13 Nov 2014

The Beauty Box

beauty, rosalind russell, vicki archer

Beauty is something we women think about often.

I do anyway.

It’s not a question of vanity, it’s about pleasure.

Beauty is a ritual for me.

A long soak in delicious bath oil, a rejuvenating and moisturising face mask or a new lipstick and nail colour can make the dullest day turn right.

Silly really, but small pleasures are the most rewarding.

I’m thinking of creating my own beauty box for the holidays.

A box full of delicious goodies that I will use and one that could also be the perfect gift.

Having all our favourite beauty products in one place should prompt us to be more vigilant in taking care of ourselves and encourage relaxation.

Hard work deserves hard play, especially during the holidays.

What’s In The Beauty Box?

I think it should include those day to day can’t live withouts, like the Clarisonic brush and our favourite serums;  the beauty box should also include a little indulgence.

A new scented candle, a fragrant soap, a treatment mask and facial oil.

And make up… a new nail and lip colour never fails to win me over.

In The Beauty Box

The Beauty Box, Nordstrom, Vicki Archer

  there would be treatment masks from fresh… have you tried fresh? a total treat.

i can’t live without serum and clarins double serum is one of my all time go-to products, i use others from time to time but this serum is one that i alternate with and that never lets me down.

and their facial oils are beautiful… lotus for combination, blue orchid for dryer skin.

armani maestro foundation and cc cream are the best… i’m dying to try the maestro fusion blushit’s definitely going in

i have missed my clarisonic ( it’s been packed away) we are back together now, a few times a week is enough for me… it does make all the difference

lipsticks and nail colour…  i’m thinking the reds, the burnt reds and the deep oranges 55, 56 and 57…  and pop art for my nails… what about you?

kiehl’s creme de corps is another quiet achiever… we all love this lotion in our home

 for luxuriating… maison blanc,  burning by the bath or in the suitcase for home away from home

and for the bath or shower… anything at all from divine fresh

A beauty box… such an extravagant idea… it could have as many or as few products as needed.

Imagine the possibilities.

I think it is the best gift of all.

Nordstrom offer the world of beauty at your fingertips… I have selected some of my very favourites but I could run on forever.

**There are many fabulous promotions and free samples right now with small sizes and multiple offerings… perfect for the beauty box.

What would you choose for your beauty box? Do tell…  xv

image of rosalind russell via google

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Anita Rivera

Bonjour, Vicki!

That serum is what interests me these days; I must check this out the next time I make it out to Nordstroms at our local mall. I love the idea of a beauty box, and keeping it up to date for the changing seasons, and my own seasons of change as time rolls by. Thank you always for the inspiration! BISOUS, Anita


Hi Vicki there are a few things I would have in my beauty box which consist of chantecaille bamboo and hibiscus exfoliating mask then followed by chantecaille jasmine and lily healing mask. Since using these two very special products my skin had never felt and looked so good. I also love nars translucent crystal light reflecting setting powder. I do agree with you when you buy a new product it just makes everything seem so right.


Masks are the best aren’t they… they are my go to when I am over-tired or need a little pampering… :)

Mimi Gregor

My beauty box would consist of products that are not nearly as pricey (except for the Clarisonic brush; that is definitely worth the price) but that work exceptionally well for ME. After years of trying products in every price range, from drugstore to expensive department store items, only to be disappointed, I found my HG items. Whether it be products for anti-aging or for the acne that refused to leave until menopause, the products I had tried either left me with worse acne than before, redness and irritation… or both at once. Sometimes they worked initially, then, for some reason, no longer did.

Then one day, I was browsing in an Indian market, and I had a very clear impulse to try some ayurvedic products. They not only have kept my skin clear and evenly colored but I actually think I look younger. They are:

Organic virgin coconut oil (To remove makeup — not just eye makeup, but over the whole face. It only takes a little bit, is gentle, and washes off very well.)
Himalaya Herbals Neem Purifying face wash (Twice a day. In the evening, with the Clarisonic)
Rosewater (Used as a toner. I only use food-grade, making certain that it is made without sugar. Cortas is a good brand.)
Vicco Turmeric Cream (WITH the sandalwood oil! I use only at night.)
Tea tree oil (to use on pimples when I do get them occasionally. Works overnight!)
Hesh Multani Mati (a clay-based face mask. I use twice a week.)
Blue Lizard Face spf 30 Sunscreen (Uses minerals instead of chemicals, sinks right in without a greasy look or feel, works as a moisturizer for me during the day.)

Anyway, those are the products that work for me consistently. If anyone is interested and doesn’t have an Indian market nearby, they can be ordered on Amazon.


I’d love to try… I think this is a great idea for a post Mimi… I need to look around and study up some more but I am sure many of the readers would like to try too…


What a great idea! I would add a new favorite -Kerasal foot ointment, a ‘one step exfoliating moisturizer foot therapy’. It works wonders on cracked heels. *Matches Fashion ships purchases in pretty marbled boxes that would be perfect for this idea. Time to dig them out of the closet!

laurel brown

Vicki ~ You are part of my everyday. Thank you for new pictures all week and for your very clever advertising that who could take offense to it is so much fun to visit Paris and many other beautiful places. I’m sure that anything you mention in the retail field is quite nice and worth considering using. Keep up the good work! And keep the pictures coming…:)


Vicki I love this idea, I have fallen behind on my weekly facial masks and always feel so much better about my skin when I keep to this beauty regimen! I will have to try Fresh!

The Arts by Karena

Beth Lowe

I have become a huge fan of Josie Maran’s skin care line. I would add her hand lotion, the argan oil and the argan oil milk and the cleaning cloths. I also love Urban Decay’s spray to set make-up. But the product which has made the biggest difference in my 65 year old skin is micellular water-the whole premise begin to avoid the chemicals in tap water on your skin. I have always had nice skin, but this has taken it to the best skin ever level. I use simple makeup for everyday–Josie Maran tinted moisturizer, Bobbie Brown brows andDolce & Gabanna lip pencil with gloss. I love how good I look.


Bonjour Vicki, more great finds, yes I remember going to the “beauty parlor” with my mom weekly as a tiny girl, playing with my toys & fav. teddy, listening the women talk, it scaed me some as they talked about how men run around on them…somehow that scared me, lots of snacks, crazy dryers, hot faces, tight funny perms, nothing stays the same, so funny ~ merci beaucoup for the new finds Vicki ~ hugs XO


I love the Chanel Le Blanc and Le Lift cream for day and night. So smoothing and doesn’t feel heavy on your skin. The Chanel waterproof pencil in black. Lancome Definicils mascara Black , Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv SPF 50 so thin and no Zinc! Origins Blush Loreal infallible 8hr Le Gloss, Au Natural lip liner by Youngblood
Vinylux weekly polish in Bloodline # 106
Stays a whole week looks like a gel but comes off with regular polish remover.
That’s in my little bag this winter!

Heather in Arles

Well, of course with that photo I would have to say that “jungle Red” nail polish would need to be in the box! Plus Bioderma H2O for cleansing and Boots Botanics Organic facial oil and balm for moisturizing…But oh there are lots of goods to discover here… ;)

Wendy Shippee

My beauty box is crazy. I really need a trunk! The Ayurvedic approach sounds like a good way to go. Thanks for the idea. This is just one of the reasons I love French Essence! Thank you Vicki!

Kathy C


Wonderful idea. My friend Sharon gave me a beauty box like that for my birthday and it is fabulous to have!
She follows you too!


Hi Vicki
There are so many products that you have suggested that are now firm favourites in my daily beauty routine – thank you, love your beauty edits! Now one for you that you might like to try and is just the best for travel. Never need a candle. Just wash your delicates (I wash everything in it when travelling – tiny bit goes a long way). It’s TOCCA laundry wash for delicates. Comes in four different scents and they are all equally gorgeous. And it washes delicates beautifully. The beautiful delicate perfume lingers for ages. Love it, in fact I have stock piled it in case it is ever discontinued!

p90x workout routines

We stumbled over here different web address and thought I may as well check things out.
I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to
looking into your web page for a second time.


Because it is cold and my skin gets drier than ever in winter, I would take everything and anything that moisturizes and sloughs off dead skin.
I recently went on a Sephora/Saks rampage so right now I am set .. with lotions from Tocca, my always favorite Roses lip balm and various lipsticks and blushes etc that I like to play with. Although the cows up the street are about the only creatures who see me lately :)


My beauty box has my lime Evian. When I treat myself to an all out home spa day, I love my sparkly hydration. :)


Dear Vicki

Something I would not be without are soaps and colognes by Roger and Gallet. I discovered then in 1971, on my first visit to Paris as a 21 year old Australian backpacker. Enjoy your posts. Take care and keep the visuals coming.

Kind regards Helen


Your picture made me think of the spa at our hotel in Antibes in May. Charlotte, the beauty therapist was wonderful – such divine and relaxing treatments. So skilled and such a sweet girl. Previously one of the leading beauticians at Hotel du Cap Eden Roc. While there her clients included Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Kylie, even Jean Paul Belmondo. She eventually left – despite loving it, because the Hotel du Cap completely closes down over winter.
The skin treatments, especially the massage oils, were so beautiful with heavenly scents, by a French company I’d never heard of before, Cinq Mondes. Even bought some to bring home – now every time I use the scented body oil before bed it brings back lovely memories of Antibes: the flowers, trees, sea, the old town and I drift off to sleep with these relaxing scents. Best wishes, Pamela


Vicki…your blog is the mousse au chocolat of blogs…refined, rich, and delicious! I read your blog every day and just luxuriate in it. The images you find, and the ideas you put out there are simple and elegant.

As it turns out, we share a lot of go-to’s: Touche Eclat, Clarins Double Serum, Creme de Corps…wonderful. I’d like to suggest one of my favorites, which is Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser. It leaves my face soft and smooth as a warmed brandy snifter (didn’t want to bring up a cold visual!) and has been a wonderful discovery for me, especially since my own Clarisonic quit on me after 6 years.

Thanks again for your simple elegance, and elegant simplicity. A tout a l’heure!


OK OK Vicki, you have written about the Clarisonic so many times in the past that today I have finally given in and have purchased one online. My hopes are high and my fingers are crossed that it will be all it’s cracked up to be…..ha of course it will…all your suggestions so far have been spot on!
Cheers Sylvia


Sylvia – you will simply fall in love with the Clarisonic. I’ve had mine for about 2 years now and I get so many compliments on my skin. I just purchased the Clarisonic “Pedi” for feet. Actually for my husband and he swears by it. It’s an awesome foot facial or – foocial!!!

Ruth Kendall

Sylvia, you will just love the Clarisonic Mia. I’ve had one for 2 years now and I get so many compliments on my complexion. It brightens your complexion because it stimulates the capillaries in your skin and gives a refreshing brightness to your face. It also removes the day’s grime and oil build up when you use it in the evening and because your skin heals itself while you sleep, when you use it in the AM it cleans away all the dead skin cells.

Mimi Gregor

I can verify that it is everything it’s cracked up to be. My pores seem smaller, my skin clearer, and every speck of makeup it easily taken off. I LOVE it!


Sylvia, you’ll be very happy. Most of those I know who own one use it daily. It really does prep the skin for serum and moisture, and leaves not one flake behind. I was crushed when mine quit on me after 6 years and consider it worth every penny. As soon as humanly possible, I’m replacing it. You really won’t be sorry.

Cynthia Drayton

Love your descriptions of the products in your Beauty Box; but the prices are outrageous! Is it possible to chose one that a woman of a certain age must absolutely have and perhaps write about it? Or, present a selection of beauty products that are less expensive but good?


The one product I don’t like to live without is serum… everyone has their “must haves”, their can’t-live-withouts… but that is mine… :)

Ruth Kendall

Vicki, one very important item you have left out of the beauty box – one’s favorite dark chocolate bar. It’s fun and pleasant to nibble on a square while soaking in an tub of wonderfully scented bath salts.

Cathy Wong

Thanks for another inspiring post Vicki! Giving me lots of good ideas and new things to try….must “dig” a nice basket out of the closet….(great gift idea too!)
I am a great fan of Caudalie (their serum, facial oil esp) and also Clarins for bath and body (esp “Relax” gel which I use as a bubble bath-with epsom salts to soften the water for heaps of bubbles), and I can’t forget to mention Vichy Nutriextra Exfoliating cream(use it for body, feet and hands). I also enjoy at home facial treatments, which I change depending on the season and weather.
PS to Ruth … a Clarisonic “Pedi”???? that’s officially on my list!


Thank you for using the photo from “The Women 1939”. My all time favorite and my go to movie when I am happy or down. I love the fashion, the glamour, the gorgeous homes and apartments, and the resiliency of those Women. I needed this little reminder today. Isn’t it odd how we never know what little thing we do will help someone we don’t even know? xxxxx

Kitsie Countryman

I always feel you read my mind!!!!!!
You blow me away. Thank you for your delicious descriptions of all that is beauty, be it inside or out you put into words just how I feel.
My day is just that much better after I read a little bit of your blog., for that I am thankful!
Kitsie Countryman


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