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Neutrogena Healthy Lengths Mascara
8/18/2014

I started using Neutrogena Healthy Lengths mascara almost a year ago. It immediately gave me serious length in my lashes. I had been using Loreal Telescopic, which seemed to work pretty well. But when I put on Neutrogena's Healthy Lengths, I saw an immediate difference. I was stunned, and decided I had found my new favorite mascara. It also stays on all day without smudging at all. And it comes off pretty easily with eye makeup remover.

My only complaint about it is that after a while, the formula in the tube starts to dry out and can cause clumps. Especially if you put on lots of coats, like I used to, before I started using a lash lengthening serum. Now I only do 1-3 coats for regular day time use. My other favorite mascara is Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara. This doesn't clump, but doesn't load on as much product as the Neutrogena mascara. It also smudges a little when I use really emolient eye creams.

I had also acheived very nice length with Artistry's Length and Definition mascara, which basically attached tiny pieces of fake lashes to your lashes. It was amazing, and I loved the way it looked on. But it didn't last long, I used the tube up fast, or it dried out fast. And it was a pain to wash out at night. You have to rub them off your eyelashes over and over when washing. And then you end up with a sink full of little black eyelash looking like things all over.

So I keep going back to this Neutrogena Healthy Lengths mascara. I originally got it in black, but also ended up getting it in brown for my daytime mommy look. And I love it. I have quite a few mascaras in my queue to try. So once this runs out, I will most likely try a different one. But for now, this is my go to mascara.

I don't get to go out much at night anymore. But when I do, I usually layer a couple different mascaras. I layer the Tarte mascara over my daytime Neutrogena one. And/or I layer Clinique's High Impact mascara, which is nice for declumping since the formula is thing, but nice and dark and shiny. Neutrogena also makes a Healthy Volume mascara, which would probably be great for layering over the Healthy Lengths.

I would love to use a mascara that has lash lengthening peptides, but one of the ones I found by Physician's Formula didn't get very good reviews, so I might not try that one.

I have also used Benefit's They're Real mascara, and that didn't seem to do much for me. It clumped my lashes into spidery legs, but that was about it. I have seen nice effects of this mascara on my friend, though. Just not me.

My eyelashes are normally short, sparse, and straight. So almost non-visible without any mascara or curling. The Neutrogena Healthy Lengths mascara has brought them to their longest potential. And now that I am using a lash lengthening serum, I don't have to use as much mascara, so not much clumping anymore.

Hydropeptide Eye Authority
8/18/2014

I got a sample of Hydropeptide Eye Authority from Nordstrom's when I purchased some other stuff there. I don't always use the free skin care sample packets that I get, but for some reason I decided to use this one. And I am so glad I did. I have been plagued with dark circles under my eyes and slight bags/puffiness since I was 12. I have always had to go pretty heavy on undereye concealer all these years.

After using this Hydropeptide Eye Authority for about a week, for the first time in my life I almost left the house without concealer! Usually I can't get enough concealer caked on, but this time I hardly noticed my undereye circles and bags that I almost forgot to put on my favorite Laura Mercier undereye high covereage concealer. The only concealer with enough color choices that is thick enough to hide most of my undereye darkness. And when I finally remembered to put on my concealer, I only needed a little bit. Wow, what a difference!

At first, I was pretty skeptical about this working because I have had very little luck with many of the eye creams that are supposed to be for undereye circles and bags. Some have worked a little, like Mary Kay eye creams, and Origins Mega-bright Dark Circle Minimizer. And many have not worked at all, like formulations I've tried to put together by buying active ingredients, or even Lancome's Genefique Eye. But nothing has worked to the point where I barely noticed my undereye circles until I tried Hydropeptide Eye Authority. I was just about to go and buy another tube of Laura Mercier's concealer until I tried this.

For the first time, I actually felt like I could go out with almost no makeup at all and still look decent. Just a slight dab of concealer was all I felt I needed. Just FYI, I have also been trying out the H2O Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment at the same time. Mostly just on my face, which might account for not needing to wear foundation, or just a BB Cream.

This Hydropeptide brand is a little up there in price and, as of this writing, is not readily available at most makeup stores, like Sephora or Ulta. It is available at Nordstrom's, which is where I got the sample from in the first place, but the price is like $74 for half an ounce.

Since I've been dabbling in making my own skin care formulations, I thought about buying some peptides and active ingredients and adding it to the eye serum that I made. But then I found Hydropeptide Eye Authority on Amazon for a very affordable price. And it might be worth getting there rather than buying all the active ingredients separately for my own personal formulation. I might do that sometime, but for now I might just use my Amazon gift card to get this and save myself the trouble.

The Hydropeptide Eye Authority really is pumped full of peptides and other great active ingredients for undereye circles and bags. I couldn't put together a forumulation like this for the price that Amazon sells it for. But regardless of the amazing ingredients, it seems to work for me. And that is what really matters. Different products work differently for different people. And my esthethician tells me, you have to try everything, high end and drugstore brands. And I truly believe that. There are some products I love of a high end brand and others of the same brand I hate. And there are some drugstore products that work amazingly well for me. For instance, my favorite Revlon foundation. Again, with lots of good peptide in it. It gives me an instant face lift that lasts all day.

I am a big fan of skin care peptides. I am a biochemist by trade, but a naturopath by heart. I believe that nature has lots of healing and beneficial substances available for use. But what acutally sold me on anti-aging peptides is the Revlon foundation that I love. I have never before used a product that gave me an instant all day lift until I used this foundation. I did some research and found that the peptides used in it, by the non-scientific names, are Syn-Coll and Matrixyl 3000. I have bought other peptides, like Syn-Hycan and Syn-Tacks, for my own forumulations and not seen the same results. So for me, Syn-Coll and Matrixyl 3000 may be my magic lifting peptides. I also like Syn-Tacks because it seems to improve the quality of my skin overall. But I haven't used Syn-Hycan enough to notice what it does for me. It is supposed to be lifting, anti-sagging, but we'll see over time.

Anyway, I diverge. I just wanted to share my ideas on skin care peptides in general. One of the reasons why I think Hydropeptide Eye Authority is a worthwhile purchase. But the most important thing is, does it work for you? You might want to try to get a sample of it to see. Or get it from Nordstrom's, where you can always return it if you don't like it. Or get it from Amazon at a low-ish price and take a chance.

The sample packet I got lasted about a week. Now that it is gone, I am back to using the eye serum that I forumulated myself with some decent ingredients. But it does not seem to do anything for my dark circles. And they are back in full force. After being spoiled by the Hydropeptide Eye Authority, and being without it now, I feel like I've been punched in both eyes, like I could be the mascot of the Jolly Roger, with my sunken in eye sockets. And all I can do is reach for more concealer, which still doesn't quite make up for it. So it's either taking my chances buying the Eyeseryl peptide (the commercial name for one of the ingredients in Eye Authority) to add to my eye serum formulation or just going with the Hydropeptide Eye Authority.


update 9/14/2014

I did end up getting a full bottle of this. It was either this or more Laura Mercier concealer. And I figured I'd rather fix the problem than cover it up. I spent about $15 for this Hydropeptide Eye Authority on Amazon. That's because I found it at a great price on Amazon and I used an Amazon gift card to help pay for it. If I can continue to get it at a great price, I will do it. It retails for about $74, and I've seen it at Amazon for as low as $34.

Since I've been using it for a couple few weeks now, I no longer look like I've been punched in the eyes. I just look like a normal tired-ish person, with some darkness under my eyes. No, the slight puffiness and darkness have not completely vanished, but they are much more under control.

The Hydropeptide Eye Authority also tightens and brightens my eyelids quite nicely. I feel like I do not need as much eye shadow anymore. I just use a little swipe of my favorite Laura Mercier Caviar stick, and I feel my eyes are brightened and youthful.

I don't notice a huge difference in the major wrinkles around my eyes. They really only appear when I smile big. But the fine lines do seem softened. You don't always notice the differences on yourself when they are so gradual. But maybe others do...

For the first time in years I have started getting addressed as "Miss" instead of "Mam" by store and restaurant clerks. I know it sounds silly, and I never really understood the concept of this when I saw the SNL skit about the woman who was mugged, as the mugger said, "Give me your purse, Mam!". That made her feel old, and I totally get it now. But ever since I've had the full bottle of this Eye Authority cream, I've been called "Miss" quite a bit. Makes me want to buy the whole hydropeptide line.

My esthitician gave me some samples of a few other Hydropeptide products after I told her how much I liked the Eye Authority. I am always a little nervous trying out new skin care products because I breakout easily from common ingredients like alphahydroxy acids (glycolic & lactic acids). So I haven't tried them yet.

She gave me the Hydropeptide Power Serum, which she says is awesome, but so is the price listed at $136. So I am a little hesitant to even try it for fear of loving it and having to get it. Next time I'll ask her for the Face Lift moisturizer. It can be had on Amazon for a decent price, so that would make it a little more doable for me.

As for the Eye Authority, I do love it. And, as I mentioned earlier, if I can continue to get it at a decent price on Amazon, I will probably do so. Otherwise, I might try Mary Kay eye cream, which I seem to recall has worked for me in the past (unless it's because I was a lot younger and didn't have as bad of a problem with my under-eyes). When I've tried a sample size of Origins Dark Circle Minimizer, it seemed to work well. Artistry also has an eye cream for dark circles and puffiness that I might try.

Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer
8/11/2014

Ever since I turned about 12, about when I hit puberty, I got dark circles and bags under my eyes. It was as if I suddenly aged 10 years. So since then, I've always been on the lookout for a good undereye concealer. I have a little collection of concealers that I have used recently. Some of my favorites are by Tarte, It Cosmetics, and Laura Mercier. The reason I like these higher end brands is mostly because they have a large variety of shades. But also they are highly pigmented and often have other ingredients in them that are good for the skin. The ones I like blend well into the skin and don't settle into fine lines.

My current favorite is the Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer. For covering dark circles and bags, I use a shade similar to my skin tone for covering the whole dark area under my eyes, including the bags. Then I use a slightly lighter shade right under the bag to reduce the dark shadow under the bag. That is the best I can do other than using eye creams that target darkness and bags (puffiness).

What I like about the Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer is that it is extremely thick and pigmented and can cover nice and thickly, without being overly cakey. It also has a dryer consistency than most other concealers, so there is no need to set with a powder. And it goes well over eye creams, without adding to the oiliness under the eyes.

Laura Mercier also makes a Secret Concealer for undereye. I used that all winter long and loved it. It has a wonderful consistency and very moisturizing under the eye. But I felt that it wasn't giving enough coverage. That is why I tried the High Coverage Concealer, which is my new favorite.

As the summer progresses, though, I feel like I have to get a shade darker to match my slightly tanned skin tone. I have light-medium to medium skin tone with warm, yellow undertones. In the spring, I used the 3.7 color for the whole undereye and then the 3.5 color for just under the bag. Now I feel like I need the 4 color for the whole undereye and the 3.7 for just under the bag.

I will continue to use this concealer unless it turns out to be too dry for the winter. In that case, I might switch back to Laura Mercier's Secret Concealer or the Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer, or use a combination of them (one for the the whole undereye, and one for under the bag).



H2O Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment
8/11/2014

I got this H2O Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment as a deluxe sample when I bought some other cosmetics. I have been using it for the past week or two, and I really do like it. I ran out of my normal serum, so I just decided to use this one. As with most gel type moisturizers, I found it to be a bit sticky. I prefer more of a standard cream or lotiony feel to my moisturizers.

That said, I liked this because it seemed to smooth away the fine lines a little. Not as well as my normal serum, but better than most moisturizers I have used. It is ok at moisturizing. I have normal/combination skin with some dry areas. I felt like I had to use an additional moisturizer on top of this on certain areas of my face.

But what I liked most about it is that it really seemed to keep my acne at bay. I have heard that marine ingredients can be good for helping prevent acne. Since I've been using this, I have not had to use acne medicine like I used to have to use it once or twice a day, and sometimes even more than that.

Once I'm out of my deluxe sample of this, I will see if my acne comes back. And if it does, I'm probably going to go out and buy a jar of this stuff. I do use a different anti-aging serum along with this on areas on my face that have more wrinkles, like the lines across my forehead. I also use an extra moisturizer on my cheeks because they get extra dry. But other than that, for these hot summer months, this H2O Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment works great.

Again, I don't like the stickyness, but I am willing to trade that for acne free skin!

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Review
8/4/2014

I have been in search of a new eyeshadow that doesn't emphasize my dark circles, but detracts from them. I just wanted it for a daytime look, so nothing too intense. As I was trying out samples at the Laura Mercier counter, the makeup artist tried the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick on me. I ended up getting it, loving it, and then ordering it in another color. I've got the Rose Gold and the Sand Glow colors. And they are both really beautiful. They are very brightening and really do detract from the darkness of the bags and dark circles under my eyes.

I really only apply them to my eyelids, close to my lash line and up a little. I don't find the need to use contouring eye shadow (the dark one in the crease) as much. I feel my eyes look so brightened by this Caviar stick. The look is subtle but nice. It is shimmery, but still feel it is age appropriate for 40-ish.

It is so easy to apply, just a few strokes of the stick, no brush needed. I sometimes blend a little with my finger. It takes a few minutes to set, and then it is pretty permanent. You can't rub it off with your fingers after that. But I find that I do need to give it time to set before I use my eyelash curler. Otherwise, it transfers onto my curler and then rubs onto my other eye in places where I don't want it.

It is an amazing product, and I want to try more colors, like Amethyst or Orchid!

Revlon Age Defying Lifting Firming Makeup Review
8/3/2014

I have tried several different foundations, including making my own. I have also tried various tinted moisturizers, beauty balms, and CC creams. So far, of all the ones I have tried, I found myself to be happiest with the Revlon Age Defying Firming + Lifting Makeup. It is one of the few that doesn't cause me to break out. There are so many shades to choose from. I am warm-toned and find I'm able to find warm matches for my winter and summer skin shades.

The makeup is slightly hydrating and definately not matte. I would say it is luminous. So sometimes if I hydrate too much under it, I get a sort of shiny look. I typically use a light hydrator under it and then I apply a mattifying primer to my T-zone area before I apply the foundation. Sometimes I even dust some powder over my T-zone afterwards.

I would have to say it is not the prettiest foundation I have tried. Sometimes I feel like it is too luminous for my taste. Even though it is not really "sparkly" with lots of mica. I think it would have been better to have a little silica in it for more of a blurring and slightly mattifying effect.

But what I like most about this makeup, other than that it doesn't cause breakouts for me, is that it has a good amount of anti-aging peptides in it that really lift my skin. I notice my face, especially my cheeks, that are sagging due to being over 40, are lifted and my cheekbones become more perky with this makeup. I feel so much younger when I use this foundation. I don't really feel the need to use contouring makeup anymore, since I have so much actual lifting.

And when I take off the makeup at night and wakeup in the morning, I notice the lifting effects all gone. So it doesn't seem like a permanent effect, but it is good enough to look so lifted during the day. I was so impressed with the effects that I have searched for a night cream that could do something similar. I even tried to find something with similar ingredients, wishing that Revlon made night cream with similar ingredients. And to my knowledge, as of this writing, they don't.

I have used other foundations/tinted moisturizers that seem to have a nicer sheen. But weighing out all the pros and cons, I haven't found one to outweigh the benefits of the Revlon Age Defying Firming + Lifting Makeup.

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