Lora's Beauty Website


For handcrafted soap visit the online store or the Etsy Store!

Lora's artisan soaps, an affordable luxury.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Let's Talk About Preservatives

My first dive into skincare products was over a decade ago, I made lotion for myself following a very simple recipe I found on the internet. This recipe called for vitamin E oil for use as a preservative. After a few days of using the lotion, I noticed it starting to turn black in spots; mold and bacteria were growing in it. I quickly discovered that natural preservatives weren't going to cut it in products containing water.

In my online stores, I sell only one product that contains a preservative, the Moisturizing Cocoa Butter Conditioner Bar. The rest of my product line are cold process soaps which contain a high enough ph to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
The Conditioner Bar I make does not contain water, however since it's used in the shower and will get wet, I add a very small amount of Phenonip preservative (less than 1%.). The full ingredients for Phenonip are 
Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben. If you would like to experiment and see what would happen if no preservatives were added to the conditioner bar, try putting a stick of unsalted butter in your shower for a week.

There is much debate regarding parabens in skin and hair card products and I encourage you to do your own research, but regardless of where you land on the debate, the quantity at which they are used in my Conditioner Bar is so small that I feel comfortable in using them. What I don't feel comfortable about, and what would be more dangerous, is to sell a product to the public that could grow a microbe in it and possibly harm someone. My own opinion on them is I don't, nor would I encourage anyone to use multiple products that contain them everyday in large quantities. I also question new alternatives to parabens that have been proven to be more dangerous or at best, less well known.

I will continue to research and stay up on promising new safe alternatives to use in place of Phenonip and welcome any suggestions in the comments below.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Happenings at Lora's Beauty

I'm a little late with this but Happy New Year! It really feels like a fresh start this year and to celebrate I've got some new offerings I'd like to share.


First up I've added a new scent to the very popular Solid Dish Soap, cedarwood anise and wow this is a powerful combination! The scent invokes the outdoors and it joins the other essential oil scent combinations of lemongrass, rosemary mint, cinnamon orange, and lavender basil.


Also new is the Botanical Basil & Orange Silk Bar. A tiny addition of tussah silk to this bar provides for a luxurious, silky bar with creamy lather. I love the addition of silk to soap so much that I will be adding it to most my other offerings. Currently the Valentine's heart shaped soap and the Bicycle Heart bar contain tussah silk.


I'm excited to soon offer more ceramic dishes from DunneR Ceramics in Portland, Oregon. In addition to the soap dishes designed for the Solid Dish Soap, I will be offering dishes for my Shave Bar. 


These dishes have the adorable patterned bottoms that help keep the soap in place as well as silicone pads at the bottom to keep the dish from slipping on the counter top. These are a little deeper than the regular soap dishes as they're meant to be used with a shaving brush to work up a thick lather. 


Speaking of shaving brushes, I will also offer an inexpensive starter brush so people can try the whole combination out before committing to a more expensive brush. You can spend a lot of money on a shaving brush and the more expensive ones are made from badger hair. Look for both the dishes and the brushes in my Etsy store around the middle of February.

If you haven't had a chance to try my new Himalayan Salt Bar, you'll want to do so! I've refined the bar a little by grinding up the salt even finer and adding more. The addition of salt to soap makes for a very hard bar that's wonderful for detoxifying skin. I'm making this bar in a rounded bottom mold, the result makes for a unique looking bar that's great for skin! The essential oils of lavender and anise are a beautiful scent combination for this soap.

When you have time, take a moment to check out these new offerings at my Etsy site or my website! Have a wonderful 2021!


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Valentine's Open Air Market!

Hey all you Portland peeps, are you tired of sitting in your house waiting out the pandemic with no place to go? Well, I'm about to share the best socially distanced, local shopping opportunity in a long time! 


Stroll the beautiful outdoor grounds of Pomarius Nursery in NW Portland and choose from one of a kind Valentine's gifts for your special person! In addition to the boutique nursery goods, there will be art, antiques, wine, jewelry, candles, textiles, and of course artisan soap by Lora's Beauty.

The open air market will be February 13 from 10-4. You'll want to reserve your spot online at Pomarious Nursery and space is limited. A reservation and $5 donation to the Oregon Humane Society, gets you 1 hour of shopping time with 29 other people. There will be fire pits to keep you warm as you stroll the beautiful nursery searching for that special gift.

Come on, get out of the house, bring your mask and enjoy some winter magic time outside!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Meet The Maker and The Workspace

Wow! It's taken me 11 years to write this post. Actually, to WRITE it only took a few hours, to get the courage to START writing it took 11 years! The main reason for that is I work in technology (when I'm not making soap) and I know full well that every time I click 'Publish', 'Post', or 'Submit' it's permanent. Every fleeting opinion, feeling, or comment will be forever part of my permanent record when that button is clicked. Therefore, I've tried to keep what I post here a little less personal, plus I'm probably not that interesting, truth be told.

It wasn't until I started reading other people's meet the maker posts, mainly on Instagram, that I changed my mind. I found those posts to be refreshing, genuine, fun, and they gave me the courage to attempt one myself.

So meet the maker of Lora's Beauty! Hi, I'm Lora. Lora is my first name but I go by my middle name of Deann. I've been making soap since 2009 out of my home in Portland, Oregon. I've moved my workshop a couple times since I started and finally invested a little money to upgrade my basement laundry room to my laundry room/soap workshop.


My remodel included installing a good fan to vent fumes, added counter space, a sink, and lots of shelving. It's not beautiful, I could still paint and will when I have more time, but it's clean, safe, and functional and I really enjoy working in it.

As I mentioned earlier, by day I'm a software engineer. Although I've never said this before, one of the main reasons I started making soap was because I was playing around with creating a website years ago. Once I got it working I felt compelled to sell something on it and Lora's Beauty was born! I didn't know at the time that I'd prefer the soap making process to the website (and software) making process but that's where I am now!

I sold my soap for many years on just my website before I finally opened my Etsy shop in 2019. Since opening on Etsy, my sales have really grown. I've always felt my products were great and I use them myself, but it was hard to drive traffic to a small website. My business regret is that I didn't open sooner on Etsy.


I live with my longtime boyfriend, Audrey the cat, Ed (pictured right) and Olive the Cockatiels, and Harlan the Grey Parrot. 

I talk on the phone to my mom several times a day (yes, I typed day.) I have a wonderful son who lives in Alaska right now. He is in the Coast Guard. Because of the global pandemic, I haven't seen him for over a year. I miss him but am immensely proud of him. He's a good, kind, smart, and happy person and that makes me happy and satisfied.

In my spare time, I enjoy yoga, which I haven't done in several months due to the pandemic and surgeries, bike riding, cooking, and reading. I also rediscovered how much I love swimming and will be taking that back up when the pools open again, and sewing. Yes, I was one of the many people who bought a sewing machine this year and have already made several Christmas gifts. 

I have many pet peeves but I won't list them here because I've discovered over the years what bugged me once no longer does and vise versa. I love my sleep and often get 10 hours of sleep a night. Mornings are my most productive time of the day so I guess I'm a morning-person. My favorite season was unabashedly summer, but lately because of wild fires and climate change, it's autumn.

The thing I like most about running Lora's Beauty is sharing what I made with my customers. I feel strongly about making an eco-friendly, useful product and take pride in it's quality. Therefore, it's always a joy to share it with like-minded people.

Thank you for reading and I hope this post was a useful introduction to me, the maker at Lora's Beauty!

PS. The cyber sale on my Etsy site is still active until December 2! Shop now for 10% everything in my store!


Friday, November 20, 2020

Etsy Cyber Week Sale

 

Looking for a beautiful, useful gift? I've got my online store and Etsy site all stocked for the holidays! 

Handcrafted skin soothing body soaps, shampoo, conditioner, dish soap, and even dog shampoo for all your loved ones are available. 

In addition, starting this Sunday, Nov 22 thru Dec 2 I'm offering 10% off in my Etsy shop!


Gift wrapping always available in a reusable washcloth.

Shop small and socially distanced! 

 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Welcome Autumn & New Products!

I've never been so happy to see a summer end as I am this year. In fact, I've NEVER been happy to see summer end but this year it couldn't happen quick enough and now I'm looking forward to fall and even, hesitantly, to winter and to the prospect of dealing ONLY with a global pandemic. 

Here in the Pacific Northwest we ended the summer-that-wasn't with forest fire smoke and not being able to leave our house for 6 days because the air was too hazardous to breathe. However, right now as I type this, the rain is coming down and it feels more like the end of October rather than the end of September and we can once again breathe the air.

So to celebrate the turn of the season I'm debuting a couple new items and a variation of a popular product.


First up, let's rejoice because now your dog can bathe in all the glorious ingredients that you've enjoyed from Lora's Beauty. My new dog shampoo is just the boutique dog product that every pampered pup should have without the boutique price.

These bars are made with neem oil to help control fleas and colloidal oatmeal to relieve dry itchy skin. The essential oils of lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint are also added and a reusable, recyclable tin with a screw on lid is included.

For the humans out there, new to the line up is the Eucalyptus Peppermint Goats' Milk Bar. I've been wanting to try my hand at a naturally colored blue bar of soap for sometime and ordered blue mica a few months ago. I'm pleased with the color and the essential oils of eucalyptus and peppermint make for a refreshing combination.

Speaking of refreshing, there's a new scent available for the very popular Solid Dish Soap! The essential oils of lavender and basil combine for a sweet and slightly spicy scent. With this addition, I'm now offering four scent combinations of the Solid Dish Soap; rosemary mint, cinnamon orange, lemongrass, and now lavender basil. For those people who have a hard time deciding, my etsy shop has a listing for 3 bars of any combination for a special price of $20. 

I should also mention new color combinations of my exclusive Dunner Ceramic soap dishes are available on the etsy shop as well. Choose between blue turtles, purple dragonflies, green leaves, terracotta flowers, or black flowers.

These dishes pair nicely with the Solid Dish Soap and would make a beautiful, practical gift!


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Website Updates and New Products!

 I finally got around to updating my Lora's Beauty website last week! I've been so busy with the Etsy site that I've been neglecting my real website, well no more. 

I've rearranged the Home page by organizing the products in groups; Body & Face Bars, Shampoo & Conditioner, Foot Bars, Shave Bars, and Dish Bars. 




I've added a table of contents to the top for quick navigation and to limit the endless scrolling.

I'm also working on new products for your furry four legged friends that bark! Soon there will be a Dog Shampoo AND Conditioner Bar available on both websites! I've been deciding on the best formulation for these products and have settled on the shampoo containing neem oil, olive oil, coconut oil, colloidal oatmeal, honey, goats' milk, and essential oils of lavender, peppermint, citronella, and eucalyptus! I'm excited to debut these products in time for the holiday season because your pooch deserves the best!

New products for humans include the already popular Rosemary Mint Menthol Goats' Milk Soap! French green clay and purple mica are used to color this beautiful bar.

I love the scent of Rosemary Mint so much I'm now offering it in a Conditioner Bar on my Etsy site as well.

Another new bar currently on the curing rack is the Peppermint Eucalyptus Goats' Milk Soap. This bar uses blue mica and yellow clay to create a delightful color combination scented with the essential oils of peppermint and eucalyptus. Look for this addition in another few weeks on both websites!

Enjoy the rest of summer and stay healthy!