Tag Archives: Skincare

Really A-Peel-ing

ren glyco peelMy bordering on obsession with REN Skincare continues. I was looking for something to Spring clean my dull and winter damaged pallor, a start afresh type product if you like. I use face masks to hydrate and clean my skin when I think of it, maybe once every ten days or so but I was looking for something that would really have a ‘wow effect’, something that would zing my skin back to life – and I found it!

The REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Mask is a fantastically hard working product that delivers instant results. This is a potent bio active peel mask designed to renew the complexion, reduce fine lines and dramatically improve skin tone, firmness and radiance. It has been formulated with a fruit acid complex (lactic, glycolic, tartaric and citric) and papain enzyme to give a gentle but potent exfoliating peel that will leave skin glowing and in optimum health.

So where to start? Well, this product is very easy to apply – if a little runny in consistency – as you simply smooth 3-4 pumps of it onto your face, avoiding too close to the eyes of course. The smell isn’t overpowering but definitely fruity. And it’s not one of those masks that will frighten housemates as it’s a fairly transparent orange colour. Now, don’t be alarmed if your skin feels tingly a minute or so after you put it on. It’s meant to, as fruit peels are designed to exfoliate off the outermost layers and over a course of a bottle of this peel, you’ll probably part with numerous layers of skin to reveal a new, glowing you!

After just 10 minutes you’ll see much brighter skin – I noticed the difference straight away! My skin looked so much cleaner, the tone was more even and I definitely felt that the unwanted cells that were clogging up my more beautiful inner self were gone! You’re advised to use this only once a week – the active ingredients are quite strong, so you want to gradually peel the layers off, not blast them with something akin to paint stripper! This is a product that’s designed to rejuvenate your skin from the inside out, so be prepared for a bout of spots along the way as anything lucking underneath is brought to the fore – I, quite typically I was told, had the most awful breakout after 3 weeks but have not had a single spot since.

I’m nearly at the end of the bottle but I’ve gotten 10 applications out of it so far and am very impressed with the condition of my skin – I don’t think it’s looked so radiant for years! Go out and buy this, your skin will love it!

The REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Mask is approx €48 from REN stockists in Ireland but you’ll find it cheaper online at the REN website.

Here We Go A’REN

I am officially in love with REN products. And a little embarrassed that I’m such a recent convert to the brand [like hello! fabulous products that do exact what they say they will, have no nasty chemicals and are very competitively priced.. a complete no brainer].

So, what am I using now? Well, I’ve my day moisturiser sorted and I’ve since bought this little beauty to aid repair of any damage during waking hours. A bit of a mouthful, but most of the products are and perhaps just a little show-y off-y re. exactly what’s in each product, but really don’t let that put you off. I’m really liking the Omega 3 Overnight Lipid Renewal Serum.ren-omega-lipid-renewal-serum It’s very much an oil rather than a cream but it definitely isn’t oily on the skin and as with most REN products you only need a small amount. I found this very hydrating and refreshing on my skin. It will take a little bit to sink in but doesn’t just sit on the surface like a lot of night balms or oils. REN say this about it; ‘…this serum will boost the skin with essential bio active nutrients that stimulate its natural process of renewal and regeneration helping to restore suppleness and elasticity. In addition it stimulates the skin’s natural protection mechanism helping fight moisture loss and free radical attack. Vegetal Plankton Extract and Gold Of Pleasure Oil both rich in Omega 3 promote cell membrane development while Rosehip Seed Oil and Wheat Germ Oil intensively nourish and protect.’ And who am I to argue! This will set you back approx €55 in stores, a bit less online but will last a long time and is well worth the purchase.


Now, when I spoke to ‘the REN girl’ at a recent store promotion, she explained to me that the night serum above is quite potent, so really only needs to be used 3-4 times a week and you can use another night cream on other nights. Interesting. Although the REN website will tell you to use the serum in conjunction with a night cream, I was very impressed with the SA pointing this out to me.

I managed to get a few samples of the Frankincense & Boswellia Serrata Revitalising Repair Cream [why the big long names?!] and so have been making my way through these when not using my serum. The sample sizes are quite generous and you get at least 2 goes out of each one.

frankincense-boswellia-night-creamThis is a gorgeous night cream. I’m really so impressed by the texture of every REN product. There’s something about the way they glide across skin, like no effort is required and your skin is reaching out to grab some. REN say that this is ‘A cream high in bio actives that is formulated to moisturise, nourish and help rejuvenate the skin, particularly at night. Boswellic acid from Boswellia Serrata Bark works in harmony with resinoid from Frankincense to relax facial muscles and ease micro-contractions, helping to reduce and prevent the appearance of expression lines and wrinkles. In addition, vitamin C and citroflavonoids from Calabrian Oranges and vitamins A and E boost collagen formation and cell renewal to firm and repair the skin.’ And although I haven’t bought this yet, I’m fairly certain I will be pretty soon! I don’t know the exact price in Eurobucks, but bargain for €45-50.

Lastly, I’ve a couple of samples of this, the Revivo Lift Day Serum.revivo-day-serum It’s a while since I’ve bothered using a serum under my moisturiser. Perhaps it was just what I was using at the time, but I wondered if I really needed one.  I’m sounding like a broken record now but this is gorgeous to put on. Not oily, very silky in texture and I very much noticed increased hydration when I used it under my moisturiser. The REN guys say this is; ‘A light bio active day serum designed to instantly lift, smooth & brighten the complexion. High molecular weight protein and native peptides firm and smooth, ginsengoside and trace elements (Zinc, Copper, Magnesium) boost radiance. Vitamin C and alpha-linoleic acid brighten the complexion while hyaluronic acid boosts hydration.’ And it did brighten up my skin, evened out the tone as well. Again, bargain for around the €45-50 mark, judging by the sterling price on the REN website. This is going straight to the top of my ‘Treat List’.

Osmo-regulate Me!

ren-moisturiserOK, I’ve already shared my thoughts on the yummy REN lip honey, so after giving the ‘Osmotic Infusion Ultra Moisture Day Cream’ a bit of a trial, I’m ready to let you know what I think! Now, I’ve said before, REN have a very fancy schmancy way of letting you think that their stuff was actually developed by the medical team aboard the USS Enterprise somewhere beyond the Delta Quadrant and then beamed back in time to us mere mortals as the saviour of the ‘modern’ world. And well, while we all know that there’s some things that should be avoided and some that should be looked out for when it comes to a bit o’ skincare, it’s no good the PR’s and copywriters playing a blinder if the product just doesn’t come up to scratch.

This is the blurb that comes with this little number – ‘Specifically formulated to infuse dry skin with long lasting moisture to leave skin smooth, plump, comfortable and beautifully healthy. This cream not only provides immediate moisture but is cunningly formulated with an osmotic regulator that carries water deep into the skin and releases it when extra hydration is needed. Phytostimuline from Beech Bud and hyaluronic acid further increase the skin’s moisture retaining ability. Ceramide, phospholipids and Omega 6 boost the skin’s repair function to help restore softness, elasticity and optimum comfort whilst REN’s Global Protection Complex helps purify the skin and protect against premature ageing’ – but what is it actually like when you slap it on yer mush?

The texture of this is lovely, not too heavy and deffo not too light. Unusually velvety and silky, you then realise that that must be all the osmotic regulators just ensuring that it spreads across skin before oh-so-easily sinking into it. Perhaps. But definitely it has a ‘wow’ factor from the very first application! My skin [and this is aimed at dry skin that can feel taut after washing] is dry but not seriously so, just in need of regular moisture and some extra TLC in the Winter, so I would think I’m the target audience for this particular piece of kit. My overall verdict is that this is exactly the type of moisturiser that’s good for my skin and the REN ‘no horrible chemicals’ policy is not to be sniffed at either.

I was going to give out about politely add that a bit of old SPF wouldn’t be a bad addition but lo and behold! ‘All moisturisers contain REN’s exclusive Global Protection Complex, a powerful blend of anti-oxidants and free radical scavengers designed to protect the skin against premature aging and reduce the signs of damage in the skin caused by UV induced DNA damage and chronic inflammation’. Result!

This tube of lovely cost me €42 but as is to be expected… gggrrr… a bit less when bought in Sterling online.

Update: It has been pointed out to me that Clery’s may not be the cheapest place to buy REN. Apparently there’s a chemist near Eason’s on Talbot St, Cleary’s, that have better prices and are good with samples. Also try the Nourish shops [3 in Dublin city centre and a further 2 in Rathfarnham and Santry].

Honey! Your Lips Are So Soft!


 It was cold and I’d gotten out of work late… I was ambling past a department store that just happened to still be open. I didn’t have anywhere I needed to be so, in I walked and continued my amble – but this time, it was just the rows and rows of pretty products that caught my eye and not the dodgy looking guy who had been walking to close for comfort.

There and then I asked myself why I hadn’t ever tried out any REN stuff before. I’d heard the name mentioned, read a few good reviews and was impressed by what other people seemed to be saying. And by what REN say about their products – ‘REN is skincare as it should be. Skincare that uses the latest hi-tech bio actives, is free from skin-unfriendly synthetic ingredients and is gorgeously pleasurable to use. REN boosts the skin’s natural ability to protect, repair and renew itself leaving skin beautifully healthy and radiant’. Oooo! Quite a bit to live up to so!

I picked up a few things, idly read the packaging still not sure what I was looking for. Then I had to tell myself to cop on when I realised none of it was sinking in – the packaging is lovely and the colours on the boxes quite dreamy! A lip balm! That’s what it’ll tempt me, do REN do one? They sure do, although their fancy shmancy one is a ‘Biomimetic Pure Lip Honey’ – a wha? Yeah. But read on. This little tube of bee-utiful stuff [see what I did there?] is only gorgeous! Only gorgeous, I tell ye!

Now, REN will tell you it’s  ‘A multi-active lip balm that will leave your lips nourished, plumped and protected. Formulated with our exclusive Biomimetic Hydra+ complex to hydrate and nourish, it also contains plumping hydroxy-peptides, a remarkable skin protector called antileukine as well as healing and soothing Omega 3 & 6 oils’. I’ll just add that a tiny amount is enough, the slightly grainy texture has disappeared by the time you go to check if your lips are indeed as soft as you now think they are. There’s hydration like you wouldn’t believe without an oil slick dripping from your mouth. And the light, fresh smell is very subtle. Seriously, I’m impressed! And I’ve been there done that with nearly every lip balm available. 17 eurobucks though. ‘Spensive, but that’ll mean I’ll ensure I know where it is at all times until the very last molecule has been used up. My lips are deffo primed for a lot of kissing, I wonder what McSmile is up to…

Check out the full range of REN products here. Oh btw, in case you didn’t think they were that kind of company, REN do donate at least 2.5% of profits towards a better environment and those who are not as fortunate as others.

Beauty Bounty

carribean-therapyI was annoyed. I was annoyed with a boy and I just happened to be in Brown Thomas when said annoying event happened. You know what that means. It means a big, fat ‘I’m buying this now because I want to buy it now’ purchase. Sheer fate had me by the Aveda counter – and sure as if I need to tell you what that meant? The nice lady asked if I needed any help and as I smiled politely, I caught sight of something that I’d been pondering about on a previous occasion and said ‘Yes! Yes, thank you, I’m actually quite interested in the Carribean Therapy scrub! It’s meant to be lovely!’

In fairness, I quickly stopped rumaging around my house sized handbag to actually listen to what she had to say about this little pot of wonder, cos even though I knew I’d be keying in my PIN number approximately 30 seconds after she stopped talking, I wanted someone to work at impressing me after a certain someone hadn’t via his phone mere minutes beforehand.

This little gem has salt and Caribbean cane sugar as the scrubby bits and a whole range of lovelies that provide the hydration and conditioning, such as coconut, avocado and passionfruit oils and then the fragrance is provided by amyris, vetiver [no, me neither] and lime. OOOooohhh the smell of this stuff is only fabilis! Fabilis! Quite lime-y but not air freshener citrus-y. I couldn’t wait to try this stuff out and did so the very next morning. Now, after paying €40 [I know, I know, but I was in a bad mood in Brown Thomas because of a boy] I didn’t want to waste a single grain and so while thorough, I didn’t particularly scrimp on product in the shower, I just turned the water off and made sure every leetle skin cell was treated to a bit of Caribbean Therapy.

I could smell it as soon as I opened the tub. I could feel my skin gleaning as it was polished and I could feel my skin drinking in the hydration. And sure this is lubbly stuff altogether. I decided against an additional body lotion [although there is one to accompany it] as my skin really felt like it didn’t need it. The oils in this were certainly enough to make my skin glow without that icky slimy feeling. Oh sure I was delighted with myself by then! And I was still laughing at the fact that yet again I’d scored the doubly whammy of a fab Aveda product and a glass of champagne as the nice lady wrapped up my latest purchase!

Even Api’er Now

After a bit of a lost weekend in the beauty department, ie taking Thursday night’s make up off after I stumbled out of bed on Friday and then going from lunchtime Saturday until 10am Monday with the same stroke of MAC liquidlast and a few foundation top up’s to try to appear human throughout Sunday, my poor old skin needed a bit of TLC last night. I knew exactly what to reach for!

I’ve already told you how impressed I am with the different Apivita products I’ve tried but I’ve been using two more in the last few weeks.  Now, my skin has always been on the dry side but contrary to what you might think, all skin should be exfoliated on a regular basis. I didn’t really exfoliate my face until a few years ago as I thought it would dry it out even more. Not true! Exfoliating helps along the natural and cyclical process of skin renewal and adds a real polished and fresh appearance, which can only be a good thing! apivita-apricot-scrub6So, I scrubbed off the dirty-stop out cells with this fabulous Apricot based, glow inducing, ‘new me in a sachet’ product. This is what Apivita term their ‘Every Day’ mild exfoliant. The other active ingrediants include grains of jojoba, calendula oil and essential oils. I did try out the olive based ‘deep exfoliant’ but found it too harsh and a bit scratchy on my skin. The apricot one though is neither scratchy nor harsh and a little goes a long way, hard working product that it is. My skin definitely didn’t feel tight afterwards, as it can if the scrub isn’t part moisturising as well. The grains themselves are very small, which I like.

apivita-pink-clay1I then followed this up with my favourite new find, the Cleansing Face Mask with Pink Clay. Apivita have really come up trumps with this one! The texture is lovely, very light and easy to apply. It also smells divine which is always a bonus when you slather your face with a lotion or potion and want it to stay put for 10-15minutes. There’s rose juice in this and you get that really sensual rose smell off this straight away, but it’s not overpowering. So along with the pink clay there’s also wheat proteins, soothing camomille and more calendula. I was impressed that this came off much more easily than other masks I’ve tried, it really bugs me when after 10 splashes of water and a good rub my nose is still covered in mask and it’s back to the sink again! My skin felt really refreshed and clean afterwards. Oh it definitely knew I’d tried my best to make up for the shameful treatment I’d subjected it to all weekend [no need for me to even try to count up the units of alcohol and lovely fags I’d had]. But today, I did a double take when I realised how clear my skin was looking. And my complexion was much brighter than it had been. With this you really can see the difference the scrub and mask combo makes. Results aplenty! Score!

Api for Now

‘Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink’. Being the sensitive little soul that I am, I was most annoyed to feel that tell tale tightness of my skin and was more than irritated to conclude that yet another product was provoking a not-in-a-good-way reaction to my pate.

Time for a new moisturiser. I’ve been aware of Apivita for some time now, the Greek skincare line that cares about the environment and is gentle on your pocket. So I decided to plump for the ahem, Age Management Face Cream with Green Tea. Packaged in the real paper feeling colourful box, the overall packaging says ‘we don’t need to show off, the proof is in the glass pot with the no fiddly easy grasp top that twists off to a grainy sound that makes you think there’s something special inside’. And indeed, there is something special inside! Continue reading

I’m Not Finished Yet!

My first and I think best dalliance with Apivita so far is the Age Management Face Mask – THE most hydrating mask I’ve ever used! Part of the Express line, with all of the promising ingredients of the Moisturiser above, this mask comes as part of a pack of two generous sachets for on the go Apivita goodness. The consistency means it’s very easy to slather this onto your face but it won’t drip down onto your neck. There a lovely sweet subtle smell that won’t get in the way as it works it’s hydrating magic on your skin for 10 minutes. This isn’t a mask that dries in either, most masks for dry skin don’t so there’s no pulling at your skin while you wash it off. The mask gently dissolves away to leave skin glowing with a new found elasticity that isn’t at all greasy. I find these sachets, priced at approx €3 are like miracles for my skin! And better still, I find that I get 2-3 applications in each sachet, result!