Monday, May 30, 2011

Hot Lashes HEATED Lash Curler - Luminous Lashes

Heated eyelash curlers are one of the VERY best inventions.  When we curl the hair on our heads, we use heat. The very thought of crimping a bend into the lash sends shivers up my spine but I have indeed done so with the  eyelash curler we are familiar with.  These look like instruments of destruction yet we use them to create a curl in our lashes.  I never found the curl created from this type of lash curler to last all that long.  On a daily basis I do not wear mascara.  I do however use an eyelash conditioner along with a heated eyelash curler to enhance my lashes.
One of the first heated lash curlers that I tried worked pretty well for me.  Once heated, it would impart a pleasant warmth to the eye area while creating an easy curl in my lashes.  By "easy" I mean to say that I did not need to constantly crimp or bend my lashes between the pads.  After allowing the battery powered unit to heat up, I would curl my lashes by gently pressing the pads together and letting the heat do the work for me.  Though I loved this improved process, I found that the batteries would drain quickly.  The unit would power up but after only 1.5 - 2 weeks of use the batteries would need replacing if I wanted sufficient heat to create the curl as quickly as it had originally.  That is a LOT of batteries over the course of a year and always inconvenient to change. The curl my lashes received from this type of curler did not stay in the full day.  (Keeping in mind I do not usually apply mascara to my lashes after I curl unless I am going out to a party or some place special.)

Over the years I have tried different designs.  One unique design looked much like a mascara wand.  It took some getting used to as the directions were never clear as to how to achieve the best curl.  After trial and error I came up with a process of using it much like you would apply your mascara but would do so more slowly.  This would allow the heat to work and the curl to set.  When I got to the point in the lashed where I wanted the stronger curve I would hold the wand in place there for about 10 seconds.  This curler worked about as well as my first heated curler but required a bit more from me as far as technique.  The same issue with batteries applied.  The curl lasted somewhat longer than the first heated curler that I tried but still no real LASTING curl. (Again, no mascara applied after curling.)

A few months ago I stumbled upon a new (for me) design that incorporated the eyelash curler design I was most accustomed to along with heat.  The heat in this case was by way of electricity.  Along with this was the OPTION of using batteries.  LARGE batteries.  I have not used it with the batteries yet but plan to do so if I take this when traveling etc.  It is larger in its footprint than the others that I have tried but it works SO much better.  The curl LASTS until the next morning.  It was as if I had a permanent wave applied to my lashes.  After washing my face and wetting the lashes the curl would be gone of course.  It looks like the old fashioned style of curler, however, the base unit applies heat to the pads.  The pads claim to have tourmaline gemstone infused micro-crystals.  The manufacturer implies that the tourmaline gemstone micro-crystals in the pads of this lash curler make the pads different from other curlers of this type.  What I can tell you is that this works well for me.  The heat is consistent.  I plug it in and let it heat until the light stops flashing - but then I let it sit there for a bit longer as I finish up the rest of my makeup (If you leave it too long it will cool off - the unit shuts itself off).  I curl my lashes and they stay curled for well beyond the 18 hour curl the website claims.  There are different variations of this for purchase.  You can buy the unit with the curler (without the adapter) for a lower price but I would recommend that you purchase the kit that includes the adapter.  My order came with a set of replacement pads for the curler that I have yet to need.

Would I purchase this heated curler again?  Yes, and I wish I had a spare!  I would hate to be without it long enough to order another one should something happen to the unit I now own.

This can be purchased directly from their website.  My curler was purchased as "Hot Lashes" and from the website.  On the Hotlashes website you will notice a link for their new website called  This is the same manufacturer and product but there are additional kits and offers on the newer website.  At times you can find this item on Ebay from what appears to be resellers however, the manufacturer's website offers a 30 day money back guarantee.

**Check out another heated lash curler that I reviewed 4/6/13 at this link: USB Rechargeable Lash Curler

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Brow & Lash Growth Accelerator Treatment Gel by Ardell

We have all seen those commercials for products that promise to make our lashes grow longer and fuller.  Who doesn't want to bat long, Bambi, butterfly lashes into the face of their sweetie and have them swoon under our spell?  The only problem is the list of warnings that fly past your view towards the end of the commercials.  May cause darkening of the eyelid that may or may not be permanent.  You may have irritation of the eye or allergic reactions.  It may cause discoloration of the pigmented portion of your eye (iris).  If you get the medication on parts of your lid that do not normally have lashes you may grow lashes in odd places. (Sorta like those stray eyebrows on your chin?)   Both eyes may not have the same number of lashes or may have lashes growing in different directions.  These are just some of the warnings listed for one of the prescription products that have been shown to grow lashes.  Remember that these are medications originally intended to treat glaucoma.

Though I do not wish to mess around with medications for such a purpose as I have plenty of lashes to work with.  I was interested in a less intrusive way of perhaps conditioning them and preserving them and as a result having a fuller set of lashes.  After some time researching and reading I came across several products.  One product is called Starmakers REAL LASH and is available at and  You apply this to clean lashes (and/or brows) as you would apply mascara.  The applicator is a mascara wand.  It has an almost water-like consistency.  Some reviewers felt it seemed nothing was on their brush but it's there.  Before use I would shake the tube so that I was sure the brush would have plenty of product on it as I applied it to my lashes.  I used a few tubes of this product over the course of about 1.5 years and though I really do like it - it is pricey to continue to use.  Did it increase the length in my lashes or cause any specific changes to the color or number of lashes?  I would say it did help.  My lashes appeared darker and seemed more plentiful but I used it consistently until my tubes ran out.  If I wore mascara over top of this product - my lashes looked thicker and it helped me retain them after washing the mascara off.  From the list of ingredients I read it seems this is really a conditioner for use on your lashes.  Also of note is the fact that after stopping the use of this product my lashes returned to their original condition.  As a Cosmetologist - it makes sense to me that conditioning your lashes will enhance their appearance .  We condition the hair on our head and  protect it from damage - it will grow longer and serve you well.  Conditioning the hair on your head will not change the preset length that your particular head of hair will grow to before a follicle falls out and starts anew or, the amount of hair on your head.  Still, we condition our hair and take care of it so that it will look the best that it can.  Real Lash is a lovely product to do just that.  I highly recommend it, but only if you wish to spend approximately $48.00 on it. (This is now available at ShopNBC for $39.75.  Please see link below for more information.)

Ardell's Brow & Lash Accelerator Treatment Gel is similar in its treatment of your lashes.  The list of ingredients includes conditioners, panthenol (vitamin B5), and proteins that will surely condition and protect your lashes.  The price is much easier to digest.   On I have purchased a 3 pack - twice already.  This enables me to keep one down stairs and one in my makeup bag.  Also, I can replace the tube when it starts to look murky.  Keep in mind you are using it while you put your other makeup on and as such over time the white liquid will start to get a bit dirty.  The packaging is clear and will allow you to know when you are low on product and when you should probably open up a new package.  This has a mascara type wand making it very easy to apply.  There is more of a gel consistency to the Ardell product versus the Real Lash product.  You will have the bonus of it holding your brows into place if you chose to use it in that capacity.  Also, I have found that I can use this product and then use my heated lash curler and my curl stays in all day.  (I will review that wonderful lash curler next - it's fabulous!)  Mostly though, I just use this product alone and on most days I do not even curl my lashes.  I do find they are now darker where the tips had been so lightened (by the sun?).  This past November (2010) was when I started my adventure with Ardell's lash product.  Faithfully, I applied this morning and evening and sometimes in between.  (I usually do not use mascara - so I can easily reapply whenever I wish)  I have read reviews where ladies have said they noticed changes after one use.  Probably not probable.  However, this is a conditioner and perhaps they are noticing a better condition to their lashes on an immediate basis.  With consistent use, I believe you will notice your lashes are in better condition and along with that they might not fall out so quickly.  The changes I have noticed in these past almost 6 months are:  My lashes are a bit darker on the formerly washed out tips.  They are indeed fuller, thicker and a bit longer.  I have an area in my eyebrow that was sparse in brow hairs due to a scar from childhood stitches that has filled in a bit or, it could be the lighter hairs have been protected from the sun (striping them of color?) - either way - that spot has filled in a bit.  The price will be so much easier on your wallet.  Last night I ordered another set of 3 from for about $15.00 (including my shipping costs) and that says it all.  It is not a miracle in a tube.  It IS however, an inexpensive way to condition and protect your lashes so that they can be the best that they can be.

*A few reviews on the Ardell Brow & Lash Treatment mention flakes or stinging of the eyes.  I would like to address those comments.  Yes, this can flake if you rub your eyes - keep in mind that your clear mascara gel or your regular mascara will flake if you rub your eyes.  When you sleep in your lashes may brush past your pillow case upon occasion - you may see some flakes in the morning at the base of your lashes.  If you slept in your mascara it would flake as well.  Otherwise, I notice no flaking etc. on my lashes.  As far as this product stinging the eyes I will tell you this.  It is not meant to go in the eye - it is designed only to be applied to your lovely lashes.  Please apply carefully and do not glop it onto the base so much that it will leak into the eyes.  Anything that gets into the eyes will sting - water included.  Do not rub your eyes and you will avoid both the flakes and getting the product in your eye.  Rubbing your eyes can also cause you to lose eyelashes (defeating the purpose of this product), scratch your cornea and transfer germs from your hands to your eyes - leading to eye infections, colds and flus. - It's a habit to break for sure.

*Also of note is the fact that Real Lash does NOT flake and leaves your lashes both glossy and soft.  I do prefer it over all that I have tried.  It is applied in the same way as you would apply mascara.  If I had the cash to keep myself in the Real Lash it would surely be my first choice.

Link to ShopNBC for purchase of  Starmakers Real Lash.
Link to AMAZON for purchase of Ardell Brow & Lash Growth Accelerator Treatment Gel.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jane Iredale - Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain - Forever Pink

Where has this BEEN all my life?  I LOVE this product!  Most Lip stains are very drying or way too glossy and/or sticky.  This product is wonderful and is my first venture into Jane Irredale cosmetics. This is a buildable stain but I must tell you that one application was all I needed.  The scent is, to me, a light watermelon though I have read it described as rose scented.  It's fabulous!

This will give you that tint that makes it look like you just finished eating a cherry Popsicle.  I mean that in a good way.  This can be used on your cheeks as well giving you a refreshed and healthy glow.  Use a light hand when applying as blush to avoid a clown effect.  Use a small amount and look to see how it develops before adding more.

I am 47 and have very long hair that is graying in front and I find it is especially important now to keep my makeup natural.  This type of product is perfect for that look and I will buy it as long as they will make it.  It would make a great gift for your friends.  Spread the word so that they know we love it and will keep producing this marvelous lip/cheek stain!

This is part of the Jane Iredale Spring 2011 collection and I am hoping it will be a permanent addition to the Jane Iredale line.  This is a product that I will need multiples of and will need forever!  It's perfect.

*Product Description:
A lip and cheek stain that provides long-lasting, custom color to lips and cheeks.
Features and Benefits:
  • Multipurpose stain uses all natural ingredients to enhance your natural coloring.
  • Non-drying, long-lasting, all natural stain adjusts to your own chemistry for an irresistible pink shade that will flatter your skin’s undertone.
  • Olive butter, avocado butter and wild rose wax soothe and soften lips. Rose flower wax and beeswax nourish and moisturize.
Triisostearyl Citrate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil, Beeswax, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Wax, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Citric Acid. May Contain: Red 21 (CI 45380) (Aka 223)

*Info from Shop Jane Iredale

Can be purchased here for $25.00:
Shop Jane Iredale - FREE Shipping
Skin1 - FREE Shipping

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Epilation - the act of removing hair

Let out a warrior howl and yank those bad boys OUT!  Summer is here and we want to bare our legs.  We do NOT want to waste time shaving every single day to keep our legs smooth.  Enter the Epilator – one of the greatest inventions known to womankind – mankind too as it seems many men are choosing to forgo the chest hair these days.  (Such a shame really - I love a man with some HAIR on his chest!). 

Epilators have come a long way since the first one of years ago.  Epilady was launched in 1986 and was the FIRST electric hair epilator.  In my opinion it was one of the greatest inventions EVER!  I notice on the Epilady website that this model still exists!  Though it works well I would recommend one of the newer designs if you wish to epilate more sensitive areas.  Easier to control where IT goes if you get my meaning.

You will read that your results will last for 4 weeks.  Well, I will tell you that you will not wait 4 weeks to epilate again.  Currently, you are accustomed to perfectly smooth legs that are devoid of hair.  Seeing just one hair that escaped epilation will drive you to pull out your epilator or a pair of tweezers.  The Epilator is a tool that you will grow to love once you get the hang of it.  Over time, the hair grows in so much finer and there is less of it.  My mother in law's legs are like SILK!

Using an epilator is cheaper than waxing and much cleaner.  You won’t nick yourself however, you can pinch your skin if you do not hold looser skin taunt (like behind the knee).  If you do get your skin pinched TURN THE EPILATOR OFF….then you will be able to release the skin.

The very first epilator that I ever saw was the Epilady shown at the top of this page.  There was a commercial on TV and they showed this nasty looking spring (see photo) attached to the bottom of what resembled an electric shaver.  As this spring moved it yanked out hair.  My mother had one of those.  It was passed down to us after she gave up on it.  My mother in law had one as well and she loved it.  To this day, even with all the new variations of this clever little machine, there are those that love it and those that can do without.  Some say it is painful.   It can be painful much in the same way that when you first tweezed an eyebrow it stung a bit.  Remember though that after doing it a few more times you didn’t feel much discomfort?  It is the same with the epilator.  The first couple times you notice it but I would not call it painful.  Childbirth – THAT’S painful.  Actually, I got to the point where when I would notice the epilator grab a hair I would cheer it on “Yeah, you go!  Tear those fuzzies OUT!”  It takes some dedication.  Over time, you will see that you can go for longer and longer periods of time without bothering to epilate your legs.  It’s very freeing. 

The newer designs allow for better control/ease of use.  There are many different brands and most of them are great.  These do produce a bit of noise so do not expect them to be quiet.  In this writing I am focusing on the original brand Epilady brand as this is how I came to know about epilators.  There are other great brands like, Braun and Emjoi as well.  These are very affordable these days.  You can find Emjoi on HSN on clearance for 39.95 as of today but the original Epliady style shown at the top of this page still retails for about 99.00 (and worth every penny!).  Read reviews if possible on the model you select for purchase and you should do very well on a model in your price range.

A few things to remember:

*ONLY Epilate skin that is clean and free from lotions and oils etc.

*Epilate AFTER your shower and after having exfoliated.

*Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!  Everyday, in the shower as you wash, use a micro-fiber washcloth and wash your legs as you normally would but be sure to give them a nice scrub to lift those hairs up to attention for easy tweezing when you epilate.  You can also use a body scrub but I find a micro-fiber wash cloth is much less messy and takes away dead skin just as well as your favorite salt scrub.

*If you are having problems with folliculitis (this can happen sometimes when you epilate and get an infected follicle.) Do not moisturize immediately following epilation – rather wait until the next day.  Also, to aid in healing, grab a cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide and dab it onto the sore areas a couple times a day – it should clear up quickly.

“Folliculitis is inflammation of one or more hair follicles. It can occur anywhere on the skin. Symptoms: Common symptoms include a rash, itching, and pimples.”

*CLEAN your epilator after each use.  Cleaning your epilator will prolong its "life" and protect your skin from infections.  Turn off and/or unplug the Epilator.  Brush out the hair with the brush that accompanies the Epilator.  That is the info that will come with your Epilator.  I have added the following procedure to my Epilator cleaning/maintenance – It really made a difference for me but I cannot guarantee that your particular epilator might not appreciate it.  That said, I have used many different models and have not had issue with the following:

Turn it off and brush out the loose hair – (remove the top section per your instructions enclosed with your particular model and brush inside that area too to prolong the use of your Epilator – you don’t want hair building up in there).  Use a Q-tip or brush to apply peroxide or rubbing alcohol lightly to the tweezer disks as you spin the top manually. (Remember to unplug and turn off first)  Do not over soak it…just apply a light film.  Then I turn the Epilator on and as it spins I just blow air into it to be sure it is good and dry prior to storing.  (Close your eyes while blowing into it to keep any further loose hair from flying into your eyes.)

*I recommend that even though you may see hairs pop up again in a couple of days (as they are not all in the same growth cycle) refrain from epilating again for at least a week especially if you are having issues with folliculitis or clogged follicles.  Let them heal.  Also, realize that a little bit of hair isn’t that noticeable.  The hair will grow in soft and will not scratch as you cross your legs or touch them.  They will feel smooth.  If they feel sharp (as they do when they grow back from a shave) you will know that you are eplilating on too high a setting.  This will break the hair instead of pulling it out at the root.  You use the lowest setting for the thickness of the hair.  You may start out with a heavier setting if you have course hair and end up after some time on a lighter or slower setting.  Pay attention to this and you will have a much better result.  Pull the skin taunt as you move about the area you are working on - especially inner thigh.  This will help to prevent skin pinching and more effectively remove the hairs.  If the epilator pinches your skin, quickly turn it off and it should release.  

These can be used on areas other than the legs and I will leave that up to you!  I will give you one example though.  UNDER the arms!  WARNING epilating under the arms does sting more but still does NOT come close to child birth pains!  You must hold the skin very taunt.  Takes a bit of practice but you will get it.  Also, as I mentioned before, with repetition the pain will not be an issue.  Best to start while the hair (in all cases) is not so long.  The longer the hair – the bigger the pain.  It will be worth your effort epilating your armpits though.  Ever notice that dark shadow that some ladies have when they raise their arms?  That will be a thing of the past.

One more thing.  Though some of the regular models can be used on the face there are specialized models for this.  

Epilators are great!  It will take time to get the results that you are looking forward to.  Be patient with yourself.  It will take longer to epilate than it takes you to run a razor up and down your legs.  Your smooth legs, however, will last for days.  They will be smooth even when the hair starts to grow back in because it will NOT be prickly and uncomfortable.  You will feel like a EPILADY!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

FACIAL Flex - Exercise Equipment for your FACE

This little gem of a product works wonders on your face.  It was originally designed as a medical device to rehabilitate the face of burn patients.  When I first tried this miracle mouthpiece I was VERY excited about it.  I waited impatiently for its arrival.  Seriously, if lifting weights can tone your arms why wouldn't a bit of exercise for your face do the same?  Do you remember the "Thigh Master" of the past (actually, it may still be around)?  This is much like that but is for the face!   It works by placing the mouthpiece into your mouth and bringing your lips into an oval shape.  You open that oval shape wide and squeeze it in pressing against the resistance of the facial flex.  The resistance is created by tiny rubber bands.  These can be purchased in different weights (or thickness) to create more resistance.  I have also heard of folks doubling up on the lower resistance bands.  You need to resist the urge to jump to the heaviest weighted band right away.  Also, I would recommend that you perform this exercise while looking into a mirror and with your face pushing forward away from the body (this will engage the muscles in the double-chin area).  There are plenty of good reviews for this piece of equipment out there and the few that are not so complementary mention this creates additional lines around the mouth.  In the past, when I first received my facial flex, I used to heavy a band immediately and I did not pay attention to how I was performing the exercise.  When you watch yourself perform this exercise in the mirror and notice lines forming as you bring the facial flex into the closed position - and you notice lines around the mouth as you squeeze it closed - you are doing it wrong.  When you do this according to the directions and with the correct weighted band you will not see those lines as you perform the exercise.  Start at the low weight bands included with the system and work your way up slowly.  Your mouth should be in an oval shape with your upper lips pulled down and pressed over your upper teeth.  Push your face forward to engage the neck muscles, look into the mirror and squeeze the facial flex together.  If you can focus on engaging the muscles in the sides of your face as you bring it together you will get even better results.  If in the beginning, even the lightest weight band is too much, place a finger on each side of the facial flex to aid your mouth in bringing it in together.  You will know it is too much if you see those puppet lines while you are bringing your facial flex together.  Your skin around your mouth should look smooth.  They also say to put lotion on prior to use but I am guilty of not doing that step.  I keep mine with my toothbrush so that I perform these morning and night.  2 minutes/twice a day for a pain free face lift.

How much does it cost? This can be ordered from QVC (link below) for 29.95 plus shipping.  However, pay a bit more at the main site for this product and you can add the video/DVD to your order.  The video is a nice thing to have so that you perform the exercise correctly.  You can watch the video on QVC online however, I do not feel the lovely model is using it correctly (in my opinion).  There are some copies of this unit but you can easily tell them apart.  Be sure that you are buying the original.  The copycat model is NOT something I would recommend that you purchase.

Does it work?  At the time of this writing, I am 47 and I have been using Facial Flex for more than 4 years pretty much faithfully.  As a result, I do not have problems with my neck or jawline.  Is it going to smooth your face so that you look like a 16 year old?  No.  It will however, make the most of what you have and help to maintain muscle tone.  One bonus I should mention is that my lips (especially my upper lip) are much plumper now that I have been using this product.  Lips tend to thin as you age.  I purchased a spare Facial Flex for fear of missing a day should this one ever break or get lost.  I cannot stress enough that you MUST perform the exercise correctly.  Even after all these years of using this product  I still look into the mirror as I perform the exercise.

This was originally invented to help those suffering from facial burns.  It worked to soften the scar tissue forming.  In 1992, Facial Flex was classified as a Class 1 medical device by the FDA in the U.S.  It was through the observation that the Facial Flex was firming up areas not damaged by the burns that this wonderful piece of equipment was used for cosmetic purposes to tone the muscles of the face and neck.  Check out the main Facial Flex website below - there is a link at the top of the home page where you can watch a video of this exercise being performed.  You will also be able to read more about this great product.  I purchased mine from QVC.  There are SO many customer reviews that you can read on the QVC site.  I will post that link below as well.

Watch Facial Flex Video
Read Reviews and Purchase on QVC - Can be purchased here
USA Official Website - Can be purchased here

There is no assembly required.  Notice in the photo the center white area?  There is an indentation here that holds the rubber band.  The bands should be replaced often and are available for sale wherever you purchase your facial flex.

Friday, May 6, 2011!

A favorite place on the web for me to visit each and every day is!  I love it so much I created my own little shop there to support my habit of constant creativity.  Supplies are expensive!  Please visit my shop at!  I would love to "meet" you. 

Now you know just ONE of MY favorite things. I plan on posting more info on treasures that I find.  Everything and anything from jewelry to perfume and makeup.  Perhaps I will find a new favorite for you.