L’Occitane

Is it too soon for beauty advent calendars?



Castelbajac X L'OCCITANE Classic Advent Calendar

This time every year we have this dilemma about whether it’s too early to discuss Christmas. But, hey, we need something to look forward to, right? The press got a first look at all the gifty launches a month or so ago (in a month-long junket known as ‘Christmas In July’) and so we’ve seen all there is to see of advent calendars, gift selection sets and the like already.

Beauty advent calendars still seems to have plenty of mileage in them (read my post on the business of advent calendars and beauty subscription boxes here) and brands and retailers are having to up their game in order to stand out. (more…)



Buy it now: long hot summer beauty



Summer beauty by Vogue/Josh Olins

I’ve never known a summer like it. We’re barely exiting July and we’ve had streak upon streak of ten-hour sun-saturated days and balmy nights. This week we’ve had severe weather warnings. My sun-starved limbs say bring it on, but… where does that leave beauty? (more…)



Mother’s pride – my gift guide



Tal Angel silk scarves

It’s all about the women this week, with International Women’s Day tomorrow and Mother’s Day this Sunday. Despite my inner cynic, I still love Mother’s Day – it’s a good excuse to properly spoil our mums and there’s no shortage of great gift options around at the moment.

Beauty brands tend to highlight the twee-est stuff for Mother’s Day, but all the mums I know are super-cool and don’t want floral soaps and Cath Kidston wash bags. They like Liberty and Space NK or small batch organic oils. They love trying new fragrances (Amanda Carr’s We Wear Perfume site is great for discovery) and are just as swayed by chic packaging as the rest of us. (more…)



What’s in the box: the business of beauty advent calendars



unpacking the business of beauty advent calendars

On October 25th, 300 people queued around the block of Liberty’s department store before 8.30am. Not for a new i-gadget, or a half price techy telly, or even a celebrity collaboration. No, they queued for make-up. Or more specifically, for the privilege of buying a £175 box of beauty products, albeit worth over £500.

Welcome to the frenzied, hype-commerce world of beauty advent calendars. A business that’s been booming for the last couple of years and is still growing (according to Google trends). (more…)