Bath time with Bubble T

As you know yesterday was a cold cold day for me. Much of it was spent outside and I was in desperate need of a good hot soak to warm me through. In fact now that the weather has finally decided it is in fact Winter, I will be using many more of my bath products. I simply can not soak in a bath when it is really hot outside. I just can’t do it. So I collect all of the bath products that arrive in subscription boxes throughout the warmer months and then have bath time extravaganzas throughout the winter. It also lets me take advantages of sales for my favorite brands in the off months so I can stockpile.

Or at least attempt to.

My babydoll will take baths year round and there are some bath products that he likes but claims only to use because I happen to have them near by. So occasionally things go missing. For example I stocked up on the Zents Mandarin Bath Truffles during black Friday and yet mysteriously there is not a single one to be found in the storage closet.

No matter, yesterday when I sunk into my hot bath to completely warm myself up, I broke out the Bubble T Rhubarb Custard Bath Fizzer. I have used Bubble T products before, In fact I have their Earl Gray bath salts in my bathroom right now. It is a product i like but don’t love. Partially because it has little bits of plant matter in the salts that I have to clean out of the bath once I’ve finished using it, and partially because there is just a little too much bergamot for me to really enjoy the scent. It does make my skin wonderfully soft though.

So I had high hopes for this bath fizzer. It has a lot of the same skin softening ingredients, none of the plant bits and even in the plastic it smells of rhubarb and custard. Rhubarb was eaten in large quantities in our house every summer so I adore it. If you don’t know the scent, it is tart but slightly fruity as well. mixing it with the custard scent sort of mellows it. I found the scent even through the plastic absolutely delicious. The scent intensifies when the plastic is off and is quite strong in the water.

I would recommend using a pair of scissors to remove the plastic before heading into the bathroom. It is not easy to tear open, especially with wet hands. I know, that sounds like common sense. I struggled and then luckily found a nail kit in the medicine cabinet. It had a pair of nail scissors to help me out.

I found it a wonderful scent to luxuriate in and after my bath my skin was soft and fragrant as well. The scent from the bath fizzer only lasts about an hour or so after your bath. The softness remained and I didn’t have to use a body lotion after my bath as I usually do. Which was nice. I don’t think any of my body lotions go well with the scent of rhubarb custard so it was for the best that I didn’t mix them.

My one concern is regarding size. It is a really large bath fizzer. If this is the standard size for all Bubble T bath fizzers then in the future I would cut them in half and only use one half for the bath. Luckily the bag is resealable so i think that if you did have to cut the fizzer in half it would be easy to store the extra half. Usually when you do something like that it makes a bit of a mess. The package seems designed to contain that sort of mess. which probably means I’m not the only one who looks at it and things about cutting it in half.

The final question is always the same. Would I get this product again? Yes, I think I would. It was a lovely scent, it made my skin soft and I really enjoyed using it. I would not only get this again, but i would happily go on the Bubble T site and pick out other scents to try. while this one was one of their giant bath fizzers some of their smaller ones look like they would better fit my bath time uses without needing to be cut apart. If they have the same basic formula I would consider stocking up on Bubble T Bath fizzers.

Coming clean and going to Mars…Terre de Mars

I always find body washes to be an interesting category to think about. Like facial cleansers it is an essential part of the body care routine. It isn’t one of the optional items. Bath bombs are nice (sometimes very nice) but they aren’t essential. Post showering body lotions are usually a good idea, but they can be skipped.

Body wash or even just plain soap is, for me, an essential part of my bathing process. without some form of soap or other cleanser, then I simply don’t feel like I got my body clean. Personally I am more of a boxy wash sort of person. I like bar soap to use, but I really hate that soft bottom it gets from even just the trapped moisture when you put it back down. Even it it doesn’t have water in the soap dish, there is a line of soggy soap where the damp soap presses’ on the surface of whatever it is on. Growing up my mom and grandmother used to put bar soap in these open weave knitted bags and you would just use it in the bag. The bag provided the exfoliation for the skin and could be hung up so that the soap didn’t get the soggy line.

Those bags I like but I haven’t been able to find them in forever. So I use body wash. My baby doll likes soap though and doesn’t have that textural issue. While he will occasionally use something like Huron Body Wash, he always falls back to the Dr. Squatch soap. They actually have a holiday deal that I need to look into so I can stock up for him. He will travel with the Huron Body wash since he doesn’t like traveling with soap, but we will need more soap at the house.

But stocking my cabinet isn’t the point at the moment. The Terre de Mars is, so lets see what it has to say for itself…

An organic low-foaming, aromatic and soft cleansing gel suitable for all skin types. Infused with bioactive ingredients such as coffee and rosemary extract and verbena oil tone, purify and protect the skin while Aloe vera nourish and smoothes. Leaves a clean, refreshed and toned skin without drying it.

Terre de Mars Website

Okay, this full sized body wash is 150ml and in US currency is $22. I mention that here because I had a hard time getting to US currency. the Terre de Mars site didn’t like it and I had to find it on Amazon. I think you can still order from the site if you are in the US but it seemed easier to go to Amazon. Normally all of my links tend to go back to the brand’s home page or if there is a site like Lovely Skin (currently has 22% off most items from major brands)or All Beauty (they tend to have different brands from Lovely Skin so I tend to bounce between the two sites) where I tend to buy the product because it is usually a better value, I’ll link it there. Because I don’t know about availability, This is the Terre de Mars Site link and this is the Amazon link. That way you can see both and if you plan to take an official peep you can choose the one you think would work best, or you could compare the two.

Now I am not opposed to spending $22 on a body wash. One of my favorite luxury body washes is from Molton Brown and generally comes in around $30. Actually they just released their holiday scents (as well as gift sets and advent calendar) The holiday scent I want is the Muddled Plum Bath gel ($35). I picked up a sample of it last year because plum seemed like it could end up being to stick sweet smelling but it was fantastic. That I will probably purchase in the full size this year.

However the brands that can get me to spend that much on body wash are few and far between. Actually Molton Brown is the only one that can, and truthfully, I tend to get the deluxe sample sized sets and work my way through the smaller bottles so i can try out the different scents. They actually have an entire selection of travel sized toiletries collections which I like picking up, especially before holiday travel. I use Molton Brown as my test of high end products.

On the other end, the drug store end if you will, is Olay Body wash. That is my standard body wash. and actually I set aside my current favorite Olay, Orchid and Black Currant to try out the Terre De Mars. Olay generally costs $7.99. Currently on the site it is on sale for $5.97 if you are looking to stock up on Olay products. Actually the entire site is 25% off right now. (their Regenerist skincare line is quite fabulous as well. Actually this year they have really been killing it. But that is another post)

The Terre de Mars Body wash tends to fall into the middle of these two price ranges. But is there where it’s performance ended up?

The body wash comes out in a clear gel. The scent is a lemon verbena scent. There are other ingredients listed, but it is the lemon verbena that makes its presence felt. I happen to like lemon verbena. It is the scent of my favorite Annmarie Aloe Herb Cleanser. And that is one of my top all time cleansers, partially because I love the scent. And partially because it is a fantastic cleanser. Like the Annmarie Skincare, there is aloe in this body wash as well.

Unfortunately I don’t like it as much. Perhaps it is because it doesn’t foam up as much (it is a low foaming body wash) but it felt as though the aloe remained on the skin in a thin film rather than nourishing and sinking in or simply washing off.

The Olay has many moisturizing agents in it, but it doesn’t leave that film behind. While I like the scent of this body wash, I didn’t like that film and found myself reaching for my body scrub and/or exfoliating bath scrubber pad more often because of it. And then because I was exfoliating more I ended up using more body lotion when i got out of the shower. Which is fine, I had several I needed to use up and clear out. But the scrubbing made the post shower body lotion a necessity rather than an extra.

For me it was a great scent but I don’t think i would purchase this body wash again. It comes down to the level of clean you feel, and I simply wasn’t feeling it. For me it was the light film left on my skin. It was a light film, so if that doesn’t bother you, perhaps you would like it. The scent is gorgeous. I just can’t take the film. And so it may fall in between the two ranges of products in price, but it isn’t one I will purchase again.

Molton Brown (US)

Bath time with Harper + Ari Blackberry Fizz

Because I don’t like to take pictures in the bath, partially because of the nudity aspect and partially because I am the sort who would drop the camera in the bathwater, I often forget to  mention bath products.

I’m trying to get better about that, especially as there are so many I enjoy.

As I’ve mentioned before, Saturday is usually the day I use my weekly hair mask.  This week, since I had the Harper +Ari Blackberry Fizz Bar Bath Bomb, I decided I would go with the hair mask that requires a little more time to sit and work on the hair. 

That’s right, I decided to make a mini home spa day of it.

So I took out my ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud Mask.  I know I’ve talked about this Hair mask before, and I will no doubt talk about it again.  It is a fabulous mask.  It gets right down to the scalp and not only cleanses the scalp, but makes my hair feel soft and full of life.

The trick is that it needs about twenty minutes to sit and work it’s magic. 

Most of my hair masks take about five minutes.  Which is fine, I really like the five minute masks.  In fact, I just ordered several of the Bad Attitude Hair masks from The Mane Club because of the ones I’ve tried from The Main Club, they are my favorite hair masks. And yes I did order a backup of the One Hit Wonder 10 in 1 Spray even though I am only about halfway through the bottle I have. It is not a product i want to run out of.

However, I really like the ESPA mask for getting a deep scalp clean and really good hair.  Plus I kind of like the way it makes me slow down.  I wash my hair in the shower, apply the hair mask, rinse out the shower and then run the bath.  Then I soak in my bath while the hair mask does its thing.  But the time I finish with the bath, it is time to rinse off the hair mask.  It is all in the timing.  Just remember that the ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud takes twenty minutes and plan accordingly.

not a clean break

And since I wanted to try out the Harper + Ari BlackBerry Fizz I was happy to apply the mask while I tried out the bath fizz. It was a good combo.

I should admit right off the bat, I adore the scent of blackberry.  It is one of my favorite summer berries and I love the scent in just about anything.  I also like fizzy bath products, so this was a big win for me when it arrived in my Macy’s Beauty Box this month. 

I was somewhat concerned that I had to break it in order to use a piece of it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that it is a more than one time use to it, but I envisioned crumbs getting everywhere and then having to put it back into the cardboard box and well in general creating quite the mess.It is a solid bar with grooves cut into it and I hoped that this would help it break cleanly. So I washed my hair, applied the mask and ran the bathwater, hoping for a clean break.

As the tub filled I broke into the Bath bar.

I did not get a clean break.

In fact I got a lot of the crumbs I was hoping to avoid. Luckily I broke it over the towel and after moving the larger part that I wasn’t going to use off the towel and safely off to the side, I just shook the towle out over the tub.

The chunk I planned to use plopped into the water, submerged and then floated, fizzing all the while. The crumbs scattered across the surface and were soon fizzed out.

In the tub, I have to say the scent was fantastic. The fizz did it’s fun fizzy thing and I enjoyed it. In addition because there is both cocoa butter and shea butter in the mix, my skin felt quite soft and moisturized. when I went to the website to look up the details I found that you could break off a part of it or use the entire bar for a luxurious experience. The bars featured (full size $12 if you are interested) are twice the size of the mini bar that came in my subscription box.

The corner that I broke off to use was plenty for me. I think that had I tried to use more it would have been too much of that cocoa and shea butter for me. And sometimes when it gets to be too much, it gets a bit slimy. The corner was enough, more would be pushing it. To be honest I think the small sections carved into the bar are the perfect size for a single bath.

The trick is getting the bar to break that way. Since the edge is already crumbly and I am going to have to put it in a plastic bag anyway, I may set it on the work table and use a knife to try and cut it along the lines. Then I’ll put it in the bag and on the last one just use whatever crumbles remain in the bottom. It is a really good bath bomb. I adore the scent and really like the way it made my skin feel. I do not like the way it crumbled when I tried to break a piece off and in fact i really don’t like that I have to break a piece off. However it really isn’t something I want to use in its entirety in one bath. If you do use this, be aware that in order to keep the shards from going all over the bathroom floor, you need to break it over something to catch the flakes. It isn’t really much of a hardship, just something to keep in mind. The Blackberry Fizz from Harper + Ari is well worth the slight effort involved in using it.

And as always the ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud Mask worked fabulously, in case you were wondering.