My experience with REN skincare products.

I’ve been on the hunt for beauty products that can help treat my sensitive skin that’s prone to redness. I wear a daily SPF on my face, but suffer from triggers that people with Rosacea suffer from.  I’ve been using REN skincare products on my face for the past three months to see if this would help improve things for me.  I have noticed a small improvement in the decrease of facial redness, but it hasn’t been eliminated and my skin can still be triggered by certain things. However, it is a lot less reactive than it use to be and looks better than it did before I began using these products.  My skin has really cleared up in the past couple of weeks (*knock on wood*) and I feel like I haven’t had any unsightly zits for almost a whole month now. That is something new to me and amazing. I think REN has something to do with it.


REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Water. This bottle has lasted me over three months.  I use this in the morning when I wake up as a face cleanser for my sensitive skin. I simply apply some to a cotton pad and gently apply it to my face. I don’t like to do anything too harsh on my skin in the morning, so this seems to work well for me. I’ve also used it as second step cleanser at night after using a cleansing oil or on its own if I haven’t worn any makeup that day.  I really like this cleansing water because it leaves my face feeling clean and fresh and ready to apply the next product.  It’s very effortless and easy to use.

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Balm. I just ran out of my tub of this that has lasted me three months and ordered another one online.  It came with a muslin cloth when I ordered it off the REN website. I use this before bedtime by taking a quarter sized amount of product into my hands and warming it between my palms by gently rubbing them together. Then I’ll gently apply it to my dry face, massaging it in circles for about 30 seconds and following that with some gentle tapping . After this, I lightly wet my hands and start massaging my face for another 30 seconds and lightly tap the face again. This turns the balm into more of a white creamy foam texture and then you can gently start applying it to your eye area. Take a moist cotton ball and apply to the eye area to remove your eye makeup.  Then, take a warm wet muslin cloth and gently use it to remove the rest of the makeup from your face. After this, you can rinse your face with warm water.

REN Evercalm Anti-Redness Serum.  REN Skincare describes this serum as a product that combats redness, calms irritation and boosts skin’s tolerance to environmental aggression. It actively trains skin to be less reactive and keeps it looking younger for longer by protecting it against the causes of premature ageing such as inflammation, redness, dehydration, UV rays, pollution and free radicals.  Since it’s not a cheap product and my first bottle ran out so fast with application twice in one day, I decided to only apply it at nighttime. I definitely saw better results when I used it twice a day,so I’m on the fence about going back to twice daily applications. I really noticed a decrease in red face when I used this in the morning too, so I might go back to doing that. I apply this serum to a clean dry face before the REN Evercalm Day Cream. REN skincare describes this day cream as a moisturizer that combats chronic discomfort, redness and sensitivity to ensure skin glows with renewed health and stays looking younger for longer.  A bottle lasts about 1 month with application morning and night and 2+ months with nighttime only application. I had the same problem with this product as the serum. I love it so much, but have to limit the use of it because twice daily application equals the product running out so fast.  I think these two products work really well together and I would like to continue using them. It’s worth noting that after applying this serum and cream, I still need to moisturize my face with a heavier night time moisturizer/oil or my daily SPF moisturizer.

I really love REN skincare because their products are good quality and designed for people with sensitive skin like me. I definitely don’t think any of these products are miracle workers, but what product is? Someone please tell me! I would say if your main concern is facial redness, then the serum is worth giving a try. If you like it, then you can slowly introduce some of their other products into your skincare routine.  Have any of you tried REN products?



Naples over Easter Weekend ~ March, 2016

Kraig and I spent a long weekend visiting my parents in Naples, Florida in March.  It was so nice to visit with them and their Yorkshire Terrier Teddy. We were only able to get in one beach day, but that’s okay because I was able to get in a day at the Spa instead! I love visiting my parents and spending time with them.













Places to eat ~ Le Bleu Provence, Islandy Gypsy, Quinns on the Beach.

Beach day at The Marriott on Marco Island.

Hopefully we get to visit again next year! 🙂

Four Face Masks To Try.

In the past two years, I’ve developed a bit of a face mask addiction.  I find it’s best for my skin to do a face mask at least once a week and I won’t lie sometimes I face mask more than that.


One Love Organics Brand New Day. This powder pineapple enzyme exfoliating mask helps slough off dead skin cells and clear up the pores on your face. I like using this about once a week to keep an even layer on my skin for makeup application.  When I don’t keep up the maintenance of an exfoliating face mask, the skin on my face feels rough to the touch in areas or bumpy and my makeup application doesn’t go on as well. I like this mask because it uses natural ingredients and is by a brand I love.  I like to use this on a freshly washed face at night after I get out of the shower. I mix the powder in the palm of my hand with water until it forms a loose paste. Then I gently rub it in circles around my face (avoiding the eye area) and leave it on for about 5-10 minutes. I rinse it off with warm water, pat my face dry, and then apply my moisturizer and face oil.

Mario Badescu Whitening Mask. One of my friends introduced me to this face mask years ago because I was complaining about the red marks that are leftover on my face after I have a huge zit. I tend to break out around my chin area or my nose (Rudolph!) and when I get a zit it’s usually a ginormous painful one that appears while I’m out at a bar drinking a margarita. I swear this happens to me! I will order a yummy margarita, drink it, go to use the ladies room and notice a brand new zit on my face. Not cool. Since I can’t give up Margaritas, I use this Whitening Mask to apply to those pesky zits. Sometimes I’ll cover my whole face with this and other times I will just spot treatment problem areas on my face or multimask.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask. The brightening mask is one of those miracle workers. I would use this every morning if I could afford the time and money. I would recommend using this mask before a big event or day/night out. After removing the mask you will notice your face has brightened and there is an extra glow to it.  Since I don’t have many big nights out and I’m a homebody, I tend to just use this on a night in of pampering myself.

Tata Harper Moisturizing Mask.  I LOVVVVE LOVE LOVE THIS. YES, it’s expensive, but a bottle lasts a long time and the results are amazing for people with dry skin. It’s especially a big skin saver for those pesky freezing cold New England winters. This is the first year that I’ve gone through a winter here without any weird dry patches of skin on my face  and I believe I have this mask to thank for it. I apply this before bedtime and let it sit on my face all night. I wakeup with nicely moisturized skin. I definitely applied this almost every single night before bed during the wintertime. I’m not sure how this will do with my skin during the summer months, but it might be good to use with air conditioned air too.

I just wanted to note that I have very dry and sensitive skin.  So whenever I try a new face mask, I make sure I leave the mask on for less time than the directions say to use it for.  This is to make sure my skin doesn’t react badly. The Tata Harper Moisturizing Mask is the only one I can leave on for a long period of time. I have to cut my mask time shorter for the rest of them because my skin gets too tight and uncomfortable if I leave the products on for too long.  Each product comes with directions for use at home and outlining different mask times. Experiment with what works best for you and your skin. What feels best? Listen to your body and find what feels best to you.

A weekend in San Francisco ~ February 2016

Kraig and I spent a weekend in San Francisco in February. This was more of a trip to catch up with family instead of sightseeing everywhere.  We were visiting with Kraig’s Dad and Aunt and had a great time.  It was so nice to spend time with Kraig’s Dad and Aunt because we don’t get to see them often throughout the year. Family trips are such a nice treasure and I’m so grateful we’re able to do them as adults.

Our first day in the city, we went to Brenda’s French Soul Food for the beignets and did some walking around the city.  I actually wasn’t feeling too well on this trip, so we spent some time at our airBnB relaxing and watching TV to rest up for dinner that night.


We were coincidentally visiting the city at the same time as one of Kraig’s college friends, so we met up with them after dinner  at their hotel for a drink in the lobby.  It was great seeing them because I think the last time we saw them was at one of our weddings.

We spent the second day in Wine Country and did tastings at Caymus Vineyards and Duckhorn.




Our last day of the trip, we went to an amazing breakfast at Kitchen Story followed with a walk along Baker Beach.  It’s definitely a dream home location on the part that isn’t overlooking the nudists section of the beach.



That pretty much sums up our trip to SF. It was quick and I ended up getting the stomach flu on our last day there, so that is why I was feeling so rundown the whole time we were there.  San Francisco is always a fun city to visit because there is so much beautiful nature and activities within the area to check out.

Psst…if you want to read about my first time in San Francisco click here and here.

Beautiful candles to add to your home this Spring.


I recently had a coupon to Anthropologie for my anthro club birthday discount. I decided to make the trek to the store in person to sniff all their different candles and decide what smells I like most. I picked out this amazing Apricot & Basil candle that smells delectable. It’s very fresh and brightens my mood without causing headache or smelling artificial. I would burn this in any room of the house, but it’s currently being used in my TV room.  I also find the tin very cute and brightens up any room. I plan on saving the tin when I’m done with the candle to store flowers or makeup brushes.

The Hello Sushine box in the photo above is a fun match box that I saw in the store with all the candles.  I thought this was just too cute to pass up and it’s a lot more attractive than the typical flimsy restaurant style matches. Yes, lighting a match brings me a lot more joy when the box is cute and it does not take multiple tries to light that match.

Not pictured above is the dreamy Voluspa candle in Santiago Huckleberry. I think this is my favorite Voluspa scent. They sell it in all different types of jars, so you can pick the one that suits your needs best. I currently have this on my nightstand and it has my bedroom smelling delicious before bed time.

Another one of my favorite candles is the Way Out Wax Candle in Sage. I first discovered this brand a couple of years ago at Whole Foods, but have recently been re-purchasing their Sage candles directly off their website. I just find sage as such a cleansing, calming, and tranquil smell. It’s great to burn any time of day and a very therapeutic smell to me.

Then onto one candle I really want to try, but have not splurged on yet. The Jo Malone London Wood  Sage  & Sea Salt candle sounds amazing.  I’m thinking it’d be a great bathroom scent and perfect to burn for a bit before heading in for a nice face mask and shower after a long work day.

What are you favorite candles?