Jul 102014
 

L'Occitane L'huile essentualle1L’Occitane’s Angelica line is, well, angelic in my book. Lately, I’ve been testing L’Occitane Angelica Hydra Vita Gel ($38/1.7 oz.). This particular product fills a serious need in the beauty world–a beautiful, fresh, gel moisturizer that is perfectly appropriate for all skin types, but particularly useful for combination and oily skin. This moisturizer is so refreshing and cooling, it’s perfect for summer mornings and evenings. It feels delicious.

L'Occitane L'huile essentualle2I just spent two weeks in the dry, hot mountain air of Colorado. I used to believe that my “glow in the afternoon” skin didn’t need any moisturizer, until enough people told me that my skin looked dehydrated. After using some serums and moisturizers for a few weeks, I realized how much better my skin looks with some light refreshing moisture. Although I love my creams, in the warm summer months a light gel give the perfect amount of moisture.

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L’Occitane Angelica Hydra Gel felt amazing to start off my day, and after a long day in that very dry climate (made even worse by the hotel air conditioning).  This gel feels naturally cool, and has a very soft light scent that evokes light cucumber and lovely herbs. This gel is from L’Occitane’s Angelica line, which has natural hydrating and revitalizing properties. Unlike some cool gels, Angelica Hydra Gel has no sting of alcohol or harshness of any kind. Rather, it plumps the texture of my skin and felt very soothing, even on irritated skin (don’t ask, but I’ve never gotten off a flight without some problem or other!). It feels lovely on neck, shoulders and arms as well.

L'Occitane L'huile essentualle5L’Occitane Angelica Hydra Gel comes in a generously-sized pot, sealed for freshness, and is a real treat. I wouldn’t want to go through the summer months without it.  Bottom line, highly recommended.

The L’Occintane Angelica Hydra Gel is available on L’Occintane.com. There are some additional L’Occitane online offers on right now as well using these links and codes:

Travel Ready Summer Skincare! FREE Angelica skincare duo of hydrating Toner and Cleansing gel with $45 purchase. Use code ANGELICA. Valid 7/8-7/29/2014.

Receive the Fragrance Trio Sampler for Only $22! Offer valid 7/2-7/29.

Receive a FREE Skincare Travel Gift with any $45 purchase! Offer valid 7/2-7/29.

Receive The Summer Zest Set (Over $40 Value!) for only $22 with any $45 Purchase! Offer valid 7/2-7/29.

Receive a FREE 50ml Shea Cleansing Milk with any $30+ Moisturizer! Use Code: REFRESH. Offer valid 7/2-7/29.

This product was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post includes affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup

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Jun 152014
 

swiss helenere

The Swiss skincare line Helenere is now available to those in the U.S. (register your email to shop the site). Although the line has just launched an international site, the company has a long history of research, development, and licensing of prove ingredients to achieve its mission of offering “highly concentrated, high performance skin care formulas that meet the specific needs of each skin type.”  The high quality line is made in Switzerland, and many of the ingredients are inspired by the Lake Geneva region which is its home.

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The Maitrise du Temps Serum ($51 for a single bottle/$244 for 5-bottle set) is a lightweight serum that is designed for anti-aging. According to the line this is an extra-rich formula “renders its elasticity to the epidermis, and restores firmness and brightness to the skin while re-balancing its hydrolipidic film and diminishing wrinkles.” I found that this was a gently scented, well-formulated serum that (with 2-3 weeks use), left my skin glowing, supple and very pretty. It doesn’t feel oily; rather, this sinks into my skin within a few minutes after application (no breakouts, either).

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There is nothing harsh about this serum–it feels spa-treatment lovely, and my skin looks alive in the morning. Do you know when your skin just doesn’t look supple, or that it doesn’t really have the sheen that you wish it would? That’s what this serum restores. My skin looks more oxygenated, the texture improved, and so it looks younger. I can see why this has been Helenere’s hero product for 25 years.

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The bottle is a nice 10 ml, which is probably going to give me about four weeks use or more. The small size is airline baggie-friendly. There’s a dropper at the top–it’s very easy to put a drop or three into the palm of your hand. I won’t be getting to a spa anytime soon (and certainly not one on Lake Geneva), but this serum makes my skin look as if I had.

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I also tried the Helenere Ceramide Eyezone ($122/ 30 ml.) This eye treatment is said to diminish wrinkles and dark circles, minimize swelling on the lids, and preserve suppleness and firmness around the eye.

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The generous size of this lightweight treatment invites use around the entire eye–lid, under eye area, all the way up to the brow. The texture feels like a gel, which I prefer because the product sinks in more quickly and does not clog my pores.

Helenere Skincare05The Helenere Eyezone delivered on its promise to keep puffiness away from my eye area, and to keep the area supple and smooth. I suspect that such products must be used for several weeks before the cellular changes become apparent–as it was, I’m very happy with the product and have adopted into my regimen. I love the light feeling, and the overall short-term improvement that it provides, and I’m excited to see whether the long-term benefits manifest.

Helenere Skincare08Overall, Helenere’s international launch is promising. These products seem worthy of the luxury label, if these items are any indication. Please note that the line offers a 20% discount for first purchases with the promotional code PREMIERE (no minimum quantity, no minimum value).

Here are some links to explore the line further:

These products were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

 

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Jun 022014
 

OCC_92031

L’Occintane’s latest release is inspired by Brasil’s biodiversity. This L’Occitane au Brésil collection derives from a partnership that brings together Brazil’s local culture with L’Occitane’s knowledge of nature. As a line that places natural products as the centerpieces of its products, this collection includes two lines based on distinct ingredients.

First is L’Occitane’s Jenipapo line, which is based on the jenipapo tree, which has golden flowers. The product in this line are sun care products for the face and body made with extracts of this flower with protecting and hydrating properties.

For Jenipapo - ingredient

The products in the Jenipapo line are:

· Face Protection Veil SPF 30 ($28)
· Protecting Body Oil SPF 15 ($30)
· Protecting Body Jelly Milk SPF 20 ($30)
· Lip Gloss SPF 25 ($12)
· Perfumed Oil Roll-On ($22)
· Body Lotion ($25)
· Shower Oil ($25)
· Jenipapo Soap ($7)

JenipapoI was able to test two products from the Jenipapo line–the L’Occitane Jenipapo Face Veil SPF 30 ($28) and the L’Occitane Jenipapo Body Oil SPF 15 ($30). As expected, these embodied natural luxury. They were very refined, well-formulated, and effective. Their scent retained a natural, refreshing scent that gave not hint of chemicals–both are very pleasurable, light, and fresh.

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The Jenipapo Body Oil comes in a spray bottle and gives a touch of sun protection at SPF 15:

L'Occitane Summer Items02The scent is light, floral and crisp, which is exactly what I want in a summer scent. I’ve purchased other body oils from L’Occitane’s summer releases. This one is quite light and easy to use, I like the spray bottle very much.

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Thoughtfully, there a spray top and plastic bottle that can be tossed into a bag without fear of spillage or breakage.

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This applies as a light transparent oil, and leaves skin glowing. This is designed for the body, not the face.

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The Jenipapo Face Veil SPF 30 is a light, non-greasy sunscreen for the face. Although I’m more of an SPF 50-type, I enjoyed using this during runs to the gym or under foundation on an in-the-office day. The light, refreshing scent fades after about 1/2 hour, and I assure you it didn’t smell a bit like sunscreen. Instead, it was crisp, light, natural and refreshing

L'Occitane Summer Items16The texture is light and thin (no breakouts!). Loved it.

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The other line is based on the Brazilian Vitória-Régia flower.

Vitoria RegiaThe Vitoria Regia line includes:

· Day Flower Eau de Cologne ($55)
· Day Flower Shower Gel ($20)
· Day Flower Body Lotion ($25)
· Day Flower Soap ($7)
· Night Flower Eau de Cologne: ($55)
· Night Flower Soap ($7)
· Night Flower Petal Soap ($8)

Overall, L’Occitane au Brésil collection another lovely set of summer releases. Natural luxury–what could be better? Well worth a look.

amazonia

These products were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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May 292014
 

 

Zelens Sunscreen1aThe geniuses at Zelens have just released a new skincare-savvy sunscreen, the Zelens Daily Defence Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF30 ($65/1.70 oz). Now that Memorial Day is officially behind us, I hope that you are taking your sun protection very seriously. This offering from Zelens combines a number of lovely qualities that makes it easy–actually, make that quite pleasant–to add sun protection to your morning routine.

Zelens Sunscreen2This sunscreen was developed by Dr. Marko Lens (you can read his interview with A Model Recommends here), who included antioxidants in the formula to reduce free radical formation, helps prevent sun damage, reinforce the skin’s natural barrier and combat the signs of premature skin aging. Zelens Daily Defence also includes hyaluronic acid for moisture and is oil free.

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The feel is a touch moisturizing without any greasy feel–like velvet. It wears well under makeup, giving me a very smooth, non-drying surface that did not seem to interfere with my foundation’s longevity. There is a scent (slightly sunscreen-ish) that fades after about an hour. The product is supposed to be used as the last step in your skincare, either alone or just before applying foundation.

Zelens Sunscreen7Unlike some of my stronger sunscreens, the Zelens Daily Defence sinks right into my skin. In the above picture, a few more swirls and the left blended portion would be invisible. According to the line, the formula uses:

…organic UV filters are encapsulated in silica-based capsules, which are invisible in formulation and on the skin. . . . Encapsulated filters have a low chemical load since the encapsulation process prevents direct skin contact (encapsulated organic filters remain on top of the skin surface) resulting in a reduced dermal up-take and low allergy potential.

Imudilin®
A pseudodipetide with cytokine-like activity. Stimulates the signal transduction pathway in the cells, improves the immune cells’ response and restores the immune defence.

Vitamin E
Zelens uses an ester of Vitamin E and acetic acid (tocopheryl acetate). It demonstrates strong antioxidant activity.

Vitamin C
Zelens uses a precursor of Vitamin C, tetra-isopalmitoyl ascorbic acid. This stable form of Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant. Effectively suppresses UVB-induced skin pigmentation and helps lighten pigment spots and brightens the complexion. Stimulates collagen production.

Botanical Antioxidant Complex
A proprietary botanical complex containing active molecules from 6 different plants: Shiso (Perilla frutescens), Green tea (Camellia sinensis), Centella (Centella asiatica), Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), Pine (Pinus Strobus) and Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia). The following active molecules were extracted from the plants:
• Rosmarinic acid (from Shiso)
• Polyphenol Epigallocatechin gallate, EGCG (from Green tea)
• Cichoric acid (from Echinacea)
• Pycogenol (from Pine)
• Glycoside – Asiaticoside (from Centella)
• Flavonoids (from Ginkgo)
Botanical antioxidant complex demonstrates strong antioxidant activity to help reduce formation of hazardous free radicals and prevent oxidative damage.

Overall, I found Zelens Daily Defence to be a lovely skin screen. I’ve noticed that some sunscreens can make my skin dry, especially if used in dry mountain air and the formula is heavy on physical sunscreen ingredients. Zelens is a godsend for sunscreen in dry temperatures–I used this for a few days in the Lake Tahoe area this weekend, and loved it. I can’t wait to take it to the mountains of Colorado in a few weeks. It makes my skin feel moisturized, and look rested after the day. No breakouts. I’m excited to keep using the product to see whether there are any long-term results.

Available for order on Zelens website, and pre-order on Space.NK.  Here is the ingredient list from the Space.NK website:

AQUA (WATER), ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE, ETHYLHEXYL SALICYLATE, CYCLOHEXASILOXANE, GLYCERIN, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, BUTYLOCTYL SALICYLATE, BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE, OCTOCRYLENE, ISONONYL ISONONANOATE, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, GLYCERYL STEARATE, PEG-100 STEARATE, DIMETHICONE, MICROCOCCUS LYSATE, PERILLA FRUTESCENS LEAF EXTRACT, SODIUM HYLAURONATE, GLUTAMYLAMIDOETHYL IMIDAZOLE, ASCORBYL TETRAISOPALMITATE, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, CENTELLA ASIATICA EXTRACT, ECHINACEA ANGUSTIFOLIA LEAF EXTRACT, GINKGO BILOBA LEAF EXTRACT, PINUS STROBUS BARK EXTRACT, LECITHIN, SILICA, HYDROGENATED PALM GLYCERIDES, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, PVP, POTASSIUM CETYL PHOSPHATE, SORBITOL, CETEARETH-20, ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, SODIUM POLYACRYLATE, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), LINALOOL, SORBIC ACID, CHLORPHENESIN, PHENOXYETHANOL, BHT, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, DISODIUM EDTA

This was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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May 062014
 

L'Occitane Mother's Day1This time of year can be delightful or stressful, depending on your ability to come up with quick and thoughtful gifts. Mother’s Day, co-worker’s birthdays, graduations, and end-of-the-year teacher gifts always have me heading for the L’Occitane boutique. There is something so elegant and beautifully done about these sets–they always seem appropriate, appreciated, and amazing.

L'Occitane Mother's Day2This particular set features a new scent from La Collection de Grasse—the L’Occitane Neroli and Orchidee Collector’s Set ($85). According to the line:

A tantalizing and lovely fragrance, Néroli & Orchidée Eau de Toilette blends the scents of two precious white flowers in a beautiful harmony. A heart of radiant neroli essence from the Mediterranean is blended with caressing white orchid absolute from Madagascar. Fruity bursts of orange and heart notes of peach complete the sensuous bouquet, which lingers delicately on the body throughout the day.

This is a gorgeous summer set, the scent is truly lovely. I cannot imagine anyone who wouldn’t be over the moon opening this box.

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It would cost $113 sold separately and includes:

-Néroli & Orchidée Eau de Toilette 2.5 fl.oz
-Néroli & Orchidée Shower Gel 6 fl.oz
-Néroli & Orchidée Body Milk 6 fl.oz

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Liz and I love L’Occitane’s Lemon Verbena line beyond reason. This Verbena Body Salt Scrub is insanely good and worth every penny:

L'Occitanelemon2

There are also little goodies like the L’Occitane travel sizes, which are perfect to tuck into a larger gift (or for yourself as the summer travel season starts to get underway). Isn’t a little relaxing luxury a lovely way to go by planes, trains, and automobiles?

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L’Occitane has a few more hours of an overnight shipping deal with the code “Overnight” (expires tonight, May 6).  Alternatively, you can get a little treat set for $20 with any $45 purchase and the codes NEROLIPURPLE or NEROLIPINK.

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Bottom line: Highly recommended and good to the last drop.

The L’Occitane Neroli and Orchidee Collector’s Set and Lavande Bath Gel were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

 

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