February 22, 2012

Why It's Okay to Buy a $5 Bar of Soap: My Thoughts on Villainess Soaps

So, it turns out that I know a lot about soap. Or, perhaps I should say, I buy a lot of soap. As I was soaping myself up in the shower I thought to myself, "Hm, why do I love soap so much?" And I determined the answer was that soap provides a very nice and inexpensive pick me up. What does $5 get you these days? A small popcorn at the movies? A McDonald's Happy Meal? I small ice cream sundae from Friendly's? None of these things are going to brighten my day for more than the 30 minutes it takes to eat one. Actually my every other day Peppermint Hot Chocolate that I get in the winter costs somewhere around $3.50, except more often than not I feel fat and guilty for getting it (which is why I get no whip, somehow this makes it better). Instead, when I think about all the empty calories I've just consumed, they will likely me feel worse.

However, for $5 you can buy a really freaking nice bar of soap. Like, top of the line, fancy pants soap. And it will last for more than 30 minutes. In fact, if you use it every day, it will probably last you for a month of showers. It's a pick me up. It's a way to treat yourself. It doesn't make you feel gross or fat afterwards, it doesn't cost a lot, not really when you think about it. Because, unfortunately, there's just not a lot you can get in this world for $5.

So yeah, I like soap. I like fancy bath products. When I'm having a crappy day or feeling down in the dumps I like to sit in my bathtub or take a shower with my really nice smelling soap and then I like to put some really nice smelling lotion on. For about 20 cents you can start your day off with a pick me up, and that, I think, is worth it. Not to mention, if you're rubbing nice stuff into your skin, there's the potential for long term benefits (like how I just justified that?). Oh, and if you happen to have IC, like me, you might also have a horrible problem with extreme dyes and fragrance, and not be able to tolerate good old fashioned Irish Spring (trust me, horrible things would happen).
LUSH is definitely the top contender in mainstream fancy pants soap these days, but they're not the only show in town. A few years ago I found Villainess Soaps...I can't remember how, but I think it had something to do with my Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab obsession (don't worry, I'm sure I'll get into that later), because it seems like all the BPAL girls happen to love Villainess as well.

I got my first bar of Villainess Soap on a Makeup Alley swap. It was Pearl Diver and I loved it. It's still one of my favorites. The scent is beautiful and light and the soap itself is exfoliating, which I love. I don't know why, but I just love scrapping off dead skin cells. I derive a bizarre amount of satisfaction from exfoliating. From then on I was hooked, and since I HATE having to pay $10 in shipping for 2 bars of soap, I would just make large bi-annual orders. Hm, I want a new bar of Grundy soap? I shall justify this purchase by also buying my sister, whose birthday is in a month some soap as well! 2 birds, 1 stone.

I think I shall buy myself some soap as a birthday present and add it to my extensive collection of smelly nice things. Oh, and I rotate my soaps. I know, this sounds weird, but I like to mix it up -      some days I like floral and some days I like musk. So what I do is slice up a bar in to 1/4" chunks and store it in a plastic baggy in my magical soap drawer. This makes the bar last longer and also means I don't have to use the same soap every day. I highly suggest everyone who likes to indulge in anything beyond your typical Dove soap do this.

Before: So pretty!

After: Convenient mini bars!

As for Villainess, I'm going to order my favorites today (Grundy, Pearl Diver, Byzantine, Krakatoa and/or Embargo). They're a mix of exfoliating soaps and creamy soaps, since I'm one of those weirdos who likes to shave their legs with a bar of soap (I know, crazy right!?). Although I'm a little torn, because it might also be nice to try something new...or should I stick with what I know I like? Dilemmas!

Jade sounds absolutely lovely -

Distinguishing Features: Absolutely smooth, sheer, silken lather loaded with creamy French Green Clay. 
Characteristic Scent: Sparkling citrus, galbanum and bergamot, with a substantial heart of jasmine, cyclamen and roses, peaches and berries. A very earthy denoument of olibanum, patchouli, sandalwood, cedarwood and rich dark musk.
There's also Jai Mahal -
Characteristic Scent: A lesser palace infused with the sweet scent of victory. 4 rich vanillas and tonka, Mysore sandalwood, bourbon and coconut. Expensive woods, incense and imported spices - cedar, amber, myrrh, cardamom and nutmeg.
And Paradise Misplaced -
Characteristic Scent: Sweetly creamed coconut with touches of mango offset by crisp green tea.
So many lovely scents to chose from! Maybe I'll buy them all and give whatever doesn't strike my fancy out as birthday presents, cause I'm a jerk like that...although I can't imagine anyone wouldn't be happy to get fancy pants soap for their birthday.

Villainess also makes body lotions, but I can't say they're my favorite. They are SUPER think though and spread nicely, but for some reason I never fell in love with them. Although I've only tried a couple, I think the formula is the same between them and the only change is the scent. I think they might not moisturize deeply enough for my ridiculously dry skin and I had to use quite a bit in order to get satisfaction. Also, the lotion jars are about $10.50 for 6 ounces, and at the rate that I go through lotion I'd be spending a fortune. Oh, and not that this really matters, but lotions I've bought and never really gotten around to using will lose their scent after a time - granted, a long time, but still.

Over the years the Villainess line has expanded to include face masks, foaming scrubs, moisturizing scrubs, and perfumes. In general I prefer soaps over scrubs so I never order them, but my sister is a fan. Villainess offers a sampler for their face masks that's very reasonably priced ($18 for the set), so perhaps I might give that a try in the future.

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