When you get a text from halfway across the world letting you know that your girl has picked you up a face mask on half off, it's automatically a good day.

I'll be honest, the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask was never really that much on my wishlist - it was a periphery product - I'd heard a lot of hype, and was skeptical about whether it could live up to all its claims. Brightening and detoxifying and moisturising? Surely one mask couldn't do all three. And, perhaps to their own detriment, Antipodes weren't exactly a brand aggressively marketing to people like me. I don't think I've ever seen a Facebook or Instagram paid ad by them, whereas compared to brands like Glossier and Origins, their strategy seems almost recessive.

A New Zealand brand, their schtick is 'Scientifically Validated Organic Beauty' - a mealy mouthful and nothing to sniff at. I did really like their all-natural, ethic and authenticity first messaging, so when Jaye let me know they were half off during her time in Aus, I decided this was probably the moment to bite the bullet and give them a try.

And here's the thing - first use of the mask, I was underwhelmed. I liked the texture - kind of creamy, kind of gloopy - like a thick night cream but a little more runny. It's strange to say, but you can really feel the honey in this product. It also smells really great and sinks in to the skin nicely (one of my pet peeves is product that just sits on the skin's surface - ABSORB, DAMMIT!). I sat there, face slightly tingly, looking forward to looking in the mirror and seeing a new face practically.

And... not so much. My skin felt tighter (in a good way) and slightly lifted, perhaps a little better texturally, but I didn't notice much else. I wondered if perhaps I had left it on too short a time, or removed it wrong by using my cleanser, and vowed to give it another go the following night, because when Jaye loves a product, I listen.

So the next night came, I left it on this time around for longer than the suggested 10-20 mins and gave it a full half an hour, post bath. I removed it with warm water as suggested instead of my cleanser, and took a look in the mirror. My pores were reduced, all traces of oiliness had left my skin and yes - there was a glow! The slightly tighter and lifted sensation from yesterday had remained, and my cheeks looked pleasantly plump. It wasn't a new face, but it was me on my best day. My skin felt clean, refreshed and nourished. I was hooked.

I used it once more that weekend and results were much the same, so I'd say take some time to find out how this mask works best on your skin and don't always follow the directions to a T - there's a really cute bit of marketing blurb on the product box about the ritual of applying the face mask daily at sunset - I do not do this but I imagine if I did I would be a very zenned out individual. All in all? If you want clarified, brighter skin, this mask really works, and it feels as natural as Antipodes claim - the ingredients feel good on my skin and I can actually feel my face craving this now! It's nourishing and moisturising but I wouldn't say hydrating, so if your skin errs on the dry side you might want to test this out before you buy - it might not be the level of hydration you're used to/you need.

As for me? It'll definitely be a repurchase and an addition to my regular rotation!

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