Thursday, June 18th, 2009

At-Home Face Masks:  Renew Your Skin

REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask ($55.00 for 1.7 oz.) is a peel mask designed to “renew the complexion, reduce fine lines, and improve skin tone, firmness, and radiance.” It uses a fruit acid complex (thus, lactic, glycolic, tartaric, and citric) along with papain enzyme to revv up this exfoliating peel. REN does warn those that this product is not suitable for those with sensitive skin, however.

I love the packaging, because it is extremely functional and practical. I, also, am not swayed by cute/fancy packaging for skincare–functional is far more important. It comes in an airless pump container, so you don’t have to worry about bacteria build-up or ingredient breakdown from exposure to air/using it with your fingers. I find two to three pumps gives me enough product to cover my entire face. The product is very easy to use — just apply the product to your face, smooth all over, and let it sit for ten minutes. After ten minutes, gently pat your face and “lift” the mask with your fingertips. Finish by rinsing your face with warm water, then pat dry with a clean towel.

It looks and smells like an orange fruit roll-up! It really does. I didn’t mind, since I’m a citrus kind of girl, and sweetness was just fine with me. The consistency reminded me of honey with just a bit of grit texture (but it doesn’t really feel rough/harsh). It may tingle a bit on some skin types (again, not recommended for sensitive-skinned folks), but it’s not a painful burn or sting. After I rinsed the product off, my skin felt incredibly smooth, soft to the touch, and gave me a bit of glowy-ness. I definitely felt like it improved the texture and appearance of my skin. I’m going to incorporate this into my skincare routine and use it once a week or so. I’ve tried stronger peels, but this still gives me the same results while being much gentler (which can’t be a bad thing, right?). If you’ve had trouble with chemical peels, I suggest looking into this one!

For those interested, REN is a brand formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes/fragrances, petro-chemicals, or phtalates. They pride themselves on using only 100% natural active ingredients. REN also does not test their products on animals nor tested on their behalf by a third party. They state that the only animal products they use are honey and beeswax in their Lip Honey.  You can purchase REN products at Sephora.com.

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

LUSH Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask ($7.95 for 2.6 oz.) is a calming, cleansing mask for all types of skin. It contains such ingredients as calamine powder, talc, irish moss gel, fresh blueberries, glycerin, almond oil, and chamomile oil. It smells rather like blueberries, though I find the scent very subtle. This is an excellent mask to keep in the refrigerator just because.

It is amazing at making skin look and feel more even in tone, while giving it a really thorough, deep clean feeling (without the tightness). I bought this to accompany one of the exfoliating masks, so I can switch between the two during the three weeks they last. I find this to be a pretty gentle mask, so my skin has no issues using it more frequently. I’ve used this product before, and I swear it used to be a reddish/violet shade, but mine wasn’t colored at all.

I recommend this mask to anyone who wants a little treat for their face, and especially to anyone who would like something to help calm down any redness!

(The following is a regurgitation from previous Fresh Face Masks reviews, for those unfamiliar with them.)

Just a reminder, Fresh Face Masks, at least in the U.S., are only available in-store and not online or via mail order (I believe UK Lush will ship within the UK), and they have a shelf life of approximately three weeks, and they must be stored in the refrigerator. They’re exactly what they’re called — fresh — so don’t expect to use them much longer than three weeks, because of potential bacteria and mold growth (gross, right?).

Even using a generous amount per mask, I get at least eight masks out of each tub. For $8 a tub, it’s definitely a price I like. I usually pick up two pots — one mask that is exfoliating and another that is just a general, soothing/cleansing/refreshing one. When I reach the end of the life of them, any extra, I slather everywhere – from face to neck to chest to hands. Plus, for every five black pots you turn into Lush, you get a free Fresh Face Mask!

See inside! Continue reading →

Monday, June 8th, 2009

LUSH Brazened Honey Fresh Face Mask ($7.95 for 2.6 oz.) is an exfoliating face mask designed for all skin types, though I feel it is better on normal to oily skin. It’s primary ingredients are kaolin, talc, organic lime juice, sage, rosemary, and juniper berry, eggs, honey, glycerin, fresh fennel, ground almond shells, almond oil, ginger root, parsley, ground turmeric, and a few other ingredients make up this mask concoction. It does smell like honey with a bit of spice.

This was the third Fresh Face Mask I tried, and I fell in love with it. It made my skin feel so smooth and fresh. I just loved it right off the bat, and I actually ended up getting a second tub as soon as I ran out of the first one. (Usually, I get something different/new, since I’m working my way through their masks!) I do feel like I prefer this exfoliating mask over Love Lettuce, just because I feel like it is just a smidgen gentler. However, Love Lettuce gives me more hydration post-rinse than Brazened Honey does. Overall, I find Brazened Honey to be a good detoxifying mask that also exfoliates. My skin always feels really clean and soft without any tightness after I’ve rinsed this off.

(The following is a regurgitation from previous Fresh Face Masks reviews, for those unfamiliar with them.)

Just a reminder, Fresh Face Masks, at least in the U.S., are only available in-store and not online or via mail order (I believe UK Lush will ship within the UK), and they have a shelf life of approximately three weeks, and they must be stored in the refrigerator. They’re exactly what they’re called — fresh — so don’t expect to use them much longer than three weeks, because of potential bacteria and mold growth (gross, right?).

Even using a generous amount per mask, I get at least eight masks out of each tub. For $8 a tub, it’s definitely a price I like. I usually pick up two pots — one mask that is exfoliating and another that is just a general, soothing/cleansing/refreshing one. When I reach the end of the life of them, any extra, I slather everywhere – from face to neck to chest to hands. Plus, for every five black pots you turn into Lush, you get a free Fresh Face Mask!

See inside! Continue reading →

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

LUSH Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask ($7.95 for 2.6 oz.) is an exfoliating face mask designed for normal to oily skin. As the label states, it is supposed to give “skin a softened, smoothed, and radiant glow.” Ingredients include agar agar seaweed, fuller’s earth, kaolin, honey, glycerin, almond oil, ground almost shells, ground almonds, and lavender oil, to name the major ones.

It’s one of the stronger exfoliating masks I’ve tried, so this is definitely not a product I’d recommend using more than once or twice a week. It smells kind of like an earthy lavender to me–it’s not at all offensive like Cosmetic Warrior and its garlic-tea-tree goodness (which, by the way, no longer bothers me, after using it for two weeks). While it exfoliates, it also hydrates from the seaweed and almond oil, which is a nice treat after you’ve rinsed off the mask.

With summer approaching, these masks are even more of a treat than they were during the winter/spring — because they’re chilled, so they are extremely refreshing! I really liked Love Lettuce, because it did make my skin feel incredibly smooth and soft to the touch, but since it is a bit harsher as an exfoliator, I found it best to use it less frequently. I teter between this and Brazened Honey, since I like to switch up every time I pick up new Fresh Face Masks.

Just a reminder, Fresh Face Masks, at least in the U.S., are only available in-store and not online or via mail order (I believe UK Lush will ship within the UK), and they have a shelf life of approximately three weeks, and they must be stored in the refrigerator. They’re exactly what they’re called — fresh — so don’t expect to use them much longer than three weeks, because of potential bacteria and mold growth (gross, right?).

Even using a generous amount per mask, I get at least eight masks out of each tub. For $8 a tub, it’s definitely a price I like. I usually pick up two pots — one mask that is exfoliating and another that is just a general, soothing/cleansing/refreshing one. When I reach the end of the life of them, any extra, I slather everywhere – from face to neck to chest to hands. Plus, for every five black pots you turn into Lush, you get a free Fresh Face Mask!

See inside! Continue reading →

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

LUSH Cosmetic Warrior Fresh Face Mask ($7.95) has all of the ingredients and benefits that I’d want in a face mask. There’s just one major problem — the scent! Oh, my goodness, it is a mix of garlic and tea tree oil, which are both incredibly powerful scents. The garlic is what really gets me, I think, because I’ve used tea tree oil before and don’t mind the smell. This is a mask I only want to use when my allergies are acting up, because I can’t really smell! (I’m actually using it while I write the review!)

So if you can a) handle the scent or b) can’t smell very well, you might still want to consider this mask, because it does feel amazing. Cosmetic Warrior is designed for acne-prone skin. It has garlic that acts as an antiseptic agent, tea tree as an astringent, and eggs and honey” This mask is kind of like a deep-cleansing mask that’s designed to help lift oil out of the skin. Deep cleansing kaolin and fresh grapes help get that freshly clean feeling down pat.

I will say that the scent fades a bit as the mask dries, and after using it a few times, my nose seems to have gotten used to the scent so it’s not as jarring as it was the first time I used it. I definitely suggest giving a pot a shot, and if you can use it a few times, you might find it’s well worth the five or ten minutes you breathe your mouth ;)

Just a reminder, LUSH Fresh Face Masks are only available in-store and cannot be shipped (at least not in the U.S.) due to the freshness-factor. These last about three weeks and must be in your refrigerator during that time. I like to have two masks on hand at any given time, just because I like to switch it up. I usually alternate between a mask like Cosmetic Warrior and then another mask just because (like BB Seaweed).

Monday, March 30th, 2009

LUSH Cupcake Fresh Face Mask ($7.95 for 2.6 oz.) is one of Lush’s quick and easy face masks that you can purchase in-store (because they’re just *that* fresh). Cupcake is designed for oily, more acne-prone skin. According to the label, Rhassoul mud cleanses and soothes skin, while several other ingredientsh elp to soften it. Several essential oils make it a relaxing experience while you wear the mask for five to ten minutes. I wear mine for about ten minutes, and then I turn on the faucet for warm/tepid water. I wet my hands, and then I gently massage the scrub away in small circles. I find this just seems to relax me (because it’s kind of a facial massage), but it also makes me feel like it’s deeper cleansing. Just rinse any remaining residue off by splashing your face.

The only downside to the mask is I do find it tends to leave a little bit of residue behind, so I like to use either a cotton pad and my toner or a light cleanser to make sure everything is off. (I just can’t risk *any* bad things getting into my skin these days, so no chances for me.) Otherwise, this mask makes me feel relaxed, my skin feel fresh and rejuvenated, and since starting to use Lush face masks, I swear my skin has been happier!

Oh, and I did I mention this smells like extra rich hot chocolate? Yummy!

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