Category Archives: Profiles

The Whithertos and the Whyfors of Beer Soap

“You make soap with BEER?!”

…yes, yes, I do! There are many reasons for that, which we’ll get to in a moment, but first: No, it will not make you smell like beer. It will not make your boss believe you binged for breakfast. It will not provide a convenient “But ossifer it’s just my soap!” excuse. The beer provides part of the inspiration for the final scent, but the soap is, as always, an entity in its own right, and ends up with a fascinating and non-boozy scent of its very own.

Right, so, let’s talk about why one would make soap with beer. First, the proteins and sugars in the beer itself (especially in big chewy malty beers) help make soap extra sudsy, for semi-complicated chemical reasons that this post isn’t really about. Second, craft beer is a fascinating art form, and it is tremendously satisfying as an artisan to take a carefully crafted beer and build a soap around it, creating a derivative work which is awesome in its own right but gives plenty of credit to its inspiration. And third, well, beer is just pretty great stuff, right?

We have a fairly extensive selection of beer soaps at this point, which we call our “Hops in the Shower” line. They’re all made from local Wichita beers from two local breweries, and with two new breweries this summer, we’re excited to get to design some new soaps for new beers, too!

Here’s a couple of our favorite Hops soaps from the last year – but check out the whole selection on Etsy or Amazon, too!

Chile Down, made with a green chile beer from River City Brewing Company which was available last summer, called Cerveza de Chile Verde. That beer is gone now, but they always (ALWAYS) have something new and fun on tap. The soap is scented with a faint peppery sharpness, a hint of cilantro, and an overall green, fresh fragrance.

Chile Down, made with a green chile beer from River City Brewing Company which was available last summer, called Cerveza de Chile Verde. That beer is gone now, but they always (ALWAYS) have something new and fun on tap. The soap is scented with a faint peppery sharpness, a hint of cilantro, and an overall green, fresh fragrance.

Quittin' Time, made with 5:02 Amber Ale from Wichita Brewing Company, one of their regular brews and a favorite of mine. The soap is scented with amber, with a hint of bitter myrrh and just a touch of sweet orange.

Quittin’ Time, made with 5:02 Amber Ale from Wichita Brewing Company, one of their regular brews and a favorite of mine. The soap is scented with amber, with a hint of bitter myrrh and just a touch of sweet orange.

Happy – or should that be hoppy? – sudsing, and remember – don’t drink the soap!


New Stuff, At Long Last!

Illnesses, computer problems, and generalized distraction notwithstanding, I have finally managed to launch the first new product of 2015 – and before January has quite ended, even! So without further delay, I bring you the first-ever collection of Foam on the Range eye shadows, a winter-shading-to-spring palette! These are loose-powder mineral makeup eye shadows, sold in a 10 g jar with a sifter top. Additional springy colors are tentatively slated for late March/early April.

Dust and Roses

Dust and Roses

Dust and Roses: A soft, dusty pink, largely matte with only a hint of shimmer. Beautiful for late-winter afternoons.

Pretty in Mink

Pretty in Mink

Pretty in Mink: Neutral colors are the backbone of any palette! This brown is a cool dark taupe with high shimmer and a tiny hint of gold fleck.

Nothin' But Blue Skies

Nothin’ But Blue Skies

Nothin’ But Blue Skies: You know how sometimes you look up and the sky is such a deep, stunning blue that you know that even if you managed to capture it in a photograph, no one would ever believe it was real? Well, this isn’t that color. But it’s as close as we could come! Shimmer and a hint of sparkle, too.

Quicksilver

Quicksilver

Quicksilver: A light, subtle silver-gray with beautiful shimmer.

Dreaming of Spring

Dreaming of Spring

Dreaming of Spring: A soft, slightly shimmery green, perfect for capturing the yearning for springtime which sets its teeth firmly into us in late winter. Soothe those winter blahs with a dose of color!

And there you are! The first five eye shadows from Foam on the Range. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them! You can find the whole set on Etsy here, and soon on Amazon as well.


Product Profile: Liquid Gel Soaps

Peppermint Liquid/Gel Hand Soap

With the discontinuation of the Foaming Liquid Soap, I thought I should make sure everyone is aware of our newish (introduced in the last three months or so) gel-style liquid hand soaps. Similar in consistency to our shower gels, these liquid soap pumps are great to keep at your primary handwashing sink for those occasions when bar soap just isn’t quite right for the job.

Here’s the listing text description: Made with care via hot process soapmaking, this soap serves as a beautiful accent for kitchen or bathroom sink, in addition to being fantastic for your skin. Carefully formulated with the perfect oil blend for great lather and skin conditioning!

You can find our current selection of gel soaps here – and remember, if you’d like a fragrance you don’t see listed, or would prefer an uncolored version of one of the soaps, I can probably help you out! Just drop me a message and I’ll see what I can do.

 


Product Profile: Shower Gel/Liquid Soap

Shower Gel

While shower gels and similar body washes are a mainstay of most modern bathing, it proved a peculiarly difficult product for me to perfect, remaining for a long time watery, thin, and generally unsatisfactory. But I finally hit upon the right combination of ingredients and technique to produce a rich, thick soap without having to resort to artificial thickeners or other crutches, and was overjoyed to add it to our lineup early this year. It was a very commonly requested item before the launch, and has proven quite popular since.

While bar soap will always be our first love, liquid soap is has its advantages, particularly in convenience. Made with real hot-process liquid soap, our shower gel is a real bathtime treat. Carefully formulated with the perfect oil blend for great lather (castor oil, a touch of coconut oil) and wonderful skin conditioning (sunflower oil, avocado oil), this is a great addition to anyone’s bath product collection. 99%+ natural!

Our selection of shower gels can be found here – and remember, this is one of the products which we can blend up for you at shows while you wait!


Fragrance Profile: Gingerbread

A seasonal favorite, Gingerbread is a rich, sweet, spicy scent that is guaranteed to make your mouth water.

 

Listing-text: “This is the quintessential holiday fragrance, with some additional spice notes to give it that extra spark of caraway seed, cinnamon, cardamom with vanilla to warm up and complement the spices.”

I stumbled upon this fragrance almost by accident; it was part of a holiday sampler set from one of my suppliers, and I might not have sought out otherwise. But I’m so glad I did! It’s absolutely decadent and delicious. Try it in a Whipped Body Butter – but remember, it may look like whipped cream and smell like cookies, but it doesn’t actually taste very good!

Gingerbread-scented products can be found here.


Fragrance Profile: Plum Tea

This is a fantastic fragrance for late summer/early fall; the rich, dark fruitiness is leavened by soft florals and some darker notes to create an effect perfectly suited for the falling temperatures and shorter days.

Plum Tea SunSoap

The description from the listing text: “This clean fruity floral has a beguiling soft freshness. After beautiful white tea and damask plum and herb notes, this fragrance is beautifully supported with sweet notes of honeydew melon, quince apple, lily of the valley and chamomile. The fragrance finishes with a touch of black tea to add depth and tamp down on the sweetness. Absolutely irresistible.”

It’s been a favorite around here ever since I brought it out early this year, but I really do think it’s coming into its own in the autumn. Check out the deliciousness for yourself here.


Product Profile: Lip Balm

Fall is only barely here, and winter’s bite is still well in the future. Nonetheless, the sudden disappearance of sweltering heat and the arrival of chilly mornings appears to have put people in mind of cold days to come, judging from the way the lip balm flew out of our booth at last week’s show. Or maybe there’s been a chapped lip epidemic and I missed the news; it’s hard  to say. Still and all, it made me think about writing this!

Lip Balm

Quite a bit of the lip balm one finds for sale is laden with petrolatum, paraffin, parabens, and all manner of other things. It does its job well enough, but I couldn’t help thinking there had to be a better solution; one that worked better and didn’t hurt when applying it to already-chapped lips, and one in which I actually knew (and understood) the composition of what I was putting on my lips. So I set out to make my own.

Lip balm needs wax to make it stay put, and my inclination when looking for a wax is always to use beeswax. I have no objection to carnuba wax or candilla wax, and indeed am willing to seek out those ingredients to construct a vegan lip balm if requested, but beeswax is just so lovely and rich – and besides, the bees worked so hard, it seems only right that we should appreciate their efforts. So beeswax it is, then. But wax on its own obviously won’t get the job done; it needs to be melted and blended with a liquid oil to make it soft and spreadable. So I turned to sunflower oil, our signature ingredient.

I could actually have stopped there – quite a few lip balms consist only of wax and oil. It would protect the lips against the elements and soften them somewhat, and in general would do what was asked of it. But it didn’t seem sufficient; I wanted something more than “good enough”. So into the mix came cocoa and shea butters, to bring richness and the smooth, pampering feel I was looking for. Also, cocoa butter helps provide a barrier to retain moisture, and shea butter has long been used in salves and similar formulations intended to help the skin heal itself.

The end result was a product with a remarkably devoted fan base. Not convinced? Stop by our booth at one of our upcoming shows or check them out online and see for yourself why people keep coming back for more!

(Lip balms with custom-designed labels also make great wedding favors or customer gifts!)