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Just simply hitting 30 earlier this year seemed to make the crinkling around my eyes more noticeable; as I looked in the mirror on a Sunday morning with a crippling hangover my face appeared to resemble a 1950s brown leather football boot and the crushing, vodka-induced depression kicked in immediately.
I don't think I'm particularly narcissistic about my looks, but realising that there are probably more attractive things to the opposite gender than Stanley Matthews' footwear made me think that perhaps steps should be taken to at least slow the inevitable ravages of time and vodka, as surgery is not a cheap option. I've used moisturiser before, but's it's always been sporadically - stealing my girlfriend's or trying free samples, neither of which is really very useful - a bit like trying to put on weight by stealing slivers of other people's food and buying none of your own.
Paying a visit to Boots, I was astounded by how expensive men's moisturiser is - all fancy packaging designed to make straight men feel more comfortable about buying what is still largely considered a women's product., and not a lot of moisturiser for your money. I'm not personally bothered about buying something that could be construed as feminine anyway; I'd much prefer not paying a fortune for what is essentially the same product, only with a more "manly" smell.
I'd used Nivea original before and found it very greasy and difficult to absorb; however, I do like the smell of Nivea as it's fresh and very neutral. Neutral is good - I don't want to smell like Anais Anais, but I don't want to smell like Old Spice either. So when I saw the Nivea Soft on the same shelf as the original, I thought I'd try it. It was cheaper than all of the men's products by some distance, and looked like it was fairly no nonsense from the design of the tub - I'm not a fan of complex dispenser type containers with ridiculous pumps, buttons and levers so this is brilliant; simply a screw top tub. No external cardboard or plastic packaging either - basically nothing that is unnecessary, which is useful for the green thinking person.
Slathering it on in copious amounts, I instantly realised my mistake - I'd put on far too much and it wouldn't absorb properly. Washing it off and starting again it became apparent that very little is needed to moisturise thoroughly, meaning the tub was guaranteed to last for ages, a pleasant surprise and instantly upping the value for money factor. The creme is thick and feels slightly greasy on your fingers, however, once applied to your face the greasiness disappears as it absorbs perfectly, leaving a slight shine and a sharp, fresh smell with no stickiness or oily sheen.
The manufacturers clearly know when they've invented a winning product; there's no gimmicks with Nivea Soft, no pictures of beautiful models on the tub, no flashy packaging, not even any advertising or special deals. It's just a fairly priced, excellent product that lets it's performance do the talking. And that's just fine by me.