By Mary N. DiZazzo

Ciao bella,

For a French experience take the lane to L'Occitane.

"For beautiful skin one only needs to look to nature and the magical gifts of the earth and sun...

--Oliver Boussan, founder, L'Occitane

Natural resources created from the earth supply the innumerable benefits of this skin care line. The use of lavender flowers from the rolling hills of Provence promote a relaxing scent. The essential oil of lavender purifies and cleanses the skin supplying healing and freshness.

The Lavender Harvest collection consists of the finest and purist of essential oil collected only from the flowers' petals. This is recommended for combination oily skin. To smell this fragrance you'll feel you're walking through the lavender fields of France.

Initially L'Occitane became most popular from its shea butter hand cream. It works! It was the first company to use shea butter in their many cosmetic lines. Their relationship with the women of Burkina Fasa, Africa, provides the highest quality shea butter, knows as "Women's Gold." From the shea nut a secret preparation of rich and nourishing butter that deeply moisturizes. The Shea Butter face care line will gently cleanse, nourish, and moisturize. I'm set for this nasty winter with my shea butter products.

The Olive Harvest line is recommended for normal skin. As we all know, in the Mediterranean olive oil has been used as a natural beauty product for centuries. L'Occitane has selected a 100 percent natural olive oil pressed at Château d'Estoublon in Haute Provence. Its properties balance the skin's natural moisture.

Then there's Honey Harvest. As you are strolling through the lavender fields of Provence you will see André Neviere, the beekeeper. The bees facing east --toward the sunrise-- gather and feed on the luscious lavender where a natural gift of honey will be made and found in all their 50 hives.

All L'Occitane Honey Harvest items are made with the honey gathered by M. Neviere on the Plateau de Valensoli. Viva i francese!

Used for sensitive skin, honey contains soothing and protective qualities. Delicately scented, it's gentle enough for children.

I love the Honeycomb Soap and Honey Scented Water for a totally sweet experience.

The Immortelles line is an anti-aging face and body care set. L'Occitane discovered a small yellow flower on Corsica, the "island of beauty." Extracted from the golden stem is an essential oil patented to stimulate circulation and enhance vital cell function. The immortelle flower, with its golden properties enhances your skin with a freshness and radiance you haven't felt in years!

That's it for the low-down this week, ladies.

Buona giornata,


[Mary DiZazzo is a third-generation cosmetologist and owner/operator of Mary for Nails, etc. natural nailcare salon in Andover, Mass.and may be contacted at (978) 470-8183. She also sees select clients by appointment in Boston at (617) 742-6881.]