Ooooooh on fun rainy day packages that just arrived ~ a surprise box from the lovely ladies of Villainess Soaps just arrived ~ remember i gushed about their Pirate + Lush like products with amazing packaging before? Things that jump out even MORE up close? Their amazing skulls! Teeny tiny little skulls that are so perfectly adorable! See that little one that is on the beautiful perfume bottle? And its on the labels too! See more pictures of the unboxing of the lovely gift on the next page!
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Villainess Soaps just popped up on NotCouture ~ and while at first i simply crossposted it to .org... i quickly realized there was too much awesomeness to show in one 250x250 image... so here's a proper post on their incredible packaging! Granted i have no idea how their products are... but they've won me over with their vintage pirate like feel... its like the Lush i'd imagine pirates/wenches would use! With hilarious naming, great graphic design, and an incredible clawfoot bathtub display at the Den of Antiquities... you have to take a peek!
From Villainess Soaps: "Our catchphrase is "redefining bad." We're also taking significant steps to redefine the way skincare is formulated, manufactured and marketed. We love gentle, environmentally conscious, and animal-friendly components as much as anyone. But we're not interested in helping perpetuate false dichotomies or marketing ploys." Who can't avoid gifting bars of Ennui, Grundy Swamp Mud, Gloop, etc... See lots more images on the next page!
Ok, honestly, not much to say here other than, i'm kind of obsessing over Chanel's ability to make such lust worthy nail polish colors ~ There are galaxies of possibilities in these colors, and i almost want them all!
"La Collection Paris Moscou ~ from Russia (via Paris) with love: Three limited-edition, jewel-toned nail shades that evoke the riches of the Russian Empire - the inspiration behind the new CHANEL PARIS-MOSCOU Fashion Show, designed by Karl Lagerfeld." *swoon* So, which color to get? See the names/screenshot on the next page...
p.s. its driving me nuts that they so clearly photoshopped the colors... if only they made the effort to mess with the swirl patterns ever so slightly?
TO WIN: Leave a comment ~ with where you would go if you could jet set anywhere! ENTER BY 12/15. WINNER: Rabbit in NC!
NOTCOT Holiday Giveaway #27 ~ and it's a big one! Wejetset is ready to hook one reader up with the ultimate travel upgrade, and their founder Taj knows my tastes far too well, since he picked so many NOTCOT faves in this bundle... From the incredibly sleek, can't be missed, minimal Hideo Wakamatsu Wave (Red) Carry-on, to one of my favorite laptop sleeves, Incase Krink 15" Laptop Sleeve, to the Baxter Travel Kit from our favorite men's line, to the adorably understated Field Notes to doodle during your trip, and even STPL Socks, so that during the security line, even your socks are looking good! Clearly Wejetset does not mess around when outfitting you for your next jetsetting adventure... here's one way to go home for the holidays in style (and pampered comfort!)
So here's what you can win in this instant travel makeover of a bundle (over $500 of goods!)
+ Hideo Wave (Red)
+ Baxter Travel Kit
+ Incase Krink 15" Laptop Sleeve
+ Field Notes (3 pack)
+ STPL Socks (Grey & White - 2 pairs)
So are you ready? For a chance to win this, leave a comment about where you would go if you could jet set anywhere tomorrow! I know we could all use a vacation right about now!!!
I couldn't resist posting these after opening the email made me giggle... sure it was filled with potty humor and bad puns, but it was also a cute idea and some cleanly designed matchbooks from the always beautifully packaged men's grooming line, Baxter of California...
"BAXTER LAUNCHES AN AIR-STRIKE: 12.03.08
Baxter of California, the first men's grooming brand, is notorious for gifting mini Haribo Gummi Bears with each online purchase. Starting today, Baxter is giving web customers a free box of custom Air-Strike matches. The matchbooks are a satirical play on on the idea of lighting up after using the bathroom. Get 'em while you "can"!"
Also check out some of the gorgeous holiday gifts they have this year!
Last week i showed you the packaging from Jurlique's Beauty from Beauty Tester Kit of minis that came in the egg carton like packaging with adorable little scaled down frosted glass bottles! Well Jurlique was kind of enough to contact me, and sent some samples from the new line, and the packaging and opening experience of the new Jurlique Biodynamic Beauty Serum is awesome! I got so giddy i opened and closed it a few times before photographing the whole process for you and then scanning the full piece. Why is it so amazing? I love that they used a single piece for the packaging, which utilizes origami folding genius and a single tab that goes into a slit to hold it all together, and as you open it, it feels as if it presents the bottle to you in a surprisingly colorful interior, as well as putting more information about the product around the bottle... basically as soon as you pull out the tab, the box unfolds like a flower, really creating a a beautiful unboxing experience. Awesome box design!
Beyond that excitement, you also have to take a look at the branding and packaging on the other products as well, they've managed to keep things looking natural and eco friendly, while still luxurious in their simplicity and use of recycled materials, clean fonts, and matte medicinal tubes (where you have to puncture it with the cap to open it), as well as my favorite slightly rounded - squarish - indented on the sides - frosted glass bottles which feel so great in your hand. They also scaled these glass bottles really nicely, so you can see a pic with the large Rosewater Balancing Mist, with the medium Biodynamic Beauty Serum, and then one of the minis from last time.
Ok, so i'm totally in a packaging gushing mood with Jurlique ~ and i've had a chance to try out the minis from the kit for a little while now, and i must say i'm impressed - it has all been extremely natural and effective, and awesomely calming in this stressful holiday season so far! (Favorites so far - Soothing Herbal Recovery Gel and my old favorite that i have in the not so fancy new packaging is their Rose Body Lotion) I'll keep you posted as i try out more of their products ~ but for now, check out how sweet the packaging is through the pics on the next page ~ and if you're feeling crafty, this box design could make for some gorgeous gift wrapping!
Oooh, on things i'm slightly kicking myself for now... i was just in Sephora today and gave in to one of those packaging influenced spontaneous splurges... Jurlique's new Biodynamic line is GORGEOUS! The packaging is just beautiful ~ in that high quality bottles, beautiful curves, unique yet functional, frosted glass kind of way... and all of their inserts and boxes are 100% post-consumer recycled paper... the sampler kit of the new lines come in what appear to be egg cartons at first - which are also 100% recyclable.... not to mention their products are all natural, made from plants and flowers from their South Australian farms.
The part i'm kicking myself over? I knew it sounded familiar! A quick search through email reminded me that this is the exact line i missed a bbq launch event for in Hollywood at the infamous Hillhaven Lodge, which is the kind of place filled with hollywood legends - originally home to Ingrid Bergman - and currently home to Brett Ratner - who had the photography book Hilhaven Lodge: The Photo Booth Pictures showing pages of fun hollywood types in photo booth pics... (my excuse is that i got caught up in san diego!) Basically, i hate to admit that sometimes PR folks know exactly what types of products fit perfectly with my tastes before i do, because when i wandered through Sephora i couldn't resist playing with every product in the Jurlique Biodynamic line, and ended up picking the sampler with all the adorable scaled down minis and the fabulous egg carton-esque packaging to photograph and share with you.
Also... while i've only just started trying it out, the all natural line feels incredibly refreshing and light, and i guess i'll find out by morning how my skin responds to it! Take a look at the many pics on the next page, there's something so nice about the shape of the glass bottles they've designed.
While dropping something off for Andy at A+R in venice, i popped next door to Vert, the "high end luxury retail store specializing in all natural, eco-friendly products" primarily focused on health and beauty. While there, i was drawn to the packaging of the Ayurvedic line, Pratima.
As they showed me each and every product, and explained the process of the products, i was as much intrigued by the experience of each product (from smells to textures) as the packaging and background. Completely natural, ingredients from india, the only spa/clinic in Soho, and Vert is the only one carrying the line outside of the Pratima Spa. The line is also surprisingly affordable. The facial cleansers start out in a sandy, powder which you mix with water. For moisture, you mix a few drops of the liposomes with a few drops of the essential oils and massage it into your skin. Additionally they also have masks, oils for various treatments, body oils, creams, and more. The Anti-Stress Aroma Oil is already doing wonders for my workaholic day! Take a look at the next page for more pics of the packaging and display, as well as some background on Dr. Pratima Raichur, and a peek at Vert!
The Ojon Rare Harvest Takawa "Ball" - as it popped up on Sephora, and all around the beauty sites, the stock photos of it intrigued me to no end... I needed to know how they packaged that ~ what it was ~ and ultimately, what does it feel like to rub what is essentially a giant dark chocolate ball on your body like a mud mask???
SO, i bought one for NOTCOT's sake ~ to indulge and share my curiosity with you. The packaging is awesome, from the cardboard tube, to the saturn/ufo looking molded papery holder, to the foil wrapped baseball sized cacao ball, to the wooden bowl (made in china)... its not to be missed! So it has definitely won me over as far as packaging and presentation/experience - and after trying it out in the shower, my skin feels pretty amazing as well... so full unpackaging walk through on the next page, as well as more info/vids on what it actually is!
The latest from one of our favorite designers, Alissia MT, are these beautiful glass Me-Rors which were produced by Charles & Marie. Coming in two versions, you can view yourself in a floating silhouette, or in a classic oval... either way, it is quite a trip to use a handheld mirror that has your reflection essentially floating as you hold it up to inspect yourself closely... An exciting surprise that showed up at my door last week were one of each of model! I was thrilled to see the packaging on these (and even more excited to share them with you in many pics below)... they come in a pretty simple Charles & Marie branded box, with a magnetic flap you lift and open it, exposing the me-rors embedded in flocked blackness and a playful intro message... take a look below!
blu_ray ~ the latest collection from CARGO Cosmetics. And yes, that blu_ray. If the beauty industry has anything to say about it, it looks like blu_ray really is winning the war on HD DVD. The CARGO site says "blu-ray, CARGOs revolutionary new collection originally created for make-up artists filiming in high-definition, is designed to provide flawless results while maintaining a perfectly natural look. Because life happens in High-Definition..." So i guess anyone can be ready for their closeup in microscopic high-definition when viewed from a blu_ray dvd? I'm surprised that the 59$ (valued at $130) complete set doesn't come with a blu_ray disc to help give buyers an extra push towards a ps3/blu_ray player... also i'm surprised to not see examples of with/without the magical blu_ray makeup as would be seen in high-definition. See the full collection after the jump!
Coco just sent over her portfolio, and its a beautiful mixed media assortment of works that begin with "experimenting with old-school processes such as painting, drawing and ceramics" and then pulling them together in our good ol' photoshop for a perfect mixture of physical and digital collaging. Having studied fine arts in paris, and spending the last few years in london, as well as extensive work that started out for fun illustrating fashion, its no wonder Coco has now been seen in Vogue Magazine, Dazed & confused, Nylon Japan, Plastique & Bon magazine. The London & Barcelona Fashion Week. For some of my favorites from the portfolio, see after the jump!
Browsing Oh Joy, i noticed Wickle and their simple, pretty line of perfumes... while i have no idea what their scents are like, the packaging is sweet, in that old fashioned girly feeling way. Fig & Mace sure sounds like a strange one though... their usual come in scents like Muskmallow, Periwinkle, and Scented Tea Leaf with various limited edition packaging - The limited edition line with Katie Brinsley features a delicate chain with porcelain objects hanging from them and Takako Copeland editions come with pure silver silhouette pendants.
I've been a big fan of diesel for years now ~ and honestly as much as i liked their clothes, i've always LOVED their branding, packaging, graphics/interaction design! But what really blew me away was how horrendous their Fuel For Life customization ended up being. I must admit i'm relieved to see that there are *some* decent packaging/product offerings in this space that aren't embarrassing... Before i get into this sweet new limited edition ~ i've updated the Fuel For Life Customization post with images of the finished product... its more expensive AND uglier than i ever imagined. I had assumed that the mediocre flash imagery would be made up for by the usual diesel packaging/product quality, but instead the result is something i would probably be accused of peddling a bad fake and slapped for if i tried to sell it on ebay or craigslist.
Anyhow, excited to see that they came out with some edgy fun limited editions this season! The limited edition black lacquered box is beautiful and the packaging/bracelet idea with refillable minis is adorable for a gift, but doesn't it seem redundant to have a clasp when it already opens where the bottle goes? And can't you think of many different things you could put in that? The main bottles are a bit overly bling'd out for me, but playful and giftworthy none the less.
Latest in toothbrush technology? Ultrasound. No, seriously... the Ultreo uses sonic vibrations plus ultrasound. And as much as initially i thought this might just be another crazy gimmick and I initially wanted to check it out b/c the packaging was interesting, and the new technology intriguing... I didn't expect to actually be hooked on my teeth feeling this noticeably clean relative to the sonicare elite (i haven't had a chance to compare this to that new sonicare flexcare, but its the same technology really, only less vibrations coming through and smaller?). Founded by Dr. Pierre Mourad (who has made his living finding novel applications for ultrasound and its ability to transform bubbles into miniature sources of mechanical energy) and Jack Gallagher (Ultreo's CEO/President who was present of Phillips Oral Healthcare for a few years) and they brought on Dr. Christopher McInnes (Ultreo's Principal Scientist who spent 12 years with Sonicare, and provided the fundamental science behind the Sonicare technology)... they have quite a team behind the Ultreo, which has just launched its first ultrasound toothbrush . Other than the incredible clean feeling (yes, i am running my tongue over my teeth in amazement still) ~ it's impressive that it's far less aggressive/harsh on your mouth, less vibrations, quieter and i was told the ultrasound technology creates tiny bubbles that blast away the plaque (see the comparison study images, more below)... and how does it work? It's all about that orange transducer in the middle of the brush head. Really its hard to explain, and definitely worth trying to understand/feel for yourself.... images below of box scans, close ups of the charger, travel case, etc.
I'm sure you've heard by now that Diesel has branched out into fragrances: Fuel For Life... its been hard to miss their campaign this season! Well we are super stoked to be giving you this weekend exclusive about the new Fuel For Life FACTORY! Where you can use their flashy online customizer to design your own zippered leather jacket for your bottle of Fuel For Life. With a range of colored leathers and logos for the front and back and even the zipper pull leathers to customize... you have quite a few choices to make. And only 20,000 of these bottles will be produced, so starting on Monday, you'll have your chance to build and buy your own, but until then you can explore the current Fuel For Life site with interactive experiences to keep you busy and ads to watch until then. (Screenshots of all below!)
Acca Kappa ~ an "Italian legend of luxury" ~ upon walking into the store at Century City i was told that this ancient brand was used on the royals. But what really drew me in was all the beautiful use of various woods (i'm a sucker for wood bristle combs... since my ancient Aveda paddle brushes as a kid, to the various Koh-i-noor ones i've recently used)... and their men's line! Made me wish i was a guy so i had a good excuse to buy the "1869 Series Shave Bowl & Soap: Hand made bowl with East African Wenge Wood contains vegetable-based Almond shave foam" from their men's 1869 line. I don't think you fully understand how beautiful that bowl is! And the curvature of their nail brushes were amazing too (also the soap dish you can see below). They have hair brushes in both the darker woods as well as the lighter hand finished beechwood... and new to the store was the extremely eco friendly Bioceta line of 100% biodegradable line of hair brushes, nail brushes, body brushes, etc... they are made from a unique cellulose that is extracted from cotton. Anyhow, i was quite taken by the line, and i think the 1869 men's line is definitely on my shopping list for the guys this year... as usual lots of pics from their site as well as some of the actual store (the store girl was nice enough to let me take a few!).
I know it is a bit of a Chanel OD at this point, but there was just so much that they showed us that really kind of blew my mind... but this should be the last post ~ big news that this whole trip was about, the Keira Knightly Coco Mademoiselle film is finally online (go watch it now)... cool thing to look out for, that last scene, she runs into place vendome (yes the No. 5 bottle shaped plaza), and basically runs right past the hotel they put us up at! I wonder if that was intentional.
Things i've been dying to show you, but they asked me to wait till today... We got to go inside Coco Mademoiselle's Apartment ~ which has been frozen in time, filled with tons of pieces filled with stories... from books, to chinese screens she split and used like wallpaper (with her favorite symbol the Camellia on them - which was traditionally for courtesans), and loads of superstitious pieces i was smitten with... my favorite being this crystal ball with the lions holding it up (she was a leo and collection lions)... and there is even a chandelier with 5's, G's and C's worked into the framework of it... So pictures below, but the majority of them are for your browsing in the Gallery.
I also have a map and walkthrough to show you her secret path/shortcut to Rue Cambon through the Ritz which we took ~ and i envy her set up. She lived in the Ritz... and then at 31 Rue Cambon on the first floor was the Chanel Store, second floor is the Haute Couture dressing rooms, third floor is her apartment for entertaining, and forth floor is the workshop... with a rooftop that allegedly has some of the best views in paris (i tried, but they wouldn't let me go past the third floor... apparently karl lagerfeld and his team were busy preparing for fall fashion week). OH and they are all linked with the most incredible faceted mirrored staircase, that she built so that she could stand in one spot and basically see what was happening on every floor.
Being the packaging/product junkie that i am ~ as cool as traditional Chanel products may be, i found great pleasure in the attention to detail they took to every aspect of our adventure. The name tags... super thick rubbery tags with our names embedded in them with the Chanel logo (see the side view pic below to fully understand)... i have had an obsession with black on black pencils since high school (they were somehow my good luck pencils for SATs and all scantron tests ~ wow did i just date myself?), and the Chanel black pencils with silver logo were so classic, with matching note pads with tiny logo and black backing... the gloss on matte folders for press kits... and the headshots were just to funny not to share, i'm quite sad we didn't get them first so we could play full on starstruck fan kids and get them autographed. See it all below...
Of the many stories, myths, and just all around Chanel lore that i can't seem to get out of my head yet (expect a few more posts just so i can clear my head)... the one i woke up with that was driving me crazy was that Coco Chanel designed her first Chanel No.5 bottle to perfectly match the shape of Place Vendome (where the Ritz is, and where she basically lived... although her apartment for inspiration and taking guests was just behind it on Rue Cambon... but more on that in a few days). They also claim that it is unknown whether this matching shape was intentional... and its not like THEY had google maps back in 1921. So i HAD to check. The designer in me had to know for sure, while the rational part of me assumed the Chanel folks wouldn't just make something like this up. And as you see, they weren't kidding. Below, more images... and also some quick pics from the Assouline set of Chanel books they left on my bed... its really fun to see the old sketches of the bottles, and even how they have evolved over the years... but still fit the Place Vendome proportions.
I have had a Chanel day. Literally. But before i get into how in one day i was inundated with all things Chanel, and have a new found respect and fascination for the woman, the brand, the perfumerie (with stories from Chanel perfume creator Jacques Polge himself), the stunning timelessness of the jewelry, the sneak preview of the Keira Knightley film (as introduced by THE artistic director, Jacques Helleu), following Coco Chanel's secret route from the Ritz to the original store, untouched apartment of inspiration, workshop, haute couture dressing rooms, and the incredible staircase... i wanted to show you the incredibly detailed process behind the sealing of the Chanel bottles... and the best part? I actually got to try it for myself ~ and it's not easy, but if all else fails i suppose i can attempt to join their team of 100, who seal the bottles day after day by hand. (Also, how great is this mini seal tool? I think we need a NOTCOT one!) Loads of images below.
p.s. Before you think Chanel bought me off ~ think of this whole trip as more of the field trip of a lifetime. An interesting move on their part, they brought a group of international bloggers to Paris, and immersed us in the world of Chanel excitedly sharing with us the stories of their past, a peek into how things work behind the scenes, as well as a glance at what they are moving towards and what their brand philosophies are. Honestly, it kind of felt like design school again ~ you remember those studio visits with your design idols? Where they are as excited to be telling you about their work as you are to be there?
On relatively unexpected surprises in snail mail ~ just got this package from Chanel with their latest, Coco Mademoiselle, and a DVD preview of the upcoming film starring Keira Knightly. Their ads have been popping up all over with her lately (and by all over i mean in the expected 850 page fall/sept issues of every fashion magazine) - and there's been the drama over how those aren't her real ones. Seems like quite the launch in progress, with the "big event" launching at Mademoiselle-Forever in 2 days, and to top it off they are inviting a group of international bloggers to Paris weekend after next for the full experience. I'll keep you posted on that how that goes...
As for interesting packaging ~ the interior box resembles a pack of cigarettes when i first opened it up... and i love the detail of the little wax seal with the Chanel logo and string on such a tiny bottle... and nice touch to have the hand written calligraphy on the note.
vedaPURE - on my late night packaging/branding finds... how sweet is this logo? And check out the stuffed elephant that comes in the gift set below. And with product names like Butt, Butt Plus, and Butter.... as well as Supple, Nurture, Scrumptious... and for vedaDUDEs: Glide, Chill, Splash... this is a family line... ok, mostly targeting moms and dads to be, as well as new parents and babies. But nice packaging, and definitely a great go to gift for all those baby showers, etc.
"vedaPURE uses the most pure, high quality ingredients. Our promise and commitment to our customers is simple: we bring nature's best ingredients together to make safe and effective skincare for the whole family. The vedaPURE collection is formulated with organic plant and fruit extracts, soothing oils and gentle ingredients. No hidden chemicals. No misleading labels. Natural pure beauty."
Juliette Has A Gun. New fragrance line i first posted over at NotCouture as #457, but back then i hadn't tracked down the website, and fallen even further for the packaging! I'm just in love with the branding and the logo of this whole line... luckily the west coast launch of this is available over at Fred Segal, so no excuses not to pop over there and check it out this weekend (being under 5 min away and all) - for you east coasters its at Henri Bendel - for euros and canadians, check the website.
So what's the story with this new line? It is the brain child of Romano Ricci, the great grandson of legendary couture designer, Nina Ricci... and grandson of a great perfumer. .. and he has recruited the "untouchable master of perfumery", Francis Kurkdjian, the brilliant creator of classic scents for Dior, Lanvin, Acqua Di Parma, and Davidoff... So how can they go wrong? Their site description of the line: "Juliette has a Gun creates perfumes made out of rose. Fragile but thorny, the romantic flower comes in different versions. Classy and sophisticated in "Lady Vengeance", she can also appear sweet and fragile with "Miss Charming" Its Ambition? To lead a new rock & elegant trend in the perfumery world by creating romantic and original creations."