Glossybox: August 2014

I received my August Glossybox right as we were moving too.  I think I got it the day before we actually were moving all of our junk to our new flat.  It’s amazing that it didn’t get lost in the chaos of moving.  The August box marks the three year anniversary of Glossybox.  It is amazing to think that they’ve only been around three years but have already delivered 6 million Glossyboxes all around the world.  They have subscribers in the US, UK, Germany, France, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Korea, and Japan.  And what is maybe even more amazing is that the founder and CEO is a man.  You’d totally think that a woman came up with this idea, wouldn’t you?

The actual box also had a bit of an update in August.  It’s still pink, but a slightly lighter shade, and isn’t actually glossy anymore.  The dimensions are slightly different as well, giving it a more compact size overall.  But there’s still plenty of space inside for big products, though the August box only had three full sized products and two good sized samples, and of course a tiny perfume sample too.  And to be honest, the full sized products were teeny tiny, so it’s not like we’re talking a full sized hair product or something that can be quite sizeable.  Overall, this seemed like a good box to me because I like all of the products in it and will definitely use them all.

Figs & Rouge Rose Berry Hand Cream
Figs & Rouge Rose Berry Hand Cream

Figs & Rouge Mini Rose Berry Hand Cream, 20ml tube.  This isn’t full sized, but is the perfect size for travel, in your desk at work, or in your bag.  The scent is rose and berry and smells great with a fresh and slightly fruit scent.  If you don’t like the smell at all, you’ll be happy to know that it fades to nothingness after you’ve had it on about 30 minutes maybe.  What is really great about this hand cream is the unique light texture that absorbs pretty quickly into the skin.  Once it is absorbed fully, like 30 seconds probably but feels like maybe a minute, your skin feels silky smooth and soft.  And best of all, there’s no greasy residue or feeling left on your skin.  This hand cream is made with shea butter which is really great at hydrating and nourishing your skin, without greasiness and without using a large amount.  I like that it feels so nice and lasts really well too, not like some hand lotions that absorb and then totally vanish leaving your hands feeling just as dry.  The shea butter in this will also help keep your cuticles in good shape and looking pretty.  All of which is great for this time of year when the weather is transitioning and your skin is often left paying the price.

I really love L’Occitane’s shea butter hand cream, but this little tube is making me think about trying a big tube of this when I run out.  And I will definitely be buying the small tubes of Figs & Rouge hand cream to keep in my handbag, travel kit, and anywhere else I want a small sized tube of hand cream.  The 20ml sized tubes are just £3.95 at FeelUnique (they claim that is a FeelUnique exclusive), which is a rather good deal for something that works so well with just a little amount.  If you want the full sized 80ml tube instead, those are £6.95 at FeelUnique, unfortunately they don’t have the same Rose Berry in the big tube, but do have lots of other nice sounding scent options.

Yves Rocher Nail Polish
Yves Rocher Nail Polish

Yves Rocher Pink Mini Nail Polish in Rose, full sized 3 ml bottle.  To look at this little, itty bitty bottle you would not, even for a second, entertain the thought that this was a full sized product.  It is petite.  Minute, really.  But it is full sized.  I kind of like the small bottles because it lets you try lots of different colours without feeling like you’ll need to use it for the next three years before the bottle is even near finished.  The colour that I received was “Rose” and it is a nice neutral pink colour that would work for day or night or with any colour of clothing.  If you were justing wanting a quick polish, not something to last for several days, you could probably get by with just a single coat because it covers really well.  Plus, you can apply it quickly right before you go out because it dries super quick, like within a minute my single coat was dry enough that I could touch things without any fear of it smudging or getting ruined.  However, if you want it to be durable and look its best, you need two coats for sure.  The quick drying, single coat ability of this polish teamed with the baby bottle make it perfect for your bag.  The only problem I have with this little bottle of polish is that it is a bit more difficult to hold the brush because there’s just not that much handle on the applicator, also it is a really slippery plastic so can slip around a bit while you are trying to apply polish.

You can buy your teeny bottles of nail polish on the Yves Rocher site.  Currently, the little 3ml bottles run from £1.95 to £3.60 because they are having some sales.  If you buy from the selection of polishes that are £3.60, you get a free one, so they really end up being £1.80 per bottle then.  They have a pretty wide selection of colours too with everything from clear to bright to neutral to dark choices.

Kryolan Highlighter Cashmere
Kryolan Highlighter Cashmere

Kryolan Highlighter Cashmere, 4.5 gram full sized pot.  I believe this is the same formulation as Kryolan’s Illusion highlighter, which has a similar looking colour called “Cashmere”.  It’s a bit hard to tell though because the Glossybox card says this is “Kryolan for Glossybox” but I think that is just because the little pot has the Glossybox logo on the lid.  In any case, the highlighter is terrific.  The creamy texture is light which means that you can put it on just where you want it.  The creaminess also makes it very effortless to blend in to your skin to give you a very subtle highlighting.  I’m used to either powder or liquid highlighters that can be tricky to blend or go on to heavily and then look too obvious.  I like the colour of this too which is a kind of a pinkish champagne colour with a subtle hint of shimmer.  All of that means that if you are really pale, like me, this blends and looks natural, giving you that lit from within appearance.  The little pot is really nicely compact too which makes it easy to take with you on a trip or on a night out.

The full sized 4.5 gram pot is £12.95 at the Kryolan website.  You might think that’s a bit dear but since you’re not using that much of this at a time, it will take you a while to work through even this small amount.  I find a little smidge of highlighter on my cheekbones and across my brow bone make for a fresh look that doesn’t look shiny, just healthy.  I also occasionally put a dab at the inner corner of my eye to brighten the whole area up a bit.  That’s a trick that works especially well if I haven’t slept so well or I’m feeling less than chipper.  I think you could probably also use this to add a bit of shimmer to a matt eye shadow since the colour of the highlighter is so light.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, 40ml tube.  Elasticizer makes me think of a styling product, though I can’t put my finger on exactly what I think it would be doing.  But in reality, Elasticizer is a pre-shampoo treatment to make your hair more bouncy by improving its elasticity while leaving it shiny, all without weighing it down.  I didn’t know my hair was elastic, honestly.  Basically, this is a hair mask that you use before you shampoo to help your hair be stronger and look better, which of course is even more important if your hair is colour treated or damaged from styling or whatever.  I colour my hair so I try to use a few different products to keep my hair looking healthy and I’m certainly looking forward to trying this out.  However, the Elasticizer gets fabulous reviews everywhere I look, plus it is an InStyle Best Beauty Buys winner for 2013 for Best Deep Conditioning Mask.  Here’s what they say about it at FeelUnique, where incidentally it has a 5 star rating from 163 reviews:

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer was originally created by Philip Kingsley specifically for Audrey Hepburn, who wanted a super-moisturising treatment that would repair her hair and keep it in great condition throughout the frequent colouring and styling done to her hair on movie sets. This is a pre-shampoo intensive moisturising treatment that delivers elasticity, bounce and shine to hair. Also provides UV protection even after washing, helping prolong the life of colour treated hair.

To apply this you just dampen your hair and then get a bit of this and work it through your hair from roots to tips and then let it do its magic for about 20 minutes.  If you’ve got fine hair that is coloured, like I do, the suggestion is to only use this once per week and to go light on the middle and end sections of your hair.  If you’ve got a coarse texture or heavier hair, you can use it twice per week.  And you shouldn’t use this for a few days before or after chemical processing.

This isn’t a full sized product, however, the sample size is big enough that you’ll be able to use it a number of times probably (depending on how much hair you have) and get a feel for how well the product works for you.  There are a number of different sizes available at FeelUnique, a 75ml tube for £15.00, a 150ml tub for £27.50, and even a giant 1000ml bottle for £74.00.  I have generally had very good luck with the Philip Kingsley products that I’ve used, and have several of them in my bathroom right now, so I’m sure I will like this too.

SkinPep Super C15 Serum
SkinPep Super C15 Serum

SkinPep Cosmeceuticals Super C15 Serum, full sized 7ml bottle.  This is a Vitamin C based serum, along with a few other things, that will work to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. So, it sounds like a bit of magic in a little tiny bottle.  This is a really hard working serum though because it has a lot of science behind it and isn’t just sitting there doing nothing much.  The serum is made up of (15%) L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid (0.5%), Alpha-Tocopherol (Vitamin E) (1%), and Matrixyl (Palmitoyl-Pentapepde-3); you’ll need a chemistry degree to get through some of those words.  But all of these have a proven benefit to your skin and can help to improve how it looks.  To get the full story on what all this serum can do for you, you’ll have to check out the SkinPep website.  This has a lot of good stuff in it and doesn’t have any of the stuff we all try to avoid: alcohol, artificial dyes, paraben, and perfume.

I haven’t had a chance to give this a big try, just tried it enough to know that it has a nice lightweight texture that feels nice on and doesn’t make my skin feel greasy or like I’ve got something heavy on.  You only need about 3 drops of this to cover your face and neck, which means even a seemingly small 7ml bottle will last a while.  Also, once absorbed, Super C15 can’t be washed or rubbed off and will remain effective for a minimum of 72 hours.  At the SkinPep website you can get two different sizes of the Super C15 serum, either the 7ml bottle for £13.99 or a big 30ml bottle for £49.99.  That big size seems like it would last you a long time since you don’t need to use very much of it.  After reading about this, I’m really looking forward to giving it a good try because who wouldn’t want their skin to look this improved.

Lalique L'Amour Perfume
Lalique L’Amour Perfume

Lalique L’Amour Perfume, 2ml vial.  This perfume has a big floral scent with a bit of a musky note too.  I definitely cannot put it into words as fancily as the description the Boots website:

The fragrance offers an olfactory declaration of love. It targets a woman with a radiant personality, eager to discover the world and enchanting people around her.The citrus freshness of bergamot, the elegant tenderness of a rosebud and the softness of neroli deliciously burst forth at the top. The heart, crucial in a love story, enriches the fragrance with a bouquet of sumptuous white flowers: tuberose, gardenia and jasmine petals. The base highlights dry, warm cedar. The creamy softness of luscious sandalwood rests on a bed of addictive musks.

It’s not my kind of fragrance.  It’s got a lot of floral that makes it have a kind of overwhelming scent that I don’t really enjoy.  I like a very light scent and this is definitely not fitting into that at all.  I do like the little sample vial that the perfume came in though.  Instead of it just having a spray or being open on the end, there’s a little series of holes that allows you to dab it on quite precisely.  I think that’s great for any perfume, but especially with something so potent.  You can buy the 50ml size of this for £67.00 at Boots, but clearly, I won’t be rushing out to buy it.

August Glossybox Value:

  • Figs & Rouge Mini Rose Berry Hand Cream, 20ml tube: £3.95 value.
  • Yves Rocher Pink Mini Nail Polish in Rose, full sized 3 ml bottle: £1.95 value.
  • Kryolan Highlighter Cashmere, 4.5 gram full sized pot: £12.95 value.
  • Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, 40ml tube: £7.33 value.
  • SkinPep Cosmeceuticals Super C15 Serum, full sized 7ml bottle: £13.99 value.
  • Lalique L’Amour Perfume, 2ml vial: £2.68 value.
  • Total Value: £42.85

That is a whole lot of value in one little box and definitely is way more than the monthly subscription fee.  I feel like I got a lot of great products this month that I’m really going to enjoy using, aside from the perfume which is going in the bin.  I would definitely say that Glossybox sent out a great box to celebrate their third birthday.  So, happy birthday, Glossybox and thanks for all the goodies!

Elizabeth Arden Original Eight Hour Cream at Costco

As you may know, I have a bit of a love for shopping at Costco, so I end up getting quite a bit of stuff there.  And sometimes, I happen on things that are amazing bargains, especially in the pricey health and beauty products.  I had been reading a lot about the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and how amazing it was and how it has won all of these awards, but I couldn’t convince myself to pay the money for it.  So I totally felt that I lucked out when I saw it at Costco for half the price I had seen it anywhere else.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

Whenever I have super dry skin problems I used to turn to Mary Kay Extra Emollient Night Cream, however, it has a scent (I’ll call it that but really I mean bad odour) that is intrusive and doesn’t seem to dissipate, not to mention it kind of sits on your skin and leaves you feeling more greasy than soft, it’s kind of like Vaseline in that respect.  I’ve also tried other things like YuBe cream, but that’s also got an unpleasant smell due to the camphor, though it does absorb well in the skin and the smell dissipates after a bit.  However, both of them work really well on dry skin, cuts and scrapes, and all kinds of skin needs.   But now, I’ve found the lovely Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and I won’t be going back.

The Eight Hour Cream works just as well or better than anything else I’ve tried but it absorbs into the skin much better because of its lightweight formula.  Though the scent is pretty potent right out of the tube, it dissipates quicker than the other things I’ve tried that have a strong smell.  The thing that I really like is how quickly it absorbs into the skin and leaves your skin feeling soft and lovely, not sticky and greasy.  Plus, it really does keep your skin protected and happy for the whole day, even after you wash your hands.  I usually put some on in the morning and that works for the whole day and then at bedtime I put some more on to keep my hands moisturized all night too.  Most of the time now, especially at night, I put the Eight Hour Cream on and then follow it up with the L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream.  This combination seems to give me a real boost of extra moisturizing power that makes my hands feel great.

You can use this for all types of skin problems from dry or chapped skin or lips, to burns, or even things like shaping your brows, adding a bit of shine to your hair, and keeping your nails and cuticles in top shape.  This is also the perfect companion for long flights (or short ones) to keep your skin hydrated and happy despite the dry airplane air.  It is also great for your lips during flights which always seem to chap, at least mine do.  The small 50 ml tube is perfect too because it is within flight regulations.  I have also heard that this is great to use when skin is really irritated with anything from bug bites to sunburn to post-waxing hair removal.

I’ve been using this on my hands for a few weeks now and they have never felt or looked so well hydrated.  I have a little rash problem with a lot of lotions and creams due to a touch of eczema on my hands, but this hasn’t irritated my skin at all and has actually worked to heal it very nicely and keep me from needing to use the topical steroid cream.  And anything that keeps steroids out of life and off of my skin is a winner in my book.  I also think this works great as a lip balm to keep my lips protected and chap-free (a constant goal of mine) or just to give them a bit of shine with natural colour.  The tube seems really small since it is just 50 ml, however, I find that I need just a little tiny dab to keep my hands good for the day, like not even a pea sized amount, probably about 1/3 of that size.

The price of this is really amazing at Costco because it is just £11.99, but at most places I’ve seen this it is £22 – 26.00 for the same size tube.  It’s pretty much half price at Costco!  So that is awesome!  And at that price it is reasonable enough that I will always keep some of this on hand (no pun intended).

Glossybox: November 2013

I’m still trying to catch up on my Glossyboxes for the last couple of months.  And really, I had thought I would be all caught up by now.  But of course I had to get sick when flying home from New York.  The November box had some nice samples that were not necessarily things I would have found on my own, but things I’ve definitely enjoyed.  I really love the perfume sample that they included, so much so that I am seriously considering buying it.

The theme for the regular November box was “The Glossy Wishlist” and included some lovely items to be sure.  The box was just the usual Glossybox look, which means that I’ve got a whole collection of these little boxes now.  I wish they were just a touch bigger so that I could use them for more storage.  In my November box I got a nice sample of Vichy Idealia Life Serum, the small sample of Connock London Kukui Eau de Parfum, a full size Emite Makeup Micronized Eyeshadow, a full size Yves Rocher Cocoa and Raspberry Hand Cream, and a full size Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads.  I like it when I get more full sized items, it definitely makes the boxes seem worth it.

Vichy Idealia Life Serum & Smoothing & Illuminating Cream
Vichy Idealia Life Serum & Smoothing & Illuminating Cream

Vichy Idealia Life Serum and Smoothing and Illuminating Cream; 3, 3ml sample tubes.  I will say that I have not tried this yet because I’m trying to see how my Lancome DreamTone works out and these two both serve a bit of a similar function.  The Idealia Life Serum is supposed to help your skin quality by evening skin tone and fighting the effects of everyday life on your skin (pollution, stress, bad diet, etc).  Altogether after using it you should have a fresher complexion, with a more even tone, and more refined pores.  I would love to find something that can do all of that (so far, not so great with the Lancome), especially something that can even out skin tone.  I have tried several products that advertise this as a benefit, but I have yet to try one that actually seems to work.  So, I am skeptical, to say the least.  But, as always, I am hopeful that I will find something that delivers on the promises.  Apparently, this has 10 years of research and development behind it, so perhaps that bodes well for it actually working.

The other sample was for Idealia Smoothing and Illuminating Cream, which as you can guess is a daily moisturizer.  This is also supposed to help polish up your skin texture and tone, while also fighting wrinkles.  I haven’t yet tried this either, my plan was to try them together.  I love my current moisturizer, so it has a high bar to get over.  Of course, if it really would make my skin look more radiant, it would be my new moisturizer of choice, for sure.  The biggest problem with this I find, for daytime use, is that it doesn’t appear to have any sun protection.  Why would you make a moisturizer without that now?  So, despite them acting like you can use it during the daytime, I wouldn’t suggest it since it would leave your skin unprotected.  Of course, you could always add another product to give you some SPF.  But why have more stuff on your skin than you need to?

In my Glossybox I received two 3 ml samples of the Life Serum, which is 20% of the full sized 30 ml tube that costs £29.50 at Boots.  I received a single 3 ml sample of the Smoothing and Illuminating Cream, which is only around 6% of the full sized 50 ml tube which you can buy at Boots for £17.00.  I wish that they had given two sample tubes of the cream too since you usually use so much more of that and I feel like you need at least 10 days to really give a moisturizer a test.

Connock of London Kukui Eau de Parfum
Connock of London Kukui Eau de Parfum

Connock of London Kukui Eau de Parfum; 1.5 ml sample.  I love love the smell of this perfume!  It smells like holiday to me.  They were apparently trying to blend something that would capture the “spirit and beauty of the Hawaiian Islands.”  I would definitely say that they have perfected it amazingly well.  The first time I smelled it, before I read anything about it, I thought of being in Maui on holiday.  I swear it even relaxed me a bit just smelling the scent.  The power of smell to evoke memories and feelings is remarkable and Connock have certainly played on that beautifully with this perfume.  Here’s what they have to say about the scent:

Romantic floral notes of gardenia, white jasmine, and calla lily gently fade into a sultry, woody base to enliven spirits with memories of journeys to faraway places.  This elegant floriental fragrance is built around the Gardenia flower and is complimented by a full bouquet of fresh flowers including Italian Bergamot, Moroccan Rose, White Jasmine and Calla Lily.  The scent is further enriched with Sandalwood, Vetiver, White Amber and layers of cashmere and sheer musks, completed with the rich bitter chocolate sweetness of Vanilla Absolute and Tonka Bean.

I have rarely smelled a perfume that I like as well as this one.  It has such a delicate scent that is just beautiful and lush.  There isn’t anything that strikes a sharp or “off” note with me, which is what I like or require in a perfume.  I am certainly very tempted to buy the full size of this.  But it is a bit pricey at £75.00 for the full 100 ml size at the Connock of London online shop.  Sadly, I cannot find it anywhere else for less either.  But since I never buy perfume for myself, this might be my special treat.  Plus, if I get it I might be able to feel that Hawaiian holiday relaxed feeling all of the time.

Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads
Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads

 

Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads; full sized 20 pads.  These are something that anyone who travels should definitely have in their kit.  Or if you are an avid polish wearer, prone to the needed touchup in everyday life, these would be perfect for your purse.  This is such a better way to have nail polish remover in your purse or luggage because they are just little pads soaked in remover.  When we were returning from Australia and going to be stopping for holiday in Japan for two weeks, I really wanted some of these but couldn’t find any there.  Of course, you can never find stuff like this when you really want it, right?  But now I’ve got these available for my future trips.  These work quite well at removing nail polish and do it all without a horrible smell.  Lately, I haven’t been wearing layers and layers of polish, so I’m not sure how well it would work on thick or difficult to remove polish; you might have to use a couple of the pads to get all of your polish removed.  The remover contains vitamin E as well as other moisturizers to keep your nails and cuticles looking healthy too.

You can buy these at several stores in the UK like Boots and Superdrug.  The full sized container of 20 pads is just £2.00, which is a great price for something so convenient.  Now that I know where to get these I will definitely always keep some around.

Emite Micronized Eyeshadow
Emite Micronized Eyeshadow

Emite Micronized Eyeshadow in Nect; full size 1.48 grams.  This is a lovely eyeshadow in a colour that I would call “champagne” but they call “Nect” as in nectar.  The eyeshadow is highly pigmetized and goes on beautifully and lasts quite well too.  The colour is very soft so it isn’t dramatic but is an excellent base for a variety of eye looks.  I like it for a standard or every day choice because it makes my eye area look brighter and helps create the effortless and uncomplicated look that I prefer.  It does have a bit of shimmer to it but once it is on it doesn’t seem glittery, just enough light catching particles to really open up your eye area, I think.  Here’s what Emite have to say (translated from the Swedish on their website):

NECT is a highly pigmented eyeshadow that is completely nickel, paraben and perfume free. The pigment is micronized to facilitate the application and to create even and fine results. An excellent choice for lens wearers or those with sensitive eyes.  The micronizing process also makes the eye shadow easy to work with and counteracts grainy results. Micronized Eye Shadow is completely vegetable (contains no animal fats) and of course not tested on animals.

In my Glossybox I received the full sized 1.48 gram eyeshadow, which is great.  The compact and size are small and perfect for traveling or your purse.  If this colour doesn’t suit you, you can always pick from one of the other great colours on the Emite website.  The only place I am aware of to purchase Emite makeup is through their website, which is in Swedish but is easily enough translated into English (via a drop-down selection in the upper right corner), but all prices are in Swedish Kroner.  They seem to indicate that they will ship internationally but it will cost you 49 SEK.  For the micronized eyeshadow, with shipping, you will pay 219.00 SEK or £20.53.  For the quality of the eyeshadow I think the price is quite fair and in line with similar brands.

Yves Rocher Raspberry and Cocoa Hand Cream
Yves Rocher Raspberry and Cocoa Hand Cream

Yves Rocher Cocoa and Raspberry Hand Cream; full sized 75 ml tube.  This smells more like dessert than a hand cream.  The raspberry is the overwhelming scent that comes across to me in this hand cream.  To be honest, the smell, while nice, reminds me of a creamy center chocolate.  Even once you put it on, the lovely raspberry scent continues.  The hand cream isn’t too thick or too thin and does seem to do a reasonable job of keeping my hands feeling lovely and soft.  But there’s something that seems to leave me with a bit of a sticky feeling for a few minutes after I apply it.  After a few minutes, maybe five, the cream is fully absorbed and the sticky feeling dissipates.  But I’m not really a fan of that feeling, no matter how luscious the cream smells.

All in all, this is unlikely to be a hand cream that I would purchase but if you have the patience to wait around for the cream to totally absorb, then it might work for you.  The 75 ml tube that I received was full size and can be purchased for a very reasonable £1.95 through the Yves Rocher online store according to Glossybox.  However, when I went to the site I couldn’t find it, so I’m a bit confused.

So, how do the numbers stack up for the box this month?  I would think that it might be pretty good since there were more full sized products than samples.  Here is the breakdown:

  • Vichy Idealia Life Serum, 6 ml sample: £5.90 value
  • Vichy Idealia Smoothing and Illuminating Cream, 3 ml sample: £1.02 value
  • Connock of London Kukui Eau de Parfum, 1.5 ml sample: £1.12 value
  • Emite Makeup Micronized Eyeshadow, full sized 1.48 grams: £15.94 value
  • Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads, full sized 20 pads: £2.00 value
  • Yves Rocher Raspberry and Cocoa Hand Cream; full sized 75 ml: £1.95 value
  • Total Value: £27.94

I guess that since two of the full sized items were so cheap, the total value of the box was pretty low.  I didn’t include the cost of shipping for the eyeshadow because the price of the eyeshadow all by itself pays for this box; the shipping would add another £4.95 to the total value.   Of course, the total value of everything still more than covers the price of the box.  And I was able to find the lovely Connock perfume, so that might make it worth it all by itself.

Box of Goodies from L’Occitane

Goodies from L'Occitane
Goodies from L’Occitane

Last week I ordered a few things from L’Occitane (lox-e-tan, in case you were wondering how to pronounce it) and when it arrived it felt almost as exciting as getting my first Glossybox (well, my anticipated excitement anyway).  I knew what I had ordered obviously, but really only one of the items was truly familiar to me because the others were things I was trying for the first time.  Plus, L’Occitane gives you a bundle of samples when you place an order online.  So, I got six samples that I was able to choose, plus a special seven day sample pack of another product.  All of this new stuff that I can’t wait to try out.

I’ve never tried L’Occitane really before, except for bath products at a few hotels, but on our recent flights back from Sydney to London the airline had given us a little hand cream from L’Occitane that I absolutely loved and think is perhaps the best one I’ve tried in years.  So naturally I had to get some once we returned to the UK.  That one thing was the whole reason I started looking at their website and browsing through the rest of the products to see if anything else caught my eye.  They were offering free shipping on orders over £40.00, so I was trying to get to that magic number with things that I might like.  As a result I took a gamble on four products that weren’t going to break the bank but seemed like they would be things that I would actually want too.  Here’s what I ordered:

  • Shea Butter Hand Cream,  £19.00
  • Shea Butter Date Bouquet Hand Cream, £4.80
  • Organic Certified Shea Butter Date Bouquet Lip Balm, £5.10
  • Beige Ballet Facecolour Cream Duo, £5.60
  • Envolée Lilas Duo Eyeshadow, £5.60
Date Bouquet Hand Cream & Lip Balm
Date Bouquet Hand Cream & Lip Balm

The hand cream and lip balm with the date scent/flavour is a limited edition item and it does smell as good as I had hoped.  The hand cream is basically the same as the big sized shea butter cream, just with a lovely sweet fruity smell.  The tube is just one ounce, so it is the perfect size to toss in even the smallest purse, or in your carry on luggage, so that you never have to suffer dry hands for a second.  The lip balm has turned out to be really great as well because it makes my lips feel super soft and hydrated but not sticky or oily, plus it too has that delicious sweet fruity smell and taste.  This is also perfect for in your purse or luggage because it is a reasonable 0.5 ounce size.  Both of the hand cream and lip balm are nice and creamy, without feeling heavy, so a little really does go a long way.  These items were on sale when I bought them, always the best time to purchase, so I saved  a bit on each one.  The hand cream was only £4.80 but is regularly £8.00 and the lip balm was only £5.10 but is regularly £8.50.

Beige Ballet Facecolour Cream Duo
Beige Ballet Facecolour Cream Duo

The other two new things that I tried were makeup and I didn’t even realize that L’Occitane did makeup of any kind, I thought they were just about the skin care.  However, the face colour, like a blush and highlighter, is lovely with a creamy feel that goes on smoothly and gives a really natural look to your cheeks.  I think you could use the darker colour for a nice soft bronzer or contouring.  And of course the pearly light colour is great for highlighting.  I used the darker shade as a blush and it looked lovely with my somewhat tan skin.  The lighter colour I used as a little bit of a highlighter on my cheeks but also on my brow bones.  They don’t mention it, however, I am sure you could use that darker shade for a lip colour as well, especially if you pair it with the lip balm to give it a bit of sheen.

Envolée Lilas Duo Eyeshadow
Envolée Lilas Duo Eyeshadow

I also like the eyeshadows, a lavender and a nude colour.  I have been wanting a light purple to try out and this was a great choice because it looks very soft and lovely on and helps to bring out the green tones in my hazel eyes.  I haven’t given either of these the full test yet by seeing how long they last, but so far so good.  I was just looking at the website and realized that I got these items on super sale price.  I paid £5.60 for each of them but now, post-sale pricing is back and they are £14.00 each.  I also love the little compacts that the makeup came in because they have a mirror and a magnetic closure that really does stay put, plus they have a very flat profile.  I can’t wait to give them a bit more of a try; I’ll be sure to let you know if I still like them as much after I’ve used them a while.

Shea Butter Hand Cream (it's awesome!)
Shea Butter Hand Cream (it’s awesome!)

But really, the shea butter hand cream was the main item I couldn’t wait to get my hands on, my very dry hands.  There’s only so long that my little tiny travel size tube could last, but luckily I got the replacement before I was totally out.  The shea butter hand cream contains 20% shea butter and feels so good on your hands and keeps them feeling soft and looking nourished.  The hand cream is rather thick and comes in a tube, like toothpaste, because of that thickness a little bit goes a long way.  Which is good because at nearly £20.00 for the 5.2 ounce tube you wouldn’t want to buy it if you had to use a whole bunch all the time.  The only negative I see is that the tube is metal and I imagine that once it gets down quite low it will be hard to get any more out.  I wasn’t sure why they were selling the “Magic Key” before, so I didn’t bother getting one, but I see now that you really probably do need something to squeeze the tube with more even pressure than you will get with your hand.  Of course, the cream is so completely wonderful I can easily overlook this little packaging issue.  Reviews all over, not just on the L’Occitane website, rave about this cream and once you try it you’ll know why.  Truly, the best at keeping my hands moisturized throughout the day out of all the lotions and creams I’ve tried over the years.  I also have a little rash problem that I’ve been getting from some medication I’m taking, which also dries out my skin terribly, and this is one of the only creams that keeps my hands feeling good and doesn’t aggravate the rash.  This is so good that I’m thinking I might have to try their foot cream as well to see if it can work the same wonders on my dry feet as well.

Now, of course, those are the things that I bought, but I also got lots of great samples too.  I love samples because they are the perfect way to try new things or things that you are unsure of without needing to commit to paying for a big size that you’ll be stuck with if you don’t like the product.  I think beauty product companies are so smart for giving these out when you shop in their stores or buy things online.  Oftentimes when you buy things online they’ll let you pick your own samples, which just makes them even better.

Six wonderful samples included with my order
Six wonderful samples included with my order

So here are the samples that I received with my order:

  • Volumising Shampoo Sample
  • Repairing Shampoo Sample
  • Repairing Conditioner Sample
  • Repairing Shine Mask Sample
  • Angelica Hydratation Cream Sample
  • Immortelle Divine Extract Sample
  • Divine Cream 7-Day Trial

I haven’t tried any of these samples yet but am really looking forward to trying them all after the great results I’ve had with my other items.  Sometimes I like to keep things like shampoo and conditioner samples for when I travel so that I can have decent with me and not have to depend on whatever the hotel has for their bathroom amenities.   However, I think I’ll give these a try sooner rather than later.  I really can’t wait to try out the mask but that will have to wait for some time when I haven’t just gotten a cut and had my colour done.

Divine Cream 7-Day Trial
Divine Cream 7-Day Trial

The Divine Cream 7-day Trial required a special promotional code, DIV7D, to be entered with the order.  This stuff sounds like a miracle cream for anti-ageing and I’m curious to see how I feel after the seven day trial.  It has gotten kudos and awards from Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, and the Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible.  Plus, lots of outstanding reviews on their website.  Here’s what they say on their website:

The Divine Cream features the combination of organic Immortelle and Myrtle essential oils:

  • Immortelle essential oil stimulates the production of collagens and improves skin microcirculation, and also helps to reduce damage caused by time and restore substance and vitality
  • Myrtle essential oil stimulates the action of the longevity protein to help increase cellular vitality and preserve the skin’s appearance.

The formula is enriched with plant oils that contain a high level of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, for a silky texture and supreme nourishment. Upon application, the sensation of well-being is immediate, while the skin feels wonderfully soothed.

So after reading that you can probably see why I’m eager to try this, right?  Clearly, it is a miracle product.  I especially looking forward to seeing how it comes through on promises to make my complexion more radiant and luminous while reducing any dark spots.  You can assure yourself that I will definitely be devoting a whole post to this trial.

As you can see, I got a lot of goodness from L’Occitane for my £40.00.  I was quite lucky and just happened to hit a time when they were having a very good sale on several items that appealed to me.  All in all, I ended up saving over £22.00 on the sale items, meaning that if I wouldn’t have bought when I did I would have had to part with 50% more of my precious beauty budget pounds.  Plus, I got free shipping for spending just £40.00 instead of the usual £59.00, saving me even more.  I really got lucky with the savings, and I feel even more fortunate that everything new that I tried, I actually like.