Friday, January 8, 2016

Review - Vivian Shaving Soap

Company: Mason Boutique
Product: Vivian Shaving Soap
Founder: Jenny Marting
Location: Fort George Meade, MD

It’s not often I come across a soap with such a beautiful label that makes you take notice and it happened to me last week with a soap called Vivian. So I did some research and contacted Jenny Marting of Mason Boutique and after explaining about my Wet the Face community she agreed to send me samples.  During our email conversations I asked Jenny a few questions. I always find it interesting on how people get into the soap business. Here is what she had to say. 

I was doing Direct Sales for a little over 4 years, was very successful with it but wanted something more to do with my time and wanted to make money for myself, not another company. So I tried a few different things then it dawned on me, bath and body products! The research and education is never ending! Countless hours of reading, watching videos, number crunching, etc... I started off with making Whipped Shea Butter, which was a success. Then came the soap making. I started with your basic Melt and Pour (MP). The MP soaps were great! I was able to be creative with my designs. I played around with different recipes to create my own soap from scratch, many failures, and finally found the right formula to start out with. Then my husband (brushguy) asked if I ever thought about making shave soap, so I gave it a try.

Jenny was nice enough to supply me with a full 5oz tub of Vivian along with 4 other smaller samples called Lillian, Josephine, Evelyn and Maya. Each one with it’s own unique scent and just as intoxicating. I will be using Vivian for this review.

Vivian comes in the standard plastic tub with a screw on lid. The labels are water proof so getting them wet is not a problem. No side label making it difficult to identify if you stack your soaps. The tub is wide enough to load your brush from but I elected to use my Captains Choice bowl and the reason for this is I’ve been producing some of the the best lathers with it lately so why not just continue using it.

The scent on Vivian is amazing. Once I opened the tub the first image that came to mind was Le Piment de La Vie but less spicy, I will leave the comparison up to you. The notes for this soap are Sandalwood, Hay, Birch, Tobacco, Cinnamon, White Citrus, Ginger and Rum. The Ingredients: Stearic Acid, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Fragrance Oil. This is one of those soaps that begs to be tried once your introduced to it’s scent. The strength from the tub is on the medium side but increases with lathering.

I’m using my Zen Shave custom brush along with my R89 Grande Razor. I wet the brush and added the water from it to the bowl and started. Instantly you could see the lather starting to build and the scent was intensifying as well. When I was finished I had a rich, thick, creamy lather with great peaks. The lather was truly impressive you can tell that Jenny had done her homework the coverage was just great. I had the right amount of cushion, slickness and glide for the entire shave and the post shave feel was terrific.

So as you can tell I had a real great shave I was so impressed with Mason Boutique I asked Jenny was it a difficult process creating your first Shaving Soap. Here is what she had to say. Let me start off by saying it has been a learning experience! I originally started making shave soap well over a year ago. I laughed, cried, even got angry with making it. I couldn't get the recipe right. After numerous failed attempts, I threw in the towel. I took some time off to focus on my family and regroup. Then at the end of July 2015 I started again with a very small batch. With my knowledge of what went wrong a year ago and what I had learned, I was able to create a recipe. Crossing fingers, I whipped it up. FAILURE! So frustrating!! I double checked my recipe, did some math (the math is very important along with measurements), made a few changes and BINGO! My husband tried it out, and LOVED it! Now, he is such an honest person and wouldn't sugar coat anything. I then sent out a test phase to 18 different people to try out my soap. All but one person told me it was ready to market, so I went ahead and got the containers, labels, packaging, more ingredients and launched on September 27th 2015 my line of shave soaps.

 I also asked her was anything new on the horizon did she plan on coming out with aftershaves or shampoo in the future? I am tossing back and forth the idea of aftershaves, pre-shave oils and balms. Hopefully soon I will have something in the works. The research is what takes up the most time. I do plan on having bars of soaps to match the shave soaps coming soon. Also keep an eye out for more releases of other ladies coming to play.

Company: Mason Boutique
Product: Vivian Shaving Soap 5oz $15.00

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