I am skipping my regular Sunday post, (Bad) Makeup Advice, in order to bring my experiment posts to a close. Finally. 😀
Ya’ll this eyebrow serum experiment took longer than I expected. If you are new here or don’t remember, I picked up the Rimmel London Lash Accelerator Serum in mid-December as an impulse purchase. I hadn’t researched it and the reviews I found after the fact were kind of all over the place. I committed to using the whole bottle and I officially scrapped the bottom a couple days ago. If you would like to catch up on the whole experiment, the updates are below in chronological order:
This is experiment post #5, the final one in this 3-month long adventure that I initially thought would be 30 days.
Let’s just get the product review over. I had mostly good results with this, although it didn’t really work as expected. Here are the highlights:
- I did not have any major adverse reactions that several reviews spoke of. No over shedding of lashes or eyebrow hairs. No matting together overnight (because I waited at least 20 minutes after application to go to sleep). No sensitive skin reactions in the form of acne, hives, or abnormal redness.
- I did have issues with this drying into something resembling Elmer’s glue. The few times I tried to put makeup over top of this, it came off in a gooey mess within an hour. Not recommended despite Rimmel saying you can wear makeup over this serum. You cannot.
- I hated the wand from second 1 and that hasn’t changed after 3 months. A series of concentric circles on the hard plastic wand and that really weird brush tip just do not mix well. I spent more time wiping product off the bridge of my nose than should ever be necessary. I highly suggest either a dual ended wand/product or a retractable brush inside the wand.
- I can honestly say I had new hair growth (which was the ultimate goal so yay!). I found a few sparse places in my lash line filled in, especially noticeable on my lower lash line. I also had new hair growth in my struggling eyebrows. However, all of those brow hairs grew in blonde! If I use a brow tint, they are much more fuller now. But without the brow tint, my eyebrows still look thin and patchy. They really don’t look much different at all compared to 3 months ago. I’m a bit sad but at least I know how to make those blonde hairs show up.
- My only real adverse reaction was after about 6 weeks of using this product almost daily, so just a few days after my 4th experiment post, I noticed my eyebrows were slightly itchy. And then a week later, they were moderately itchy. A week after that, they were really itchy. Not like allergic reaction itchy, like dry skin that is crying for moisture itchy. This stuff dried out the skin under my eyebrow! I don’t tend to rub moisturizer into my eyebrows because, well, that seems weird. But I switched from nightly application of the serum to alternating each night between this serum on the eyebrows to a heavy moisturizer. And I kicked up my water intake a bit.
Let’s see a side-by-side of my eyebrows over the months:
The first picture is from December 15, 2016. The 2nd picture is from January 21st, 2017 (without the weird grimacing from December).
Ultimately, I don’t think I’m going to get another bottle. I got genuine growth in necessary places, the whole point of this product. It works and it is much more affordable than other serums on the market. But, I couldn’t use it as often as Rimmel suggests so I didn’t see the results as fast as they said I should, the results weren’t what I was hoping for, and I’m not down for the drying issue.
However, this serum did set the stage for better brows in my future.
I went today and got my eyebrows waxed for the first time since Summer last year. I had them done at WalMart sometime last Summer and had a horrible, nearly immediate reaction. I don’t know if it was the temperature of the wax, the chemical makeup of the wax or some oil the girl used, etc. but my forehead looked like I had been stung by a dozen hornets about 1 minute after I left the salon. Needless to say, I’ve been a bit gun shy ever since. However, the salon tech that does my nails has been talking up the Benefit Brow Bar for months. I told Dallas about my reaction the last time and he assured me they use a different wax than WalMart, one specially formulated for sensitive skin, and they don’t heat the wax as hot. I had stray hairs starting to become noticeable down near the corners of my eyes so I decided it was time to get these girls cleaned up.
I got a new mani, a St. Patrick’s Day inspiration, first. Aren’t they cute and Springy? I told Dallas I wanted something different and this was his work. He did a great job! 😀 Since he works commission, my guy had to do his shtick and talk up Dermologica. We talked about how I use the Ultra Calming Mist for severe rosacea flairs but that it is pricey for my budget so I haven’t tried anything else. Before we finished, he gave me several samples to try out. I got 2 overnight retinol repair samples that includes the buffer cream, 2 of the overnight repair serum with peptides, a sample of Active Moist (the moisturizer he uses), and a sample of a daily microfoliant that comes in a powder form. I love this guy but he isn’t a skin care specialist. Knowing I have sensitive skin prone to dramatic rosacea flairs, he gave me samples where 2 of the 4 are definitely not recommended for my skin type. As a general rule, I can’t use retinol (or other harsh chemicals) and I can’t use exfoliants. He tried, bless his commission-making heart. ❤
After that, it was off to the brow bar. The girl checked my face out and said that my eyebrows don’t actually look bad. That was sweet. She suggested just the normal brow wax service for now and did a free brow mapping. I was totally right, my left eyebrow is about 1/4″ short on the inside. Despite the serum use, I just don’t grow much hair there. I had a few blonde hairs grow in but that’s it. My store just got the tinting service products in yesterday so they have only practiced on each other once each. She said to give them a few weeks to really learn the treatment well and maybe give it a try when I get back from my cruise.
Samantha was just a doll. She did a product demo of Benefit’s eye cream. Eye cream is a product I have recently accepted that I need to start using. Her timing was perfect to say the least. And my under eye area sucked that stuff down like a straw. I was all like “Oh this isn’t really necessary, I use moisturizer twice a day and drink more water than many people.” And she said something around the lines of “Let’s see how long it takes to sink in.” She hadn’t even finished the brow mapping before it had mostly been absorbed. She gave me a sample of Benefit’s $34.oo It’s Potent! Eye Brightening Cream. Again, commissions are a thing. I get it. For obvious reasons though, I’m going to try some cheaper eye creams first before I jump into the higher end pool. I picked up Elf’s Eye Cream for $8.88 at WalMart to try first.
I will say I love the smell of Benefit’s makeup remover. It is a refreshing smell. I enjoyed that even though I didn’t have any makeup on. It removes natural oil too I’m guessing.
Then came the waxing. I told Samantha my ordeal and assured her that if I had a reaction from my ultra sensitive skin, I wouldn’t hold her or Ulta responsible. I think I made her a little nervous. When she got done, sure enough, I looked like I had a red, angry chemical burn over the tops of my eyebrows. The difference was they were not swollen and itchy like after the disaster at WalMart. I paid for my services and gave Samantha her tip and told her I would check in after a few days to let her know if the redness chilled quickly enough for me to do this again. I went back to Dallas to give him his tip and I think I almost gave him a heart attack. He looked up from his hair cut and about stabbed the poor lady in the ear with his scissors. “OMG you weren’t exaggerating! Are you okay? How can I help?” was screamed to all four corners of the store. He abandoned his hair cut at the chair and all but shoved me into the Dermologica counter. After showering my face with Ultra Calming Mist (which he talked up, forgetting in his panic that I actually own this stuff so I am well aware of how good it is lol), I parted ways with Dallas with a similar promise to give him an update on if I look like I stuck my head in a hornet’s nest tomorrow.
Here is what my eyebrows look like now:
This picture was taken about an hour after the brow service was completed. I had ran into WalMart for a cheaper eye cream and for facial sunscreen (vacation supplies are never ending). I had also grabbed lunch at Chipotle. I took this picture after lunch. Already, the redness was fading. In this picture, it looks no different than when I have a full rosacea flair so nbd. It has been almost 5 hours ago at this point and there is no redness to be seen. I’m not itching. No swelling. No acne. All is well in the eyebrow world that is on my face.
I am very happy with the results. I like having someone else look at my eyebrows, someone that sees a couple 100 sets in a month, and says “Ya know, they really aren’t as bad as you think they are.” I like having someone go over all the services available and admit that I don’t need most of them. And I really like someone that is going to try to help me figure out my natural eyebrow shape and work with my sparse brows. If I’m ever willing to buy Benefit’s stuff, she will be able to actually teach me how to fill in my brows. As it was, all she could do right then was talk me through how to do it right with what I already own. She earned a loyal customer from me by being awesome at her job but also honest about my needs.
So now, I am adding eyebrow maintenance to my budget. I’m going to have to do some tweaking here and there. I want to put this in with my necessary hygiene budget because I like buying makeup instead of diverting almost half of my monthly makeup budget to a service but this really isn’t a necessity. I already put my manicures in that necessary budget because it helps me look nice at the office. I dunno if I can sit well with adding another $20 service in that budget every 4-5 weeks. We shall see. When I do Spring cleaning, I’m completely redoing my budget anyways so it will all change again. 😀