Friday, June 12, 2015

Feature Friday: Farm Hussy - The Series v1 - Summer 2015 Collection

It is no secret that my favorite handmade lotion is made by the mad genius, Julie, behind Farm Hussy.  Now, before you go recoiling at that name, it's important to take a dandy at this page explaining the inspiration and the usage of the word in its positive, empowering form.

Julie's products are not short of being spectacular.  I was introduced to her products back in '09 or '10 (hard to say now) when I received them in a sampler.  It was that same parting-of-clouds moment when I discovered handmade soy candles.  Here was the lotion that I was looking for: thick, unbelievably moisturizing, and incredibly scented.  Since then I've sung of Farm Hussy's praises to the moon and back, and converted many a friend to her products.

I am an unabashed addict.  To the point that I currently have over 100 of her products in my possession.  Fortunately (and sadly) for me, her sales support my need to constantly rotate through scents and I have a problem completely finishing a jar or bottle.  I'm working on that.  Promise.

My nose is a connoisseur for scents (thank goodness, since I make soy candles) so it only seemed fitting to create a series in which I review scents from each new collection she releases to help others decide what they would like.  Because, yes, it really.really.really is that hard to decide each time.

So strap on your seatbelts and get ready to delve into the ongoing series!

Hey, it's my most recent haul!  Almost all scents in this box are from the Summer 2015 Beach Hussy's Sugar Shack Collection.  Like all scent reviews, it's important to consider these are simply my opinions.  I'd advise taking everything with a grain of salt, so to speak, as my nose is certainly not your nose and your nose probably likes plenty of things differently than my nose (for example, I'm not a fan of patchouli so I tend to avoid that scent).  However, it's always easy to ask in the Facebook group which are the top smellers for that month - I have noticed there certainly are some consensus favorites - for a second opinion.

Julie recently reformulated the lotion sticks and I was eager to try the new formula.  I loved the old formula and was curious to see how she could possibly improve upon it.  She did not disappoint!  First ingredient: organic cocoa butter.  As someone who is transitioning to all natural and organic products/foods, this was totally awesome possum to see.  I like to use these as a no-fuss way to apply an intense amount of moisturizing goodness on stretch marks and cracked heels.  I thought the old formula worked fast... the new formula kicks its butt!  I couldn't believe it!  It visibly reduced my old growth stretch marks even more overnight and pretty much completely healed my cracked heels I had been struggling to resolve from this rugged drought.  Granted, I gave them a beating with the PedEgg beforehand, but I've never had such an instantaneous impact from any b&b product before!  Thank you new formula!

Every order, I have to get my favorite products in my favorite scents.  Hard to do since I have SO many favorites, but here's the three I chose this round as I had run out of these scents in my stash (hard to believe, I know).  So they are not from the new collection, but, rather, old staples that I always lust after.

Tropical Rainforest: Rainfall on thick lush greenery, surrounded by exotic orchids and tropical fruits for a fragrance so refreshing you'll want to SAVE IT!! This is a Best Smeller every Summer!

My review: smells like you stepped into a fruit orchard during a rain, definitely fitting to its name.  This is a top smeller by customers, and there's good reason, too.  A lovely spa scent with a little kick, it's a nice, even scent for those days you don't need a huge punch to your nose, but appreciate a clean mix.

Sugar Violet Riot: Cambrian Bergamot and Violets collide at this concert of floral and Garden Party Sugared Crumpet notes trumpet with a Spectacular Scent Crescendo!!

My review: such an instantaneous hit among fans when it was first released that it sold out the first week, this is clearly an addictive scent.  I purchased it for the bergamot note, one of my favorite all-time scents, but quickly discovered this scent is an indescribable pleasure.  A scent that's complex, yet delicious beyond belief, this sugary floral is one you're sure to want to bathe yourself in.

Don't Skinny Dip in the Snappin' Turtle Pond: Make sure that your goods are safely tucked away, if you dare to go bare in the ole' swimmin' hole! You're guaranteed to be bait, if anything catches a whiff of these dark cherry notes blended into a whirlpool of Jasmine, pink raspberries, brown sugar, cotton candy, white musk and splash of fresh cream.

My review: I personally tend to gravitate towards her cherry scents, for whatever reason, and added this to my line-up of faves after first application.  While the cherry notes certainly take center stage reminiscent of a bag of Tootsie Roll Pops, the jasmine and musk notes meander in the background to round out the end of the experience that delights your nose.  The sugary notes serve to augment the cherry at the forefront.

Disclaimer: products purchased for my own review.  All opinions are expressly my own.  No affiliation with Farm Hussy and its products.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Life Lessons from a Handmade Artisan

Essentially, this blog is an extension of my handmade business: a space where I can place the "extras" that relate to my entrepreneurial artisan lifestyle, but don't quite fit appropriately on Facebook or Instagram.  I am an artisan that believes in supporting handmade, shopping local, and eating organic as best as I can.  In my vision for this blog, I intend to discuss and impart the life lessons I learn as someone running a handmade business in a world of cheap trinkets, trying to live+breathe a lifestyle of handmade, and educate others about the massive benefits of supporting local.

I've slowly eased my way into reviving my blog, and have many plans for its future.  Like my business, it is a part of the makeover of my branding.  You may have already noticed the series #MondayMani, through which I feature handmade indie nail polishes - which ties into my support for handmade and my using indie polishes in my jewelry.  On Fridays, posted series will include Feature Friday, in which I feature and review a handmade product; or Foodie Fridays, in which I post a new dish I've tried from my clean eats inspired arsenal of recipes.  I will also be posting weekly topics on the lessons I've learned on running a successful handmade business and wish to teach others so that they may thrive, too, at doing what they love.

Excited as I am to watch this blog grow?  Have ideas for topics I should write about?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!  I look forward to connecting with you all.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday Mani: #52WPNMC with Superficially Colorful Tsahik Accented by Darling Diva The Alchemist and Dark Ritual

This week's Monday Mani features red, orange, and green from the #52WPNMC nail art challenge.  My mani was inspired by Lacquerologist's gorgeous mani from last week, which I discovered in my feed on Instagram and you can find on her blog here (and, yes, I SO want that KBShimmer now!).

I used Superficially Colorful in Tsahik for the orange, Darling Diva in The Alchemist for the red, and Darling Diva in Dark Ritual for the green.  I'm not a big fan of orange in general and, thus, don't have really any in my stash, so I thought I was *really* stretching it using Tsahik, but thought I could roll with it since it's described as a bright holographic orange/coral red polish.  What I discovered pleasantly surprised me: while in indoor lighting it clearly leans coral in hue, in the outdoors it lights up to an almost-neon orange.  Crazy cool!  Formula was ah-mazing on this, and could easily be a one coater depending on how you applied it.  I went for two thin coats.  As is the case with my Darling Diva polishes, no application issues there either.  Although I was a little impatient applying topcoat (need to get better about that!), it really brought out the holo in Tsahik, which otherwise dries as semi-matte.  Dark Ritual is a deep blackened evergreen linear holo and The Alchemist is a bright red holo.

Tell me in the comments what you think!  It's hard to put these colors together - did I pull it off?

Indirect outdoor lighting under shade

Full shade

Full shade

Full direct sun

Monday Mani is about showcasing beautiful indie polishes that I've purchased through lifestyle shots. So many swatches out there are captured under lighting and conditions that aren't common of every day. My intention is to show mani's under typical lighting and wearing conditions so you can decide if the beauty is right for you or not. Please note that although colors are accurate on my computer monitor (Macbook Pro), colors do vary among devices. Professional blogger swatches are perfect - here's my life lessons from a handmade artisan.

Disclaimer: All reviews and opinions are my own. Products were purchased with my own money. No affiliation with Superficially Colorful, Darling Diva, and their respective products.