These two ranges from Aldo Vandini offer high-quality products at a bargain price.
Aldo Vandini may not be a brand you’ve ever heard of – I certainly hadn’t when I picked up their press release back in the summer. A brand owned by German firm Mann & Schröder, it’s distributed in Germany, including via Amazon.de, and also now in France. I can’t find a UK or US distributor for the brand at present, which is a shame, because the products offer a 20-30 euro performance at a much lower price point.
The firm sent me products from three ranges to try: VinoSpa red and white (based on grape extracts) and their new range, Secrets of Amazonia, which contains, supposedly, Amazon rainforest-derived ingredients. I shared the products out between three other testers, and one thing that was noticeable was that in every instance, the products were instantly nicked by the men of the house: they all have a light, easily absorbed texture, and a pleasant unisex smell that is suitable for the whole family.
The products we tried were:
* VinoSpa (white) shower cream (200ml, 5.99 euros); anti-ageing face mask (2.99); handcream (100ml, 4.99); exfoliant soap (4.99).
* VinoSpa (red) anti-cellulite cream (200ml, 12.99 euros); decolleté mask (2.99).
* Secrets of Amazonia shower gel (200ml, 4.49); handcream (100ml, 3.49); body lotion (200ml, 4.99).
The VinoSpa white products come in rather insipid pale green packaging and have a light, greenish smell. They contain anti-oxidant grape extract, grapeseed extract, shea butter (in the case of the creams) and Vitamin E. Apart from the soap, which went white and soggy in my damp bathroom, and stayed that way, with the result that I had to throw it out, all the products were a delight to use. The mask was a kaolin and zinc-based clay type, and very comfortable on the skin, while the handcream was quite dry and non-sticky in application and did a great job of moisturising my hands overnight. None of my testers had a bad word to say about any of these products.
This was my personal favourite range in terms of its scent, which was deliciously fruity, and the packaging is a slightly more attractive pink and white. The pale pink anti-cellulite cream contains caffeine and panthenol as well as grape extract, grapeseed extract and Vitamin E. It is cold on the skin, and leaves you smelling delicious, while the anti-ageing mask, though I noticed no tightening effect, felt very luxurious and creamy to use.
Secrets of Amazonia
This range, which is based on esoteric ingredients such as murumuru butter and lapacho as well as shea butter, was the range my testers really raved about. The packaging is more thought-through, with caps of lime green shading to deep green, and a slightly translucent plastic, which allows the light to shine through when you place them on your bathroom windowsill. Most of the products are a light yellowish green colour, other than the shower gel, which is a bright turquoise – meant to evoke, I guess, an Amazonian stream. All of them smell fresh, green and refreshing, and the shower gel, in particular, was favoured by the men of the household.
The shower gel has little jojoba pearls in it, which are rather wasted as they flush straight down the plughole – if you want to make the most of their massaging effect, put the product on a sponge. You certainly feel refreshed after using this product – they have got it exactly right.
The body lotion and hand cream are both SO good that I kind of wish I hadn’t shared them – there you have it. However, they are all so cheap that stocking up again shouldn’t be a problem. I am now saving both of the skin products for use only on my face – the hand cream in particular is fantastically moisturising, and leaves your skin feeling completely protected and smooth.
For those, like me, who aren’t aware of the ingredients mentioned, murumuru butter is made from an Amazonian jungle palm and is said to leave a film on your skin, while lapacho is another name for Pau d’Arco, which has antimicrobial properties and is used to treat psoriasis. If these products are anything to go by, the murumuru butter in particular is something of a find – it seems to me to be even better than shea butter.
All in all, Aldo Vandini is a great find, though I’ve knocked off half a point because the products contain parabens, and it would be better if they didn’t.