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 usa.lecouventdesminimes.com and select items at ULTA Beauty.

All photos courtesy Tractenberg & Co.

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