Although I swore here that I had found a new skincare regime in Liz Earle that I was going to stick to, after going to a REN event earlier this year I discovered I was a fan of their products, particularly their amazing V-Cense moisturisers which smell incredible. Since my Liz Earle stuff ran out, I decided to switch to REN.
One of the things I love about REN is the fragrance of the products in comparison with Liz Earle - I find Liz Earle's quite aromatic, which although not unpleasant, I'm not a huge fan of. The REN products I've tried all have a fresh or luxurious smell which I just find a real joy to use. The packaging is also a bit more interesting than Liz Earle's - though on the down side, both the micellar water and toner have screw tops and a tiny hole to drop onto a cotton pad, which is a bit of a faff (in comparison to Liz Earle's toner which has a twist up lid which doesn't require taking off).
Enough about Liz Earle. This is about REN. I've bought three new products recently - the Clarifying Toner (£12/150ml), the 3-in-1 Cleansing Water (£13/200ml) and the famed Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask (£30/50ml).
The Clarifying Toner is alcohol free and doesn't, to my nose, have a distinct fragrance. It contains a number of natural extracts, including salicilin from willow bark, glycolic acid from pineapple extract, lactic acid from passion fruit, citric acid from lemon extract and tartaric acid from grape extract. There are also some flavonoids in it which come from mayblossom and have antibacterial properties. I've been using it for a few weeks and my skin does seem to be just a tad less oily than it was before, but overall I've not noticed anything groundbreaking about it. My skin does feel fresh and clear after using it and so it does seem to be doing its job - and it's probably a buy-again.
The 3-in-1 Cleansing Water or Micellar Water as they seem to be more commonly known. A couple of weeks ago I'm slightly ashamed to admit that yes, I had heard of micellar water but I didn't really have a clue what it was for (and I call myself a beauty blogger - I know) and I certainly didn't use it. So when I came across REN's version of the cult product in Space NK in Brighton, I figured I might as well give it a go since I like the REN products I've already tried. If you're still not sure what micellar water is for, it's for removing make up (make up wipes are apparently a big no-no as they only remove surface make up and don't properly cleanse - throw them out now!) According to Vogue, "micellar waters use tiny micelle particles to draw make-up (including waterproof mascara), sebum and impurities from the skin". The REN micellar water even makes Vogue's list of the top 10 micellar waters. I'd say it's nice - and the rose fragrance of the Rosa Centifolia range is pleasant - but it really doesn't remove waterproof mascara very well (luckily the Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser is capable of removing what's left). It also seems that a little doesn't really go a long way and I'm tearing through my bottle with rather alarming speed for the price of a relatively small bottle. The other thing I've noticed is that I've had a few more spots than I'm used to - however, I'm going to persevere with it - it's fine... but I'll update this post when I've got a better idea of long-term use.
The Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask is a totally different story from the slightly underwhelming previous two products. Wow. That's basically all I have to say...! People rave about this hero product for a reason - it feels lovely (a little tingly maybe) when it's on and my skin feels amazing after I take it off. It really does make skin soft and smoothe and make it appear more plumped. It's a real midweek treat for me (it should be used about once a week). Fragrance-wise, it has the citrusy tang of the fruit acids it contains - passion fruit, lemon, grape and pineapple. At £30, it's definitely not going to be up everybody's street - I see face masks as an indulgence, as opposed to a necessity (but skincare gurus may disagree). BUT, if you are looking for a decent, good quality, effective face mask - this might just be the one you're looking for.
Have you ever used any REN products? Are there any you're interested in trying out?