Handmade Happiness – Natural Desires Soap Co. PLUS GIVEAWAY

I spend a lot of time reading. Reading about the world, reading about things for my baby, and reading about product reviews. It has just become second nature at this point! I think most of my reading and reviews come from Instagram and YouTube so I was shocked when I had the sweetest woman reach out to me to see if I would review her products on my blog. My first thought was “heck ya!!!” but I think that is natural for anyone. I wanted to make sure the products were something I was ACTUALLY interested in and sure enough, I was blown away when I realized how lucky I was to get to review Natural Desires Soap Company!!!!!

Nicole, the shop owner, is such an amazing woman to talk to and I feel so privileged that she reached out to me (despite my small following) to see if I would like to review her products. In researching her company, I found not only beautiful, handmade items but also a truly lovely woman with an amazing family and a heart of gold (you can read about her here). Amongst the many amazing things I could say about her and her products, one of the biggest is that her company gives back to the community! Each purchase helps the charity Delivering Fancy which works to create self-care boxes for mothers of special needs children – such a beautiful charity!!!

Y’all know I love me some bath time. Especially because it is time to focus on ‘Erika Time’ and pamper myself a little bit. Let’s be real. Who doesn’t need time like that?! These products are HANDMADE and NATURAL!!! Plus, they are freaking stunning. Seriously. I feel like my pictures don’t do them justice….and I’m sure my words won’t do them justice either BUT we are gonna try!!!!

Let’s dive in!

Here is the outside of the box and I love it!! It’s little details like this that make you feel appreciated.

Plus, I have a little handwritten note!

First Item: Jasmine Crush Bath Truffle -$7

Our new Jasmine Crush Bath Truffle will create an abundance of bubblies that will lusciously love your skin with organic butters. It’s a unique blend sassy Jasmine Essential oil and infused with shea and cocoa butter to help retain your skins’ natural sheen. Your buttering up bubble bath has arrived.

Natural Desires Soap Co.

This was actually featured in the April box for Bath Blessing and it’s absolutely amazing. This is different than a bath bomb in the sense that it makes your bath so decedent and luxurious with its buttery, bubbly experience. Whenever I crumbled this under my running faucet, it had a velvety buttery texture to it that even made my hand feel moisturized. As I sat in my lovely bath tub filled with buttery goodness, I was surrounded by the most delicate jasmine fragrance to it. I literally kept refilling my tub because I did not want to get out!!

Second Item: Apple Pie Goat Milk Soap – $6

I know it looks like a swirly apple dessert, but it’s not for eating! This homemade Apple Pie Goat Milk Soap has the perfect mixture of apple and the perfect mixture of pie to make you fall in love.

Natural Desires Soap Co.

Holy heck, is the soap not the most gorgeous thing you have ever seen?! I love the texture on the top – seeing the actual cinnamon in it just brings a huge smile to my face. This has a faint cinnamon scent to it when you smell it before lathering up, but as you use it, you can really smell all of the dimensions of an actual apple pie. Needless to say, I am now craving pie. What I loved most about this soap was the thicker lather that coated my skin in a lavish hydration. This also has a beautiful buttery silkiness to it that I cannot begin to express how amazing it feels against your skin. IT IS SUBLIME!!!

Third Item: Shower Steamers – Lemongrass, Orange, Peppermint, Lavender – $8

Our set of 4 shower steamers will make any down day, simply go away. Shower Steamers easily turn your shower into beautiful an aromatherapy spa experience. You will breath easy as you soak in the therapeutic affects of hot steam and orange, peppermint, lemongrass, and lavender essential oils fill your shower. Clearing any sinuses and uplifting your day. These are perfect for when you’re feeling under the weather.

Natural Desires Soap Co.

YAY! I love shower steamers!! There are so many times where I want a little extra boost to my shower and these are perfect for that. You stick one in the corner and it wafts up and creates the most earthy, fragrant experience. I just used the lavender one before writing this (big shocker there, I love lavender) and let me tell you, it is SO amazing. It lasted the whole time I was in the shower and made my bathroom smell divine. Plus, I am a strong believer that lavender actually does help some of the stress ease away so that’s a great added bonus. I am excited to see what the others are like!

Fourth Item: Kozmic Karma Soap – $7

Kozmic Karma Soap is a lavender and charcoal blended batch with ‘out of this world’ benefits! You and your skin will sigh with relief when you feel the rich lather of smoothness created by this unique Kosmic Karma Soap. Charcoal has powerful absorption properties making it especially beneficial for oily facial skin. The olive oil and shea butter are moisturizing resulting in a highly beneficial combination for drier skin. This epic fusion will deeply cleanse while naturally exfoliating the skin for a smoother, healthier-looking complexion. 

Natural Desires Soap Co.

Y’all. Check out those swirls!

And that detail!!!!!! Look at how cute those poppy seeds are. I love that this is a little ‘out of this world’ in terms of what you imagine handmade items to look at. I can’t say I have used many things that have activated charcoal in them so I was excited to see this! I was also very happy to see that you can use this on your face – my skin is definitely in some need of TLC with all this crazy weather we are having. You can definitely catch the lavender scent in this as you lather up and it left my skin feeling like a million dollars!

Fifth Item: Sugar Scrub – $7

Satin hands are created here! Cane Sugar buffs away dull skin. Hydrating coconut oil softens skin. Mineral rich salt & sugar combination leaves your skin looking supple & smooth. Although it smells insanely delicious, blended with vanilla extract, ginger oil & cinnamon, we ask that you resist the urge to take a bite….Your skin will never feel dryness again

Natural Desires Soap Co.

You guys. I can’t. THIS SMELLS JUST LIKE A FREAKING COOKIE!!!! Holy heck, I may have died and gone to heaven. I never want this to be empty!!! Imagine the most moist, buttery, just out of the oven cookie and put it into a sugar scrub – that’s exactly what this is. The sugar is a perfect, fine abrasiveness to gently exfoliate your skin BUT there is also all of the goodness from the oils to envelope your skin in a lovely hydration barrier to keep you hydrated all day. Ugh. Everyone needs this!!!!!!

Bonus Item: Lavender Limeade Soap

Our Lavender Limeade Soap has a fresh lavender & zesty, crisp notes of lime. It’s spinach powder strips and dried lavender bud toppings makes choosing natural simply beautiful. Limes acidic nature will help kick out any excess oils that cause bacteria buildup in pores to gently clear up acne. While an extra boost shea butter & vitamin packed goat milk make your skin crave this wash of creamy lathering softness.

Natural Desires Soap Co.

I was so happy to see this little fella having out in my box! It has the best fresh squeezed lime smell to brighten up my day. Plus, those colors are so fun!

We even get a little handwritten note! Y’all know I’m a sucker for notes!

Final Thoughts

So here is the final lineup!!! I am absolutely in love with each product and I know that even unboxing and describing these items is an injustice. That’s why I want to share with you guys!!!!! I am having a giveaway that will end on 5-9-19. The lucky winner will receive 3 items that I choose PLUS one item of your choice! The best way to let you see how magnificent this is is to try it out yourself. I will leave the rules below!!

The Rules are as follows:

  1. Must have US shipping address
  2. Must follow my blog
  3. Comment which product you would like (check out the site – it’s stunning!)

This giveaway is not sponsored by Natural Desires Soap Co or any other entity – it is myself purchasing some goodies for my followers. Feel free to enter on my Instagram post (@erika.b.lathrop) and my YouTube channel. There are unlimited entries!!!!

Thank you guys so so much for reading as always! Til next time!!

Penny + Grace – Affordable and Amazing

I don’t know how I found this subscription BUT I am so happy I did. I used this to replace Glamour Jewelry Box because I wasn’t too happy with the overall quality of the last box I got. This is actually more affordable than that box, coming in at $19.98 for three items. You can also choose which type of metal you want: gold, silver, and rose gold OR do a random selection (which is what I did).

It comes in this great outer bag which I love because it makes organization and storage so much easier! It doesn’t look like there is an info card so we are going to wing it.

For some reason, it looks like I got 4 items this month!! I love how the others come in their own individual bag – it makes it so much easier to store.

I hate that I didn’t even notice that tiny little speck of whatever on the bag. Typical

Item One: Passport Necklace

This is SUCH a cute little passport necklace. I love that this has such detail despite being small. The quality is definitely there and it is sooooo beautiful!

Item Two: Airplane Necklace with Mini Bling Details

Next, we have a second stunning necklace. I love that there seems to be a ‘travel’ theme. In this picture, you can also see the little tag at the clasping area of the necklace which has a P+G emblem. I love this little detail and it is on all of their pieces.

Item Three: Compass Bracelet

This also has amazing detail despite being small. It also features an adjustable chain to fit multiple wrist sizes!

Item Four: Bar Bracelet with Bling Detail

This is also similar to the previous bracelet! Just so stunning!

Let me show you the final lineup!

You can see the little emblem tags in this pic as well! Overall, I am STUNNED by the quality of each item and that you get this beautiful set for $20. I also love that there is a theme amongst all of the pieces. Like I said before, you can also choose the metal that you want AND it is so easy to change your choice. I am excited to see what comes next!!

Thanks for reading! Til next time!

The Biggest SCAM – Social Subscription Box

I don’t know when I became so gullible. Maybe it’s because I have the worst FOMO that I jump into things blind without thinking it through….but I got scammed….like BAD.

I found this on Instagram and their feed was not bad. It had items I wanted and it was $30/month which doesn’t seem unreasonable. But. It’s shit. And by that I don’t mean ‘the shit’. I mean every item was the biggest piece of garbage and I am embarrassed to even have to write this. I am not going to go into detail because it makes me mad even writing this BUT it will be evident when you look at the pictures.

This box promised ON TREND items. Take a look.

I could have gotten this at the Dollar Tree.

The smallest sample in the world for a $30 box.

We have no idea what the brand is but I could probably get this at a $5 jewelry sale.

Straight to the trash with this greasy ass nasty scrub.

ONE. FREAKING. PILLOW. CASE.

WHICH IS STAINED!……from the shit scrub.

There is nothing on trend about this box. I am SO mad at myself but I am sharing this because I don’t want anyone else to fall for this scam. If you look at their website (as of this post), it is not in business. So not only did they have this box, but they put everything out with poor quality and then went out of business. I reached out to customer service to let them know that my shit scrub leaked on my pillow case and asked if they could at least replace my ONE pillow case……they had some stupid ass reply and said they couldn’t do anything because they are terminating the business. Assholes.

Thanks for sharing in my misery! Til next time!

Tatcha Mini Haul – Worth It?

I don’t know what made me like Tatcha so much – I feel like I may have gotten a couple samples of random things in the past. Today I wanted to give a glimpse into the selection and variety of items they have to offer and if it is worth the money. They have a ‘create your own set’ that I thought would be fun to dive into. Keep in mind that skincare usually takes a while to see real benefits BUT I can give you first impressions because these are expensive items!

I unboxed these items so you can get a sense of scale and how amazing the packaging is – you really can’t always convey that in a picture.

Plus, I like to talk to my computer.

Let’s dive in!

First off, the fact that this is their sealing sticker/tape is amazing. Like I always point out, I am a sucker for great packaging. This detail just makes it feel more luxurious than a regular package.

This is the first glimpse into the box and holy heck I might cry because it’s so beautiful!!!!

Y’all, this is the packing slip cover. High. Class.

And a hand-written note?!?! I love a personal touch like this.

First Item: Luminous Deep Hydration Eye Mask

A hydrating sheet mask for the eye area enriched with the nourishing powers of Okinawa red algae and peony extract.

The inside is just as beautiful. There are two sizes available on their site (one includes 4 masks) but I thought this might be a fun thing to try out.

This eye mask ($12) is so different than the other eye masks I have tried out. It is more of a gel mask that has two pieces of paper which you remove before applying. The shape is also unique! Let me show you a picture of my lovely face!

The rest of my face was too scary to share

This left my under-eye area feel nice and hydrated. I would absolutely love to try this more longterm to see how much of a difference this will have on my under-eyes because I was simply marvelous after one use.

Second Item: Pure Signature Camellia Soap

This nourishing body bar is made of pure, cold-pressed Camellia Oil, the heart of Tatcha’s iconic Cleansing Oil.

This soap definitely has more of an oily texture than other soap bars I have used and I have to say I absolutely dig it. It has this really great oaty smell to it as well which just makes me feel like I am coating my skin in some great. beneficial lathery goodness. I definitely feel like I would purchase this soap on a regular basis if I could afford to ball out like that. Definitely a great little splurge item ($15) that makes you feel like you’re really treating yourself to some luxury.

Next, we will get into the part where you can create your own sample pack.

This is the travel bag that comes with it and it is freaking stunning!

The inside is just as gorgeous as the outside and this will be great to travel with. It seems like my whole skincare routine is expanding as I find new products so I love that I can have a designated little case for it.

On to the items!

Third Item: The Silk Canvas Primer

Velvety priming balm of pressed silk smooths and makes makeup last longer while keeping it out of skin, helping to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.

I am going to really try this out and give it its due testing timeframe since it is such highly acclaimed primer SO I will do that in a weekly update. I am very excited to try it out though!

Fourth Item: Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil

This 2-in-1 makeup remover and cleanser of Camellia Oil gently melts away impurities, even waterproof makeup, leaving behind pure, silky soft skin.

If you have read some so of my other posts, you might have read that I am absolutely in love with the Mamonde Oil-to-Foam cleanser so naturally when I saw this was an oil cleanser, I felt obligated to check it out. This one doesn’t have any scent that I could really pick up which is neither a plus or a minus for more – mostly just an observation. This, however, is ONLY an oil so there is no real foaming action when you add water. I think it’s a great cleanser and really did the job BUT when you compare this ($48) to Mamonde ($21), I have to say I can’t notice any real reason to purchase something double the price.

Fifth Item: The Rice Polish Gentle

A water-activated exfoliant of nourishing Japanese Rice Bran that transforms to a creamy foam for smooth, polished skin with a healthy glow.

I think I made a mistake in choosing the ‘gentle’ version of this product. I really love exfoliants and on the site it advertises this as an exfoliating enzyme product. Maybe it’s just my ignorance but usually I equate exfoliation with some type of abrasive or more chemical quality and there was none in this that I could feel. I didn’t really notice any exfoliation or any real difference in anything using this product. The full-size comes in at $65 and after using this sample, I am not sure what benefit there is with this especially at that price point.

Sixth Item: Gold Camellia Beauty Oil

A multi-tasking beauty oil with 23-karat gold for face, hair and body that adds instant nourishment and radiance to your skincare and makeup routine.

I wanted to like this so much more than I did. Maybe it’s because I have been using the Sunday Riley Facial Oil (which is my first facial oil I’ve used) but I really didn’t enjoy this product. I put it on like I have been doing with the other oil and it took ALL NIGHT and then some to absorb into my face – honestly, it never actually fully absorbed. This product is $95 which is more than double of the Sunday Riley oil. This is also much thinner than the other and made my skin feel no different – the SR one at least made my skin feel nice and hydrated and took care of some dry patches I had. I know that skincare takes a while to see benefits but really what normal person can drop $95 in hopes that this works for them. I don’t think I’m being too critical in analyzing this from a sample (which is still $33…..$7 less than a fill-size SR).

Seventh Item: Luminous Dewy Skin Mist

A silky, fine mist moisturizer that can be used under or over makeup for dewy glowing skin anytime, anywhere.

I ‘dew’ have to say that I love this facial mist. It has the same herbal scent as the dewy face masks (which I adore). This instantly makes your skin look dewy and beautiful but it is also so lightweight that it doesn’t muddy up makeup. I love this product and can definitely see myself spending the $48 for the full size because I think it is such a lovely product. Plus I love the smell damnit.

The site also offers 3 complimentary samples which is great!

Sample One: The Essence

A resurfacing softener of 98.7% pure anti-aging Japanese superfoods that makes all skincare work better.

I have read that this is another highly acclaimed product from Tatcha and i have to admit I have no idea what the heck an essence actually is. This says plumping and skin softening which sounds luxurious….but I imagine that it takes a decent amount of time in a dedicated skincare routine to achieve those effects. I also read in most k-beauty skincare routines that an essence is a very important part of the routine and is used before any other skincare products like serums, oils, etc. I can’t say that I noticed any immediate benefits BUT I am intrigued so much that I am going to look into adding an essence to my routine.

Sample Two: Violet-C Radiance Mask

A creamy anti-aging mask, packed with Japanese beautyberry, 2 types of Vitamin C and AHAs from 7 fruits, that unveils softer, glowing skin.

I absolutely love this face mask! It says that it illuminates your skin and I really, truly feel like my skin had this ‘shine from within’ look to it after using this mask. I will definitely be looking into saving up for the big ol $68 splurge on this. Plus, it has this great purple coloring to it which I think is just lovely.

Sample Three: The Deep Cleanse

A daily gel cleanser with natural fruit exfoliant that deeply but gently lifts impurities and unclogs pores, while leaving skin soft and hydrated.

I was surprised at how much I loved this little sample. I really wish I had made this a bigger sample size because it was so lovely! It has little abrasive beads which I just adored. I really felt like this helped get rid of some dead skin cells AND really helped clean up my more oily zones without drying out the rest of my skin too much. I loved this!

Final Thoughts

So here is the final lineup of my mini haul!

Everything is so gorgeous!! Overall, I feel like this was a great way to try out some of the products I have been dying to try. I love that they have this option because there are so many times where I want to try a more high-end product than something at Target. I can’t say I really understand the price points of some of these products because I honestly couldn’t tell a difference from these samples, but that might be because there needs to be a longer testing period. I adore the case that the samples come with and I can feel boujee when I put my poor person skincare items in there. I do love the other items I purchased outside of the samples – the soap and eye masks – and if I had the budget for a routine purchase of them, I certainly would.

Tatcha is such a luxurious brand to me, from the packaging to the items themselves, and I am very happy I tried everything out. I hope this was informative for you guys and I would love to know if you have had a similar experience with higher end items not living up to the hype OR if you think that these items really are worth the price tag.

Thank you all so so much!!!! Til next time!

I’m Off the Waitlist! Ipsy Glam Bag Plus – April 2019

I am so excited to share this with you guys! I have been waiting months to get off the waitlist for the Ipsy Glam Bag Plus and now a million people and myself can finally show you what’s in the box!

Let’s dive in!

I forgot to take a picture of the box BUT there it is with my lovely face

Here we have a lovely fold out booklet which has a ton of info on the products which I absolutely adore.

First Item: Paris Hilton Skincare Pro DNA Dual Action Cleansing Gel – $29

This cleansing gel is infused with exfoliating caviar lime and pineapple-derived enzymes to brighten skin, cucumber to depute, and white tea extract to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help repair sun damage.

Did y’all know Paris Hilton was still around? I didn’t. I am glad to see this lovely looking bottle in my box though! The size is so great and I love getting skincare anything in a box. This item alone meets the price you pay for the box so that is a great start. I have a few face washes open right now so I am not going to tell you how this is yet – keep an eye out for the review in a Social Saturday update!

Second Item: Goldfadden MD Bright Eyes – $55

This eye cream gets straight to the root of your under-eye issues (because there’s only so much concealer can hide). Formulated with rice bran extract, soy peptide, organic red tea and arnica, it helps reduce the appearance of dark circles, puffiness and fine lines.

I am loving the value and items in this box so far! Skincare and eye care?!?! My freaking dream come true. Plus, this is catering to those pesky dark circles which always stay under my eyes. Again, I have a few eye creams I am trying out but I will update as soon as I can. I am so so so excited though!

Third Item: Laura Sanchez Moods Eyeshadow and Highlighter Palette – $35

This all-in-one palette is loaded with matte and metallic shades of cheek and eye colors – an option of any mood you’re in.

I am absolutely in love with this palette! It has some colors that are definitely outside of my comfort zone but they are gorgeous! You should check out my video to see the swatches because this picture does not give it justice. They blend so beautifully and are pigmented just enough to not be too crazy. I am shocked this is such an affordable palette!

Fourth Item: Benefit Cosmetics High Brow Eyebrow Highlighter – $22

When your brows need a lift, look no further than this creamy highlighter brow pencil. The matte, linen-pink shade pops on and accentuates your arches for brighter, lifted, younger-looking eyes.

I wasn’t expecting this to be a pencil for some reason. It is very creamy though.

This honestly isn’t something that I would use on my eyebrow highlight BUT I do think it will be great on the waterline. I know that adding white to the waterline is beaming an “in” thing and since I am so hip and cool, I will definitely be doing that with this pencil. Plus, the cap for this is just stunning!

Fifth Item:ITCosmeticsHeavenly Skin Skin-Smoothing Complexion Brush – $48

You don’t need an entire drawer of makeup brushes when you have one that does it all. Not only does this brush give makeup products an airbrushed finish, blurring away the appearance of fine lines and pores, it also applies skincare like a dream.

Holy hell this is an expensive brush. It is so expensive that I feel like I wanted to use it to apply my expensive skincare products……but I actually didn’t enjoy it. So. In a future update, I will let y’all know if this actually has any blurring abilities with makeup because it sure as hell better with that price. Hell, it better paint a whole new damn face as far as I am concerned.

Final Thoughts

So here is the final lineup! The final value came out to be $189 which is amazing since they say the value is guaranteed to be at least $120 (if I’m correct). I am so so so so happy with this box and I love each and every product. If it keeps being like this, I will probably end up cutting out BoxyCharm and only having this one next year!!

As always, thank y’all so so much for reading! Remember I have an active giveaway on both my Youtube and Instagram so check those out!

Til next time!