REN Rosa Centifolia No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm

Using the REN Rosa Centifolia No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm is my current method of makeup removal, as I’m taking a brief break from my beloved Shu Uemura cleansing oils. Not that there’s anything wrong with my cleansing oils, because that’s my number one method of removing makeup; but, I was just curious about all the hype around cleansing balms. I’ve been using the REN Rosa Centifolia No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm for a few weeks now, and I figured it would be good to share with you my thoughts about the product.


This product is a “two-in-one cleansing balm that gently yet thoroughly melts away dirt and makeup.” The “rose-infused balm sweeps away impurities, including waterproof mascara and the toughest of complexion products. It leaves skin cleansed, purified, calm, and glowing. It also conditions the lashes and brows.” The general idea of the cleansing balm is the same as the cleansing oils — in that you apply the oily product with your hands onto your dry face. After massaging it around, you emulsify the product with water as you rinse. For me, I follow-up with a separate face wash to remove any residual leftovers from these kinds of products. And, every few days, I use my Clarisonic.


The cleansing balm comes with its own muslin cloth. This is nice because it helps to exfoliate your skin and remove any excess traces of the cleansing balm before you fully rinse your face. It’s suggested that you gently rub the product between your hands to warm it up, and directly apply it to your skin. As stated earlier, water will emulsify the product into a luxurious cleansing milk. However, this is NOT very good at removing eye makeup because the product stings like crazy. It’s best to remove your eye makeup with an appropriate eye makeup remover beforehand — which adds another step to the cleansing routine. I don’t mind though.

Also, it’s best to use the muslin cloth in conjunction with the balm. I noticed if I don’t the balmy residue just slips and slides around my face creating a white cast — and, then, it becomes hard to remove because of its waxy consistency. It’s best to dampen the muslin cloth and use it to wipe off the balm before rinsing with water.


The product smells amazing and is intensely hydrating — meaning, that even after it’s removed my makeup, my skin feels nourished and hydrated and not dry and tight. It also appears to temporarily plump my skin — which is nice for when I move onto my nighttime routine. I’m confident that this cleansing balm removes makeup just like my cleansing oils, and I feel good about using it in place of my cleansing oils every now and then. I think my number one method of makeup removal will always be using oils; but, the balm is more convenient since it’s in a tub. It also feels so nice on the skin at the end of the day, and a little massage never hurt before bedtime. :)

I’d recommend this product to people with all skin types. It’s important to thoroughly remove all traces of makeup and debris from your skin at the end of the day, so that it can breathe at night. Using a cleansing wipe or just a regular face wash is not going to remove all traces — it will most likely remove just the surface particles. This product is an investment, much like the Shu Uemura cleansing oils — however, they last for 9+ months and are well worth it.

Retails for $48.00 USD.
Made in UK.
Contains 5.1 oz.

Makeup Removal/Cleasing Oil

One of the most important steps to take as a makeup user is to carefully and thoroughly remove everything before going to bed. Late nights out with friends and feeling tired after a late work day can lead us to be quite lazy with our makeup removal. Without this important step, our skin cannot breathe and repair itself at night; also, leaving impurities on your skin from the day before is not good for your skin – let alone, smearing it all over your pillow and then sleeping on it again the next night!

For those of you wanting a brightened and clear skin tone – this is the best thing for you to do: cleanse it thoroughly.

My favorite way to remove makeup is with cleansing oil. Using a cleansing oil is the most precise and thorough way of removing everything off of your face since oil breaks up oil. Also, please note that it doesn’t matter what kind of skin type you have (including oily skins) because it’s not like you’re leaving the oil on – you’ll be washing it off. For me personally, I like to remove my eye makeup with the Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover first. Then, I proceed to using my cleasing oil (onto dry face, with dry hands) – essentially, I massage it around my face, and foundation, concealer, powder, blush, etc. begins to melt right off.

Afterwards, I rinse my face and then move onto my cleansing step (since the removal process is over). Generally, for this step, I use a foam cleanser (sometimes in conjunction with my Clarisonic Mia).

Option 1 is my cheaper option for cleansing oils and you can pick it up at your local Asian market. It’s about $13 and I need a good 3-4 pumps to get a sufficient amount of oil. This bottle lasts up to 4 months since I only use it night on a daily basis. It gets the job done, even though it’s not my absolute favorite.

Option 2 is my favorite and most expensive choice for cleansing oils: the Shu Uemura Fresh Pore Clarifying Gentle Cleansing Oil. For 15.2 oz. it’s $67 and you have to place an online order. Although at first glance it’s an expensive option, this giant bottle lasts for nearly a year if I use it every night; and, more than a year if I’m alternating or experimenting with other oils or cleansing balms.

This particular oil – the pore clarifying one – is made for combination to oily skins, and is considered the first step for “pore-less skin.” According to the Shu Uemura website, this is “a lightweight cleansing oil that leaves the skin clean, fresh and refined.” You are able to “wash away pore concerns – enlarged pores and clogged pores that lead to blackheads.” It “effectively removes make-up and impurities inside pores while maintaining the skin’s necessary moisture level.” The product claims to be “empowered with Sakura Complex” and is a “cleansing oil [that] minimizes pores by eliminating excess sebum and visibly smoothes the skin’s surface.”

Here’s a demo: basically I’ve swatched random “long-wear” and “waterproof” makeup items onto dry skin. I let it set for a few minutes before drizzling the Shu Uemura cleansing oil. I rubbed it in, wiped it off, and then washed my arm. Squeaky clean!

Some additional info about Shu Uemura cleansing oil: “it was developed from the knowledge that Mr. Uemura gained while working as a foremost Hollywood makeup artist in the 1950s. The secret to Shu Uemura cleansing oil is protecting the skin’s delicate balance while removing make-up and impurities in a single step.”

What are your thoughts on cleansing oils? Any particular ones you prefer? Have you tried Shu Uemura’s cleansing oils?

*Quotes extracted from