L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Tinted Lip Balm in Rose Nude review, swatches, photos

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Tinted Lip Balm review swatches

The product: L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Tinted Lip Balm SPF 25 in Rose Nude

Launching this June at L’Occitane is the Pivoine Sublime skincare range, which features a Perfecting Cream, Skin Perfector Serum, CC Cream, Perfecting Mist, and four peony-scented lip balms: Transparent (housed in a gorgeous silver tube), Rose NudeRose Amber, and Rose Plum.

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Tinted Lip Balm makeup review

The scent: L’Occitane has actually come out with a number of peony-scented collections over the years, and I’m happy to say that this is my favourite one. It’s much a much softer, fuller floral than the scent used in the Pivoine Délicate makeup collection, and has a rose-touched scent profile.

Pivoine Sublime is also a little fruitier than the bath/body Pivoine Flora, which I find has a soapier feel to it — a differentiation that I think makes the two perfectly suited for makeup & body products, respectfully.

L'Occitane vs Fresh tinted lip balm reviews

The formula (& the elephant in the room): When I saw this lip balm tube for the first time, my mind went to the same place that I’m sure all of yours did: Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments ($26 CAD).

Well, the packaging is near-identical for these (which is to say: super luxe, metal, and twist-on), but the formulas are very, very different! While the Fresh balms are lemon-scented and smooshy-soft with a beeswax/castor seed oil base, these L’Occitane balms are peony-scented and smooth but solid.

Plus, while the Fresh balms are rather heavily tinted and have an SPF of 15, the L’Occitane balms are sheer, with SPF 25.

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Rose Nude vs Fresh Cherry, Rose swatches comparison

Swatched L-R: Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Balm in Cherry & Rosé; L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime in Rose Nude

But do they moisturize? Honestly… not really. I can wear Nude Rose for about a day without any problems, but it’s not as hydrating as the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments. If you have normal-dry lips, I don’t think it’ll be an issue, but I do have to pile on the Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15 in the evening if I’ve spent the day wearing a Pivoine Sublime lip balm.
L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Tinted Lip Balm review

The verdict?

While the L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Lip Balms may fall short of delivering intense hydration, they can’t be beat for a luxury tinted lip balm under $20. They’re gorgeously packaged, smell amazing, and (unlike the cult-followed Fresh lip balms) have the texture of a proper lip balm rather than a soft puddle of butter.

I say skip these if you need a lot of hydration (I do), but definitely indulge if all you’re looking for is something exquisite, hygienic, and pretty!

Availability: $20 CAD online and at L’Occitane boutiques beginning June 2015.

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L’Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc EdT review, photos | A gorgeous spring veil of iris

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Mother's Day review

The product: L’Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Eau de Toilette

I was supposed to write about L’Occitane Roses et Reines for Mother’s Day this year. I was supposed to. That was the plan, and if I may say so myself, it was a good plan.

But then I was introduced to the newest member of La Collection de Grasse family, and all of my plans went out the window.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Collection de Grasse review

The story: This season, L’Occitane has brought irises back onto the fields of Grasse, using sustainable farming methods to grow this Tuscan flower in the heart of perfume country. Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc pairs two different variations of irises to create a wonderfully light veil of spring freshness, bottled into lovely gold and blue-violet packaging.

“White iris from the Mediterranean contrast its evanescent sweetness with the intensity of the blue Iris pallida from Grasse.”   -L’Occitane

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc

The scent: I know I’ve said that L’Occitane Fleur d’Or & Acacia is my favourite from the line, but… I mean, this is gorgeous. It’s light and clean and really, really easy to wear, and it’s hard to overdo.

The brand says that this scent is “EVOCATIVE OF A halo of iridescent powder on a cheek flushed by the chill of morning,” and I have to say: they’re not that far off. Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc isn’t really floral at all, and it feels very iridescent indeed; it opens with a crisp, sweet freshness and fades into something tart and woody that wears very close to the skin.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc review

My only complaint is that, as a really fresh-smelling Eau de Toilette, this one does fade quite quickly. But for something this fleetingly effervescent, I’m willing to make the trade.

TOP NOTES: Blackcurrant and citrus (orange blossom)

HEART NOTES: Iris, ylang-ylang, and peach

BASE NOTES: Iris, cedar, and white musk

L'Occitane Iris Bleu et Iris Blanc shower gel

Also new this season: Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc ancillaries (Body Milk, Shower Gel, and Perfumed Soap), which start at $8 CAD.

Additionally, look for new La Collection de Grasse hand creams; Jasmin & Bergamot, Néroli & Orchidée, and Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc will all be available for $12 CAD in lovely plastic packaging. (This is the L’Occitane formula with silicones, I’m afraid, but the new Roses et Reines hand cream is silicone-free, for those interested!)

L'Occitane La Collection de Grasse hand cream

The verdict?

Whether you’re looking for the perfect spring scent, you’re on the hunt for a happy, delicate fragrance to wear to the office, or you’re picking up a few treats for your mom this Mother’s Day, Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc is one that you need to check out.

It’s very easy to wear and definitely not a “sexy” or edgy scent, but I think it’ll turn heads with its sheer, fruity-but-classy simplicity. You need this.

Availability: $75 CAD at L’Occitane boutiques and online beginning this May.

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A very exciting L’Occitane Shea Butter giveaway! | One for me, one for you…

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

L'Occitane Shea Cleansing Oil review

January is over, and with it, the month of free L’Occitane Shea Light Comforting Cream samples comes to an end. But the excitement isn’t quite over yet, because while I fell in love with these products in December, one lucky Canadian reader is going to get the chance to fall in love with them this month! (Who says fantastic skincare products can’t be your Valentine?)

I’ve put together a quick Rafflecopter giveaway form below, and to all of you, good luck. This giveaway is silicone-free and appropriate for all skin types (I’d be wary only if you’re very oily), and will close on midnight at the end of the 18th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep reading! »

L’Occitane Shea review & free samples: Cleansing Oil, Light Comforting Cream (aka magic cream), and Gentle Toner

Monday, January 5, 2015

L'Occitane Shea Cleansing Oil review

The products: L’Occitane Shea Light Comforting Cream, Shea Cleansing Oil, and Shea Gentle Toner

New year, new beginnings… new super-exciting giveaway that’ll put December to shame. (Keep reading or click here for the giving bit of this post.)

L’Occitane is one of my favourite brands to work with, and their French-made Shea Butter range plays a big part in that — each L’Occitane Shea product bought helps women in Burkina Faso achieve economic emancipation through sustainable, fair trade practices. So, today, I’m talking about three really affordable new silicone-free products in the range, and sharing one with you!

The L’Occitane Shea Cleansing Oil ($26 CAD) and Gentle Toner

L'Occitane Shea Gentle Toner review photos

The Cleansing Oil and Light Comforting Cream join L’Occitane’s Shea Gentle Toner in their permanent Shea Butter range this January, and I couldn’t be happier. Both carry the same scent as the moisturizer (though in much smaller amounts), and are just as gentle on my skin — even the toner.

I find the Shea Cleansing Oil to be quite a heavy oil, but it washes off with no residue and removes my makeup really easily. I like it a lot more than Shu Uemura’s Cleansing Oils, surprisingly enough, and it’s actually super-cheap — only $13/100 ml! (Tatcha’s Camellia Cleansing Oil is still better, but it’s a whopping $40/100 ml.)

L'Occitane Gentle Toner review

L’Occitane Gentle Toner

The L’Occitane Shea Light Comforting Cream AKA MAGIC FAIRY-DUST CREAM* ($30 CAD)

This is L’Occitane’s big launch of the new year — a face cream that pairs shea butter (5%) with a creamy, lightweight texture. And, somehow, L’Occitane manages to pull it off beautifully.

I do find that the Light Comforting Cream leaves my skin feeling tight after I apply it (it’s targeted for normal/combination skin, but they also offer a 25% Shea Ultra Rich Face Cream; not silicone-free), but it seems to nourish my skin over time — unlike things like German Nivea or Weleda Skin Food. Rather than providing a thick, comforting layer off the bat, it sinks in quickly and works to hydrate over time and eliminate surface dehydration completely over the course of a few days, which is… kind of crazy-impressive, if we’re being honest.

L'Occitane Shea Light Comforting Cream review

L’Occitane promises that their Ultra Rich Cream will sink into the skin with “an almost disconcerting ease,” which is freaking wonderful copy and totally applies here, too. My one complaint for this line is that it’s way more fragranced than it needs to be — the Light Comforting Cream smells good, and quite cozy, but the scent hangs around for so long that I can still smell it when I splash my face with water 12 hours later.

» Best for: silicone-free skincare regimens & regulating dehydrated skin! My skin has been crazy smooth and breakout-free since I started using this.

L'Occitane Shea Light Moisturizer review photos

L’Occitane Light Comforting Cream (5% shea)

Get your sample

And now, for the exciting part! I’m lucky enough to get to test out a lot of L’Occitane for theNotice, but this time, you guys get to be the testers. Just walk into any L’Occitane store in Canada and mention theNotice for a free 8 ml sample of the Light Comforting Cream (or use the code SHEAFACE online).

The promo expires at the end of January and only covers samples for 50 followers of the blog, so try to get to a L’Occitane boutique soon — and tell your friends! Unfortunately, it doesn’t apply outside of Canada, but think of it this way: it’s probably all you freezing, dry-skinned Canadians who really need it.

L'Occitane Cleansing Oil review budget buy shea butter

L’Occitane Cleansing Oil (5% shea)

The verdict?

L’Occitane has never really blown me away with their face care until this very moment, but blow me away they did. The Shea Butter range is incredibly well-priced and (now) comes with a bunch of great silicone-free options, so it definitely has my stamp of approval.

If you have dehydrated skin, check out the Shea Light Comforting Cream ASAP. The Gentle Toner is fine and the Cleansing Oil is quite good, but it’s this new moisturizer that really shines.

Availability: All three products are permanent products as of January 2015, and will be available online soon!

Ingredients »

L’Occitane Mer & Mitstral review, photos: the perfect gift for him (or her!)

Friday, December 5, 2014

L'Occitane Mer & Mistral Eau de Toilette review photos

The product: L’Occitane Mer & Mistral Eau de Toilette (La Collection de Grasse)

So, it’s a pretty well-known fact that I’m obsessed with the L’Occitane La Collection de Grasse — but did you know that there’s a unisex scent in the line, too? And, as a cologne lover, I am all over it.

L'Occitane Mer & Mistral review

Behind the scent: I usually like my unisex scents a little more masculine (you know: woods, amber, pepper), and this one certainly isn’t — but it’s still a complete stunner. More department store than, say, Vanille & Narcisse, Mer et Mistral is a proper sparkling aquatic: it smells shimmery and extremely fresh, with bright citrus notes paired with pine and sea salt. 

The name “Mer et Mistral” means sea and wind — specifically, the extremely fast, turbulent winds in southern France blowing north into the Mediterranean Gulf of Lion. The mistral wind controls the climate of Grasse and plays a huge part in Provençal culture, dictating everything from how bell towers are built (open iron frameworks, so the wind can pass through) to the direction that homes face (south, with their backs to the wind).

L'Occitane Mer & Mistral photos review EdT

The notes & wear: A little [too] sharp at first spritz, Mer & Mistral features top notes of lemon and mandarin, heart notes of pine, cypress, and rosemary, and base notes of cedar, white amber, and musk.

The top notes fade pretty quickly, and 20 minutes later, the scent really settles in — it gets a lot more pine-y and less sparkling close to the skin, but retains its aquatic nature in the sillage. The herby accords really come out to play not long after, and the scent just transformsOnce you get past the run-of-the-mill opening, the rosemary makes this scent almost… aquatic-foody. Which sounds super gross, I know, but think of it more like this: lemon balm and pine, herbs in a mortar and pestle, and a cabin next to a rough sea.

L'Occitane Mer & Mistral unisex fragrance review photos

The bottle: While the scent of Mer & Mistral is wonderfully bright and complex, the bottle is even better. With a blue lacquered base, this glass bottle takes on a mesmerizing, watery look — the blue comes and goes depending on what angle you look at it from, like the sea as it’s pushed and pulled by the wind.

L'Occitane Mer & Mistral packaging review bottle

The verdict?

I like things that match. I just… do. I like the visual coherency, and I like rotating between fragrances that have a similar thread that weaves through all of them.

If you’re a lover of La Collection de Grasse, do yourself a favour this season and get your guy (or girl) a bottle of Mer & Mistral. Not only will it look beautiful on the dresser next to your collection, but L’Occitane’s in-house perfumer Karine Dubreuil will make sure the two of you smell great next to each other, too.

Availability: $75 CAD at L’Occitane boutiques and online.

Keep reading! »

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