YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils

I received this YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils from YSL & Influenster for review.  At first I didn’t have high hopes because it seems so many companies are constantly releasing new mascaras promising you the world.  I have a fairly unique view on mascara, I don’t like to layer it on, I really just want it to make my lashes look better and not be incredibly noticeable that I have mascara on other than the fact that my lashes look dark and beautiful.

I do use careprost to keep my lashes long, my natural lashes are dark at the root and light at the tip, so mascara is always a good idea for me to show off the full length of my lashes. As you know from a previous post, I also perm my lashes to keep them curled at all times.  So what I need in a mascara is something that makes them black, adds a little to the length, separates and gives some volume without being clumpy, and I think this mascara does a very natural job of all of those.

Because I was sent this for review I really stared this mascara down for a few days of wearing it.  I really like the look it gives my lashes.  I did notice some very fine flaking towards he mid-late part of the day but it was because I was staring and looking for it, not something I just noticed in passing.  It’s not very humid here yet so I am yet to test this out in our Houston summer climate, but it did well in showers of not making me look like a complete racoon.

This mascara is a little on the expensive side, retailing for $32.  If you want one good mascara and you are willing to spend a little money I think this mascara is a good option. I have been happy and will probably be purchasing for my self when it runs out.

I did also get the new Benefit Roller lash around the same time as this was sent to me and I reached for this one more often.  This mascara left my lashes feeling softer and I found the Roller Lash to be clumpier/thicker.

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Lash Perm

So I have very long, but straight lashes. Years ago I turned to getting my lashes permed, this is a services you can get at several types of salons or lash experts. My biggest issue was finding some one that I like the way they did it, consistently being able to get into that person, & finding a decent price.  That is the biggest downfall is that I felt like there was such a wide range in pricing between the different salons and they are all offering the exact same service.

After watching several videos and having it performed on me dozens of times I gave up and decided this was something I can do myself at home.  This is something you want to be VERY careful with,  also if it’s the first time you are getting your lashes permed I would not do it yourself.  I did this with extreme care and lots of research.  In the photos below I used half the cotton rod & half the silicon roll so you could see both and that there are different ways.  Both the cotton & silicon come in multiple sizes for different length lashes and different types of curl.

These are the steps your professional will follow.  The instructions on the box tell you the information but the basics are first you glue the rod to your eyelid,  then the important part: you slowly and carefully glue the lashes (with the glue provided in the kit) up to the rod.  You want EVERY SINGLE lash glued firmly to the rod, and it the direction and order you want your lashes to look.  Any strange direction your lashes are glued in could result in that shape for the length of which your lashes stay permed.  Then you apply the perming lotion, and yes it smells just like a hair perm.  The box says to leave on 10-15 minutes, I did that and found that the thickness of my lashes required at least 20 min but I did try 15 min first to make sure I didn’t cause damage and then slowly added time to figure out my happy spot.  Then you wipe ALL of that solution off with q-tips and cotton pads before applying the setting solution.  You leave this solution on for the same length of time as the first solution.  Then when you wipe all of that off you will use the conditioning solution on a q-tip to slowly wipe over all the lashes and work them free from the glue.  Then after you lift the rod off from your eyelid you will be ready. You should avoid water & steam for 48 hours to insure that your perm curl holds.  As you know from my lash extension post that your lashes naturally shed and once they shed you will need to perform this again.  I find this typically last 2-3 months before I want to touch up.

I ordered my supplies on Amazon, make sure to read the reviews before buying.

You can also get your lashes dyed and then you don’t need to do anything with your lashes in the morning.  But I found the one time I got my lashes died that I ended up using mascara anyways because I wanted that extra volume, so save your money on that one.

Undereye Filler – Restylane

For years I have battled what I thought was under-eye puffiness.  I know I have posted several blogs about what I use to get the best result with what I was genetically given, but I still was not happy.

I had been to several cosmetic counters both low to high end searching for the miracle cream that would make me look rested.  Every consultant would look defeated and give me something that might help but none were ever convinced that it would work.
Then I consulted my dermatologist, maybe she had something that would work…. But I got the same defeated look.  Her best advice was to seek a plastic surgeon that does fillers, because surgery and fillers where my best option.
I went home and did a lot of online research and quickly discover while I hated the puffiness I was not yet prepared for the surgery solution, I watched the video and OUCH; it is just not worth it to me yet.
So I scheduled an appointment at a local plastic surgeons medi spa that came highly recommended for injections.
Here are a scattering of photos.  I don’t have any really good before photos because quite frankly I would always edited or deleted most photos that showed what it really looked like.  Day of photos have no makeup to speak of since I knew I was getting the procedure done.
Before:

Day Of Before

The day of and a few days before its best not to take any fish oil or pain reliever because they can increase the chances of bruising. At the appointment they had me lay back and smoothed on a numbing cream that they then waited 10-15 minutes to let it work.  Then she injected the Restylane with a very small insulin size needle.  Slowly injecting and rubbing the areas.  She would periodically stop and show me the progression with a mirror.  I was informed that I had one month that after the swelling went down and we could see the results to come back and use the rest of my syringe, since you pay for a whole one regardless if you use the whole thing.
Day of Right After

Morning After

2 Days After

6 Days Later

10 Days After

The day after and two days after there was a lot of swelling from the multiple injection points.

 
As you can see in my Day 10 photo the first application did not smooth out as they thought so I made a follow up appointment.  The follow up was scheduled 20 days after the original procedure, you want to make sure all the swelling is down before going to a follow up, I went well after the swelling was down mainly because of scheduling.
 
Honestly at 16 days post original procedure I was not thrilled with the results, I thought I was over filled.  You can see a raised area where the hollow use to be and it does not smoothly blend with either side.  I’m was hoping they can adjust it at my 20 day follow up.  And if not hopefully as it fades I will be happier.  
 
At my 20 day follow up I did need to use the rest of my unit.  But again I had to get through the process of swelling. Swelling was not as bad this time since there were less injection points.  Turns out I was not over filled I just needed filler added on both sides of the original trough to bridge the areas.  I am fairly happy with the results, I think they only thing keeping me from loving it is the fact that I probably needed more than just the one unit.  I think if in a few months I do an early refresher I will be loving it.  
Day of second procedure before injections

Day of second procedure after injections
Day after second procedure
1 week after second procedure
 
2 months past first procedure, 5 weeks after second procedure 
As always when that time comes I will update this post with new information.

5/31/15 Update:

In April a full six months after my initial injections I went in for a touch up,  I was by no means back to the original but I was noticing the crevice slightly again and went in with the hopes of not having to have as much done, just to keep a nice maintaining. 

I asked if there was anything with longer results and the suggested I might be a good candidate for Juvederm ultra. So we gave it a try and the immediate results looked great,  however it went way south.  Juvederm attracts fluid from your body and in my results, which varies between everyone greatly, it attracted A LOT of fluid.  3 weeks after the injections I had to have them partial dissolved and then injected with Restylan Silk to even everything out.  There were really great and did everything at no charge and everything looks great now.  The Juvederm wasn’t horrid looking but it  was not what I had spent my money to look like. 

Wantable

I decided to cancel my Beauty Box 5 subscription because I was just not loving what was coming so I got a little subscription happy and it addition to my Le Tote (read all about that here)  I decided to splurge on a Wantable Makeup Subscription.
Wantable has 3 different types of subscriptions services: Makeup, Jewelry, & Intimates.  All three are the same cost, $36 a month.
I of course got Makeup, and this was my first box I received July 2014.
I love that my name is one the little sticker inside the box, don’t know what that gave me such a thrill.  But I was pretty happy with my box.
The Tarina Tarantino eyeshadow palette was a great surprise because I had almost purchased that exact one a few days before this arrived but decided to save a little money.  And when I opened it I was so excited it was one of the two palettes I was debating between.
The Custom 3 shade is marked as a cake liner but I don’t feel that is necessarily accurate, to me it’s just a really great eyeshadow that you can use wet or dry.  The photo does not do the color justice, it’s a very pretty green with gold metallic, very unique and nice to get since I don’t think I would have purchased this on my own.
Two items from Mica Beauty…. a felt tip eyeliner in black that is fine but I’m not a huge fan of felt tips.  Also they stated that retail price of the felt tip was $30, anyone that pays $30 for that eyeliner is out of their mind.  I highly suggest if you even considered purchasing it for that price that you look at Kat Von D’s eyeliners (Ink if you want felt tip, Tattoo if you like a pen brush style), Physicians Formula makes a fabulous pen brush style eyeliner that last all day, as well as Stila Eyliners are always great if you are looking for a felt tip; all of the ones I just listed are well below $30.
The eyebrow gel on the other hand is very nice.  At first when I went to apply it I did not think it was going to go very well. I was expecting something more similar to Anastasia Dip Brow but when I went to dip my brush in it I realized it was much more dry/hard. However I continued on because I’ll give everything a try once, and I actually REALLY like this product.  Because it has a bit more of a wax texture to it my brows not only became filled in but behaved better.  Also with Dip Brow it can become to much really quickly, but the texture of this really lets you build up and you are not as likely to go overboard with it.  The color was great and spot on for the Burgundy hair color that I have without turning my eyebrows Burgundy, just gave my brows a nice auburn undertone so that they still looked very natural.  Only negative: I would not use the attached brush on my eyebrows so they could have just but a regular cap on it.
If you are not happy with what you receive Wantable does allow refunds which I have not yet tried but it states that you can do a full box refund and some boxes are eligible for partial refunds but not all.
UPDATE: After receiving this box for a year I have canceled.   The contents got less impressive over time and for the price of this one I found my money was better spent on Glossybox & Boxycharm

My Lash Extensions

So I finally got my first set of lash extensions a little while back.  I’ve waited to write this review until I gave them a full run and the very last lash is gone.  While I had my lashes on I went and got trained on how to apply them professionally so I am now better informed.
You should arrive with no mascara or eyeliner on!  Individual lash extensions** are applied/glued to your actual lash. You want your lash to be as clean as possible so that the glue can adhere properly and give you the longest wear.  The lash artist should apply a protein remover to your lashes to break down any old residue before beginning the application process. They will also apply a pad or tape to your lower lashes to hold them down and help with keeping them from getting any glue on them. Lashes come in a large variety of types, widths, materials, and curls.  Lash extensions should only be slightly longer than your natural lash to give a realistic look.  I asked for a slightly more dramatic set since I normally wear false lashes anyways.
The process for a full set will take approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hours.  So wear comfortable clothes and bring your relaxation.  You will most likely be lying down on your back with your eyes shut so feel free to fall asleep and enjoy.
Here is my Before/After of what the artist applied to me:

The better care you take of your lashes the longer they will last you.  My artist provided me with a spoolie to brush them every morning.  Yes they will twist and turn while you sleep, especially the first night. I actually found that the spoolie tugged on them a bit so I used my metal lash comb and that worked great! Sonia Kashuk at Target has a great one.

You do not want to get the lashes wet for the first 24-48 hours or however long your artist instructs you, each glue has a different set time so please be sure to ask. Avoid any action the causes friction or tugging on the lashes.  This is why most say that you should not wear mascara, in most cases the mascara does not cause any problems but when you go to try and remove your mascara is what will cause issues.

Lash extensions are considered semi permanent because while the lash is glued to your eyelash with a permanent glue, you naturally shed eyelashes around a 3 month cycle.   This is why some people will have a longer lasting set than others, everyone has a different lash cycle.

My lashes looked great for the first 4-6 weeks before I started to get fairly patchy, and it was about 3 months before the last lash came off.

While I loved the look my lash extensions gave me I found eyeshadow and especially eyeliner application to be more difficult.  My natural lashes lie flat down, which means they are not in my path with applying eye makeup.  The lash extensions however came curving up gloriously and created a little barrier that I tried to work around because I tried to apply my shadow and liner without touching the lashes to minimize friction.  This created quite a process for me, probably more challenging for me than most because of what I am use to.  I also found that the shadow landed on top of the lashes giving them a dirty look that I then felt the need to clean off, again impossible to do without feel like I was tugging.

Would I do it again…. yes but only during special seasons or occasions lasting longer than a week.  Probably around the holidays I might invest in a set again.  Any events less than a week in duration and I will either apply my clusters or strip lashes. When I do get lash extensions again I will probably not be quite as careful, they are more durable than I though and trying to not touch them caused me the most issue.

I think lash extensions are a great investment for Brides because it will look the most natural but glorious in photos, and they can enjoy them throughout the honeymoon.  Plus the time frame around your wedding you get more photos taken of you than you can imagine.

After taking the training let me tell you that I appreciate more what these people do to make this happen.  It is worth every penny of the retail price of $200.  Yes you can get them pretty much anywhere in my area of the country for $79 and that is a huge steal!  This is a very tedious process for the lash artist (and yes they are an artist so tip accordingly, plus they come at your eye with sharp pointy things so be nice) and extremely time consuming.

My training head!

** Individual lash extension are different from flare or cluster lashes that you can purchase from your local drug store or beauty supply.  Individual lashes are applied to the lash with a permanent glue, clusters are applied to the skin with a temporary or semi-permanent.  Individual lashes and coordinating glue are only available online or in the type of beauty supply/ nail supply that you have a license to get in.  Please do not let anyone use hair glue from a beauty supply or super glue to apply anything around your eye.

Le Femme Eyeshadow & Blush

I picked up some Le Femme products at Makeup Mania while I was visiting family in Denver.   I was unfamiliar with the brand, but it is very inexpensive and it came recommended form my other family makeup guru so I decided to jump in with both feet and get the 12 well custom palette that they sell in the store for $45.
La Femme Blush Palette 12 Color
La Femme Blush on Rouge RefillLa Femme Eye Shadow Pans Refill Large

Individual pans are $3.50 …. I mean how crazy is that.  They are very good size pans and have great pigment and blend-ability.  One of my favorite things about this brand is that the blushes (which they are most famous for) and the eye shadows are the same size so you can mix and match a palette the way you want.

La Femme Empty Blush Palette (12 well)

They are not the easiest things to find online, I did a little research after I tried them out a few times and fell in love.  There are some old YouTube videos all praising them (even my beloved Wayne Goss), but they do not even have their own website up and running.  The best two places (most reputable) I can find is Makeup Mania and Camera Ready Cosmetics.

I can not find the 12 well palette for $45 on the website but they are a great little store and I can bet that if you called them they would give you the same deal plus shipping cost.  Maybe tell them I sent you 😉

Late….June Beauty Box vs Ipsy

June Beauty Box 5 & Ipsy content Photos:
I enjoyed that Beauty Box 5 was on a “natural” kick this month with items promoting “paraben free” , “formaldehyde free” etc.
The shampoo & condition packets where disappointing because it looks like free samples you receive in magazines & the mail.  They were even more disappointing when I used them because I got out of the shower and dried and styled my hair only to get back in and wash it all over again with something different……Yes it was that bad. I would have been better off if I had just rinsed my hair in warm water.
The nail polish is very nice, I took it to get my regular pedicure and the Salon tech was very complimentary of the application.  I love the color and will be holding on to this little goodie.  It has stayed on very well with no chips; however it did fade in spots with my spray tan blocking lotion which is the first time I have seen any of my pedicures do this.  Especially seeing they put a top coat on top of it.
Vitabath is nice, very sugary scent. But not something I would necessarily search to make sure I could purchase it again.  It’s a body wash, nothing special.
I do really like the mascara, it survived the humid south test when I was outside several hours with it on.  I love the little brush that is in this trial size which had me wanting to purchase it again but when I look at the photos of the full size it looks like the brush gets full size too, so maybe I will skip.
Ipsy was a tough one this month, at first glance I was excited but then there where some down falls.
Love that the bag is my Rebecca Minkoff, I love her purses!
I was excited that the mascara appeared to be full size, but then I opened it and it had an awful smell so I chucked it into the trash without trying it.  Nothing that smells that bad is going near my sensitive eyes.
The perfume had exploded inside that little bag, which they don’t normally use those little bags, so that makes me think they were aware that this would be an issue.  Since when I opened that bag I was not amazed by the smell, that went in the trash too because the container and the inside where covered in it and I doubted much was left if I bothered to get it out and clean it all off.
Getting a full size NYX butter gloss was exciting since I love the one I have, but there was one problem. This happened to be the color I have!  I only have one and they sent me the same one, not that there is any way they could have prevented that.  So I gave this one to a coworker and shared the love.
The OFRA brow pencil is ok, I think it would be better as an eyeliner because it’s just too soft in my book to be used on the brows.  So I will be switching it’s use. It is a very pretty dark brown, good for smudging the lower lash line maybe….
Beach spray I honestly have not tried yet.  I am not a huge fan of hair styling products and it sounds like my hair will fell sticky. I will save it because it could come in handy for a special even of some sort.

Ben Nye Powder – Under Eye

If you follow my blog much you know one of my greatest challenges on my personal face is the under eye area.  I have dark and very puffy under-eye that even my dermatologist is out of ideas on how to treat.  So obviously everyday my under-eye routine includes a very high coverage concealer.

This then creates yet another problem, creasing.   Over the years I have tried many different powders to set the under-eye concealer.  My biggest problem with most is that they change the color of the concealer when you apply it.  I’m sure it has something to do with chemical reactions or oxidation because it will even happen with the so called “translucent” powders that are not suppose to have any color.  Another problem is some translucent powders will cause flash back in photos due to their silica base.

I feel that after trying several drugstore and high end powders I have finally found my champion.  It doesn’t adjust the color of the concealer I have applied and it also stops concealers I had previously given up on from creasing. The unfortunate part is you will probably have to buy this online unless you have a professional makeup store near you or you can also find this at the costume shops that are permanent and open all year long.

Ben Nye Neutral Set Translucent Face Powder

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Available In:
TP-5  1.75 oz / 49 gmTP-6  3 oz / 85 gmTP-61  8 oz / 226 gm

You might recognize this as the brand that Kim K. made famous for their Banana Luxury Powder.  I have tried that as well and while it is beautiful it is to dark for my undereye.  If you are wanting something with color in it then my next recomendation would be one of Ben Nye’s Luxury Powder, in your coordinating color.  My problem is that most of the lighter shades are too pink undertone for me so I like using neutral. Price ranges is around $6 reatail and up depending on size and store.  And if you airbrush like me and will only be using this under-eye, this will last you forever! So I suggest the smallest size.

You can find this available for purchase at:

http://www.nigelbeauty.com
http://www.naimies.com
http://www.frendsbeauty.com
https://camerareadycosmetics.com

If you are a makeup artist please see my post here on how to apply for a discount at these retailers before purchase.

Airbrush 101

I wanted to share a great article about Airbrush Makeup found at Skin Inc.

A Flawless Strategy: Airbrush Makeup in the Spa

By: Jaclyn Peresetsky
Posted: June 27, 2014, from the July 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

“The sheer, flawless finish of airbrush makeup has made it the choice of television and film makeup artists for years, and it is now becoming an in-demand spa service—thanks in part to the popularity of high-definition photography, selfies and video. Clients appreciate the light, long-lasting coverage and the radiant, natural glow imparted to the skin, so it’s no surprise to see airbrush makeup in high demand for bridal services and graduation photographs. Skin care facilities can use this trend to set themselves apart from cosmetic counters to meet the personalized needs of their clients.

Why is airbrush makeup so special?

Airbrush makeup gives a polished look that can’t be achieved with regular makeup. This is because the particle size of the makeup that is applied through an air gun is so small that it produces a very thin, even layer of makeup that practically floats over skin instead of settling into fine lines, wrinkles and imperfections. When compared to non-airbrush foundations, the look of blemishes is significantly diminished because non-airbrush foundations can absorb into the skin and cause blemishes to stand out.
Airbrush makeup is composed of mainly water and mineral pigments, and comes in two basic formulas: water- and silicone-based. Water-based makeup uses finely ground pigments dissipated in water. It lets the skin breathe, is hypoallergenic and has a non sticky feel. Silicone-based makeup is meant for long-lasting wear without fading. It’s popular because the silicone fill in skin imperfections, such as shallow scars, providing a more flawless appearance.
Airbrush makeup is nontransferable, meaning that slight rubbing or brushing against something or someone will not cause the makeup to be removed. Black clothes will remain black after hugging someone wearing airbrush makeup. It will only transfer to another surface if it gets wet—if the client should cry or sweat, she should simply blot instead of wiping to avoid the risk of smearing the makeup.
Using an air gun to apply makeup is also a healthy move. By using an air gun, the need for using fingers is eliminated, which has the potential of spreading bacteria and germs across the face.

Airbrush machine type and usage

There are many different machines out there to choose from. A great way to test them is to attend an industry trade show for hands-on experience. Machines differ on noise, compressor size, makeup formula, weight and the applicator wand.
There are two general types of airbrushes—dual-action and single-action—and they require slightly different techniques. A dual-action airbrush allows the user to control airflow, dictating the amount of makeup that is distributed. To use, the trigger is depressed with the index finger, drawing in air from the compressor. The further the trigger is depressed, the more makeup is released. The advantage of this is that the air can be used as a guide before allowing makeup to pass through the nozzle, giving the artist an exact idea of where the makeup will land on the face.
A single-action airbrush is generally considered easier to use because depressing the trigger releases a fixed ratio of makeup-to-air. However, in order to achieve different levels of coverage and detail, the nozzle has to be changed between applications, which can be quite cumbersome.
A professional airbrush makeup artist will work with a range up to 35 pounds per square inch (PSI). Many compressors designed for at-home use will not achieve airflow greater than 15 PSI. A low PSI is preferable when airbrushing makeup in trickier areas, such as the eyes, and is also ideal for sensitive skin because it uses less pressure. Fifteen PSI should be used when filling in eyebrows and applying eye shadow. Higher PSI is used when applying airbrush foundation, which creates a more continuous airflow and a faster application.

Color choice and application

One of the most important parts of airbrush makeup is choosing the foundation shade. With a full range of warm, neutral and cool foundations, everyone can have their perfect match. Airbrush makeup can be custom-blended right in the gravity feed of the gun to achieve the perfect color. Take time to ensure the foundation color matches the client’s skin perfectly. Until this is mastered, the color should be tested by dabbing it on a discreet spot on the client’s face to achieve a perfect match.

Airbrush makeup is great for creating facial dimension. There are two techniques for creating dimension: highlighting and contouring. Highlighting uses a color that is two shades lighter then the foundation and is applied above the cheekbone, below and above the brow, on the chin and on the middle of the nose. Highlighting lifts the face and draws attention to features. Pearly tones are perfect for this. To contour, first clean the cup after the last use and choose a shade two shades darker than the foundation. Apply it underneath the cheekbones and on features that need to be minimized, such as a wide forehead area or nose. When applying, lower the PSI to 12 to ensure not too much of the darker shade is released. See Application Considerations and Techniques.

Retail, at-home airbrushing

Today, the size of air compressors has decreased immensely, making at-home airbrushes more accessible. Yet, after using conventional makeup for years, clients might wonder why they should even consider investing in airbrush makeup for home use. The last thing a busy woman wants to worry about is her makeup. With airbrush makeup for home use, a client can apply her makeup in 10 minutes or less and achieve a celebrity-perfect airbrush finish that lasts all day long. Airbrush makeup is a complete solution to cover imperfections including acne, stretch marks, birthmarks, tattoos and scars. Lastly, you can encourage your clients to stay out of the sun and reduce their risk of cancer because they can use their at-home airbrush kit to bronze their face, neck, chest and legs within minutes.
There is a big opportunity to create additional retail sales with airbrush makeup. “Live on service—retire on retail” is not just a slogan; it’s a solution. The opportunity exists to make money on the in-spa airbrush service and back it up by becoming an airbrush retailer. Check to see if your chosen airbrush system offers airbrush makeup personal systems for clients, and learn how to best retail the system and refills in your spa.

Marketing airbrush makeup

Great ways to market this service include targeting brides, as well as young women who will be graduating soon and want to look great in their graduation photos. Run ads in bridal magazines, high school and college newspapers, and radio shows and social media, or partner with salons that do not offer makeup services. Use before-and-after pictures—they speak 1,000 words and will show off an artist’s talent.
Airbrush makeup is so versatile and allows a professional to offer clients flawless skin for weddings, everyday looks, photo shoots and even crazy Halloween makeup. Start practicing with airbrush makeup on friends and family and, before long, specialized airbrushing for holidays can be added to the service menu, increasing the bottom line and client base. Airbrushing makeup is a skill that most makeup artists and skin care professionals can learn, and that any skin care facility can add to its menu of services to catapult its business.”

Jaclyn Peresetsky is CEO, esthetician and color specialist at SkinPerfect Image Wellness Spa in Columbus, Ohio. She is the author of Discover the Power of YOUR Colors (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013).

Waterproof Eyebrow Products : NYX vs MUFE

NYX has several new releases and one strikes me in particular because of it’s extreme resemblance to a longstanding, sort of lone ranger on the market; Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow.

For some facts & manufacture claims:

Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow
Retail: $20.00
Size: 5ml ($4 per ml)
# of shades: 7
Waiting for Response from MUFE if this is Cruelty Free
A waterproof eyebrow corrector that fills, defines and lengthens brows.

Aqua Brow is a highly pigmented gel that enhances and reshapes natural brows. Its superior waterproof formula creates a strong hold while its high concentration of pigments allows for intense color payoff that will not fade. Aqua Brow’s creamy gel texture gives an even, natural result that will last all day. Aqua Brow is available in 7 shades.
Apply a small amount of Aqua Brow on the back of your hand or a spatula.
Use a slanted brush to fill in any sparse areas, then blend for a natural result.
Use a fine brush to draw individual hairs.
Remove with a waterproof eye make-up remover.
Pro tip: it can also be used with a lash brush to tint gray hair, mustaches and graying sideburns.

If you want to purchase Make Up For Ever it is sold at Sephora & Sephora.com as well as some Makeup Artist Suppliers.  makeupforever.com is currently not selling product online.  Sephora typically offers 20% off coupon in the fall if you are enrolled in their VIB program.

NYX Eyebrow Gel
Retail: $7.00
Size: 10 ml ($0.70 per ml)
# of shades: 5
Cruelty Free
Keep your misbehaving brows in place with our discreet and easy-to-use brow gel! The lightweight, waterproof formula creates thicker, fuller, natural-looking brows and comes in five versatile shades.

• What it is: Highly pigmented brow gel.

• What it does: Fills and shapes brow providing a long-wear result.

• Why we love it: The smudge–free, waterproof formula seals brows in place.

• How to use: Using an angled brush, dip into gel and outline the perfect brow. Fill in sparse areas and blend with a clean spoolie brush.

(Note: NYX Cosmetics is certified and acknowledged by organizations, such as PETA, as a cruelty free brand. NYX is committed to producing 100% cruelty-free cosmetics. NYX does not test any of its raw materials or finished products on animals.)

If you want to purchase the NYX it can be found at Ulta, CVS, nyxcosmetics.com,  and some Beauty Supply stores.  At Ulta and CVS you can wait until they are either 40% off, Buy One get One 50% off, and other assorted coupons.

Another semi-comparable product is Anastasia Dip Brow, it is very similar in application and result but is a potted product rather than a squeeze tube.  For the average consumer it may be more user friendly to open a pot rather than squeeze product out on your hand or tray.  For the MUA I think the tubes are more piece of mind because they are easier to keep sanitized and you do have to not worry that someone used it improperly while you weren’t looking and contaminated it.  Dip Brow runs $18 for .14 oz (4.14029 ml) or $4.35 per ml for comparison.  It is available in 8 shades.

My personal thoughts:

I have not seen either full shade range in person so it’s hard for me to compare.  These products are often sold out or not stocked well.  Aqua Brow was my first find and I was thrilled that they offered an Ash Shade because when I am close to natural on my hair color that is a really good match and I struggle to find brow products that are ash tone.

The NYX is a really good product.  I think it wears just as well if not better than the Aqua Brow. Since the price is so much cheaper for the NYX I think it is the better buy. I don’t really think one product is better than the other, it might just depend for you on which one carries a shade that is best suited for you.  $20 for Aqua Brow is not unreasonable because it will last you forever.  But when you can get an almost identical product with double volume for $7 I can see where MUFE may start to loose some business.

Cudos to NYX for releasing such a great product.  At this price I will defiantly be stocking up with them in my kit.  And extra points for being a Cruelty Free Line!