The festive fusion of beauty meets advent calendars is getting me ridiculously excited. The daily treat is definitely brightening up these dark evenings. I was a huge fan of chocolate advent calendars as a child but have since progressed to beauty advent calendars. I think the very action of getting a little surprise each and every day can really cheer a person up and help get them in the festive spirit. I am so very grateful to have received a beautiful classic beauty advent calendar from Vivian in L’Occitane Ireland and have been bursting at the seams with excitement to see what awaits behind each one of its 24 doors.
As I did not want to annoy everyone by clogging up my news feed with daily reveals, I thought I would put them all in one place and update it accordingly. That way if you are interested in seeing what beauty delight hides behind each door you can simply check out this post each day. Out of all the beauty advent calendars on sale this year this L’Occitane classic beauty advent calendar was top of my wish list. To be honest money has been so tight that I don’t think I would have been able to afford its €59 price tag. To say I squealed with excitement when the postman arrived with one in his hand for me is an understatement. I am actually living for my little surprises each day. It is amazing the little things that give you such joy.
So without further ado here is what lay behind each one of this beautifully decorated advent calendars’ 24 doors.
Note: I updated the post after trying out each product
On the 1st day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a miniature (35ml) shea shower oil. To be honest day 1 was a very pleasant surprise as I had been wanting to try out this shea shower oil for ages. I recently purchased the almond equivalent of this shower oil but am waiting to finish my current shower oil before starting it. I am interested to see which I prefer, the shea shower oil or the almond shower oil. Since the psoriasis has returned on my legs and the base of my back I need to keep my skin as lubricated as possible. That includes using shower oils as they don’t dry out my skin like shower gels and creams do. Lubricated skin means less itch and pain for Avril.
Update: Ooohh I think I am in love. This shower gel is just perfect. It does not have an overpowering scent and leaves the skin feeling silky and smooth – just how I like it!
On the 2nd day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a miniature version (10ml) of my favourite handcream, the 20% shea butter handcream. This handcream is ‘hands down’ the best handcream I have ever used and seeing as the weather has become quite chilly over the past number of days is badly needed to keep my hands looking and feeling soft and smooth. The miniature size of this handcream is perfect for throwing into your handbag. That way I can have my full-sized handcream on my dressing table whilst having this little one on the go.
Update: Yep still a fan!
On the 3rd day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a treat that I have never tried before, a full-sized almond cleansing and exfoliating soap. This soap composed of almond oil and almond flakes gently removes rough patches of skin from the body. I think I will bring this bar of soap into the shower and use it maybe once a week to see if it helps reduce the psoriasis plaques. I will report back on this!
Update: This is one intriguing soap. It is gentle on the skin but also helps remove uneven and dry skin. I really like the feel of the almond flakes against the skin. It’s kind of like a nice little scratch to take away itchyness.
On the 4th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a miniature (30ml) verbena body lotion. To be honest I have never really been attracted to the verbena range. I’m not sure if it’s the scent or what exactly but I have not been inclined to purchase anything from this particular range. Having said that seeing as I now have a sample to try, I will definitely give this a fair go and will report back with my findings.
Update: This body lotion has a lovely creamy consistency but unfortunately the scent just is not to my taste.
On the 5th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a miniature (10ml) cherry blossom handcream. This handcream is delicately fragranced with the pretty petals of the cherry blossom tree. It has a light texture that is easily absorbed into the skin. The beautiful scent of this handcream instantly transports me to a field of cherry blossom trees in full bloom. It is on my bucket list to visit Japan to see the cherry blossom trees in full bloom.
Update: I really enjoyed this delicately scented handcream and would definitely repurchase for myself and as a gift for the women in my life.
On the 6th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a miniature (35ml) intensive repair shampoo. This silicone free shampoo is perfect for dry, brittle and damaged hair – basically my hair! I have actually used this shampoo in the past and really liked it. What I really like is the infusion of not one but five essential oils (lavender, orange, ylang-ylang, geranium and angelica), the addition of oat extract, sunflower oil and vitamin B5 to really help repair and improve the overall look and feel of the hair.
Update: I actually had forgotten just how much I liked this shampoo. So much so I think I will treat myself to a full sized bottle.
On the 7th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a miniature (30ml) bottle of the cult classic ultra rich body lotion. I cannot tell you just how much I adore this body lotion. I even have a bottle of it on my nightstand. This nourishing lotion formulated with 15% Shea butter is perfect for tackling dry skin. It also contains calendula extract, almond extract and honey which help soothe and moisturise the skin. This handy travel sized bottle will definitely come in handy. I think I may even top it up so I can constantly have it on hand.
Update: This body lotion has been a saviour in between cold tar and steroid ointment applications. It is very difficult to keep the itch and pain of psoriasis at play but this simple no fuss body lotion helps by keeping my skin cool and nourished.
On the 8th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a mini (5ml) light comforting cream. I haven’t tried this cream yet but it is intriguing me. My skin is misbehaving and I have dry patches on my face and neck so I guess it is the perfect time to try it out. It contains 5% shea butter to really help moisturise the skin. A higher percentage of shea butter might be too much for the sensitive facial area so I think sticking to a smaller percentage with this cream was the best option. The rest of our bodies can take the higher quantities of shea butter as the skin is thicker than the facial area.
Update: This is a fantastic cream that really surprised me. It did not aggravate nor sit on my skin but did exactly what it claims to do – soothe the skin. The cream itself absorbs really nicely and provides a nice soft and moisturised feel to the skin.
On the 9th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a (35ml) luxury intensive repair conditioner. I have actually used this conditioner in the past and really liked it. I picked it up alongside the shampoo version and was quite impressed. To be honest the reason I didn’t repurchase it was because money was very tight so unfortunately I couldn’t afford them. I must treat myself to a bottle soon though! After all who doesn’t want tangle free hair that smells wonderful!
Update: Sadly the bottle disappeared in no time, let’s just say I like conditioner, but I was impressed with how nourishing my hair felt afterwards.
On the 10th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… the cutest leaf shaped verbena hand soap. This bar of soap contains crushed verbena leaves that naturally exfoliate the skin. I am not going to lie, I honestly can not remember the last time I purchased a bar of soap. I am so used to buying liquid hand soaps these days. I am however very intrigued by this soap as it is purely vegetable based, non-detergent and promises not to dry out the skin. It is also not overly fragranced which I really appreciate. I think I am going to pop this soap beside my sink in the kitchen seeing as it is mainly where I do most of my daily hand washing.
Update: This was a lovely little soap to have in the kitchen area as it made the kitchen smell nice every time I washed my hands.
On the 11th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a mini (30ml) ultra rich shower cream (with 5% Shea). This shower cream is simple and delicate so perfect for those of us with sensitive skin. The formula is creamy without being overly thick. It doesn’t leave any residue behind but definitely leaves the skin feeling silky and smooth. I have used this shower cream on quite a few occasions. Unfortunately I found myself using too much of it and just couldn’t afford to stock up on it. I personally feel you get longer out of the shower oils.
Update: Lovely shower cream but I ploughed through the bottle so I know a full sized bottle would not be economical for me but it is a lovely treat for the skin.
On the 12th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… an almond delicious hands hand cream. This mini tube of nourishment is packed full of almond milk and almond oil and perfect for this time of year. I am a creature of habit and am devoted to the simple Shea handcream but I am very pleasantly surprised by this beautiful handcream. I like how the formula isn’t greasy and it is delicately fragranced which is always a plus for me. I’m not one for heavily fragranced creams. I feel the handcream makes my hands feel softer for longer.
Update: This handcream like all the L’Occitane handcreams is super nourishing but the scent is not to my taste so it is now the sole property of my mother.
On the 13th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a little effervescent revitalising sugar cube. To be honest I have never seen nor heard of these before but I guess they are like a mini bath bomb. This particular cube dissolves in warm water so perfect for popping into your bath and contains mint, rosemary and pine essential oils. I have not used this yet as I have to be careful not to aggravate the psoriasis on my legs but as soon as my skin settles I shall be treating myself to this.
Update: I found an alternative use for this mini bath bomb – I crumbled some into my foot spa every time I used it. That way I had lovely smelling feet and a lovely smelling sitting room.
On the 14th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a mini cherry blossom shimmering lotion. I have a soft spot for cherry blossom trees ever since I watched Mary Poppins for the first time. This beautifully fragranced floral body lotion contains Shea butter so not only does it smell delicious it nourishes the skin too. It has a light texture that is easily absorbed whilst also leaving a slight shimmer to the skin. It is so girly and pretty that I think I will be treating myself to a full sized bottle.
Update: My psoriasis came back with a bang so I had to hold ff treating myself to a full sized bottle as any perfumes lotion can aggravate it.
On the 15th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… an ultra rich lip balm with shea butter. This little tube of luxury (I will explain later why I use this term) is packed full of 10% shea butter to really help nourish the lips. The balm itself is colourless and ever so lightly fragranced. I can hand on heart tell you it is the best lip balm I have ever used especially as I have been applying it during this extremely cold spell and it is protecting my lips. I use the term luxury as the balm feels so comforting on the lips. My lips are left feeling soft and supple with each application and that feeling really lasts. It is a simple no fuss lip balm that does exactly what it says on the er tube. I am delighted to have discovered it in this advent calendar.
Update: This is by far my favourite lip balm ever. It is incredibly soothing and keeps the lips feeling fab for hours. The only slight criticism is how easy it is to loose around the house. The packaging just blends in with everything else. I will definitely be repurchasing this.
On the 16th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… A mini immortelle precious cream. This facial cream promises visibly correct deep wrinkles and improve skin firmness. I think I may need a bucket load of it though for my face.
Update: Unfortunately this Cream did not suit my skin as it was just a bit too heavy and perfumed.
On the 17th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a mini citrus verbena shower gel. As I mentioned previously, I am not the biggest fan of this particular scent and I think it’s because of the sharp lemon and grapefruit notes. Having said that there’s nothing wrong with the scent only that I think it’s just too strong for me. A little certainly goes a long way with this shower gel. Kev is currently using it and likes to mix some of it in with the almond shower oil just to add a nice scent.
Update: Both myself and Kev used this shower gel and both found it to be drying on the skin. It is nice for keeping the under armage fresh but is a bit too harsh on sensitive areas.
On the 18th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a mini (20ml) almond milk concentrate body cream. This simple cream that is light in consistency absorbs beautifully into the skin. Most importantly it does not leave behind a greasy residue. The almond milk and almond oil really help nourish the skin and leave it feeling extremely soft in the process. I am really impressed with L’Occitane’s almond range and am delighted to have been able to try miniature versions of the products before committing to the full sized versions. If you suffer with any form of dry skin and pending you are not allergic to nuts, I would highly recommend trying the range.
Update: This cream is absolute heaven and leaves the skin super soft. I may have put in a sneaky order for the full sized bottle … shhh!
On the 19th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… an extra gentle soap with shea butter. This simple vegetable based bar of soap is packed full of nourishing shea butter to really help keep your hands soft whilst also retaining the skins natural moisture level. I am a divil for washing my hands a bit too excessively – I blame working in labs for that! Anyway I find a lot of hand soaps too harsh on my skin and my hands are left feeling extremely dry. I started using this soap straight away and it really does help protect the skin from drying. I now wish I had a liquid version of this soap to have at my kitchen sink.
Update: A lovely hand soap but I would prefer it in liquid form.
On the 20th day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a mini two in one (bath and shower) cherry blossom gel. Not only do I love the delicate scent of cherry blossom but it actually makes quite a nice bubble bath – I love a nice hot bath! Some shower gels especially scented ones make me a little nervous as they can be very drying on the skin but I was very pleasantly surprised by the skin softening properties of this gel.
Update: This shower gel smelt heavenly in my shower but I found it a little drying on the skin and had to be careful applying it anywhere near the psoriasis plaques.
On the 21st day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a mini tube of verveine cooling hand cream gel. This unusual cream gel contains organic verbena extract and tapioca powder to help soothe the skin. I’m still in two minds over this hand lotion and I think I will have to revisit it during the summer. Nothing really measures up against my favourite shea butter hand cream!
Update: Hmm after much thought, trial and error, I’ve come to the conclusion that this handcream just isn’t fo me. Having said that if you do like the feeling of a cooling handcream you should definitely check it out.
On the 22nd day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a miniature almond shower oil. I am currently half way through a large bottle of this luscious shower oil. As my skin is misbehaving in every sense of the word, the lovely Vivian heard about my struggle and kindly gifted me a big bottle and refill of this heavenly elixir. I will be posting a proper review so I don’t want to give too much away but if you suffer with dry skin I would highly recommend treating yourself to a bottle.
Update: Yes, yes and did I mention yes! This shower oil is going to be a permanent fixture in my shower!
On the 23rd day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a mini tube of their other ‘cult classic’, shea butter foot cream. This creamy and soothing foot cream is enriched with 15% shea butter and is lightly fragranced with the beautiful but delicate scent of lavender. So not only does it make your feet smell nice it also cocoons them in soothing and skin softening bubble. I highly recommend popping some of this cream on your tootsies just before you hop into bed. Another tip is to pop a miniature tube (this size) of this foot cream in your handbag for times when you are going on a plane. I like to kick off my shoes during a flight (don’t worry I don’t have stinky feet) and apply some of this cream to my feet. It’s a little bit of much needed tlc.
Update: I think this may be my most favourite foot cream ever!
On the 24th and final day of Christmas L’Occitane gave to me… a mini Verveine EDT. This invigorating scent containing verbena promises to awaken the body and mind. It certainly packs a punch and contains notes of verbena, geranium and lemon tree.
Update: Unfortunately this scent isn’t really me however I did find an alternative use for it. I popped a drop inside my hoover every week so when I was hoovering the house smelt wonderful – handy tip right there!
I hope you enjoyed reading my piece on the L’Occitane advent calendar. It was so much fun to get a little surprise each day in the run up to Christmas. Like a mixture of anything, some products I adored and some just weren’t to my taste but it’s a great way of trying out products without being left with a big full sized version just sitting on the shelf as it just wasn’t right for you. I did find some gems that will take pride of place in my bathroom and bedside locker! Happy Christmas everyone!