Spotlight: Madara Skincare.

madara sos hydra mask review total renewal serum

I should start by saying I didn’t expect to fall for Madara. When I first discovered the Norwegian brand I was put off by the intensely green packaging, I judged a book by its cover and didn’t think much of it. A few months later (or it could have been a year or two, by this point I’ve been blogging so long that time has turned a bit squishy), I was sent a press sample of a new release; their SOS Hydra Recharge Cream. This wasn’t the Madara I was expecting, with sleek branding and a modern colour scheme. Impressed, I put the cream in my drawer ready to test this winter and went on a google spree to get to know Madara a little better.

Since then I’ve found my routine being taken over with Madara and I’m not even the least bit sorry. It escalated quickly with samples in the Naturisimo and Love Lula beauty boxes, I think I got the serum in a Naturisimo box and all the rest in Love Lula. I was smitten with the Peel mask from Septembers box, so as soon as I had used it up I had to order the full size and ended up adding a few extras to my order (for science, of course).

madara purifying mud mask review

Brightening AHA Peel Mask (£20)
I was initially very wary of this lactic acid based mask, having had an unpleasant experience with a similar sounding mask in the past. This little number however, has been quite the dream. It doesn’t tingle or sting, but I can tell it’s working on the skin every time I use it. It reveals a fresher, brighter complexion and seems to do a great job of contributing to smoothing and fading old acne texture issues and marks. My skin has been quite dry lately so I’ve been using this atleast once a week to help banish some flakiness and help my makeup look a little smoother in the few days after (looking for foundation recommendations that don’t cling to dry patches please!).

Detox Ultra Purifying Mud Mask (£20)
Having not used a traditional ready mixed clay mask in ages I was pretty excited about this! The Madara Mud Mask uses a mix of kaolin and sapropel mud (A.K.A Nordic forest lake mud) which form quite a powerful duo. This is one of those masks that dries and tightens so you can’t move an inch. It does sort of pinch and start to hurt when tightening so you know it’s time to wash off. Washing off is also an issue, as it clings to the skin and requires lots of warm water to soften and a cloth to remove. That being said, the effort is worth it as my skin feels baby smooth and refreshed afterwards (there’s a little lactic acid in this mask too), it’s also a great spot treatment and I like to dot it on any blemishes and leave for as long as possible to really suck the nasty stuff out (Ergh!).

total renewal night cream cellular repair serum

Micellar Water (£12)
This was another product I was super keen to sample, having not used a ‘natural’ micellar water in a year or more. I love micellar water for heavy makeup days and the odd lazy day, sometimes I just cant be bothered with a full cleanse routine, and this stuff works wonders. It doesn’t leave a strange film or greasy feeling on the skin and removes heavy makeup easily. The inclusion of hyaluronic acid means skin is hydrated and if it is one of those days where all your face gets is a sweep of this on a cotton pad, it’s probably not the end of the world. My only bug bear is the size, whilst it is great for travelling I’ve gone through the 100ml very quickly and would love to see a larger 200ml size available too.

SOS Hydra Recharge Cream (£35)
This powder pink cream (yes, the cream is pink! ahhh) has a beautifully silky, lightweight feel. I was expecting a very thick cream but this almost lotion-like texture has been a dream for hydrating dry skin without any greasy feeling this winter. I haven’t used it religiously, but have been reaching for it more in the past few weeks as my skin has needed the extra layer of hydration. I can mix it with oils and serums for an all in one approach (especially in the mornings) or layer it on last in the evening to seal everything in and leave my skin feeling nourished and taken care of.

SOS Hydra Moisture + Radiance Mask (£35)
Another pink cream! Richer in consistency than the moisturiser, this mask is supposed to provide immediate comfort, long-lasting moisture and prevent itching and tight feeling on the skin. This is actually my least favourite of all the products I’ve tried. It’s not bad, at all, but it didn’t seem to work for me and I didn’t think my skin felt particularly hydrated, or had any change at all, after use. It did feel cooling and calming on application when my skin was feeling particularly irritated one day, but other than that this is not one I will rush to buy the full size of.

Time Miracle Cellular Repair Serum (£40)
From pink to green! This thin textured pale green serum has only recently been added to my routine (thanks to the success of the cream coming up next) as I wasn’t sure I needed it or how to include it in my routine. This serum is designed to boost the cellular renewal cycle to improve the texture and appearance of skin. It’s more for lines and wrinkles than my 25 year old face, but my acne scars can always use a little cellular renewal so it’s also been great for me too! It’s probably a little too early to talk results, but I like what I see so far.

Time Miracle Total Renewal Night Cream (£38)
I got this sample sized treat in my December Love Lula box and was so excited to try it. Thicker than the sos recharge cream (and pale green!) this has been a star in my night time routine for the last few weeks. My skin is looking great (still dealing with hormonal breakouts like clockwork but other than that…) and has benefitted from the renewing properties of this cream. It’s designed to work overnight to rebuild dermal collagen and elastin fibres and activate cell processes for smoother, rested and radiant skin, which hello, sounds like just what the doctor ordered in the cold months. I add a few drops of facial oil and a little of the repair serum to thin out the texture and apply to toner-damp skin about 3 times a week. This combo sinks in easily and I’m always impressed with the results.

madara skincare review

So a good bunch all round! If you’re looking to try most of the products I’ve mentioned I would look at this handy little sample set that Love Lula recently put together. It contains the peel and moisture masks, the night cream, cellular repair serum and more for £29 whilst stocks last!

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A Natural Deodorant that’s not the Absolute Pits.

pitrok natural deodorant review

Something to note, before we embark on this little natural deodorant chat: I’m not a particularly malodorous person, in terms of armpits and sweat and so on. If I go completely au naturel on a summer’s day, hop on and off the tube and do a few sprints up and down the escalators then yes, I’ll be sweaty. But I’m not a profuse sweater. Some people get the sweats when they eat a hot curry, some people wouldn’t sweat if you locked them in a sauna for a week. Everyone’s different.  I’m not a curry sweater, but I would sweat if I was locked in a sauna. I’m a relatively light sweater. So –  just for extra clarification – if someone was going to do a national study to test out a super-strength extreme deodorant, I’d be a crap and pointless participant.

I wanted to clear that up because I have no idea how well the following deodorant will work on people of varying sweat-propensity. Do let me know in the comments if you’ve tried and have anything to add into the mix! The deodorant in question is Pitrok‘s Crystal Natural Spray Deodorant. I bought it after getting on reasonably well with the Crystal Roll-On Deodorant, made by the same brand. And I bought the roll-on because, after quite extensive internet research, it seemed to be the one that ticked all of my deodorant boxes. Which were as follows:

1) Good ingredients. I’d been reading about the perils of deodorants (and other products) containing parabens (have a read here for a very brief summary of the parabens issue), and although I’m still very much undecided about where I stand in the whole parabens debate, I’d also been reading about aluminium and how there had been concerns about its regular use in the underarm area. Now there don’t seem to be any trials that have given conclusive evidence to say that aluminium in deodorant is bad and the general gist of things seems to be that it’s not considered harmful, but in the interests of my own research and also complete peace of mind, I thought that I’d search out “clean” deodorants that didn’t contain the above.

2) Easy to use. ie: you can just spray or roll the thing on, and you don’t have to unwrap a special crystal from a velvet pouch and apply it only between the hours of 2 and 4pm. I wanted the deodorant to be as near to the traditional idea of deodorant application as possible.

3) Inexpensive – or at least not prohibitively expensive. You can pick up a deodorant for less than a quid in the supermarket (30p at Tesco!) and so I didn’t want to be championing products that were much more than three or four quid.

4) Effective. Because what’s the point in a deodorant that absolutely does not work? I tried one “natural” deodorant and it actually smelt of BO before I’d even applied it to my skin! Useless.

I bought about five or six different deodorants, but it was the Pitrok roll-on that stood the test of time. It kept me dry and fresh all day long, was free from aluminium and parabens and had a really gentle, soothing formula. No stinging, even applying it straight after shaving. (Surely the acid test when it comes to deodorant gentleness?!) The only thing that I didn’t like about it was that the ball dried up quite quickly and I had to keep coaxing it back into action, but really a very small niggle.

Though I suppose enough of a niggle to make me want to look for an alternative in the same brand, which was why I then went for the Crystal Natural Spray version. Love it. I think it actually works even better than the roll-on; the same soothing formula, no alcohol or perfume added, and an easy-to-use non-aerosol spray. It says on the instructions that it takes about a minute to dry, but I find that it’s far less than that. And I haven’t had any problems with white stains, so far, though I do make sure that my underarms are completely dry before dressing. Mind you, I’d imagine the risk of white stains would be far less if there are no aluminium salts included in the formula…

Important observation: this deodorant is designed to be applied to clean skin. For many, this may go without saying, but, y’know. Sometimes you have to emergency apply and a shower isn’t possible. If so, then Pitrok isn’t the best option – it works by stopping the growth of the underarm bacteria that cause odour, so if they are already there and a-growing, well. It would be kind of like shutting the barn door after the horse had bolted, crying over spilt milk, etc. Pitrok isn’t an odour-disguiser, it’s an odour-preventer. Which is, in all honesty, the best kind of odour-anything.

But overall it’s a definite winner, this discovery. Let me know if you’ve tried it and how you got on – you can find Pitrok for £4.05 at

The post A Natural Deodorant that’s not the Absolute Pits. appeared first on A Model Recommends.

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Erborian Pink Perfect Creme


I’ve just come back from the launch of Erborian skin care – a fusion of Korean and French beauty. Erborian belongs to L’Occitane, which is one of my favourite brands anyway, but what started as a niche brand is about to blossom into a fully blown one with the forthcoming launches of over 50 new products. If you’re interested in the ‘bigger picture’ Erborian is one to study because we will see it expand and develop in front of our very eyes. There are several products I am dying to try but the one that captured my beauty heart is the Erborian Pink Perfect Creme – an upscale blur product with a pink base. My skin is not pink toned and I think what this will do is warm up pink toned skin, but also add in a very light touch of pink to sallower skins. When I tried it on my skin, I was very impressed with the blur effect and the extreme lightness of the creme – no big dose of silicone. I’ll be looking at Erborian in more depth when I’ve given some of the other products the once over – it’s best known for its CC cream… Read More

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