Handmade Beauty Box: February 2015 Review

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Handmade Beauty Box is a monthly DIY beauty subscription box from the owners of Soap Queen and Brambleberry (in Bellingham, WA!). Subscriptions start at around $30. February’s project was a cuticle/lip balm project. Detailed instructions with pictures and tips are always included.
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I started by cutting out the labels for the tins. This tends to be the hardest part of any HBB project, which should tell you about their difficulty (which is not at all).
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I then labeled the tins and set them up for the balm to be poured into.
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I poured all of the [vegan!] included, pre-measured ingredients into a microwave-safe measuring cup – the spout made pouring easy.
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After microwaving, they were a nice liquid. I then added the flavor/scent, a berry rose. The instructions said there would be some left over, but as a fan of heavy scents, I used the whole vial.
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Then I poured it into the tins.
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It didn’t take long for them to solidify, as you can see from the bottom tins.

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By the next day, they were a nice solid cuticle and lip balm with a lovely scent.

Verdict: Since its first box, Handmade Beauty Box has been my favorite subscription. The projects are fun and easy, and I love sharing with friends. It even inspired me to start making other products; check out my Etsy shop here!

Handmade Beauty Box: January 2015 Review

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Handmade Beauty Box delivers ingredients and instructions each month for a DIY beauty project. Subscriptions are around $30 a month.

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This is the box’s second month, and it featured a lavender herb bath bomb.

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If I’d known how darn easy it was too make bath bombs, I could have saved myself hundreds of dollars spent at Lush! I started by gathering my supplies and ingredients.

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I matched up the molds and cut out the labels before things got messy.

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I managed to lose my instructions overnight, so I adapted a recipe from the Soap Queen’s site (she is the founder of HBB). I know they would have sent me the instructions again – love their quick and friendly customer service! – but I was too excited to wait. I started by adding the citric acid and sodium bicarbonate, mixing them together by hand.

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Next I added the fragrance oil. The whole bottle of fragrance oil. I later realized you were only supposed to add about a quarter of the bottle… I do like strong scents at least! I also deviated a bit from the recipe and added some moisturizing jojoba oil.

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Then I mixed and put about two thirds of the mixture in a separate bowl and added the blue mica.

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I sprayed enough witch hazel on them to make the mix stick together in my hand.

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Once that was done, I packed them in the molds, layering the two colors and squeezing the two halves of the mold together to form a ball.

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Here’s where I wasn’t sure if I should take them out of the mold to dry or leave them in. So I did a little of both.

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The project was a little messy, but cleanup was a breeze! Baking soda and lavender are great countertop cleaners.

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And the mix left in the bowl just fizzed right up, then dissolved in water. You can see the lovely blue tint.

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I’ll give these guys some time to dry overnight, then tomorrow I’ll add the labels and ribbon.

Verdict: I’m a complete beginner at making my own products, but this box makes me feel like a beauty badass. I have so much fun making these products, and love chatting with and getting tips from the Handmade Beauty Box staff. It’s my new favorite box. I can’t wait to see what next month brings!
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Next day update: Leaving them in the molds seems to be the way to go. You can see how the ones that didn’t (top row) flattened where they were drying on the counter, and got paper towel stuck to them. Overall, they turned out beautiful, and very strongly scented.
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Handmade Beauty Box Launch Party

I joined the Handmade Beauty Box team in Bellingham’s Umpqua Bank for the box’s launch party. Guests were treated to drinks and hors d’oeurves, live piano, handmade soaps, a preview of the inaugural box, and a make-your-own bath salt bar. I got to meet the box’s manager and The Soap Queen herself. We learned HBB has over 400 subscribers, and that an upcoming box will feature ingredients for nail polish.

Being surrounded by such kind people who were so excited about natural beauty was a wonderful treat. I’ve just finished making my soap from the first box – post coming soon! – and can’t wait for next month’s box.

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Handmade Beauty Box Review: December 2014

It’s here! The first-ever edition of the Handmade Beauty Box.

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When my mom, a soapmaker from NC,  visited Seattle, we made a stop in Bellingham to visit the Brambleberry soap supply store. We accidentally went to their headquarters instead of the store and met Anne-Marie Faiola, the Soap Queen. She was incredibly kind and gracious, and, in addition to giving us directions to the actual store, told us she’d soon be offering a subscription box.

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I ended up buying a full year subscription on Kickstarter. Handmade Beauty Box starts at $31.50 per month. Each box contains supplies for a DIY beauty project. I was thrilled with the first box!

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Its project is a “Sunny Herbal Garden Loofah Soap,” and it contains nearly all the ingredients you need, from the molds to the soap base and loofah, even beautiful labels!

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It comes with easy to use instructions too.

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The scent smells just like walking into an herb garden drenched in sunshine. It’s fresh and gender-neutral.

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I can’t wait to get started making soap. I’ll also be attending the Handmade Beauty Box launch party next Tuesday (we get to learn how to make our own salt scrub!) and will be sure to post plenty of pictures from the event.

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Verdict: A promising start to a highly-anticipated new subscription box. Now I know what I’ll be making my friends for Christmas…!