You probably are all over Etsy right now, but if you haven't heard, it's like a pairing of Amazon x Ebay for all things hand made: you can buy or sell hand made things, it has a feedback system, and payments are made via Paypal (although some sellers do accept other types of payments). If you have heard but haven't been there, consider this a warning and proceed at your own risk - it is quite addicting and you may go nuts buying stuff (like I did).
Hubby started using Etsy a couple of years ago and only buys greeting cards from there now because they are hand made and are quite original. For example, on my last birthday he gave me a hand-illustrated card says something to effect of, "You may be a vampire (because I have a bad habit of staying up all night), but I still love you." Pretty cute, but that still wasn't enticing enough to bring me over. Then came a few months back when I was in the midst of my soap phase and absentmindedly complained to him the soaps I've tried so far were all blah, he said, "Why don't you try Etsy?"
Yeah, that pretty much was the point of no return. It has only been 2 months since my first Etsy purchase and I think I've bought enough soaps for the next few years. Am I a total looney beeyotch or what? Ahh...but I LOVE the soaps I bought and I'm not going to stop any time soon. I spent the entire July 4th weekend checking out every freakin' bath & body seller and favorited everyone whose soaps took my fancy +.+
Below are a few reviews of the few soaps I've tried so far. I only use these soaps as hand soap because my hands are very dry and it's the best way for me to tell whether a soap is moisturizing, mild, and whatnot. Also, I "borrowed" a couple of the below pictures from the sellers themselves because I was so excited to use these first few bars I tore into them before their pictures could be taken :D If I do buy them again in the future, I'll update this post with the actual pictures.
- Heathen's Hearth: has a nice variety of bath and body items and occasional sale promotions; 1,400+ sales with 100% positive feedback.
Lemon Cream Goat's Milk Soap: I'm using this right now. It smells exactly like lemon cream, yum! Although it is not as moisturizing as goat's milk soaps could be, it still works up a creamy lather, plus the scent is perfect for the summer, so it was a pretty decent bar of soap over all. My bar doesn't look anything like the picture though, which is to be expected, I guess. This could potentially be a source of disappointment for some because, well, we all buy things thinking what we see is what we'll get. You'll just have to understand that hand made things are done in batches that will yield different results. The bar I have was made in a half-oval mold (see the Pink Sugar bar below from the same seller) and it is a pastel yellow instead of a marble white and yellow hand cut bar as shown. It is supposed to be somewhere between 4.5-5.5 ounces, pretty decently sized.
***Picture from Heathen's Hearth via Etsy.
The rest of these bars below, also from Heathen's Hearth, were gifts for my family and friends, but I was able to take pictures of them before their departure. Oh, and I actually took pictures of them in my hand so you can see their relative sizes. I tried to sniff-test them too but they were rather well-sealed so I couldn't really smell anything...Oh well, too bad. Next time.
White Tea & Berries
Tea Tree & Peppermint: I was very tempted to keep this bar for myself since I like anything peppermint, but I also wanted a reason to go back so...teehee :D
- Pink Sugar: this was supposed to be an Aquolina Pink Sugar duplicate, but I never knew the original scent before so I had no idea. From what I could smell though, it was a sweet and girly scent.
- Anderson Soap Company: one of the most well know soap maker on Etsy with a whopping sales of 18,000+ and going strong, 100% positive feedback, and rather frequent (almost every month!) sales promotions! For this, Dennis earned himself a May 8, 2008 spotlight on Etsy's blog, the Storque, as well as the #1 spot on About.com's article, "11 Etsy Super Stars: Handmade Soap."
Rosehips and Kumquat: vegan friendly with poppy seeds for exfoliation, quite moisturizing, gentle, and didn't crack or break until the very end, a definite sign of well made soap! One word for this soap: WOW. My favorite soap so far. It smelled soooooooo good and refreshing, like fruit punch only not overly sweet with a dash of citrus. It was so lovely hubby and I promptly used it up in a little over a week's time (record time so far). A nice soap is a reason to look forward to washing your hands, no? The bar we had looked very similar to the ones pictured, which was quite pleasant given the picture was what caught my eyes :) I should mention that it was a petite bar, about twice the size of a guest soap, weighing in at 2-3 ounces. I prefer smaller bars, actually, because I want to hurry up and get on with the next goodies in line :P
Exfoliating Lavender Buds: vegan friendly with real lavender buds sprinkled throughout for exfoliation. It was not as moisturizing as the Kumquat above but was still gentle and mild. The lavender scent was soothing but potent - while I store all my soaps in the linen cabinet, this particular bar overwhelmed the rest and my whole closet smelled like lavender and nothing else! Consequently, it also scented our sink area for the few weeks it lasted :) I had a bit of problems with this bar crumbling up into smaller pieces and chunks due to the lavender buds falling out and taking the bits and pieces of soaps with it. The bar I had was pretty big, 4.5-5.5 ounces, but much of it was wasted due to crumbling, so I probably won't buy it again.
***Pictures from Anderson Soap Company via Etsy.
The below bars from Anderson Soap Company were also gifts, but I took pictures of them too :)
Sweet as Sugar: smelled like sugar indeed!
Orange Clove Salty Bar: woh, this bar has a really spicy and grown up scent! I could smell the salts in it too!
Lemon Luster Massage Bar: another yummy lemony bar :)
- LoveLeeSoaps: carries a variety of cute (and wacky, gag gift-perfect) soaps, #6 on About.com's "11 Etsy Super Stars: Handmade Soap" with 4,700+ sales profile and 100% positive feedback.
Coconut Milk & Honey Herbal Bar: this bar was also a gift, but from what I could smell, it is a sweet but spicey-herbaly scent.
More to come later!
Sweet September 2011 with Anna Sui GWP
2 years ago