I usually don't like to buy skincare without trying a sample first - I don't believe in spending on money on something that doesn't work.
Which is why I get annoyed when counters are reluctant to hand out samples. I can understand why, but nine times out of ten, a customer will buy something after using a sample and finding it effective (when prices are within reason of course).
I heard about the Radiance Glycolactic Renewal Mask from REN from some blogs recently (obviously I had been living under a rock). After some online research, it seemed like this mask delivers. But still I wanted to try it out before committing to buying, and so I began my sample search. Selfridges - no samples in stock. Space NK - I had a look around at the range but didn't end up asking for a sample as I don't seem to have much luck with Space NK staff. I emailed the REN website and received an immediate reply but it's been more than a week since and I still haven't received my sample in the mail yet (?). Finally I went to Liberty (I'd been avoiding Liberty since they were renovating but the new beauty hall is about 50% finished!) and got my sample. A-ha!
My initial thoughts about the mask was that it feels and smells like apricotty orangey jam (I love the smell but it makes me want to lick the mask). My second thought was that it's VERY tingly (but not irritating or painful). I left it on for 10mins as per instructions and washed it off with a muslin cloth. My skin felt baby smooth. The next morning most of the flakey/dry patches of skin I had been suffering from the past 2 weeks were gone! The mask also seemed to have unclogged my pores - it was much easier to extract any blackheads I had. My skin also looked a bit brighter and clearer.
This mask uses natural fruit acids and Papain (enzymes from papaya) to exfoliate the outer layer of skin. In this sense it is very similar to Origin's Never a Dull Moment. Except the Radiance Glycolactic Renewal Mask is 100 times more effective.