May 022010

L’Occitane’s Peony Collection includes Etoile des Neiges (Snow Star) Peony Illuminating Face Powder ($28 for .35 oz.) and Jolie Thérèse Eyeshadow Duo ($16, called the Jolie Thérèse Peony Face Color Powder Duo for .12 oz.).  As with the Peony Lip Balm, these are packaged in sealed paper bags which ensure that the product that you receive has not been tested and tried by others and has a nice side-effect of being very gift-able.  Each is very well-priced, neither approaches the high end price point that I’m used to paying for a finely-milled quality product.  However, these press powders are placed in paper containers without mirror, brush or the sturdy, packable qualities of high end lines.   Have you ever had a liquid inexplicably explode in your suitcase?  If you ever have, you learn two things–first, you tape the lids of your liquids and sometimes even then accidents happen.  Second, don’t pack any makeup packaged in paper.

The Etoile des Neige face powder is an absolutely gorgeous product.  It is smaller in diameter than a standard MAC compact, but contains the same amount of product by weight as a MAC beauty powder.  The diameter is roughly larger than a typical MAC blush.  The L’Occitane bag includes a little cultural touch of the story behind the product (click to enlarge):

The pretty lid design, the black-brown accents all make me want to move to the French countryside even more than I usually do.  There is a satin and velour puff in the bag (hygienically sealed in plastic), which can be stored in the compact once opened.

The powder is a shimmer light veil that adds a nice subtle sheen:

The effect was too subtle to photograph in a swatch. If it helps, I found this similar to Chanel’s Poudre Douce’s in effect.  You should note that this product has a slight Peony scent, which I found pleasant but those who are scent-sensitive might not enjoy.

My expectations for the eyeshadow duo were not high.  I chose Jolie Thérèse, which is an almost-white shimmery pink and a shimmery burgundy.  Note that this is called a “facecolor powder” on the packaging, so I suppose that the larger pink area can be used as a highlighter.  It’s not practical to use the burgundy for a blush, because the pan area is so small that getting a brush in there is going to be a challenge.

Another story:

Here are some swatches (dry, no base):

Here are some swatches using the product wet:

A review of L’Occitane’s Peony Lip Balm from this collection is here.

Note:  L’Occitane’s U.S. website has free shipping for purchases over $25 through tomorrow 5/3/10.

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