Sitting here on the even of the busiest day of my working year, it feels like it has been forever since I last took a day off for no reason other than to potter about, pamper myself and not feel the vice of a thousand deadlines tightening around my skull. Reader, it has not. It has, in fact, been less than a month. I love those days more than anything – as a working blogger and freelancer, my weekends are rarely my own anyway; but even if they were I reckon there would still be a delicious, illicit thrill in sleeping late on a day when I should by all accounts be at the office.
On those rare days I like to take a book, rather than the electronic device on which there are as many distractions as there are yards of reading material, and get away from the house to a place where there is both coffee and cake. On this particular day I walked the mile between my house and Tapa, an organic bakery in Dennistoun, on a recommendation.
The bakery itself was a little disappointing: I don’t like gluten free stuff as a general rule (I’m aware that I am lucky to have the option to be so fussy) and the only other cake involved beetroot, which I have been assured is delicious but which I am loath to bet the additional cost that comes with organic produce on. The organic coconut raspberry slice was more of a process of elimination than a genuine choice, but both it and the coffee were incredible and as somebody had cut the pieces too small in the morning I was sneaked an extra one.
While I was there I noticed a hint of a seductive, floral smell that I initially assumed was the result of a scented candle or oils – the smell was perfect for the homely, nature-friendly feel of Tapa. It was only later that I realised that the smell was in fact coming from me, and was the result of the cream I’d applied getting out of the bath that morning.
First, a mea culpa: I was originally sent the iRejuvenate “Cream of Wonders” by Forest Secrets Skincare just before Christmas with a view towards reviewing the product. Given how beautifully packaged the cream was when it arrived – in a green box with a heart decal, complete with explanatory leaflets and lovingly wrapped in shredded green tissue paper – I feel as if I owe a personal apology to the company’s Dr Barbara Olioso herself. Dr Olioso is an Italian (another plus) professional chemist, and she founded Forest Secrets in 2007 citing dissatisfaction with cosmetics companies which label their products “natural” when their products are still packed with synthetic chemicals. Forest Secrets’ products are genuinely 100% natural – which, it’s fair to say, you can probably discern from the price tag.
The good news is that I’ve been using the large bottle of the cream on and off for about three months now, and there is still plenty left – so although the £25 price tag doesn’t exactly make it an everyday purchase, it’s fair to expect it to form part of a longer-term beauty regime. You twist the bottle’s cap to enable the cream to be dispensed through a nozzle (something I should probably have worked out before I took the whole thing off and got it all over the floor), which means you’ll only ever dispense what you need. And since it’s a highly concentrated cream, a little goes a long way.
It’s worth stating as well that the cream boasts all sorts of benefits I don’t really understand, so those of you who aren’t 30 years old and yet to give proper thought to your skincare regime will likely find it way better value than somebody like me, who has essentially been using it for its moisturising qualities. The cream is designed to promote skin elasticity and regenerate collagen, and Dr Olioso claims it works beautifully as an anti-aging cream and with post-pregnancy stretch marks.
The best thing is that you don’t need to take my word with it, because as with the full range of Forest Secrets products the Cream of Wonders is available in a much cheaper trial size (which, given the potency of the product, will give you a decent number of applications to help you make up your mind). You can browse the full range online, read an impressive amount of background information and make up your own mind.