Saturday, October 12, 2013

Beauty Review: Purple Urchin

You need soap. P.U.

Probably one of the best slogans I've ever heard. Why? The "P.U." not only stands for "pee-you" (you stink), it also stands for the brand Purple Urchin. Genius! This is an Ottawa-based homemade soap and body product company that was originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (shout out to my Northern Ontario peeps!).

Here's a little bit about their products: (excerpt taken from their About Us page)

Our goal in making this soap was to make a wide variety of soap that contained only vegetable oils and delicious fragrances, while avoiding the use of unnecessary chemicals. We wanted to make soap that felt luxurious and would not strip the skin of moisture, and that was as natural as possible while still offering a wide range of scents...
Purple Urchin soap is not tested on animals, nor do we use lard or tallow in our soap. Most of our products are 100% vegan-friendly, and all are 100% vegetarian-friendly, and biodegradable. We refrain from using palm oil in our soaps since the demand is extremely high...
Being environmentally-friendly is also extremely important to us in our everyday business operations, and we try to reduce waste and to use as many recyclable and/or recycled products as possible. We also use local, Ontarian, and Canadian suppliers whenever possible...

I met Rebecca, one of the co-owners, at a few events here in Ottawa. I got these products at the Fall Edition of Urban Craft, and I can't wait for the holiday edition! It's a great place to find some jems like these locally-made body treats. I reviewed two of their products here, although I'm sure I will eventually buy one of everything. (Teehee!)                   

Lemon Meringue Hand Balm
If you like lemon meringue, or lemon anything for that matter, this is HEAVENLY. Just the smell alone should have you sold on this beautiful thick hand balm. The only thing I'm not a fan of is that this product uses beeswax. This is a whole other can of worms, but bee by-products has always been on the fence of veganism. Personally, I do try to avoid them in general, but I'm not strict on this (Maybe I'll write up a blog post on this subject).
I like to use this product at night, on my feet and/or my hands, waking up to soft and buttery skin. It's very handy at this time of year. As it starts to get cold, your skin start to dry up. You can moisturize and have a lemony-smelling nostalgic moment with this balm. This is now kept in my purse at all times until further notice. Love it!

Chocolate Face Mask
This mask comes in powder form in a little glass jar (I can totally reuse it!). Cocoa powder and lava clay are the main ingredients, which are really good for the skin. It also contains oatmeal powder to get a good scrubbing as you are using it. The label has instructions to mix one tsp of the powder with one tsp of liquid: water, milk, yogurt, honey or green tea. A little bit really does go a long way with this! I think it's awesome that we mix the powder ourselves. It doesn't get much fresher than that, and it's fun to have the versatility of creating different types of masks depending on your needs.
I tried it with water first, and the consistency was ok. It didn't feel as rich as I would have wanted. It still felt great and my skin was refreshed afterwards.
It was much better the next time I tried it, mixed with soy milk. It had a nice creamy texture, and smelled like chocolate brownies. Pretty darn awesome! I felt the soy milk gave more moisture to the mask and my skin felt more hydrated afterwards compared to the mask mixed with water.
Even if it wasn't on the list of suggestions for liquid, I tried it with coconut oil the next time. Boy, I was impressed. It was so rich and creamy, and smelled fantastic! I love the smell of coconut and chocolate, for some reason. This made my skin so soft is was unbelievable. You haven't felt a softer baby's bum. Okay, not an actual guarantee, but you know what I mean.

Final verdict? I love both of these products. I'm really impressed, and I've tried ALOT of beauty products (I'm a recovering product junkie). You can find these products online, at craft shows and farmer's markets, in many retail locations around Ottawa, as well as their storefront at 884 Somerset Street West in Ottawa's Chinatown. Go see Rebecca and give her a great big high-five, she does great work.
See their website here.

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