This isn't my first "fancy skincare" rodeo. After a childhood and adolescence remarkably free of any skin issues - think never a single pimple - my late teens and early twenties were marred by eczema on my face (ideal, just what you want when you're at your most psychologically fragile as a human). Hard core prescription drugs eventually dealt with that debacle in the space of a single week, but now that I'm in my 30s, my skin has decided to introduce an array of new issues, including but not limited to:
- Stress-related eczema. Luckily I have a life free of stress OH WAIT
- Dehydration (thank so much Wellington wind) and some general sensitivity (thanks hayfever)
- Also oiliness (great *rolls eyes*)
- And therefore occasional spots that are limited in quantity but deep and prepared to stick around for a while.
That's right people, I am not the #flawless unicorn that occasionally presents in photos on this blog. (My secret is direct, intense sunlight, and some light-diffusing makeup - that situation will blur out anything.)
As we also know from last week, I decided to give up animal testing in 2018 so when I started to run low on my Kiehls ultra facial moisturising cream it was time to head to Aesop and pick up the moisturiser I'd tested in February and really, really liked. This blog post (finally) is about that experience.
Look, I understand that buying fancy products from David Jones might be intimidating. There are still shops in Wellington that I haven't entered because they seem too fancy/sophisticated for me (which is bullsh*t, I know, I know). Here's what I recommend: go online and find out how much things cost before you go into the store. Really, what you feel awkward about is how expensive things might end up being, so go prepared. Read a few blurbs and reviews so you feel like you have, if not the upper hand, at least the relatively equal hand. And remember, although the customer service experience varies WILDLY in David Jones, they do actually want you to buy things and also, return to buy more things.
My further and Aesop-specific advice is to make sure that Joshua serves you. If he's not there when you go in, immediately leave and continue to return at random times until such time as he is there. You will be able to tell you have the right guy because he will have the immaculate skin of your dreams, he will have a wonderful manner that makes you feel cherished and relaxed, and also he'll be wearing a name tag. His voice is a living ASMR video. He will get to the heart of your skin issues without you ever feeling judged. He will wash your left hand with cleanser, apply toner, and then some kind of moisturiser in order to demonstrate the products and it will somehow be even better than that really amazing and insanely expensive facial you had that one time. Your price research will come in handy because you will feel that you need to buy everything he recommends. He will accept your decision to never use an oil cleanser "because they seem yuck" and he will explain that you should really be applying toner with your hands.
When you get home, you will want to immediately wash your face with your fancy new cream cleanser because you will be sure it is magic and you will see instant results. I am sorry to tell you, this is not the case. However, every time you use your fancy and aesthetically-pleasing products, you will remember how nice it was to be looked after by a lovely person for ten minutes on a Saturday, and you'll experience a tiny big of that niceness again. That may in fact be the secret to Aesop's success - the emotional effect of their excellent customer service may be the thing that soothes my annoying skin. Alternatively, I guess I could stop eating so much sugar.
Check back in a month for my thoughts about how these products actually perform, but in the meantime - may all your shopping endeavours be like my encounter at Aesop.
This post is not sponsored. I just wanted to tell you about how good this experience was, and throw out a few hints for those who are put off by fancy department stores.