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Fall 2015

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L’Occitane Shea Melting Honey Collection Launches

November 3, 2015

Earlier this fall L’Occitane launched their Shea Honey Body Collection which combines the rich smoothness of Shea butter and the soft gentle scent of Provençal honey. The collection is exclusive to L’Occitane stores and online. I was a huge fan of some of the older honey items that they discontinued and was sad when it was pulled, but the items in the new collection are just as divine. There are six pieces in this collection covering bath, body, lip and hand care. I have four pieces to share a review of today.

The Shea Honey items smell like a soft sweet soothing honey. It’s a warm and well-rounded kind of scent that is amazing. There is a very slight hint of floral to the scent, it’s not overpowering like some honey scents can be. If you have an ultra sensitive nose and don’t want any fragrance in your body products, I highly recommend the Shea Butter line. The Extra Gentle Lotion for Body and Hands has been a staple for years. I’ve repurchased so many times I’ve lost count. It’s lightweight but super hydrating and good for sensitive skin.

There are two bath items in this collection. The Shea Melting Honey Soft Shower Gel ($20 for 8.4 fl oz) is a gentle body cleanser that lathers up nicely in the bath or shower. It has a thick consistency but foams up well to leave the skin feeling super smooth and well hydrated. I’ve had some dry patches on my legs this past week and this has really helped hydrate my skin. A little goes a long way.

There is also a Melting Honey Solidarity Soap ($3 for 1.7 oz, sold out online, but I did spot this available in stores still). I’m not a bar soap kind of girl, but L’Occitane is the one of the few lines I actually like and use for bar soaps. They have the best lather and are moisturizing but don’t leave any film on the skin.

My favorite item in the collection is the Melting Honey Ultra Soft Cream ($36 for 3.4 fl oz). This is a super lush and soft cream that melts into the skin. It’s like a body cream or body butter but with a much softer texture. It feels super emollient without any greasy feel. I’m completely obsessed with the formula. I hope L’Occitane expands this formula into other lines like the Almond and Shea Butter (they currently have it in the Rose Heart, Vanilla Bouquet and Zesty Lime). The Melting Honey Ultra Soft Cream has 10% shea butter.

Last but not is the Shea Melting Honey Whipped Hand Cream ($12 for .59 fl oz). I’m a sucker for hand creams that come in cute packaging and L’Occitane launches are always among my favorite. (Have you seen the packaging for the new Pierre Herme x L’Occitane launch? The hand cream trio to die for!!) The whipped hand creams come in an airy whipped formula that feels lightweight but is still super hydrating and creamy. The texture has just the right consistency where you feel moisturized but not greasy. It absorbs nicely into the hand and smells really good. The Melting Honey Whipped Hand Cream is made with 25% shea butter. The honey is very softening on the skin.

I’m thrilled with each item in the new collection. Everything is super hydrating which is perfect for this time of year but lightweight enough so it doesn’t have any heavy feel. The best part about L’Occitane is that they have a wide range of body products to suit everyone’s tastes. I buy the gift sets every holiday as Christmas gifts because they are beautifully packaged and never fail to make friends and family happy (even for the super picky ones that are so hard to shop for). I’m looking forward to seeing this year’s holiday collection and sets in person. The Advent Calendar is the cutest set I’ve ever seen.

Have you checked out anything from the Shea Melting Honey Collection yet? If not, what are your L’occitane favorites? All the Shea Melting Honey items are exclusive to L’Occitane Boutiques and online. Also all pieces are limited-edition.

The Shea Melting Honey items were sent courtesy of L’Occitane for review consideration. All opinions my own.
Diptyque Fragrance Home / Interiors

Diptyque Fall 2015: Oud, La Prouveresse and Oiseaux Photophore

October 26, 2015

When it comes to home fragrance, I’m a Diptyque lover at heart and the new releases for fall are beautiful. I stopped by a Diptyque Boutique a few weeks ago to check out the new fragrances, perfumes and photophores. There are a number of new perfumes that have been released as part of the 34 Collection (three are boutique exclusives in beautiful glass bottles). I picked up the new Oud Candle ($60), La Proveresse in the porcelain marbled jar ($85) and the Oiseaux Photophore ($160, boutique exclusive). These days I’m thrilled to see Diptyque available at more and more retailers, but if you want an exceptional experience I recommend you visit one of the free-standing boutiques. I’ve been to five different ones in San Francisco, Larchmont, Beverly Hills, South Coast Plaza and Paris – each one has been such a treat to visit. Someday I hope to visit all the stores.

Up first is the Oud Candle ($60 for 6.5 oz/ 190 g). This one falls into the woody category of scents. It’s described as, “mysterious, woody, slightly animal composition enhanced by incense, patchouli and sandalwood.” It is indeed woody with a smoky feel, to me it smells like a warmer more inviting version of Feu de Bois. I have been burning Oud for a few days off and on with other scents and I’m smitten. It’s on the masculine side so I don’t think it will be for everyone.

My current favorite is the La Prouveresse Candle ($85 for 7.3 oz/220 g). This one is more expensive than other standard sized candles but it is slightly larger in size for product. It’s also available in the Pillar Form as a Diptyque online and boutique exclusive. The La Prouveresse is part of the 34 Collection inspired by the first Diptyque store on 34 Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris. (See snippets of my visit in June in my Paris Beauty Shopping Guide.) This comes in a porcelain container pot crafted entirely by hand using the “terre mêlée” (mixed clay) technique and each piece is entirely unique. Last year Diptyque released Le Redouté (still available for purchase, reviewed here). I am hoping the fact they released another version this year means that they will release a new one each fall. I have the three 34 candles shown side by side:

  • 34 Candle ($80) as launched to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Diptyque, this is cased in a white matte porcelain container with the 34 embossed on the front. Out of the three, this is the most light feeling in terms of mood, it has extremely good throw, it has a fresh green feel. The 34 candle is described as being fresh, green with spicy accords, notes of damp mosses, crumpled blackcurrant leaves, sun-dried fig leaves. It smells very natural and raw.
  • Le Redouté ($85) is the spicy one. It has the most holiday-like feel with cinnamon, clove, orange, roses, cedar and amber. It’s quite complex and for me I only feel like I’m in the mood to burn it during the holiday season. I still have about 1/4 of mine left over from last year that I haven’t burned off.
  • La Prouveresse ($85) is my favorite of the three. It’s the perfect mix of feminine and masculine. If you find Feu de Bois or Oud too masculine, the La Prouveresse is softer with more green notes. This has a mix of fig tree, cypress and cedarwood. It has an earthy feel. It usually takes me forever to burn an entire candle but I’ve been burning this non-stop and am already 3/4 finished with it.
Last but not least is the Oiseaux Photophore ($160). This is beautiful decorative item to display candles and each Diptyque Photophore is a work of art. These are exclusive to the boutiques but during the holidays there are sometimes sets released at other retailers for the clear glass photophores (see one of them here). There are three new photophores in this year’s 34 collection. According to Diptyque:

“This photophore features an openwork metal design created by the French illustration and graphic design duo Anamorphée, who have developed this unique decorative piece whilst remaining true to diptyque’s graphic heritage. Inspired by the painted wooden birds found in the window of 34 boulevard Saint Germain during the 1960’s, the two creators imagined the feathers and beaks of a colony of mockingbirds, the contours of which can be made out when the candle is lit. It has its own unique wooden base.”

Measurements are: height 4.7 inches / 12.5 cm – base diameter 4.3 inches / 11.5 cm, it will fit the Diptyque Pillar Candles, a full sized Diptyque Candle, Byredo, Jo Malone and Henri Bendel (the new Cashmere Candle sounds amazing!!).

Overall I’m really happy with the three new Diptyque additions to my home. I suspect I will be repurchasing La Prouveresse soon, it makes the home smell amazing. A couple other new things that I’ve seen pop up that might be of interest include the introduction of Vanille in the mini size (review on this one here). Benjoin was an online exclusive last year and they’ve re-introduced it to all retailers (review on this one here). You can find the fall releases in stores and online at Diptyque retailers now. Certain items like the Photophores and special edition perfumes are exclusive to the Diptyque Boutiques.

Have you checked out the Diptyque fall releases yet? Or have you picked
up anything else for home fragrance lately? I’m always happy for
recommendations.

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Chanel Rouge Allure Collection Picks: Troublante, Singulière, Rose Exhubérant, Expressive and Bright Rose

October 22, 2015

There are two new collections out for Chanel right now. The Rouge Allure Collection features five Rouge Allure Lipsticks (some regular, some velvet), three Le Vernis Nail Polishes, three Rouge Allure Glosses, three Rouge Double Intensités, and several lip liners. All the colors featured listed here on one page from Chanel.com. The second set of releases is for holiday from the Vamp Attitude Collection. This has already arrived at retailers such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Today I have a feature on my picks from the Rouge Allure Collection. I hope to check out the Vamp Attitude items this weekend.

Here’s a quick look at the Rouge Allure Collection display from Saks Fifth Avenue South Coast Plaza. For quick reference I’ll list all the colors featured in this collection. Note that some items are repromotes:

Rouge Allure Lipstick Éblouissante 165
Rouge Allure Lipstick Inspirée 164
Rouge Allure Lipstick Pensive 162 (swatched here)
Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick L’Indomptable 54
Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick La Mystérieuse 53
Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick La Fascinante 38
Rouge Allure Gloss Idéale 22
Rouge Allure Gloss Suprême 17
Rouge Allure Gloss Expressive 24
Rouge Double Intensité Shocking Pink 59
Rouge Double Intensité Plum Desire 68
Rouge Double Intensité Bright Rose 41
Aqua Crayon Pink Melody 22
Aqua Crayon Cinnamon 24
Le Crayon Lèvres Fuschia 55
Le Crayon Lèvres Natural 34
Le Vernis Nail Color Troublante 675
Le Vernis Nail Color Singulière 673
Le Vernis Nail Color Rose Exhubérant 519

The collection has several repromoted shades mixed in with new color releases. I picked out four items since I was primarily waiting for the holiday collection to launch (the counter didn’t have holiday yet when I stopped by a week and a half ago). Rose Exhubérant is repromoted but I thought I’d show it again alongside the two new nail colors.

Below, left to right: Rose Exhubérant, Singulière, Troublante, Expressive and Bright Rose

The two new nail polishes are absolutely gorgeous. Singulière is similar to a lot of other plum wine creams but this one has a slightly deeper red color while still showing a lot of bright undertone. It applied smoothly with two coats. Troublante is the most impressive Chanel Nail Polish I’ve seen in a while. It’s a complex shimmer that’s almost duo-chrome. It’s so hard to describe, it’s like a bronze, red, gold with flashes of olive. I couldn’t think of anything similar to compare it to. It’s metallic but the brush strokes aren’t too streaky. Rose Exhuberant is a classic bright rose pink cream. It never fails to cheer me up.

I did a few swatch comparisons on the fingers. My nail wheels have gone missing. I just did a reorganization of my beauty areas and of course now I can’t remember where I put them. I’ll do more swatches once I get more.

 Rose Exhubérant with two coats, no top coat. You can see more swatch comparisons here.

Compared next to Dior Wonderland (reviewed here)

 Singulière swatched with two coats, no top coat:

Compared below to:
Chanel April (review here
Chanel Fantastic (discontinued)

Chanel Troublante with two coats, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the beautiful complex shimmers in this one:

If you have any comparison requests, I’ll do them in the next round once I get more nail wheels:
Chanel Peridot (discontinued)
Burberry Antique Gold (c/o, reviewed here)
Chanel Terrana (swatches here)

For the lips I picked out one Rouge Allure Gloss which is among my favorite lip gloss formulas along with one Rouge Double Intensité which is a long-wear liquid lipstick with a clear gloss finisher. 

Bright Rose isn’t really a bright color to me. It’s more of a neutral bronzey pink rose. It’s quite metallic but the clear gloss helps soften the color. These are long wear lip colors and by long wear, they really mean it. They stay put on the lips all day. In my experience the colors are intense in pigment so you only need a little bit dabbed and blended on the lips. Let it set for a little bit then top with the clear gloss.

Expressive is a pretty soft plum. It has a hint of mauve and red to it so it’s not too dark. As usual with darker plums, they pull more reddish on me. This one swatched on my hand appeared more mauve in tone. 

Some swatch comparisons to other shades:

Marc Jacobs Hi-Shine Enamored Lip Gloss in Boom (c/o reviewed here)
Tom Ford Lip Color in So Vain (swatches here)
Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Troublant (discontinued)
Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss Distinction (review here)
NARS Lip Gloss in Babydoll (c/o, review + swatches here)
Surratt Lip Lustre in Soigne (reviewed here)
Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer Rose Soleil (review here)
Dior Addict Lip Gloss Cygne Noir (new for holiday, review soon)

Overall I’m really pleased with the color options in the Chanel Rouge Allure Collection. I skipped a lot of the colors but I’m happy with the ones I came home with. Troublante Nail Color is to die for and I’m smitten with the Expressive Rouge Allure Gloss – it’s a softer plum mauve that’s easy to wear for those who like color but don’t want something too dramatic.

Have you checked out the Rouge Allure Collection yet? You can find it in stores now and online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Chanel.com and all other Chanel retailers.
Sales

Space NK Explore Promotion, October 13th – 25th

October 13, 2015

$25 off $100

Space NK US has a promo going on right now. It’s the”Explore” promotion where they are offering $25 off any $100 purchase online with code EXPLORE15 at checkout. This is a great time to check out new products from Space NK or treat yourself to a little
luxurious beauty!

I’m thinking about replenishing my Eve Lom Brightening Cream because I think it will run out in the next month or so. Also on my radar is the Eve Lom Eye Lift cream (have you tried this?). Space NK now has the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette for holiday online. I saw it at the Hourglass Store on Abbott Kinney over the weekend and am seriously tempted but already have 5 of the 6 colors.

If you want recommendations on fall beauty, I’m completely head over heels in love with the Diptyque Fall Collection. The 34 La Proveresse Candle is so beautiful (review soon). Benjoin Candle is launched this year at all Diptyque retailers (it was an online exclusive last year). Also new for fall is the Oud Candle which is a lovely woody kind of scent.

Use code: EXPLORE15 $25 off $100+ purchase online, valid October 13-October 25, online at Space NK US.

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Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Golden Sun and Vibration and Illuminating Powder Infiniment Chanel

October 4, 2015

Chanel launched a new mini collection focusing on cheeks and complexion. There are two Joues Contraste Powder Blushes ($45 each for 6 g / 0.21 oz) in Golden Sun 280 and Vibration 270, a new Illuminating Powder called Infiniment Chanel ($65 for 12 g/0.42 oz) and a new angled 2-in-1 Foundation Brush for Liquid and Powder ($45). Other items in the feature include repromotes with a focus on the Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation, Hydrabeauty Microserum and Le Blanc de Chanel Makeup Base. I reviewed the new Chanel brush a couple weeks ago here. It’s a very good one that provides streak-free smooth application on foundation. Today I have a review on the 3 items for cheeks.

Swatched below with a heavy hand:

All three colors are new to me. It was pointed out to me that Golden Sun might be an older color that was discontinued but I don’t own the original so I’m not sure if it’s the same color repromoted or if it’s a new color with the same name. The current Golden Sun #280 blush is the most perfect shimmering beige nude with a hint of tan. It’s a gorgeous stunning neutral that adds a tiny bit of warmth and natural contour/depth to the face that’s ultra flattering. I’m head over heels in love with it.

A few comparison swatches below, all are discontinued except:

 

Vibration #270 is another unique color. To me it looks like a bright warm pink, but at the counter, one of my favorite reps described as more of a bright coral pink. I think it’s somewhere in between both – depending on how light or dark your skin is will determine how it looks on your skin. On me it’s a very pigmented vibrant color. A tiny dab adds such a pretty healthy glow but it is easy to layer. That being said it’s also easy to overdo because it’s so pigmented so I recommend applying with a light hand.

Comparison swatches:

Chanel Joues Contraste in Angelique and Rose Initiale
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta 

Last but not least is the new Infiniment Chanel Illuminating Powder. This launched in other countries earlier a few months ago and I was hoping it would be released in the US. I was thrilled to find that it did. It’s described as having a “shimmering peach-pink shade to brighten cheeks and a luminous beige tone to subtly highlight or enhance.” The peachy-pink tone is actually more peachy on my skin and it’s in an embossed double C pattern in the middle. The light beige color is a soft luminous beige that is very soft and pretty on the skin. I tried applying both shades individually – but unfortunately the Cs are right in the middle so no matter how much I tried, with any powder or blush brush I ended up mixing. The light powder would be so perfect if it were separated because I think it would be an amazing setting and finishing powder. The peachy center makes the color too dark for all over my face at my current skintone of Chanel Beige 30/40.

I love this swirled together on the cheeks alone for a very natural barely-there glow or over other blush to soften and illuminate colors. I don’t have any dupes or comparison swatches for this one. The mix of the light beige and peachy shimmer is really unique, I would say the light beige has a similar effect to if you mixed Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused and Dim Light, the peachy color isn’t like anything I own. Do note this powder is heavily scented – I was a bit blown away by how floral and strong it was when I opened the compact. The good news for me is that I didn’t find the scent lasted too long and it faded after a few minutes. Even though it has a slightly luminous shimmer, on my skin this looks more matte.

I’m beyond thrilled with all three additions. Golden Sun is one of the prettiest nude shimmer blushes I’ve tried. It seems fairly basic in the compact but has such a stunning mix of shimmers it gives the face depth and dimension. Vibration is something that also appears standard in the pan but it’s such a striking bright warm pink that isn’t too warm. I thought it would be really similar to other Chanel blushes I have but am happy to find it’s darker and more pigmented than the others I own. If you’ve found Chanel blushes too light in color for your skin, this is a good one that fills the gap of darker shades. I have a huge love for the Infiniment Chanel Illuminating Powder but given how subtle it is, I suspect it might be hit or miss for many of you. I like the way it adds a very natural hint of color and glow on the skin, but the effect is very very natural – it’s more of like a soft finishing powder with a tint rather than an illuminating powder. The peach makes this one too dark to wear this all over my face. I adore it but think it would have been better if the colors were more distinctly separated so I could wear the beige all over and add the peach as a darker contour.


You can find all three items at Chanel counters now. If you’re looking for a good angled foundation brush, the new one in this collection is worth looking at too. Online at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Chanel.com and all other Chanel retailers.