Review: Japonesque Precision Lash Curler

I bought this about 3 months ago and I’ve tried it on false lashes AND natural lashes, with and without Revitalash on my eyes, and I’ve had to draw the difficult conclusion that this product is not fit for purpose.

I have large, 3D eyes with a double layer of thick lashes, like Elizabeth Taylor, and, since I’ve been an adult, normal lash curlers don’t have the right shape/size to do my lashes very well (I used to find them easy to use as a child… I’ve been using eyelash curlers since age 11). I usually blast my eyelash curlers with my hairdryer for 2-5 seconds (it’s VERY easy to burn your eyelids if you do this) to get them to stay curled for more than 10 minutes.

I have the Shu Uemura eyelash curlers, which are brilliant, so when I heard the Japonesque ones were a good dupe, I bought the smaller precision ones as I wanted those from Shu Uemura and had bought the wider ones, instead (I tried both at the Shu Uemura counter).

From the moment I tried them, I’ve not managed to get even a slight curl on my eyelashes with these Japonesque ones. I tried them on false lashes and nothing happened there, either. Even the £1 eyelash curlers from the bargain bucket manage to get my eyelashes to curl a little. These cost $11 (or £10 on UK Amazon) and they’re hopeless.

I 100% DO NOT RECOMMEND these eyelash curlers. For the price, you would be much better spending a bit more and getting the Shu Uemura ones which I’ve reviewed here, because when you spend more than $3 on an eyelash curler, you expect to get something that actually works.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler Review

Since I’ve been using the Revitalash Eyelash Conditioning Serum, I’ve found that they’re not as curly as they used to be, probably because it seems to make my lashes grow thicker as well as longer, and thicker hair curls less easily.

I am dubiously blessed with Elizabeth Taylor’s double layer of eyelashes, which means that conventional eyelash curlers have always struggled to make my lashes curl. When my sister (who has worked on a bunch of different make-up counters at a selection of famous department stores) told me that the Shu Uemura eyelash curlers were the best ones, I cursed my bad luck in living in the middle of nowhere, in a town with only the most mainstream make-up counters and none of the best ones.
Luckily for my cosmetics addiction, I found myself in London recently, so since I had several hours to kill in the afternoon, I went straight to Selfridges where there was a Shu Uemura counter.

I was worried about buying the full-sized eyelash curlers rather than the little ones for doing parts of your lashes at a time, because the big issue I’ve had with other eyelash curlers is that they curl in a weird straight line that looks unnatural and pinched. When the assistant at the Shu Uemura counter curled my lashes for me, he explained that the Shu Uemura eyelash curler curves in the same way that your eyelid does, so instead of getting that straight line across your lashes, you get a curl that looks natural and follows the line of your eye, to give a romantic curl instead of a severe one. There’s a part of me (the part that used to be a chemistry teacher) which wishes more eyelash curler brands would pay attention to Gaussian curvature whilst designing eyelash curlers, because mathematically these eyelash curlers are a thing of beauty.

The curl lasts all day on my lashes (with the other lash curlers I’ve used, usually it lasts an hour at most), which I can’t explain. What I like best, though, is when I’m using them, I feel like my eyelashes aren’t being pinched or pulled. For me, that alone was worth the £20 these eyelash curlers cost.
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers are only available from Shu Uemura counters e.g. at Selfridges.

Review: Grande Lash MD vs Rapid Lash vs Revitalash Advanced

It’s time for my most epic review of this month; which is better, Revitalash Advanced, Rapid Lash or Grande Lash MD??

I used Rapid Lash for the first five months of 2015. I switched to Revitalash Advanced in May 2015 and used it through November 2015 (I stopped in mid November due to severe pregnancy sickness which was nothing to do with the Revitalash but it did throw my beauty regime down the toilet). As a result I wrote an article comparing Rapid Lash and Revitalash. I did find out that these lash products are not recommended for use during pregnancy due to lack of evidence about the effects. In February, when I was no longer pregnant, I was going to buy more Revitalash Advanced but then I saw there’s been an explosion of new lash serums onto the market. Scrutinizing the ingredients pretty cautiously (because this stuff is going on my eyes) I selected Grande Lash MD as my new lash serum because it didn’t look like a bad knock-off (a fake dupe – a dupe that doesn’t actually work but looks a lot like the real thing) of Rapid Lash or Revitalash Advanced (assume I mean Revitalash Advanced where I say “revitalash” in the rest of this article).  I have reviewed a couple of the lash serums that don’t have any proper active ingredients, to see how they compared to Rapid Lash, but spoiler alert, their lengthening effects were instant but those effects washed off again.

The only three I’ve found that definitely work to grow your lashes are Rapid Lash, Revitalash Advanced and Grande Lash MD.

That’s not to say these are the only three that work, just the only three I’ve tested and found to work.

All the products I talk about in this review really work to grow your lashes, the question I want to answer in this lash serum review is: Which one is better?

This is what Grande Lash MD looks like:

grande lash md1
Grande Lash MD
grande lash md2
What Grande Lash MD looks like on the inside
grande lash md3
A close up of the brush for Grande Lash MD
rapidlash vs revitalash
And these are Revitalash (top) and Rapid Lash (bottom)

I really liked the packaging for Grande Lash MD – the metallic orangey bronze colour was a refreshing pop against the Revitalash and Rapid Lash packaging, both of which are silvery.  I have noticed most of the cheap knock offs of Revitalash and Rapid Lash have silver packaging as well – presumably to get you to think they’re just as good.  I actually chose Grande Lash MD out of a long list of lash serums on Amazon.com because it looked a bit different to the others – it stood out.  I liked that it dared to be different with packaging.  I know it doesn’t affect the quality of the product… but still… I liked it.

Grande Lash MD works the same way as Rapid Lash and Revitalash.  It makes your lashes grow using a special ingredient called a “bimatoprost analog” (an analog of prostaglandin, used in glaucoma drugs and Latisse).  When the product is applied to the lashes once a day (usually at night, so that your mascara doesn’t interfere with it), after 4-8 weeks the lashes should be longer.  I tried Grande Lash MD for 3 months to see how it stood up against Revitalash and Rapid Lash.
It’s in a long tube with a thin brush inside. You use the brush to paint the product over your eyelashes at the base. The product is colourless and transparent, and it dries invisible with no residue or sticking of the lashes.

And here’s a handy table of comparisons:

A comparison table of Revitalash, Rapid Lash and Grande Lash MD www.delightandinspire.com
A comparison table of Revitalash, Rapid Lash and Grande Lash MD

As you can see from the comparison table, they all have the same active ingredient.  There’s a lot of new lash serums on the market that claim to be good but don’t have any useful active ingredients.  Call me a sourpuss, but if people put “eyelash serum” or “eyelash conditioner” on the label of a product, I expect them to have at least made an effort to put something into the product, some ingredient or other, that will actually make my lashes grow.  That’s why these three are so great.

Grande Lash MD vs Revitalash:

If you’ve got the money for Revitalash, I’d buy Revitalash for 2 reasons – 1. the results were faster.  2. The results were better.  So my lashes grew to their longest overall length with the Revitalash and the results started being visible from week 3.  After 6 weeks of using the Revitalash, my lashes were phenomenal lengths.  If it was easier to photograph eyelashes on my phone I’d definitely have comparison pictures.  When I can afford a Macro Lens I will add some better pictures of my eyelashes.

If you haven’t got the money for Revitalash, your only options for actual lash growth are Grande Lash MD or Rapid Lash.  I’ve already written a comparison review of Revitalash vs Rapid Lash.  Let’s see how Grande Lash MD and Rapid Lash compare to each other:

Grande Lash MD vs Rapid Lash.

Grande Lash MD is already winning because it’s cheapest of the two, and if money is your main concern you will actually get better value for money from the Grande Lash MD.  The results I got were not as good as with the Rapid Lash, BUT there was no irritation (for me personally) with the Grande Lash MD.  If you remember my article comparing Rapid Lash and Revitalash, I complained that the Rapid Lash left a dark line above my lashes and it also irritated my eyes.  I have had absolutely no bad reaction to the Grande Lash MD – even when I used it twice a day for a week to see what would happen (which I tried with the other two as well).  The effects I experienced with Rapid Lash won’t happen to everyone who uses it, so it’s likely that you will not have this problem with Rapid Lash, but for me, Grande Lash MD is the better option because it didn’t harm my eye area.

Where can I buy them?

I get these from Amazon because they are a LOT cheaper than paying full price.  Revitalash is also available from beauticians (their website has a search option) and Rapid Lash is available from some drugstores (Boots in the UK sells it), but Amazon is the cheapest place to get them.  Here’s the affiliated links:

Revitalash

Grande Lash MD

Rapid Lash

How did I test them?

Obviously you can’t use them on different days at the same time to test them because the results take a while to show.  I started with Rapid Lash, using it once a day (at night) coating the roots of my lashes with it for a few months.  I also tried using it twice a day for a week.  This did accelerate results quite well but also made the irritation a LOT worse leading to me using it less.  I moved onto the Revitalash and used that once a day (at night, as instructed by the packet), covering the base of my lashes, as shown on the video, which is slightly different to the application method described on the tube.  The tube says “at the base of the lashes, like eyeliner” but the video that Revitalash made shows that’s not how you use it.  I found the method shown on the video to produce good results.  I tried using Revitalash twice a day and my lashes did get longer but I also noticed that my eyes were looking more sunken.  One huge downside to Revitalash is that it reduces the amount of fat around the eye (I can’t find the scientific study that showed this but Latisse has the same effect) – so if you use too much of it, it can make you look aged while you are using it for the initial 4-6 weeks.  Once your lashes have reached their best length, you can scale back to using Revitalash one or twice a week, I found twice a week was best to maintain beautiful long lashes.  At this point, your eyes will go back to normal if you were affected by fat loss.

What about Latisse?

I really *really* want to try Latisse for a fair comparison, if the manufacturers would like to send me a sample I would be only too happy to try it out and write about it.  There are mountains of evidence from clinical trials that show that Latisse works, but it would be fantastic to see how much better (or worse) it works than these other serums.  Sadly, it’s not available in the UK because we have an NHS and so there’s no market for doctor-prescribed lash growth serums, it’s seen as an un-necessary expense.  If it becomes more normal in the UK for people on a middle income to choose a private doctor’s consultation, perhaps in the future Latisse will be available in the UK.  In the meantime, since 90% of my readers are American, perhaps you could add any experiences you have had with Latisse to the comments to help other readers?

And a warning:

One disturbing trend I’ve noticed on the internet is people are buying Bimatoprost from online pharmacies in America at generic drug prices, to try and get cheap Latisse.  Young teenagers are making videos telling people to do this.  This is highly dangerous because the concentration in generic Bimatoprost is very high (it’s specifically formulated for people with glaucoma; it’s actual mechanism is designed to reduce eye pressure) and it will cause the pressure in your eye to drop too low, causing a medical condition known as Hypotony which can lead to loss of vision.  As with many pharmaceuticals, this will not happen instantly, the effect will get worse over time but once you have damaged your vision it’s not reversible.  Please, please don’t be stupid, long lashes are NOT worth blinding yourself for!!  That is why, if you cannot afford Latisse or it isn’t available in your country, it’s better to get Revitalash, Grande Lash MD or Rapid Lash, these products are made to go on lashes and if anything goes wrong, these companies are accountable.  If you buy actual glaucoma drugs on the sly to make longer lashes and you go blind, it is your own fault.  As an analogy, using pharmacy-grade Bimatoprost to grow your lashes is like using thick house bleach to dye your hair.  Would you dye your hair with the bleach you clean your toilet with???  Of course not, the concentration is far too high! Save yourself the horror and buy a real lash serum.

I will remind readers that I use Amazon Associates because Amazon offers best value.  This does not affect the price you pay, but if you want to pay more for your products, I have also offered alternative places to buy them.

DIY Eyelash Extensions Experiment

So this isn’t my first rodeo when it comes to lash extensions. I’ve never got them done at a salon, but when I was working as a professional entertainer, I regularly gave myself lashes using the Eylure Individual Lashes (Ardell Individual Lashes have only recently made it to the UK). The past few years I haven’t bothered, for the simple reason that when I see people in real life wearing these lashes and they’re just so damn obvious! You can always see the glue and the knots at the top of the packaging and it’s put me off wearing them.
But I used to find them great for when I was doing stage shows because from a distance, they just look like fake lashes.
After last week’s disaster with the actual lash extensions (like, proper ones), I decided to put those to one side and get a pack of these Eylure individual lashes. Thing was, I work as a supply (substitute) teacher, I haven’t really had any work before Easter but I could be called at any moment and have half an hour to drive to a school and fill in for an absent teacher. Half an hour is pretty standard, often it’s “as soon as you can, class has already started and the headteacher’s covering.”
As a teacher, nobody, not adults or children, is going to take you seriously when you have these Individual Lashes on – they really are just too obvious and people have this idea that teachers are supposed to be a certain way.
Add to that, I’ve just bought a new lash growth serum to review (6-8 weeks, people, I’m not one of those irritating bloggers who writes a review after using a product twice) and so I don’t really want lash extensions that can last up to 4 weeks (in my experience they go patchy after 2) to mess up the results.
So I thought I’d buy some latex free strip lash adhesive from Revlon (the black one) and see whether I could use the individual lashes to make a temporary eyelash extension, like the sort that lasts a day, so that when I’m doing cosplay tutorials, I never get caught out without being able to use lashes.
Why don’t I just use strip lashes? I have a latex allergy. While there’s a couple of companies make latex free glues these days, that’s not what’s supplied with the lashes … and it’s certainly not what’s being used to attach the lashes to their packaging. Latex free glues are recommended for people with “a sensitivity to latex” rather than allergy because nobody can guarantee that the lashes themselves are not latex free at the place where they touch the eyelid.
I trusted that nobody would make latex free glue if the lashes contained latex, and used to use strip lashes. Then, not too long ago, I had a horrific experience with fake lashes (and I was using latex free glue) and I carry an epi-pen for my allergies so there’s no way I can use strip lashes until someone makes a set specifically in a latex-free environment.
Since the individual lashes are not designed to be used with latex glue and they are not manufactured in the same way, they are safe for me to use. I’ve used them time and again and I’ve never had a reaction to the Eylure individual lashes (they’re really more like clumpy lashes) or the glue.
So here is the video of my experiment trying to find out whether Eylure Individual Lashes could be used for a 1-day look:

At the end of the day I removed all the lashes, they are all in good condition (despite having moved when I was in the shower), they were all still on my face, and I have 6 little clumps of “individual lashes” ready to use again next time.
Have you tried the Eylure Individual Lashes or anything similar? Have you ever had proper lash extensions? Let me know in the comments!

2016 Best Beauty Trends From The Catwalk: Reviewed

The spring and summer make up trends for 2016 are a mixed bag – I am in the middle of editing a video for my Youtube channel where I found the 4 worst looks and tried them out on camera.  Today, however, I wanted to do a quick review of the best 6 trends in beauty and make-up that are worth knowing about:

1. Long eyelashes. While the no-make-up-make-up is still pretty big, long lashes are definitely the next big thing in beauty. Whether they’re on-set or out getting papped, celebs seem to all have either lash extensions or lash growth serums, giving them long, luscious lashes. This trend is one of my favourites because it’s so easy to recreate at home, you literally just need to buy a good lash growth serum such as Revitalash and in 4-6 weeks you can have those telescopic lashes when you put your mascara on. I love how feminine it is, and it really makes the eyes look more romantic, softening your features. If you have a longer face like me, long eyelashes really help to break up the face without having to have a brow drawn in with a sharpie, and whether I’m feeling masculine or feminine, I think long lashes ALWAYS look good regardless of gender.

make up trends 2016 long eyelashes catwalk fashion

2. Natural eyebrows (or, less HD brows): FINALLY!!! The HD brow seems to be waning in popularity and I suspect that, like silver hair, it’s going to die a death this year, having become the domain of scruffy people everywhere. The death of the HD brow is to be celebrated, opening the door to feminine, shapely brows (but not over plucked). I am particularly excited that brow colours are tending towards natural shades again – last year it seemed like, no matter what your hair colour, everyone wore black eyebrows! That was not a good look and I didn’t like it. Eyebrows seem to be getting further apart as well, with the almost-touching-each-other nearly-a-monobrow look of the HD brow being another feature that anyone trendy is going to leave back in the grody dark ages of 2015. On catwalks, one surprising brow trend I noticed a couple of times was the curved brow, that rounded look that hasn’t been seen in several decades. It did look good on the models I saw, but check it suits your face shape by drawing it in with an eye pencil before you commit to getting your brows reshaped. Personally I’m thinking of going for a Marilyn Monroe brow this year after experimenting with it in one of my videos last year.

Natural, non-HD brows were a theme across every fashion show for Spring and Summer 2016.
Natural, non-HD brows were a theme across every fashion show for Spring and Summer 2016 and I’ve been seeing them more and more on celebrities as well, showing we’re finally at the end of those Neanderthal-esque HD brows!  Picture: Vogue.

3. Long flat straight noses: Yes this IS a makeup trend. Before you go calling up the plastic surgeon, go to your local makeup counter and ask them to show you how to shape your nose using highlighter and contour powder. You may be surprised at the results. The downside is that if you have a crooked nose like I do, you can’t switch between a straight or curved nose by using make-up, but I have found a video on Youtube (not one of mine) where this lady shows you how to allegedly straighten your nose using nose exercises. I’ve tried them out for a couple of days and I’ll let you know how they turn out.  I didn’t really have a picture for this but they’re everywhere:

make up trends 2016 straight noses catwalk fashion
See how in profile her nose is curved but straight-on it’s flat? That’s make-up.

4. Freckles: Yup, they’re in again. My suggestion with this one is only go for freckles if you’ve got very clear skin, otherwise (like last time this trend came around) you’ll be walking round looking like you’ve got terrible acne. Any 3D spots on your forehead, chin or cheeks, and faux-freckles are a total no-no.

make up trends 2016 freckles catwalk fashion

5. Color-pop lips: If there’s not a lot going on in the eyeshadow department, the lips are the big deal this year. Celine had off-red lips on the runway and Miu Miu had two-tone blue and berry lips (see picture). The theme here seems to be to go for “natural” (or “nude”) eyes and unnatural, experimental lipcolours, which is the complete opposite of the predominant nude-lip trend we’ve been seeing for the past few years. In particular, red lipstick is getting much bigger this year.  Blending 2-3 colours (like you usually would for eyeshadow) to create shape and perfection, seems to be on the verge of becoming a trend, but I think we will be waiting until Autumn/Winter for it to really take off because it’s still on the horizon at the moment.

make up trends 2016 lips color pop blueberry catwalk fashion
Excerpt from Cosmopolitan Magazine website about blueberry color-pop lips for Spring/Summer 2016.

6. Coloured Contact Lenses: OMG I’m so excited that these have started making their way onto the runway, although no-one seems to have noticed them yet. I spotted them on this MAC girl styled by Lucia Pieroni. Brown contacts definitely suit a lot more people than the garish and unnatural blue and green ones that are also available. I can’t wait for contact lens companies to respond to the increasing popularity by designing more realistic contact lenses. Perhaps it won’t be too long before coloured contact lenses become as acceptable as hair extensions and wigs.

make up trends 2016 colored contact lenses review catwalk fashion
Look at her eyes. It’s not remarked upon in the text that ran next to it in Cosmo, but she’s clearly wearing brown contacts and I suspect it’s going to be a trend in Autumn/Winter 2016 if it catches on.

So those are the top 6 make-up trends of Spring/Summer 2016, what do you think?  Have you tried any of these yet?  Would you experiment with coloured contacts?

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.

Conclusion:
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.