, January 29, 2010

A Rave Review!

A while back, we brought our wares to my hairdresser in Haworth to create a retail location.

I called today to find out how things were going.  It just so happened that a woman who'd bought one of our When Life Hands You Lemons sugar scrubs was in the salon when I called, and said that she loved it!

We also brought Billy, my hairdresser, one of our Hair Dew shampoo bars to try for himself.  We didn't want him to be selling a shampoo without knowing he could endorse it, since it is a hair salon.

He told me today that he's been using it every day and loves it!  He asked, "Does it ever dwindle?"  Ha, a testament to the value of this shampoo, it lasts a long time.

I've got a cold and feel miserable, so the pick-me-up was that much more appreciated, and the reviews that much more good to hear.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

An Informational Interlude

Ever hear of Phenoxyethanol?  Yeah, neither had I.

We were researching online and taking a look at other soapers' ideas, products, and ingredients.  Among a list of organic ingredients used in American cosmetics, we found phenoxyethanol.  Eric and I both had some trouble pronouncing it at first, so he had to look it up.  We're curious that way.

What we found is frightening, at least to us.

Keep in mind, this ingredient is listed as organic and is therefore considered as acceptable in natural, organic items.  It's used by American cosmetics companies!  So what's so frightening?

If you look here, you'll see that it's known to cause:
Central nervous depression
Nausea, (excuse the impending grossness) vomiting, and diarrhea
Prominent headaches
Abdominal and lumbar pain
Acute renal (that's liver, folks) failure
and there's more.

Exposure methods?  Inhalation and dermal (skin) contact.  Interestingly, the site says, "If contact should occur, irrigate exposed eyes with copious amounts of tepid water for at least 15 minutes, and wash exposed skin thoroughly with soap and water.

That's interesting.  Now, keep in mind where we found this ingredient - on an organic soap website, being used in soap and shampoo!  You see the issue here?  Wash with it or wash it off?  Hmm.

There's a good debate regarding this chemical, found in many synthetic fragrances and used as a preservative here.

There's enough frightening information out there that we will not be using this chemical.  It also reinforces our decision to refrain from using synthetic fragrances and perfumes, since the chemical is present in many, and we'd have no way of knowing which.

Moral of the story?  Know what you're using!  "Organic" is not equivalent to "good for your" or even "safe."  As a face painting friend of mine in Minnesota is wont to say, habanero peppers are "non toxic," (and I'll add, that they can also be organic), but you wouldn't want to rub them all over your face!

It's Not Easy Being Green

OK, sometimes it is.  I am proud to announce that we have been approved by GreenPeople and have a listing in their directory!

What is GreenPeople?  It bills itself as the world's largest directory of eco-friendly and holistic health products and considers itself to be a community service.  Their motto is simple:  Buy Green, Sell Green, Be Green.

The requirement for listing in the directory?  That the store's products contain natural (nonsynthetic) ingredients or allowed synthetic ingredients as defined by the National Organic Program.

Reef Botanicals, because of our commitment to handcrafting only all-natural products, has qualified for a listing!

Among the items in their mission statement are their commitment to create a more compassionate world, to practice honesty in business, and to help like-minded people meet, network, support and empower each other to help us reach our potential.  They also care for safety, fairness, environmental protection, and accurate product labeling.  We can get behind that.

Kermit would be proud.

Monday, January 25, 2010

As Promised, One For the Girls

Shaving soap without the masculine smell! The very same recipe as our Clean Cut Shaving Soap, but scented with only lavender essential oil. This one is Smooth Operator Shaving Soap, a nod to those women who may let the men around them think they have the upper hand but know they're truly the smooth operators in the bunch.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Artist Spotlight: Part Four

I've got a problem.  My problem is that I honestly can't decide which photos to post in this Artist Spotlight because everything just blows me away.  I'm not exaggerating - Every.  Single.  Thing.  So this is going to be a picture-heavy post.

So, who's blowing me away so thoroughly?  Jolene Wolfe of Kitzbitz Art Glass in Middlesex, England.

Jolene makes and sells lampwork beads, including custom ones!

She also sells beadmaking sets and teaches classes in beadmaking.

Plus, she makes jewelry and sells that too!

As she puts  it, she melted her first glass rod in June 2007, set off the fire alarm and was evicted to the garden shed!  She's been smitten with bead making ever since.  She has been teaching bead making for about a year now and recently completed the renovation of her garden studio in Middlesex.  Since the birth of her beautiful baby girl she's now ready to give up the rat-race and make her passion for glass her full time job.  Her studio officially opened in February of 2009.

For those who don't have their own workspace, she even rents out her own studio.

To see her galleries, purchase bead making sets, get bead making information, contact Jolene, and see about taking classes or renting her studio, visit her website.

To purchase her beautiful jewelry, bead sets, and more bead making sets, or to order custom made beads for your own projects, visit her etsy store.

To see even more of her work, see bead making tutorials including photos, and learn more about Jolene and what she does, you want to visit her blog.

And if you want to buy other items with her glass on it, check out her cafepress store!

A Re-Introduction

I already told you about our Fizzy Bath Bars, but here's the visual!

Awaken is made with sea kelp in the mix for green specks and some wonderful properties it has.  It's scented with lemongrass, sweet orange, and eucalyptus essential oils, and is amazing for getting your mind going!

Romance is a pretty pink bath bar, containing cocoa butter and scented with geranium, clove, and lavender essential oils that combine to smell like roses!  It's still all natural - the pink comes from the bit of cocoa powder we've included, as well as some amazing freeze-dried powdered raspberry!  Yes, really!

And last, but not least, Serenity contains yellow kaolin clay for a nice creamy color and the wonderful properties of the clay.  It's scented with lavender and rosemary, for a heavenly relaxing scent that fills the whole room and turns your bath into a haven.

You Want Some!

Starting NOW, well... as soon as this posts, at any rate, the next ten orders on our site will include one of our NEW LIP BALMS!  Get kissable lips for Valentine's Day!

When you place your order, just tell us in the comments section which one you want.  If you can't decide and don't specify, we'll choose for you.  Each balm is selling for $5.00, so this is a very cool deal for our next ten customers.  Plus, it gives you a chance to check our our brand new stuff!

Here are your choices:

Chocolate Chip Mint...

It's full of luxurious olive oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and vitamin E, in a beeswax base.  Even better, it's made with real dark chocolate and peppermint essential oil for a chocolate chip mint taste and smell that's irresistible!

Orange You Glad I'm Your Honey...

Sweet orange essential oil gives this balm its wonderful scent, but it's the olive oil, almond oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, honey, and vitamin E suspended in the beeswax base that will save your lips from the cold winter wind.


Made with olive oil, almond oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, and vitamin E in beeswax, plus eucalyptus essential oil that's great for healing chapped lips and clearing your nose when you've got a cold.  Plus, it's a light sage green from the sea kelp we've added, known for its high vitamin and mineral content, antioxidant properties, and ability to confer elasticity.

and Totally Tasteless:

Our most basic balm is made solely with olive oil, grapeseed oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, and vitamin E to pamper your lips without all the extras and with no nut-based ingredients, even shea.  Do keep in mind that our equipment may have been in contact with nuts and nut products, so if you've got severe allergies be careful.

Jump on this one!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Even more new stuff!

I know, I know, it seems like we've got something huge and new going on every day. I feel the same way, believe me! It's all just moving so fast.

We've been busy! So busy that we haven't been able to take photos, but those are coming soon, I promise. In the meantime, we've made some new things for you to check out.  They're all up on the site, even though we haven't got photos, because we wanted them to be available to you.

Just in time for Valentine's Day and the need for kissable lips, we've got - count 'em - FOUR lip balms! Each is in a quarter-ounce pot, easy to use, easy to just chuck into a purse or a pocket.

The first is for those of you who are no-frills. The ones who shun the flavors and smells and reach for that original Chapstick. Our Totally Tasteless Lip Balm is all of the healing without the bells and whistles. Moisturizing oils, cocoa butter, beeswax, and Vitamin E are all you'll find in this one. We even stayed away from the almond oil and shea butter for those of you with mild nut allergies.*

*Note: Shea is a nut, for those of you who didn't know. Eric is a nut too, but he's not an ingredient so you don't need to worry about him. Also note, our equipment is all likely to have touched nut products, so those of you who have severe nut allergies should beware. The last thing we want is for you to get hurt.

Our second balm is the Eucalyptus.  Made with an assortment of moisturizing oils, as well as both shea and cocoa butter, beeswax, and Vitamin E, it started off great.  We didn't stop there, though.  Eucalyptus essential oil is both great for healing dry, chapped lips and for helping to clear your nose when you're stuffy.  So having it on your lips, right there beneath your nose, is perfect!  Is that it?  Oh no!  This one also has sea kelp!  Not only did it give the balm a really cool sage green color, but it also is loaded with vitamins and minerals, is full of antioxidants, and has elastic properties that are used in anti-wrinkle creams.  Top shelf!

Funniest name of the night goes to our Orange You Glad I'm Your Honey Balm.  This one's got all the oils, the beeswax, the Vitamin E, and the butters... but it's also got honey!  Honey is a natural antioxidant that's also got the ability to retain moisture, so it's perfect for a lip balm.  Scented with sweet orange essential oil, this one smells amazing too.

Last, but definitely not least, is the Chocolate Chip Mint Lip Balm.  It's got all the oils, butters, Vitamin, E, and  beeswax, of course, but this one's also got... wait for it... dark chocolate!  Yes, that's real dark chocolate melted into the recipe.  Scented with peppermint essential oil, I can't think of anything but ice cream when I'm wearing it.

Is that all that's new?, you ask.  Is that what she's so hyped about?  No, that's not all.

We already had, of course, the Clean Cut Shaving & Bath Soap.  You know all about that one.  Great soap, awesome close, smooth shave, but a pretty masculine scent, what with all the fir and patchouli involved.  What about the girls?  Yeah, what about them?  Well, now we're covered too!  Our new Smooth Operator Shaving & Bath Soap, made from precisely the same recipe so you get all the benefits, is scented with 100% lavender essential oil for a more woman-friendly experience.  It doesn't leave the guys in the dust, though.  Lavender may be a flower, but it's probably the most guy-friendly flower around.  I promise, using Smooth Operator, even if you're a man, won't get you beat up on the playground.

We done yet?  Nope, not quite yet.

I've been dying to try bath bombs... or rather, our version, which are Fizzy Bath Bars.  Remember those awesome soap molds my sister and brother-in-law got us for the winter holidays?  It occurred to me that those would be perfect for Fizzy Bath Bars!  So I was really dying to try them.

In fact, I did try some a while back.  There's a reason you didn't hear about it.  It's mostly because they were not a success.  See, I'm not a patient person.  You could say, and still be accurate, that I'm a fairly impatient person, in fact.  Rather heavy-handed.  A bull in a china shop is what I might be likened to by an observer, and the observer wouldn't get an argument from me.  So when I studied up on these things and read "very little liquid," well... let's just say that the correct version of "very little liquid" and my version of "very little liquid" diverged.

I used somewhat more liquid than I should have.

If you don't know how these things work when they're working properly, it goes like this:  You run a nice, hot bath, take a very dry Fizzy Bath Bar, hop into the bath (just don't literally "hop," I don't want you hurting yourself), and drop in the nice, dry Fizzy Bath Bar, which proceeds to fizz as it reacts with the bath water.  As it fizzes and dissolves, it releases the benefits therein into your bath.  The scents from the essential oils fill the room and take their aromatherapeutic effect, any butters or other ingredients housed therein do their stuff.  That sort of thing.  It's really nice.

When it works.  The key, you might have noticed from this narrative, is that it reacts with water.  Yeah.

What happened on that particular occasion, the occasion when I first tried to make Fizzy Bath Bars, is that I used too much water in the bar itself.  I didn't notice right away, mind you, because it still looked pretty dry to me.  So I took the mixture, pressed it on into the mold, ... and then pressed it again.  And again.  Only it kept growing.  So I took some off and put it into another bar of mold.  And the third one too.  And then all three were growing... and growing... and growing.  As Eric put it, we had in our kitchen the Stay Puft Marshmallow Bars.  Finally, I gave up.  I wrestled the puffy, sticky messes out of the mold and onto a sheet of freezer paper, where they finally stopped reacting with the excess water in them and stopped growing.  By then they were indecipherable blobs with slightly crusty outsides and mushy insides.  Not what a Fizzy Bath Bar should be, to say the least.  Completely unmarketable, in fact.

We didn't waste them, though.  We had to try them anyway.  So we popped them in the bath, one after another, and they fizzed, bubbled, and dissolved.  I must say the smell from the essential oils was wonderful.  So I knew I was on the right track, just not quite there yet.

Now I'm there.  Our first Fizzzy Bath Bar is Serenity, made with a mix of lavender and rosemary essential oils, a heavenly and relaxing combination.  This bar is perfect after a long day of work when you just want the world to disappear for a little while until you can face it again.  It's also got a touch of Yellow Kaolin Clay in it, with all the benefits that carries.

You can expect to see a couple more within the next few days, also just in time for Valentine's Day.  If you need a gift or want a romantic bath with your honey, this is the way to go!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Things

Lots, in fact! New photos of our already-in-circulation products, a change to a current product, and a new product...

First, the photos.  You remember the Cool as a Cuke soap, yes?

How about the Honey Chocolate?  Also, this is a new batch, so the bars are now the same size as our other soaps, rather than being smaller and fatter.

And you can see the Peppermint Pumice Foot Rounds much more clearly now, in their new setting of actual peppermint and the very pumice that's in them.

Last, but definitely not least, Purity has never looked so pure as it does against stark black, showing the Reef Botanicals logo stamp to its greatest advantage.

As for the change in a product we already had, that's the Lavender Soap.  I know, I know, how could we make such a perfect soap any better?  By taking the suggestion of a friend.  I was asked by a friend who knows what he's talking about whether we had any soaps with chamomile or would be making any.  Great idea, I thought, why not make a line of products that include chamomile?  Why not, indeed.

So... our lavender soap now uses chamomile tea as the liquid part of the base (remember, basic soap is oil, liquid, and lye) rather than deionized water.  The tea, of course, is still brewed using deionized water, but it includes all the benefits of chamomile.

The new product?  No photos yet, but as requested, we've now got a feminine/unisex shaving and bath soap!  This soap is based on the same exact recipe as our Clean Cut Shaving and Bath Soap, but the scent is pure lavender essential oil.  As soon as we're able to cut it, I'll show you what our new Smooth Operator Shaving and Bath Soap looks like!

I'm planning to have more news for you tomorrow.  We shall see...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Holidays Have Been Extended!

I was having a kind of "eh" day yesterday.  I wasn't feeling well and didn't get anything done that I intended while Eric was out all day.  So when the doorbell rang, I was not really keen on seeing who it was, but if I don't check, Meg (aka our "doorbell") doesn't stop barking.  If you have a dog, you know how that goes.

So I trudged to the front door, braced myself for the impending chill, and looked out.  The postman was just leaving, and in my vestibule was a fat padded envelope.  From the United Kingdom!

Did I mention I'm also a face painter and henna artist?  I am.  In fact, if you're at all interested in body art (or if you've got kids and should be interested in face paint safety for them), check out my blog on that subject.  This is relevant here only because I'm a member of several body art online discussion groups.  On one of those, many of us all around the world have become very good friends.  So a few years ago, someone suggested that we have a secret Santa exchange.

This was my gift!  What a pick-me-up for an otherwise ick sort of day.  In addition to some face painting supplies which I can't get here in the U.S., at least not easily, a beautiful card, and some wonderful organic chocolate, my secret Santa, a lovely woman, sent me a soap making book!

It's from a London publisher, and we haven't seen it in any stores here.  And man, has it got some good ideas.  We'll be incorporating those in the coming weeks and months, and you reap the benefits when the new stuff hits the store!  Well... of course, we reap the benefits too, since we do use our own products and creations, but we share, so you do also!

My favorite part of the gift, though, were the four essential oils she sent!  Lavender is a staple, so I was happy to see that.  We've got tea tree oil on order, but the order has been delayed and we really wanted to work with it this weekend, so that's a great boon to us.  And then there are cajeput and geranium!  Cajeput is a really interesting scent, close to eucalyptus, but a little bit sweeter, and with a hint of a menthol tinge.  It's used a lot in mixing henna, and is said to have beneficial properties.  It's used in aromatherapy because it's invigorating, purifying, and a natural expectorant.  It's also used topically to relieve arthritis.  I can't wait to try it!  I spent much of the afternoon researching good recipes for it and other scents that work well with it, because we like to mix.

I must say, I'm most excited about the geranium.  I really wanted some floral scents other than lavender, and was actually thinking of purchasing a geranium essential oil to play with.  It smells wonderful and will be showing up in several of our products, you can be sure.  Geranium essential oil also has been said to have various benefits, including promoting healthy cell growth, reducing scars, speeding up the healing of wounds, and in the treatment of various skin diseases.  Plus, it's scent is used for it's deodorizing properties and is an uplifting cross between flowers and mint.  I bet you can't wait for us to begin using it either!

Artist Spotlight: Part Three

This week's featured artist is another jeweler, with a completely different style.

Her art is fun and funky.  So who is she?  She goes by Suzedablooze, and is the force behind Lynwood Jewelry.

She puts her heart and soul into every piece, as you can see if you read her blog.  Just reading about the progress of her "evil eye" necklace there can tell you a lot about this tenacious, talented woman who takes the time and effort to see that every detail is perfect.  Not one to stop with her own work, she's extremely supportive of other artists and jewelers.

Plus, she's a Star Trek fan!  Who doesn't love a Star Trek fan?

Her items are listed for sale in her Etsy store, her Artfire store, and because she's actually based in the UK, she also has a Folksy store and a Misi store.

As if all that information wasn't enough, she's also got a personal blog, which also includes her own shopping finds and a bunch of fun stuff here.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Oooooooooooh, so that's the key!

Good grief, I'm a little bit doofy.  So you know I was kind of up and down with the shampoo at first, my hair felt weird for a while, then better.  A couple days ago, it was weird again.  And I talked to Eric, because I didn't want to be selling to anyone products that I couldn't stand behind.

And we realized what I was doing wrong on the "weird" days.

I was using it like soap.  When I use bar soap, I scrub.  When using bar shampoo, I was scrubbing.  This is wrong.  You need so very little of it (which means it lasts even longer!) that I was using waaaaaaaaaay too much and pretty much grinding it into my hair.  No wonder it was behaving strangely!

I've stopped that, and just barely rub it, or even lather it between my hands, and just use the lather... it still lathers like crazy and now works like a dream!  So... the key is... use a teeny tiny bit.  Make it last longer.  Get your money's worth.  And it'll be perfect.

Learn something new every day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Weddings? Weddings!

A friend of mine who's also a fan of the Reef Botanicals Facebook fan page, has suggested a brilliant idea!  Weddings!

I should have thought of this - Eric and I just got married in March, after all.  Had we been making our soaps and things before the wedding, we'd have used soap as wedding favors!  Think of it - each guest (or couple, if you like) gets an all-natural handmade soap in a pretty organza bag, with a tag customized with your names and wedding date.  What a nice gift!  A useful gift!  So much better than Jordan almonds!  So much less likely to be left on the table at the end of the event.

Even bettter... bridesmaids gifts!  We do gift baskets, after all.  What better way to pamper a bridesmaid and show how much you love her than to get her a pretty basket full of all-natural handmade soaps, sugar scrub, and candles?

To some extent, we could work with wedding colors too, at least with packaging, candle colors, and things of that nature.

If anyone reading this is interested, knows someone who is interested, or knows someone who should be interested, head on over to our site or point them there and write to us using the contact form.  We'd be happy to work with you!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another Location!

So not only do we have yet another great photo of our product, the Cafe Mocha sugar scrub...

Isn't that awesome?!

But it's now available in a second retail location!  My hair salon, Magic Cuts, at 308 Saint Nicholas Avenue in Haworth, NJ, is now selling a variety of our soaps and sugar scrubs.

Be sure to visit and shop!  In addition to our wares, they have an assortment of jewelry, styling supplies, and gift items.  Plus, the owner Billy is a wonderful stylist who actually listens to his customers.  On top of that, his stylist Doreen did a phenomenal job on my hair for my wedding!

Be sure to go check it out, and we'll  have some new products for you - in stores and online - soon!

Gone Pro

So if you've been reading this blog or have poked around the website, you've seen photos of our products.  They're not bad, if I do say so myself.  I took 'em, after all.  I'm using a Fujifilm Finepix Z that Eric got me for Chanukah last year, and I love it!

It's a point-n-shoot, but it's a good one.  Plus, it's that awesome shade of blue!  My favorite color.

I've tried to get the best lighting possible for our photos so you can see true colors and what the soaps and things really look like.  Of course, the optimal way to do this would be outdoors in the morning or early evening, when the light is soft... but we live in northern NJ, and it is cold out these days, especially at those times!  Sorry, I'm dedicated, but I'm not that dedicated, even for you.

Indoors, we've got incandescent lighting with funky light fixtures that throw off odd-colored glows.  Not the best lighting when you're looking for true colors.  So I've had to resort to flash photography.  That is why you've been seeing photos like this:

Remember that little blast from the past?  That's the coffee soap.  Eh.  The stuff may be terrific at absorbing scents, perfect for chefs, and help to reduce the appearance of cellulite (no, really!), but it doesn't look really pretty in that photo, I'll admit.  And it is a pretty soap, but since those of you who are online shoppers don't have the opportunity to see and handle it in person, how would you know that?  I'll show you how!

That's how.  We have invested in a lightbox and lights, you see.  Now you can see what things look like despite not being right there handling them.  That's not the only one.  Remember our Clean Cut shaving and bath soap with the nifty fir setting?

It's not really that pale.  It really looks more like this:

That When Life Hands You Lemons sugar scrub?  This is what that should really look like:

The site, therefore, will be changing soon.  You'll get a more accurate picture of things, and hopefully enjoy viewing them more.  And we'll be able to have more fun taking the photos!

By the way, the camera we're using?  My same Fujifilm Finepix Z!  Nope, not kidding.

So for those of you who have your own eCommerce websites, and who need to sell your products, I highly recommend investing in a lightbox setup.  You can see how how much it's worth.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Yesterday, we didn't develop any new soaps, shampoos, scrubs, or products at all.

Instead, we made new batches of Fudge Chunk soap and Honey Chocolate soap.  We needed to replenish our stock because those two have been so popular in sales, but also because we have placed some in an actual retail location!  You can now find and buy several of our all natural products (soap, shampoo, scrubs, gift baskets) at Bruce's Floral Design, 311 Hackensack Street, Carlstadt, NJ.

In addition to our "indulgences," Bruce, a really personable and nice man, carries hand painted glass and other gift items.  Of course, he's also a terrific florist, creating his own form of art with his medium of live and silk flowers.

Definitely stop in, say hi, and  have a look around!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Artist Spotlight: Part Two

Today's artist is Heather of Heather's Haven. When I say "artist," I mean artist. This chick seems to do everything!  Seriously, check out her Etsy shop here.

In the shop, you'll find more simple jewelry, like this:

I'm not even a huge fan of pink, and I adore that!  You'll find ornate jewelry, like this:

Is that gorgeous or what?  And blue, unlike pink, is my favorite color.  Plus, I love lapis, which are those larger stones you see there.

She doesn't stop at jewelry, though!  Chick's got talent!  Look at this:

Amazing.  Absolutely amazing.  I couldn't even fathom how to begin making something like that.  And honestly, I'll just leave it to Heather, since she's got it mastered.  If anything, I'd buy it.  It's not all about the beading and jewelry though.  Oh, no.  She does other things, too.  Like this:

The Etsy store shows more views of that piece, too.  I'm really just blown away by this woman's work.

What I'm trying to figure out is how she and her honey, both artists, have time for their six kids and two dogs! She's overcome some hard times, and nice person that she is, should only see success and happiness from now on.  Learn more about her on her blog.  Her writing is interesting too, so you're likely to enjoy reading it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Shampoo - Day 4

My friend Lisa called me today, from Mississippi.  She went ahead and, braver soul than I am, used our Honey Chocolate Soap as a shampoo last night!  She wanted to let me know today that her hair was clean, bouncy, shiny, and soft.  It wasn't dry and the color was still good (she hennas her hair red).  She loved it.  And she doesn't use conditioner.

This prompted me to be brave as well, and when I used our shampoo, I didn't use conditioner either, my first time ever in life not using conditioner by choice.

My hair is fine.

I don't mean the type of hair, which is fine but thick.  I mean my hair is doing well.  It's soft, and not straw-like.  Any other time I've been somewhere sans conditioner and washed my hair with commercial shampoo, my hair has been straw when I got out of the shower.

I also didn't use any styling products today.  I figured if my hair annoyed me, I was mostly home anyway and could just throw it into a ponytail.  Tomorrow, I plan to use the shampoo with no conditioner, and then my CHI Volume Booster.  I think I don't need the Silk Infusion anymore, but the Volume Booster keeps the curls better defined and separated.

So we'll see.

In the meantime, I must put in a plug for my brave friend, Lisa.  She's a great face painter and henna artist in Mississippi, so if you'e down there, make sure you contact her for your events!  And if you're not in Mississippi, visit her website anyway and pick up some cosmetic glitters or shimmer powders!  The Ultra Shimmer, Diamond Frost, or Golden Frost, housed in one of her applicator brushes is perfect for dusting your chest, arms, and neck before going out on the town.  She makes them herself, and she lives as close to chemical-free as she can, so you know they're good stuff.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Product... !!!

Ever heard of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?  I hadn't.  I hadn't, but I've been using it for approximately 39 years.  It's in my shampoo, you see.  Betcha it's in your shampoo too.  Why should you care?  Here's why.  Scary, right?  But what to do?  Hm... what to do... ?

Can you guess what we did?  Made shampoo!

What's in our shampoo, you ask?  Olive and other natural oils, sodium hydroxide, water, shea butter, cocoa butter, honey, peppermint essential oil, and rosemary essential oil.  For the benefits of these ingredients, click the links!  That's it.  Eventually, we will  have other varieties, of course.  But this is the first, in Rosemary & Peppermint.  Here's what it looks like:

Yes, a bar.  A solid bar of shampoo.  Weird, I know.  Eric had used bar shampoo before; I hadn't.  I'll admit, I was a little skeptical regarding its efficacy.  So before I agreed to list it for sale, I had to test it on my very own head.

Now, if you know me, you know that's huge.  I have long hair.  I love my hair.  I do not mess around with my hair.  I used the shampoo.  See how dedicated I am to all of you?  I risked my own hair for you all!

My observations...

New Shampoo: Day One

I used the shampoo and was surprised, despite Eric's assurances, at how quickly and well it lathered. I mean, it's a bar, for Pete's sake.  But it works!  My hair felt clean.  I did use conditioner, because I wasn't brave enough to refrain.  Besides, I figure my hair needs time to adjust.  Plus, I have hair that tends toward the dry.  I'm lobbying for us to make a line of all-natural conditioner because I just don't trust my hair without it.  It's long.  And I wash it every day, at least once a day.  But the shampoo worked!  It also felt very clean post-shower, even after the commercial conditioner.  The conditioner I used was Fructis.
I hate it.  Maybe I shouldn't say that, but I do.  I bought it once when I was away and forgot my normal stuff, and use it only occasionally.  But I feel like it doesn't really do the job.  But I used it on day one of the natural shampoo trial.

And then I made a real mistake.  Either my hair needs to acclimate to the new stuff, which it does, definitely, or it really just doesn't like my styling products.  I use CHI Silk Infusion and Volume Booster and I actually like them.  I've been using them for a few years now.  Well, I put them in, as usual, and my hair rebelled.  It felt weird and fluffy, and kind of greasy, and just altogether odd.  I hated it.  All.  Day.  So... next use, no product.

New Shampoo:  Day Two

My shower went as follows:  Cafe Mocha sugar scrub, followed by our new shampoo, then the conditioner I've liked all these years, Herbal Essences.  Still not brave enough to go sans conditioner with my long, fine but thick, dry hair.

This time, I was able to really pay attention to the shampoo, smelling the rosemary and peppermint, and then the touch of honey behind those scents.  Then I washed with Cool as a Cuke soap.  Rinsed off, rinsed my hair, and let it dry.

I don't blowdry, haven't in years, since I resigned myself to the fact that I just don't have straight hair.  Oh, the hours saved by quitting that practice!

I also got smart last night.  I bought a wide-toothed comb, the kind you're supposed to use to detangle hair, as opposed to the brush I've always used, that catches and breaks my hair.  Yeah, I know, if I care so much about my hair, why'd I use that sort of brush?

Absolutely no idea.

At any rate, I combed my hair while wet, and for the first time since I stopped straightening it, didn't use any styling products.  Love it!  Soft, clean, and holding the wave.  Success!
Related Posts with Thumbnails