Tips for gifts-with-purchase...
Gifts with purchase abound - but often you end up with a bagful of stuff you'd never use. This particular 'GWP' (it's industry-speak for 'Gift With Purchase'), however, is one of the best we've ever seen - and a fantastic deal. We shouldn't be surprised: it was, after all, Estée Lauder herself who came up with the concept of Gifts With Purchase.
But this has us ferreting through our Estée Lauder kits to figure out what we need replenishing - because when you spend £75 or more at Harrods right now, you'll receive a nine-piece exclusive gift worth £155, and featuring:
• A travel size of Re-Nutriv Cream Cleanser • Ditto, Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Cream • A travel size of Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Eye Cream • Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv Softening Lotion • White eye pencil • The perfect 'lip-coloured' lipstick, and a gorgeous matching gloss • Travel size of Sumptuous Mascara
And oh, did we say how much we like the gold bags...?
We've some Gift With Purchase tips, though - because it's easy to be seduced into buying stuff you don't need, or even really want - like January sales fever, only it can strike any time.
• Keep a list of what you're getting low on make-up and skincare-wise, so that if you're in a store, you can check. It's always great if you can get a GWP for buying something you need!
• Think of them as a terrific way to try new products - if you've been meaning to get round to sampling a particular product, now's your chance.
• Ask the consultant to show you how to use make-up items. Maybe get a mini-makeover so you know how they'll look on your skin.
• Think about splitting the gift with a friend (no fighting, mind!). Often you only have to buy two products to get the gift.
• If you figure you'll use two-thirds of the 'freebies', that's a good ratio.
• Some brands are better at GWPs than other. The brands within the Lauder portfolio - Clinique, Estée Lauder itself, Crème de la Mer and sometimes Origins - are spectacular, so haunt those counters. Lancôme are also brilliant.
• Consider the value/usefulness of the bag itself. Sometimes, we've bought a gift-with-purchase just to get our hands on the bag - and that's been good enough for us.
So: happy shopping!