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7 Jun 2013

Skincare heroes

In the last few months of skincare experimentation I have concluded that:

* The SK-II Treatment Essence was a huge waste of money (for me). I spent £50 for the skincare equivalent of the "Emperor's New Clothes". I got all excited about seeing a miracle occur on my face and well...it didn't. So I stopped using it for a month to see if there were any changes. There weren't. So now I just give it evils when I see it in my bathroom.

* The Caudalie Beauty Elixir is possibly very drying and does not give anything like a glow. I am not even sure where I got this "glow" theory but I think I just associated it with a glycerin-Fix+ like effect. It doesn't do that. But...for a mint-lover it's refreshing and wonderful to use. I just finished my little bottle today and would definitely repurchase.

* Eve Lom cleanser isn't half bad. Okay, so it's akin to putting petroleum all over your face but I was in a bit of a fix when I bought it, not having access to other balm cleansers in Dubai, and....well I haven't hated it. Liz Earle on the other hand, when purchased in the UK recently, has given me a spot after every single usage. What is going on - it used to be the exact opposite.

* The final point is that REN Glycolactic Radiance Mask and Dr Sebagh Vitamin C Powder Cream are fantastic products.

Lets discuss the REN

I know everyone has been banging on about this. And probably because of that it was sold out in Dubai. I actually went on a waiting list at one point and it was only when I spotted it in John Lewis when I popped back to the UK that I managed to get my hands on it.

It promises to do it all...

1) Remove dead skin
2) Make skin look more "radiant" (that's the magic word as far as beauty marketing goes)
3) Reduce the appearance of fine lines; and
4) Combat signs of "congestion" - ie, blackheads and spots.

It does all this with a four fruit acid complex that feels a bit like jam and requires ten minutes on your face. You might feel it tingle during that time - something that I, from the No Pain No Gain school - actually like. Then you rinse off, smooth your hands over your face and check yourself out in the mirror.



Your skin will definitely feel smoother - no doubt about that - and what I notice is:

a) A reduction in pigmentation - those acne scars on my chin aren't completely gone, but they have definitely faded; and
b) An immediate (but not permanent) reduction in pore size - now THIS I love. I hate those dinner plates around my nose/cheek area and this stuff definitely reduces their size.

Other reviewers notice an increase in radiance, smoothness and have also described it as an "acne cure".

Whether or not it's good for sensitive skin is unclear - some sensitive skin users say that it works well for them and others disagree. I have normal skin and I will say that I do leave it on for longer than 10 minutes (naughty!) a couple of times a week and haven't experienced anything like the acid burn I experienced from Mario Badescu's Glycolic Acid Cleanser...so if you can tolerate that stuff then you can probably tolerate this.

I got mine from John Lewis but there are loads of places you can buy it including Sephora - Link! and Space NK - Link!

Dr Sebagh Pure Vitamin C Powder Creme



Apparently vitamin C loses 85% of it's potency within one hour of opening the jar so Dr Sebagh created this product as a "revolutionary" way to overcome this issue.

Meet the Powder Creme. When you splash out on this you get 5 vials - or test tubes - of product. The novelty of the packaging soon wears off when you find it impossible to dispence the amount that you want...

That aside, I love this and it's a really nice introduction to vitamin C products. The whole purpose of it is to improve elasticity and re-texturise the skin by "perfecting tone and pigmentation".

It can be used on its own - although goodness knows how much powder has been sent into the atmosphere when I tried to do that - or you mix it with a face cream/face oil, morning and night. I like the latter. It amps up your usual routine and *I think* I notice a difference.

I try and use it sparingly because it doesn't come cheap but I have noticed an overall improvement in the texture around my trouble spots (T-zone) and again, like the REN, the texture of my skin is consistently smooth.

I also *think* that if I go to bed with this mixed in with my face oil, I wake up with a fresher, plumper and glow-ier skin.

If they changed the packaging from gimmicky to functional then I would be even happy to repurchase. As it is I think I will keep the vitamin C concept but maybe check out the Skinceuticals line as that seems to come recommended from some of the reviews I have read. I think it's a bit more intense than the Dr Sebagh but I am ready to give it a go.

I got my Dr Sebagh in Space NK - Link! and you can also get it at Bliss - Link!

All in all then it's a bit a few months of skincare highs and lows. Out of the Dr Sebagh and REN I would have to go with the crowd and recommend the Radiance Renewal Mask from REN. I think you will enjoy the instant "happy skin" effect that you get from this and it's also quite a bit cheaper.

What have you been loving and hating lately? 

67 comments

  1. Great combo you're having there. Am loving REN products a lot and just got a sample of this mask to try, so I can't wait.

    Don't believe the hype, Caudalie products are pretty and smell nice but the formulations are useless when it comes to actually doing something. They're not like Nuxe at all.

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    1. I can fully believe that. The Elixir does diddly squat other than make my face smell minty :) haha

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  2. Such a good post!! I really want to try some REN products, and whilst I've not tried any Caudalie products - I'm not sure I'll bother in future! x

    teapartywithalice.com

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    1. The REN mask is a great place to start. It was the first one that I started with...3 products later, its still the best I think :)

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  3. The REN product sounds fab!
    Would love you to check out my latest outfit post :)
    Have a wonderful weekend Hun xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

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    1. I love how you paired the skort...I need to wear mine out but so afraid of my arse coming out :) haha

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  4. Love the REN mask! It leaves my skin fresh, glowy and also less oily (have oily skin). Don't have much left, but will definitely repurchase it. Do also have my eyes on some of their other masks.

    Xoxo

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    1. I think a repuchase is guaranteed...if I can find it here! Do you leave it on for 10 mins or slightly longer?

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  5. I like the REN mask for a quick fix, but the Dr Sebagh Vitamin C delivers great long term results. I have noticed firmer, less pigmented skin and used during the day it gives a boost to your spf.

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    1. Trudie darling! It's so lovely to see you pop up in my comments :)

      Your comment is probably very true...I shall persist with Dr Sebagh!!! :)

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  6. I've heard so much about the REN mask! Almost every single blogger is writing about it and I'm so curious :) Great post!

    X Valérie
    scribblesofvalerie.com

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    1. Thanks so much Valerie! It's a great product. I was mentioning in another comment how I have tried a few other REN products and honestly...they are not impressive. This however is a goodie!

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  7. Its hard to work out whats going to be worth it and whats just hype these days. I wanted to try the Eve Lom cleanser after reading so many great things about it but then the 'it's alright' reviews started surfacing, most probably the people who'd actually forked out for it themselves I guess.

    The REN I would love to try though, might see if I can spot it anywhere here, Korea is surprisingly good at getting interesting brands these days :)


    Amelia @ Ducklingtoswan.com! :) xxx

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    1. The Eve Lom is super expensive for what it is...I just got it when I was in a rush and worried about my skin...I would seek something else out. The comment below yours mentioned Clinique Take the Day Off and I always forget about that...I used to love that cleanser so I need to investigate again :)

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  8. The SKII review sounds about right...I keep thinking it'll be amazing because Cate Blanchett uses it (I know...falling for the celeb endorsement!!!) but all the makeupalley reviews indicate that it is not that amazing after all!

    My current skincare loves are: Clinique take the day off blog (I reviewed it on my blog
    here) - because it removes ALL the makeup and sunscreen and whatever on my face...and little sebum plugs come out too (gross sounding but my skin is much less bumpy!). I use it as a pre-cleanse and follow up with a ph balancing cleanser (to make sure no balm residue is left on my skin.)

    I also love 2 products from the Proactiv range...I've heard that the whole 3-step treatment can wreak havoc on your skin - but some of the individual products are VERY effective and reasonably priced: I love the clay mask and glycolic toner.

    Lastly - I was very excited to try the mineral sunscreen from skinceuticals - but after a week of use I have 9 new spots :-( And it was the only change to my routine ... so I have discontinued use and will have to find a better sunscreen. I also have the skinceuticals Phloritin CF but am not sure if I should give it a try since the sunscreen broke me out....

    MY BLOG: ♥♥♥ Ella Pretty ♥♥♥

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    1. Some people really LOVE the SK-II but then others slate it and don't notice anything at all....I certainly would not recommend it. It's far too expensive and I think some makeupalley reviewer broke down the ingredients and revealed them to be absolute crap.

      I keep forgetting about that Clinique cleanser...seriously I need to investigate that again because I used to love that stuff but Clinique always gets forgotten because it's not available in every store here. I need to seek it out :)

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  9. I am the exact opposite, the Liz Earle used to cause a giant spot after every use. More recently not so bad. I broke into a mini jar of the Eve Lom which I think I do prefer and boy does it get rid of that stubborn makeup!
    Still love the Emma Hardie but purely because I prefer the fragrance!
    Next paycheck I think Ren is on the cards....

    Great to see you back Laura X

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    1. I think thats why I like Eve Lom. Because it's basically pure oil it gets rid of every last scrap of mascara. I am on my last application though so it's time to try Liz Earle again and see if it was just a temporary blip. Fingers crossed that it doesn't break me out!

      And yes to the Emma Hardie. Crappy packaging aside that stuff is my (possibly) all time favourite! xx

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  10. Liz Earle C&P breaks me out in spots too! But I love the Ren mask, it's definitely a must have!

    Gem x
    http://www.gemmameansjewel.com

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    1. It's so weird because I used to LOVE Liz and waxed lyrical about that product but I am having a bad run with it. I am hoping it's just a phase because I really love the smell and texture of her cleansing balm.

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  11. I'm on the market for a new skin care routine because mine decided to crap out on me all of a sudden! I've never heard of REN, so maybe I'll give it a try! Thanks for the reviews :)

    heyniki.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you for reading! :) Let me know how you get on...the REN mask is a definite recommend...the other REN stuff I have tried not so much tbh.

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  13. Now I feel like I have to try that REN mask! I've been loving masks at the moment, especially Michael Todd.

    www.kateflowermaquillage.wordpress.com

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    1. I haven't looked into Michael Todd skincare at all - I thought he was all about makeup. Will have to have a look :) Thank you for reading!

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  14. This is really interesting. I want to try the first product out because it sounds really amazing. x

    http://perksofstyle.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. HIGHLY recommend! :) Thanks Caitlin!

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  15. I'm going to have to try the REN out. I've been using Le Metier's CHEM60 Pro Peel and GLOW10ai Mask Set but it's pretty expensive, and the REN looks as though it's been effective for lots of people!

    I really like philosophy's Turbo Booster C Powder. Looks like it's similar to your vitamin C product, but less expensive? I add a tiny spoonful to my morning moisturizer and I swear I can see a difference, especially at the end of the day. It's at Sephora too!

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    1. Thank you for the Philosophy recommendation...I think that might come out a bit cheaper as well!

      It sometimes hard to tell a precise difference when you use face products but I swear that it is doing something...at least I think I look ropier when I DON"T use it and that's all the proof I need :)

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    2. I'm obsessed with the Purity cleanser by Philosophy and the Triple Oxygen plus C Energizing cream by Bliss! I find that the cleanser is gentle enough that it doesn't break out my sensitive skin I also had acne scars and dark circles from teenage years which have completely disappeared with the Oxygen and Vitamin C that the bliss face cream has. I love how honest you are in your blog it really helps me weed out the ones that aren't worth the money!

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  16. Replies
    1. REN first! :) Thanks so much for reading!

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  17. Oooh the REN mask sounds great. I'll have to stop by my local Sephora and pick it up to try.

    Right now, I'm loving Dior Hydra Life products. I have a few little samples of the eye cream, face cream, and serum - and so far, they've been giving me plump, moisturized skin. Hooray!

    I've also completely switched up my skincare routine to follow the tips from Caroline Hirons (wash cloth, cream cleanser, exfoliating toner, etc.) and my skin looks great. Yay for Caroline!

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  19. Thank Laura for another great post, would love to try them all, I wanted to ask you if you have used PMD (personal microderbasion) and if you have what are your thoughts on it?

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  20. Good post! I'm up for some new skin care items as I'm almost out of my 'wouldn't purchase it again' stuff.

    Monica
    www.pear-shaped-gal.com

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  21. I want to try that REN mask time for a while now, it's also available at HQhair.com: http://www.hqhair.com/ren-glycolactic-radiance-renewal-mask-50ml/10364619.html (and it isn't sold out there)

    Love your blog! I'm a big fan since you were doing videos on youtube!

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  22. When I first tried the Ren mask my skin went really red and I was disappointed that it wouldn't work for me- luckily it was because I'd used it in the bath and it was the too hot water that had made my skin so red! It's been brilliant every other time I've used it and weirdly it doesn't tingle any more.

    Daisy x
    www.cupcakesandcherries.com

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  23. I have been using the SKII essence for ten years now and everyone always comments on what good skin I have. I do think its linked, but agree its not any instant gratification. I am very curious about REN now and hope I'll find it in my trip to London next week.

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  24. YES that REN product is a beauty! :) Love this post!

    http://jemaroons.blogspot.com

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  25. Have you tried the Ren No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm? I love it - no mineral oil, parabens etc, gets all makeup and sunscreen off, and smells like rose. Doesn't rinse off completely, but I follow with a quick cleanse with cetaphil, and it leaves my ski really moisturised (I have dehydrated but combo skin). You should give it a go! I hear good things about the Clinique take the day off too, but one of the main ingredients comes from palm oil and I'm not sure if it's ethically sourced, so I've never tried it. Dffo thinking of trying this Ren mask now!
    x

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  26. I have not tried any REN products but I have been using the Phloretin CF serum for over a year and I am quite pleased with it. You only need to use a few drops every morning after washing your face. It's fairly easy to use and it made my skin very soft and brighter.
    Catherine

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  27. the REN mask has been on my wishlist for a long time now but i just haven't taken the plunge and bought it! i don't know why because it sounds amazing and perfect for me. i guess i just need to get my act together! ;) i also like that you touch on how it works on blackheads and pores - my HUGE trouble areas! :( X

    http://theenglishgirl.blogspot.co.uk/

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  28. I've been reading about this REN mask for ages. I must save up and try it out. I think it's available online here: http://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/ren-glycolactic-skin-renewal-peel-mask.html you'd have to check if they deliver to the UAE though.

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  29. I NEED to try this, its exactly what i need. I've been really wanting to try REN!

    -Jade
    gracious-silhouettes.blogspot.co.uk

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  30. So ironic, I used part of my sample of the REN mask the other night & really liked it! I didn't know it had a following like this! I also ordered one of REN's cleansers last night after hearing rave reviews.

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  31. I have been loving the Avene Soapless Gel Cleanser. I never repurchased a face cleanser before but it happened with this little baby. I also really like the Clarins Eye-Contour Serum. I recommend you give them a go if you fancy it. Have a great day x

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  32. You should check out the aussie brand Ultraceuticals, their vitamin serums are amazing and their retinol products are the closest thing avaulable to retin-a without a prescription, its www.ultraceuticals.com.au
    Their SPF is also the best i've ever used!

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  34. You should check out the aussie brand Ultraceuticals, their vitamin serums are amazing and their retinol products are the closest thing avaulable to retin-a without a prescription, its www.ultraceuticals.com.au
    Their SPF is also the best i've ever used!

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  36. that ren renewal mask sounds amazing! thanks for sharing your skin care must haves so useful to know what other people are loving! xx. gigi. food and beauty blogger @ www.gigikkitchen.blogspot.com

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  37. I've been seeing that REN mask everywhere! I can't wait to get my hands on it. I've got a few bottles of masks to go through first and then that's the next one on my list! So glad that there is another great review for it!

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  38. Im in love with the nail design!

    www.armeniatony.com

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  39. In this blog we are chose the weather collection like as and it doesn't offend anyone at work. Though my hands always look red when I wear neutral polishes. But I would definitely purchase this polish. I never thought to put a nice stenciling around my nail when I paint it a more nude color- although that's definitely something I do from time to time as it lasts longer.
    Thanks.................///
    ANMC Admission
    AMC Admission

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  40. Thank you for the brief skin care reviews. There is nothing like reading a real life review to understand how a product really works. I am the same way true beauty is supposed to be a bit painful. Thanks again for the reviews.

    from Lucky at Online PhD in Computer Security

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  41. Hi
    Great review ,just wondering where in Dubai can I find the Ren products.
    Thanks love u

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  42. This is a great review and very informative. We appreciate you sharing these details.

    Chicago Tattoo Removal

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  43. This product is having very good combination of skin care and protection against black-spot and fine-lines.there's no such mineral oil, parables etc, gets all makeup and sunscreen off, and smells like rose.so it creates very good impact on customer mind.

    Visit my web page http://iqskincare.net/ also for this kind of useful product.We use only the best scientifically proven skin ingredients in the world.

    Thank you,

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  44. Fantastic post about skincare!! i like your blog and read about these products i think its good, nice post and providing valuable post.
    MD Solar Sciences Mineral Screen

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  45. I've never really tried much from ELF but that blush is so pretty, I might have to make an Skinlastin you are the ultimate face cream connoisseur, share all your secrets with us please :)!!

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  47. Thanks for posting about this, I would love to read more about this topic skin care .

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  48. Best Cream For Dry Skin - Elmore Soft is a gentle and ideal non-greasy cream that may be used by any family member for an immediate dose of essential moisture.

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  49. You're looking gorgeous! Keep it up. Good to know that these products works for you. But for me the secret of glowing skin is sakare products. Have you heard of or tried their products yet?

    ReplyDelete