Sample Extravaganza

While I do love a good brick-and mortar shopping experience, I am always appreciative of being able to pick out a few choice samples before checking out as a little treat to myself.

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I do try to weed out the duds as soon as I get my samples in, but there are always the few that are supremely above the cut and that I can’t wait to try out.

After my recent trip to Aesop, I went home with a handful of samples that could make up a beautiful skincare routine if they work for my skin. From the Fabulous Face Cleanser to the B & Tea Balancing Toner and the brand new Lucent Facial Concentrate, the sales assistant geared the little sachets towards what I had told her about my skin beforehand. I have tried out the Lucent Serum on my hand and it felt lush, so I am happy to be able to give it a try before springing for the expensive full size.

Speaking of high priced products, the Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer must be the most luxe offering in its category but it is also on top price-wise. While the shade I got might not be perfect for me, I am excited to try out the formula and texture in order to make up my own mind.

Since I recently also ran out of primer, it is the perfect time to give the Pixi Flawless & Poreless a little try. Pixi have been rocking my socks lately anyway, so this might be a winner too.

Finally, two products that might be saving my winter skin are the VMV Hypoallergenics Red Better Flare-Up Balm, an all-purpose salve for chapped and inflamed skin, and a generous travel-size of the REN Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream.

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Brand Focus: REN

Another day, another skincare brand on my radar. I’ve been using different REN Skincare products for a good few years now, and so far, I have loved almost everything that I used. Aside from a face scrub (which I don’t enjoy in general), all of their products from cleansers to masks and serums have been lovely and definitely deserve an honorable mentions.

Now, it’s kind of hard to situate REN in a specific category in the skincare realm. They promise to offer only plant-based, non-synthetic ingredients but I don’t think their a strictly organic brand. Plus, the packaging and marketing invokes a highly technological and clinical feel to the products, ‘high-tech natural’, so to speak.

What I definitely know though, is that I love their products and really value them in my routine. If I am looking for a failsafe product that slots right into my skincare line-up, I look to REN.

REN Skincare

 

One of my favorite products so far has been the Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel, which is a gel to cream cleaner that refreshes and nourishes the skin without stripping it. I love this in the summertime as it is not to heavy and makes my skin feel fresh and clean.

In the winter months, I prefer a thicker formula cleanser and for this, I like to go back to the No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm. This is a thicker, oilier balm that feels super luxurious on the skin and comes with a lovely rose scent just like the gel cleanser. It leaves the face soft and nourished without any residue, so it’s a winner for me.

My all-time favorite and arguably their best-known product is the Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask. A chemical exfoliant, this leaves my face soft and clear by eating away at the dead skin cells that dull my complexion. This doesn’t irritate my skin, smells and fells lovely and makes my face look a lot clearer and brighter in a matter of 10 minutes.

Finally, their Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Serum Oil is a lovely penultimate step in my routine, especially when my skin is feeling dry and lackluster. It is more of an oil than a serum, so I definitely use this more in the colder months as it provides a hefty dose of hydration and feels extremely soothing on the skin.

Have you tried anything from REN before? How did you like it? For me, this brand is  real staple and one that I rely on for great skin without much hassle.

Summer Beauty Wishlist 2016

My beauty related wishlist this season is a seriously mixed bag, ranging from skin to haircare to fragrance and colour cosmetics.

Summer Beauty Wislist 2016

First on my list is the Alterna Caviar Miracle Multiplying Volume Mist. With one of the longest names in the business, this is in a similar vein as my beloved Oribe Maximista, promising volume and hold for my limp locks. As I am steadily tearing through my second bottle of the Oribe, I am looking to shake it up a little bit and see how the Alterna spray performs.

Skincare wise, I am looking to replace the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask with a new pick to see if anything lives up to it. The Herbivore Blue Tansy Mask not only looks gorgeous but has an amazing ingredients list that let’s me hope for even brighter, clearer skin.

As I am getting more and more into spray toners, the Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist has been calling my name. With hyaluronic acid as one of its main ingredients, this might just provide the extra boost of moisture and hydration that I am looking for in my already moisture-heavy skincare routine.

For colour, Urban Decay have made a huge splash with their release of 100 new lipstick shades (to be fair, there are a good few repromotes in there, but still…) and the colour Back Talk has been catching my eye especially. A pretty pinky mauve, this could make for a perfect everyday lip color. It has been sold out most places recently, but I am keeping my eyes peeled for this one.

And finally, I have been busy deepening my love for Byredo fragrances and have fallen in love with Mojave Ghost. Fresh and clean but with a twist, this could easily fit into my roster of everyday scents.

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

Sticking with the ‘REN is my favorite skincare brand of all time’-theme, I am back with another product from their line-up that only solidifies that claim.

The Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel is something that I never thought I would pick up as I usually shy away from gel formulas in favor of balms and oils.

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However, my skin has been uncharacteristically oily this summer, so I have been glad to use a lighter, fresher-feeling formula to cleanse my face each day.

To be fair, this doesn’t work into a sudsy lather that strips my skin but rather emulsifies into a gentle cream that takes away oil and dirt easily and leaves my skin feeling clean without any tightness. The smell, too, is gorgeous. A light rose scent that is unobtrusive and pleasent, it really is the simplest and easiest of cleansers.

I use this in the mornings on its own and at night as a second cleanse, but after almost three months of constant use, the bottle is still going strong. With this, you really get your money’s worth as it is one of the more affordable REN products.

So if you’re not averse to using something called a gel to clean your face, give this one a go. I, for one, am glad I gave it a try.

Leap Day Special: Pamper Day

Since we get an extra days’ worth of time this year, I think it is just right to set some of that time aside to pamper ourselves.

Even though it’s Monday, it’s nice to take some extra care and treat ourselves. That treat could be a nice, home cooked meal, an hour to kick back with a cup of coffee and a good book, or a nice walk outside. Whatever you do to treat yourself, it’s always a great idea to invest some time into taking care of your skin as well.

I like to apply a nice face mask (or two) and enjoy a good book or show while letting them work their magic. My favorite picks are still the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask for some serious exfoliating action and the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask for soothing and hydrating the skin.

I haven’t really delved into the world of sheet-masks just yet, mainly because they look scary as hell and seem kind of wasteful to me. But to curb my curiosity, I decided to pick up a pack of the Sephora-brand eye mask.

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Sephora offers a multitude of different variations for every skin concern, but I went with the Rose version for some extra hydration since my eye area is perpetually dark and dry.

They were easy and pretty fun to apply and didn’t slip and slide all over my face, even if I felt like there was a good amount of remaining product in the packet that I wasn’t sure what to do with.

I left them on for a good while and they really urged me to just lay back and relax with their subtle rose scent and cooling effect. My eyes did feel nice and hydrated after taking them off, but I can’t say that there were any long-lasting effects.

So while eye masks might not become a staple in my mask routine, they are the perfect little treat for a special day like today. So make sure to enjoy and make the most of your additional 24 hours today, see you in four years! ;D

Hero Product #7: REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask

I think it is a well-established fact that I love REN as a brand, and the Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask is the product that kicked it all off for me.

Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask

This is probably the most effective form of exfoliation I have found that does not entail a physical scrub.

Applied once a week, this mask containing lactic acid evens out my skin’s texture and unclogs pores like no other. It is gentle but efficient and leaves my skin soft and clean without any tightness or dryness.

The process of applying this product is pretty fun as well, as it pumps out in a marmalade-like, sticky fashion that you spread over the skin and let sit for about 10 minutes. It smells beautifully of oranges (again, just like marmalade) and rinses off nicely with a warm cloth.

As most REN products, this comes with a pretty luxe price tag, but seeing how much my skin benefits from regular applications, I think its worth every penny. I usually make a pampering day of it and follow this up with the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask and a good serum, which leaves my skin refreshed and ready to go for another week.

This is a great alternative for those skins that are too sensitive for a traditional face scrub or find them too messy and abrasive.

REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate

One skincare goal I am always aiming towards is clear, decongested skin. The fastest way to work away textural issues is a manual exfoliant, but since scrubbing away at my skin often results in it being very red and angry, I do turn to acid toners and exfoliating treatments to promote cell renewal.

For something with a bit more oomph, I have tried out the REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate as a pre-moisturizer step in my routine, seeing as I have absolutely loved the Radiance Renewal Mask from the same range.

REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate

This is a very liquid, runny serum that leaves the skin feeling slightly tingly, but not uncomfortably so. I have only used it a few times in a sample size, but I always found that my skin looked visibly clearer and more glowing in the morning. With continued use, I am sure you would be able to notice a difference in overall skin texture as well.

For people with extremely sensitive skin, I don’t think I would recommend this as you do really feel it working away at the skin and since it is a treatment, I am guessing that the acid content is higher as in a toner or more gentle serum or mask.

If you are looking for some serious exfoliating action however and don’t want to go the scrub route, this would be a great one to try. As I’ve said before, I love REN products in general and this one is no exception.