Why pay for pamper potions? ... Because you're worth it
Holly White says a dab of perfume can change your day
I was sitting at a table with a room full of beauty editors listening to Robert Calcraft, co-founder of REN skincare, discussing the brand.
One product, Moroccan Rose Otto shower wash, has won accolades year in, year out since its inception in 2002.
In explanation for this continued success, Robert stated that at REN they believe that if you wake up and you use the lovely shower gel, its scent and the pampering factor that follows might make feel 5pc better, you might then dress 5pc better and might well go on to have a 5pc better day as a result.
This was followed by a hearty chuckle, and no doubt the words 'not a guarantee' should be stated at the outset.
How and ever, what he said got me thinking about the fact that beauty products have a feelgood factor that is not superficial and their effect can permeate every aspect of your life.
Take the music festival Oxygen, the rite of passage available to teenagers on up.
Two days in and those not quite suited to camping, myself included, wake up feeling groggy, sweaty and dirty.
A shower is not a possibility but a quick reach into your bag reveals face wipes. Upon using them, last night's mascara is removed, hands are cleaned and sweaty underarms are wiped and suddenly it doesn't all feel that awful.
Your eyes can open fully without the splodges of stale mascara on them and you don't feel like you would kill a small child if they came near, so bad were the sweaty remnants of your energetic moves in the dance tent the night before.
A quick wipe and you can feel ready to face the day unselfconsciously. It's these little wonders that make life a little easier, improve your confidence and no one should ever feel guilty about them.
Such is the power of scent alone that I have opened up bottles of my favourite perfume Chanel Mademoiselle on Christmas Day and, over the course of the following year, every time I use it, I'm momentarily transported back to that lovely day when everything is just perfect.
I have smelled a man's aftershave in a chemist and instantly been back in an embrace breathing it in off his neck.
The moment might have been months ago but the goosebumps readily appear on my skin at one sniff of the scent.
They might have seemed expensive at the outset but with on-going use all those little moments and memories become encapsulated in the bottle and that makes it worth it.
One would never feel guilty about stocking up on provisions needed for a baby such as baby lotion, wipes, Vaseline and Sudocrem. They are considered essential to keep the baby happy, comfortable and clean and the same sentiment should apply to ourselves. If there are a few products that make us feel happy, comfortable and clean then by all means we should buy and use them, guilt free.
A lot of products will have the technology of aromatherapy integrated into their formulations. For stress reduction I can only speak for myself when I say a bath with lavender-infused oil is incredibly effective, I am sure many women would readily agree.
Based upon the destressed effect that those 15 minutes soaking in oil will subsequently have upon family, those around you and your general outlook on life, no one should consider it self-indulgent.
Make-up can conceal the effects of stress, or a late night to those all around you, allowing you the dignity and professionalism to not have it written across your face for all to readily observe.
Occasionally stories circulate that are supposed to incite shock featuring images of 'stars' without make up.
Immediately we can see that supermodel Heidi Klum might not look all that super without her make up on, and it's comforting, but we also know that if given the choice we would prefer to look like her all glammed up.
The same tools that take her from ordinary to extraordinary are available to us all in our local chemists.
To sum it up, here is an excerpt from the diary of Lt Col Gonin kept in the Imperial War Museum: "It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived (at Belsen concentration camp)that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived.
"This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don't know who asked for lipstick.
"I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did morefor those internees than the lipstick. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick.
"At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance.
"That lipstick started to give them back their humanity..."