Wednesday, July 31, 2013

You Cheeky Cow!

Cowshed is an England based line of holistic products and treatments that originated in... drum roll please... a cow shed!

They feature natural botanicals from sustainable resources containing the highest quality oils and guarantee the following extensive karma boosting list:
  • No Parabens 
  • No Petrochemicals (petroleum bi-products)
  • No Sulphates (artificial foaming agents)
  • No Animal Ingredients (spare a little organic beeswax and wildflower honey)
  • No Artificial Fragrancing or Colours
  • No Animal Testing (not now, not ever)  
They were gracious enough to pass two of their indulgent products my way and as soon as they arrived I planned a relaxing home spa experience.

 Left: Cowshed Knackered Cow Relaxing Bath & Body Oil, $31
Right: Gorgeous Cow Blissful Bath and Shower Gel, $25

The Gorgeous Cow Blissful Bath & Shower Gel is truly delicious. It features "Madagascan Ylang Ylang, Moroccan Rose and Indian Palmarosa to evoke happiness and French Lavender and Linden blossom to soothe." It's a sophisticated shower treat to wind down a hectic day, or even to use in the bath for a relaxing soak.

The Knackered Cow (love it!) Relaxing Bath & Body Oil is unlike any other product I've experienced. I actually have never used a bath oil before... I felt as though it necessitated a vintage silk kimono, martini, bouffant and long cigarette holder. And maybe some jazz in the background? In other words- it felt super posh to draw a bath and pour in some exquisitely smelling bath oil. The bath water itself also felt different- richer and thicker, and you could see some oil beads on the top. After rinsing off and patting dry, my skin felt hella soft and lightly scented.

I'm also a sucker for pretty packaging and Cowshed definitely delivers there too. 

If you're looking to up the ante on your shower and bath rituals, definitely take a trip to the Cowshed!

Cowshed is available at Barneys New York, and

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Can I Get an Amen?!

Relais and Chateaux Le Couvent des Minimes Hotel & Spa was born of a shared passion for the convent and for the beautiful region of Provence. 

I'm not one for mass, and if you offered me a million bucks I wouldn't be able to name the current Pope is (Francis? John? Kanye?), but using Le Couvent des Minimes collection is one religious experience I can get behind!

Le Couvent des Minimes is a product line of natural skincare, fragrance, and bath and body formulas founded on the heritage and traditions of the convent of Mane. It was built 400 years ago in the village of Mane in the south of France to shelter the botanist monks of the Minims, who used their extensive knowledge of plants to tend a garden of curative herbs and flowers. Centuries later, the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary continued the monks' original convention of cultivating beneficial ingredients to help strengthen and restore those in need in their community.

Each formula is crafted using age-old phytotherapy (that's something with plants!) and aromatherapy (but way better than spinster candles!) practices honed over centuries, blending effective ingredients to nourish and replenish. Plus, the packaging is fantastically gorgeous and the company also donates 1% of total sales to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary association to support health and childhood projects.


I was fortunate enough to sample three of the extensive product offerings: The Complete Moisturizing Cream, Eau des Minimes Botanical Fragrance, and the Smile Lip Balm Honey, Rich Formula. My breakdown, dear beauty parishioners:

1) Complete Moisturizing Cream: I just want to tote this jar around in my purse and pull it out and use it everywhere to show everyone how fancy I am (and then subsequently fall right on my face). Firstly, it smells amazing. Secondly, even though it's a rich formula it doesn't feel heavy on the skin and sinks right in. Thirdly, its active extracts of four beneficial roses and hydrating grapeseed oil make skin look radiant and feel ridiculously soft. (1.7oz, $33)

2) Smile Lip Balm Honey, Rich Formula: What's not to love?! It's packed with softening honey extract, nourishing shea butter, beeswax and royal jelly. Load up that kisser! (0.5oz, $13.50)

3) Eau de Minimes Botanical Fragrance: If you read this blog at all (and dammit you had BETTER), you would know that I am quite a picky b when it comes to fragrances. So when I tell you how I OBSESSED I am with this and that it smells like sunshine and rainbows and freshness and wonder, you had best believe it is capital L-O-V-E. It's my new daily go-to and is so perfect for the summer and early fall. Praise be! Besides my expert opinion it might also be helpful to know that it includes a mix of lemon, blood orange, and grapefruit, as well as seven plants selected for their beneficial properties. (16.9 fl oz, $69; 8.75 fl oz, $49; 3.4 fl oz, $38; 1 fl oz, $14)

The full Le Couvent des Minimes collection is available at and select items at ULTA Beauty.

All photos courtesy Tractenberg & Co.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Fragrant Buffet

A brief history of my scents sense:

Middle School: GAP Dream and Love's Baby Soft (classics!)
High School: Bath & Body Works assorted body sprays (too many to count!)
College: Lancome Oui (sadly discontinued!)
Post-College: Dior Addict 2 (totally designer you guys!)
Post-Post College: Marc Jacobs Daisy (Ahhh smells SO good, I still wear it on the daily!)

Clearly I am a devoted donner of habit when it comes to perfumes and something has to truly move me to make it my everyday aroma. Out of the eight offerings in Avon's arsenal, I can honestly say I found one winner and a lot of okays.

Unplugged: Too creamy and got to be a bit much the longer I had to smell it.

Outspoken by Fergie: Started off a bit much but dried really nice into its notes of black leather.

Outspoken Intense by Fergie: She should've kept this one to herself. Too fruity and flowery!

Far Away: Too sweet at first, but settles and dries into something rather lovely.

Far Away Exotic: Would be nice for a date night, but too much for daily wear. 

Rare Pearls: Powdery and feminine, it dries to nice amber notes. This one was my runner-up fave.

Secrets to Keep: These names are ridiculous, no? Although this scent was ok.
And now my winner:

Step Into Sexy:  Cheesy name, great fragrance and my favorite by far! It's violet leaf and golden amber make it a perfect choice for a seductive date night.

You can find these scents and more online at