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~I like good stuff but I like it cheap~
Like many people I find it hard to resist a good bargain. For many years I've been signed up with Martin Lewis's 'Moneysavingexpert' email newsletter and it's one of the few such newsletters that don't go straight to my mail box's recycle bin. I scan it quickly, looking for what's relevant and ignoring what isn't and one of the features I always check is the section highlighting what's on offer as free gifts with monthly magazines. Of course they're not really 'free' since you've got to buy the magazine so more correctly they should be called 'gift with purchase' or GWP.
I've had some super GWP items over the years and I'm sure I wouldn't even go looking for them without MSE's help. Why? Because I have an almost pathological dislike of women's magazines. I would rather mop the kitchen floor - and believe me, I HATE doing that - than sit down and pickle my brain whilst looking at airbrushed super-skinny 17 year olds wearing £500 trousers. In April I went looking for copies of a magazine - I think it was Red - in order to track down a GWP from Aromatherapy Associates. The magazines had three products on offer but the one I wanted was the 'Triple Rose Renewing Moisturiser'. A 30 ml tube had a theoretical value of more than £30, a shocking price for a face cream but for the £4 or so that the magazine cost, it was well worth a go.
~A Smelly Success Story~
I hadn't previously heard of Aromatherapy Associates and if I hadn't loved the product, I probably wouldn't have bothered to look further. I learnt from their website that they consider themselves to be 'the leading experts in aromatherapy for over 30 years'. Now I have to say I take such claims with a large pinch of salt but the two women who set up the company have been messing around with therapeutic oils since 1985 so they really should know what they're doing by now. By harnessing "mind altering essences" they claim the products they produce can have a positive effect on the user's mind and body. I'm a sceptic but for the cost of a magazine I was willing to see if they could magically transform my mood or just provide me with a nice smelling cream.
~A rose by any other name would smell as sweet~
A 50 ml bottle of the Triple Rose Renewing Moisturiser will set you back £54 so my 30 ml tube was quite a bargain. I bought my magazine at the airport on a business trip and started using it that same evening. I was not surprised to find that the 'triple' of the product name referred to the use of three different types of rose oil - from Morocco, Turkey and Bulgaria. Knowing that Bulgarian rose oil is claimed to be the best in the world, I expected something which would smell gorgeous and be good at moisturising. In addition to the rose oils, the product also contains rosehip extract which allegedly has anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties. I use a facial oil which contains a lot of rosehip so I instantly recognised the smell of rosehip, almost more than of the rose oils. The product has 'red aquatic algae' (yuk) and frankincense and this mixture promised to lock in moisture and keep me looking "youthful, radiant and full of vitality". Yeah, of course it will - and I also believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.
The product is a soft, white cream which dispenses well with just a small squeeze. When applied to the skin, it spreads quickly and easily, releasing the delicious aroma of rosehip and rose. It's the sort of smell that really does raise my spirits. It feels a little tacky for the first few minutes then soaks in quickly, leaving my skin feeling soft throughout the day. Any of the 'tightness' I sometimes suffer if I've not used a moisturiser is entirely banished.
At the time I started using it, we were still getting the shocking cold weather with the icy winds, and I really did feel that my skin was protected against the worst of the weather. The product is designed for dry skin so I really did get lucky in getting a GWP that's really suitable for me and my skin.
~Like it? Loved it!~
The recommendation is to use it day and night and in the winter when I'm not too worried about having a product with sun protection, it's a lovely way to keep your skin feeling protected against the elements in the day and to give it a good 'drink' at night time. As we move towards (slightly) warmer weather, I'm restricting it to night time use and using a product with sun protection as my day cream.
I liked this cream so much that I went back to the newsagents at the airport the next week when I was travelling, searched through all the copies of the magazine and tracked down the only tube of this which was left and bought it. If they'd had several, I'd have bought more. Would I pay over £50 for a product like this?
In all honesty, I wouldn't. It's a lot of money for a product that doesn't offer to instantly eradicate all lines and make me instantly perfect. But for the cost of a magazine, I was thrilled with this cream and I would look out for products from this brand if I could get them at a good price in future.
Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Triple Rose Renewing Moisturiser
£54 for 50 ml.
A full range of other rose oil products is available at the same link.