Kind of surprised by the negative reviews, but it seems most users are 20s-30s with normal to combination skin. I'm a tad older and my skin is dry and sensitive, and I love this. Maybe REN shouldn't market for all skin types, but mark it for dry, sensitive and/or mature skin. Big note: photo above shows old pump-dispenser packaging. My last pump bottle jammed spring 2010 and I couldn't get any product out, so I sent email to them via their website to ask advice how to un-jam or open up and get the product out. Got really nice reply, the woman said there's no way to get the dispenser open, she apologised, and said they were re-formulating and would send me free replacement when new product/package came out. It was so long I wondered if they'd forgotten, but no, last autumn I received a full size of the new product - a big screw-top plastic pot. Not crazy about pot for hygiene reasons, and product seems to be a bit firmer than it was in the pump dispenser. But I still love the product. Lovely scent, slightly stiff texture coming out of pot (I use a little spatula, you have to use something, too thick to dig out with fingers) but when you rub it up between your hands and onto your face and neck it dissolves into a rich oil-creamy emulsion. Note you only need about a teaspoon or so for face, neck and decolleté, it dissolves and spreads very well. I find the muslin cloths useless and annoying - too thin - for washing my face (but great in the kitchen for straining cheese or making spice-bags, so don't throw away), all my life I have used your basic towelling face-cloth - guess I was exfoliating before it was trendy - and with that (soaked with warm water and wrung out) I find the product removes just fine, no oily feel left behind, just very soft calm clean skin. I do also scrub and rinse off three times (something I've always done with every product). Also, I do not wear makeup, except on my eyes, which I remove with a special remover, so can't comment on makeup removal. I do not use this product on my eye area, though usually on the second and third rinses I will hold the washcloth over my eyes to gently warm and pat away any remaining eye makeup or remover residue. So - for me, cleans very well, soothes my dry and sometimes sensitive skin, a little goes a long way so good value for money, no adverse reactions, beautiful scent, a joy to use. Update: it's now mid April and already very warm here in Portugal, and I'm noticing this is going very soft in the pot. Probably will have to switch to another cleanser for summer, as I have no A/C and flat gets very very warm, another few degrees and this stuff will probably liquefy completely in the pot.
Surprised I haven't reviewed this yet - I've used it for 12 years or more - that should tell you. It is excellent, cleans hair without stripping it, natural ingredients, natural eucalyptussy scent which does not linger after you've washed your hair. My hair is between waist and hip long (so up to a metre long), and I wash every 3rd or 4th day, I do not use blowdryers or any other implements of destruction on my hair - just this shampoo and a jojoba-based oil which I blend myself for a bit of conditioning and shine after i comb out my hair. I've had hairdressers tell me, whatever your'e doing don't stop - my hair is in mint condition, thanks largely to this stuff. Occasionally I've tried other things, but usually after a week or two I go back to this. Nothing else so good as this.
Treatments (Eye) -Shiseido - Benefiance NutriPerfect Eye Serum
Sinthea 11/3/2010 4:47:00 PM
After using and loving Revive Eye Renewal cream for most of two or three years, I felt like it wasn't helping any more and it was time to move on. Saw good reviews for Shiseido's eye creams generally, and decided on this one, as it has carnosine which is a booster for cell renewal function, which I thought would be a good thing, and because whilst checking all the products in the shop, this one had a more appealing texture. So: yes, I like it, it has made a difference - softening the laugh lines which form when i do in fact laugh or smile - and when i am relaxed, no lines are visible (unless you're being really mean and critical!!! but the casual observer wouldn't spot anything). This is more of a gel-cream formula, not a thin product as you might expect from the word serum, and it is a bit tacky for a minute or so after applying, then it sinks in and leaves a comfortable, matte finish. The skin feel soothed and moisturised. I've had no trouble with mascara smearing, which I did sometimes with the Revive product. Also no trouble with stinging (which I've had about 50/50 with eye products), and no trouble with milia (which one or two products have done to me). It comes in a pump which I think dispenses way too much cream, so I have to faff with depressing it only partway, which is annoying. I've used it probably three months now, and I think it's a keeper, and will re-purchase when it runs out. Pricey, but worth it, I'm not taking any chances with my skin these days, €89 in Portugal, 15 ml. Update 13 March 2011: only just finished the bottle - bought new one, noticed instructions say when used as directed (2x day with full pump's worth of product) will last 2 months. I used 1x day with partial pump (which is more than enough, believe me!) and it's lasted.6 or 7 months, so not bad value. Purchased again at Douglas (Portugal), on promotion, less than €65, hurrah. Really recommend this.
Sunscreen -Shiseido - Sun Protection Eye Cream SPF 32 PA+++
Sinthea 11/3/2010 4:21:00 PM
Note my tube purchased summer 2010 in Portugal says SPF 25 PA+++, but no point opening new product listing. This is an excellent product. Agree it is a bit thick-gooey and sticky to apply and for a minute or two after, but then the skins sucks it up and it's fine, no shiny or on-going sticky finish, just needs a little time to absorb. This does not sting my eyes, and I have about a 50/50 record with eyecreams stinging (with or without contact lenses). The sun here is intense, especially after living 13 years in England, so I was worried about suncare, and suddenly ageing overnight due to sun exposure. Recently received an unretouched photo taken of me in October, after a long sunny summer and three straight weeks of being outdoors all day with this on my eyes, and I was thrilled that no lines were visible - still! Whew. I think this lotion is a godsend and will not be without it - will continue to use as daytime eye cream on sunny days year round. Recommend highly.
Sunscreen -Caudalie - Soleil Divin Anti-Ageing Face Suncare SPF 50
Sinthea 11/3/2010 4:09:00 PM
Absolute holy grail of a facial high spf suncream, cannot believe no one else has reviewed yet. Very lightweight going on, spreads easily and evenly, is absorbed readily, does NOT leave either oily-shiny or metallic-shiny sheen - your face looks normal after application! Felt soothing and moisturising enough, even in very hot dry conditions (northern central Portugal), to use alone without other moisturiser (and my skin is a bit sensitive and dry, I do easily feel parched). No adverse reactions, just very comfortable skin, a nice finish and good protection. Provides both UVA and UVB protection, SPF 50, and supposedly contains anti-ageing and cellular re-enforcement components. Excellent. About €25 for 40 ml, so a bit pricey, but worth every cent - I do not take chances with my skin, especially at this age and in these conditions (heat, dryness, intense sun, and outdoors all day very often).
May be on to a holy grail candidate here. My skin is a bit sensitive, dry, and after a hot sunny summer and three solid weeks Sept/Oct outdoors all day every day for harvest, my skin was a bit beat and needy. Started using this, and it's lovely and soothing. Full pump-squish delivers a perfect amount for face and neck (pet peeve of mine is dispensers that dump way too much and waste product). Cream is lightweight and easily spread and absorbed. Yes, it has a distinct fragrance when first dispensed, but it doesnt linger, and I rather like it - but then I work in the wine trade and vineyards and I recognise components of the scent and they appeal to me. After about two weeks of use this is making my skin soft, it feels much more soothed and healed, and looks pretty good too. Let's watch for long term difference, but so far so good for me. There is a chance I would need a more intense pure-moisture booster product together with this in the dry hot summers, but I think for the humid, not too cold winter season here in Gaia (northern coastal Portugal) I should be ok. One big note: I cannot help noticing most reviewers here are way too young to be using this product - it is NOT designed to address oiliness, congested skin or breakouts, so I'm not surprised it's not doing a thing for all you ladies under 40. The product is meant to address the characteristics and needs of more mature skin: namely to lift, firm and smooth out skin and address discolouration and improve radiance. And so far, I think it's doing a stellar job of exactly that.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - nude - advanced smoothing complex
Sinthea 2/22/2008 8:48:00 AM
This one is a tough call for me. It makes an immediate and wonderful difference to my skin, but yuck for product texture etc. When I applied this serum, my skin sucked it up very quickly, and when I looked again a few minutes later I suddenly understood what is meant by porcelain skin - my skin looked china - smooth and poreless, even around the nose and between brows, which are the usual trouble spots. I used it on a Tuesday night, and Thursday night my skin still looked porcelain and no-pored. Amazing. As the other reviewer said, it's very natural, botanical, ethical all that. See their website (nudeskincare.com I think) for copies of the press about it. By the way, it is now available at Space NK's, I got mine from the shop next to Claridge's. Now the downside: it is a slightly runny gelatinous goo, which reminds me forcibly of hedgehog mess on the back step: yellowey-greeney slimey yuck. And I find the smell unpleasant - very much too sweet, like bad jasmine or ylang ylang, slightly nauseating to me (but I am a bit sensitive to sweet scents). It took a real act of will to want to apply it to my face again Thursday night. But I did, since the effect is great, and the ingredient list convinces me this must be good for me. The scent seemed to disperse pretty quickly. Packaging is also very environmentally friendly, but slightly annoying: the bottle is wrapped in a sort of cellophane wrapper which is very brittle - the zip strip tore every couple millimetres and it must have taken me five minutes to scrape it all off. It is a pump bottle, so good marks for hygiene, but careful - a full push of the pump dumps out far too much stuff, so be careful to depress only partway, which can be tricky, it's not really high quality or smooth-actioned. I am being finicky, I admit. £48 for 15 ml (about 1/2 ounce). I'm giving it decent marks because of the ingredients and the results, but knocking off a lippy because I find texture and scent off putting. I don't think I will buy this again - though I will probably force myself to use up this bottle. If I close my eyes and hold my breath maybe... update 9 April: I couldn't do it. After a week or two, I just couldn't stomach smearing something on my face that looked as if it had been scraped up off the pavement in Trafalgar Square. I'm knocking it down to 3 lippies, it really is just too revolting.
Ooh I like this. Website describes it as "dirty grey brown with gold pearl". I don't see grey in this colour. In tube it looks coppery brown. But on my lips!! I have pretty well coloured lips to begin with (the raquel welch Adventuresome was a near match to my lip colour if that helps you get bearings), and this on reads as just a lovely golden subtle sparkle. The nougatty sheer brown tones down my fairly deep coloured lips to a sort of pink, and you just see this lovely golden highlight. Definitely one to try. Yes I will buy again - tomorrow - as it's limited edition and I want to back up this, as I know I will use it a lot. Interestingly, the SA mentioned that this colour had been available before as a limited edition, she said they do bring back colours occasionally; I suppose they just change the names to fit with the theme du jour. Anyway, do look at this.
Adore this lipstick. Very rich intense deep red. Another reviewer suggests it for a goth look. Well... maybe. I think of it as a very very Madame Executive power deep red. Matte without being scarey dusty dull, and still supple and comfortable on lips - lips don't flake and crack as with so many early matte formulas. Wore very well through a 5 course wine tasting dinner - lots of food and lots of wine, and stayed put and looked just about fresh at end of meal, approx 4 to 5 hours after application. Come to think of it, did not notice much transfer to glasses, either. If anyone else remembers the old YSL slim line Rouge Pur mat lipsticks from late 80's early 90's, this is a dead ringer for #7, which was my most loved and lamented lipstick.
This is excellent. One thing the SA told me, no one else has mentioned in their reviews: she said to mist your face with rosewater (or I suppose any other floral water, I use rose anyway), THEN apply the oil while your face is still damp. It helps the oil to be absorbed, also helps control how much you use. Two drops on my face, two drops for neck and decollete is all it takes. BTW - if it doesn't have a dropper, Neal's Yard does sell empty bottles with droppers, 20 or 30 ml size. You can decant into 20 ml which makes for a more portable product, or the dropper top from the 30 ml bottle will fit onto the top of the 50 ml bottle of oil. This was recommended to me as a hot weather alternative when the frankincense cream seemed too heavy. Oddly enough, it really does work well on hot days, my skin stays pretty matte. As for the scent, I guess that really is personal choice - I adore it, but I like patchouli, and to me the rose still predominates. The other thing is that using this led me to start blending some of my own facial oils - I'm very interested in aromatherapy generally, also thanks to Neal's Yard - and I have found that I do better with a different blend of base oils than this has - this has a lot of sunflower oil, which I think is the culprit if folks think it's too heavy - evening primrose isn't nearly so gunky as sunflower oil. That said, I still use this sometimes, because I do like the scent, and I want the benefits of the rose and patchouli oils for my skin, as opposed to the other oils I used in my own blend. Love the product, recommend it highly - but you may want to try a bit on your hand at the shop and see how you feel about the scent, since that seems such a love/hate thing.
Moisturizers -Neal's Yard - Frankincense Nourishing Cream
Sinthea 8/31/2007 4:18:00 PM
I have been using this three years now I think - that should sum it up!! I think I have never used more than one pot of any other cream in my life - and I'm 48 now. This is intended for older skin (so all you 17 year olds whinging it's too rich, go away), and does a wonderful job. I began using it at a time when I could see my skin starting to drop along the jaw line - and it doesn't do that any more, despite the passing of time, and the loss of a bit of weight (which often makes faces sag). Do use it a bit sparingly - yes, it can make you a bit greasy-shiny if you use too much, and I do sometimes use something else in hot weather for the same reason (in hot weather I use their rose facial oil, which oddly enough, is lighter and less greasy in high heat). Holy grail, don't think I'll ever use anything else but facial oils as an alternative to this.
Been using a week and I think this could be HG. Eyes feel moisturised and soothed at last, and I definitely think my early-stages wrinkles are less pronounced (I have no wrinkles when face is relaxed, wrinkle up when I smile - but now, after this, not so deeply and noticeably). Thumpingly expensive - £85 at Space NK - but if this continues, I would probably buy it again. Will try to remember to update when I've used a month or more. Update 31 August: five months on, still using this every morning and most nights, and am only just coming to the end of the thing, so good news it has lasted well. Definitely has softened the smile lines - less pronounced than before - not so deep, not so accordian pleated-paper looking. No milia, either, though I will note I do occasionally (like, one night every two to four weeks when I think of it) use the LaPrairie with a little retinol, which helps to stave off the milia. Pretty sure I will re-purchase when it runs out, despite price. 6 Dec update: have only JUST run out of this stuff - I being to think the price isn't so bad, given longevity. Will definitely re-purchase. **** Update 2010: I used this for 2007 and most of 2008, then tried other things (down on my luck and couldn't afford!!), and returned to this late 2009. Price had dropped to about £68 when purchased at Space NK at that time. I used up the bottle, but felt it wasn't doing much for me any more - maybe it had gone as far as it could, maybe my skin was too used to it. Changed to Shiseido Benefiance Nutriperfect product, and saw big improvement. So... still think this is good product, worth exploring, but personally I outgrew it or something after a couple years.
Lip Gloss -MAC - ICON - Raquel Welch - Adventuresome
Sinthea 3/28/2007 4:33:00 AM
Holy grail of a lip colour - others have described very eloquently - rosy / berry / touch of plum / golden but not glittery. It's a good "no colour colour" for me - it matches my natural lip colour but takes it up a notch with the glimmer gloss texture. What fascinates me in the reviews is the range of skin tones this suits - olive, asian, "woman of colour", warm toned... me, I have about as cool a skin tone as you can get - dark haired but very fair skinned, translucent skin so you get that slight blue of the veins showing through, and this looks fab on me - or at least I think so, and love it, and trekked around several mac stores and finally hunted down at Selfridges to buy two more tubes to back up when ths one goes. I have never done that before... And I am a sucker for anything with a tiger or leopard print on it, I admit!
This is probably the best, most unique product in the line. Very light gel you slather on very generously at night, and your skin just slurps it up and skin will be lovely soft and hydrated. I'm not kidding about the skin slurping it up - I put on a lot, so there was a little film sitting on top of the skin, and about 5 minutes later my skin was dry to the touch, my skin had just inhaled the stuff. (nb: my skin is dry, sensitive, and maturing) To those who grouse about the price - look again, honey - you're getting 100 ml of product - most moisturiser pots out there are only 40 or 50 ml. I think it's good value for money as it does a wonderful job of really topping up the moisture levels, is pleasant to use, and is very different from anything out there I've found. I wouldn't use it every night, but when my skin is rather needy, this really is bliss. My only complaint - with whole line - is the packaging looks fab, but those square lids are a real annoyance, the corners hurt when you spin the lid and a corner bites your fingers. They are also very heavy, so be very careful of bare feet and tiled floors, you could do real damage if you dropped things. One other note the SA warned me of: she said dont' get it anywhere near your eye sockets - she said that wonderful plumping effect on the rest of your face translates to severe puffiness if you get it around the eyes.
This is a good basic plain old moisturising cream. I wouldn't use it all the time, but I think it's a good one to have in rotation when you're tired and just want a pure moisturising product. It seems to work well under makeup too, don't seem to have too much trouble with smeary mascara with this. I find the square lid a bit annoying (those corners hurt when they bite your fingers!) also you will need a little spatula or something to scoop out the cream, as the opening is quite small, and I didn't think my fingers were THAT fat, but... Not a rave, but a good basic.