Well, you all know what my everyday essentials are so I’ve decided to review something that’s a real treat to myself.
My review is slightly biased. It’s a product that I use nearly daily. I’m very familiar with it. I buy it again and again. In short, it’s kind of a ‘go to’ for me.
I don’t have a luxury budget. I used to and, if I’m honest, I miss it. Nice things are…well…nice. I’m not a shameless capitalist but I wouldn’t mind being able to play with money. I used to feel guilty about that – now that we look forward to payday, I don’t. What I want is a little piece of ‘rich’ for a budget of ‘poor’. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
Actually, I know it isn’t. In most things, in fact. Aldi uses the same fruit and veg supplier as Marks & Spencer, most supermarket generic ranges are made by the original manufacturer…I could go on. Nobody hates a bargain. Well, idiots do – but I don’t write for idiots.
I’m lucky because I have contacts in the luxury goods world. Their life is full of contrasts – borrowed designer clothes have to be returned in the morning à la Cinderella, looking through every magazine and look book so that they can find cheap clothes that pass as designer, living in shoebox size flats and buying better shoes instead of investing in a sofa – or even a toaster. These women may have different (arguably, crazy) lifestyles but they aren’t stupid. They really know their shit. And I’m happy to refer to an expert when I draw a blank.
When I became a full time mum, I felt guilty about using anything new. That’s worse than feeling guilty about buying it. I have new clothes that I haven’t worn. I hate waste – something about it nauseates me. I found that I felt differently about beauty products – some of them have sell by dates, after all. I still don’t have enough money to spend on high end brands – I bought a Chanel les 4 ombres eye palette 18 months ago and I’ve used it once – but I’m feeling good about lavishing attention on my physical self.
I like to smell nice. I used to wear different perfumes for different occasions. I’m a perfume layering zealot. I can tell you when eau de toilette is best. I bore on about ‘notes’ and ‘points’. It’s not just me – I want my laundry to smell good…and my home…even the car.
Which brings me to my product choice. I rarely have time for full makeup. I often have to wear crappy leggings and a t-shirt. I actually like trainers sometimes…but I have to bathe. Well, shower usually. I need quick products but I want to feel like I’m caring for myself and smell like I had a zen-like ‘om’ style bath experience.
So I consulted with my ladies who rarely lunch and they came up with some alternatives to expensive brands that I could get my hands on easily. In fact, at the supermarket. My nail polish is Maybelline at the moment (you can check it out on my Instagram feed) and my favourite lip colour is Bourjois (ditto) but – as I mentioned – I don’t always have time for that messing about.
Now I use Calcot Manor spa products every time I have a shower (or rare bath). They’re made for the super dooper Calcot Manor Spa in the Cotswolds and they’re professional quality. The price point is around £5 per item…unless you buy them in Tesco – where my clubcard points or the regular special offers mean they’re usually half that. Bingo! I’ll take it.
I use all of them. They smell of sandalwood, patchouli (but not too much – I’m a 70s baby but I’m not a hippy) and tooled leather. They’re luxurious and they’re available in morning options – ‘The Perfect Day’, with extra citrus notes – and night – ‘The Lazy Evening’, with oil of Moroccan night roses – and both are delightful. They take me to Cairo on a sultry night. They make me feel sensual and alive.
My favourite is the dry body oil. Unlike most lotions or potions, it sinks in immediately. It’s full of vitamin E and I don’t have to wear any perfume after using it. It smells like a variant of the Alexander McQueen scent and Chanel’s Chance. Basically, my two favourite perfumes. I really lucked out.
I have very little time in my day and not enough money in my bank account. I want more of both. If I can’t have them then I’m happy to delude myself. If my body wash, bath bubbles, scrubs, creams, lotions and oils take me to north Africa for a delicious evening with, say, a Zhivago era Omar Sharif, then that’s just fine. I can be Lara. For ten minutes in my shower every day.
Or I can be me for Mr Sophie’s Voice – if I grab my shower before bed.
Posted from WordPress for Android