Let us guess: at this point, the bulk of your holiday shopping is done, but there are just a few more little things you need to round it all out and finish up -- and to fill the stockings. Wait, shit. The stockings. Dang it.
Don't worry, we've got you covered with a whole bunch of cosmetics that are as good for your body as they are for the Earth. And many of them are made right here in Central Pa.!
So as we find ourselves deep in the trenches of the season of excess and mass-production, we'd like to take a minute to recognize these little guys. By supporting them (and heck, us, too!), you're putting your money right back into the American economy, encouraging a culture of creativity, and offering meaningful gifts that each come with their own special story: the story of the people behind the product.
handmade bath fizz bars
WHO THEY ARE: "If you love taking baths, Bath Bricks will enhance your tub-time with an aromatic fizz of soothing oils and salts, leaving your skin feeling clean and smooth. Simply drop a brick in the tub and it'll release into the water with effervescent action.
It all started as a pet project in which we wanted to make a great little pre-portioned and convenient way to add our favorite ingredients to the tub water. We gave them away to friends and family; everyone enjoyed them. We're continually coming up with new and interesting scents to add to our line-up.
We hope you enjoy our bricks! Bath folks get it." -- Bath Bricks
WHY WE LOVE THEM: They smell delicious. They fizz up real nicely. And they're handcrafted by some real sweet friends. What's not to love here? Giving someone the gift of bath time is really one of the kindest gifts you can give. It's your way of saying, "Get yourself into some hot water -- in the best way possible -- and slow the heck down." Plus, these bars can double as pumices, offering a nice foot scrub before you dissolve the bar the rest of the way.
artisanal shampoo and conditioner bars, perfumes, and lip products
WHO SHE IS: "BΛTHVS, pronounced Bath-us, believes in using high quality ingredients for the best results in skin and hair care products. We are conscious of our ingredients and where they come from, straying away from animal testing. All ingredients are cruelty-free and vegetarian. We support charitable causes throughout the year, from helping animal non-profits, to donating a part of each batch of soap to an organization called "Clean the World", which gives the soap to impoverished countries, and educates them on personal hygiene to avoid illness. We want to make a positive difference, while also providing pleasure to all of your senses in the form of fine scents, relaxing baths, and soft, manageable hair." -- BathVS
WHY WE LOVE HER: We fell in love with Shana's solid shampoo and conditioner bars when she sent us some to try out a few months ago. They're eco-friendly, easy to use, long-lasting, and delicious smelling -- and we figured out that the conditioner bars can easily double as shaving cream, so double win! We just recently expanded our selection of BΛTHVS products to also include her sheer lip tints, lip scrubs, and perfumes, and it turns out those items are fantastic, too. Each of her items are so thoughtfully made, and they smell and taste delicious.
handmade soaps, lip balms, bitters, cheese boards, and leather products
WHO SHE IS: "Hello, I'm Tara Chickey and I began Chickey's in 2013, which consists of herbal salves, balms and handmade, cold processed soaps. My love for creating herbal products began with my first garden. While loving the vegetables that I planted, I began to wonder about those weeds that were growing in between all of my purposefully planted vegetables. After reading, and taking workshops, I began to learn that those weeds were far more nutritious and nourishing than anything that I could buy in the grocery store. So grew my love for herbalism and the weeds.
All Chickey's products are my most tried and true recipes, made from all natural oils and hand harvested herbs and plants. Oils are infused with herbs and healing crystals for at least 6 weeks before creating the salves and balms. Cold Processed soaps are also made with the finest ingredients and left to cure for at least 4 weeks per batch. Chickey's Cold Processed soaps are made without the use of palm oil, which is being over harvested by burning down the rain forests and ruining orangutans habitats. I use sustainable oils like; olive, coconut, cocoa butter, organic and grass fed tallow, shea butter and mango butters.
I hope you enjoy using Chickey's products as much as I enjoy making them!" -- Chickey's
WHY WE LOVE HER: Not only is Tara Chickey a gem of a human being, but she's always creating something new and gorgeous. As we contemplated the layout of this gift guide series, we realized she seriously could have fit in any of the categories? Housewares? CHECK. She makes lovely cheese boards, soap decks, and hanging planters. Accessories? DUH. Don't forget the one-of-a-kind leather goods she makes, from clutches to cross-body bags and just about everything in between. Cosmetics? YOU BET: handmade cold-processed soaps, lip balms and salves for the win. It's no surprise that the three of us find ourselves using so many of her creations each and every day.
Lyes and Lathers
handmade soaps, scrubs, and body butter
WHO SHE IS: "Handmade Lye Soap and Artisan Bath Goods: minimal-ingredient, chemical-free skincare. We are committed to all natural soap and bath products. No chemical fragrance oils, no additives, no artificial colors. Lyes and Lathers uses only essential oils and natural colorants. Find us online and at these local retailers:
-- Lyes and Lathers
WHY WE LOVE HER: Jena's soaps are so dang dreamy. She comes up with the coolest scent combinations, and they smell insanely good -- like, almost too good. In fact, Jen has noticed that whenever she's ringing out a Lyes and Lathers purchase, she smells each bar like a real creep before putting it in the bag. And though she apologizes for that, she's probably not going to be able to stop anytime soon. Furthermore, Jena's products are super well-made. The soap lasts long and is made with top-notch ingredients. And beyond her bars of soap, we also carry her scrubs -- Elementary Coffee and Coconut Vanilla -- vegan body butter, gift sets, and locally made soap dishes. We're so happy to see that our customers love her products as much as we do!
Fort Monroe, Virginia
essential oil blends
WHO SHE IS: "Of Earth is a variety of essential oil blends created under a multi-purpose philosophy. They can be used as a fragrance, aromatherapy, skin treatment, and many other health benefits. The idea came to me when I realized my dislike for all unnecessary, unnatural chemicals in this world today. I expressed this feeling to my husband and he started gifting me with rollerball essential oils he would buy. I thought to myself, I could make these! I enjoy that I'm able to create a clean product, an energy-giving gift to others, one that promotes clean health and wonderful sense or scent.
For most of my adult life I have tried to create my own products around home and beauty. Knowing what goes into the product is powerful and makes the process healing in itself. I use high-quality organic essential oils. They are purchased from a company which also houses premium herbals and supplements that I use for treating and preventing any ailment my family members might incur. Health is my greatest inspiration."
WHY WE LOVE HER: Jamie is a childhood friend of Haley's, and a few years ago, she started creating these essential oil blends and reached out to see if we'd like to carry them in the shop. We love her commitment to using top-of-the-line ingredients and crafting delicate scents that are never over-powering. She sends us new products seasonally, and we're always looking forward to seeing what she'll come up with next!
Zanabella Plant Based Skincare by Valoree & Company
handmade mists, lotions, scrubs and more
WHO SHE IS: "Zanabella Plant Based Skincare by Valoree & Co. utilizes nature's intelligence to create the best products while promoting respect to Mother Earth. During Valoree's years of academic studies, her research focused on chemicals and other harmful toxins found in everyday household products like cosmetics and toiletries. She was astounded to find a significant amount of proven scientific data on the harmful effects common chemicals and chemical combinations can have on humans, wildlife and the environment.
Because of her strong desire to only use natural products on her skin; Valoree started making lotions with food ingredients-not cheap man-made chemicals or petroleum bases. The lotions worked so well that she began sharing them with friends and family.
In 2011 she started Valoree & Company and started selling her products regionally.
She began with a philosophy of making each product naturally healthy for your skin while respecting Mother Nature and maintains this philosophy today." -- Valoree & Co.
WHY WE LOVE HER: Valoree is a sweetheart, a sweetheart who also happens to make good-for-you and good-for-the-environment body care products that we sure do love a lot. It's dangerous having her samples out in the shop with us throughout the day -- we just want to use them all, and hey, sometimes we do. Here body cremes are thick and luxurious. Her scrubs leave your skin feeling soft and nourished. Her body mists offer just the right amount of scent, never coming off too strong or too perfume-y. And to make it even better, she's based right here in Central Pa.