Small Business Bath & Beauty
February 28, 2013 8:42 AM   Subscribe

I love bath stuff (fizzies, melts, bubbles) & lotions & scented oils. I'm looking for small or independent sellers so I can discover more great stuff!

I'm a big fan of LUSH, Origins, & Tokyo Milk and some of the other brands at places like Sephora. I love things that color, perfume, or fizzy up the bath water or exfoliate or smooth and moisturize me before or after and I adore things that smell awesome (I love BPAL too). (As recommended by AskMe I am working on self care and bath stuff is calorie-free and cheaper than a vacation to the islands!)

I bet I'm missing out on great products by looking at the easily-found stuff so I'd love some recommendations for smaller or less well-known producers - maybe on Etsy or online retailers or smaller makers with limited distribution (I'm in Atlanta).

Preferences include no animal testing (but I'm not vegan so milk and honey is A-OK) and I like many types of scents as long as they aren't too artificially sweet or very floral. I'm interested in many price points for treats both everyday and special occasion.

Since this is from the other side of the coutry & four years old, I hope this isn't too much of a dupe.
posted by pointystick to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (28 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Try a search on the Soapmakers Guild site. A lot of them also make handcrafted body products.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:50 AM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've ordered a few products from Firebird (formerly Flourish) on etsy and been happy with them. The blood orange sugar scrub cubes are a favorite of mine. Also bought a nice tinted balm and soap bar, haven't tried the perfume oils or lotions though.
posted by jorlyfish at 8:52 AM on February 28, 2013

You could try making your own bath bombs or bath melts.(Especially if you've got some BPAL imps hanging around that you don't know what to do with.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:53 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

It's been a few years since I've indulged, but I love Make Me Smooth Cosmetics.

In particular, anything with the Guilty Pleasures/Slice of Lemon scent, which is "Lemon Curd meets White Mud Cake, and a match made in heaven is confirmed. Decadent, rich, moist White Cake Accord with lashings of Lemon Curd and a smooth Vanilla Cream note" So good. So so good. Never found anything like it anywhere else. I'm a fiend for sweet lemon scents.

Their scent bar is a little unwieldy, unless you just enjoy browsing through it I recommend searching for notes you particularly like. (But the scroll is enjoyable - I just noticed they have a scent that is straight black tea. Nice.)

Their lotions always made me very happy. The SheShe sugar scrub was a staple in my shower for a long time (and I know it's the easiest thing in the world to make, but I really loved theirs and their scents are so nice), and I may have to treat myself. Shipping and response time was always very good.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:03 AM on February 28, 2013

Back in December I bought a bar soap from Osmia Organics. It is HEAVENLY. Really gentle on the skin, nice naturally-derived scents that don't overpower you throughout the day, and the bar lasts a freaking LONG time. The one I bought in December is only about halfway gone and I use it nearly every day. It also doesn't seem to melt away just from sitting in my shower every day, unlike the Lush bar soaps I've tried for years and years.
posted by joan_holloway at 9:04 AM on February 28, 2013

I like to look at this stuff more than buy it, but Beautyhabit sells products from tons of (small, I think) brands that I'd never heard of before randomly getting that catalog. And they all look gorgeous.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 9:07 AM on February 28, 2013

Duross and Langel in Philadelphia.
posted by knile at 9:11 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

I almost feel bad suggesting this because she's so limited-run that her store is only open a few times throughout the year, but since now is one of those times, I'll say that I have never met a bath product that I loved as much as the sugar polishes from Haunt. (The main screen of the shop is a selection of a few of her products, and if you click through any of the categories on the right, you'll see lots more of each.) She's based in Syracuse, NY, and her products smell so, so, so good.
posted by jessypie at 9:25 AM on February 28, 2013

This line is run by two 11 year old girls in my town.

Chica Fresca
posted by humboldt32 at 9:27 AM on February 28, 2013

Came in to say Duross and Langel, and also Blooddrop.
posted by JoanArkham at 9:36 AM on February 28, 2013

I'm officially addicted to Alkemia perfume oils, though it's a bit of a double-edged sword, since my husband likes one (Sogni d'Oro) so much he's disappointed if I wear anything else... so I don't dabble wearing the different scents as much as I'd like. (But sometimes I just sit with my big bowl of samples, sniffing them all.) The prices are so reasonable that I can try them all out and order full sizes of the ones I like best, even with the extra cost of overseas shipping, so I have a lot of samples. Salma Hayak is a fan.

So far my personal favorites for wearing are Sogni d'Oro, Grasslands, Falling Stars at Solstice (usually layered with something else), Ghostfire, Dalliance, Moon Goddess, but I'm still experimenting. In fact, I think I need to get more samples, since Alkemia owner Sharra has some new ones out, and there are older ones still on my need-to-sniff list.
posted by taz at 9:53 AM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

Metafilter's own dejah420!
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:04 AM on February 28, 2013

Villainess has my favorite soaps, scrubs, and lotions of any e-tailer. I've shopped there for years. You can buy soap or fragrance sample packs if you want to get a taste before splurging. The scents are developed by Brooke, and even the foodie ones are a lot more sophisticated than the average blends.

I'm fussy about avoiding companies that don't develop their own recipes and scents (ie buy soap bases and pre-blended fragrances), and everything at Villainess is legit. I make my own lotion so I don't buy hers any more, but her fragrance oils are great for scenting my own creations as well.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:05 AM on February 28, 2013 [5 favorites]

Ack. I should have been clearer on this: the overseas shipping from Alkemia is because I'm overseas; Alkemia is based in the US.
posted by taz at 10:24 AM on February 28, 2013

Strawberry Hedgehog sounds like its right up your alley. My bestie is a habitual buyer and has gifted some of the items to me over the years. Yummy.
posted by Leezie at 11:06 AM on February 28, 2013

Seconding Villainess, and also Lalun Naturals, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, Sweet Anthem, Aftelier, Aroma M, Sweet Petula, Exotic Island Aromatics, Opus Oils.

The blog EauMG reviews a lot of body products from natural brands.
posted by matildaben at 11:15 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Look past the Comic Sans on this site, the stuff's great. Chocolate lip balm does what it says on the tin, the soaps are nice, Everything Balm is nothing short of miraculous.
posted by clavicle at 11:16 AM on February 28, 2013

I really like the soaps and powders from Volta Organics. Very natural smelling and nice.

Duross and Langel is awesome. I highly recommend their natural deodorant (I recommend the Ginger) and their clay soaps.

Two natural holy grail products in my life are this oil and this toner.
posted by Katine at 12:00 PM on February 28, 2013

These are all fabulous! I'm certainly open to more but you folks are making suggestions that are just what I was looking for!
posted by pointystick at 12:03 PM on February 28, 2013

Anderson Soap Company is awesome, especially their whipped soap in a jar -- Ethically Engineered, too. As I mentioned in another thread, EE's Himalayan Black Sea Salt Body Butter is a wonderful, wonderful product. Neither company performs animal testing; EE is fully vegan and ASC is like 90%.

I swear, though, my very favorite luxurious body product is this vanilla brown sugar scrub (2 c brown sugar, 1 c white sugar, 1 c sunflower or canola oil, 1 tbsp vanilla extract). It exfoliates and moisturizes like a dream, smells divine, and can be made with pantry ingredients.
posted by divined by radio at 1:24 PM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

I love this Etsy seller. I've only tried their perfume oils, but if everything they make is that quality, you're golden.
posted by altopower at 3:31 PM on February 28, 2013

I've been a big fan of the products at Sweet Petula on Etsy for a few years. I (and my husband) especially like her Provence scent. Most of her products include shea butter which, to me, seems to moisturize better than most anything else.
posted by DrGail at 4:10 PM on February 28, 2013

Just a little FYI, in case it's important to you: 90 percent of bath and body sellers on Etsy buy premixed fragrances and bases. So if there's a product you like, chances are someone else is selling the same thing with different scents; and if there's a fragrance you love, you can also find it. Several of the Etsy sellers mentioned in this thread have some products of this type, even though they use language like "my blend" or "our new fragrance". It also means that in many cases you can make your own products by buying bases and fragrances from any of the numerous home cosmetic supply companies that sell to the hobby crafter.

I mention this because 1) sometimes you really enjoy a particular product, and it's nice to know there are many options for it on Etsy (and some much cheaper); 2) some people aren't aware that most of the bath and body products are not "hand-crafted" in any sense beyond putting bulk things in a smaller container and adding perfume oils; 3) some people are possibly interested in making their own.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:12 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

for natural products that come with recipe instructions go for Crunchy Betty's stuff (I'm a fan of her blog).
posted by mirileh at 4:22 AM on March 1, 2013

I love the namesake scrub, as well as the SHU moisturizer and body scrubs at Eff Off. She's also more than willing to consult with you on what products will work best for you, and to make custom things.
posted by jaksemas at 4:58 AM on March 1, 2013

Apothecary Fairy if just fabulous and delicious. Elia is in Western Tennessee, and I believe she hand grows much of her herbs. I love BPAL and I love Apothecary Fairy, so it might work for you.
posted by Vaike at 12:50 PM on March 1, 2013

I've been a fan of Product Body (soon to be rebranded as Absolute Soap) for years, especially "Crush On You", which is a combination scrub and body wash. The scents are really good -- they tend to cycle through depending on the season and what she's interested in ("Sexy Laundry Day" was a limited edition that's now permanent, etc.).

She's also on Etsy and tends to put more one-offs and limited editions there.
posted by littlemisslaika at 11:35 PM on March 1, 2013

My SiL runs Be Green Bath & Body, a small business in New England.

She is very careful about the ingredients she uses, and her stuff smells good. :7) She makes it al herself. (As a testimonial, my big sister -- halfway across the country -- likes my SiL's stuff a lot.)
posted by wenestvedt at 12:25 PM on August 27, 2013

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