This is one review I've held off on for ages because I wanted to use it to its very end before I definitively deemed this the most miraculous product in the world; and I am happy to report that it is!
Over the last few months, I've been slowly falling in love with Antipodes, and I've yet to try a product that disappoints me; but none of them hold a candle to how amazing this is!
The Aura Manuka Honey Mask is every bit as fabulous as it sounds.
Let's kick things off with aesthetics. Inside the lovely green box, you find a very simple cream tube. Antipodes always elicits the feeling of an old world apothecary in their packaging and the fact that it's all so very natural that it won't survive past 6 months. It gives me some sort of comfort in a weird way.
Of course, you'll find nothing unbecoming within the ingredients list, just a list that screams, "happiness for your skin".
As you twist the cap off, you will be met with a thick, but light cream that smoothes easily over the skin.
The cream itself has a pale yellow hue to it which is in no small part a result of the manuka honey, vanilla pod and avocado, and as you would expect from such a concoction, the scent is divine! Not the kind of divine you get from chemically scented lotions and potions, but a good, earthy form of divine that calms and soothes your soul in the best possible way.
I do think I'm not even equipped with the words to express how amazing this is on all fronts!
Even so, let me give it a shot.
The packaging recommends a 15-minute application of this stuff, and while that would do wonders, I've had no trouble with my skin when I've left it on for 30-45 minutes. It's always good to follow instructions of this sort, but I'm a rebel with the cause of being an experimental tool (possibly just a tool) in that sense. I did try using this around the eye area as well a couple of times, but I wouldn't recommend this because it does have clarifying properties and it did dry out my undereye area a tad bit. This is not to say that it isn't nourishing. It's the most nourishing mask ever! It's just that the eye area is extra sensitive to anything and everything.
Yes, I would expect that there's a bit of confusion on this front. Is it a clarifying mask? Is it a moisturing mask? Is it both?
Definitively both. It's the true all rounder! With this, you would only need 1 mask in your repertoire for the rest of your life. I kid you not. Without a shadow of a doubt, or a whisper of hesitation, I can safely say that this is the best mask in the world. If the Aliens ever invade earth, it will be in hopes of acquiring the maker of this mask for their species!
So, what exactly does it do? I would simply say, "Everything", but let me elaborate. It clears out pores, soothes skin, and intensely hydrates, all in one short 15-minute block. It's recommended for use twice a week, but when I bought it, the guy in TNS at Paradigm told me that if you want to boost the effect it has, when you first start using it, you can use it 4 times in the first week. If you'd like to help cell turnover, you could add a drop or two of rosehip oil to the mix as well. While I did not do the latter in order to maintain the integrity of this review, I did use it on 4 days during the week for the stipulated time frame of 15 minutes. The results are amazing from the very first application. At the time of purchase, I was suffering from The Great La Prairie Outbreak of 2013, and was willing to do anything and everything (including, but not limited to, selling my soul to One Direction) to sort the madness out, I turned to this and it was a true saving grace.
Even with the first application, I could sense that my face was less irritated! Truly awesome. A testament to the fact of the matter is that honey is widely lauded for its antibacterial properties. Further, everyone who I've recommended it to has responded favourable. It does, in fact, work, and in a very reasonable span of time as well.
It's the true 8th wonder of the world, and it irks me that it doesn't get enough credit. It's also not one of those masks which make you appear ghoulish upon application. It has a slight sallow tinge at first, but it slowly goes clear and you don't see it on within a couple of minutes. For anyone wanting to pamper themselves on board a flight, it's a good bet. The only drawback is that you'll have to wash it off somehow. There are people who have reported using it as a night cream, but this is not something I would advocate. It is, without a doubt, clarifying, and this would strip your skin far too much if you use it upwards of an hour or two. Sometimes, following instructions is the best way to get the best results (See: Ikea Furnitue).
At RM168, this isn't a cheap mask, but trust me when I tell you it's basically good skin in a tube. It's worth every cent I paid for it. I did wait for November (the month of my birthday), where as a member of TNS Skinlab I got 25% off, but even without the sale, it's completely worth it! After all, instead of buying 2 masks, you're investing in just one, and it works out more cost effective that way. Aside from TNS Skinlab (Outlets at The Curve, Publika, Paradigm Mall), this mask is also available on HiShop, and earlier this year they had 40% off storewide. Let's hope they have it again!
The tip of the mask has a foil seal, so only after you pierce into it does that 6-month expiry date commence. I wouldn't use this past the 6 month mark. I did save 1 application for testing this, and while it didn't irritate my skin, the smell was ever so slightly off, and my face felt a little itchy while it was on, which were conditions I hadn't experienced during the period in which it was still "good". So, yes. It's completely natural, and lovely in that sense!
The only reason I haven't repurchased this is because I have a daunting task ahead of me in using up all the masks in my possession. Rest assured that once that is over and done with, this will be back in my possession!
This has my "You Need It In Your Life" seal of approval, and I strongly, STRONGLY urge you to try it out!