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19 posts tagged "L’Occitane"

Beauty 411: Andrew Sotomayor


andrew-sotomayorDirector Julie Taymor, thanks to Broadway mega-productions like The Lion King and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, has become known for a splashy, grandiose approach to her productions. And her latest, an interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is the inaugural show for Brooklyn’s new Polonsky Shakespeare Center (the flagship for the Theatre for a New Audience), reportedly lives up to those spectacular expectations. The man responsible for the incredibly dreamy makeup is Andrew Sotomayor. “Working with Julie Taymor on it was a dream come true, and a full-circle moment for me, with a twist: I went to college for musical theater, and studied Shakespeare in London, and was dead-set since [age] 14 on being on Broadway,” he shares. “But besides concerts, a weekly cabaret, and some close calls, professional opportunities to do makeup came to me sooner than acting. When I was hired, I realized this was the opportunity to bring everything all together in one place. When I saw my name in the Playbill, I remembered John Lennon’s words, ‘Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.’ Sometimes you get lucky, and it’s better than you originally intended it to be.” Here, Sotomayor, who has also worked with a bevy of bold-facers (Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lawrence, Kerry Washington, and Emmy Rossum among them) and regularly lends his expertise to both beauty brands and magazines, shares some of his own go-tos.

THE REGULAR REPLENISHER: Westerly Natural Market

“I love its Only Green Mix at the juice bar, which has spinach, celery, collards, cucumbers, and parsley; it fills me up, and I don’t get a sugar crash. For those who haven’t been juicing as long and want something a little sweeter, Ariel’s Coconut Shake is amazing. It’s got the meat and water from an entire coconut, plus berries and spirulina. I also pick up things like frankincense and grapefruit oils to create fragrance for my apartment, oregano oil to occasionally help me from catching a cold, healthy protein bars, and raw vitamins like Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw B-Complex.”



“I really enjoy the variety of classes, and all the teachers are friendly and excellent communicators. Yuval Boim gives very specific instructions, and after class, I have a clear focus that helps me have a more productive day. I also like that they offer hot Vinyasa, because Bikram classes fill me with panic. In hot Vinyasa, there is a moving flow that brings the energy up and music that helps me cultivate a sense of peace while working really hard.”


THE HANGOUT WORKOUT: AntiGravity Fitness

“I introduced my boyfriend to Antigravity Yoga the week we met. After fumbling through one class, he was hooked; several classes later, he never went back to the chiropractor. I’m terrible at doing handstands, but with Antigravity you hang in a fabric at hip level. Everyone gets to hang upside down with ease after just a few minutes in their first class.”


THE POSTURE KEEPER: Jill Carnegie at Pilates on Fifth

“Late last year, I started having sharp pain in my hip and ankles…I’m only 30, but I was seriously becoming afraid that I’d need a hip replacement down the line! Eventually, I figured out that dragging a suitcase full of makeup and skincare [products] every day was the source of my problems, and I started taking private Pilates lessons with Jill. Unlike the gym, Pilates strengthens the little muscles that weights and aerobic equipment can’t address, and having a private instructor ensures your form is perfect. Between switching my basic kit to a Muji backpack and my Pilates classes, the hip, knee, and ankle pain has gone away. Also, the studio is owned by Katherine and Kimberly [Corp], who are world-renowned Pilates instructors and former Rockettes, and will occasionally speak some of the most beautiful Japanese you’ve ever heard.”



“Alcone is one of the few makeup stores in New York that has a neighborhood feel and carries products that you won’t find anywhere else outside of Hollywood. Every professional makeup artist in Manhattan goes there to buy supplies, like its iconic makeup wedges, Cozzette brushes, special effects products, and hard-to-find items like BeautySoClean sanitizing spray. I never know who I’m going to run into, but everyone who walks in or works behind the counter is friendly and knows exactly what they’re talking about.”



“For about a year now, I’ve been cutting down on meat, and now I’m eating almost completely vegan. I just gave up dairy, and I’ve been feeling so much better. The days when vegans and vegetarians were limited to tofu and lettuce are long gone; at Cafe Blossom, I go for raw zucchini linguine in pesto sauce, while my boyfriend opts for more familiar dishes like vegan and gluten-free lasagna with eggplant and sweet potato. We shared the Live Nachos recently, which has mango guacamole and cashew sour cream. I’m Mexican-American and I don’t miss the ‘real’ thing at all.”



“I’ve never been so happy with a shaving product as I am with this. I don’t blade shave anymore, and instead trim my facial hair neatly to different thicknesses. This trimmer has an LCD screen and an electronic button that adjusts it from .4 mm to .5 mm without changing guards. I trim my neck and the edge of my beard as close as possible, then choose a higher setting based on how clean-cut or laid-back I want to look.”


THE FACE PLACE: Dermalogica Spa, Soho

“My skin has always been pretty clear, which I attribute to genes from my mother and my diet; however, I need a little help to prevent blackheads and the occasional breakout. One of the resident aestheticians, Nikki, does a thorough but brief consultation and gets right down to deep cleaning and moisturizing skin. She is great about knowing when to perform extractions and when it’s best to let nature run its course.”


THE SIGNATURE SCENT: Aoud Leather by Montale Paris

“I love this scent as the weather starts to turn colder. The fragrance is a blend of warm, spicy, and sweet notes that sit well on the skin. It’s masculine without being overt.”

Available at Bergdorf Goodman.


“I like a drop or two of Skin Treatment Oil from Dr. Alkaitis followed by one or two pumps of Verdon Outdoor Moisturizer from L’Occitane to keep my skin moisturized and protected from the sun. Then I use the oil alone at night.”

See and

THE INSPIRATION HAUNT: Kinokuniya Bookstore

“I bought a stack of books from here in preparation for my Midsummer job interview, including ones on traditional Japanese theater, drag queens, African tribal body painting, Alexander McQueen—and a photography book inspired by fairies, with zoomed-in close-ups of patterns found in plants and nature.”


Summer Strand SOS


L'Occitane Aromachologie Repairing Hair Collection
With the end of August drawing near (three weeks until New York fashion week, which is kind of like back to school for; personally I’m headed back to Howard University for senior year), my curls are fried from one too many weekends on the beach. Enter L’Occitane‘s Aromachologie Repairing Hair Collection, which includes a shampoo, conditioner, oil, and mask that boast a blend of five oils (geranium, lavender, ylang-ylang, sweet orange, and angelica) and plant-based amino acids. While I’ve always believed oils to be greasy and heavy (even on my coarse hair), these products seeped in and washed out without leaving behind any residue. The shampoo is free of flattening silicones and smells delightfully earthy (but surprisingly fresh), while the conditioner is infused with softening sweet almond oil. But my new must-have for hitting the rewind button on sun-drenched strands is the Repairing Mask, which contains creamy shea butter and is light enough to use daily. To seal the deal, I added a few drops of the Repairing Oil on just my ends to control frizz and flyaways.

Photo: Courtesy of L’Occitane

On Sweets And Scents


IfLOccitane-Mint-Verbena you are among what we imagine to be a very large subsection of people who love both ice cream and beauty products, do we have some cross-promotional branding news for you: To celebrate the launch of its new Mint Verbena scent, a summery update on its well-loved Verbena line, L’Occitane has teamed up with artisanal ice cream purveyor Van Leeuwen to create a limited-edition, custom-blended frozen treat. The Provence-based brand’s classic green-citrus scent has been spiked with spearmint, peppermint, lime, grapefruit, white wood, and musk in honor of the warmer weather and, in addition to the creamy dessert that has been churned in its honor, will be available as an eau de toilette in July. To create even more synergy, a $25 ice cream purchase will earn you one complimentary 10ml flacon of the original Verbena eau de toilette. The start of summer has never been sweeter.

Photo: Courtesy of L’Occitane

Bonne Mere, C’Est Bonne!


That Cleopatra bathed in pools of milk and honey to keep her skin soft and fragrant is just one of the famed Egyptian royal’s many beauty secrets to make its way into modernity. The delicately scented ingredients’ have found themselves in myriad soaps and salves since, and will have their latest coup this week with the launch of L’Occitane’s Bonne Mere line. An extension of the Provence-born brand’s popular Bonne Mere soaps—the fine-milled chunky square bars that boast a sustainable plant oil base—new body and hand washes with adorable retro French labels are now yours for the lathering. Honey is tinged with notes of almond and orange blossom as well as linden for a soft aroma, while Milk features additional essences of cotton flower for a similarly subtle effect. Both fragrances are also available in multipurpose cream form, which can be applied to hands, body, and face for a superhydrated, Queen of the Nile-like complexion.

From $20, available August 2012 at

How The U.S. Beach Volleyball Team Gets Bikini-Ready; A Blow To The Movement Against Animal Testing; And More…


Olympic beach-volleyball star Kerri Walsh Jennings is aware that wearing those skimpy bikinis, er, uniforms on international television requires a little pre-match maintenance—which is why she’s big into laser hair removal. “I hate getting waxed,” she admits. “Waxing makes me want to punch someone in the face.” [Daily Mail]

Selena Gomez is the latest celebrity to adopt Fall’s increasingly popular fringe. The cut is apparently for a new film role—and we’re assuming her heavily banged boyfriend, Justin Bieber, approves. [Daily Mail]

Appealing to Chinese consumers is big business these days, but success out East may be at odds with ethical policies in the West. China mandates animal testing in its cosmetic-safety approval process, which means certain brands—like L’Occitane, Yves Rocher, Caudalie, and Mary Kay—have been stripped of their anti-animal-cruelty “leaping bunny” logos as they reverse years of progress in this arena to turn a profit. [Independent]

A fragrance that makes you lose weight with every whiff? Believe it. [Fashion Etc]

Photo: BEImages / Rex USA