Thursday, 28 January 2016

L'Occitane En Provence Advent Calendar Review 2015

Last month, I counted down the days 'til Christmas with the L'Occitane En Provence Advent calendar and I loved every second of it.

I'd planned to share what was behind each window daily on Instagram, but that kinda went out the window because my phone stopped working, and I couldn't access the app. I thought I'd share what I found behind all twenty-four windows today instead, and do a little review of the calendar as well.

So, this was L'Occitane's first twenty-four day Advent calendar, and it was one of those things I just had to get my hands on because L'Occitane is one of my favourite beauty brands. The thought of waking up to a different L'Occitane treat every day for almost a month was too tempting to resist, especially when it turned out to be one of the most affordable beauty calendars of 2015 at just £39! (With contents worth £52)!

Behind every beautifully illustrated cardboard window was a different festive treat, including 17 mini L'Occitane beauty products, and 7 festive-themed gifts like gift tags, place cards, and a cookie cutter.

I'm sure some people will have been disappointed that there wasn't a beauty product behind every window, but I wasn't. I knew what the contents were before I bought it, and was happy to chance it since I'm a sucker for stationery, gift wrapping supplies, and all things Christmas. Thankfully, I loved almost all of the goodies inside, including most of the non-beauty gifts, so I wasn't at all disappointed.

Here's a list of everything that was in the advent calendar, in order by date.

1. Ultra rich face cream with shea butter for dry skin 10ml.
2. Essential oils shampoo 35ml.
3. Set of 5 gift tags.
4. Milk extra-gentle soap with shea butter 50g.
5. Delightful Rose Hand Cream 10ml.
6. Almond oil shower gel 35ml.
7. Red bow Christmas decoration.
8. Pivoine flora (peony) hand cream 10ml.
9. Essential oils conditioner 35ml.
10. Cherry blossom hand cream 30ml.
11. Mini emery board nail file.
12. Jasmin & Bergamote perfumed soap 50g.
13. Ultra rich body lotion with shea butter 30ml.
14. Shea foot cream for dry skin 10ml.
15. Verbena body lotion 30ml.
16. Set of 10 Christmas place cards.
17. Delicious hands almond milk hand cream 10ml.
18. Star-shaped cookie cutter.
19. Moisturising shea butter lip balm 3ml.
20. Verbena shower gel 30ml.
21. Strip of 10 festive stickers.
22. Shea Hand Cream for dry skin 10ml.
23. Sachet of gold star table confetti.
24. Pivoine Flora (peony) eau de toilette.

There were five hand creams in different scents- rose, peony, almond, shea, and cherry blossom (my personal fave), which I was really pleased to get as I adore L'Occitane hand creams and will actually use them. I get through hand creams like there's no tomorrow, and these babies always leave me with the softest skin. I also got a tube of shea butter foot cream- an old favourite that works wonders on transforming dry feet back to their former silky-soft, sandal-season glory, and an ultra rich shea butter face cream, which I can't wait to try. 

There were two body lotions (shea and verbena), two shower gels (almond and verbena), and a shampoo and conditioner (with essential oils). The only two products I've used before are the verbena body lotion and shower gel, both of which I was excited to find inside because they're two of my favourite beauty products. The fragrance is to die for, and the products are both amazing! I can't say much about the others because I haven't tried them yet, but I'm particularly loving the scent of the almond shower gel, and can't wait to try them all. 

The calendar also included two decent-sized soaps in milk and jasmin & bergamote, a lip balm, and a small bottle of the Pivoine Flora eau de toilette, as an extra-special gift on Christmas Eve. I don't usually like floral fragrances, but this one is quite sweet-scented and not at all over powering, It's lovely. I'm going to keep it in my bag to use on the go.

I haven't had a chance to sample the other goodies yet, but I'll review all of the other beauty products as and when I use them.

And these are the other festive gifts I found inside. There were ten place cards, ten stickers, five gift tags, and a mini emery board which were all beautifully illustrated with festive designs like candy canes, bows, sprigs of holly, and Santa Claus; designs which matched those on the inner windows of the calendar. Along with the sachet of tiny gold star table confetti, and a star-shaped cookie cutter, I thought all of these extras were lovely, tasteful, and great quality little gifts. The only one I really didn't like was the red felt bow decoration, which looked like it had been fished out of a bargain bin at a pound shop. It looked and felt cheap and nasty. It doesn't match L'Occitane's usual level of quality, and I still think it was a bad choice for an otherwise high-quality calendar. Still, one dud out of twenty-four ain't bad, right?

As a whole, I really loved these little gifts. I was itching to use them all straight away, but in true blogger form, I needed to photograph them all first, so I made myself put them aside to use for next Christmas instead. I will definitely be using them all later in the year when Christmas rolls around again.

I can honestly say I loved L'Occitane's first Advent calendar! I looked forward to opening the windows every day, and it gave me a little Christmas morning excitement every morning during Advent. It was so much fun having a different gift to enjoy every day, especially on the days when I found a beauty product waiting for me behind the cardboard windows. I thought there was a great selection of products and fragrances, with plenty of old favourites and new ones for me to try. The other gifts rarely left me feeling disappointed, and all in all, the calendar just made my Christmas all the more magical. For just £39, it was so reasonably priced, great value, and well worth the price tag.
I would definitely consider buying a L'Occitane Advent calendar again in the future, and I think it's highly likely that I will!

Two enthusiastic thumbs up from me! Well done, L'Occitane!

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L'Occitane beauty Advent calendar sneak peek 2015


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