My L’Occitane Gift Box experience 

To celebrate my birthday this year I invited friends to a lavish dress-up dinner themed “glamour”. In came one of my colleagues with a huge colourful package with pictures of beautiful plains and a French name, L’Occitane. When I got round to opening the gift the next morning I came across a high quality, luxurious box with several flaps to open, pink elastic and pink ribbon. I cannot tell you how exciting it is to open a birthday present and to have the full experience of intricately dismantling a gorgeous box and unrapping beautiful layers.

Shea butter cuticle oil

The box contained L’Occitane’s shea butter cuticle and nourishing oil. It comes in a tiny grey and navy tube with a brush installed at one end for easy application. The oil feels rich and nourishing, enriched with 30% shea butter from Bekina Faso.

Dry Skin Hand Cream
I also found L’Occitane’s best selling dry skin hand cream. It comes in a metal tube that is small enough to fit into your hand bag. The thick white consistency contains honey, almond, coconut oil and shea butter, all of which are rich and moisturizing.

Shea Butter One Minute Hand Scrub


The final product in the box was a golden scrub. It combines sugar shea Butter, sweet almond and grapeseed oil soften and nourish hands while scrubbing away dead skin to reveal soft, beautiful hands and cuticles.

I will definitely be inviting this colleague to my next birthday dinner!

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Diamond Powder for your skin? : La Mer’s Refining Facial

My absolute favourite exfoliator has got to be the La Mer Refining Facial. It is a thick, mint coloured, creamy paste that has a gorgeous menthol scent.

What’s in it

The paste is made from fermented sea muds containing  La Mer’s signature miracle broth known for its healing and energizing properties. It also contains  (wait for it) diamond powder! Yep diamonds.. to gently polish your skin without causing irritation.

How I use it

I use this product once or twice a week and that is usually sufficient for my skin. I massage it into damp skin for about two minutes, focusing on my t-zone. I then let it sit and become partially dry on my skin for another two minutes before rinsing it off. Finally, I use a light gel cleanser to ensure all of the product is removed.

Why I love it so much

This product offers immediate results. It reveals the fresh, soft, glowing skin hiding under the dead cells on your skin. The pure diamond powder and menthol stimulate circulation which helps brighten your skin. Pores are minimized and the surface of the skin is smooth. I always feel relaxed after inhaling the refreshing scent.

This is the definition of luxury!

Dynamic Duo: Cleansing with Dermalogica

For a long time I never understood the double-cleansing method. It seemed counterproductive to apply oil to my already oily t-zone until I came across the Dermalogica pre-cleanse oil.

Method

I pump a tiny amount of the oil into my palm, rub my palms together and massage the oil onto my dry face. I can immediately see the make-up smearing away and on a make-up free day I feel the dust, oil, debris and cares of the day melt away. I then wet my hands and massage my face for a few more seconds. The clear oil turns into a milky emulsion that is ready to be rinsed off. After rinsing it off with warm water I follow with a normal wash using my Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel.

Results

My skin looks and feels cleaner and glows even before I moisturise. This is the perfect preparation for the treatment to follow as the skin is squeaky clean. Although using oil is counter-intuitive I found that I started breaking out less because my pores were not clogged.

What I love about this duo 

The oil has a light heavenly scent and feels beautiful on the skin. It contains Borage seed, kukui, apricot, rice bran and vitamin E oils (benefits of these oils to come in a seperate post). The face wash is gentle and does not dry your skin out during the cleansing process.

Dermalogica also offers the same pre-cleanse as a face wipe but I prefer the oil.

What is your favoturite cleanser?

Spoilt for choice 

For me shower gel sets the tone for the day. A fresh, crisp-scented gel wakes me up immediately and gets me going for the day. A more relaxing scent prepares me for bed. The texture also makes a difference for me. While both gels and creams are pampering I find the creams richer while the gels create more of a lather. I recently tried three from The Body Shop.

Argan Oil

The golden runny gel consistency gives the illusion of an oil, making it feel like one is literally covering themself in oil. What is more luxurious than that? It has a relaxing addictive natural scent which makes you want to stay in the bath forever. This gel produces more of a lather than the creamy consistencies.

Milk and Honey

When I use this gel I feel like Cleopatra bathing in milk and Honey. It is gentle and soothing and makes me feel pampered. The scent is sweet and lingers long after one leaves the bath. I tend to use this at night to wash away the cares of the day and remind myself that I am worth every little bit of the indulgence.

Shea

Shea butter is known to be protective and healing. This shower milk is a thicker consistency that lathers well. I also gravitate towards this in the evenings. My skin feels moisturized and clean long after the bath.

What are some of your favourite bath products from the body shop?

Mixing and Matching: The Body Shop Body Butters 

I have tried three of The Body Shop body butters so far..

Wild Argan Oil

My first body butter purchase was from the Wild Argan Oil range. I love it for its thick consistency and intense hydration. It definitely made a difference in the texture of my skin after one week of use. The smell is very natural and nutty. This was my favourite cream until…

Milk and Honey

I tried the Milk and Honey body butter! It is not as thick as the Wild Argan oil butter but it is still rich and moisturizing. I looooove the sweet honey scent and I mix this with either the Wild Argan oil or the Hawaiian Kukui cream so that I get the benefit of this scent along with the moisture from the other ranges. The consistency is light and creamy and it’s a brilliant white colour  (representing the milk I suppose). I will definitely buy this again and keep it as a staple.

Hawaiian Kukui Cream

This cream leaves my skin with a beautiful glow. It is thicker than the Milk and Honey but not as thick as the Wild Argan Oil butter. It has a fresh, natural spa scent which I love mixing with the Milk and Honey scent. The main ingredient is Kukui oil which Hawaiian women have historically used to nurture their sun-exposed skin.

Overall I am a fan of The Body Shop body butters and will post reviews of more of their ranges as I try them out.

My developing Love Affair with La Mer 

Fate..

I first came across La Mer two years ago. I was walking through Sandton mall when a lady approached me and asked if I was keen on a free facial! Ofcourse I was! That afternoon I was treated to the most luxurious skin experience ever. I didn’t buy it then because I could not afford it but the seed had been planted.

My Saviour..

Then this year I travelled to Bali on holiday. Although I used sun cream religiously I came back with hyper-pigmented, irritated, sensitive skin. Remembering my facial experience, I knew only one product could fix this – La Mer.

After just two days using a sample of the soft cream that the lovely ladies at Hyde Park gave me in conjunction with a sample of the refining facial, my skin had made amazing progress. It was softer, less irritated, smoother and much of the pigment had disappeared.  I have never looked back since!

Forever and ever..

My first addition to my skincare routine has been the moisturizing soft cream. It is light in texture relative to the original Creme de la Mer but still rich enough to leave my skin feeling pampered, soft and hydrated. I have also noticed that where I used to get hormonal breakouts due to my monthly period, I do not have this problem anymore. I love looking at my skin in the mirror and enjoy walking out of the house with no makeup on. Most importantly I know I am investing in my skin. Happy, glowing and beautifully me!