Organic Shoreline Scrub Bar (2.5 oz)
Mmmmm. The scent of Handmade Cartel’s Organic Shoreline Scrub Bar is just ah-mazing! This is easily one of my favourite Handmade Cartel soaps. I understand the green colour, but don’t be misled – it doesn’t really match the scent. The ingredients include mint, which is probably where the green colour comes from, but this soap doesn’t smell minty. Instead, it has a clean, fresh scent.
This soap smells like a noticeably chemical-free version of that same clean, fresh scent that has inspired numerous soaps and lotions, as well as countless perfumes. The mint probably gives this soap its clean, fresh, non-minty fragrance.
Like other Handmade Cartel scrub bars, this soap is speckled with whole salt crystals that do not quite exfoliate or scrub, but most certainly give the soap an interesting and pleasant character. From the size, to the scent, to the texture, this is an all-around great bar of soap that will appeal to most people, and make an ideal gift for anyone you know who enjoys bath and body products.
Owl Shea Butter Soap (3.5 oz)
Kids of all ages will love the cute design of Handmade Cartel’s Owl Shea Butter Soap. Cute design aside, this soap tends to be somewhat hard. As with most soaps that are hard, it cleans well, but not very easily. I don’t know why that is, but it’s a characteristic that I’ve noticed with natural soaps. Soap doesn’t have to lather to clean well. But this soap took a little more effort and a little more time than normal to do its job.
The morning after each night I used this soap for the first few days, I noticed orange beads had formed on the soap, similar to the ones that you see in the picture of the initial unboxing above. As I got to the end of the soap, those orange beads stopped forming. I hope this is something intentional, and that Handmade Cartel formulated this soap to be that way, but I really am not sure. Also, there are a few whole oats in this Owl Shea Butter Soap, but there are so few that they seem to be accidental rather than intentional. They neither add to, nor take away from the soap. Handmade Cartel’s Owl Shea Butter Soap is okay; not my favourite natural soap, but by no means is it a bad product.
Organic Rose Facial Toner (1.0 oz)
Handmade Cartel’s Organic Rose Facial Toner makes my skincare routine more pleasant. It is pretty to look at, and good for the skin. The first ingredient in this toner is witch hazel – popular as a standalone facial toner. But witch hazel doesn’t smell very nice. Thankfully, the second ingredient is rose water, which helps to mask the witch hazel smell while also being good for your skin. This toner is actually packed with ingredients that are good for your skin, including bilberry, aloe, tee tree oil, and black willow bark extract. But for the inconveniently small size of this product, I would give it five out of five stars.
The rose petals take up quite a bit of volume, so this 1.0 oz tube does not last for more than a few days. The small size is great for travel, but slightly inconvenient for everyday use. If Handmade Cartel sold this in a larger size, or sold a refill so that this mini bottle could be easily replenished, this toner would definitely have a permanent spot in my skincare routine.
Healthy On-the-Go Snacks: Tropical Island Trail Mix (2.0 oz) and Vanilla Macaroon Granola (1.0 oz)
There are beauty subscription boxes, food subscription boxes, clothing subscription boxes, makeup subscription boxes, and the list goes on and on. In my mind, each type of box lives in a separate world and those worlds should never meet. If I subscribe to a beauty box or a lifestyle box, I’m not really expecting to get food. And if I do get food, it seems suspect in the same way that homemade food from someone you don’t know always seems suspect. Is the space sanitary enough to make and assemble food? Who has been touching my food? How was it made? Forget the other types of subscription boxes for a moment, food, of all things, should always be set apart and prepared in the most sanitary conditions possible.
Needless to say it was a little disappointing to get Handmade Cartel’s Healthy On-the-Go Snacks in the August box. Aside from the unknowns, these snacks seem somewhat out of place. I won’t review them here, because they don’t quite fit the Chidi Beauty brand. But don’t let that fool you into thinking I won’t pray over these snacks and eat them both.