40 days and 40 Nights of Beauty Cult Classics
Day 19, Nivea Cream by Patti aka Cavewoman
How is it that a cute, tiny blue tin of cream, costing about 69cents at our local Marc's discount store, could come to achieve cult status and be compared to one of the most exclusive, expensive face creams ever created?
Last Summer, I discovered these little Nivea tins at our local Marc's. I was looking for some travel size products to toss into my swap packages and I was buying these tins a dozen at a time. I bought them because they were cute and small. I had no idea what I was buying, but during that Summer, I probably bought four dozen of these Niveas. Never did keep one for myself.
And then I started reading the raves and noticing the buzz that was comparing this Nivea cream to the legendary Creme De La Mer. I've tried that, and didn't like it. I never did get the hang of the "warm it between the fingers" technique. It has the consistency of paste to me, and maybe my fingers are too cold, but it never did liquefy for me. I didn't like the thick, heavy feeling on my face, either. I've given away every sample jar of Creme De La Mer that I have ever gotten. I wanted to try the Nivea.
But there's a little catch to this Nivea following. You have to get the one made in Germany! Evidently there is no problem finding the Nivea made in Mexico, there are plastic jars of this version at Walgreens, but that's not the version that has caused all the clamoring, custom-purchasing, swapping, overseas sourcing, paypal-ing, and raving.
The German version is the one that is compared to Creme De La Mer. All those little tins at Marc's that I purchased were German. Now they're all from Mexico. I did a little research, and here's what I've found.
The Mexican version contains petrolatum, and two antimicrobial/antifungal ingredients that are not present in the German version. Paula Begoin ("Don't Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me") says that these two ingredients can possibly cause sensitivity and irritation. In Canada, these two ingredients have been banned unless they are used in the most minute amounts in products. They are methylchloriosothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone. I would imagine that petrolatum would be a problem, too, maybe not for Tyra Banks (who uses Vaseline on her face, or so she says) but I don't know too many people who want to use petrolatum as a face cream.
After all this research, I was given two little German Nivea tins by a very sweet friend on the MakeupAlley. I could not wait to try. My face has suffered greatly from the bitter cold Winter we are having in Ohio. Even my Fresh Creme Ancienne wasn't helping. Besides that, it appears to have turned into a rock inside its jar, and short of hitting it with the blow dryer, there is no liquefying for that product. My Fresh was a very expensive mistake purchase. I opened the Nivea tin and smoothed some on my poor, parched face.
Within seconds, the cream liquefied on my skin, it smoothed on with such comfort and ease that I dipped back in the tin and rubbed some onto my hands and cuticles. There was no need to warm the cream between the fingers. No special techniques of application are required! Dip and smooth! That's it! The scent is fresh and subtle, and reminds me of Bobbi Brown Extra Tinted Moisturizing Balm. This cream absorbs quickly and does not leave the skin sticky. Creme De La Mer always felt like it was sitting on top of my skin and suffocating it. The German Nivea just felt comfy. The tight, dry, Winter skin on my face felt nourished and eased. My hands felt soft and smooth, my raggedy cuticles disappeared, and my hands looked as if I'd had a salon manicure!
Look for the German version of the Nivea Creme in obscure little ethnic shops in your area. My buddy tells me that there's a store near her that carries the cream in larger tins, too. Or beg your friends in Europe to send one to you.
99% of the time, when an inexpensive drugstore product is compared to some high-end jar of fabulosity from Saks or Bergdorf, I'm skeptical. The stretch is just too far to believe it could be true. But Cult Status defies price, packaging, retail venue, and brand name. It's all about performance. Find yourself a source for the German version of Nivea Creme, you won't break the wallet, and you'll have a solid performer and a cute little cult tin of your very own.
What do you think?
Do you think this deserves to be in the cult classics list? Let us know in the comments.
Credit: Patti aka Cavewoman
Graphic: Melanie Parker
Disclosure: This product was purchased by Cavewoman at Marcs Grocery store.