REN ‘Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask’ Review

Where do I even begin?  This mask is IN-CRED-I-BLE.  Everything from the fragrance to the feel is spot on with this product, so below is my review to see if this mask would be right for you.

~ ~ ~

Price: ( $$ ) $66, from Mecca Cosmetica stores and website.

Score: ♥♥♥♥♥

Product Plus:  REN is an ethical  and clean skincare brand, boasting no mineral oil, parabens or other horrible ingredients – hooray!

Application:  After cleansing skin, smooth a thin layer over face and leave for 10 minutes.  Pat into skin and give a little massage, then wash off with lukewarm water.

Thoughts:  I really don’t know where to begin.  The Radiance Renewal Mask is an absolute delight to use.  It is so sensorial, and literally feels like you have smoothed sweet orange marmalade over you face, with positive results at the end!  The fragrance is delicious and the gel is easy to spread without being overly sticky.  While on my face, I could feel a slight tingle – meaning the fruit acid complex is doing its exfoliating job.  Sometimes I have felt more of a tingle than others, but I do like that feeling.  While on, this mask gently exfoliates away dead skin and impurities, and after washed away skin is so baby soft and fresh.  I definitely wouldn’t use this on a sensitive skin, but on others, once a week should definitely do the trick.  On my combination skin this is perfection, and I only use my regular moisturiser before going to bed.  I really love that this Mask keeps the balance in my skin so well, no extra oil and no dryness – such a plus!

This is supposed to be great for brightening, tightening and smoothing fine lines, and apparently is great for acne affected skin.  I would agree, because I find acne can get irritated by a regular granular scrub, whereas this Mask is much more gentle.  I have left it on longer than the recommended 10 minutes, just to check… and I have to say I really think 10 minutes would be enough for most people.  Ace, because such a quick treatment.  The other great point on this product that I have to rave about is the packaging itself.   It comes with an enclosed cloth, used for taking the mask off.  But that’s not even the best part, because the packaging is an air pump, meaning that air pushes the product up each time you use it so absolutely nothing is leftover in the container.  Fantastic!


Conclusion:  I did feel an immediate result with the Radiance Renewal Mask.  After just a few weeks of use, I can definitely see how continuing will really help improve overall skin quality and appearance.  Being such a scrumptiously scented product has really convinced me to continue using this and I would definitely repurchase.

~ ~ ~

This my first product from the REN Clean Skincare range – any thoughts on other products that this would go well with?

Bon Appetite!


Origins ‘Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask’ Review

Happy Easter all!  I hope everyone has had a fantastic long weekend and got to nibble on a little bit of yummy chocolate today.

Origins is a brand I have only recently familiarised myself with, and I have to say I am quite pleased with their brand ethos, which includes formulations without parabens, pthlalates, mineral oil and other nasties, as well as positive commitment to the environment.  It has been a very long time since I have used any kind of clay mask, so I was very excited about this product!


~ ~ ~

Price: $34, available from Mecca Cosmetica.

Product Plus:  Activated charcoal draws out impurities while Lecithin dissolves them.

Application:   Create a smooth even layer over face and leave until dry to wash off.  (Approximately 20 minutes).

Fragrance:  Quite a light fragrance; a really light charcoal scent which is not overpowering.

Thoughts:  I wouldn’t use for particularly dry or sensitive skins, and wouldn’t overuse in winter for normal skins.  The mask is a creamy, thick consistency that is easily spreadable into an even covering and doesn’t drip.  Once applied the fragrance is pleasant and not too strong as it does take a good 20 minutes to dry properly. You want to see cracking!  It felt very calming while on.  White China Clay is soothing as well as ideal for drawing out impurities and assisting with oil control.  Active Charcoal is on board with this also, and is reputed to clean skin deeply with added benefits for acne.


It was a bit of a pain to wash off the whole face and after this my skin felt rather raw from having to wash for so long (like, a good 5 minutes!).  Once off though, the skin looks firmer, tighter and refined. I had a little redness where I had to really give it a good scrub to get it off but overall a really clarified and even tone was left.  The problem for me was that this caused quite a breakout in my skin a couple of days after use.  It was to be expected, but it is something for those prone to breakouts to be aware of.

Conclusion:  I have mostly used it at a time where I had a few breakouts anyway, but many of these times it drew many more breakouts to the surface.  Clear Improvement Mask is a really good way to cleanse your skin particularly if it is oily and I really did enjoy the soothing effect it had the day after use.  For skin that can handle it, a weekly use could have amazing clarifying effects.  You could pop on an overnight hydrating mask afterwards if you find clay masks too drying for your skin type, or even just restrict use to the t-zone to help clear out those pores if you have problems with blackheads.  I think I will be using this every couple of weeks to really give my skin a great cleanse, so luckily this mask has a 24 month expiry period!

~ ~ ~

Disclosure: Origins are a brand owned by the Estée Lauder Companies, so while Origins as a brand is cruelty free, their parent company tests on animals when required by law (ie. to sell in China).  I purchased this product myself.

Another Origins product, the No Puffery Cooling Mask For Puffy Eyes, has now been added to my wishlist!  Spending so much time studying and in front of a computer always leaves my eyes puffy and tired.  Looking forward to trying this one soon!

What Origins products have you tried?

Bon Appetite!

Refreshing Sheet Masks

Following on with my obsession with Asian skincare brands and products, of course I love a good sheet mask.  Most of the ones I have tried come from Korean brand The Face Shop, as they have stores in Australia.  Of these I have tried the Mung Bean, Lemon, Pearl Collagen, Cucumber and probably a couple of others too! My favourites are the Lemon – for it’s fresh glow result, and the Cucumber – water hydration that soothes my skin.  Below I have reviewed one of the masks I bought while in Singapore (also a Korean brand), and I find this one really similar to the Cucumber The Face Shop Mask.  If you are in Singapore though, I would check this mask out!


~ ~ ~

Price: The Face Shop have a variety of masks for a few dollars each.  These Watson’s masks were a pack of ten at Singapore Airport for about $7 S.

Product Plus:  Single use packets mean you can switch up the type of mask you use more often to really suit your needs.

Application:  Apply sheet for about 15-30 mins then leave remaining moisture on overnight.

Thoughts:  Quite hydrating and really refreshing.  I think I could actually use this a couple of times a week and would get better results without breaking out.  However, it does leave a sticky feeling on my skin afterwards which I am not a fan of.  I can’t remember The Face Shop Cucumber Mask leaving me with that feeling?  It might though.  I actually fought the urge to wash this off before bed though and I am glad I did, as my skin was super moisturised, plump and evenly toned in the morning.  It didn’t really leave my skin looking much brighter, but I didn’t think after one – or even a couple – of uses it would affect brightness much anyway.

Conclusion:  I love sheet masks.  The benefits are usually quick and easy to see, whether you use one several times or only once a week.  I often find them gentler than other masks and they are actually great for congested skin because they are lightly hydrating without being oily and super soothing.  Check for ingredients like Aloe Vera and Vitamin C (which are in this Watson’s mask).

~ ~ ~

Get yourself some sheet masks, try them out, and let me know how you go!

Bon Appetite!

Bad Skin Be Gone

This is something I had lusted after for quite a while, the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion.  Now, I know this has probably been done to death by just how famous it is, but seriously this stuff works, so I want to rave about it too.


I don’t know about everyone else, but since I’ve been in my early twenties, my skin has lost it’s mind.  I had regular break-outs as a teenager, but now they are just terrible.  Apparently it is a common thing for women at this age, which is unfortunate, and is why Mario Badescu is a lifesaver.  Who wants to be feeling ultra self-conscious about breakouts at work or university at 25?  Not me.

~ ~ ~

Price:  $26.95  ( $$ )

Score:  ♥♥♥♥

Application:  DO NOT SHAKE.  Moisturise your face first, if you are going to.  Use a cotton bud to dip in then apply only to the affected area so it entirely covers it.  I found after a few days use it can really dry skin out, so I have taken to making sure the area is extra moisturised before application.  It does take a while to dry, so don’t smear it over everything by accident before it has a chance to work.  I would be careful with sensitive skin, and if you love to scrub, dial it down a bit while you test out the limits of this product on your own skin.

Thoughts:  To be honest, from what I had read and been told about this product I did kinda expect it to be an instant overnight fix.  I think that if you applied it to smaller breakouts, it would be, but on more serious ones (even if caught early) I still had to use it several nights.  For me however that is brilliant, because sometimes a breakout for me lasts weeks, whereas with this it is limited to days.  Be warned, it smells extremely strong, and kinda gives the impression you’ve just doused yourself with toxic chemicals.  For me, that’s not great, but I am just so over continuous breakouts, so this product gets a big tick in my book.  Apparently there is a Healing Cream to match, and if anyone has tried this I would love to hear the results!

Conclusion:  A very effective product, and if I need to I will purchase again.

~ ~ ~

Bon Appetite!

Singapore Goodies

Recently I visited Vietnam, and at the end of the trip I tagged on an overnight stay in Singapore to break up the flights home.  This also provided a fantastic opportunity for some shopping, even more so because it was over 35 degrees with what I am fairly sure was 10000% humidity and bucket loads of rain.



Well it was tropical, I’ll give it that.

I wasn’t there for all that long – only overnight – so did a bit of shopping at Bugis Mall and the Raffles City Mall.  Raffles is a bit more upmarket, includes mostly fashion, as well as a department store and a few designated boutiques dedicated to beauty products. Prices varied widely, and some items were better than Australian prices but most were not.  I searched everywhere for my favourite Lancôme foundation, but the ranges in Singapore mostly included those designed for Asian skin.  In the basement food court, I can vouch for there being delicious goodies all over the place, and quite good coffee too.

Bugis Mall has a bit of a younger, edgier feel, with more unique fashion labels and boutiques for many beauty brands.  One of these included Etude House: just about the cutest Korean brand ever with gorgeous cosmetics and skincare products.  I bought a few sheet masks from here, so I look forward to trialling them and reporting back soon!  I definitely recommend Bugis for shopping because of the range of brands and variation in prices.  I picked up a few unique clothing items here also, so definitely worth a look!

Here’s a pic of the goodies I got at Changi International Airport too:

group image

The YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat in BD20 (I would normally get B20 but I have a tan from the trip) was only $46 Singapore dollars.  In Australia it’s $75!  I should have bought three.  The image doesn’t have the box because it was squashed in my bag.  Unfortunately that was the only product with such great savings, as skincare products tended to only be a few dollars different.  Still, I saved maybe $20 between the other three items by getting them at this airport.  The other products include Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream, Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask, and Philosophy Turbo Booster C Powder (which I have never been able to find in Australian stores, but is rumoured to be an amazing vitamin C powder).  I am really looking forward to reviewing all these once I have trialled each properly.

Any stories about amazing steals overseas or through duty free?