For Summer 2012, L’Occitane Brings You Fresh Verbena from Corsica… with a Citrus Twist!

My love for L’Occitane has not been a secret. For someone who is into natural scents and ingredients in skincare products, this is a brand you can’t miss out on. What with lavender, almond, and roses however, their Verbena line has consistently stayed off my radar.

Not anymore! Each summer L’Occitane adds some limited edition products to the Verbena line. This year they come with a citrus twist! Inspired by traditional sorbet recipes of Provence, the Sorbet Verbena products contain lemon and mint essential oils on top of verbena extract from Corsica.

(The verbena sorbet I tasted. I’m normally not a fan of sorbet, but it was perfectly summery!)

In this post I will review the original Verbena Shower Gel, the Cooling Hand Cream Gel, and the Sorbet Verbena Cooling Gloss. Only the Cooling Gloss is limited edition, but all of these are perfect for summer as they are very refreshing!

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Micellaneous Beauty Photos: Budget Shower Gel, Mascara Stash, Weak Nail Solutions…

Hey everyone!

I hope you’ve had a good Monday so far! Today I’m showing you some miscellaneous beauty-related pictures, so sit back and enjoy!

Le Petit Marseillais is hands down my favorite supermarket shower gel. It comes with a wide range of scents, never dries my skin out or leaves it slippery, and did I mention it’s paraben-free?

I do occasionally get tempted to splurge on an expensive shower gel, but most of the time I prefer to keep it budget-friendly. As long as it smells pleasant, doesn’t dry my skin out (and doesn’t leave it slippery either. That I can’t stand), and is preferably as natural as possible, we’re on. Le Petit Marseillais totally fits the bill. Oh and the funny thing? Dr. D likes it too, but he prefers green bottles just because he thinks they look more masculine. Boys…

Here is to hoping against hope.

As some of you might remember, I’ve been suffering from weak and peeling nails for quite some months now. Normally a 3-month-course of vitamin supplement helps, but this time it didn’t work. I was on the supplement from another brand, but now I am continuing with Oenobiol. Packed with B vitamins, it should strengthen nails and hair. I have to take two a day during a meal.

I ran out of base coat recently too, and I got Essie Grow Stronger Fortifying Treatment Base Coat. It claims to strengthen nails in 5 days. It might be the combination of continuous vitamin supplement and a strengthening base coat, but my nails are not peeling further. I’m waiting for the broken parts to grow out, but I think after months and months I’ll finally have decent nails again.

Essie Grow Stronger looks a tad pink in the bottle, but on the nails it’s MOSTLY clear. It might be a bit tinted, but it doesn’t change the color of the nails all that much. I try to keep this on even when I’m not wearing nail polish nowadays, just to have something to protect my nails a little. Here you can see a swatch picture of this.

I will review these two items in detail, but it might be a while. For the base coat, I want to wait till the peeling parts are gone to test and compare it with other base coats I have tried before. For the Oenobiol supplement, I want to at least wait till I’m done (I still have about 66 days left). Maybe even longer, if I want to see how long the effects last!

My name is Sunny and I am a mascaraholic. From left to right: Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume, MAC Zoom Waterfast Lash, L’Oreal Million Lashes, Max Factor False Lash Effect, and Chanel Intimitable.

Behold part of the mascara I still have to try out. It’s not ALL (there is one that has already been tested but not yet reviewed. Two are stuck at clearance, and I don’t know when they’re going to release the package. On top of that I might or might not have got a gift with purchase coming my way…)! I used to be very sober. I would find a mascara to stick to for three months (I actually have to throw it away after three months. Otherwise my eyes start itching), and if I got any samples in the meantime I might play with it too. Nothing THIS dramatic.

Before I knew it however, a trip to the supermarket, a cross-Atlantic swap, an online order or two later, this is what I ended up with. These will be tested out and reviewed in time. Do you have a preference for what you want to see first? I might be able to accommodate!

Oh, before I forget: for those of you who have tried Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara, it is coming out today (14th of May) in this special pink edition exclusively at Kruidvat for 9,99 euros! The offer lasts till the 26th of May. I am currently testing it out, and I must say I am really impressed! I will review it as soon as I can, hopefully by the end of this week so you’ll still have time to decide whether you want to grab a tube!

For those who are going on holiday, Rituals has launched some travel-size products to help you travel light! Besides the mini deodorant (2,90 euros), these retail for 4,90 euros a piece. I’m saying it will definitely last you quite a while as well! The shampoo and conditioner smell SO good. In fact, every time I take them out they become the ONLY thing I can smell! The body products are less overpowering, but still they smell gorgeous (like lotus)!

I basically have everything it takes to go on holiday, but so far I don’t have anything booked yet!

What is your favorite budget-friendly shower gel? Do you have a mascara stash that’s getting out of hand? Which mascara would you like to see me review next?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

Disclosure: Some of the products mentioned in this review are sent by the PR for my consideration. All opinions are honest and my own. I am in no way compensated for this review. I have always been, and will always be committed ONLY to my readers.

Bonus kitty photo:

Muffin waiting patiently by her daddy’s dining chair. Can kitty have a piece?

She does get a taste from time to time, and so far she’s very polite (when she loses patience she only puts her front paws on his lap. Nothing further). It’s hard to resist when she looks at you with such bright eyes!

What’s the Intoxicating Smell? L’Occitane Almond Travel Set Review & Mostly Sunny Featured on Temptalia + Makeupandbeautyblog!!!

Every time when I walk past a L’Occitane store, I feel the impulse to stroll in. Not that I always need or even want something of course. A lot of the times I come out empty-handed, but still, even when I know nothing new is going on, I love to enter and just sniff at everything I see. I might not have a very keen sense of smell (years of allergies made sure of that), but I can tell natural smells from artificial ones from miles away. Some stores make me sneeze, but L’Occitane is always so soothing.

Then of course, sometimes when I see a set of travel-sized products, I feel the need to seize the opportunity. I had not previously purchased anything from their almond line, but I have had many Almond Milk Concentrate samples from my other purchases, and I can’t get enough of the beautiful smell. On top of that, I love travel-sized products. They are the mini versions of the real things, and I can always fool myself that they’re cheaper (though unless you happen to find a set like this, most of the time travel-sized bottles aren’t cheaper than the full-sized ones).

The set contains the Almond Shower Oil, Almond Milk Concentrate, Delicious Almond Soap, and Almond Sooth Hands. Let’s take a quick look at them separately shall we?

The Almond Shower Oil has an interesting texture between an oil and a gel. I have to admit I was a little skeptical in the beginning, but it really is a very pleasant addition to the shower routine. It mousses up a little, not a lot but just enough, and it feels very luxurious and soothing on my skin. Once rinsed off, it leaves no greasy residue at all, just soft and satiny skin. Needless to say, it doesn’t dry my skin out either. The smell is gorgeously sweet and beautiful. It is something I am more than willing to purchase full-size (once I go through the 1357 bottles of shower gel I have in stock at the moment)!

The Almond Milk Concentrate smells equally gorgeous. The texture is very airy and light, leaves no greasy residue, but moisturizes the skin pretty well. I wouldn’t say it’s moisturizing enough for very dry skin, and I might need something more in winter, but particularly during the warmer months I’d really enjoy the feathery light texture! This is also something I would love to purchase in a full-size jar.

The Delicious Almond Soap is the only flop in the set for me. I never use soap on myself, and a soap that has crushed almond shell to exfoliate is probably a particularly bad idea. Just to prove my point however, I went ahead and took a shower with it. I ended up with pretty dry skin that screamed for lotion! The crushed almond shell is actually fine enough. It is not painfully rough or anything, but I think the exfoliating factor combined with soap is a little too much for my skin. People who have oilier skin might appreciate this, but if your skin is normal to dry or sensitive, I would advise you steer clear. The 50-gram bar I got from the set is already the full-size product.

Last but not least, there is Almond Sooth Hands. It is the only one out of the four that smells like almond tree flowers. It’s beautiful and delicate! It has a gel texture, and is very easily absorbed with no greasy residue. It hydrates well, but if your hands are pretty dry, you might have to reapply more often. I like to carry this tube in my bag for some quick hydration, but before I go to sleep I prefer something heavier. The tube only comes in one oz/30ml.

All in all I’m pretty happy I purchased this set. I love the smell and how 3 out of 4 products work, and I plan to purchase the full-size bottles of Almond Shower Oil and Almond Milk Concentrate later!

Do you like L’Occitane? What have you tried and liked? Have you tried anything from the almond line?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

PS: Yesterday was a GREAT day for Mostly Sunny, because it was featured on Makeupandbeautyblog and Temptalia! Karen included my Dior Croisette post in her Weekly Roundup, and Christine from Temptalia featured my challenge entry in her spring flowers-inspired looks. I’m including another picture of the same look here:

I definitely did some happy dance around the house! Feel free to check the links out 🙂 And oh, the giveaways will go live tomorrow, so STAY TUNED!!!

Review: Yves Rocher Jardins du Monde shower gel

EDIT 7th January 2012: I stocked up on these shower gels because everything is 50% off at Yves Rocher during the sales. On average it costs a bit more than 1.5 euros a bottle. You can see in the new picture that it has been around a month since I started using the Indian Cotton Flower one, and I still have half a bottle left.

I’ve been a fan of Yves Rocher shower gel ever since I came to Belgium. I rarely ever stray from them since I started using them. I like them because the ingredients seem a bit more “natural” than stuff that’s available at the supermarket (but I’m no expert, so I’m just speaking from a regular consumer’s point-of-view). It foams up well (yes, I’m foam-obsessed). Combined with my mesh shower sponge, a little goes a long way. Despite individual differences (some are apparently more “organic” than others), the formula never leaves my skin tight or dry. However, it doesn’t leave my skin slippery or feeling unclean either. In other words, it’s just right. Yves Rocher is not high-end per se, but it’s a bit nicer than what you can find in the supermarket/drugstore. There is also a wide range of different smells to make sure there’s something for everyone! Also, for the budget-conscious, it really doesn’t break the bank. Here in Belgium the recommended retail price is 3 euros per bottle, but there are ALWAYS deals. I paid less than 5 euros when I bought 3 bottles last time (which was 5 months ago and I still have one full bottle left), so it’s highly possibly cheaper than drugstore brands!

For some recommendations, I personally love Polynesian Tiare Flower, Laotian Lotus, Indian Cotton Flower (showed in the picture above), and African Cocoa Bean. Yves Rocher is available online in the US, in certain provinces of Canada, and all over in Nothern/Western Europe.

In the meantime, have a nice one and treat yourself to this lovely shower buddy sometime soon!

Psst did I mention these are parabens-free?