A Day In The Life Of A Blogger

I saw this bizarre title on someone else’s blog, and I was a little bemused about how the day of a blogger would be any different to the day of a non-blogger.  So I thought I’d be a bit imaginative.

6:00am:  I leap out of bed, like a LEAPING LION and stretch and yawn and hop into the shower to clean all my sleep away.

6:20am: Wrapped in a soft fluffy dressing gown, I skip down the stairs like SKIPPY THE FREAKIN KANGAROO and investigate how to turn on the mysterious drinks making gadget that the drinks company sent me in exchange for a good review.  This week, it’s coffee, but last week it was smoothies, and the week before it was a juicer.  Imma dedicated follower of fashion.

6:30am:  Once I’ve figured out how to make the drinks making gadget work, and set it going, I go out into the garden – well, my fifty acre smallholding – and fetch some eggs from the henhouse, then I bring them indoors and make up a BRAND NEW RECIPE that I just KNOW the whole world needs to hear, I make a mental note to write about it on my blog after I’ve finished breakfast.

6:40am: I start making my BRAND NEW RECIPE and am pleased to see that the drinks making gadget is pouring coffee into a cup for me.  How exciting.  I take a couple of photos of it with my camera.  I am Martha Stewart.

6:50am:  My food is on a plate and I sit at my dining table with my breakfast, trying to think of a name for this recipe.  Something that comes up high in the Search Engine results but is still super-unique and catchy.  No, brain, Eggs Bunnydict is a terrible name for anything ever.  Something more like “fluffy cloud eggs.”  That’ll be good because it sounds light, like healthy, and fun, like it’s going to be delicious.  Like me. Haha.

7:10am:  Armed with my second cup of coffee I relocate to my study, which is really a corner of my bedroom or living room, and I turn on my laptop.  My laptop is top of the range and never needs restarting because I got it free in exchange for a good review.  I check all my social media accounts, I reply to everyone’s messages (or at least a representative sample), and I check out what is trending, so I can be relevant.

7:30am:  I write up my eggs recipe and add the photos.  They looked a bit crap so before I hit “publish” I head on over to Photoshop and do some photowizardry on them.  In a few minutes, they look like Rainbow Eggs that were laid by freaking UNICORNS who live in the crescent moon.  Of course.  Because they were made by ME.

8:30am:  Now I need to go to the store and get some groceries before it’s delivery time.  I get into my Porsche 911 and ZOOM to the store like a TURBO WILDCAT and maybe annoy a few people with my slightly reckless and inconsiderate driving (unless I’m vlogging, in which case I will drive to the letter of the law).  I park in the special “reserved for bloggers” bay at the car park and I get a trolley.  My personal grocery shopper is there to greet me, and she shows me around the store, picking out foods I will like, and when we get to the checkout, the store manager has a word with the cashier before I reach her.  The cashier tells me this food is all free because I’m such a special and amazing and wonderful famous blogger and they are only too thrilled that I could visit their store today.  Then they serenade me out with a choir of disadvantaged children who I throw some dollar bills at as I leave.

9:00am: DELIVERY TIME!!! WHAT FREE PRESENTS WILL I GET TODAY???  For the next three hours, I mess around on the internet and watching cats on Youtube while my doorbell rings constantly from the crowd of delivery guys bringing me presents.  Companies just send me stuff for free because they love me so much.  I write reviews for them, on my blog and on sites like Amazon and Makeup Alley so that customers think well of the brand.  I turn down many things, such as reviewing horse meat jerky or laxatives, because I want to protect my image.  That way, I can legitimately say on my about me page, “believe me, I turn down more things than I review, because I am committed to my readers.”  I open the boxes in an excited frenzy.  Every day is like Christmas when you are a blogger.

12:00pm: I get in my Porsche 911 and drive to an expensive restaurant.  I hand the keys to the valet and go inside.  I didn’t book, but I’m so famous, I don’t need to.  The Maitre d’ sees me coming, and runs to bring out the secret extra table that all quality restaurants have stashed in case Julia Roberts, Taylor Swift, or ME turn up unannounced.  He sets the table in seconds with mad skills, and I sit down and browse a menu.  I get a text from this boy who is a fairly well known Vlogger; we chat occasionally.  He’s just got out of bed.  Boys are so uncomplicated.  I order a cruelty-free salmon salad with magic fountain of youth lemon vinaigrette dressing and extra-healthy weird fruit from South America.  Everything from South America is extra-healthy.

1:00pm: I collect my Porsche 911 and drive back to my house.  Did I tell you about my house?  It’s an amazing four bedroom condo with glass walls overlooking my garden and smallholding.  I park the car in the double garage then ascend the spiral staircase to the kitchen.  It’s time to feed the animals and water the plants.  I press a button near the back door and this automatic watering system kicks in, watering every plant exactly the right amount of the right temperature of water.  When it’s done, I pop out and scatter some grain for the chickens, then I go and pick some fruit from my orchard and bring it inside.  I am going to write an article about all the different uses for fruit, I just need to think of a catchy title that will come up top in all the search results.  I’m thinking “17 things to do with Autumn’s fruit harvest” or possibly 11.  I can never decide which prime number is best for these articles.  I’m glad people are starting to see numbered lists as clickbaity titles, it means the new trend for article naming will be something with less math.

2:30pm:  I phone my accountant and find out how much money I made today, then I phone my agent and find out how many brand placements are begging me to mention them on my videos, then I phone that Vlogger boy and it’s super awkward because I don’t know what to say, so I get off the phone fairly quickly.  He’s going to guest blog on my blog.  Oh God I hope he isn’t illiterate.

3:00pm:  I have an afternoon tea party with all my friends and we put make-up on each other in silly ways (like seriously silly, like, matt foundation and finishing powder together kinda silly, we are so cray cray) and then we have dance around the lounge to MTV, in our underwear.  We have a pillowfight as well.  Throughout the whole thing, a photographer, who just so happened to be passing through the neighbourhood, is shooting pics in the corner so I will have plenty of pictures to write about this on my blog.  It’s not staged in the slightest, honest.

6:00pm:  I get rid of my girlfriends and they drive off in their expensive sports cars.  I go outside and have a swim in my pool.  The pool was mailed to me for free from this company which makes pools.  It even has a waterslide.  I spend the next hour or so splashing around in the pool, working off the calories from lunch because I see my personal trainer tomorrow.

7:00pm:  I change out of my bikini, shower off the chlorine, then get ready to go out for dinner to the most expensive restaurant in town.  It does get a bit boring only eating at the one restaurant all the time, but my agent says I have to create a buzz and make people think I’m a superstar until I get the Chanel contract.  I get a text that says I’ve been nominated for beauty blogger of the year award, which comes with a $50,000,000 prize.  That might buy me, like, THREE new Tom Ford lipsticks.  Squee.

9:00pm:  I go home, text my mum and dad to tell them I’m fine and ask them if they’re fine, they say they’re fine.  Everything is good.  I snap a quick selfie of myself and upload to Instagram, caption: “getting my beauty sleep like a GODDAMN PRINCESS.”  What am I like???  I make myself laugh sometimes.  I take off my make-up, being sure to use the latest cleanser that I got sent today.  I go to bed alone and fall asleep dreaming of hair and make-up and cookie recipes, because this is the perfect life that everyone gets automatically as soon as they sign up for a WordPress blog or Youtube channel.  Life is perfect, and I am certainly not out clubbing until 2am and getting very, very drunk in the company of some people I barely know, because that would damage my image as a squeaky clean upstanding member of the blogging community.

I take a quick selfie for instagram.
I take a quick selfie for Instagram with a humorous caption.

After Word:
Just in case anyone is even REMOTELY wondering, this was totally made up.  I just thought it was an interesting flight of fancy to explore some of the stereotypes and assumptions surrounding bloggers and vloggers.  And I don’t accept products, payment or other sponsorship in exchange for writing reviews.  And there’s no such thing as “cruelty free salmon.”  Or Fluffy Cloud Eggs laid by unicorns.  Or “the secret table” at restaurants.  OR IS THERE??? DUN DUN DUNNNN….

How Do I Get Rid of Stinky Sweat Stains Left AFTER Washing?

Today I’m talking about getting stinky sweat patches out of clothing

So part of my afternoon has been taken up trying to solve this dilemma. It’s not a uniquely bipolar one, but I thought I’d share my findings because I know there are more than a few bipolar meds that can cause excessive sweating of the stinky variety, which inevitably leads to those pongy sweat patches that just adds to the stigma. Because visions of a knife-wielding “maniac” are only complete if they also have whiffy pit stains.

In the past I hadn’t really had a problem with this but in my house recently it’s got quite bad. I discovered this phenomenon for the first time whilst ironing some shirts about a year ago, which I hadn’t worn very many times (as I tend to have a good rotation of shirts because you never know when someone you work with is going to throw a drink over you). I pressed the iron over the armpit area of my shirts and I nearly passed out with the stench. Bleurgh! I put the iron down and sniffed the other pit. The very faintest whiff of fugginess, but mostly what I could smell was detergent. So I put it back in the wash. Guess what? The same thing happened, only this time I noticed it in the tumble dryer, when it got hot, the smell seemed to atomize into the air around the kitchen. Ick. Clearly non-bio laundry liquid wasn’t invented to clean clothes where they need it the most. I suspected vinegar might be the answer but I didn’t dare to hope at this point.  I forgot about this until yesterday when an entire washload of tops had this problem to the triple-x-treme.

So I searched online for an answer. Many of the solutions assumed you had borax or bicarb to hand. I had neither. What was worse was that I now had a full washing machine of damp T-shirts to de-stinkify as well, and given that the dryer also had some nearly-dry tops which were also producing noxious vapours, I was suddenly facing my neatly organized washing turning into a traffic jam of tank-tops and trousers waiting for their turn in the machines while I waited for a shop to open that might sell borax (not commonly available in the UK). I found one useful conversation, which you can read here (external link). I decided to start with the vinegar.

I thought I would kill 2 birds with 1 stone by adding a cup of vinegar (using my measuring cup – I didn’t have white vinegar so I used 70/30 malt and apple cider vinegars) to the drawer of the washer, so that it could clean out the machine AND sort out my clothing problems. I did a full 2 hours 30 minutes long eco cottons wash at 60 (140 farenheit) as the information I read online came to the general conclusion that hotter temperatures are better at killing the bacteria responsible for the smell, and I thought the longer wash would give more chance for the vinegar to soak in.

1 cup of malt and cider vinegar.  It did nothing.
1 cup of malt and cider vinegar. It did nothing.

When it was finished, I inspected the result. They still stank. Only now the smell had a masking overtone of vinegar on top of it, which made it seem worse for some reason. I decided to try a different suggestion and since the only other ingredient (mentioned in the conversation) I had in the house was the Listerine, I gave it a go.

I used the purple Listerine, and I literally poured it over the armpit area then rubbed it in with my hand (which still feels minty fresh an hour later), and I did each armpit individually. I am annoyed when people say things like “it only takes 90 seconds per T shirt, it’s so easy to do my running shirt once or twice a week.” I am not doing my running shirt (I don’t run. I walk very damn quickly if I need to get somewhere fast, or I cycle if I need to get somewhere faster, or I drive if I need to get somewhere very fast or if it’s bad weather, I think I’m American at heart because I literally drive to the supermarket that’s about 2 blocks away, if that). But the annoyance is more that it’s probably oh so very easy to do this a couple of times a week for running apparel, but I’m facing doing every single damn T-shirt, shirt, vest, tank top, bra, swimming top (I wear them a lot although I don’t swim often), jumper, fleece and cardigan, every single time I put them in the wash.

Listerine... for cleaning Listers.
Listerine… for cleaning Listers.

On the plus side, the Listerine spreads very quickly on things that are already damp (not so well on dry things) so I would recommend either pre-washing or using a water spray or such to dampen your underarms before pouring mouthwash on them, and when I sniffed before I put them back in the machine, they already smelled fresh and clean (except for the tiny trifling matter of them all being covered in mouthwash). I shut the door on my inanimate test subjects, let them soak in it for about 60-90 seconds after the last one was done (the ones before have obviously soaked for longer as I could only do one top at a time), and I used the same 60 degrees Eco wash cycle, using a capful of non-bio laundry liquid (about 1tbsp). Given how many spoons I’ve wasted on this today, I am unashamed to say that I revelled in imagining their little T-shirty screams of horror as the machine started filling with hot water again then I left them to the mercy of the front-loader and went to have a cup of tea and write the day’s laundry investigation down.  Early signs were positive.

When it was done, I got up and checked the laundry.  The armpits are definitely clean and clear of whiff, although they all still smell very definitely of Listerine now.  So I guess people will think I’ve brushed my teeth recently or something.  The lack of ability of my laundry liquid to get my clothing clean or get rid of perfumed items such as vinegar or Listerine begs the question – what DOES my laundry liquid clean in the washing machine?  Is it just an expensive waste of money?  Should I switch back to powder?  It’s all in the dryer now and still doesn’t smell of BO, so that’s a good result.  Score one for Listerine.

Readers with bipolar disorder or other medications or circumstances (or idiopathies, I’m not discriminating against those with naturally sweaty pits), has anyone found any better solutions to this? I used an entire 250ml bottle of Listerine on the one washload, I will have more laundry to do tomorrow, so that’s going to be an expensive solution.

Sorry, I know when they said “it’s time to talk about mental health” they wanted me to wander round going “Oh it’s all so hard” and maybe cry a bit, rather than pour random liquids over my pit stains in the name of science, but I would rather flourish and flail in clean clothing, you see, it’s far more photogenic. When you think that a big way that the authorities decide whether you’re coping or not is whether you’re clean and dressed appropriately, and factor in that I spend about 90% of my life either not wearing anything or not dressed appropriately, I like to make sure my “appropriate” clothing for the benefit of mankind is clean and whiff free, and it really bothers me that this is not the case. Not currently working for the man Being a minimalist I flatly refuse to throw out my old clothes and replace them with fresh ones if there is a way to save them.

In next week’s thought provoking article, I ask the question: Can used disposable handkerchiefs be recycled?
Oh wait, I’ve just asked that question. Oh well, something else for some other time, then.

That’s enough thinking for me for the time being.

Back from Scotland

I’m back, I got back from the Highlands, Islands and Aberdeenshire this afternoon.  Did you have a nice quiet week without me?  I will catch up on blogs as and when I can.

So I was pretty ill on my first two days of travel and then the day before yesterday I hit my head pretty hard on a large piece of Scotland, so the holiday was far less productive than I anticipated, however, I have now been able to tick the following things off my 30 list:

  1. Visit the Brochs in Scotland (yay I can finally tick this one off – I went to Tappoch broch near Falkirk in April which I did a Youtube video about here: 

    ; and now I have seen two more up at Glenelg – Dun Telve and Dun Troddan which were even more spectacular (I filmed them and THEN realized I haven’t sorted out the sound on my new camera so I may have to Redo from Start).

  2. Go to Skye.  On my 40 list it’s more specific and says I have to go to the caves but my 30 list just says to visit Skye.  Which I did.
  3. Climb Ben Nevis.  This was the most exciting thing I did on holiday (and I did it yesterday so I’m probably suffering from the recency effect) and I felt really proud given that five years ago I couldn’t even walk to the front door unaided because I had a back problem.  Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK and I climbed the crap out of that badboy.  I have the hip pain and “runners knee” (except I get it after I climb mountains) to prove it.

I did a bunch of other stuff as well, including getting sunburnt on the beach 20 miles north of Aberdeen (I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t even take suncream), going around some of the Harry Potter filming locations (I will do an article on this VERY soon) and photographing a beautiful partial moon that was BRIGHT ORANGE (I haven’t seen an orange moon for AGES – probably since I moved away from Bonny Scotland) with my new camera.  It needs a decent telephoto lens but it was cool to have an opportunity to try out astrophotography even if it was a bit of a non-starter.  Here’s how those pics came out:

This was a 10 second exposure of the moon when it was orange, taken in the Highlands. The bit underneath is cloud and it wasn't a full moon.
This was a 10 second exposure of the moon when it was orange, taken in the Highlands. The bit underneath is cloud and it wasn’t a full moon.  The tripod moved slightly when I was taking it.  It was taken with the 18-55mm Canon EOS EF-S lens on my new EOS 650D camera.  The lens isn’t very good as it came without a lens cap and all smudgy and dusty (I got it second hand and cleaned it all up of course; I could never afford a brand new one of these babies), I can’t wait to acquire a telephoto lens to do better pictures!
The tripod stayed still for this one and the ISO was lower.
The tripod stayed still for this one and the ISO was lower.
This is a picture of the Big Dipper with the same camera and lens - if you've ever tried to photograph stars with a camera you'll know why I got so excited when I saw how this one came out. I have brightened this one so you can see the big dipper, I haven't ever used picture editing software before so I'm sorry if it's come out bad but I was so excited to see these stars came out - when I shot them, I was going to delete the picture because I thought it was just blackness. I wish my tripod had stayed still for a longer exposure but I'm so excited to try again next time I get to somewhere with the same lack of light pollution.
This is a picture of the Big Dipper with the same camera and lens – if you’ve ever tried to photograph stars with a camera you’ll know why I got so excited when I saw how this one came out. I have brightened this one so you can see the big dipper better, I haven’t ever used picture editing software before so I’m sorry if it’s come out bad but I was so excited to see these stars came out – when I shot them, I was going to delete the picture because I thought it was just blackness. I wish my tripod had stayed still for a longer exposure but I’m so excited to try again next time I get to somewhere with the same lack of light pollution.
The original pic of the big dipper before I brightened it, should you wish to compare.
The original pic of the big dipper before I brightened it (above), should you wish to compare.

I am very tired and my head is still very sore from where I hit it (egg cracking sound still making me cringe as I keep reliving it over and over) and I set off for home from Fort William at about 11:30pm last night, so I will sign off for now but rest assured, gentle and fearless readers, I shall return in…

Jasmine Honey Adams:  The Full Scottish Breakfast that Loved Me  (cue James Bond theme).

Climbing Mount Snowdon

So I’m currently on this massive hypomanic spree that’s seen me start the week by driving to Snowdonia National Park on Monday (10th) and climbing mount Snowdon, and will end the current week with me being in Aberdeen or possibly Skye, I haven’t quite decided yet.  Suffice to say people are getting worn out from being around me.

We started Snowdon after I’d been up all night the night before, so I was able to start getting ready pretty early, and we set off on the three hour drive around 9am in the morning.  The internet said to allow 6 hours up and down to climb Snowdon, so we knew we had plenty of time.

We arrived around 1:30pm due to traffic and parked in a pretty decent car park that was a fair bit cheaper than the one 100m down the road.  I would recommend parking in a municipal car park – we paid £4 (normally £5, drops to £4 after 1pm) and the other one was charging £7 but so many people were parked there for some reason!  There was the option of a train to the top but I wanted to walk up.

We followed the signs for the mountain and followed an easy tarmac track as it started to ascend, until we got to a point where the tarmac became a track made of aggregate.  There were plenty of sheep but no goats.

Plenty of sheep but no goats.
Plenty of sheep but no goats.

Up was up, and there was so very much of it.  We didn’t have enough water, since SOMEBODY (naming no names but it wasn’t me) drank nearly the whole bottle in one gulp, but there was a little cafe/shop about half way up the mountain, so we bought more water, and it wasn’t a complete rip off.  I also had a rocket lolly for the sugar as I needed a bit of energy.  We had taken some Linda McCartney meatfree sausage rolls with us that I’d cooked, and these ended up being our lunch.  They were tasty as usual.  The path passed under the train track for the first time.

We got to a point where the path passed the train track a second time, and then the whole experience took a turn for the worse.  Literally it was like someone had put a hood up over the whole area and all we could see in every direction was pure white fog.   It stayed this way for the rest of the journey.

We reached the top and it reminded me of that level in Tomb Raider II where Lara is jumping around on pieces of rock – I think it was called Floating Islands, it was one of the last levels in the game anyway, and the greenery and lack of any sort of view beyond the edges of rocky outcrops at the top of Snowdon reminded me of this.  We avoided the cafe/train station and anyway they were closed, and we just got back down again, we didn’t rush as much as on Ben Lomond because it wasn’t as cold, but I was certainly glad of my snowboarding gloves.  We reached the top at 5:10pm.

Snowdon in Snowdonia
Floating islands!!

The descent was a killer, and my bones under my knees were protesting painfully at every step, which was a nuisance because there was so much down to descend and I heartily wished for a scooter or some rollerskates (but my skates were at home and anyway they’re aggressive inlines so no good for cross country) so I could save my leg bones the trouble.  When I got back to the tarmac I did the rest backwards and pretty much everyone who passed me started to do the same, it was a LOT easier and I think it saved my toenails.

We stopped to catch our breath enjoy the view for a minute just at the exact moment when a shepherd was gathering his sheep with his sheepdog and a whistle.  I’d seen it all before on One Man And His Dog (the reality TV show about shepherding from years ago) but in the area I’m from we have fields and gates, so as a child it was rare to see the sheep being gathered up by a dog like that.  It was very special to be able to watch this and I tried to get some good photos but I only had my phone with me (my camera weighs 1lb I’m not taking that up a mountain!!)  so I don’t think they came out so good.  Judge for yourself:

There are sheep in the distance being rounded up by a sheepdog.
There are sheep in the distance being rounded up by a sheepdog.  They’re those dots around halfway up on the far right of the picture.

At the bottom, a cup of tea would have been nice but everywhere in Llanberis seems to close at 5 which is odd for a tourist hub.  I think a lot of people avoid the Llanberis path because it’s seen as the “easy” tourist path, but as a seasoned hillwalker I found it to be both a challenge but not unachievable.  The length of the walk makes it the longest with the most ascent of any of the Snowdon paths and I am not sure you should legitimately be able to say “I’ve climbed Snowdon” if you’ve never done Llanberis because all the other routes start about half way up so the ascent is far less!  I thoroughly enjoyed the tourist path because there was hardly anyone on it and I hope that this was just a quiet day because I’d hate for the halfway cafe and the places in Llanberis to go out of business just because people are walking route snobs.

The other thing about Llanberis is that’s where the train goes from, so a lot of people get the train up and walk back down again.  I balked at the price because it’s £15 for a single or £20 for a return ticket on the train!!  I thought about how many shanks’s ponies I could buy for that much money and decided it wasn’t worth the price of a pair of shoes to go up in a train, even an awesome uphill mountain train.

In the absence of any open eateries, we went back to Conwy and got a McDonald’s from the retail park drive thru then drove home.  I was glad we ate something because every freaking motorway between Conwy and our house was closed and I had to divert the car so many times!

Lash Growth Serums Revisited: Revitalash Advanced vs Rapidlash Which Is Better?

In this article I am reviewing Revitalash Advanced and Rapidlash, since month after month, my 2nd most popular article is this one: Lash Growth Serums Reviewed: RapidLash, Eveline and Rimmel.  In it, I compared Rapid Lash, Rimmel Lash Accelerator, Eveline SOS Lash Conditioner.  The winner was clearly RapidLash, but this was before I’d tried Revitalash Advanced.  Today I am going to talk about Revitalash Advanced, and how it compares to RapidLash (assume I mean Revitalash Advanced where I say “revitalash” in the rest of this article).

An epic eyelash batting contest to the death ensued.
An epic eyelash batting contest to the death ensued.

What do they look like?

The tubes almost look identical.  They’re both a slightly pearlescent silvery colour, although the Revitalash has a blue lid.  But somehow the Revitalash Advanced
one looks more high-class.  And it should do, it’s twice the price on Amazon.  It’s twin colour design also makes it easier to spot in the bathroom.  Although the RapidLash one looks like a bigger tube, they’ve both got 2ml of product in them.

Revitalash looked higher class with it's sapphire lid standing out from it's pearlescent silver body.
Revitalash looked higher class with it’s sapphire lid standing out from it’s pearlescent silver body.

What did it cost?
At full price, RapidLash is about £40 ($55) for 2ml and Revitalash Advanced is about $80 for 2ml or $120 for 3.5ml.  I paid £18.50 ($26) for my RapidLash 2ml before Christmas, and in continuous use that translated to 3 months supply.  Revitalash was £44.50 ($65) for 2ml on Amazon and it said on the listing that it was also 3 months supply, although I haven’t finished the tube yet.

Rapidlash is a slightly different pearlescent silver colour to the Revitalash.
Rapidlash is a slightly different pearlescent silver colour to the Revitalash.

Was it genuine?
One concern I had with buying half price lash serums on Amazon was whether they were genuine products or not.  I scoured the reviews (Amazon had several different listings for each) and found ones that people had said worked, and I looked for ones where people said “I’ve bought this before from my beauty salon, it’s genuine.”   It’s not enough that it says it’s coming from the correct brand name because Amazon (and sellers) frequently get this wrong and lie about where it’s coming from, so I always read the reviews on Amazon.  You have to.  I am glad to say that both the RapidLash and the Revitalash I purchased were genuine.  NOTE: Revitalash Advanced is the only Revitalash currently being made, so if it doesn’t say “Advanced” on the box you are buying old, discontinued product that could be out of date.  My Revitalash tube was also sealed in plastic inside a box that was stuck down with a circular see-through sticker, so I knew it hadn’t been opened. Even though I’ve linked to the same one I’ve bought, please do check it’s still coming from a reputable source – if there are recent listings saying it’s a fake, listen to them, as suppliers change sometimes!

This is what the box should look like.
This is what the box should look like.

How do You Use Rapidlash?
Rapidlash goes over the very root of your eyelash, where it touches the eyelid, and you have to get the product on the eyelid for it to work.  As I said in my previous review, because I have a double line of eyelashes, like Elizabeth Taylor, I have to work the stuff between the two layers because it doesn’t soak in or travel between lashes very well.

How do You Use Revitalash?

Revitalash Advanced
goes on your actual eyelashes, and should not touch your eyelid at all.  I was concerned that it might spread to my under eye area and cause irritation, but it dries very quickly (much faster than RapidLash) and yet seems to reach all my upper lashes WITHOUT spreading to my lower lashes.  See this video the manufacturers have made for an idea of how to use Revitalash: 

What About those dodgy ingredients?  The safety facts:
Neither of these products have the “glaucoma” drug in it (that’s used in Latisse, which is only available in the US and is prescription only, and will make your lashes grow PAST your eyebrows.  Latisse are VERY defensive with their patents and don’t currently let any other company use their patented lash ingredient bimatoprost) and while they both use a molecule that MIMICS the lash growth effect of the glaucoma molecule bimatoprost, they don’t have the same effect on eyes and there is literally not one single case of either Revitalash or RapidLash causing eye colour change either.

This criticism is all a VERY old story from 2005 and this was all aimed at Latisse, which has never caused eye colour change, but which is a licenced Prescription Only Product for a reason – it’s a more effective lash growth serum, but it’s also got more potential side effects!!  The story behind the eye colour change is that the INGREDIENT (bimatoprost) used in Latisse has caused eye colour change in VERY high quantities when it’s used in a different formula to treat glaucoma (where it needs to be in a high enough concentration to cause significant eye pressure drop, y’know, to treat glaucoma, a serious eye disease).  It got cross applied by those people who don’t understand science but love to talk beauty with pseudoscience.  But the truth is, nobody’s eyes have changed colour using any of these lash serums, which I’m sure Allergan and Athena (the companies that make Latisse and Revitalash respectively) are sick of having to reiterate and confirm again and again.

Revitalash DOES contain a very similar active ingredient to Latisse (dechlorodihydroxydifluoroethycloprostenolamide is the active ingredient in Revitalash) which is why it is more effective than RapidLash but it is NOT the same or Allergan (who are famously rivals with Athena Cosmetics over their lash serums) would have slapped more patent infringements on Athena for it.  RapidLash and Revitalash also DON’T contain snail secretion filtrate, unlike Marvelash (EWWWWW THAT’S GRODY TO THE MAXXX) which I wouldn’t touch with a bargepole because I have a phobia of slugs and snails.

Basically, you know Revitalash is good stuff because otherwise Allegan (who make Latisse) wouldn’t feel so threatened to keep constantly trying to get Revitalash relegated to “prescription only” (or withdrawn) because they’re scared of it being “unfair competition,” and you know Revitalash is safe because otherwise the FDA would have banned Revitalash permanently by now (and if you read the history you’ll see how many times Allergan/Latisse have tried to make this happen).  The only time Revitalash was banned, it was because of a “fair competition” law that then got laughed out of court on appeal, it was nothing to do with safety.  As a qualified chemistry teacher who knows a thing or two about science, I can wholeheartedly say that while ANYTHING can cause you an allergy (some people are allergic to water), these products are all safe.

Did they work?
They both made my eyelashes grow.  They both took a few weeks to show results.  However, I like Revitalash
better than Rapidlash for two reasons:
1. It made my eyelashes grow LONGER.
2. Revitalash
did not leave my eyes with a red rash, and didn’t leave my eyeballs feeling dry and tired.  When I used Rapidlash I was more sensitive to eye strain and dry eyes.  The first time I used it it went away after a while, but I stopped using it for 3 months and when I started again the redness and dryness never went away (but I didn’t get the under eye irritation this time).  Revitalash didn’t affect my eyes at all.

As you can see, my lashes got longer from RapidLash, but my eyelids were not happy (usually they're the same colour as the rest of my face).
As you can see, my lashes got longer from RapidLash, but my eyelids were not happy (usually they’re the same colour as the rest of my face).

What happens if you use RapidLash and Revitalash together?
You get stupidly long lashes very quickly but after 1 day your eyes feel really weird and achey and oversensitive to light and your eyelids go worse than in the picture above.  So I am quite sure the two products cannot be used together and I stopped using the RapidLash completely on day three (I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a coincidental eye ache) before I went blind or my eyes turned into antennae or I got x-ray vision or something.  I couldn’t find any information about this online so I may have been the first person to try this then write about it.  Revitalash is more expensive, but if you want properly long lashes, Revitalash is the real deal and is the one to go for because RapidLash is good, but it’s not AS good as Revitalash, and for me, the redness and occular irritation were deal breakers once I’d found a product that didn’t upset my eyes but still did the job.

The bottom line: 
I liked Revitalash
best.  It grew my lashes longer and didn’t damage my eyes at all (unless combined with RapidLash – that’s a big no no).  I wish I hadn’t hesitated in buying it, but the price really put me off.  At the end of the day, if you’ve only got £20, buy RapidLash and you won’t be too disappointed, it’s certainly the best of the original three serums I reviewed.  But if you can stretch your budget, I think Revitalash is worth the extra money.  Once your lashes are long, people say you can use Revitalash once a week for maintenance, so that will be cheaper than using it every day as the tube will last longer. As long as you’re careful about who you buy from, I strongly recommend you buy from Amazon.com
as it’s the best value for money.

The clear winner.
The clear winner: Revitalash.

Which serums have you tried?  Would you ever try one?  Let me know in the comments!

UPDATE MAY 2016: I have now written a review comparing RapidLash and Revitalash to Grande Lash MD, see which lash serum is better, Grande Lash MD, Rapid Lash or Revitalash!!

Sleepless And Unsettled (and far from Seattle) (slightly NSFW)

So I posted over on How To Get Up From An All Time Low that I have had a grand total of one night’s sleep since Sunday, and that I have been given a rather unhelpful set of things to “try” that I have long since given up on. As an aside, I refuse to waste money on herbal sleeping tablets when I know they don’t work on me.
I know the definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results, but hey, I’m a crazy person, otherwise I would be asleep at 3:40am right now (update; as I’m about to click “publish,” it’s now 4:19am.  Guess what?  Well I’m not typing this in my sleep).
So these are all the things I’ve tried since Sunday to get myself to drop off, with a report on how successful they were:

1. Camomile tea. It did nothing. It never does anything. I still drink it cos it’s tastylicious though.

2. Eating before 9pm so I’m not digesting. This has never worked either (spoiler alert: none of the things here worked).

3. Going to bed early, even if you’re not tired, and setting an alarm for early, so you get a “routine” going. This has never worked either, unless I’m working and my continued employment depends on me turning up somewhere at a specified time, in which case it has generally not been too bad. I used to think this was the key to getting up, but now I think it’s totally dependent on my mood hypomania/depression.

4. Avoiding computer screens for 2 hours before bed. If this worked, surely it wouldn’t take me over 4 hours to get to sleep in the past few weeks before my brain lost it’s standby button again, because when you lie in bed for over 4 hours trying to sleep, and people tell you useless shit like “do x y and z in the 2 hours before bed” you think, “well if that worked, surely the first 2 of the many hours spent in a silent dark room lying down with my eyes closed would get me to nod off.” I had this insomnia problem on and off for 15 years before all these portable devices were even invented, in a house where for the first 5 years we lived with no TV, where I wasn’t allowed sugar until I was about 11. I think this is useless advice.

5. Get a bedtime routine going. I have an obsessive compulsion (not the disorder, there’s a difference between having one or two foibles and having real OCD and I don’t think I have OCD) about my going to bed/waking up routine. I go upstairs, use the loo, brush my teeth, put my retainer in, wash my face, dry it thoroughly, apply my eyelash serum, then I go to bed with my eyes half closed to allow my eyelash serum to dry (I’ve just switched from RapidLash to RevitaLash to see which is better), and then I lie down and wait for it to dry, then I drink some sips of water and go to sleep. Every. Single. Night. I’ve even done it all tonight and then I got up again because I’m so bored lying in bed so many days in a row when I’m not tired.

6. Try getting back up if you aren’t falling asleep after half an hour, and do something productive until you feel sleepy. Hmm… yeah, well I last felt sleepy on Monday night, I slept for 6 hours, and I haven’t felt remotely sleepy since. I’m concerned that my brain might run out of brain cells or something, I heard that happens when you don’t get enough sleep and it’s a worry.

7. Bedtime story. My husband has read my favourite bedtime story (for realsies) to me every single night since I stopped sleeping properly. It didn’t work but when you’re this sleepless you’ll try anything to stop you turning into an angsty teenage vampire. I hear this happens if you don’t sleep for long enough.

8. Relaxing scents such as lavender. My bed could not be softer and snugglier. I just get so taken with how warm and cosy it is, that I stay awake savouring it. Every single thing in the universe is a sensory stimulant at the moment – too comfy, too uncomfy, too warm, too cold, everything is input and I can’t switch it off and I’ve got too many things to think.

9. Mindfulness techniques of consciously telling yourself to stop thinking and go to sleep when you catch yourself thinking about things. Mmm yeah I get bored after enough times of repeating myself. My brain’s not listening to logic or reason.

10. Meditation or astral projection: I am too distractable to sustain it for long enough and break concentration then my mind just wanders.

11. 5HTP capsules. This is an amino acid supplement that basically promotes serotonin so you calm and sleep. It helped the first time I took it but you need enough time to sleep afterwards so you don’t feel groggy and I never think of it until I’m due to get up in two or three hours’ time.

12. Listening to soft music. I just got so filled with joy and happy that I was bouncing around in bed in time to the music and squiggling around under the blanket and I had to turn it off as I was causing a disturbance.

13. (NSFW) Sex. Again, just seems to wake me up at the moment and make me feel energized and bouncy.

14. Avoiding tea and coffee in the two hours before bed.  I don’t drink coffee.  And the caffeine in tea is an optical isomer that doesn’t actually work as a stimulant (its the placebo effect) and yet I still avoided tea before bed, and guess what???  I’m still awake.  I know, it was a surprise ending, you were expecting it to work, but the clues were there in the rest of the article for the discerning reader to pick up on (this is a joke.  It should have been really obvious as I’m awake and writing this post).

15. Staying up all night, driving 3 hours to Wales, climbing it’s highest mountain and back down, then driving home.  This got me sleeping for a few hours after I’d been up for 36 hours.  Then I woke up again.  I always wake up again.

I want to go outside and dance around until I find a place that sells ice cream donuts then choreograph them into a musical about snacks. I can hear the potential sound track (Mr Blue Sky by some band or other, followed by Happy Together by the Turtles) when I think about this. I should probably stay indoors because I think that’s the crazy train a-calling and I’m trying to grow my eyelashes.  Yay insight.

Marjory was on the top of the pyramid until someone came and ate her... Her echoing screams torment the other donuts, as they sing to distract their human predators from their final destination... someone's stomach.
Marjory was on the top of the pyramid until someone came and ate her… Her echoing screams torment the other donuts, as they sing to distract their human predators from their final destination… someone’s stomach.

Maybe eating a ton of sugar will help?  It’s about as useful as a suggestion as anything else…

Does anyone know when hypomania flips over into actual mania?  Because I must be close by now.  I was SURE I’d get to sleep tonight, I feel so normal…

I need something to do to take my mind off my predicament…

I feel like one of the characters from Pelleas et Melisande…

Update at 4:30am:   Just as an FYI… I’m thinking of downing a quantity of dry Martini and seeing where that gets me.  I’ve had literally no alcohol at all for about 5 months so it shouldn’t take much to get me to non-awake.  It should wear off before I need to be up again at 7, right?  Why didn’t I think of this before??

Update at 3:00pm: Well I drank about 1/2 pint of martini and three shots of gin, and I was out of it for nearly 12 hours, and I definitely remember dreaming, so I’m going to say that was a successful experiment and alcohol is the solution to the sleep problem.  Apparently my system doesn’t have enough alcohol in it.  I hope this isn’t leading me anywhere bad, alcohol has never behaved like that to me before, usually it just makes me ill, and I even woke up feeling totally fine and spry this afternoon, so I can reset the “date last slept” chalkboard.