Eyes -Unlisted Brand - Careprost~Generic Brand Latisse
bernb 11/20/2011 8:57:00 PM
MY CAREPROST DIARY: After reading about Careprost (and Latisse) on MUA I enthusiastically jumped on the Careprost bandwagon. I am now into my thirties, and my once long, thick lashes are losing their ‘lustre’ – I also had some spots in my eyebrows that needed filling in. I decided to share my Careprost journey with MUA. I would like to note – my hair and skin does heal/grow fast compared to just about everyone I know, so I anticipate my results to be faster than average. Example – I have to pluck my eyebrows on a daily basis, and an underarm epilation only lasts a week and a half. My fingernails grow from cut down nubs to well past my fingertips within two weeks. How Careprost Latisse works – the active ingredient is Bimatoprost. The mode of operation that is ‘believed’ to occur is that it lengthens the duration of the anagen phase of the hair cycle, which is the growth phase. If you elongate this part of the cycle, the hair shaft will have a chance to grow longer before entering the catagen (transitional) and telogen (resting) phases. Application: I bought two taklon brushes from an art store – a fine line one for my lashes, and an angle one for my brows. I drop two drops into the lid and apply to my lash line first, then another two drops for my eyebrows. I am very particular about application – making sure I only apply to the desired areas, and cover the area thoroughly but not excessively. I apply at night before bed. EDIT: I used Careprost on my eyebrows for 8 weeks only. From then on I started using only one drop on my eyelashes – two drops was too much. Week 1 (7-Sep-2011): First two days I experienced discomfort and pressure within the eyes, similar to that experienced with sinus problems - resolved by day 3. Eyes are bloodshot for first three days – resolved by day 4. First four days I had a little dryness and flaking close to the lash line, nothing serious and not painful - resolved by day 5. Some redness around the eyes, not painful – resolved by day 7. Notice that the area around the eye is becoming a little darker, akin to dark circles (I do not have a problem with dark circles). Not as apparent by day 7. Allergy eye drops in the first few days helped alleviate the bloodshot eyes. Week 2 (14-Sep-2011): Redness has almost resolved. Still some darkness around the eyes and along the lash line – nothing terrible, easily covered up, not very noticeable with a bare face/eyes and just mascara. All initial irritation as described in week 1 has completely resolved. Have noticed a little extra growth already – most apparent with the centre and inner corner lashes. Outer corner lashes seem longer, but the effect is not as apparent there yet. Week 3 (21-Sep-2011) & Week 4 (28-Sep-2011): The darkness around my eyes has completely resolved. Still have the odd day where my eyes are a little bloodshot, still easily fixed with allergy eye drops. Most prominent side effect at the moment is dry eyes when I wake up, which I am prone to anyway - this has just exacerbated the problem. Immediately relieved with moisturising eye drops. Definite noticeable growth - I tinted my lashes on the 24th, and by the 29th I can see some blonde roots poking through the lash line again already. SO has also commented on the increased length of my lashes from my side profile. Still plenty of solution in my first bottle. No discernible change to my eyebrows yet. Week 5 (5-Oct-2011) to week 7 (19-Oct-2011): Still getting good results. Finally seeing some filling in of my eyebrows. Had one 'wonky' eyelash that I had to pull out - the end looked bent. Still occasionally wake up with bloodshot eyes, nothing bad. I do have what looks like slight dark circles around my eyes some days - but, my sleep pattern is also a little messed up right now. Growth of my lashes seems a bit stagnant at the moment - but I am only halfway through the treatment cycle of 16 weeks. *Finished my first bottle on October 8 – lasted one month using four drops per day* Week 8 (26-Oct-2011) to week 11 (16-Nov-2011): Stopped using Careprost on my eyebrows in week 8 and had them professionally shaped (see my profile for pic). I am now very happy with how my eyebrows have grown in and consider my treatment of those complete. During week 9, I lost a lot of eyelashes, predominantly from my right eye. I was very concerned initially. I ended up with uneven eyelashes for the next few weeks while they grew back. It wasn’t overly noticeable – I managed to balance it out with mascara. I am no longer experiencing any unpleasant side effects – the last few weeks have been completely symptom free. No redness, and the darkness has well and truly gone. I have not noticed any discernible change in pigment anywhere, either of my eyelashes or my eyes themselves. In my humble opinion, my lashes now look incredible. By week 11, they have grown in well on both sides, and are well balanced. The lashes are thick and long. My only complaint is that the ends of some of my lashes curl a little in weird directions. This is easily corrected with a heated eyelash curler and some mascara. I am still using my second bottle of Careprost, which has lasted me since my fifth week. I have switched to using the angled brush to apply Careprost to my lash line. I have found this to be quicker and easier than using a fine pointed brush, plus I can rub it into the lash line a little better. Overall, 11 weeks in and my experience with Careprost has thus far been a success. I am extremely happy with the results and I will continue to use it. I am unsure if I will get any more growth as I am almost at week 12. I will report back at week 16 to do my final diary entry.
The E25 is the Sigma equivalent of the MAC 217. I have both, and I love both. The E25 is about as close to identical to the MAC 217 as you will probably find. The bristles are almost the same width and length extending out of the ferrule. There are some differences, albeit minor. For starters, the E25 is slightly less dense. You can’t tell just by looking at it – you have to bend the hairs to feel the difference in density. It doesn’t have the perfectly cut and slightly domed end that the MAC 217 has either. It has a very similar shape, but is a little more squared off. It also fluffs out a little more around the edges as well – it doesn’t sit as tightly and neatly packed as the MAC 217. Regardless of the differences, I find them almost equal in performance. The only time I pick up my MAC 217 in absolute preference of my E25 is when I need to be very precise with my blending. Other than that, the E25 does a fantastic job at blending and applying both powder and cream products. I highly recommend this brush for anyone seeking a dupe or alternative to the MAC 217.
Black Tied – I have a love/hate relationship with you, but you are just so damn good looking. Black tied looks amazing, hence the love – but you have to put in the work to get there, hence the hate. Sure, you can take the easy way out, and use black tied as an eyeliner. But why waste its beauty? Just use Carbon, or even better save your pennies and buy NYX Black (which IMO, kicks Carbon’s butt). Now, back to Black tied. You can get the most amazing, sparkly smoky eye with Black Tied. First of all, Black Tied needs a base. A considerable base. You need to start off with either a good concealer (I personally like MAC Select Moisturecover) or a good primer (such as Too Faced Shadow Insurance). Apply this all over the lid up to the browbone. You then need a good colour base – the best options (IMO) are NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean, or MAC Paint Pot in Blackground. Apply this to the lid only up to the crease. Then, apply Black Tied, wet. I personally use MAC Fix+. I use a MAC 239 dampened with Fix+, swipe it through Black Tied, and pack it onto the lid. Some hints: - Decide on the tone of your smoky eye first. I personally prefer a warm smoky eye, so I use a deep brown in the crease, medium/light brown transition, and a pale beige on the browbone. Adjust this accordingly to your preferred crease and highlight shades for a smoky eye. - Apply Black Tied last. Apply your primers and bases, then do your crease, transition and highlight – pack Black Tied on last, and gently diffuse the edges into your socket colour with a small blending brush like the MAC 219. - There will be fall out. Even used wet, you may get a fleck or two of fall out. The easiest ways to prevent this ruining your face, is to tap your brush of a little and lightly re-spray with Fix+; use mini post-it notes under your eye while applying your eyeshadow; and applying your eyeshadow first before the rest of your makeup (especially foundation). - Apply upper lid eyeliner before Black Tied (and lower lid if you plan to line here as well). Applying eyeliner on top of Black Tied just does not work. You risk ruining all your hard work thus far. It is so deep and dark you shouldn’t need to line your upper lid anyway – tightlining should be sufficient. I did say there would be work! Once you get used to using Black Tied, this process becomes quicker and easier – don’t be put off. The results are oh, so worth it. EDIT: My skintone - equivalent to MAC N/NC-10/15 (neutral warm, pale, with surface redness).
Eye Primer -Too Faced - Shadow Insurance, Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer
bernb 11/12/2011 3:35:00 AM
I am not going to review TFSI based on how well it works with eyeshadow. Granted, it does work well as an eyeshadow primer. But there is nothing I could say that hasn’t already been said. Where this product stands out for me – is how it works as an eye area primer under my foundation. Let me explain. There are days when all I can wear is my mineral foundation and a bit of mascara - work is a perfect example. But the problem I was having, is that about two hours after applying my mineral foundation, I was getting awful creasing of my foundation both in my socket line and just under my lower lashline. This was regardless of the brand of mineral foundation, regardless of setting powder used, regardless of mode of application. Physics just dictates that without anything to stop it, pigment will naturally move into a crease. It was bugging me because it was literally the only visible evidence that I even had foundation on. I decided to try my TFSI on these areas to see if it would help. My experiment was a success!! I started off with the eyelid only, figuring that if it prevents eyeshadow from creasing, then surely it will prevent my mineral foundation from creasing – I was right. I then tried it under the lash line. Again, it worked. Of course now it seems so obvious – but sometimes we get stuck in makeup routines that dictate certain products be used for certain things. The best bit – it lasts all day. I can now go a full day and my mineral makeup no longer creases around my eyes. I am very careful how and where I apply it – I use a Sigma F75 concealer brush. I squirt a little bit of TFSI on the back of my hand, dip the tip of the brush in, and lightly apply it straight into the socket crease and lower lashline crease, then gently pat it with my fingertips. I give it a minute or two to settle, then continue to apply my mineral makeup as normal. Such a simple solution – hopefully it helps someone else out there the way it helped me!
Diva is truly a magnificent colour, a deep, matte burgundy. It is somewhat reminiscent of the long last lip colours I used to wear in the 90’s – but Diva is modern and wearable (unlike the deep colours from the 90’s that were so very dry and cakey). The colour is strong, yet adjustable. You can apply Diva lightly if you chose – but to see Diva in all its beauty a full application is needed. Diva wears well – lasting a solid few hours before needing to be touched up, under ‘normal’ circumstances. I also found Diva to stay put – as I am getting older, some lipsticks bleed a little on me in certain spots on my lip line. Diva didn’t budge. I don’t personally find the matte formula drying - maybe because I can still remember those old matte 90’s lipsticks, anything more modern feels fine. Some people might not like the feeling or the texture – I would suggest making sure your lips are well moisturised beforehand, making sure you give your moisturiser or balm time to absorb. I team Diva with either a clear liner, or MAC Burgundy or Oak lip pencils. It is a lipstick that you need to take your time applying - I always apply Diva very carefully with a lip brush. Diva isn't very forgiving of a rushed application. My only gripe with this lipstick, is that it throws off a slight cool mauve undertone on my lips – the colour of Diva leans a little purple-burgundy on me. Regardless, it is still stunning. Diva would suit a range of skin tones – I love it against my fair skin, blonde hair and green eyes. It makes my eye colour seem a little ‘icy’ and the contrast between my eyes and lips makes them both stand out even more. I will continue to repurchase. EDIT: My skintone - equivalent to MAC N/NC-10/15 (neutral warm, pale, with surface redness).
This mascara was awful. I purchased this at the same time as the Oscillation Powerbooster (which I have also reviewed). I have naturally long lashes – but they lack the ‘oomph’ they once had. I tried Hypnose on the recommendation of a friend who has raved about Lancome mascaras for years. I have never been able to justify spending such ridiculous amounts of money on mascara ($50 AUD!!!) but I decided to splurge and give it a shot. I started to apply it – on bare lashes first time around – at first, I was surprised by the intensity of the pigment. It is a beautiful, deep black. But I quickly noticed the lumps – not just clumps, but actual lumps of mascara forming randomly on my lashes. I quickly took to my lashes with my Tweezerman lash comb – to no avail. I could not get this mascara to be clump and lump free. I played around with it a bit – wiping the brush; actually going as far as rinsing off the brush and starting with a completely cleaned brush; applying just a little; applying a little, wiping the brush and attempting to smooth it with the brush – nothing worked. I then tried it over the Oscillation Powerbooster – and it was WORSE. I could not get this mascara to apply without looking downright lumpy and disgusting. I gave up after a few weeks of coming back to it and repeatedly trying - and gave it away to a friend. This might suit someone who has short stumpy lashes, where you can apply thick mascara and not really notice any clumps – but for anyone who has average to long lashes, I suggest looking elsewhere for a volumising mascara.
Incredibly underwhelmed by this. I purchased this based on reviews alone. I wanted another nice everyday mascara – I love Maybelline’s Full ‘N Soft, but alas, I am a self-confessed mascara junkie... and couldn’t resist. Opened up the package – nice tube. Opened up the mascara, nice brush. Product looks beautiful – a deep, glossy black. I applied this to my lashes on one eye – it did nothing other than add a beautiful black colour to my lashes. But seriously, no volume, no length, nothing. Just colour. My lashes actually looked extremely wimpy and almost limp. This will be suitable for those who are looking to just add colour to their lashes without that discernible “I’m wearing mascara” look. But for me, I can achieve a better result with lash tinting and a clear mascara or lash serum. *Sigh* another regretful mascara purchase. I will stick to the tried and true Maybelline Full ‘N Soft as my everyday mascara. Have put this up for swap.
Another mascara let down. Maybelline The Falsies in Black Drama was a disgusting, clumpy lumpy horrid mess. I couldn’t get it to apply evenly. Even my lash comb couldn’t save this stuff. I love the idea of the brush, you can get a beautiful lash fan with this. But the formula was just terrible. In the bin it went. Maybelline Colossal and Full n Soft are Maybelline’s best mascaras, in my opinion.
Wow, did I get sucked in with this one (hangs head in shame). I am not a fan of mascara primers/bases as a general rule – the only one I ever used, albeit briefly, was the one time I tried L’Oreal Beauty Tubes mascara. But, I needed more oomph, and after hearing one of my best friends rave on for years about Lancome mascara and base, I thought I would splurge and buy myself this base as well as Hypnose mascara, despite my aversion to HE mascaras. Both were a massive let down, and a waste of over $100AUD. This primer, in the most blunt way I can possibly say it, made my eyelashes look absolutely crap. I applied a fine layer, quickly combed it through with my Tweezerman lash comb, and then applied my mascara. Yeah, there was a little more length and volume, but everything looked extra clumpy. I tweaked my technique a little – tried different ways, and different mascaras. It even made my trusted go to no clump mascaras look clumpy. The other thing that really bugged me, was having to hold down the little button to keep the vibration going. $50AUD down the drain. Have put mine up for swap.
I have been using Ardell Brow Gel in clear for years now. It is one of the few products I can purchase here in Australia that is reasonably priced – you can pick this up at Priceline for around $6. Pros: - Easy to apply; - Lasts all day; - Doesn’t flake; - Applies over brow colour product without disrupting it, e.g. brow pencil and powder; - Gives brows a slight sheen; - Controls even the most unruly of eyebrows; - Exceptionally cheap. Cons: - With daily use, a tube doesn’t last all that long – after about six weeks or so, the consistency changes a little, and becomes more runny. However, this doesn’t affect the performance of the product for me personally, but it may bother some people. - It can disrupt your foundation/face powder a little around the edges of the eyebrow – I find this to be the case at the inner edge of the brow (near the nose) and at the tail of the brow – I remove the excess with a cotton bud (Q tip), then blend out any disrupted makeup with either a microfiber cloth or a slightly damp makeup sponge. Application: I have personally found the best way to apply this is to first brush the gel into the eyebrows ‘against the grain’ – in the opposite direction of hair growth, then use the brush to go over the eyebrows lightly and put them back into place – this adds a little more volume to the eyebrow, and prevents that ‘slicked down’ eyebrow effect these products can sometimes create. I then finish shaping the brow with a regular eyebrow brush/comb. I have been using this product for years now and will continue to purchase it.
Woah – My Blackest Lashes is EXTREME!! My lashes are difficult – finding a good mascara for an extreme effect is difficult. Everything clumps on me, from drugstore to high end. My Blackest Lashes, to date, is the best ‘extreme’ mascara I have tried. But I must warn you – this mascara requires a lot of work to look good. As other reviewers have said, you can’t just swipe and go with this one. I only use this for special occasions, and where I have time to invest in the application process. I start off my making sure my lashes have been very lightly dusted off with a little loose powder. I then comb my lashes with my Tweezerman lash comb before application, to separate all my lashes prior to application and make sure they are already sitting in place. I then slowly and thoroughly apply one coat, starting with the inner lashes – applying gently there – and applying with a little more intensity as I move outward towards the outer corner lashes. I then really get into the roots/base in the outer corner and gently swipe out. I then very carefully go back with my Tweezerman lash comb, and carefully separate my lashes, fanning them out a little at the outer corners. You need to be careful – anymore than one decent coat, and you will get nasty clumps that even the Tweezerman comb won’t get out for you. It dries quickly too, so even though you need to be thorough and careful, you still need to work within the drying time. But the result is oh so worth it. You will end up with deep black, almost glossy lashes, that are voluminous, long, and perfectly fanned out. As for the negative – the tube doesn’t have one of those stopper things in the opening to remove excess mascara – so you need to be mindful of how much mascara is on the brush. The mascara is a ‘wet’ formula, and although it doesn’t seem to dry out quickly, it does seem to thicken up after a few weeks but not uniformly – it becomes slightly claggy, in my opinion. The price here in Australia is insane - $20, compared to about $6USD. I am trying to find a cheaper way to get ahold of Prestige mascaras. I will continue to purchase this mascara, unless I get lucky and find something even better again!
For lack of a better term, this mascara is hardcore. The things this stuff stands up to – impressed me to no end. First of all, about the mascara. Overall, in terms of appearance, it is very good, but not excellent. It does give a great amount of volume, it does lengthen a bit too. It doesn’t clump on my clump prone lashes, but it can look very done and very heavy – it is by no means a natural looking mascara. I cannot comment on its ability to hold a curl as I don’t curl my lashes. It is very easy to apply - the brush is a great size. It doesn't require much work - a few quick swipes, a little combing, and you are good to go. This mascara certainly does not need multiple coats to get good volume. What impressed me the most was how it held up under some tough conditions. I recently spent some time in a workshop environment. I was sweating all day, wiping my face and eyes, and this stuff never moved. No smudges, and no flakes. If I got something in my eye, the mascara was unaffected. I did find this tough to remove in the beginning. I always use eye makeup remover, and my Neutrogena Oil Free wouldn’t remove this stuff without a lot of effort. After some experimentation, I came to realise the best thing to remove this mascara was a micellar water, and I currently have La Roche Posay Physiological Micellar Water to remove eye makeup that the Neutrogena Oil Free won’t take off. The price is reasonable – comparable to drugstore mascaras in the US, but much cheaper than drugstore mascaras here in Australia (which average about $18 plus). Regardless of its minor shortcomings, NYX Doll Eye Volume will continue to be my go to mascara for when I am working in a workshop/construction site environment.
Primer/ Corrector -Laura Mercier - Foundation Primer-Mineral
bernb 11/2/2011 7:02:00 PM
I love Laura Mercier face products, but I just couldn’t make this one work for me, and oh how I tried. I had the Laura Mercier Mineral Primer in the liquid formula. It feels lovely going on, and looks nice once it has set – it really seems to balance out the skin. The problem I encountered with it however, is that it doesn’t seem to uniformly absorb into my skin, and as a result my makeup ‘gathers’ in some spots on my face (a problem I don’t usually have). I tried everything to make it work: - Applied to clean and slightly damp skin; - Applied to clean and very dry skin; - Applied over moisturiser; - Applied over sunscreen; - Applied over hydrating serum; - Applied over aloe vera gel; - Applied, allowed to absorb, then misted with Avene Thermal Water; - Applied, allowed to set, then smoothed over with a sponge; - Applied, allowed to set, then followed by primer powder. I have also tried exfoliating in different ways, and still the same result. No matter what I did, I always ended up with the same end result – makeup that gathered on random spots on my face. I have since concluded that liquid mineral primer is just not suitable for my skin – I will stick to mineral primer powders, and I am looking at purchasing the Laura Mercier Mineral Primer Powder to give that a go.
Alima Pure Satin Finishing Powder is a nice product. It has its purpose, however. This finishing powder, in my opinion and experience, does nothing for oil control whatsoever. But it is a rather beautiful finishing powder. It is definitely a ‘satin’ finish – it has an ethereal glow about it, that a lot of people won’t find suitable for everyday wear. I rather like the finish, as my face can sometimes look a little flat – the glow of this powder is a nice pick me up. After a few hours, it really ‘melts’ into the skin and the glow dissipates a little. Overall it is a nice powder – some might find it more suitable for special occasions as opposed to everyday or workplace wear. My only gripe is that it could be a little longer lasting, and have better oil control properties. If anyone is looking for a nice mineral finishing powder that is more matte with decent oil control, try Laura Mercier Mineral Finishing Powder, which still has a bit of a glow to it, or Youngblood Mineral Rice Setting Powder, which is matte without being flat, and also doubles as a primer. EDIT: My skintone - equivalent to MAC N/NC-10/15 (neutral warm, pale, with surface redness). I use Alima Pure Mineral Finishing Powder in Yuki.
Primer/ Corrector -Alima - Balancing Primer Powder
bernb 11/2/2011 6:42:00 PM
Alima Pure Balancing Primer Powder is, in my opinion, necessary for anyone who uses Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation and has any signs of oiliness. I never apply my Alima foundation without first applying this. First and foremost, this primer powder keeps oiliness at bay for hours. On my greasy T zone, it keeps my makeup in check for at least four to five hours before I have to blot, and even then I sometimes only have to blot my chin and between my eyebrows a little. Second, it acts as a kind of ‘interface’ between my Alima foundation and my sunscreen. I gently pat on this primer powder with a flocked sponge puff after I have given my sunscreen some time to ‘set’. I gently press it all over my face, so as not to disrupt my sunscreen. I then very gently use a kabuki to dust it off and blend it a little. It applies seamlessly – despite being a powder product, it doesn’t gather anywhere on the face, there is no caking, and no real blending is needed other than to dust off any excess. You can simply pat it on, lightly dust it, and continue on with applying your makeup. This year, I have really put Alima Pure products to the test (specifically Satin Matte Foundation, Balancing Primer Powder, and Satin Finishing Powder). I spent some time in a workshop environment, where I was often sweating and wiping my face (albeit as carefully as I could). Alima held up exceptionally well under these circumstances. I am extremely happy with this product, and will continue to purchase. EDIT: My skintone - equivalent to MAC N/NC-10/15 (neutral warm, pale, with surface redness). I use Alima Pure Balancing Primer Powder in Light.