Review: L’Occitane Aromachologie Control Styling Prep-Cream

L'Occitane Aromachologie Control Styling Prep-Cream review

The L’Occitane Aromachologie Control Styling Prep-Cream is a silicone-free leave-in conditioner that claims to repair hair as well as tame frizz. The product can be used on damp or dry hair, and a little bit of the product goes a rather long way.

After towel-drying, I apply about a quarter-sized amount onto my hair, concentrating mostly on the ends, and running whatever remains on my hands up closer to the scalp. It is worthwhile to note that I wear hair extensions (mine are sewn-in, via the weave method), and extensions are notorious for absorbing all sorts of moisture and product. If I were to use this product on only my natural hair, I would probably reduce the amount by half.

My hair is very fine and is prone to flyways and frizz, so I’ve found that this product does a good job of taming my hair and getting it nice and smooth before I heat style it. Additionally, it smells incredible! It has a very complex fruity-floral aroma, and I can definitely smell the Sweet Orange fragrance that is said to be one of the ingredients.

The drawbacks to this product are that it’s quite pricey. You could get a comparable product at a drugstore (I’m personally a fan of the John Frieda series) that would do an adequate job for half of the price.  Yes, the L’Occitane Control Styling Prep-Cream is good, and silicone-free, but it’s not amazing. At 34$ for 200ml I would expect better fly-away control and a significant improvement in hair texture over time.

Lastly, I am not a huge fan of the packaging. The tube comes with a twist-cap that cannot be removed, and when twisted slightly, dispenses the product through a small opening on the bottom of the cap itself. If you are like me and find yourself holding a million different tools/products when you style your hair, it’s hard to use this product with one hand. Also, unless you take the time to clean the cap every time after use, product residue is bound to make its way onto your countertop.

Overall, this is a very nice product that does its job well and smells incredible, but it is not a revolutionary breakthrough in hair care by any stretch. I would recommend it to someone looking to try a silicone-free leave-in product, however due to its price, it’s unlikely that I will repurchase it myself.

The L’Occitane Aromachologie Control Styling Prep-Cream retails for $34 CAD for 200ml and can be purchased on the L’Occitane website or at L’Occitane boutiques.

Ingredients:

L'Occitane Aromachologie Control Styling Prep-Cream review

This review was written by Liza. The products in this post were provided by PR; all opinions belong to Liza.

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Review: L’Occitane Aromachologie Revitalizing Body Scrub

L’Occitane Aromachologie Scrub review

One of my favourite body care discoveries in 2014 was the L’Occitane en Provence Aromachologie Revitalizing Body Scrub. This new line of spa products – the Aromachologie range – released by L’Occitane last fall contains a shower gel, massage cream, and this body exfoliator. Formulated with sugar and citrus oils, this exfoliator is a pleasure to use in the shower or bath.

Why is it one of my favourite discoveries?

  • The sugar does not melt immediately upon contact with water, and I get a good length of time to rub and massage this in my skin for maximum exfoliation.
  • It smells AMAZING – a blend of citrus oils ensures that the shower smells incredible while I’m using this, and the skin also carries the subtle scent of fresh citrus even after drying myself off.
  • It leaves a thin film of oil on my skin after use, which prevents my skin from drying out before I’m able to apply body cream.
  • The container it comes in is so cute, like a home-made jam jar with a hinge. It looks vintage and super classy sitting in my shower.
  • There are copious amounts of sugar in the formula so that I can get a deep scrub.
  • Because there are copious amounts of sugar and it doesn’t melt right away, a little bit of this goes a long way, maximizing the economic value you get out of each tub.
  • It leaves my skin feeling oh so soft after each application. I honestly feel like I’ve just been to the spa because it just feels (and smells) so good.

If you haven’t yet, hurry up and get yourself to your nearest L’Occitane boutique or online to grab yourself a tub of this exfoliator. Priced at C$38, the L’Occitane Aromachologie Revitalizing Body Scrub is available now.

L’Occitane Aromachologie Scrub review

Ingredients:

L’Occitane Aromachologie Scrub review

Review + GIVEAWAY: L’Occitane Shea Butter Cleansing Oil, Gentle Toner & Light Comforting Cream

L'Occitane Shea Butter Cleansing oil review

New for Spring 2015, L’Occitane is expanding their range of Shea Butter face care products. The newcomers are the Shea Butter Cleansing Oil and the Light Comforting Cream, which will join its existing line which includes the Cleansing Milk, Ultra Gentle Soap, Gentle Toner, Ultra Rich Comforting Cream and the Lip Balm. Today I’ll be sharing with you my thoughts on the Cleansing Oil, Gentle Toner, and Light Comforting Cream.

Shea Butter is one of L’Occitane’s most classic ingredients, and L’Occitane the brand has become synonymous with its usage of shea butter in several of its cult classic products. Some of my personal L’Occitane favourites which contain shea butter include the Shea Butter Hand Cream (my review here), the Ultra Soft Cream (reviewed here), and the Cuticle Oil (reviewed here).

Don’t forget to check out the giveaway at the end of this post for your chance to try the Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream for yourself.

L’Occitane Shea Butter Cleansing Oil & Gentle Toner

The Shea Butter Cleansing Oil (C$26) is a light oil-based pre-cleanser that removes makeup and purifies the skin. It contains 5% shea oil, and after coming in contact with water, it emulsifies and dissolves all the makeup along with it, even the most resilient and waterproof mascaras. This cleansing oil has been added to my recommended list of cleansing oils because it feels incredible on the face – it is light, emollient, and very easy to massage in. It does a really good job at removing my makeup, leaving behind soft, supple skin with no greasy residue. It is lightly fragranced with a powdery floral scent, but it is very subtle and washes off immediately with water.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Gentle Toner review

The Shea Butter Gentle Toner (C$26) is also one of my favourite recent discoveries. This fluid toner is ultra gentle on the skin, helping to remove any dirt or gunk left in the pores after cleansing, and creating a hydrated, even canvas for easy absorption of my favourite serum and moisturizer. It contains a high dosage of centaurea cyanus (cornflower) water, which is claimed to have healing properties. It is also lightly fragranced with a powdery floral scent, but again it is very subtle and disappears almost immediately. I would definitely repurchase this, as I really have trouble finding a good toner that acts like the last step to my cleansing routine yet is moisturizing and gentle.

Gentle Toner ingredients:

L'Occitane Shea Butter Gentle Toner ingredients

L’Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream

L'Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream review

The star product out of the new releases, the L’Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream (C$30) is the lighter, younger sister of the popular Ultra Rich Comforting Cream. Containing 5% shea butter (compared to the 25% in the Ultra Rich Comforting Cream), it is ideal for normal or combination skins. The texture is a light, fluid cream that is easy to spread on the skin and absorbs quickly, leaving behind a near matte finish. As my skin is very dehydrated in the winter, I need to use a hydrating serum underneath it, otherwise it doesn’t provide enough moisture to sustain my skin through an entire day without feeling tight. This cream is great to use at night or during the day, as it absorbs so quickly so that you can start applying makeup right away without waiting for it to finish absorbing. Also the near matte finish is ideal for when blending in foundations; it doesn’t slip and slide!

This would be a good summer moisturizer for me as it is light and leaves my skin feeling comfortable. As someone with dehydrated skin, it’s just not enough moisture for the winter. If you have normal or combination skin, or even slightly oily skin, this would be a great all-around, year-round moisturizer for you. Overall, I do like using it and have been using it every morning and evening, I would personally prefer something a bit more hydrating for the cold climate.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream review
L'Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream review

Light Comforting Cream ingredients:

L'Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream ingredients

GIVEAWAYS!

Part 1

As part of a partnership with L’Occitane Canada, I am giving away fifty (50) deluxe 8mL travel size samples of the Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream. All you have to do is visit a L’Occitane boutique between now and January 31, mention that you saw this on Maddy Loves, and a sample will be provided to you, if you are one of the first 50 participants. If you can’t get to a L’Occitane boutique, you can also get the free sample online with any order, just by using the code SHEAFACE. This promotion will end January 31 and is limited only to the first 50 people, so please make sure to visit a boutique early to get your sample!

Part 2 

I am also partnering with L’Occitane Canada to give away a full size jar (50mL) of the Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream. This contest is open to Canadian residents, ages 18+. Enter two ways:

  1. Comment on this blog post
  2. Follow me on Twitter and retweet ” I want to win the @Loccitane_CA Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream from @maddylovesblog http://bit.ly/14o8iIK #sheabuttergiveaway

Deadline to enter is January 31, 2015 at 11:59PM PST, and a winner will be selected and contacted within 3 days. Good luck!

L'Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream review
L'Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream review

Feature: L’Occitane en Provence Roses et Reines Eau de Toilette, Beautifying Body Milk, Hand & Nail Cream, and Gentle Bath Salts

L'Occitane roses et reines review

L’Occitane en Provence‘s Rose de 4 Reines fragrance was my first venture into rose-scented perfumes, as well as one of my first L’Occitane en Provence purchases. Now more than a decade old, Rose de 4 Reines was reformulated and reintroduced as Roses et Reines. Still containing the scents of four varieties of roses (from Bulgaria, Turkey Grasse and Morocco), it also contains the fruity notes of raspberry and blackberry, as well as base notes of white cedar, heliotrope and musk.

L'Occitane roses et reines review

Roses et Reines is a beautiful light rose scent; it is refreshing and modern. Unlike other rose perfumes, Roses et Reines smells young and cool, in contrast to the warmer notes presented in Jo Malone Red Roses or Diptyque Eau Rose. Compared to the previous formulation, Rose de 4 Reines, Roses et Reines is a little more refreshing and lighter, which makes it great for office wear. The change between the old and the new formulation is subtle, and according to L’Occitane en Provence, distinguished only between a new unique rose extract which enhances the fragrance in Roses et Reines.

With the new release comes a plethora of new products that contains this scent, including a shower gel, body milk, shampoo, conditioner, face and body mist, scrub, bath salts, pearlescent body gel, soaps, hand and nail cream, and various media of perfumes.

L'Occitane roses et reines review

The Gentle Bath Salts ($24) dissolve quickly in a bath and leaves my bathwater with a light pink tint. It is beautifully scented with the Roses et Reines fragrance, and if the container is left open, will scent up the entire room.

The Beautifying Body Milk ($32) is a light, highly moisturizing milky lotion for the body. It smells strongly of the Roses et Reines scent, which dissipates after a few minutes. Absorbing quickly, it leaves my skin feeling silky smooth to the touch. I’ve been using this in the summer, which is perfect, but I anticipate the level of moisture should be enough to sustain me through the fall. This is great for those who dislike the sticky feeling of body moisturizer, and who doesn’t mind scented products.

The Hand & Nail Cream ($12 and $23) is the lighter sister of the cult classic Shea Butter Hand Cream. Also containing shea butter as a core ingredient, it also includes vitamin E which helps to nourish, soften and protect the hands. It is not as moisturizing as the Shea Butter Hand Cream, but is enough for daytime use (unless you wash your hands a lot). I keep this in my bag for daily touchups, and the scent is just strong enough to enjoy for a few minutes before disappearing.

L'Occitane roses et reines review

The star product, the Roses et Reines Eau de Toilette ($50) is housed in a beautiful glass bottle inside a box that’s great for gift-giving. Each spritz is strong, and 1-2 is enough to last me for a few hours. As with most L’Occitane en Provence perfumes, the fragrance doesn’t last long and needs a touchup after 4-5 hours. In addition, I have noticed it is a little top heavy and would layer nicely with a darker, warmer scent in order to anchor the rose extracts in this perfume.

Overall, as a lover of all things rose, this collection was a win. If you love roses like I do, please do check this out at your local L’Occitane en Provence boutique or online.

L'Occitane roses et reines review
L'Occitane roses et reines review
L'Occitane roses et reines review(A comparison of the new Roses et Reines with the previous Roses de 4 Reines bottles)

 

Rose-scented products: staples in my beauty routine!

If Marilyn Monroe’s signature fragrance was Chanel No. 5, mine is most definitely the scent of roses.

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From left to right: Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Body Lotion; Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel; Jo Malone Red Roses Cologne; L’Occitane en Provence Rose des 4 Reines Eau de Toilette; Anna Sui lipstick

My favourite body care combination has got to be Lush Rose Jam shower gel (reviewed here) with Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Body Lotion (hand cream version reviewed here). Rose Jam is sweeter and more potent of a rose scent compared to Rosewater, but they work beautifully together and its never overpowering, Rosewater body lotion is a light, very fluid body lotion that absorbs quickly, leaving no greasy-feeling. I’ve been using this one for years and I always stock up on the giant 500 mL version every time I visit a Crabtree & Evelyn outlet store because it’s just that good.

IMG_9108

My two favourite rose perfumes are Jo Malone Red Roses, a classic and the rosiest of the rose perfumes I’ve ever laid my nose on, and L’Occitane en Provence Rose des 4 Reines EdT, a lighter and slightly more sweet-floral rose fragrance. My office isn’t fragrance-friendly so I don’t wear these often, but it’s always a treat whenever I do get an opportunity to wear these out.

IMG_9110

Lastly, it’s no secret that I love Anna Sui makeup because of its rose scent. It’s definitely one of my favourite scents in makeup, alongside Chanel’s Joues Constraste blushes which are also rose scented. Anna Sui’s rose scent is definitely more potent and a lot sweeter compared to other rose scented products in my collection, so it’s not for those who aren’t fans of rose-scented products.

Do you have a signature scent, if so, what is it?

Loving lately: Reviews of L’Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil, JINsoon nail polish, Clarins Truly Waterproof Mascara

I’ve recently discovered a few new favourites!

1. L’Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil

L'Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil review

Newly reformulated earlier this year, the L’Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil is a long-time beauty lovers’ favourite. Formulated with more than 50% almond oil, this body oil is super hydrating and makes my skin very soft and supple. It works great in all seasons because it is moisturizing without being greasy (no residue at all!) and is never heavy because it absorbs completely. The only downside is that it does take a while to absorb, but once it does, it’s just perfect.

P.S. The bottle comes filled to the top, I just got greedy and couldn’t wait to start using mine when I first received it, which is why it looks more sad and empty than usual.

Ingredients:
L'Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil ingredients

2. JINsoon nail polish

I am absolutely loving JINsoon’s nail polish formula. It is ultra glossy, fast-drying, super long wearing, and very easy to apply. The brush applicator is the perfect width and length for a smooth application with no streaks. The shade I have is Cherry Berry, part of their spring 2014 collection, a jelly-creme berry-pink shade. I definitely see myself adding more shades to my collection!

JINsoon nail polish cherry berry swatch

3. Clarins Truly Waterproof Mascara

Asian lashes rejoice! This new mascara by Clarins is amazingly great for lengthening, curling, and most importantly, maintaining a full curl through a full 12-hour day. I didn’t notice much volumizing, but it does layer pretty well without clumping. I haven’t tested out whether its really waterproof or not, but the curling properties of this mascara is enough to keep me as a repeat customer. Its also super effortlessly removable via cleansing oil. Available now at Clarins counters in black (permanent) and blue (limited edition for the summer).

clarins truly waterproof mascara review

Treat your nose: L’Occitane en Provence Mer & Mistral EDT from La Collection de Grasse

L'Occitane Mer and Mistral perfume review

L’Occitane en Provence has done it again with another beautiful fragrance, this time for Father’s Day; Mer & Mistral EDT for summer 2014 is a super summery scent. With top notes of lemon and mandarin, middle notes of pine, cypress and rosemary, and base notes of cedar, white amber and musk, Mer & Mistral brings up feelings of oceanside vacations and little wooden huts.

When sprayed on me, you can catch more of the lemon and mandarin top notes, with a hint of pine. On my boyfriend, it smells more like pine and nature. A truly unisex fragrance, it smells great on both of us, and its something we can share together. Also due to the deeper notes in Mer & Mistral, I find it lasts longer than other La Collection de Grasse scents.

The bottle is an absolute beauty – housed in a blue tinted clear glass bottle in the same shape and size as all of the other La Collection de Grasse fragrances, it has a black spray topper and lid that contrasts the feminine gold spray topper and lid on Neroli & Orchidee.

In addition to the 75mL eau de toilette ($75), Mer & Mistral is available in a shower gel ($20), body gel (moisturizer – $24) and after-shave fluid ($36). A perfect father’s day gift or as a surprise for that special man in your life, Mer & Mistral is available both online and in store.

L'Occitane Mer and Mistral perfume review
L'Occitane Mer and Mistral perfume review

Treat your nose: L’Occitane en Provence Néroli & Orchidée EDT from La Collection de Grasse

L'Occitane en Provence Neroli and Orchidee EDT from La Collection de Grasse review

For Spring/Summer 2014, L’Occitane en Provence introduced a new scent in its La Collection de Grasse family. Néroli & Orchidée is a fruity-floral fragrance that embodies sweet and innocence, combined with the soft spring air. With top notes of orange and mandarin, middle notes of neroli, peach and fig milk, and base notes of orchid, musk and iris, Néroli & Orchidée is truly a feminine scent.

The thing I love most about L’Occitane La Collection de Grasse fragrances is that you can combine them with other fragrances from the same collection, or with other more simple perfumes. I’ve been wearing mine in combination with Jo Malone Vanilla and Anise Cologne and it has quickly become one of my favourite scents to wear. With fruity floral of the Néroli & Orchidée fragrance coupled with the warmth and depth of Vanilla and Anise creates a beautiful spring scent with a different kind of complexity. Other fragrances I can see working well with Néroli & Orchidée include L’Occitane en Provence Ambre & Santal, Vanille & Narcisse, and Cedre & Oranger.

L'Occitane en Provence Neroli and Orchidee EDT from La Collection de Grasse review

The bottle design of Néroli & Orchidée is the same simple yet classic design as rest of the La Collection de Grasse family, with a single difference – the gold string tied around the neck of the bottle.

The only downside to the Néroli & Orchidée fragrance is that the staying time is quite short compared to other perfumes in my collection. The full scent lasted approximately 2-3 hours, and while layered, it stayed for a good 3 hours before fading. The good thing about the short wear time is that it is more subtle, and probably a lot more office appropriate compared to other fragrances.

As with other La Collection de Grasse fragrances, the Néroli & Orchidée scent is also available in a shower gel ($20), a body milk ($24), a solid soap ($10), and a scented candle ($34). The 75mL eau de toilette is priced at $75. You can purchase the entire Néroli & Orchidée collection now in store or online at L’Occitane.

Lastly, check out this gorgeous marketing photo of the Néroli & Orchidée perfume bottle!

L'occitane neroli

Review: The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector, and comparison with Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Therapy and L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector review

Hand cream is a necessity in my purse, on my bedside table, at my desk, at the office, etc. I was recently sent The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector to try and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve tried the Wild Rose Hand Protector by The Body Shop and really was not a fan of it, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found that the Hemp version is 10000x better.

The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector is a creamy, emollient hand cream that smells lightly herb-y. It is super moisturizing, spreads very easily on the hand, and my hands stay moisturized for hours after application. I love this to use in the winter, especially in a dry office environment because it absorbs a bit slower compared to some of the other hand creams I’ve used, which is great because you don’t have to keep applying. It isn’t greasy, per se, but it does absorb slower than other hand cream.

It is regularly priced at $20, but The Body Shop regularly has promotions so you will likely find it on sale.

Ingredients: Water (Solvent/Diluent), Glycerin (Humectant), Cetearyl Alcohol (Emulsifier), Myristyl Myristate (Emollient), Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil (Emollient), Dimethicone (Skin Conditioning Agent), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (Emulsifier), Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifier), PEG-100 Stearate (Surfactant), Beeswax (Emulsifier/Emollient), Panthenol (Skin/Hair Conditioning Agent), Methyl Soyate (Skin Conditioning Agent – Emollient), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Fragrance (Fragrance), Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Allantoin (Skin Soothing Agent), Citric Acid (pH Adjuster), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Xanthan Gum (Viscosity Modifier), Hydrogenated Castor Oil (Emollient), Retinyl Palmitate (Skin Conditioning Agent), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax (Stabiliser/Viscosity Modifier), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Tocopherol (Antioxidant), Talc (Absorbent/Bulking Agent), Chromium Oxide Greens (Colour), Iron Oxides (Colour).

Comparison with Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Therapy and L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

Efficacy – The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector is very excellent for moisture and also how long the hands stay moisturized. L’Occitane ranks a close second, and C&E is better for summer when it’s not so dry.

Length of absorption – The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector is the slowest at absorption. C&E absorbs the fastest and L’Occitane is somewhere between the two.

Scent – C&E wins this hands down. They have a plethora of different scents to choose from, all of which are part of the permanent range. L’Occitane has a few scents but only available in the smaller size format (30mL), and The Body Shop only has four. Also my boyfriend hates the Hemp scent so unfortunately it will have to rank last.

Price – The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector is $20 for 100mL, C&E is also $20 for 100mL, and L’Occitane is $30 for 150mL. In terms of value per volume, the three are priced exactly the same. The Body Shop and C&E regularly have price promotions for their products, for example I’ve seem The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector priced at $10 sometimes, and C&E has two for $32 or three for $40 promotions going on. L’Occitane sometimes does 10 or 15% off sales, but rarely are there other price promotions.

I hope this review and comparison were helpful! If you have a favourite hand cream, please do share with the rest of us; I love discovering a new favourite.

Review: L’Occitane en Provence Shea Nail & Cuticle Nourishing Oil

L'Occitane en Provence Shea Nail and Cuticle Nourishing Oil review

Along with the Shea Ultra Soft Cream for spring, L’Occitane en Provence is offering two new shea oil products – the Shea Fabulous Oil and the Shea Nail & Cuticle Nourishing Oil. The Shea Nail & Cuticle Nourishing Oil contains 30% shea oil for one of the most moisturizing and luxurious nail and cuticle treatments I’ve ever experienced.

L'Occitane en Provence Shea Nail and Cuticle Nourishing Oil review

Prior to trying the Shea Nail & Cuticle Nourishing Oil, I was a dedicated user of the OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil, which is avocado oil-based. The Shea Nail & Cuticle Nourishing Oil is shea oil-based and is a lot more hydrating and less silicone-y compared to OPI Avoplex. Also, I found that the Shea Nail & Cuticle Nourishing Oil absorbs better into my nails and cuticles, and the moisturizing effect is long-lasting.

L'Occitane en Provence Shea Nail and Cuticle Nourishing Oil review

The brush applicator on the Shea Nail & Cuticle Nourishing Oil is very easy to use, both at home and on-the-go. The downside is the price – at $22 for just 7.5 mL, it is very expensive compared to other nail and cuticle treatments on the market. However, as someone who changes their nail polish often and has relatively dry nails and cuticles, I believe a treatment like this is well worth your money.

The L’Occitane en Provence Shea Nail & Cuticle Nourishing Oil is available now online and in store.

Ingredients:

L'Occitane en Provence Shea Nail and Cuticle Nourishing Oil review