Month: September 2015

Comparison: Caudalie Glycolic Peel & Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask


I’ve been asked a few times to do a comparison on these two fellas. I enjoy both the products and couldn’t choose one over the other. Here’s why: Both claim to do similar things such as boost radiance in complexion, renew skintone & texture, and help with hyper pigmentation. They’re both free from parabens and sulfates. I particularly enjoy Caudalie’s scent (typical scent of Caudalie products) and creamy texture. Whilst Ren has more citrusy kick in a jelly like texture. Both are easy to apply and wash off. They’re equally pleasant experiences on my face.
From an Ingredients perspective, Caudalie is enriched with Glycolic (6th ingredient), Grape Seed Oil (typical to caudalie formulation, 9th), Pathenol (11th), and Squalene (12th) among others. As the Glycol Lactic name suggests, Ren masque has higher concentration of Lactic acid (5th & 8th ingredient) in a cocktail of Glycolic (10th), Citric (9th) and Tartaric acids (11th) in conjunction with papaya enzymes.
As an experiment, one fine day I applied half face with Ren masque and other half was taken over by Caudalie. I wanted to compare the efficacy and final results. As it turns out, they both leave my skin equally bright, luminous and radiant. I consulted with the Man of the House to ensure I’m not delusional and he concurred.
Packaging wise Caudalie is in a tube whilst Ren is in pump action plastic bottle. Easily available at Sephora and other online sites. From a price perspective, I believe Caudalie is more value for money (75ml 2.5fl oz $39). Ren appears to be tad steeper at $59 for same quantity as Caudalie. They have a smaller size available at 50ml 1.7fl oz however it would make more sense to indulge in the bigger size at $4 extra you’d get whopping 75ml!!! Unsure what logic was applied at the pricing structure. 
What have your experiences been with each of these masks?
REN: Polysorbate 60 (Source Rape Seed Oil), Glycerin (Source Coconut Oil), Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Water, Lecithin (Source Soybean), Lactic Acid (Source Wheat), Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Extract, Grape Seed Oil, Passiflora Quadrangularis Fruit Extract (Lactic Acid)Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract (Citric Acid)Pineapple Fruit Extract (Glycolic Acid)Grape Fruit Extract (Tartaric Acid), Alcohol denat. (Source Grape), Cranberry Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum (Source Corn), Maltodextrin, Papaya Fruit Extract, Natural Fragrance, Orange Oil, Mandarin Orange Peel Oil, Tangerine Peel Oil, Grapefruit Seed Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Phenoxyethanol (Source Aromatic Ether), Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate (Source Amino Acid), Seabuckthorn Berry Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).
Caudalie: Water, Glycerin*, Isononyl Isononanoate, Sorbitan Stearate*, Glyceryl Stearate Se*, Glycolic Acid, Cetyl Palmitate*, Cetearyl Alcohol*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Panthenol, Squalane*, Cetyl Alcohol*, Dimethicone, Sodium Hydroxide, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Bisabolol*, Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60*, Sodium Pca*, Caprylyl Glycol, Arginine, Palmitoyl Grapevine Shoot Extract*, Tocopherol*, Carbomer, Dehydroacetic Acid, Sodium Phytate*, Papain*, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Algin. *Plant Origin.

5% Glycolic Acid Face Off

Comparison 5%

Whilst they both claim to have 5% glycolic acid, Pixi is more soothing and Nip & Fab (N&F) is more aggressive with addition of Lactic (14th), Salicyclic (13th), Mandelic (11th) and Hyaluronic Acids (19th). I think Pixi would be great for acid beginners but N&F would need more experienced skin.
Plus N&F’s second ingredient after water is Glycolic whereas, Pixi has Glycolic listed as the sixth ingredient followed by other ingredients which would help in calming the skin. ✨N&F also has Niacinamide (6th ingredient) which is a powerhouse ingredient (helps with ageing skin, enhance skin barrier, helps with skin tone and texture).
✨All in all, I think they are for individuals with different skin tolerance, and if you need something tad more aggressive N&B extreme (as the name suggests) would be good choice. Having said that, our love for Pixi Glow Tonic is eternal (forever reliable product)✨💝.


My Thoughts: Becca Jacklyn Hill Highlighter – Champagne Pop

Becca Highlighter

I have loved Becca for its Beach Tints for a while and thought lets check out the new release highlighter. I saw this in pan, tried in store and impulsively bought it. On impulse it looks gorgeous, but thereafter all the problems start. When I returned home🏡, I noticed the glitter is chunkier than I’d prefer. Yes the light catches the highlight beautifully but seems tad excessive to me. Second problem emerged when I glanced at the ingredient listing, which starts off with a problem for my skin: Talc, x, x, Petrolatum, x, x, x, etc. Ermmmmm No.

Yes everyone in Blogosphere seems utterly gaga over this product, its in the rave phase and I don’t know why I fell for this. Generally I prefer to be the spectator to the rave, wait for it to die down and then form my opinion over it. Anyway I’m happily marching it back to Sephora. #thanksbutnothanks
Side note: I still have no idea who Jacklyn Hill is, based on minimal research I found out she is a “YouTube beauty celebrity” (as stated on Sephora site). I will stop talking at this point.


Demystifying French Pharmacie Cult Products: Ialuset Hylauronic Crème


“A nice thick Hylauronic Acid creme that plumps up and enhances the skin. Apply a thick layer to your skin AT NIGHT and wake up to plump youthful skin.” French skincare product formulations usually revolve around one ingredient. For example: AHA’s, Retinol, Vitamin C or Hyaluronic Acid in this instance. Highly touted for its ability to hydrate and plump the skin.

We all have our experiences with Hyaluronic acid from infamous products such as Hydraluron, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair etc. Personally I’ve been using this either as day cream under makeup or an emergency hydration cream and layer it on top of any hard working hydration serum. It comes in a 100gms tube for 10-15 euros. I don’t think it is available outside France, unless there are some online options (Amazon or Ebay – verify the authenticity).

In terms of ingredients, it contains 0.2% Hyaluronic Acid listed as first ingredient followed by some fatty alcohol (aka good alcohol) and humectants such as Glycerin. This is NOT paraben free (in case it bothers you). Oddly enough I noticed Sodium Lauryl Sulfate on the list (4th ingredient) not sure why this is included but thankfully it hasn’t irritated my skin.

In interest of full disclosure: Ingredient List (I have translated from French to English, so let’s hope Google Translate is accurate):

Hyaluronic Acid (0.2%), Decylester of Oleic Acid (fatty alcohol), Cetearyl Alcohol (fatty alcohol) & Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Glycerin, Liquid Sorbitol (humectant), Sorbic Acid (preservative), Methyl & Propyl Parabens Parahydroxybenzoate, Sodium Dihydrate Citriac, Water

With a consistency of nice thick cream, it spreads well and absorbs ok. I feel a layer on top however doesn’t feel tacky or oily or greasy in any way. It almost feels like a protection layer. Under makeup, thankfully it does not pile at all and makeup sits very well through the day (tested in Chicago winter and Melbourne summer, so basically everything between -35 to 42 degrees C). The scent is basic and pleasant, not overbearing either. Given its consistency this could be easily used as night cream as well. The intent behind this formulation was for healing wounds and scars, not as beauty day and night creams, but it works incredibly well and hence earned its cult status.


Comparison between May Lindstrom – The Problem Solver (TBS) and Mahalo Skincare Pele Mask (PM)

Mask Comparison

Both these masks are clay based and claim to correct, detoxify and revitalize the skin. Helps with cleansing and tightening pores, boosts circulation, combats blemishes, fights dullness and leaves skin radiant.

On my analysis of their respective ingredient listings, I noticed they share some ingredients, such as Rhassoul Clay, Raw Cacao, Bamboo Charcoal Powder, Turmeric root, Sodium bicarb, and Cayenne Pepper.

Whilst TPS has more spices such as Frankincense, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Clove, Angelica root, Marshmallow root, Vanilla Bean; PM has a herbal base such as Marigold flower, Noni powder, Basil leaf, Neem powder, Sandalwood, Hibiscus flower, Papaya leaf etc.

Evidently driven by their respective ingredients the fragrance and feel on the skin is slightly different upon application. TPS gradually gives a warming sensation on the skin and has a spicy scent (obvs). Whereas PM has more herbal and earthy scent (which aligns with their company principles). Both the masks can be mixed with water, honey, green tea, yoghurt, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar….up to your creativity and what your skin can handle😉. In terms of efficacy, I feel both masks perform splendidly and live up to each of their claims.

TBS is in an opaque black glass jar ($90 for 250ml) and Pele mask is in a beautiful Bamboo jar which is unique to their brand ($64 for 50ml). Both the jars can be reused and repurposed for anything else you might desire.

Ideally I would absolutely love to see May sell refill packs (cute brown paper bags) of her mask to be more environmentally friendly🌎 and we can certainly reuse the gorgeous jars to store the refills. I’m very happy to add Maryna sells refill packs (at a discount which can be found under cap of each pele jar cap)😘 In saying all of the above, I feel TBS provides more value for money in terms of quantity to dollar spent. They’re both beautiful indulgences that I would equally recommend however it’s upto you whether you enjoy herbal or spicy.