I have heard a lot about the NY based brand Mario Badescu, a skin care line. They always have those ads in the pages of Cosmo magazine for their zit-zapping “Drying Lotion” bottles.

All photos are taken from their website http://www.mariobadescu.com and are their property.
Image at 1 oz for $17, it must be good if people are still buying it right?? Imagine buying a 1oz shot of alcohol for that price.. I would laugh in the bartender’s face!
Anyways, the drying lotion is something I did not try. The list of things I tried is as follows:

1. Seaweed Cleansing Soap. 8 oz. $12.


This seaweed face wash.. well.. it is ok. It does have bits of seaweed in it. It is bright green like the picture. It smells very strong, sort of like aftershave and laundry soap combined? I don’t really know how else to describe it. All the products are pretty strangely scented. I found this scent to be a little more on the unpleasant side for me, and so strong. I ordered online, so I could not smell and touch things before hand.. I doubt I will ever do that again. As for its claims: cleansing, gentle, exfoliating, non-soap (I know right? The name of it says soap.. but apparently it doesn’t have any soap in it), and light makeup removal.
Cleansing – yes
Gentle – sort of, it still leaves my skin a bit dry
Exfoliating – not that I have noticed at all
Light make up removal – no, didn’t even take off my mascara – not waterproof mascara either just plain black.
Overall rating out of 5 stars: 2.5
Pros: somewhat gentle, doesn’t irritate
Cons: smells bad, and very strong smell, leaves my skin dry, doesn’t remove makeup

2. Kiwi Exfoliating Face Scrub 4 oz for $15

This is probably the only product of all of these listed that actually smells good! It smells like a delicious strawberry-kiwi smoothie of some kind. Mmmm!!! Now this product has real kiwi seeds in it, and also bits of seaweed, and natural Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) which are all supposed to contribute to the exfoliation experience. Unfortunately this product, aside from the delicious scent, is completely useless. It does not exfoliate at all. In fact, just to get some use out of it, I brought a small dish of coarse sea salt into the bathroom and I mix it with this scrub to make it actually exfoliate my skin. Really not impressed.

Overall rating out of 5 stars: 1
Pros: smells nice, rich & thick
Cons: does not exfoliate, does not improve skin quality, waste of money

3. Alpha Grapefruit Cleansing Lotion (I don’t know why they call it that… It is a toner) 8 oz for $15

Now for the toner – this toner claims to give you a healthy, refreshed glow and to brighten skin and reduce discoloration, as well as gently clearing congested pores.
Ummm how about no… My skin is not brighter. I still have major blackheads, everywhere. It reeks of dandelions. Luckily the scent fades quickly. It also claims this is appropriate for oily, dry, and/or sensitive skin. False. It leaves my sensitive/dry skin dry and sometimes even a bit flaky. Overall I find it also quite useless.
Overall rating out of 5 stars: 1
Pros: None
Cons: drying, stinky, does not lessen blackheads or brighten skin tone

4. Flower and Tonic Mask 4 oz for $18

How refreshing… ONE product out of 5 actually works. This Flower and Tonic Mask is actually quite nice. It is pale robin’s egg blue, has a light flowery scent, not overpowering (for once), and actually does some of what it claims!!! Wow!!! It claims to remove bumpy and congested skin, clean pores without drying, and reduce irritation. The directions say to leave it on for 20 minutes, then rinse off. I find 5 minutes is about how long you can leave it on, otherwise it all begins to flake off and blue powdery bits are dusting everywhere. After rinsing it off, my pores look visibly minimized. I still have bumpy congested skin, and blackheads, but I think that this mask is slowly helping some areas, especially my cheeks. It does not dry out my skin, and it does not irritate.
Overall rating out of 5 stars: 4
Pros: minimizes pores and helps blackheads a little, scent is pleasant and not overpowering, works alright and quickly, doesn’t irritate or dry out sensitive skin
Cons: doesn’t work as well as I would like, for the price, doesn’t reduce bumps.

5. Hydro-moisturizer with Vitamin C 2 oz for $18
Hydro-Moisturizer With Vitamin C
I don’t really know what to say about this moisturizer. It is alright. It claims to give you luminous, soft, radiant skin. Well, 1/3. My skin is soft, yes. Radiant? Luminous? Hardly. I guess overall it is not bad, it doesn’t stink, in fact it has almost no scent. I am disappointed that it contains parabens, one of the few of these products that does, and for the price I would expect better from it.
Overall rating out of 5 stars: 2.5
Pros: doesn’t stink, makes skin soft, doesn’t irritate
Cons: doesn’t live up to its claims, too expensive, contains chemicals I don’t want on my body

I also received some free samples, they always give 3 free samples with each order so that is nice. None were worth mentioning except for the Drying Mask – meant for acne-prone skin/blackheads etc.I found it to work fairly well, it brought a lot of eruptions to the surface of my skin, and drew out impurities, however the smell was so strong and revolting – overpowering smell sort of like burnt plastic or burnt hair and just made me gag so badly that it would never be worth while for me to buy it no matter what the positive effects.

My overall rating for Mario Badescu based on these products:

out of 5 stars: 2.2
This is an average of all my above ratings. I actually kind of want to rate it even less due to the high cost of each product, plus shipping, plus taxes… just ridiculous. They could have done a lot better. I doubt I will ever buy one of their products again.

A huge factor for me, I mean of course the main factor being performance, but secondarily – the smell, or should I say stench, of most of these. Nearly unbearable. And I am really not that picky about scents. Anyways, I am pretty sad that I wasted so much money on these products, and I hope that I can prevent some of my readers from making the same mistake! I highly advise that if you have the option to buy any of these in-store so you can smell and sample them yourselves, that is really the only way to go.