L’Occitane Magical Leaves Body Milk | A post-holiday review (& thoughts on uncooperative packaging)

Monday, January 14, 2013

L'Occitane Feuilles Magiques, Holiday 2012

The product: L’Occitane Magical Leaves Body Milk

Last month, L’Occitane released two scents inspired by the enchanted forests of Provence to capture the magic of the season. Available in a number of formats, from eau de toilettes to shimmering dry oils, Marvellous Flowers and Magical Leaves were/are limited edition — my apologies for having gotten this review up so late.

While not readily available online, I did see these in-store earlier this month.

L'Occitane Body Milk - Magical Leaves

I’m actually quite fond of the Magical Leaves scent, but the packaging was such a turn-off. In a sentence: it quite literally took this body milk from the top of my “post immediately!” list to — well, to the middle of January. 

The Body Milk has a good texture, sinking in quickly with light hydration and softly scented without too much throw. L’Occitane describes the fragrance as a (unisex) “zesty, mouthwatering composition,” with notes of verbena, hazel, citrus fruits, and vanilla – my nose doesn’t pick out any of the specifics, but it’s just… tasty.

It’s very fresh; unexpected for a holiday release but absolutely appreciated. A faint woodiness/sweetness keeps the citrus blend from coming off too sharply, but it does smell a little “standard.” I quite enjoy the fragrance, but won’t be stocking up on it.

L'Occitane Feuilles Magiques Lait Corps review

As for its downfall? The wonderfully whimsical Feuilles Magiques packaging (which makes me think of storybook woodland fairies or something) is actually a pain to use — the plastic is hard to squeeze, and while thin, the formula isn’t so runny that it just comes pouring out of the bottle.

I can see this shape working much better for the shower gel, shimmering oil, and eau de toilette (all in the Marvellous Flowers fragrance), but for a body milk… I mean, I liked the scent, but it would’ve had to have been something pretty darn special to justify this much hassle.

Keep reading! »

How happy hands (and happy noses) make for a happy blogger, too | L’Occitane Shea Butter Fortune Flowers collection review, photos

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The collection: L’Occitane Shea Butter Fortune Flowers (LE) Collection

     ↳ The products: Shea Butter Lip Balm, Hand Cream, and Body Cream in…

          The scents: Date Bouquet, Rose Petals, and Mango Flower.

The Shea Butter Fortune Flowers collection draws inspiration from the West African ancestral traditions of basket weaving (for the packaging) and storytelling (for the scents,) focusing on the three African fortune flowers — rose, date, and mango.

While I’m actually not a huge fan of many L’Occitane fragrances, I think the scents in this collection are gorgeous: fresh, soft, and well-blended. The Mango Flower fragrance is particularly edible, and Rose Petals is stunning; delicate and soft without any being cloying or dusty in the least.

Shea Butter Lipbalm in Date Bouquet, $18.00 

100% natural, 55% organic, and 10% fair trade shea butter, this lip balm has a lot going for it, at least from a distance. That said, though, it’s actually my least favourite Fortune Flowers product out of the three I’ve tried, both in scent and formula (though neither was, per se, actually bad.)

Based in vegetable, castor, and sunflower seed oils, as well as the 10% shea base, this lip balm formula just doesn’t seem to give enough moisture for my lips. It goes on smoothly and feels lightweight, but it’s just not what I’m looking for: too slippery to use under lipsticks but not hydrating enough for a night treatment, I think I’d recommend this only as a bare-lip balm, and then only if you really liked the scent.

The verdict?

It’s not a bad product, but at $18 a tube, I’d skip this one. The lip balm gives decent moisture and wears comfortably, but like the Date Bouquet scent, it’s just good, you know? Whereas the rest of the collection is actually great.

Shea Butter Hand Cream in Rose Petals, $12.00        *Silicone-free! 

L’Occitane’s shea-based hand creams are by far their most iconic product, and for good reason. The formula is rich and hydrating, but it absorbs without an oily finish, and you don’t have to wait around for it to sink in.

Formulated with 20% fair trade shea butter, the Rose Petals Shea Butter Hand Cream leaves hands feeling soft and moisturized, and I absolutely love the scent — it’s light and slightly sweet, hitting just the right balance of both. Less sugary than your typical cherry blossom fragrance (for example), but without the metallic tang of cheap rosewater, it’s noticeable but far from overwhelming.

The verdict?

I find most rose scents too cloying, but I can’t get enough of this one. Uncharacteristically subtle for the brand, it’s the perfect “office drawer moisturizer,” a gorgeous midday pick-me-up for dry hands that won’t leave your hands greasy (and won’t fill up the whole floor with fragrance).

Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream in Mango Flower, $28.00

I tried my Mango Flower Ultra Rich Body Cream weeks before anything else, and I thought it was going to be the hilight of the season collection: it’s just that tasty. While I’m smitten with Rose Petals, though, I think this one’s going to be the big hit — I could (and will) call it mouthwatering, and it wouldn’t be the slightest bit of a lie.

Sweet and punchy, the magic of Mango Flower lies in its believability. It smells like what I’d imagine an actual mango tree to smell like; ripe and juicy but a little green, too. There’s a soft powder note in the fragrance, like a not-quite-ripe mango, that gives it a slight sophisticated edge, setting it apart from a drugstore body spray.

The verdict?

The scent’s a must-have, but I while I like the body cream, don’t love it. The super-hydrating, 25% shea butter formula is a little heavy, and I find the Mango Flower scent too strong to use everywhere — it’s a good product, but (and here’s something that doesn’t happen too often) it’s almost too scented, in a way! 

Try the Mango Flower scent in the Shea Butter Hand Cream instead, or use the Ultra Rich Body Cream as a intensive moisturizer for only your really stubborn dry patches.

The verdict?

Each product has a mini “verdict” section, but I wanted to throw just a few more words at you before we finish up. While there have definitely been L’Occitane collections in the past that have really intrigued me, this is the first that really makes me go huh, okay, wow.

Gorgeous both in formulation and fragrance, it’s the one “fragrance” collection that you absolutely cannot miss this season — I kid you not. Be sure to pick up a few of the hand creams, and don’t miss the mouthwatering mango and feather-light rose scents.

Ingredients, additional photos, & more »

I’ll take a little Milk with my hand cream, please | L’Occitane Bonne Mère Gentle Cream with Milk

Friday, September 7, 2012

The product: L’Occitanne La Bonne Mère Gentle Cream with Milk

L’Occitane’s new La Bonne Mère collection pays homage to “the Good Mother,” the embodiment of kindness, generosity, and softness to the L’Occitane family. In Provence, the phrase «Oh Bonne Mère!» is used to express surprise, relief, and kindness, and remains an important influence on the soapmakers and scentmakers in Marseille.

Available in two scents, milk and honey, the product range covers a few basic face and body products. The collection launched this August, and the packaging is made from at least 95% renewable, plant-based plastic – so not only is the range pH-balanced and gentle enough for the whole family (aged 3 and up), it’s easy on the environment, too.

The scent: The La Bonne Mère Gentle Cream with Milk has a soft, powdery fragrance — less scented than many of L’Occitane’s other products, but still noticeable. With top notes of cotton flower, sweet heart notes, and a milky base enriched with white mallow milk, the products are meant to be calming and soothing.

I haven’t tried the Honey range, but it has top notes of almond blossom, heart notes of golden honey, and a base of linden and orange blossom, which sounds absolutely delicious.

The Gentle Cream: Intended for use on the hands, body, and face, the Gentle Cream is packaged in a portable 75ml tube. With an easy-to-use twist cap (I’m a sucker for products that don’t have finicky, separate lids), it’s brilliant for use as a hand cream — the rich, smooth formula sinks in quickly and leaves a soft, sweet-smelling finish.

My sister’s comment on the packaging? “Oh my god. That’s so smart; why isn’t everything made like that!” My thoughts exactly

The verdict?

I hesitate to recommend this one, but it’s not by any fault of the product — rather, L’Occitane has another hand cream launching this October that I’m even crazier about! (Which is nuts, because I thought I was crazy about this one up ’til a week or two ago.)

For a rich, milky-sweet cream that works brilliantly on the hands (both in formula and packaging), don’t miss the Bonne Mère Gentle Cream. And, hey: if you try it in Honey, let me know what you think of the fragrance!

Keep reading! »

Don’t miss this | A soft, effortless Spring look

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I’ve been doing about a look a week the last little while, but most of them have been for the purpose of, well, the look. Which is to say, the concept of the makeup came first, and was then followed by the selection of products — which is how things usually go, if I’m not mistaken.

This week, though, I set out with only two things in mind: one, create something that would more or less realize the idea of a staple Spring makeup look, and two, feature a number of the products I’ve reviewed recently, so that you lot can see what they look like in an actual look, instead of just on my arms.

You can read the She Said Beauty post here, but just keep on scrolling if it’s the product babbling (and not the tutorial) you’re here for.

(Note: all the product links in this post go to reviews on theNotice!)

The cheeks

Ah, Senna. Quite a few comments were left asking to see these on my cheeks, and I’ve been using them in various FOTD photo sets since they came across my desk. This look happens to include the Senna Sheer Face Color Powder Blush in Clarity and Face and Eye Color in Enlighten, as blush and highlight, respectively.

I’ve been using the two Senna blushers (not including, of course, the hilighter) for a good few weeks now, and I have to say — not loving them any less, even after all this time. I thought some of their appeal might wear off, as it does, but Senna products tend to stick around for me. What can I say? The colours are just that good!

(Or my frontal lobe is just that fixated; really, it’s a toss-up between the two.)

The eyes

To start, I used Vasanti Mount Rushmore through the whole lid – just the shimmery taupe, though, mind. For a touch more definition, I added a few of the Sephora Moonshadow In the Light shadows; lighter in the inner corner and a hint darker on the outer third.

Then, to finish things up, I added two pencils to the look. First, the black eyeliner from Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips in Nude Eyes along the upper lashline — I’ve yet to review this eyeliner trio, but I keep reaching for the black. It’s got a bit of shimmer in it, which makes it a bit more interesting than a solid black).

And, finally, a whisper of Marcelle Accent Brow Pencil in Granite through the brows. I’m not crazy about Granite, but it’ll do, you know? I tend to fill my brows sort of (okay, extremely) lightly, so it doesn’t really matter what I use as long as it’s sheer and grey(ish).

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but: grey eyebrow products really do work wonders for cool skintones + black hair! It’s a makeup secret ;)

The lips

Last but not least, two products from a little farther back: L’Occitane Lipstick in Pivoine Délicate and L’Occitane Lipgloss in Rose Frémissant. I photographed this look with both lips; though it’s a small change, I couldn’t decide if I preferred the bare look of the lipstick or the light, playful edge that the gloss gives.

Anyhow; the photo above is the only one with the gloss layered on top. Feel free to decide which version you prefer on your own, because I haven’t any help to give!

Cute, but not my cup of tea | L’Occitane Pivoine Délicate Lip Shine in Rose Frémissant review, photos, swatches

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The product: L’Occitane Pivoine Délicate Lip Shine in 02 Rose Frémissant

Okay, so I’m maybe having a bit of a Pivoine Délicate “moment” right now. As with the lipstick, I just can’t get over the packaging of these glosses – it’s just so delicate and cute! The entire aesthetic of the line makes me think Paul & Joe Beauté, minus the cat heads and parabens. All in all, it’s pretty damn endearing.

The formula of L’Occitane’s Lip Shines is heavy and thick, but not terribly sticky. The scent is stronger than that of the lipsticks in the line; it’s more strongly floral, though this does fade quickly. There is no added flavour to the gloss (at least, no intentional added flavour, I think), but I can taste the peony if I lick my lips. Which, for the record, is gross and you shouldn’t try it at home.

(It’s the gloss that’s gross, though – not the peony. You’d be surprised just how many fragrance molecules are actually quite tasty without the presence of denatured alcohol.)

L’Occitane Rose Frémissant Lip Shine lip swatch

L’Occitane Rose Frémissant Lip Shine swatch (at right)

Rose Frémissant, the shade of this Pivoine Délicate (the collection) Lip Shine, pairs well with Pivoine Délicate (the lipstick; I know, it’s confusing). On its own, it’s a light pink with plenty of silver shimmer, plus a small amount of gold and fuchsia shimmer. The particle size of the silver shimmer is larger, making it quite obvious both when applied and in the tube.

Like with Pivoine Délicate, I’m not generally a huge fan of colours like this one, but I do think it was executed well. I’d have liked to see less shimmer in the formula, or at the very least less gritty shimmer, but I didn’t find the colour settled into my lip lines or built up in places it shouldn’t be — when worn in moderation, of course. (Put on enough of any light gloss and it’ll go where it shouldn’t, but you should know that by now!)

The verdict?

While I didn’t think this to be a bad product, by any means, I didn’t love it. The Lip Shine doesn’t exude the same kind of elegance as the Pivoine Délicate Lipstick, but I think it can stand alright on its own merits.

If you’re just buying for the gorgeous packaging, I’d recommend the lipsticks in a heartbeat; however, if you’re on the market for a sheer, sparkly, high-shine gloss, this one’s a keeper. The finish & shimmer of Rose Frémissant, as I said, isn’t my cup of tea – but if that’s what you look for in a gloss, then it should probably be noted that L’Occitane does it very well.


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