I looked out at the ethereal water droplets bathing the garden and I couldn’t help myself. I had to go out and get soaked taking these pictures. This is my entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge since the theme is Spare and the sky had all this spare water in it (so it rained a lot):
Today I want to talk about the Sana Keana Pore Putty BB Pact SPF40 PA+++ because it arrived this morning from Japan!! So excited to finally review Japanese cosmetics!
I’ve been totally psyched to try Japanese make up ever since my Korean Clio Water Me Please BB Cream turned up a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to know how the two products would compare but for the time being, this is my first impressions of the Sana Keana Pore Putty BB Pact.
There appear to be 2 different ones with different SPFs. I got the shade 01 (light) in SPF40 PA+++ (PA+++ means high protection against ageing UVA rays).
This is what it looked like in its packaging:
This is what it looked like out of the box:
I adored the packaging of the Pore Putty sooo much! It’s absolutely delightful. Not as Kawaii as some of the other stuff from Japan but more sophisticated, yet still cutesy. At first I thought there was no mirror, which was disappointing, but then when I lifted the top compartment, surprise! It turned out the product – and the mirror – were both underneath the area for the sponge.
Application wise, it was probably the easiest thing I’ve ever applied and I only needed a tiny amount of product to cover all of my face. I would say it’s like a hybrid between a BB cream and a foundation. I swatched it on my arm before I used it on my face:
Next I put the Pore Putty BB Pact cream on one side of my face to compare it to nothing on the other side:
This was so much better than the Avon Cream to Powder foundation that came in similar packaging and looked virtually identical – this Pore Putty is the real deal and I can see myself using it as a daily wear product! I like that it evened out my skin tone, and I thought it was a good match for my winter/spring skin tone but a teensy bit pale for my summer skin colour, which was a shame. I wish I’d got the darker shade now since it’s May (it comes in 01 Fair and 02 Natural and I chose 01 Fair after much consideration). I’m only an NC20 but I’d have to be a teensy bit paler for the fair coloured Pore Putty to blend seamlessly. As it is, it has blended nicely, just made me look a bit paler than I’m used to. I’ll take that though because it goes on so smoothly. Undertones were nice, I can’t make out if they were pink or yellow but whatever, it made my skin look like it had a lit-from-within sort of glow! I like that and it’s something I don’t often find with foundations. I did still put some blusher on when I finished my make up just to try and bring my face colour more in line with the rest of me!!
Overall, I really liked this product, application was easy and the coverage was medium, it didn’t make my pores/lines worse (which most foundations do, even with a primer), in fact, the opposite happened – it actually minimized the two fine lines either side of my mouth and the pores around my nose a lot more than anything else I’ve used. I didn’t use it with moisturizer or primer (my usual routine) and it came out better than most foundations that I use *with* primer so I reckon it would look flawless if I put it on over primer.
This was the finished look:
I would say this is the best result I’ve had with a foundation for years! If I was going away to a festival or something, I would feel comfortable just taking this and not taking primer!!! I never thought I would say that about a product, it’s just so moisturising without being greasy or silicone-y at all!
It’s also one of the few Asian beauty brands actually available in the UK.
Buy it here in the US or buy it here in the UK (takes you to Amazon because I’m an affiliate). Delivery took about 25 days because mine was posted from Japan. Different suppliers will ship from different locations natch.
I did a fun beauty investigation over the past week to find out whether hairspray, setting spray (or nothing) is better for making your make-up stay put in a variety of weather conditions! The video’s tests are hilarious but it’s asking a real and important question about a beauty product that most of us use without thinking (or have in a drawer and forget about, if you’re like me).
Does setting spray or hairspray work better in a rainstorm?
I tested setting spray against no setting spray then got into the shower to see what they did in a rainstorm. Oh that was hilarious!!
Next I took my make-up off, did a complete reapply and tested setting spray against hair spray in first a light rainstorm (shower on low) then a heavy one (shower on high).
I found that hairspray worked marginally better but neither of them were really designed to stand up to this sort of abuse.
Does setting spray or hairspray work better during exercise?
After the rain test I took my experiment outside to find out what was better to keep make-up in place during exercise. I did about 30 minutes of exercise outdoors on a hot day to see which product was best at fighting make-up meltdown.
Lastly, to test for whether setting spray or hairspray was better during those really hot days for example when you’re on a long bus ride, I used my hairdryer. Unexpectedly, the heat from the hairdryer made any perspiration evaporate but it did also show some interesting results about make up that’s been fixed with setting spray – on the side of my face where I used setting spray, I ended up with a nasty little breakout on my cheek. On the side where I used hairspray, this did not happen (and my eye make-up looked fresher on the hairspray side).
Conclusion: Hairspray isn’t just a cheap alternative to setting spray. If you need your make up to last longer, hairspray is actually better. Which leads to the question, why is Studio Fix called a setting spray not something else???
I did not look at whether spraying your make-up brushes with setting spray would increase the intensity of eye shadow colours. Maybe in a future investigation…
What do you think of my little experiment? Let me know your thoughts!
So I thought that the world needed a meme involving Professor Snape declaring that everybody should dance now. I made the meme, but I do not own the original picture of Alan Rickman, or the saying.
Because the world needs to hear this again. C+C Music Factory with the awesome track “Gonna Make You Sweat” (but you probably know it as “everybody dance now”). Have a dance, if you can, apparently it’s good for you:
Happy Monday. 🙂
Tomorrow, be sure to check out my Youtube video – I’m testing Setting Spray vs Hairspray in a variety of hilarious tests!
The WPC this week was Jubilant. Which means really cheerful.
Well I’m stuck into editing my next book at the moment, it should be out in a few weeks time, I’ll let you know, but I did get some beautiful pictures of cherry blossom this week and I do always think the pink snowfall of cherry blossom is one of the happiest sights in the world. It always reminds me of wedding confetti only you don’t have to be at a wedding to enjoy May blossom.
In Japan they hold festival celebrations for it.
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 the price went up a LOT 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.
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:
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:
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 genuine products and a LOT cheaper than paying recommended retail 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 (US):
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. I usually buy all my products with my own money, but Latisse is the only one I would make an exception for: 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; its 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.
UPDATE 2020: I’ve updated the article above as some of the info has changed, and I also wanted to comment on a worrying trend that’s sweeping Amazon. Dubious quality products (some very expensive) calling themselves “lash growth serums” have flooded the market from brands that aren’t real, aren’t established, and when you dig deeper into them, they aren’t FDA regulated or EU regulated companies. Please keep safe online and only buy these sort of products from reputable companies. I intend to write a full article exposing these fake companies and their fake review practices once I have the time (the joys of being a full-time working mother).
I will remind readers that I use Amazon Associates because Amazon offers the best value. This does not affect the price you pay.
So this week’s video is of all my UNfavorites, as I clear out my make up drawer of products from the last couple of years that haven’t been bad enough to bin straight away, but haven’t really wowed me in any way either. There is a special visit from a special visitor about halfway through (clue: He’s orange and really, REALLY cute). Enjoy:
The sun is shining (mostly), the blossom is tumbling from the trees, and I’ve been so busy this last fortnight that when I come home I feel like I’ve barely sat down before it’s time to cook dinner, then I’ve barely eaten dinner before it’s time to go to bed, then, my face has hardly touched the pillow and it’s time to get up again!!! What is with that?
Here’s my Monday Motivation for y’all, let’s see if I can shake off this malaise in time for tomorrow’s video (which I believe is a product review because the white streaks STILL haven’t arrived arrgh)!! I made this meme but I don’t own the original photo of American Figure Skating Champion Gracie Gold:
If you’ve got some time to kill this afternoon there’s a video of her performing this routine:
This post gets quite gloomy. After a short break from this series (because I lost my notebook with all my notes in it) I am going to continue with my solo Interrail journey. The series starts here and the previous installment can be found here.
I awoke in the Novotel Hotel Rossi in fair Verona (of “Romeo and Juliet” fame) and it was raining. So apparently that happens in Italy from time to time, despite their best intentions. I was quite surprised because I’d never expected it to rain south of the Alps for some reason despite the fact that I know how ecosystems and desertification work. I guess I was having a blonde moment, which was odd because I was auburn at the time and I tend to be blonde when my hair is blonde.
So the day hadn’t started well, but I didn’t want to stay indoors because I wanted to get a better impression of Verona, given that at the time all I had seen was a) copious discarded syringes around my hotel, b) everywhere (except that one Japanese place) seemed to be closed on a Saturday night.
After deliberating about whether to go out over fresh coffee surprisingly tasty cheap wine in juice boxes that would fit in a child’s lunchbox (seriously), I wandered out into Verona. I was glad I did.
The Roman Arena in the town centre (amphitheatre) was stunning – smaller, but more complete than the one in Rome, much more manageable to walk around and a really nice thing to find in the city centre.
After that, I went to the thing I’d wanted to see the most in all of Verona – the Casa Di Giulietta. It’s in a little square and the house is a museum to Romeo and Juliet. After making my way through the exhibition (which was really professional despite being in a small-ish 16th century house), I got to the piece de resistance – Juliet’s balcony. Now I will be the first to say (as they do say at the Casa Di Giulietta) that it is highly unlikely that this is the actual house that Juliet lived in. For starters, as far as anyone knows she was a fictional character in a play made by a man who lived 800 miles away. Regardless of that, it was nice, just for a little moment, to forget the reality and just imagine that it *was* real, that Romeo somehow scaled the sheer walls and got up to this balcony… after all, isn’t the whole point of fictional and theatrical narrative that we get to imagine realities other than the one we occupy??
Afterwards, I found coffee at McDonalds because it was lunchtime and all the restaurants wanted meal-buying customers not coffee drinkers. The girl behind the counter who served me was so skinny that she looked consumptive. She will always haunt me. I have never seen anyone that thin before for their skeleton size (if you see what I mean). I still have nightmares about her. There was literally no muscle mass on her arms just an unnatural and mesmerizing consumptiveness. I wanted to know why. Did she have an illness such as AIDS or TB that she was fighting through? Was she not making enough money to afford to buy food? I have obviously seen underweight people before, myself being one of them (chronically) but I have never seen anyone as malnourished as this woman. She looked like she was in her mid twenties, and at death’s door with her gaunt, grey face and her neck silhouetting the rings of her windpipe and the hollows either side of it. If I’m a size US 2-4, she was like a size -2, and she was taller than me and I’m 5’6. When I returned the next day, she was on the counter again.
I think about her from time to time, even all these years later, and I always wondered what became of her, whether she got the medical treatment she so obviously needed or if she faded away. Healthcare is not free in Italy – and it shows in so many places.
She was extremely rude to me, but I just got my coffee and moved on, resisting the urge to wrap her up in a blanket, bring her home and feed her soup until she looked alive again.
It made me feel morose – then I got mad at myself because there I was, on an incredible once in a lifetime trip to Verona on Interrail, and I still wasn’t happy. And I realized it went deeper than my day-to-day mood, there was a cavernous, all-encompassing melancholy that had ensconced my soul so thickly that I had no idea what would make me happy. I should have been reveling in how wonderful everything was. Instead I felt like there was something missing, and I didn’t know what it was.
I think this was the first time I asked the question (to myself, in bed where nobody could hear me); ‘am I depressed?’ I quickly stifled it with a boatload of excuses.
The gloom gave way to a cracking migraine, so instead of going onwards to Venice as I’d planned, I extended my stay in Verona to 2 more nights and I went back to the hotel, where I sat in the dark wearing earplugs and downed a few co-codamol (Vicodin) with some wine to try and get the pain to stop.
I passed out, and when I awoke it was a bright new day.
So I’m still waiting for the white hair to arrive for the Lily Munster tutorial, in the meantime, here’s another thing you can do with a black wig (or straight long black hair if you’re so blessed), white foundation and black eyeliner. Enjoy: