L’Occitane

June Empties

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Bifesta Cleansing Express Eye Makeup Remover (145ml) – [can’t find the fabrication country]
Here’s a link to the official website in English. It contains moisturizing ingredients and vitamins. I’ve used this before. It’s a double-layer remover that you shake before use. Very efficient at removing all types of eye makeup.
Repurchase? I use oil makeup removers now (and double cleanse) so a separate remover is a little redundant in my regime. But I definitely recommend this remover.

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 (150ml) – Made in France
You can read about my thoughts on the BR lotions here. This lasted me 3 months with twice daily use, so the same as P50V. I still have a backup bottle of this but I’m going to take a break from acids because of my IOPE bio essence – I feel I should use that as my first step after cleansing and thus it’s not ‘compatible’ with an acid toner. I don’t feel ‘right’ applying P50 after the essence. Anyway! This will be a chance to see what P50/Bio essence does.
Repurchase? TBD (more…)

February Empties

Another month another bunch of minis! Let’s get those out of the way.

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L’Occitane Conditioner with 5 essential oils (35ml) – Made in France
This is for dry and damaged hair. Love this and the shampoo in this range. If I buy anything from L’Occitane I’d definitely buy these. Leaves my hair silky and smooth and has a nice inoffensive scent. This one has angelica, ylang ylang, lavender, geranium and sweet orange. ‘Helps nourish and restore capillary fiber’. ‘Cones heavy though! (second and third ingredient).

L’Occitane shower gel with 3 essential oils (35ml) – Made in France
Nice invigorating scent! Mint, pine and rosemary essential oils. It’s supposed to ‘leave a fresh sensation to the skin’ but I can’t remember if it had a particularly cooling effect.

L’Occitane Body Lotion with 3 essential oils (35ml) – Made in France
With lavender, tea tree and geranium oils (I start seeing them in the middle of the ingredients list, whereas they appear much higher on the list for the conditioner and shower gel). Being a lotion this doesn’t really satisfy my drier skin at the moment. I have used it in hotter months and enjoyed it more then. It’s very lightweight and quite thin in consistency. A light lotion. This smells similar to the shampoo/conditioner. First three ingreidents: water, grape seed oil, glycerin.

These samples from L’Occitane has a nice texture and consistency, nothing that comes out in big blobs (for shower and hair stuff) like some other samples I’ve tried.

Elemis ap@home Revitalise-me Hand & Body Lotion (50ml) – Made in the Czech Republic
It has almond oil to hydrate and ‘aromatic oils of thyme, basil and neroli to revitalise and invigorate the senses.’ This lotion is slightly thicker than the one from l’Occitane. Water is the first ingredient for both, but Elemis has Cetearyl alcohol as second ingredient followed by isopropryl palmitate; whereas l’Occitane has grape seed oil and glycerin as second and third.

Elemis ap@home Revitalise-me Conditioner (50ml) – Made in the Czech Republic
With camelia leaf and rosemary extracts. For hair products without SLS, SLES and silicones these ones from Elemis are rather well done.

I forgot to mention last time that the Elemis products (at least this sp@home range) are all paraben, SLS, SLES, DEA, mineral oils, artificial colours and silicones free.

thisworks reviving shower gel (30ml) – Made in China
The natural blend of energizing essential oils in these are bergamot and bitter orange. Nothing really special about these shower gels, very run of the mill. Scent is rather sharp, inoffensive but forgettable. The l’Occitane one smells a lot better.

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Last bunch of the month

Asprey Purple Water Shower Gel (35ml) – Made in China
Despite the prestigious looking packaging this is a very average and boring typical hotel supplied type of product. First three ingredients are water, SLS, cocamidopropyl betaine. Sharp lemony-smell, quite invigorating but perhaps best suited for summer.

thisworks balancing body lotion (30ml) – Made in China
I think with the thisworks stuff you really need to like the scent. First three ingredients are water, sweet almond oil and caprylic/capric triglyceride. Alcohol follows. Anyway. Forgettable.

Elemis sp@home Revitalise-me Shampoo (50ml) – Made in the Czech Republic
Wrote about this in last month’s empties.

Random note:
As it happened I got curious and from google found out that Asprey and Elemis have the same manufacturer – Pacific Direct, a huge company that licenses many brands and produce hotel amenities. It’s a one-stop shop, you can choose the packaging and so on. They have factories all over the world and stuff Asprey happened to be made in China while Elemis’ are made in the Czech Rep. The Elemis brand gets more care as you can see, but I suppose it’s normal because it’s also one of the few brands that really makes their business in skincare. Asprey makes jewelry.

Onto the full sized stuff! Lots to go through this month (this is not everything, there are more pictures below).

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Kose Medicated Sekkisei (360ml) – Made in Japan
A staple in my skincare. I started the bottle in October 2015 so this size lasted me 4.5 months with twice daily use. Not bad!
Repurchase? I have a bit of stock left, which when used in rotation with other lotions should see me until the end of the year. (more…)

January Empties

Argh am so late with this but work’s been busy and I haven’t had time to take the necessary photos 😦

I’m trying to empty my drawers so you’ll start seeing a lot of sample-sized products. Little bottles I saved and intended to use on short trips and holidays, but I finally admit that I just don’t travel often enough to use them all up in a reasonable amount of time.

thisworks-hair

this works revitalizing shampoo & conditioner (30ml)Made in China
General observation: product in little bottles appears to be a lot thicker than in regular packaging (for all beauty brands).

“Infused with essential oils to restore silky texture and shine”
This shampoo cleans very well, every time I rinse it off, I hear my hair squeak. The conditioner doesn’t add a lot of moisture/nourishment considering how well the shampoo works. Thus I conclude that this is a shampoo more suitable for oilier hair. I wash my hair daily and this shampoo can sometimes feel a little stripping when used over a longer period of time. It has a herbal smell. Stings the eyes terribly if the product does get into them (both me and the Man can attest to this). Like really sharp pain.
Repurchase? Nah this is not for me.

shower gels

L’Occitane Verbena Shower Gel (30ml) – Made in France
This shower gel didn’t feel any special. The smell is very fresh, I mean it’s verbena. Otherwise not much to write home about. It’s not thickened up though comes out of the bottle easily.
Repurchase? I don’t know how much this is but I don’t think it’s worth splurging for. The scent bored me quickly. (more…)

L’Occitane x Pierre Hermé

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image taken from L’Occitane site

So this is a collaboration that’s been released for a couple of months now. I believe it came out November perhaps? I didn’t notice too much of a fanfare but that could just be me.

For those who don’t know, Pierre Hermé is a world renowned pastry chef. He makes some of the best desserts and pastries ever. Ever. EVEEERRRRR. I can’t stress this enough. You might have seen, wherever you are in the world, a cake/dessert in your country made with two pink macaron shells, in between them a cloud of pink cream and a round of juicy looking raspberries. On top of the pink macaron sandwich is a decoration, I’d wager it’s a raspberry and very likely, a rose petal as well. The classic flavours of this is rose, raspberry and lychee. If your local shop claims this is their invention, they are LIARS. Pierre Hermé invented this dessert like 20 years ago. He called it Ispahan, after the city renowned for its Damask rose.

So L’Occitane did a collaboration with the house of Pierre Hermé, using some of the flavours he has developed for his desserts. There are three varieties, Jasmine/Immortel/Neroli, Pamplemousse/Rhubarbe and Miel/Mandarine. I believe they are all LE products, but still widely available at the time of writing.

Anyway I have been gifted with a couple of products from this collection, and having further smelled all the scents in a L’Occitane shop I declare my clear favourite to be the Grapefruit & Rhubarb combo. L’Occitane really should consider turning this scent into a permanent range.
I confess I was probably already biased – not a big fan of jasmine or the immortal flower to start with, honey and mandarin is fine but no match for the sparkling grapefruit.

I have the body cream and hand cream in this scent.

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L’Occitane hand creams, like Diptyque candles, are some of the things that are duds to me but that everyone else loves. Diptyque candles are not what they used to be some 10+ years ago when they truly burned cleanly and evenly. My last purchase was in 2013 and I’m done with them, even if they do have some very nice scents. At the price they’re charging, there’s simply no excuse and I’ll advice anyone who is willing to listen to move on. I know every blogger in the world has them but they really are overrated. I’ve since turned to Cire Trudon for my splurges and find that more rewarding. Luckily my candle addiction/obsession seems to have been cured… But I see I have gone off topic!

Ok to be fair, L’Occitane hand creams are ok if you don’t need much moisturizing, or for summer use. Or general daily use if you live in a hotter and more humid climate. I just find them average and not that interesting for the price. My work demands that I wash my hands constantly and sometimes use harmful chemicals so I need some TLC. The only product from L’Occitane that I find helpful for my hands is the shea butter range.

Now having said all that, you must think I hate this hand cream. But I don’t, and it’s mainly because of the smell. It’s just so invigorating and fresh. It *is* mostly grapefruit but you do get a hint of the rhubarb on the hands. Fades quickly though. The texture is very light (too light for me) but it does provide some immediate relief before you can run and get your heavy duty stuff – if that’s what you need. Most of the hand creams in this handy size share a similar formula so it’s mainly a game of choosing your favourite scent.

As for the body lotion, I haven’t really dipped into it knowing it’s rather light and that I favour a heavier formulas especially at this time of the year. I think this will be wonderful when summer comes. I’m using the balms and butters now, but am saving a few products for summer, like bliss lemon + sage body butter (despite its name it’s simply not heavy enough to be called a butter IMHO) and the Bronze Goddess souffle from last year that I have yet to finish.