Customer Testimonial - unsolicited

From Julia in New Jersey:
"I just got my Spearmint lotions. Thank you so much. This is the best smelling lotion I have ever had. My brother bought it for me in Red Bank 2 Christmas' ago, then I ran out and they weren't carrying it anymore. I nearly cried. Then I found your site."   Thanks so much Julia! Always great to hear from happy TBR customers.

Paula Begoun's 10 Ten Worst Beauty Products

The lady has spoken. Skin guru Paula Begoun came out with this list today, and I thought some of you might be interested. You either love her or hate her, but you have to admit that she really knows her stuff. Here it is, taken from her Beauty Bulletin:

1. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Cream Powder Makeup SPF 20
Why it’s worst: This antiquated formula fails to provide sufficient UVA protection, has an unpleasant texture, and not a single shade looks like any woman’s skin color anywhere in the world.

2. Cover Girl Clean Makeup
Why it’s worst: A dated formula that spreads unevenly and looks pasty on the skin. It comes in mostly terrible colors and contains several potent irritants that give it a strong, medicinal fragrance.

3. Physicians Formula CoverTox Ten50 Wrinkle Therapy Concealer
Why it’s worst: Where to begin? From the over-the-top claims to the needle-like packaging to the spotty coverage and matte finishes that somehow manages to creep into every large pore and wrinkle, this is simply awful.

4. Cover Girl Cheekers Blush
Why it’s worst: This powder blush has a terribly dry flaky texture that applies unevenly, creating a blotchy appearance and the fragrance, oh my goodness!

5. Boots No7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder
Why it’s worst: With a texture that feels dry and waxy at the same time, this difficult-to-apply powder looks heavy on skin and the shades are mostly too pink or peach.

6. Maybelline New York Shadow Stylist Loose Powder
Why it’s worst: Despite clever packaging and a smooth application, this loose powder eyeshadow tends to flake endlessly even if you dab off the excess from the sponge applicator (which isn’t a good way to apply powder eyeshadow anyway).

7. Rimmel Professional Liquid Eye Liner
Why it’s worst: The long brush makes application trickier than usual but the real Achilles heel is the formula: it takes far too long to dry and smears easily.

8. Wet ‘n’ Wild Eyeliner Pencils
Why it’s worst: For less than one dollar, these need-sharpening pencils are the rare cosmetic instance where you really do get what you pay for. The creamy texture stays that way, which invites smudging and smearing all day long.

9. N.Y.C.(New York Color) Lippin’ Large Lip Plumper
Why it’s worst: Quite possibly the world’s most irritating lip plumper, this shimmer-infused lip gloss plumps lips with several potent irritants, including cinnamon, peppermint, and a menthol derivative. Ouch!

10. Rimmel Volum’ Eyes 5X Volume Comb Mascara
Why it’s worst: We generally praise Rimmel’s mascaras and their best ones are beauty steals—but not this one. The comb applicator deposits way too much mascara and trying to smooth out the globs results in a huge mess. Who wants clumpy, spiked lashes

On Site At Anthropologie #2

thanks Marcos, Maggie and Angel for the pics!

Houston Chronicle loves vintag-y things

Thanks Houston Chronicle for featuring our Anthropologie soaps as a gift for a person who's "the kind of historic preservationist who shuns all things new and mass-produced. Put as much loving thought into his gift this year as he put in refinishing his century-old transom windows.". Read more....

Buy them here.....

Organic Beauty View

This really well-put-together blog about organic beauty products was nice enough to write about our Goodness Bars:
Reading more like your favorite candy selection it’s hard to resist the delicious, handmade line-up and the great news is, you don’t have to." Read more...

On Site at Anthropologie

A friend of TBR sent this in after buying one of our soaps at an Anthropologie store. Word is they are hot sellers. Yea!!!

Pinky Brown

I found this blog called Pinky Brown, who is passionate about HOME design and creating new things out of the ordinary, who put our Anthropologie Doorknob Soaps on her must-haves list:
"And the Bubble Roome victorian soaps, are so very clever! They are too pretty to use! But perfect to display." Thanks!

Customer Testimonial

thank you Amanda. It's always great to hear from TBr customers:
"I wanted to personally thank you for your products, particularly the Spearmint Eucalyptus Triple Butter Cream. I just ordered myself some more for the winter. Without this product, winter in Wisconsin would truly be dismal! I discovered your products at a local product store in my town of Cedarburg last winter, and I was truly impressed. As a soap crafter myself (cold process for me!) I know how much work goes into making memorable products.

Thanks again for your wonderful products!"

Anthropologie + The Bubble Roome

Here is an announcement I am very proud of:

Three Bubble Roome gift sets of molded soaps that were commissioned by Anthropologie have just debuted on their website and in their stores across the US and UK..

The project began when their buyers noticed a posting last December on design sponge describing some soaps I was offering that were molded from Victorian doorknobs. What happened next was a 7 month collaboration with Anthropologie on the creation of special sets just for them.

I molded 3 doorknobs - Cameo, Magnolia, and Dahlia - and a keyplate, and the box that would house them. It was the biggest TBR project to date, with many people involved along the way. A great experience.

Please check them out in their stores or on their website.

Skin Obsessed

Wow, an excited new convert to our Ylang Ylang & Cinnamon Triple Butter Cream: Skin Obsessed. "I have fallen in love with The Bubble Roome’s Butter Cream in ylang ylang and cinnamon. Seriously! This smells SO GOOD. I have been using it as a perfume dabbing just a little on my collarbone and inside my elbows. Because it’s all natural, the scent lasts all freaking day!"

Babble's 2009 Gift Guide

This great site for parents and those who love them has an expansive array of holiday gift guides. They were nice enough to include our Sugar Scrub in the guide for Teachers & Sitters.

"Whether you need a gift for your teenage sitter or daycare teacher, everyone appreciates a little pampering. One of our all-time favorite gift combos is The Bubble Roome's sugar scrub ($16) and triple butter creme ($22.50). One Babble editor credits these two products for helping her overly-dry pregnant skin survive winter last year." Read more...

Little Willow

A terrific site called Little Willow talked about us recently. The site features their discoveries of art and design, and has collected some wonderful things. Check it out.

Debut of New Scent Family

We have a new scent family on the way: Almond & Bergamot! Debuting in January 2010 in two products - Triple Butter Cream and Walnut Sugar Scrub - this is an enchanting essential oil blend of sweet and rich Almond melded with the sophisticated citrus of Bergamot and Lemon, and rounded out with the familiar warmth of Vanilla.

Please enter your email to receive our quarterly newsletter, so you can be notified of the official January launch.

Now Smell This!

a nice posting from an amazing site that knows about all things perfume:
"In any case, these products are a must-try for anyone who truly loves the smell of ylang-ylang. The ylang-ylang note comes through strong and true in both the body wash and the lotion: somewhat creamy, slightly rubbery, like an eccentric sister to jasmine......" Read more.

Download the Face of Your Dreams

From the NY Times...
"With iPhone beauty apps you can check your makeup, shop for products or browse through stores while sitting at home or on the go." Read more..

Best Acne Fighting Products

Some great info and product recommendations from my fave skincare guru Paula Begoun:

Best Gentle, Water-Soluble Cleansers for Acne:
Best Topical Disinfectants (Benzoyl Peroxide) for Acne:
Best Beta Hydroxy Acid (Salicylic Acid) Exfoliants for Acne:
Best Oil-Absorbing Products for Acne and/or Oily Skin:
Best Lightweight Moisturizers for Dealing with Acne Accompanied by Dry Patches or Flaky Skin:

Read the full article here.....

Brix Pix likes to scrub

A Brooklyn blogger came across our Sugar Scrubs and fell in love. Brix Picks seems like it has an amazing collection of cool finds.

DIY Skin-Brightening Mask


This brightening mask exfoliates and stimulates circulation in the face, resulting in a warm, rosy glow.

Here's why it works: Unripe papaya contains natural alpha-hydroxy acids and high levels of papain, an enzyme that helps dissolve dead skin cells. Yogurt adds lactic acid (another alpha-hydroxy) and gives the mask a creamy texture, and honey helps skin retain moisture. When left on, the mask should tingle slightly; if you have sensitive skin or prefer a gentler exfoliation, use ripe papaya, which has less papain.

Green-Papaya Brightening Mask
1/2 cup unripe papaya, diced
1 teaspoon plain yogurt
1 teaspoon honey

Blend ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Apply to clean skin using fingers; leave on for 8 to 10 minutes. Rinse off using cool water and pat dry. Finish by applying a gentle moisturizer.

If you're short on time, try a ready-made mask that uses the same active ingredient, papain. Options include: Zia Fresh Papaya Enzyme Mask; Alba Hawaiian Papaya Enzyme Facial Mask; Sensuous Beauty Green Papaya Masque. (more...)


I found this on the site Sustain

"Addicted to The Bubble Roome's Walnut Sugar Scrub

This comes in 5 flavors but I'm stuck on the grapefruit and tangerine one right now, maybe because the light citrus scent reminds me of summer. All organic, comes in a 10z recyclable container. You only need a little scrub once a week to buff your skin beautiful!- by Jennifer"

many thanks!!!

Do Women Like Men Quite That Cleanshaven?

(from NYTimes)
AMERICAN women didn’t shave their armpits en masse until the 1920s, after a perfect storm of sleeveless dresses and a barrage of advertisements by depilatory makers characterized underarm hair as ugly.

Next came the tarnishing of women’s leg hair. By the 1930s, beauty writers scolded women with forests under their silk stockings. Decades later, what began as a fad had solidified into custom. Girls coming of age no longer needed to be told their leg hair was unsightly. They got rid of it.

Applying Sunscreen: How much, when & where?

(from Paula Begoun's newsletter)
Now that so many products contain sunscreen (foundation, concealers, moisturizers, and even face powders), the next question is, what about application? That's a great question! The major issue for the use of any well-formulated sunscreen (SPF 15 or greater with UVA-protecting ingredients) is liberal application, every time (which is why expensive sunscreens may be dangerous because how liberally are you going to apply a 3 ounce $30, $40, or higher priced sunscreen?).

Women Are More Willing to Spend on Beauty Again

(from, June 23, 09)
Retail therapy may still be in action. According to A Snapshot Report on Beauty Consumers’ Reactions to the Economy from The NPD Group, Inc, 55% of beauty shoppers surveyed in April told NPD they will still buy beauty because it makes them feel better about themselves.This is up 4 percentage points since November 2008 (51%). More women also indicated they were likely to go to spas/salons on a regular basis and to buy beauty products on impulse than previously reported.

Warning Signs of Skin Cancer

(from WebMD)
Like many cancers, skin cancers -- including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma -- start as precancerous lesions. These precancerous lesions are changes in skin that are not cancer but could become cancer over time. An estimated 40% to 50% of fair-skinned people who live to be 65 will develop at least one skin cancer. Learn to spot the early warning signs. Skin cancer can be cured if it's found and treated early.

Wishing Penny

A great site that offers lots and lots of free giveaways, focused on the TBR recently:

"I must admit that what drew me to Bubble Roome products was it's fabulous packaging. I mean who wouldn't want a stack of colorful 100% Goodness Bars in their bathroom? That is how my bathroom( loo) is decorated - with beautiful but functional toiletries that I can fill my baskets with. A potted plant and nice fluffy towels -that is beautiful to me.

Paula Begoun's Top Sunscreen Picks

(from, May 11, 2009)
Protecting skin from the sun has become an intense controversy for two major reasons. Number one is our basic need for vitamin D, which is produced by the skin's exposure to sun, meaning that it may be problematic to limit exposure or by some opinions, use sunscreen at all. Number two concerns sunscreens and the types of active ingredients used to create the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating which might have unwanted systemic consequences.

High-Priced Skincare: Is it Worth It?

(from Yahoo Skin Guru, May 12, 2009)
Everyone's more economically conscious these days. But just because Wall Street has a bad image doesn't mean yours should suffer, too. You can still take care of your skin without a stimulus package because the best products don't automatically come with inflated price tags.

Uneven Pigmentation: What Can Be Done?

(from NYTimes, May 6, 2009)
ERIN O’BRIEN of Denver has tried product after product, both physician-prescribed and over-the-counter, to eradicate dark patches on her cheeks and forehead. But after 10 years, her mission is still not accomplished.

Confused by SPF? Take a Number

(from NY Times, May 13, 2009)
LAST year, Coppertone rolled out two easy-to-use sprays with its highest-ever sun protection factor: SPF 70+. Not to be outdone, Neutrogena offered its Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch lotion in SPF 85 strength, that year’s big gun.

Customer Testimonial

Dear Bubble Roome-
I am not sure how I found your site but I am very glad that I did. My husband has cancer and the chemotherapy has really damaged his skin. It is very thin and sensitive to everything. He was constantly trying lotions to help so I bought your triple butter cream in Lavender and Geranium. He loves it! He uses it all the time. And I have just ordered more because he told me that we must never run out! Thank you for making a wonderful cream.
-Jennifer, via email

Vintage Soap Collection - 05

I've written about my obsession with the vintage figural soaps of NY-based Lightfoot Soap Company before, but this special set of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs boxed collection of soaps really is a stunner. Made in the 1930's, this would have been a major gift set for Disney, who hired Lightfoot to do many of their other characters in soap as well. (click on pics to enlarge)

The "book" that houses the figures is embossed with gold and wonderful typography and illustration, as well as printing on the edges and spine to look as much like a book as possible. (click photos to enlarge)

Inside is a thin vellum frontispiece which restates the title, as well as the manufacturers info: "Modeled in Castile Soap - Painted with harmless vegetable color. Lightfoot Schultz Co. {also the makers of Old Spice perfume and bath products- which at this time would have been for women, not men}, makers of fine soaps for over twenty-seven years. 389 Fifth Ave. New York."

Inside, the beautifully detailed figures of the Dwarves and Snow White are still miraculously intact, after over 70 years!!!! And they still have traces of their "harmless vegetable color" after all this time.

This is one of the favorites of my collection, and I'm so pleased to be able to share it with you. Enjoy!

Healthy Skin with Hemp Oil

This blog talked about the benefits of using hemp oil for healthy skin, and featured our Hemp Oil Lotion in Lavender & Geranium.

Body & Soul Magazine - Multi-taskers

Very nice picture of our body wash in the April 2009 issue of Martha Stewarts Body & Soul magazine


POPSOP, a great packaging website did a nice feature on the look of TBR. Thanks a lot!

Hey Brooklyn

So I was recently interviewed in my apartment by a really sweet woman named Amber, who just launched a site called "Hey Brooklyn". She turned our interview into a podcast, and it is the first podcast on the site. She wants to focus on Brooklyn entrepreneurs and find out what makes them tick. I'm looking forward to seeing who else she features on the site as I love hearing the stories of other small business owners.

Women's Health

So far today, we've received a flood of attention due to a promotion on the Women's Health website. They give away a prize every day, and today was the day to give away a gift set of products worth almost $100! In case you missed it, you can try for another one of their giveaways at their website.

Darling Dexter

An adorable blog that TBR advertises on was nice enough to do a Sponsor Spotlight on us. Here are the blog author's words about what she does:
"Hi, I'm Whitney Deal -- the small voice behind Darling Dexter. Over the past few years, I have fallen in design-love with the blogging community and use Darling Dexter as a platform to inspire and share my creative adventures."

Now Smell This

I was very honored to find a fan of the Home Sweet Home Room Refresher on the perfume blog Now Smell This. This site is for serious noses who know all about the latest trends and news in perfume. Check it out.

The Soap Queen

Hard-working Anne-Marie of Brambleberry Soap Supplies took time out to give the Ornament(al) Collection: Doorknobs a shout-out on her blog "Soap and the Finer Things in Life". If you are a crafter and /or business person I advise you to subscribe. Her blog is chock full of fun soaps to make, as well as a new easy to understand business series. Check it out.

Design Sponge + Doorknobs

The always prescient Grace Bonney at designsponge was nice enough to showcase our limited-edition Ornament(al) Collection: doorknobs on her blog. These were really fun to make and recipients of the gift sets wrote in how much they liked them. Hopefully, they will be back online and available soon.

Please Don't Pay $65 For A Sugar Scrub

I have to get this off my chest: the Brown Sugar Body Polish from Fresh costs $65 and is a waste of money. Why? It's mainly oil and sugar. Why do I care? I don't like consumers being duped that paying more for something means it is higher in quality.

THE CLAIM: this is the ultimate and unrivaled source for supremely soft, silky skin. (that's cuz of the oil) In just one use, the gentle combination of real brown sugar crystals and a blend of nourishing natural oils smoothes and polishes (thats true. But don't think it's smoothing out any wrinkles). Its luxurious, fragrant scent transforms your shower and lingers on skin for hours. (that's what you are paying for)

First off, anything to be used in the shower or bath and then washed off, can only have limited benefits for the skin. There's not a lot of time for the top layer of skin to absorb the nutrients that are inherit in some oils.

Secondly, a lot of it falls to the shower floor during use, whereby you lose expensive product and make the tub dangerously slippery. Bad

Thirdly: when someone says "I love how it makes my skin feel afterwards", that's just the left over oil on your skin - a good thing, but the oil in your kitchen cupboard could do the same thing

Let's break it down by their ingredient list:
  1. Sugar
  2. Sweet Almond Oil (very common oil, readily available, not expensive. It's 2nd in the list, and I bet their oil mixture is mostly made up of this)
  3. Apricot Kernel Oil
  4. Jojoba Oil (a great oil that mimics the sebum structure of the skin)
  5. Evening Primrose Oil (a great oil full of nutrients, and can be on the expensive side)
  6. Passion Flower Oil
  7. Gingseng Extract (most probably used at 1% of the recipe. They say it "stimulates" the skin. But remember, you'll be washing it off in about 3 minutes)
  8. Tocopherol (1% of a type of Vitamin E, used to keep oils from going rancid)
  9. Sunflower Seed Oil (since it comes after Tocopherol in the list, it's less than 1% of the recipe)
  10. Grapefruit Peel Oil (used for scent. Again, claims to stimulate skin at less than 1%)
  11. Lemon Peel Oil (scent)
  12. Orange Oil
  13. Bergamot Oil
  14. Lemon Oil (a different kind)
  15. Litsea Cubeba (a citrus essential oil)
  16. CYMBOPOGON SCHOENANTHUS OIL (a grass that a Geranium-like essential oil is created)
    LINALOOL (all derivatives of citrus, to create the fragrance. Radical overkill)
  18. Phenoxyethanol (a newer preservative without parabens)
    PROPYLPARABEN (oh well, they added all the parabens anyway. More radical overkill. Made to stay "fresh" for 5 years on a store shelf)
  20. BHA (an artificial preservative added to oils to slow down deterioration)
  21. BHT (more of the above)
So what does that leave us with? Sugar, some readily available nut oils, some exotic flower oils, A LOT of citrus oils to give it it's distinctive scent.

How to make this yourself: Put brown sugar, white sugar, or fine salt in a bowl. Add any oils you like (olive, wheat germ, jojoba) to cover the sugar, add a few drops of Bergamot & Lemon essential oils.....and you have the Brown Sugar Body Exfoliator by Fresh, for about $2 in ingredients.

So, in the end, the consumer is ripped off, and Fresh makes a lot of profit on this product. Profit is good. Ripping off customers is bad.

The Most Super Best Customer Testimonial Ever

I received a great email from a TBR customer, and was so proud I felt like sharing it:

Hi David-
I just wanted to let you know that I think your products are amazing. I have bought soap from just about everywhere and I am addicted to your products. Every time you send a sample it turns into a must buy. Thanks for making such wonderful products. I will not be buying any other bath products for a long, long time. Have a wonderful holiday!
C. C.

Your flattery will get you everywhere! When you work in a "bubble" (pun intended) you tend to forget about all the people actually using the products you make. This kind of testimonial is a wonderful reminder. Thanks so much!

Pretty By Nature

Noel at the blog Pretty By Nature was kind enough to spotlight our newest attraction: the Home Sweet Home 3-in-1 Spray. This blog is chock-full of beauty information with a hefty archive going back a few years. Check them out.

Vintage Soap Collection - 04

Three bears with red hobo packs over their shoulder sure seem happy to be going out for a picnic in this great set that is one of the best packaging examples in my vintage soap collection. The box for "Three Bears on a Picnic" by Lightfoot Soap Company (who I've talked about before) is in amazing condition considering it's age.

This die-cut box is a terrific merchandising idea, and the illustrations of trees and the rolling hills of farmland are wonderful and surely must have helped catch many a customers' eye. It's interesting to think that now the cost of die-cutting and printing a box like this would make the cost of the set outrageously high. I bet in it's day it sold for about $3.

Our Two Favorite Colors

A beautiful blog with a very inventive focus on "all things chocolate brown and gorgeous shades of blue", Chocolate Blues, was kind enough to put our new Ylang Ylang & Cinammon bar on their site. If these are your two favorite colors, then this site is your Nirvana