Monday, February 02nd, 2009 | Author:

I purchased a bunch of samples from Mema’s Cold Process soaps because she has so many lovely-sounding fragrances like Ginger Lime, Plumeria, and Pomegranate. The ones I’ve tried so far are the Cucumber Aloe and Plumeria.

Ingredients: olive oil, canola, jojoba, goat milk, glycerin, coconut, palm, avocado, sweet almond, kernel, rice bran, nettle oil, sodium hydroxide.

Mema’s shampoo bars have mostly the same base ingredients with different fragrances and extras added in.

Smell: This soap has a very very mild scent — even the scented ones. Mostly what I smell are the base oil, which have a soft, cake batter smell. The fragrance is really only noticeable during the lather-up, and not so much as a smell that would linger in your hair after it’s dry.

Texture: These bars are quite a bit softer than most of the other I’ve tried. The lather is maybe not as bubbly as some, but still enough to get the job done.

Did it clean my hair and scalp? Yes! As I’ve tested more and more bars, the thing I’ve honed in on to really check is for any waxiness or residue deep under all that hair (like close to the scalp, halfway between the nape of my neck and the crown of my head). This bar cleans well, and no residue left behind.

How does my hair look and feel? This is a nice, conditioning bar, and my hair feels nice and soft without being weighed down or greasy feeling.

Price plus shipping: $4.50 to 5.00 plus ~$2.00 shipping for a 4 oz bar

Verdict: Thumbs up :) This bar is more on the conditioning end, but also cleanses well. I would say it’s good for normal to dry hair.

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3 Responses

  1. 1
    N. R. Weber 

    First off, I’d like to sincerely and graciously thank you for creating such a wonderful written review showcasing the many innately gifted talents from the handcrafted community. This was such a fascinating chapter to read in the world of Beauty and The Blog. I commend the contributors and creators of all these wonderful soaps for making with their bare hands delectable products that we as consumers get to enjoy. We lavish in these marvels with excitement, utter faith and yet a solidified scrutiny for each of us have our preferences and choices for what works best for our bodies as individuals. And yet somehow amidst all the vast selections there lies a perfect product for each person. The added fun to this search is that you never know where and when you’re going to discover the product that is best for you.

    People from all walks of life all over the world have been creating beauty products with their bare hands for centuries. From Ayurvedic principles from the East continents to using culty treatments for bags under the eyes in the United States. From utilizing pure kohl for the linear of the orbs to crushed berry juices for the lips. From the North to the South, East and the West, from various websites and networks to various soaps and scents. Men and women and their children are creating beautiful items for their customers to bask in. I congratulate you on such a wonderful read as you review the diverse consumer products that are readily available as you’re embarking on a discovery of your own perfect products for yourself.

    The beauty industry is a mecca that is awaiting to be discovered from the world of the hand crafter. Handmade soaps are by far one of the most cherished products that are created for the flesh, the skin, the largest organ of our bodies. The days of people thinking that handmade is the cliche of macaroni necklaces and mixing dishwashing soap with water to make bubbles are nearly gone although I’ve never met a farfalle craftwork or a bubble machine that I didn’t absolutely adore. That’s the little kid in many of us. To make and create. To use our bare hands and hard work to bring to fruition the magical wonders of the handmade. Just as when we were children playing with the colorful and scented Playdoh, polymer clay sculptures have allowed for that handicraft to become a true art form in jewelry and decor. Or as children when we would squeeze all the shampoos into the bathtub and watch as the bubbles grew into oblivion as we dove right in with laughter, squeal and delight. Handmade has grown up considerably teaching us that we can create our own world. We can create intricate, gorgeous, sensible goods to purify and beautify this thing that we own that is our skin.

    It’s funny that we watch what we eat, watch what we drink, not mixing drinks or not eating certain foods to aid and protect the internal organs. However many tend to forget that the skin is the largest organ of all shielding the other delicate and imperative organs from the external world. The skin is a tent that holds all the precious organs intact as our bodies and minds combat this hectic world riddled with storms and heat, stress and pain, scrapes and bruises, dilemmas and afflictions. The skin is the superhero organ gracing us with its mercy as we neglect and abandon it. Not effectively washing the hands and the body, cleansing the face and stimulating the scalp, feeding the skin not just from inside to the outside but from the outside to within!

    The skin is fickle. It changes due to many circumstances, some of which are mysterious even for modern day science. Free radical damage has changed the course of how our skin deals with the external world which then transpires to the intrinsic forces from within affecting our bodies and its organs. Free radical damage causes a cellular destruction domino effect which then causes the skin of the body to be challenged greatly. For those who’ve found ways to aid and object to nature’s forces alongside the everyday rigors of life, the skin becomes thankful and relieved as it bares to us its potentiality of its many gifts to heal, renew, revive and relive. To be radiant. Healthy. Happy.

    Having been a consumer of various handcrafted beauty products as well as mass corporate brands of beauty goods I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to have owned, used and tried many creations in my time. As a part of the cosmetic industry and the beauty revolution I’ve enjoyed and lavished in the finest products of luxury to the most artistically created humble products of the artisan trade including concoctions that I’ve created for myself. I’ve always marveled and respected the handmade while going to various craft shows and fairs. I’ve met people from the beauty industry who’ve dominated and honed their craft as they’ve embarked on a path to create their own products to best serve their clients.

    For me as a beauty product enthusiast and collector from this money making industry that seemingly is unyielding as women look for products to beautify themselves, I’ve found that with shampoo bars it’s fantastic to have many different ones for different needs. Sometimes I’ll use one on the scalp and another on lower part of my hair. Other times I’ll use a handcrafted soap from head to toe and not only did that save me considerable time and money, but it delivered superior results that surprised me greatly.

    Some time last year what was awaiting my discovery were these soaps from a humble and quiet shop from a woman who I immediately felt that I could trust. My hair is quite thin and the scalp very oily with acneic conditions quietly plaguing me from time to time. My hair having been processed throughout the years for nearly two decades was color treated insatiably. I was also skeptical about any bar of soap delivering the kind of results that I wanted but with MeMa, I had nothing to lose because her price points were so realistic but also because she’s so sincerely generous.

    Upon purchasing and receiving her products I came to discover even more bars of soaps in my package. What a surprise and a treat that was. Not a random sliver but huge samples to indulge upon. The lovely lady named MeMa made soaps that were not furnished with unnecessary frivolities and paper goods that I was used to that inevitably went into the trash. There were no gimmicks and no advertisement of any sort as I’d stumbled upon her shop on Etsy by accident. She didn’t have a blog, didn’t Twitter, didn’t have a Facebook or any of that. Her shop is one of success due to the nature of her well created products, by word of mouth, by focusing her time and energies on her business. Now that is what I call creating your success the truly old fashioned, handmade way.

    By far to this day making my first purchase with MeMa is one of the best beauty investments I’d ever made. I mean how was a bar of soap that wasn’t fancy, not permeating with perfumes, not dazzling me with fonts and colored ink from mass printers going to wow me? Where were the logos? Where were the newsletters and coupons? Where was all the self hyping? Where were the bells and whistles that is a given in the bath and beauty trade? Where were the links to all of the other various sites she’d participated in? I didn’t see any of that so I was skeptical as usual, objective as usual, but open minded with an open heart. As usual.

    I honestly feel compelled to say that for the first time in my life my hair looks and feels like it did when I was a child. A young teenager. A young woman. And for the first time in more than two decades I’ve finally loved my natural color. The same one that emerges from the scalp! I could not believe how well MeMa’s formulas worked as I’d used many, many other soaps and shampoo bars from various sellers from different avenues. Yet somehow MeMa’s soaps were a miracle to my scalp and hair. What once was thin, oily, limp, acneic, dull, lifeless and not able to retain its style is now the hair of my dreams.

    For the first time in so long I’m completely confident about my hair and for so long it was a challenge. Challenging not only my time and my pocketbook but also my confidence in the industry where all around me were men and women with gorgeous hair. A perfected makeup and outfit, accessories and attitude are wonderful but the one thing I could not conquer was the hair. I’ve had it cut from various stylists to investing in a cabinet full of products but I still couldn’t get my hair to do what I wanted it to do. Yet somehow, someway, this woman’s soaps for the body and hair have completely changed my life. I always think that had I discovered her shop a long time ago how amazing all my pictures at various functions would have been. From day to play, from working hard to playing harder. If only I used her soap bars for my hair many a moons ago…oh the possibilities.

    Thank you for bringing attention to your readers such an impeccably well created product that not only delivers results but MeMa is hand crafter whose business I truly, honestly trust. Not only do I trust her but I also respect her abilities greatly. She’s simply modest, humbly creating and makes effective products with simple ingredients. And I feel really good when I’m handing over my hard earned money to somebody that I can truly trust who knows the pure value of efficient simplicity. I’ve used her moisture rich body soap bars as a shampoo for my hair and they’ve achieved beautiful, richly colored, full bodied results. And just because there aren’t any bells and whistles doesn’t mean it doesn’t make beautiful, harmonious music!

    And MeMa’s shop definitely has sung a tune in to my heart and in my life. Thank you for such a wonderful blog.

    N. R. Weber

  2. Thanks for the series! You mentioned with this bar that you’ve started looking for whether any waxiness or residue is left behind– any chance you’ll go back and comment on the others as to that factor? I’m also wondering if you are testing these without a rinse or with, since I know you’ve written about it.

    I would love to find a bar that works on my dry scalp but doesn’t leave any residue so that I can skip a day of washing. If I could skip a rinse, too, that would be great. Any recommendations stand out from the 14 you’ve tested?

  3. 3
    admin 

    I think the waxiness is almost more a function of how I wash my hair than the bar itself, because sometimes the same bar that rinsed clean one day, leaves my hair feeling waxy the next. What I’ve been doing is lathering twice, and being sure to part my hair halfway down my head and work some lather directly in there.

    Almost all of these bars rinsed cleanly at least once — the only one that seems consitently more waxy is the Jasmine Tea bar, which makes sense, as that is a soap, and not necessarily designed to be used as a shampoo bar. It’s been wonderful as a body soap though :)

    I’ll do a wrap up at the end, but so far, my favorite bars are Wild Mane from Dreamseeds, unDressed from DressGreen, and any of the bars from Sweet Creek Herbs.