Lora's Beauty Website

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

Lora's artisan soaps, an affordable luxury.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Vacation Plans and a Sale!

Well, here we are, halfway through August and the summer, for me, has flown by! Summer has always been a good time to stay put here in Portland, Oregon and that's exactly what I've done this year. Aside from a few day trips to the beach, I've been a homebody. That's about to change. 

I will be placing my Etsy shop in 'Vacation Mode' starting September 15 thru September 22 as I make a quick trip to the East Coast to visit my son and daughter-in-law. I'm so excited to visit them as it's been over a year! 

In four years on Etsy, this is the first time my shop has been in 'Vacation Mode' and I'm more than a little worried about it. Therefore, when I return I'm going to run a special pre-holiday sale to clear out some inventory and welcome customers back as I begin preparing for the holidays. I will offer 10% off on all body soaps the week of September 25th-October 1st in my Etsy shop, no coupon code necessary! This would be a great time to stock up on your favorite bar whether it be the Honey Beeswax or the Tree Love!

My website, which always has products priced slightly lower, will be open for business while I'm gone, however, items purchased from September 15- September 23 will mail on September 24th.

I appreciate all your business, comments, suggestions, and encouragement! Honestly, I think I have the best customers! Enjoy the rest of your summer and thank you for supporting my small business.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Soap for the Gentlest of Skin, Another Shampoo Bar Variety & A Change To The Dog Shampoo

I've said this before and I mean it, you guys have the best suggestions! Many times I have been asked if I had a certain type of soap or scent from a customer and when I'm asked enough, I listen! Such is the case with my two new products.

My first new product is made with pure love, hence the heart shape design. I had several people ask for an unscented goat milk soap and when I found out my son and daughter-in-law were expecting, I decided to go all out and create an unscented bar with ingredients that are gentle enough for even the most delicate of skin, a baby's.

This new bar is made with olive oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, shea butter, goat milk and beeswax as well as tussah silk. There are no added colors or scents. The resulting bar is a pure and gentle way to clean and moisturize the skin. 

Yes, you may find you don't even need to moisturize after using this bar. The oils and butters are emollients and will fill in dry skin smoothing rough patches. The beeswax is an occlusive and will form a protective barrier on the skin locking in moisture.  

Keeping with the clean and pure theme, my next new item is an unscented shampoo bar. It's made with all the hair loving ingredients as my other shampoo bars including aloe vera and avocado butter, but it has no added colors or scents for those who have sensitivities to such additives.

Finally, I've made a small change to my Dog Shampoo Bar, it's going scent free as well. Although I researched and asked professionals about the best essential oils to include in a shampoo bar for dogs, there just seemed to be too many inconsistencies. To be safe and since our pups can't tell us one way or the other, I decided to leave the bar unscented. All the other wonderful ingredients like olive oil, neem oil, and colloidal oatmeal are still there to make your dog's fur the softest ever.

With these new additions, I now have available unscented varieties of all my bars, dish soaps, shampoos, body soaps, and conditioner bars. I hope you can find a variety that pleases you, if not, make a suggestion!

Sunday, April 16, 2023

New Product Line & New Ceramic Dishes!

I'm so excited to announce that Lora's Beauty will now carry bath bombs and shower steamers!

I've spent the last month experimenting with recipes and ingredients to formulate a product that is beneficial to the skin, not harmful to plumbing, and enjoyable to use. I've also gathered plenty of input from friends and family and taken many baths myself!

I'm sure most people are familiar with what a bath bomb is, a scented ball of beneficial  moisturizers that dissolves in water, but what exactly is a shower steamer? Well for all those die hard shower takers out there, a shower steamer is your way to enjoy the aromatherapy benefits you're missing when not soaking in a bath with a bath bomb. 

Shower steamers are scented tablets that you place at the back of your shower on the floor so water doesn't directly hit it but it gets wet enough to dissolve and release the aromatic scents into your shower. These tablets are heart shaped and are made with baking soda, witch hazel, citric acid, and essential oils. They should slowly and fully dissolve within a 5 - 8 minute shower, filling your shower and senses with the aromatherapy benefits of essential oils.

Lora's Beauty bath bombs are made with baking soda, citric acid, shea butter, emulsifying wax, goat milk, cream of tartar and essential oils for a relaxing, moisturizing bath. Adding emulsifying wax to the bath bombs enables the shea butter to mix with the water and not just sit on the top. It also adds moisturizing benefits. Cream of tartar is used to harden the bomb. I've limited the amount of flower petals and decoration to keep your pipes running smooth and your drains unclogged. 

Both the shower steamers and the bath bombs are offered in the following varieties:

  • Eucalyptus Menthol -- added menthol makes this a great remedy for congestion and soothing sore muscles.
  • Lavender Fir -- Reach for this when you need a moment to just relax and clear your head.

  • Peppermint Basil -- This combination of essential oils will help ease a worried mind and awaken the senses.

  • Citrus Lemon Orange--The essential oils of lemongrass and sweet orange will detox the skin and leave it feeling clean, clear, and refreshed.

Also new to my Etsy shop are these stunning ceramic dishes made specially for my small round dish soaps. I worked with my ceramist to design these dishes to have a higher wall so the small dish soap stays in place. They also include a small trough surrounding a raised patterned area to allow water to drain and the soap not sit in water. 

Currently, I have a matte robin egg and a matte black color but I hope to get more colors soon. These dishes are sold as part of a set that includes a dish soap and dish brush. 

If you're stuck for Mother's Day gifts this set would delight anyone! Happy Spring!

Monday, February 20, 2023

Soap and Human Sacrifice Plus A New Shampoo Bar!

Fun fact... what does soap have to do with human sacrifice? 

Thankfully, not much. However, the two are linked in many old wives' tales and have even made their way into popular culture. 

Have you seen the movie Fight Club? Do you remember this scene about the origins of soap?

Courtesy of IMDB:

Tyler Durden: Now, ancient people found their clothes got cleaner if they washed them at a certain spot in the river. You know why?

Narrator: No.

Tyler Durden: Human sacrifices were once made on the hills above this river. Bodies burnt, water speeded through the wood ashes to create lye. [holds up a bottle]

Tyler Durden: This is lye - the crucial ingredient. The lye combined with the melted fat of the bodies, till a thick white soapy discharge crept into the river. May I see your hand, please?

[Tyler licks his lips until they're gleaming wet - he takes the Narrator's hand and kisses the back of it]

Narrator: What is this? Tyler Durden: This... [pours the lye on the Narrator's hand]

Tyler Durden: ... is chemical burn.

While I can unfortunately attest to the truth about lye and chemical burns, there's little evidence to collaborate the view that soap was discovered from sites of human sacrifices. 

The earliest evidence today of the first soap use was around 2800 BC by the Babylonians and they made it by mixing together animal fats, oils and salts. Most modern day soap makers use vegetable or fruit oils like olive, coconut, and avocado however, the soap making process is still very much the same as it was when the Babylonians did it.

Now, on to something new!

I get a lot of good ideas from my customers so when I had one reach out to me about which shampoo bar would work best for brassy gray hair, I had to say I didn't make a bar specifically for that purpose besides the fact that I have gray hair! 

Gray and light colored hair has a tendency to turn brassy and dull because it easily picks up pigments from the environment. For instance, using a yellow shampoo on grey hair may start to turn the hair more yellow. To counter this, most shampoos made to remove brassiness, are purple since purple is the opposite of yellow on the color wheel. 

Therefore, my Lavender Tea Tree shampoo bar, made with purple mica, would work to neutralize the yellow tones in hair, as would my Patchouli Mint Activated Charcoal bar. 

My new bar made with indigo powder, is another option against orange and brassy tones in hair. 

This bar is made with the same ingredients as my other shampoo bars including aloe vera water, avocado butter, and even silk fibers plus the added indigo powder. 

Scented with juniper essential oil and the sparkling scent of orange essential oil you may feel like you've stepped into a primeval pine forest at dawn. 

This shampoo bar is an excellent choice for gray hair and if you don't have gray hair, you can still benefit from the neutralizing effects of indigo powder! Now available on my website and Etsy shop!


Friday, January 13, 2023

A New Year, New Scents, New Products, and a Sale!

And just like that, December is over.

Big belly breaths...inhale, stomach rises. Exhale, belly falls. Ah, January and the long, cold months of winter and hibernation.

Although it's not as hectic as November and December, I'm still in the soap studio making a few new products and they're all about dish soap! 

Last Fall I added a 2.25" round dish soap that would fit in the popular Full Circle soap dishes a lot of people have purchased. This size has proved to be very popular so I've added new scents. Now available are Lavender & Basil, Rosemary & Mint, Basil & Spearmint, Cinnamon & Orange, Anise & Cedarwood, and Lemongrass scents.

For those who don't already have a dish that fits this size soap, I've added some colorful melamine dishes. These dishes contain 4.5 ounces of dish soap and are sold with a dish brush for a complete set. Once the soap is gone, the 2.25" dish soaps will work as replacements.

Likewise, my new square dish soaps come in a few new scents. Choose between Lemongrass, Peppermint Basil, Orange Anise, Lavender Eucalyptus, and Anise Cedarwood scents. These soaps are also offered in a set which includes a ceramic dish and a dish brush.

Lastly, my ceramist included a new color for the beautiful handmade dishes offered in my Etsy shop. These lovely matte purple dishes look so polished and sophisticated and are stamped with a dragonfly print! They are offered on their own or in a set with a large round dish soap and a dish brush.

I'm currently offering my liquor inspired soaps on sale. The Whiskey & Aloe Vera, Gin & Aloe Vera, and Aquavit & Aloe Vera soaps are all 25% off! These make a great boxed set as a gift, Valentine's Day perhaps?

That's all for now, I hope your holidays were delightful and the new year brings you happiness, health, and kindness. 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

What's The Best Shampoo Bar For....?

Do you have hair issues? Dandruff, frizzy hair, dry scalp, oily hair, oily scalp, limp hair? Then read on as I may have a shampoo bar to help!

Lora's Beauty carries many types of shampoo bars specially formulated to be more ph balanced than the typical shampoo bar. For more information regarding ph and my shampoo bars, take a look at this blog post. If you're interested in what the best body soap is for a particular skin issue, this blog post may help. Now, if you're interested in what's the best shampoo bar I carry for a particular hair issue, then read on!

Most of my shampoo bars are made with aloe vera juice and avocado butter which are both hair loving. Aloe vera juice will help strengthen hair, calm itchy scalp, and control oily hair. Avocado butter is high in vitamin E making it great at stopping hair loss and breakage, adding hydration and shine, and thickening thinning hair. 

Just like with my body soaps, I start with a base set of ingredients when making my shampoo bars. These include olive, rice bran, castor, and coconut oils. I then add special extras to address particular hair issues. In addition, to all my shampoo bars, I add a pinch of tussah silk fibers which help to repair damaged hair and softens and smooths hair.

I also offer a Pine Tar Shampoo Bar and a Beer Bar. These have the same base set of ingredients but do not have aloe vera juice or avocado butter. Instead the pine tar bar includes goats milk and cocoa butter. Goats milk is rich in vitamin B which is an essential vitamin for healthy hair growth and cocoa butter moisturizes hair making it softer and more manageable.

My Beer Shampoo Bar is made with, of course beer, and cocoa butter. Beer is a wonderful ingredient for hair! It provides body, bounce and shine to hair and being rich in protein and vitamins it helps manage both scalp and hair oil production.

So, what's your specific hair issue and which shampoo bar would help?

Dry Frizzy Hair?

  • Pine Tar - the nutrient rich liquid of pine tar is a natural moisturizer for dry hair.
  • Spearmint Tea Tree - tea tree essential oil is such a beneficial oil for hair. It helps prevent the build up of chemicals and dead skin allowing your hair to be more healthy and moisturized.
  • Lavender Tea Tree
  • Beer Bar - Being rich in vitamin B, beer is a great deterrent against frizzy hair.
  • Papaya Orange - papaya seeds contain vitamin A which helps against dry and frizzy hair.

Oily Hair/Scalp?

  • Lemon Eucalyptus - lemongrass essential oil reduces production of excess oil on the hair and scalp.
  • Spearmint Tea Tree - spearmint and tea tree essential oils help control oily scalp and hair.
  • Rosemary Mint - rosemary essential oil has antifungal, astringent and decongesting qualities which can reduce oily build up on hair and scalp.

Lifeless Limp Hair?

  • Beer Bar - the proteins in beer bind to hair that's become dehydrated from blow drying and other styling products leaving the hair restored and with more body.
  • Activated Charcoal Patchouli Spearmint - the spearmint essential oil combined with activated charcoal will add luster to dry, lifeless hair.

Dry Scalp & Dandruff?

  • Lavender Tea Tree - lavender essential oil has antimicrobial properties preventing bacteria and fungi from growing, soothing dry scalp, and reducing dandruff.
  • Pine Tar - pine tar gives fast relief to itchy scalp and removes loose dandruff.
  • Activated Charcoal Patchouli Spearmint - activated charcoal will soothe itchy and irritated scalps and moisturize them to prevent dandruff. It's also makes for a great deep cleaning shampoo ingredient.

Thinning Hair and Hair Growth

All the shampoo bars below contain vitamins and proteins that encourage healthy hair growth as well as limiting hair loss.

  • Beer Bar - beer can give extra life to naturally curly hair as well!
  • Papaya Orange
  • Lemon Eucalyptus
  • Lavender Tea Tree
  • Spearmint Tea Tree
Color Treated Hair
  • Activated Charcoal Patchouli Spearmint is a great cleanser for color treated hair as it deep cleans the hair without stripping away the color.
Gray Hair
The following bars have color additives that are the opposite of yellow on the color wheel and therefore help to neutralize the orange and brassy tones in grey and light colored hair.
  • Indigo Fir Orange - contains added indigo powder.
  • Lavender Tea Tree - contains purple mica.
  • Activated Charcoal Patchouli Spearmint - has added activated charcoal.
Scent Sensitive/Essential Oil Allergies
Now available, a shampoo bar with no added essential oil or colors. Just all natural, hair loving ingredients.

I hope this information was helpful and the next time you're wondering what's the best shampoo for your particular hair need, this can serve as a reference.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Lora's Beauty Holiday Bazaar 2022 Schedule

It's hard to believe but I already feel in the thick of the holiday season! I've probably overextended myself this year but I'm just so excited about this year and this season!! 

So, if you're local to the Portland Oregon area, I'd love to see you at one of these 5 (FIVE!!) bazaars I'll be doing.

  • November 4&5 Hinson Holiday Bazaar 9:30 am - 4pm. 1137 SE 20th Portland
  • November 25 11am-4pm. Moon Market 914 NW Everett Portland.
  • December 3 11am-6pm German American Society Christmas Bazaar. 5626 NE Alameda St Portland.
  • December 8 2pm -8pm Madeleine Marketplace 3123 NE 24th St Porland.
  • December 10&11 10am-6pm Modo Yoga Winter Bazaar 400 NE Grand Ave Portland.

Each market offers a different feel to the season.

Kicking off the season in only a few days will be the Hinson Holiday Bazaar. This one is a wonderful market. Coffee, pastries, and lunch are for sale and you can take your time checking out the handmade goods.

The Moon Market and the Modo Yoga Winter Bazaar are new venues for me and I'm delighted to be participating in them.

The German American Society Christmas Bazaar is a blast and last year was poppin'! There were food carts out front, Santa made an appearance, as did the Army Band. I expect this year to be just as fun.

The Madeleine Marketplace is a nice neighborhood market. Santa is there and the tree out front gets lit at 6pm. Last year there were food carts as well.

If you can't make it to these events, get 10% off my Etsy shop and website November 17-30th. On Etsy, the discount will be taken automatically. On my website, use the discount code Holiday2022.

Enjoy the season!