Sample size on left, full size on right.
There once was a woman from Pennsylvania who moved to the Great White Frozen North. Though she brought plenty of coats and blankets to survive the bitter cold, she thought little of the damage the bitter chill would do to her already-dry-and-sensitive skin. By the time November rolled around, the woman was desperate for relief. She tried lotion after cream after gel, but she always came up short...until she decided to test out some readily-available, "raw" moisturizer options.
That woman was me, and I readily admit that I coated my hair in coconut oil and greased my body up with raw shea butter on the daily to survive North Dakota's winters. Most nights, I crawled in to bed all shiny and slimy like a little seal pup. It sounds disgusting, but it definitely prevented lizard skin and and an itchy scalp.
I like to think that I have a better handle on things these days; namely, I've learned to take better care of my skin and to look more in to oils. Enter this lovely sample bottle of L'occitane Amanda Supple Skin Oil, a 100 point perk from Sephora. It took me almost 3 months to try the stuff, but now? I'm in love with it.
The sample size is 0.5oz and comes in a plastic bottle with a screw-top lid. The full-size product is 3.4oz and comes in a glass bottle with a pump. I'm not wild about the glass bottle--I'm REALLY clumsy and I know I'd drop it on the bathroom floor--but the pump is a great addition.
The full size is also $42. Eek.
However: I have found that a little goes a long way with this product. I've used my sample almost a dozen times now, applying a small amount to my entire body from the neck down, and it's more than half full. Not bad!
I first tried using the Amande Supple Skin Oil on its lonesome, smoothing a small amount over my entire body immediately after showering. This worked pretty well--the oil smelt nice, moisturized my skin, and wasn't heavy--but I wasn't exactly blown away. "For $42 a bottle," I thought, "I need to be wowed."
Then I started some of the oil to my regular body lotion and applying that mixture to my skin. I don't know why, but adding it to another product? AMAZING. It makes every moisturizer I try it with easier to spread, twice as moisturizing, and again, very very lovely-smelling. My skin feels incredibly soft and plump, and while I have a definite "healthy glow" after application, I don't feel greasy in the slightest.
I'm even more impressed by how smooth this oil makes my freshly-shaved legs feel. 1tsp body lotion + a few drops of this oil = utter, unbelievable perfection. Hell, I could star in one of those "who wears short shorts" commercials, I am THAT in love with how this stuff makes my legs look and feel.
There's no denying that L'occitane's Amande Supple Skin Oil is expensive, especially for a product that works best as a mixer and is relatively easy to dupe. But if it's in your budget, it's definitely worth a try. As for me, I'm going to stretch this sample as far as I can. Knowing me? I'll make it last til Christmas.
Now, on to the lemmings!
1. Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipsticks in Ballet (shown), Raven, Empress, and Canvas, $28 at Sephora.com -- Slowly but surely, this has become one of my all-time favorite lipstick formulations. Easy to apply, super-pigmented, and the very definition of long-lasting: the three shades I own are all incredible, and I hope to one day own more.
2. RMS Beauty Cream Eye Shadow in Lunar, $28 at RMSBeauty.com -- As I've gotten older, I've become more and more obsessed with sharp lip lines and lazy eye looks. Cream eyeshadows are my go-tos because they don't require a brush and tend to look more complex than powders. I've been impressed with the RMS products I've tried so far, and the shade range for the cream eye shadows is right up my alley.
3. NARS Sheer Glow foundation in Siberia, $45 at Sephora.com -- You would think receiving a rancid bottle of this stuff would turn me off, but...nah. I'm still on the hunt. This is one of the most popular foundations on the market, and the fact that it's pale, yellow, and boasts medium-variable coverage makes it particularly tempting.
4. Nivea Creme (European/"Made in Germany" formulation), $11.50 at SmallFlower.com -- My incredibly limited (ie, non-existent) beauty budget of the moment has reminded me of some of my most-loved budget buys. I used to love applying this cream to my dry feet, elbows, and nose, but somewhere along the line I got distracted by newer, fancier products. Then I tried the $1 Nivea Creme tins available in the US (made in Mexico), and...it just felt waxier and less moisturizing. I thought I was seeing things until I posted on a few forums and checked Cosdna--the formulations are definitely different.) This puppy is on my "Top Priorities" list!
5. Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner, $24 at Ulta.com -- Like I said: I'm generally lazy with my eye makeup. But if there's one thing I've always appreciated, it's a great flicked eye liner. Benefit's highly anticipated Push-Up Liner has gotten some mixed reviews so far, but BeHonestBeauty gives me hope.