Showing posts with label LOccitane. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LOccitane. Show all posts

Monday, April 6, 2015

Favorite Bath and Shower Gel Splurges


For most of my life, I've been a bath and shower gel kind of person versus the bar soap kind mainly because I find shower gels do a better job at making the skin feel clean without leaving any film or making the skin feel dry. My favorite go-to shower gel has been the Neutrogena Rainbath Refreshing Shower Gel in the Original Scent. It's one of the classic staples that is gentle enough for my super sensitive skin. I like it because it lathers up really well and leaves the skin feeling super clean and it's also unisex. For scented shower gels I've tested quite a few over the years. There is nothing like a beautifully scented shower gel to wake you up in the morning or to help you relax at the end of a day. I have a roundup of my favorites that I've purchased numerous times along with a few new discoveries.

Diptyque has a few of their fragrances available in shower gel form including the Tam Dao, Do Son, and L'Ombre Dans L'Eau to name a few. These are quite spendy but if you're a fan of the fragrances this is another nice way to experience it. I've tried a couple - Tam Dao is very lightly fragranced with a thicker gel-like texture. It doesn't lather up like some others but makes for a nice bubble bath. L'Ombre Dans L'Eau has a stronger scent to it (it's the fragrance version of their Baies candle) and a better lather. A little goes a very long way. Out of all the shower gels from Diptyque my favorite is the Revitalizing Shower Gel for Hair and Body. I can't count the number of times I've bought this one, it's worth every penny in my opinion because it lathers up really nicely and smells refreshingly clean and unique. My husband really likes this one as well (for him). It leaves the skin feeling super soft and lingers on the skin but won't interfere with your perfumes. Ingredients listed online here.

Next up is the Jack Black Turbo Wash Energizing Cleanser for Hair and Body (also available in a smaller size). This one is designed for men and is my husband's all time favorite, but I like to borrow it too. My husband is all about products that multi-task, this one really is good for both hair and body. This one is his favorite because it suds up really well and cleans the skin without leaving any film or residue. It has a mix of rosemary, eucalyptus and juniper berry which makes it smell incredibly fresh and crisp. The eucalyptus has a cooling feel that energizes the body and wakes you up in the morning but it's not as sharp or strong as other scents with eucalyptus making it softer around the edges. I've bought him a number of travel sized minis from other brands to try out but this one remains his favorite. Ingredients listed online here.

My latest discovery is the Nuxe Rêve de Miel Cleansing Gel for Face and Body. This one is designed for dry skin. It has that sweet honey and sunflower scent which I usually find too powdery or floral in other lines but it's something Nuxe does the best. It's really thick and concentrated so a little goes a very long way. I like that it lathers up to a gentle lather - since it's on the thicker side it won't foam up like some others making it adhere better to the skin when you're in the shower or bath. That being said it does rinse off completely but leaves the body feeling well hydrated. I haven't tested this on the face yet but if you have dry skin and like honey-scented products this is amazing for the body.

Ingredients:


Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser is a staple but also extremely pricey. This has a gel texture that lathers up nicely but since it's more liquid than others it won't necessarily foam up like the Diptyque or Neutrogena. It's a nice soft geranium scent that is very mellow but still refreshing. You only need two pumps for the entire body and it cleans the skin like nothing else I've tried. Ingredients listed here.

Last but not least is the L'Occitane Bonne Mere Rosemary Shower Gel. I'm normally not a fan of rosemary scents for the body because they are often too sharp and too herbal-smelling. This one is very different. It's incredibly difficult to describe but it's a softer more refreshing version of the Jack Black Turbo Wash minus the eucalyptus. The entire Bonne Mere collection is designed to be extremely gentle on the skin. I've tried several items from the line and love the Rosemary Shower Gel, Olive Shower Gel and Liquid Marseille Hand Soap. The Rosemary has been repurchased 4 times already.

Ingredients:


If you're in the market for a new bath or shower gel I hope you found this roundup helpful. There are a number of scented showers gels I love for the fragrance but aren't so great in terms of giving the skin a good clean feeling. The ones above do both for me and are gentle enough for my sensitive skin. Do you have a favorite splurge? I would love to hear about your favorites!

The Nuxe and L'Occitane were press samples provided for review consideration. All other items purchased and repurchased by me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hand Creams, Lotions and Treatments in Winter Rotation


This post has been several months in the works and with the winter weather I thought it the perfect time to share my favorite hand creams to battle dry skin. I've had my favorites in hand creams that I've tried, loved and been very loyal to which include L'Occitane, Tatcha and Caudalie. A few close friends have sworn by their personal favorites from different lines and insisted that I give them a test drive. Based on their recommendations I compiled a list of what to check out at stores near me and put several others to the test. Today I have a roundup of what I've tested, liked and my thoughts. Shown above from left to right:

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream ($15 for 2.5 fl oz)
This one is purse friendly, absorbs quickly, lightweight texture, soft sweet grape scent. I'm really particular with scented hand treatments this one has a nice smell. If you're in need of quick and instant hydration I highly recommend this one. Moisturized feel lingers for a few minutes but the skin absorbs it fast and the hands are left feeling nicely hydrated and silky for hours.

Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve ($15 for 2.5 fl oz, $22 for 5 fl oz)
I never tried this until last month even though so many have raved about it. It is an intense treatment and I've found offers the most hydration out of all the ones I tested. There is a soft eucalyptus almost minty scent to it straight out of the tube, but the scent disappears almost instantly and leaves a very slight hint of fragrance. If you're sensitive to fragrance this is a good pick. It absorbs quickly and doesn't leave a greasy feel. I bought the smaller size which is purse-friendly.

Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Intensive Smoothing Hand Creme ($60 for 3.4 fl oz)
I got this as a gift with purchase over a year ago and it has lasted a long time (still going strong). I remember when I researched this after receiving it thinking the price tag was extremely high for a hand treatment. I put it to the test and have been thoroughly impressed with the way it smooths the look of the hands instantly and improves texture over time. It is on the thick side but doesn't leave any greasy residue on the hands because it also absorbs nicely. I wish it came in a smaller size option.

Formula X Hydrate Hand Crème with Kpangnan Butter ($16 for 3.4 fl oz)
Is a new hand cream from the Formula X line at Sephora. It smells absolutely delicious without being overpowering. It has a mix of shea butter with almond scent. It is very emollient and you can feel instant relief after applying. It is on the rich side so you can feel the moisture linger for about 15 to 20 minutes before it absorbs entirely. That being said it doesn't feel heavy even though the formula is rich. I do wish the scent lasted a bit longer, it fades after 15 minutes or so, but the formula is good. It comes in a medium sized tube (also wish it came in a smaller option).

Eve Lom Hand Cream with SPF 10 ($35 for 1.6 fl oz)
This has been on my radar for months and I finally put it to the test in December. It's the most lightweight hand cream I've tried with an airy texture and it absorbs into the skin instantly. There is no detectable scent so if you're super sensitive to fragrance this is an excellent choice. It offers instant relief for dryness and lasts a long time. Although it is moisturizing, I found it on the lighter side compared to other treatments.

Malin + Goetz Vitamin B5 Hand Treatment ($20 for 1.7 oz)
Is a rich hand treatment that's oil-free and made with a very soft almond-like scent. It claims to be quick absorbing which I agree with, but it has a super emollient texture which makes it feel a bit greasy even after 10 minutes. I found it a bit too heavy for my hands for day but do like it for night. That being said I did try this multiple times in stores before purchasing to give it more extensive testing. When my hands were super dry, testing this at the store gave my hands instant relief. The initial scent is really nice but after the dry down the scent disappears completely. 

Tatcha Indigo Soothing Silk Hand Cream ($38 for 60 ml / 2 fl oz)
This has been a long-time favorite. It comes in a travel size option which is nice to test it at a cheaper price point. If you have super dry or itchy hands, this is my ultimate pick for relief, hydration and also has the best lightweight scent. It has a blue tint but it disappears and absorbs into the skin (and doesn't stain). I usually prefer hand creams that are priced $20 and under, but this one is so so good, I'm willing to overlook the price.

Diptyque Eau Rose Hand Cream ($28 for 1.7 oz)
This was released last year with the limited-edition Rosa Mundi collection. The Eau Rose Hand Cream is still available and is the sweetest rose I've tried. I think rose fragrances can be hard to do right, Diptyque's Eau Rose has bergamot, blackcurrant, musk, cedar and honey mixed in making it more complex and less floral. The packaging is to die for.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream ($12 to $28, 1 oz to 5.2 oz)
This was the first hand cream I used when I was in high school and in my college days. I love the small travel size tubes these come in and also love every single one of the different scents and formulas. The Shea Butter formula is the classic one with the thickest and richest texture. I can't count the times I've purchased this or tubes I've used up. L'Occitane is on my list every year to purchase as stocking stuffers. I'll purchase tubes throughout the year as mini gifts, combine a mini hand cream and small box of chocolates and it makes a nice affordable treat for any occasion.

L'Occitane Scented Hand Treatments, assorted
L'Occitane's scented hand creams are among the few that my sensitive nose can tolerate. They are subtle enough for me to wear without feeling self-conscious but strong enough that you can still smell them. I adore the sets L'Occitane offers, the holiday Arlésienne Velvet Hand Cream (.35 oz mini from the holiday L'Occibox shown, but available for purchase in the 1 oz size) is rose, sweet violet and saffron mix which is a pretty feminine scent (my husband approves of it on me). If you missed out on the holiday L'Occibox Elle x L'Occitane illustrated hand creams, the good news is that there is a cute 4-piece tin called the Irresistible Hand Collection which has the full sized 1 oz tubes. 

As you can tell, I'm a bit of a hand cream fanatic. Taking good care of my hands is a must, especially since I tend to wash them frequently and they are prone to dryness. In terms of picking my favorites, my criteria includes: has to absorb quickly, medium or lightweight fragrance, must be purse-friendly, cute packaging, and prefer something $20 and under. My recommendations to you will depend on what your skin is like, fragrance tolerance and also what your personal needs are. My quick take:

My personal top three picks for best formula for hydration:
Tatcha Indigo Soothing Silk Hand Cream
L'Occitane Shea Butter
Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

Best fragrance (for sensitive noses):
Tatcha Indigo Soothing Silk Hand Cream
L'Occitane any, my favs are Arlésienne, Amande and Cherry Blossom
Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream

Fragrance free (or almost no fragrance):
Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve
Eve Lom Hand Cream

Most rich and moisturizing:
Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve
Malin + Goetz
Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv

What are your favorite hand creams? I've been looking for a good liquid hand soaps, if you have any favorites that are gentle on the hands I'm all ears for your recommendations.

The Tatcha Indigo Hand Cream and L'Occitane baby hand creams were part of press samples provided for review consideration. All others purchased by me.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Inside My Bag


Here's a peek at what's inside my bag this week (another shot here @beautylookbook). Truffle  Clutches are keeping my bags streamlined and organized. I like to use the Clarity Clutches for makeup because I can see what's inside (nude is shown). The Privacy Clutches for me are used to keep card cases, wallets, notecards and keys in (blush shown). I ordered a bunch of these for Christmas and gave them out as gifts to friends. They put them to use immediately and it brought a smile to my face seeing that they were well received - everyone has been sending me pictures of their pouches in action.

As usual, I have too many lip products in my purse. Left to right is NARS Dolce Vita Lip Gloss (review), Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (swatched), Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Étourdie (swatches), and Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Champagne (review).

I've been carrying the Tatcha's Original Aburatorigami Beauty Papers to blot. They are packaged in a slim compact sturdy paper case making them easy to carry with me, although the new Travel Sized Papers-To-Go Tube is now on my wish list. Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder in 20 stays with me these days for refreshing makeup although I often forget to bring a powder brush with me so having it in my bag is kinda pointless.

Two last beauty items I've been carrying with me include Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black mini and L'Occitane's Shea Butter Hand Cream (from the limited-edition holiday L'OcciBox).

What's in your bag this week?

The Truffle Blush Clutch and L'Occitane Hand Cream were press samples. All other items purchased by me.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Best Beauty Discoveries and Highlights of 2014


2014 has been a very exciting year and I feel incredibly blessed in so many ways. I am grateful for each and every one of my readers. Without your passion for all things beauty this blog would not be a possibility for me to keep up. Each week I am touched by the kindness some of you have shown through e-mail and comments. I think the internet and social media is amazing with the way it enables us to connect with each other across the world. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following me through this blog :) 

I have a roundup of beauty highlights in 2014. There have been so many great beauty releases and innovations this year. I think the holiday sets this season were the best ones I've seen to date. I've linked previous reviews of my favorite beauty discoveries for 2014 below. Please let me know what your top beauty discoveries were as well, I'd love to hear what your favorite picks were!
This year marked the year for a number of brand launches and store openings. New beauty brand launches in the US that I was really excited about included Gucci Beauty and Charlotte Tilbury. A number of brands added new stores and boutiques. Diptyque on Larchmont opened in Los Angeles. In Venice Beach Caudalie and Hourglass Cosmetics opened up boutiques. Another highlight for me was finally visiting the NARS Boutique on Melrose (although it opened a few years ago).

Additional highlights include a couple special features for The Beauty Look Book. In January I was really excited to be featured on Barneys New York - The Window. In March of this year I was beyond thrilled to discover that InstyleUK included me in their Top 50 Websites (thank you!!).

The best thing for me this year though was being able to connect with some bloggers and YouTubers in person (in beauty and fashion). Meeting them was incredibly inspiring. There are few things that give me that warm fuzzy feeling like seeing women support other women and I value their friendship, advice, encouragement and positive outlook on life. 

What were your top beauty discoveries this year?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Inside My Bag


I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! I have a few things to share that I've been loving lately - all of which are compact in size making it easy to slip into a flat leather clutch.

First, Elizabeth and James just released a new Solid Perfume Compact for Nirvana Black and White. It's the prettiest solid perfume compact I've seen. It comes in heavy duty a mirrored compact with the same detail as the full size bottles. It's currently a VIB/VIB Rouge Exclusive at Sephora.com through 12/27 and will be officially launch in the new year. The solid Nirvana Black smells just like the Eau De Parfum and Rollerball (full review on those here) with decent lasting power.

Next, I've been really enjoying the Tom Ford Lips & Boys clutch-sized lipsticks. I have posted a few sneak peeks here and on my Instagram, I'm working as fast as I can to get the full review and swatches up this week. Below is William, a sheer glossy nude peach shimmer.

NARS is a regular go-to these days with their Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Dione (review) and Audacious Lipstick in Barbara (review). I've been shopping my stash with both formulas.

For the dry winter weather, I've been using hand cream and lip balms religiously. Two I really like at the moment is L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand cream mini that I got as a gift with purchase at the boutique (always a classic) and the Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturizer.



Full clutch contents this weekend:

1 / NARS Audacious Lipstick in Barbara
4 / Chocolate Mints Tin
5 / Louis Vuitton Key ring
6 / L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
9 / Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (review soon)
10 / Tom Ford Lips & Boys in William
12 / iPhone


Hope you have a lovely Sunday afternoon!

The Elizabeth & James solid compact was provided for review consideration. The mini L'Occitane hand cream was a gift with purchase in store. All other items purchased by me.

Monday, December 1, 2014

L'Occitane Holiday L'OcciBox


I have exciting news to share with you from L'Occitane. Today they are launching a new sampling program called L'OcciBox (pronounced "lox-ee-box"). There will be one new box launched each season this upcoming year with travel-sized samples of the brand's classic items and newest offerings. Each box will retail at $15 in stores and online (limit one per customer, use code DISCOVER at checkout). It's the perfect way to way to experience items from the line, find travel or purse-sized beauty items, or gift a box to a friend.

In addition, each quarter, L'Occitane will select a special partner to collaborate with for something extra in each box. The first partner is ELLE Magazine which chose a special illustrator to design special packaging for four classic hand creams, a nail file, all encased in a custom-made zip pouch. As a fun addition, 100 boxes selected at random will have a free year subscription to ELLE Magazine hidden inside as a bonus.

The boxes are compact but very sturdy and packaged beautifully. The first L'OcciBox has a festive print and a pink bow on top, it's too cute for words:


The contents are valued at over $50. Here is a peek at what you get inside L'Occitane's first L'OcciBox for the holiday season:
  1. Orange Zip ELLE Magazine Pouch
  2. ELLE + L'Occitane Nail File
  3. Cherry Blossom ELLE Hand Cream 0.3 .oz
  4. Shea ELLE Hand Cream 0.3 .oz
  5. Almond ELLE Hand Cream 0.3 .oz
  6. Verbena ELLE Hand Cream 0.3 .oz 
  7. Immortelle Sample Divine Cream 0.05 .oz x2 
  8. Shea Butter Body Milk 1.7 .oz 
  9. Almond Supple Skin Oil 0.5 fl.oz
  10. Precious Cleansing Foam 1.7 fl.oz 
  11. Arlésienne Hand Cream 0.3 .oz
The Elle Pouch and Hand Creams are adorable. On the back of the pouch it says "so cute" in ten different languages. Each of the hand creams are illustrated with French sayings and an English translation below as well.


One last shot of the entire box contents lined up side by side. It really surprised me how much was able to fit inside the tiny little container:


I discovered L'Occitane when I was 17 when I was gifted a small Shea Butter tin by a family friend to help my super dry hands and cuticles (I was part of the swim team and always in the pool and sun). She also brought me one of the small Shea Butter hand creams and ever since then I've been hooked. The formulas are gentle, non-irritating, effective and good for sensitive skin. I especially like that skin and body line's have subtle scent options aren't overpowering. Sampling programs didn't exist like they do today, I am happy to see more brands offer sampler sets like these as an introduction to their brand. In case you're unsure of how to pronounce the brand's name, L'Occitane is pronounced "lox-ee-tan".

The L'OcciBox is available for purchase at L'Occitane Boutiques nationwide right now (while supplies last). If you want to avoid the holiday crowds, you can also purchase online here (be sure to use code DISCOVER at checkout to have the price adjusted to $15). These are limited-edition with a limit of one per customer.


9:52 AM PST - the online glitch is fixed, you should be able to add the item to your cart, I confirmed with L'Occitane that this set is for both new and existing customers.

December 2nd 8:05 PM PST update - per a few reader requests, I've reached out to L'Occitane for some clarification on the L'OcciBox availability and in store purchasing. It looks like it sold out online, but per L'Occitane it hasn't yet.
  1. The L'OcciBox will be back online on December 4th, there has been a temporary glitch on their website, check back on the 4th to purchase online, although they do want me to let you know quantities are limited. They've received an overwhelmingly positive response so far and it has been selling quickly. UPDATE 12/8 back in stock online!
  2. You should be able to purchase in store without any coupon or issues. I've been told my readers can simply give the same "DISCOVER" code to the store associate when you check out or even just mention the box, they apologize for any issues and inconvenience to those who were not able to purchase in store.
To stay up to date with the latest, be sure to follow L'Occitane on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

This post was sponsored by L'Occitane, as always, all opinions are my own. For more info, please refer to my Disclosures page.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

L'Occitane Shea Butter Whipped Collection


This year marks the 20th anniversary of L'Occitane's best-selling shea hand cream. In honor of this event they have released a new limited-edition Shea Butter Whipped line with a special lightweight cushiony texture. The new items look and smell amazing, the collection smells good enough to eat (I have resisted so far). The new items available include:
  • Hand Cream ($12) has a 25% concentration of Shea Butter. It's just as hydrating as their Classic version but more lightweight in texture. It has a whipped/airy formula. The scent is soothing but slightly more fresh compared to the other items in the Shea Butter line. The Whipped Shea Butter hand cream has a nice dry down and is really nice for dry hands.
  • Body Cream ($24) is a whipped body cream. This has a 10% shea concentration and is very hydrating and creamy but easy to blend. It absorbs quickly into the skin and has a nice medium dry down so there isn't any greasy feel but you can still feel the moisture on the skin. There are few body moisturizers that work as well as L'Occitane does on my sensitive skin. It can get itchy and dry during fall and winter months, my favorite is the Extra Gentle Hand and Body Lotion.
  • Shower Foam ($20) is a unique liquid shower foam. It has a pump that creates a foamy texture once you dispense the product. This is a nice treat to have, for me a week of use (for both myself and my husband) used up about half the bottle, but it does feel nice and lightweight while hydrating the skin. It's definitely worth trying, but might end up being a bit pricey if you use it up quickly like me. (This Shower Foam + Body Cream Duo gives a slight price break.)   

Close up of the packaging:


Shower foam in action (Burberry Elderberry on the nails):


The hand cream and body cream are musts for me, especially this season when my skin tends to feel dry. The shower foam is nice to have (or try) but not a must. I see it as more of a luxurious splurge or nice treat. The packaging and product design are both really unique though.

You can find the collection online at L'Occitane and also in their boutiques (Store Locator here). If you're starting to shop online for holiday gifts, be sure to check out their deals and promos. L'Occitane always makes it to my gifting list every year, they have great stocking stuffer ideas and nice gift sets. I find them perfect for those who are hard to shop for. There's always something new to discover.
Thanks to L'Occitane for sending these samples for review consideration.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

On My Radar / New in Beauty


A few new items on my beauty radar this week:

Jo Malone has released the Cologne Intense Mini Collection (1) in a set for the first time this holiday. It has Tuberose Angelica, Velvet Rose and Oud, Saffron, Dark Amber and Ginger Lily and Oud and Bergamot. I was almost ready to purchase but have never smelled Saffron before. Have you? What do you think?

Edward Bess has released four new shades of Lasting Kiss Lip Stain (2). I will have swatches to share with you very soon but first impressions are they are to die for.

Tom Ford Beauty has re-released two of the Cream Color for Eyes (3) in Platinum and Spice. Those who missed out before will be happy to know you can purchase them now with the holiday collection (but take note they are limited-edition again).

L'Occitane never fails to get me with their Shea Butter Hand Cream releases (4). With the holiday season approaching, I'm excited to see what sets they will release this year. Three new ones on my radar are the Rose Heart, Vanilla Bouquet and Whipped Shea Butter.

NARS has several holiday gifting sets out this year. This Virtual Domination Cheek Palette (5) looks like it could be the perfect compact size to slip into your purse for touchups or application on-the-go.

I've been getting lots of e-mails about the new Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss (6). Chanel.com released three shades as a preview, but all the colors have finally arrived at Nordstrom in case you have been looking. I have five I'll be swatching and reviewing.

Diptyque has some amazing holiday offerings this year. The packaging on their holiday candles are breathtakingly beautiful. There will be candle sets available as well. For the first time they will have one of their photophores available for purchase outside of Diptyque Boutiques in a Limited Edition Set with a Candle Holder + Feu de Bois, 6.5 oz. (7).

Dior Holiday is also stunning. There are two limited-edition quints in Golden Shock and Golden Reflection (8). (P.S. for a limited time, Nordstrom.com has these on sale with 10% off for their price matching, check out the Sale Section on their website under Beauty to see what else is on a discount.)

What's on your beauty radar this week?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Inside My Bag


Inside my Prada Saffiano (in camel) bag this week:

NARS Lipgloss in Ophelia (swatches here)
Urban Decay Naked Lipgloss in Liar (swatches soon)
Guerlain Maxi Lash Waterproof Mascara (review here)
Chanel Les Beiges 20 (swatches)
Revlon Marchesa Tweezers
Louis Vuitton Empriente Wallet
Dior Rouge Baume in Milly (review soon)
Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black mini (review)
Smythson Notebook

What's in your handbag right now?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

On My Radar / New in Beauty


I hope everyone has been enjoying the weekend. We're still experiencing really warm weather in Southern California but it's finally started to cool down a little bit. Fall and holiday items are trickling in stores but it doesn't feel like fall yet. A few new items I've spotted that are on my current beauty radar:

Chanel has re-released some cult classics in the new Collection Les Rouges Culte (1). There are three Le Vernis shades in Rouge Flamboyant, Laque Rouge, and Rouge No. 19 along with three featured shades of Rouge Coco Shine in Boheme, Dialogue and Suspense. In my mind Chanel can do no wrong when it comes to reds so I ordered the nail polishes and will swatch them as soon as they arrive.

I'm always on the hunt for cool stationery. I find hand-written notes can be fun and they add that personal touch which I feel is slowly disappearing in this digital age of e-mails and texts. Connor has this cute Emoji Stationery Set (2) which I have on my wish list. I have their desk calendar and love their exquisite designs and the card stock they use is very good quality.

Marc Jacobs Beauty has some new items for fall and holiday. There are 9 new shades of Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer (3) for fall (hover over the shades on Sephora to see which colors are labeled as "new"). I have my eyes on Blanche (white cream), Cobra (black grape) and Louise (ballet pink beige). There are some new items for holiday which includes a new Collector's Edition Midnight in Paris shade that comes in a keepsake box.

Also for fall, there are several new palettes of the Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No.7 - Plush Shadow (4). I just ordered Enigma which has a mix of black, grey, taupe and pink. I'll be swatching in the next couple weeks and report back.

L'Occitane recently released the Bonne Mère Collection (5). There are a number of shower gels and soaps in this line that is very gentle. Each comforting formula is hypoallergenic and PH neutral, made without parabens or phenoxyethanol. I've been testing a couple of the shower gels in Rosemary and Olive over the past couple of months and they are amazing. Rosemary is such a unique one with a refreshing one that has a beautiful scent (it's not like actual rosemary like I expected).

Laura Mercier Peach Hope Lip Glacé (6) is a shimmering coral peach with gold flecks. 100% of the profits go to the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette (7) will launch next month (you can add your e-mail to the wait list at Sephora). It's a definite must-have on my list, I hope to have swatches of this beauty this week as well. First impressions are that it took my breath away as soon as I opened it.

Diptyque Benjoin (8) is an online exclusive that is described as somewhere in between vanilla and caramel. It sounds like it could be either incredibly amazing or overly sweet. I have this on the way to my house and will report back as soon as I am able to burn it. This one is available for a limited time.

What's on your beauty radar this week?

P.S. Thank you to everyone who entered last week's giveaway! The winner has been announced on the widget, congrats to Denise P at e-mail deniseg*******d@sbcglobal.net, check your inbox, i just sent you a message :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

L'Occitane Divine Youth Oil


L'Occitane's latest skincare addition to the Divine Collection in skincare is their new Divine Youth Oil ($96 for 30 ml/1 fl oz, made in France). It's an extension of their Anti-Aging line all of which contains a unique blend of natural ingredients that help the skin's regeneration process and give it a radiant glow. I was lucky to get an early preview of L'Occitane's fall releases back in August and received a sample of the Divine Youth Oil to try. I've been testing this oil for almost one full month and have been really happy with the results.

L'Occitane fall preview (more on the Bonne Mere soon)


The new Divine Youth Oil is a lightweight face oil that I've found to be really lovely for sensitive skin. It's a moisturizing oil that absorbs quickly into the skin that doesn't feel heavy or greasy. The Divine Youth Oil is made with 100% natural oils. According to L'Occitane, it contains the "anti-ageing properties of immortelle essential oil from Corsica, soothing and regenerating properties of the borage, evening primrose, camelina, echium, sea buckthorn, apricot and rose hip oils." All of these ingredients combined have been formulated to give the skin a smoother and more radiant look. The oil comes in one size right now, packaged in a glass bottle with a push pump at the top to dispense product through a dropper. The oil is a very light weight fluid where a little goes a long way. I only need one small drop to cover the entire face.


When it comes to testing beauty oils on my face I usually proceed with extreme caution. I've found several that have a luxuriously moisturizing feel that does wonders for the skin, but many have an extremely strong herbal scent which I have not been able to tolerate. L'Occitane's body products have been a go-to for me since many of their items are extremely gentle for sensitive skin (and noses) so I had high hopes for the oil and was relieved to find that the Divine Youth Oil has a very pleasant and gentle scent. The oil has a light soothing floral smell that did not irritate my sensitive nose. For those sensitive to florals, this one is not a super strong floral, it has warm notes that smell like honey to me.


The Divine Youth Oil can be used for both day or night, but it's recommended mainly to be used at night when the skin is least exposed to environmental toxins and stresses so the skin can absorb it better. My skin had recently gone through another break-out episode for the past few months (from foundation testing) so I stopped all of my night time treatments to let the skin breathe and take a break from everything. The breakouts increased sensitivity to everything and I stopped using moisturizers at night because they would sting my skin. There were several days (and weekends) where I skipped makeup and moisturizer entirely during the day. I started to get dry patches but didn't want to use anything that might irritate my skin further or clog pores. I was very nervous about trying this oil even after some of the spots had healed, but given my luck with the other items from their line combined with the reviews on the oil from the UK website about the regenerative properties, I decided to try this in spots before applying to the entire face and I've found it to be perfect for my sensitive skin.


For the past month I've been using this at night 2 to 3 times per week and my skin has improved tremendously. A little drop goes a long way and I like the way it absorbs quickly into the skin. It hydrates the skin without feeling heavy or greasy but you do need to make sure you use only a tiny bit. It leaves the skin glowing and healthy looking. If you're a fan of beauty oils and use them regularly you can definitely use this during the day. I prefer to use a cream or a gel moisturizer for day since I find oils to be a bit too heavy and rich for my normal-combination skin. I really liked how it helped restore my skin.

Some close ups of the bottle and packaging, the cap has a push pump to draw and dispense the oil:



Ingredients:




The oil is bottom line another winner from L'Occitane. A little goes a very long way and absorbs into the skin quickly so the bottle will last a long time. The Divine Youth Oil launched in the US last week  online and in stores and retails at $96 for 1 fl oz.

Right now, L'Occitane has a special offer where you can register to receive a deluxe sample mini of the Divine Oil by registering here (valid through October 1st or while supplies last). I highly recommend you make a visit to your nearest L'Occitane store soon to test this in person.


Have you tried the new Divine Youth Oil? If not, do you have any L'Occitane favorites? Their Shea Butter Extra Gentle Body Lotion and Hand Creams are at the top of my list for go-to hand and body products. When my friends have baby showers, I usually bring something extra for the mom-to-be and the items are usually from L'Occitane (the Mom & Baby line is usually a big hit). The hand creams are always great add-ons during holidays and special occasions too.

For more on L'Occitane, be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter @Loccitane and Instagram @Loccitane (for more reviews and features search using #DivineYouthOil). 

Many thanks to L'Occitane for sponsoring this post. More information on my Disclosures page.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Monthly Beauty Favorites


I discovered quite a few new favorites in August it was difficult to narrow down my list to under 20 items. My Sony NEX-6L/B just broke right after photographed my monthly favorites along with some new items from Tom Ford Fall and Edward Bess. It will take 2-3 weeks for me to get it back after it goes to the repair center. As a blogger and photographer, I really should have more than one camera for times just like this. I called up my brother to ask for a camera recommendation. I wanted something that was super easy to use, easy to hold, affordable and compact. He said hands down buy something from the Canon G Series - after doing a few hours of research and watching several videos, I ordered a Canon PowerShot G16 as my second camera. I took my first photos with it for the Tom Ford Black Cherry post and am so impressed with the image quality and functions. Many of you have asked me for more info on my cameras, as soon as the Sony gets back from repair, I'll do a post on both to compare. If you have any camera favorites I'd love to hear what you love. I hope to upgrade to an SLR by the end of the year.

Onto my favorites for the month of August:
  1. Truffle Privacy Clutch in Blush has become a favorite for a classic, sleek and compact clutch. It's super sturdy and extremely well made. Use code LABORDAY for free US shipping through Monday. (Review and more photos here.)
  2. Clare Vivier Wallet Clutch is another new favorite, it's the compact version (measures 8" x 5") of their regular Flat Clutch (measures 11.5" x 7") making it perfect as a change purse that will also hold a lipstick, business cards, and keys. 
  3. West Elm Acrylic Trays are a new discovery for me. I've been a huge fan of their Lacquer Trays (we have them all over the house). I'm thrilled West Elm made one that is high quality at an affordable price. Huge thumbs up (they come in the square and rectangle options).
  4. YSL Volupté Sheer Candy has been a go-to this summer, I almost always have one in my bag or purse with me. (Review on new shades here.)
  5. Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black is a favorite darker scent. It will be perfect as we transition to fall and suitable to wear through winter. (Full review here.)
  6. YSL Gris Deco has been the most commented-on polish I've worn all month. It was amazing how many people asked me "what nail polish are you wearing?" It has this unique mix of blue in it to make you wonder if it's blue, grey or white. I love it for a super polished look that's not too pale. (Swatches and review here.)
  7. Diptyque Figuier is one of my favorite Diptyque scents. I never tire of it no matter what the season is. I'm particularly fond of it in fall/winter. It's a warming soothing scent that completely lifts one's mood. It's super relaxing and lush. (Cleaning and recycle tutorial here, find the 411 on size options here.)
  8. Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad in Nude Dip sold out online within a few hours, I still haven't seen it pop up on Nordstrom or Bloomingdales yet, there is a possibility some other retailers might re-stock. You will have to do a bit of calling around to locate one but it's definitely worth the extra effort. I'd recommend calling Neiman Marcus Fashion Island or Beverly Hills to see if they have any left. (Review soon.)
  9. Guerlain Cils D'Enfer Waterproof Mascara is something I've been obsessed with for a few months now. I discovered this one thanks to The RaeViewer's channel (if she loves it, I usually end up loving it too). It really stays put, doesn't smudge, has a deep lush black finish and doesn't make the lashes look crunchy. (My review here.)
  10. Garance Doré x Rifle Paper is one of the cutest collections I've seen for stationary. I love the chic designs, they have cards that are really fun. They make great gifts, I know my friends have loved the notepads and birthday cards. 
  11. L'Occitane Hand Cream Pouch has been selling out very quickly (it's a steal!), I managed to buy three sets when they restocked a couple weeks ago, it looks like it just sold out again, but I recommend you keep checking, I expect they will restock again.
  12. Clé de Peau Beauté Almond Concealer is an exact match for me. I'm thrilled they expanded their color options. I hope they do the same for foundations as well, I just tested a couple and fell head over heels with two of the formulas (my wallet is crying now). (Swatches here.)
  13. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow has been a staple duo this month. The line will launch in a few days in the US. (I'm so excited!) I am still photographing the two sets I ordered from the UK. Reviews will be posted as soon as possible.
  14. Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base is one of my holy grail eye bases. (My thoughts here and here.)
  15. Kat Von D Ink Liner has seriously made my life easier when it comes to liquid liner. (Review here.) You can't beat the ease of use, color, pigment, and quality at an affordable price.
  16. NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel is my new favorite nude pink. It's literally everything I have ever wanted for that perfect nude pink lip color. I can't always pull off nudes on the lips because they often look so pale. This one is absolutely perfect. It's a good nude pink that doesn't wash out the complexion. (Swatches here.)



What have been your favorites this past month?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Monthly Favorites | Skincare, Haircare, Body and Fragrance


Several have requested a monthly favorites round up - welcome to The Beauty Look Book's first monthly favorites feature! I wanted to feature some midsummer beauty favorites for the skin, body and hair. Many of these items are things I've been using all summer long.
  • Caudalie Make-up Removing Cleansing Water is a gentle lightweight cleansing water that refreshes the skin. It won't remove waterproof eye makeup or mascara all the way, but I like this for the face. I have this in the full size as well but like to keep the small travel sizes.
  • Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse has been a favorite this summer for dry body oils. (Three I tested here.) I alternate between this and the Caudalie Divine Oil, but lately I've been reaching more for the Nuxe, the fresh floral beach-like scent is perfect for summer. It layers nicely with most perfumes as it's very gentle and not overpowering. I love that the skin absorbs it quickly.
  • Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is an alternative to dry shampoo. I've tried several and don't like the powdery crunchy look they give to the hair. The Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is the only one I've tried that doesn't leave any residue. It's more of a texturizing spray that I like to use on days where my hair looks a bit flat. I love all things Oribe that I've tried it's a brand I keep exploring and looking into. The signature Oribe scent is incredible.
  • St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse is a new discovery this year and it is hands down my favorite self tan product. I purchased the mini size to compare it to the Gradual an Everyday Body Lotion from Sephora. I tested each one simultaneously with the mousse on one leg and the lotion on the other. The mousse gives a better tan without being orange. The lotion has a more gradual darkening effect. The tint to the mousse also helps you see where you applied product and helps as a guide for even application. It didn't stain or transfer to white sheets and after letting it set for 10 minutes I found it didn't transfer to a white denim skirt. I applied it for two consecutive days and my tan will last about 5 days. I have super sensitive skin and I've gotten allergic reactions to spray tans and other self tan products (like Clarins).
  • First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser was sent for review and it is an amazing cleanser. It has red clay which is suppose to draw out toxins, remove oil and unclog pores. It's designed for combination or oily skin. My skin is slightly combination, dry on the cheeks area and slightly oily in the T zone. I found this to be amazing at unclogging pores. It comes with a slightly gel-like texture that is a reddish pink with a pearly shimmer. It works well with the hands, a washcloth and my Clarisonic Aria. It's gentle enough for my sensitive skin but very effective. I'm on my second tube.
  • Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi is one of Tom Ford's latest, it's one of two new scents that are an extension of the Neroli Portofino line. I can't wear a lot of orange citrus scents but Tom Ford is the only one I can pull off. It's the perfect summertime scent with citrus, florals and musk.
  • Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream is something I bought from the Flower Power Kit (has the Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream in 1 oz, Rose Face Mask in 1 oz, Sugar Tulip and Rose Floral Toner 0.5 oz). I love this lightweight face cream for hydration. It's too heavy for me right now for daily use but I like to use it 2x per week during the day and alternate this as a night cream. It has a refreshing cucumber scent and feels amazing on the skin. It makes the skin look refreshed and improves the overall skin tone by smoothing over time and is great for calming the skin.
  • MAC Cleanse Off Oil has been my favorite go-to for removing makeup at the end of the day. I did a roundup of several oils I tested and the MAC is one I keep reaching for because it has the best emulsifying quality and gets everything off without leaving a residue or drying out the skin.
  • Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask is something I tried with the mini pods first. I liked it so much I bought the full size. It's a mask that really works and clears pores. It has a slight tingly effect the first few minutes but it goes away. The charcoal and white clay both work to draw out pore-cloggers. I've used it up to 3x per week when my skin was messed up. I don't recommend using it if you have broken skin or areas with irritation, but it is a gentle enough mask that won't sting your skin. 
  • Malin+Goetz Lip Moisturizer is my summer favorite for a relative inexpensive lip balm with a nice lightweight gel formula. It's super effective without being too rich or heavy for summer.
  • L'Occitane Extra Gentle Lotion for Hands and Body has been a staple for me for years. It's the only body lotion I've repurchased. It has a super lightweight feel that absorbs into the skin. It's part of the Shea Butter line and is moisturizing and soothing.
  • Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil Primer was a Sephora freebie. It's a pre-styler product that I apply to the hair before blow drying and it helps smooth the hair, decreases frizz and protects it from heat styling. It smells absolutely amazing like coconut and vanilla. It adds softness and shine without weighing down the hair.
  • L'Occitane Frisson de Verveine Hand Cream Gel is a great alternative to regular hand creams for the summer. It's a unique hand moisturizer that absorbs into the skin really quickly. It has an interesting dry down that's smooth and soothing with a slight velvety feel. It comes in the new Frisson Verbena scent which is a lightweight summery lime. One tube was sent for review and I've already purchased a second one.
  • Tatcha Aburatorigami Beauty Papers are the perfect blotting papers for me. They are compact and easy to carry in the purse. I love how they are super absorbent without having any powdery residue. I use about one sheet with every use and it's so much better than touching up with powder mid-day or late afternoon. Sometimes with the summer heat and humidity I've found adding powder to oily skin can get cakey (at least on me).
  • Chanel UV Essential Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is the only face sunscreen I like to use. It's lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly. I like to layer serum with moisturizer under my foundation but I don't like anything that feels heavy. This sunscreen is light enough to wear with both a serum and moisturizer and foundation. It's suitable for my sensitive skin. It also comes with an SPF 20 and SPF 30 versions as well.



What have been your summer favorites this past month?

 

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