I first heard about Rosebud Salve when it was on every beauty editor’s HG (Holy Grail) list about 15 years ago. After it appeared in Lucky, Allure, and even on Oprah, I couldn’t ignore it any longer. Not that I follow Miss O’s every move, but by the time she’s chanting “YOU GET ONE, AND YOU GET ONE!”, it usually means there is probably something to their fandom.
So I tracked it down. Google wasn’t really a big thing then, which means it was well and truly the olden days, and Amazon? Just books at that point, so it wasn’t easy. It was like those beauty editors wanted to keep it for themselves.
And I understand why! Rosebud Salve was created in Maryland by Dr. George F. Smith in 1895, making it one of the longest running cosmetics manufactured in the country. The packaging hasn’t changed, it is still the adorable, old time-y tin it came in over 100 years ago. The texture is like a lighter vaseline, and it JUST BARELY smells of rose, and its tinted with the lightest ballerina pink that is so faint, it is almost invisible.
It’s a multi-tasker. It’s probably the best cuticle cream I’ve ever used, a fantastic gloss that lasts for hours, and I even use it to blend into pigments to make my own product. Tomorrow I will have a bonus post and show you how to do that!
But the best part is the sense of memory and attachment it gives me to my 92 year old grandmother. One year I was at her house during Christmas, and we were watching a cooking show together. I whipped out my tub and as I was applying it, she excitedly explained, “That is what I used to wear when I was a girl!”. Growing up in the rural South, the product was sold door to door, and her mother used it as well. They used it for everything – to tame eyebrows, a moisturizer, you name it. And because it so so close to colorless, her father didn’t count it as make up.
I always have this with me, not just because it works, but because I love my grandmother. Every time I see it or use it or feel it, it reminds me of her. It connects me to my family and the great grandmother I never knew. I will always love Rosebud Salve, and having it close makes my grandmother seem not so far away.