Brand Spotlight: L’occitane En Provence

Featuring a French favorite

I wanted to start a new series featuring some of my favorite brands with an overview or quick reviews of the products I’ve been loving. It’s the perfect time to begin with L’Occitane since they’re having their 20% Friends and Family Sale this week (by the way this totally isn’t sponsored – I just love the line!).

When I lived in Chicago, I walked past a L’Occitane store nearly every day and often popped in for the scents alone; everything they make smells delicious or beautiful. I actually put a piece of the Verbena soap in my jewelry box, so I can smell it more often. It’s such a refreshing, pretty fragrance that’s perfect for spring.

Since being back in NYC, I don’t come across their stores as often, so I’m really glad they reminded me of their products with this cute gift set. I’ve loved the Shower Oil for years – it’s plush and foams up, but it’s also super moisturizing. I hadn’t tried the classic Shea scent before though and I really like it so far.

Surprisingly, I haven’t really explored their skincare, besides an eye cream a while back, so I was excited to try this face cream. It’s the Immortelle Precious Cream – pretty serious name, huh? I love the texture of this – it feels rich without being greasy. It has a somewhat floral scent, so just be careful if you’re sensitive to fragrance.

I usually have one of their Shea Butter Hand Creams in each of my bags and on my nightstand too. They’re really moisturizing without leaving a gross residue behind. This one is in the Cherry Blossom scent, but I absolutely love the Zesty Lime one that comes out during this time of year. It’s fresh and citrusy and perfect for some warmer weather! The bright green tube is also easy to spot in your bag.

My very favorite line has to be the Almond – these products smell so warm and comforting and make my skin really soft. I’ve had the Shower Oil, Milk Concentrate, and tiny Exfoliating Soap from a gift set last Christmas. This is the most luxurious line in my opinion and totally worth the price because the products last quite a while and the scent lingers on your skin all day.

Now I’m craving the Almond line and I definitely want to try more of their skincare. Have you ever tried L’Occitane? What’s your favorite body care brand?

Beauty Haul! Space NK Sample Sale, L’occitane

Haul and experience

Anastasia and I have been picking the worst days to shop lately… we headed to the Space NK Sample Sale this morning and froze while waiting outside for two hours. The things we do for makeup! The doors opened at nine and we arrived at ten, so I knew we would have to wait a bit, but I really wasn’t expecting such a long line!

I had been hoping to pick up some Tata Harper and Sunday Riley skincare (two of my favorites!), or maybe a Diptyque candle, but nearly everything was sold out. Some customers were walking around with three overflowing baskets which was depressing.

There were tons of Malin & Goetz, Lipstick Queen, Kevyn Aucoin, and By Terry products left though and I heard they’re restocking on Thursday. I managed to find a few exciting things thankfully, in the form of these three lip products:

Here are two of the Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball Shimmer Treatment Lipsticks in Float and Moment. The former is a gorgeous sheer nude while the latter is a pretty berry-ish red. They both have this fine turquoise shimmer running through them which reflects light like a dream and looks surprisingly natural on the lips. I’ve been wearing Float all day and love the look, although it’s definitely not a long wear lipstick. These originally sold for $24, so $5 is an amazing deal. Lipstick Queen discontinued them from their e-commerce site, but you can still find them at QVC.

The top swatch is a Kevyn Aucoin The Lip Gloss in Papavier. It looks patchy on my hand, but it’s evenly sheer and glossy on the lips. It also feels comfortable, almost like a plush lip balm. There were several shades to choose from and Space NK still sells them for $30, so again this is a great deal.

Anastasia (the sweetest) also brought me this body butter which smells like delicious baked goods. It has shea butter, cocoa butter, cinnamon, and marshmallows in it. I love the scent and texture, which feels rich but sunk in quickly. I’m going to have to see where I can find this in the States!

Lastly, I popped by L’occitane to check out their adorable Easter Eggs. I had also received an email for this free gift box. I love their Verbena body products and Almond Shower Oil, so I’m really excited to try these versions and a face cream. I also enjoyed opening this cutely wrapped box. Such a treat!

That’s it for this haul! I’m on a low-buy because I’m trying to finish some of the products I currently have open and my birthday is in a month. This was definitely fun though.

What have you hauled recently? And would you wait two hours for the Space NK Sale??

Gift Guide: Beauty ($85 and under)

Gift Guide: Beauty

It was so hard to narrow down items for this gift guide! There are so many amazing beauty products and brands out there (Glossier, Colourpop, Besame, Sunday Riley, Drunk Elephant, Ilia, RMS beauty, and on and on…), but I stuck to items from the more mainstream brands that can easily be found at Ulta or Nordstrom because we’re only 9 days away from Christmas now! These are gift-worthy items I personally use and love or would really like to receive.

  1. Tarte Blush Bazaar Palette ($44) – These blushes are really pigmented, blendable, and long-lasting. I think this palette makes a great gift, especially with the cute packaging and tons of colors.
  2. Lorac Ocean Sunset Palette ($42) – I love the mix of shadows in this palette. It’s an unexpected gift that you can get a variety of looks out of and it comes with a mini primer. Lorac eyeshadows are soft, buttery, and pigmented as well.
  3. L’occitane Almond Gift Set ($52) – This is a bit of a splurge for bodycare, but I think it’s worth it because the products are so luxurious and you get minis for travel. The Shower Oil helps soften skin while the Milk Concentrate is really moisturizing and they both smell amazing.
  4. Chantecaille Save the Rainforest Palette ($85) – I love the philanthropic aspect and the amazing gorilla print on these eyeshadows. The color combo is stunning as well. This is one I haven’t tried but would love to receive.
  5. Deborah Lippmann Color On Glass Set ($24) – The colors in this trio are so pretty and I think nail polish makes a nice gift for someone you may not know well enough to choose eyeshadows or lipsticks for.
  6. Bare Minerals Mini Lipsticks ($26) – The Gen Nude Radiant Lipsticks are one of my absolute favorite formulas. They feel smooth on the lips, are moisturizing, but pretty long wearing, and smell nice. This kit is great because it has a mix of the neutral and statement colors at an affordable price.
  7. Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics ($27) – This is one of my most used eyeshadow palettes and is a great deal at Ulta right now. The matte colors are beautiful for every day wear and you have some deeper shades for liner or going out. There’s also one shimmery shade that’s perfect for the lid. I highly recommend it!
  8. A custom gift set! This one features some great haircare items and this adorable Velvet Bow Hair Tie ($18). The Living Proof No Frizz Oil ($20) is amazing for hydration and taming dry hair. The mini size will last for several months as well. I also love this R + Co Shine Cream ($27) which I use on wet hair to define curls. The packaging definitely makes it gift worthy.

There are a dozen more items I wanted to add and now my personal wishlist has gotten longer! What’s on your beauty wishlist or gift guide?