Archive for the ‘L’Occitane’ Category
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. This was certainly true when I was on holiday and Do Not Refreeze‘s Leanne howled it had been more than a week since we’d seen each other. Well at the weekend after two whole weeks we made a date at Westfield Stratford City to catch up. And it didn’t involve our usual jaunts to a beauty launch.
Westfield Stratford City is conveniently close for Leanne and an easy drive along the A406 for me. It was also a nice change to venture east as I’m always at Westfield London.
Turning up at 11 o’clock in the morning, we were amazed to see how blissfully chilled out and empty Westfield Stratford City was for a Saturday. The calm before the storm… My suggestion is get here in the morning to take advantage because come 2 o’clock, it’s a different story altogether.
We planned to see what Westfield Stratford City had to offer to a couple of beauty junkies so we headed straight to Tantrum for a manicure first. It would be rude not to since we are beauty bloggers…
Having had naked nails for the past fortnight, I was in need of a splash of colour and a re-shape after breaking two of them. Leanne likes to be awkward so she presented her talons covered in glitter. Her manicurist didn’t bat an eyelid and happily removed it.
Tantrum is a new face on the high street and their first and flagship store is in Westfield Stratford City. It opened last summer as a pop-up store but recently underwent a makeover, making its permanent mark in the mall. You’ll find it on lower ground floor in between the food court and Great Eastern Market.
From outside it doesn’t give the game away but when you step inside, it’s a haven for jewellery, hair, nails and make-up for the fashion conscious yet affordable. We were thrilled to see cherry-picked Nubar and Mavala polishes as well as Bourjois and Jessica, plus skin care from Elemis and Amie on sale.
Tantrum’s nail bar is at the back where you can perch yourself on a stool, order a cold drink and get your nails done. Leanne and I both had a mini manicure, which costs £10. As our manicurists beautified our nails, I was entertained by Leanne’s tales and anecdotes (the details of which I cannot disclose…).
Our next destination was a short stroll away at Neal’s Yard for an express facial. We had a skin consultation and discussed our main concerns before our therapist selected the best products to use.
I much prefer cleansing balms to take off my make-up so their award-winning Wild Rose Beauty Balm was used, which was perfect for tackling dehydrated skin – something I complain about quite a bit. This was followed by the Rejuvenating Frankincense Toner and Rejuvenating Frankincense Facial Serum, both which are elasticity-boosting and give the skin a radiant glow.
With our complexions glowing, the finishing touch came from some light make-up from Neal’s Yard mineral range of foundations, bronzers and blushers, which we’d never tried before. Shocking, isn’t it? It was like wearing next to nothing on the skin, very light but with a subtle shimmer and totally skin-friendly.
I forgot how much I adore Neal’s Yard for their organic skin care so this visit has prompted me to rekindle my relationship with an old favourite. I definitely want to invest in the Wild Rose Beauty Balm as my next cleanser. Meanwhile we were given a few samples to take home and try, so I may add a few more items to my shopping list.
We then trotted off to L’Occitane for a fragrance workshop and to gush over some of our L’Occitane favourites. Interestingly, L’Occitane at Westfield Stratford City hosts monthly events in the evenings that you can bring all your girlfriends to. It’s a chance to try out their products outside of the madness you sometimes get during the shopping hours.
After over 3 hours of being pampered, our bellies rightfully made a point that they were being neglected. We wandered to the Great Eastern Market area tucked away by Waitrose and overlooked by many in favour of the more commercial joints. Our pit stop for refuelling was Umai by Japan Centre – an incredible place that is packed with so much in such a small amount of space.
It has a counter serving piping hot noodles and crisp tempura, fresh handmade organic sushi on the other side and it’s also a mini supermarket selling authentic Japanese ingredients to set you off on your Japanese cooking adventures.
We ordered deep fried sweet potato and asparagus as sides while Leanne opted for beef and rice and I chose crispy fried king prawns and vegetables with sticky rice for our mains.
The staff at Umai are so warm, friendly and adorable, and the food served is delicious, filling and such good value. I think our main meals were under £10 each. Next time I’m taking away a sushi box – far more appetising than the standard supermarket offerings.
Our final stop? The shops of course. Like we were going to leave without buying at least one or two little things…
The best quote of the day came from Leanne (naturally): “We look like a frigging zebra crossing – you’re so dark and I’m so pale”.
I *love* this girl.
Leanne and I finally left Westfield after 4 o’clock that afternoon – more than 4 hours later. We did well not to be over zealous in the shops and in fact, had a better time enjoying each other’s company and discovering other things Westfield has to offer.
You can make a date at any of Westfield’s shopping centres across the country – Westfield London, Westfield Stratford City, Westfield Derby and Westfield Merry Hill. If you pop along to either of the London ones, your visit can be made that little bit sweeter with some special offers on eating out and at the cinema until 5th June.
For more information, visit http://uk.westfield.com/stratfordcity/news-and-events/make-a-date/.
*We were invited by Westfield to experience ‘Make a Date’ and received complimentary treatments and food courtesy of our kind hosts.
La Collection De Grasse is the name of L’Occitane’s luxurious set of new fragrances. It’s the fruits of their new in-house perfumer, Karine Dubreuil who is no strange to L’Occitane having worked on fragrances for them previously.
Dubreuil has a portfolio to be proud of with the likes of Thierry Mugler’s Womanity, L’Artisan’s Mûre et Musc Extreme and L’Eau D’Ambre, Gucci’s Envy Me and for Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria range, Pivione Magnifica and Grosellina under her belt.
And Grasse? Well it’s the town where Dubreuil grew up in, and it is also considered the world’s capital of perfume.
There are four choice scents housed in elegant bottles and distinguishable by the spring colours yellow, orange, purple and green. Let’s take a closer look at them, shall we?
Jasmin & Bergamote has top notes of mandarin orange and bergamot; a heart of jasmine and lemon leaves; and base notes of sandalwood and cedar. It is a very fresh and citrusy scent, and would be perfect to spritz on during the daytime.
Magnolia & Mûre features notes of bergamot, blackberry, magnolia, rose, patchouli and moss. Quite a sensual and sophisticated scent, I would say.
Vanille & Narcisse features notes of blackcurrant and bergamot in the top; heart of narcissus and gardenia; the base includes vanilla and tonka bean.
Finally Thé Vert & Bigarade is a unisex fragrance, containing notes of orange, bitter orange, green tea, yerba mate, cedar, thyme and musk. It’s the lightest fragrance out of the four.
I couldn’t tear myself away from Jasmin & Bergamote and Magnolia & Mûre because I adore jasmine and roses, but after much deliberation, I settled for the latter as I have a strong fondness for rose scents like Ghost, Stella and Christian Dior’s Oud Ispahan. Also it struck me as a fragrance I could actually get away with wearing all year round.
These fragrances are available as 75ml Eau de Toilette, 175ml Body Milk, 175ml Shower Gel, 125g Perfumed Soap and as gift sets too. I was given the collection in miniature sized bottles, which is a great way to try them all for £28 and handy for travelling too. Find them at L’Occitane concession counters, L’Occitane’s shops or online.
Today I want to give you a quick heads-up on L’Occitane’s limited edition Velvet Moisturising Gel from its Spring Cherry collection.
If you’re not familiar with L’Occitane’s gel moisturisers, the formula is made with shea butter and upon application immediately penetrates the skin. Although it looks like a lotion, it works like a gel and sinks in effortlessly, leaving skin soft and ready to get dressed without the fear it will seep through your clothing.
Containing a cherry extract from the Luberon region of Provence, the creamy gel has a delicate fresh and floral scent to it. I was expecting it to be sweet as cherry scents often are but this has genuinely surprised me and in a good way.
Available online and at L’Occitane shops and counters a 250ml bottle costs £20.
Hey, I’m sorry for the radio silence. I returned from Hamburg on my birthday and then endured the slowest working week (3 days, can you believe it?) before a mad dash at the weekend to the supermarket to get all my ingredients for the roast I’ll be doing on Christmas Day. It’s crept up really quickly, hasn’t it? So did my birthday, come to think of it…
I don’t doubt there will be a surge on Christmas Eve for those who have left buying presents to the last knockings. If you’re one of them, then here are a few suggestions from a few brands who have pulled together their best-selling products into beautiful sets for Christmas this year.
Supreme Glow by Elemis (£46.50)*
Elemis has got gift sets for all budgets and this skincare collection is of immense value for the supremecy the spa company has to offer. Packed with glowing beauty essentials for skin which is perfectly cleansed, moisturised and radiant, Supreme Glow includes:
- Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser (200ml)
- Soothing Apricot Toner (200ml)
- Maximum Moisture Day Cream (50ml)
- Tranquil Touch Indulgent Bath Elixir (100ml)
Elemis’ Bath and Body Jewels (£29.50)
Another contender is this set which I was given by my lovely friend, Aisha for my birthday. It’s made up of bath and shower goodies to give you the ultimate spa treatment at home. For less than £30, you get:
- Quiet Mind Bath Elixir (100ml)
- Skin Nourishing Shower Cream (100ml)
- Revitalise-Me Shower Gel (100ml)
- Tranquil Touch Indulgent Bath Elixir (100ml)
- Tranquil Touch Body Cream (50ml)
- Skin Nourishing Body Lotion (50ml)
These sets and other Elemis products are available at www.timetospa.co.uk or mail order via Elemis Customer Care Centre on +44 (0)117 316 1888. Selected branches of John Lewis, Debenhams and Harvey Nichols stores also stock them.
L’Occitane’s Almond Winter Collection (£45)*
Ahhh! L’Occitane know the meaning of Christmas! They have possibly the most delightful collections beautifully packaged. You can pick from a variety of scents and it’s a great way to introduce someone to the world of L’Occitane with samples of their key ranges.
Their limited almond collection is a winner and almond itself has brilliant nourishing, soothing and firming skin properties.
You get all your winter must-haves, which are:
- Almond Shower Oil (500ml)
- Almond Smooth Hands (30ml)
- 2 x 50g Almond Delicious Soaps
Best of Ole Henriksen – Discovery Kit (£29.50)*
This fantastic kit is exclusive to John Lewis and contains 7 sample sizes of Ole Henriksen’s best products:
- African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser
- Truth Serum Collagen Booster
- Invigorating Night Gel
- Sheer Transformation
- Fresh Start Eye Creme
- Walnut Complexion Scrub
- Truth To Go Wipes
Unfortunately the wipes are missing from the photo as I’ve misplaced them – sorry! I have never used Ole Henriksen’s products before so this is a great way to get acquainted with them. This collection is available exclusively from John Lewis Oxford Street and www.johnlewis.com.
REN’s Rose Experience Gift (£32)*
This year REN have based their gift sets around an Arabesque pattern derived from Islamic art and calligraphy that was inspired by their award winning Moroccan Rose range.
The Rose Experience Gift Set includes:
- Moroccan Rose Otto body wash, 100ml
- Moroccan Rose Otto body cream, 100ml
- Moroccan Rose Otto bath oil, 30ml
- Moroccan Rose Otto ultra moisture body oil, 30ml
What do you think of these collections? They’re almost too good to give away as presents, aren’t they?