Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Review

So before I start my review, I want to be sure to mention that Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow has been recalled as of October 31.  Apparently a batch that went out didn’t meet their “stringent quality standards,” so the company decided to just recall it.

As Benefit hasn’t had any complaints about Gimme Brow, I was surprised to learn that they also just discontinued the product.  Permanently or temporarily, I have no idea.

Even more surprisingly, they recalled it because it stings if you get it in your eyes.

I feel like this is a “well, duh” moment.  Benefit says as long as you use the product as directed, everything is fine.  However, if you use Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow and happen to get it in your eye, it could sting.

Um, yeah.  Most makeup does.  Most everything does, as a matter of fact.  Even if you put water in your eyes, it doesn’t feel great.  So there it is.

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Review | Beauty Chaos

Onto the review of Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow.

To be honest, I didn’t have very high hopes for this, after my experience with the They’re Real! Mascara. But I received Gimme Brow in my Sephora Play! Box recently and decided to give it a shot.

Now full disclosure, I am guilty of abusing my eyebrows.  I grew up in the ’90s, when Drew Barrymore plucked her eyebrows within an inch of their life.  We all wanted to be her.  She was super cool with her brick red lipstick and her babydoll dresses, flashing David Letterman with abandon and living her best life.

For the record, my mother warned me.

Mom, if you’re reading this, I remember.  It is not your fault; you tried valiantly to stop me.  But if you’ve ever been a preteen or teenager you’ll know that at that age, you knew everything and your mom was lame and outdated.

*sigh* If only I had listened.  Now I spend a few moments every morning carefully painting my eyebrows back on, desperately channeling Brooke Shields and Cara Delevigne.  And there has been a lot of trial and error in the process, let me tell ya. Are they too dark?  Too light? Do they look drawn on? It’s a lot to deal with.

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Review | Beauty Chaos

All that said, I’m still nervous about trying microblading.

Microblading is a process by which an technician uses a special pen to apply light, semi-permanent strokes to the area to fill in the brows.  It generally costs between $700 and $800, and there is no down time (although it does take around 30 days to heal).  Experts also warn that it’s a timely procedure that cannot be done in an hour, if you want quality work.  So if you’re thinking about microblading, keep those things in mind.

However, the thought of having something even temporarily kind of tattooed on my face makes me nervous.  What if it goes wrong?  Will I end up looking like I Sharpie-d in my brows?  What if I hate it?

Yep, this is what it’s like to be me.

So thank goodness for Benefit’s Gimme Brow.  Like I said, I was skeptical, but always willing to try a new product.  And Gimme Brow is great!  The tube looks like a mascara tube, and comes with a small spoolie brush for easy application.

Gimme Brow promises to “volumize, tame and tint,” and it does just those things.  The results are amazing.  I had a little bit of trouble at times when I got too much product on the end of the spoolie, but that problem was easily remedied by dabbing the end with a tissue before application.

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Review | Beauty Chaos
See the little spoolie? So cute!
So I am understandably disturbed by the discontinuation of Gimme Brow.

If I promise not to poke myself in the eye with it, can I have it?  Okay, wait, I can’t promise that (we know how clumsy I am). If I promise to take full responsibility for inevitably poking myself in the ye, can I have it?  Because I really, really like this product.

Since it’s not available, I will be trying the 3D BROWtones Eyebrow Enhancer.  I don’t quite trust myself with the marker-like Eyebrow Cream Gel Color, and the 3D product comes with a spoolie brush.  Hopefully, it will be just as user friendly.

Cost and Where to Buy

Just kidding! Since the product has been unofficially discontinued, you can’t buy it anywhere.  But the 3D BROWtones costs around $24 in most of the usual places: Ulta, Sephora, Benefit’s website, the vending machine at the Burbank Airport.  Not kidding about that one; there is actually a Benefit Cosmetics vending machine at the Burbank Airport.  I know, right?!

What’s your favorite brow product?  Leave me a comment or message me here and tell me! And if you liked this article, spread the love and share please!  There are sharing buttons located to the left side of the page.

Great Holiday Shopping Options

Hey all! I’m a terrible holiday shopper.  I leave everything to the last minute.  But with all the holiday shopping options available, I really have no excuse for waiting until the last minute.  I mean, let’s be real, with the Internet available I no longer have an excuse to shop last minute.

Usually, I do my holiday shopping on Amazon

With a Prime membership, it’s difficult not to take advantage of the millions of great products in the Amazon universe.  Sometimes they’re more expensive, but when I get home on December 21 and realize I have done zero holiday shopping, that free two day shipping (or sometimes one day shipping!) comes in handy.

And I really should be using Etsy shops

I feel like shopping on Etsy is similar to shopping small businesses in your area.  There are great, one of a kind creations available and you can usually find pretty cost friendly options for every budget.

Here’s a couple of examples:

NiftyNickiD makes super cute customized sunglasses for any occasion!  You can buy pre-made ones or message her for a specialty order.  She’s awesome and very creative.  So even if you have just an idea of what you’d like, she’ll turn that concept into a reality for you!

Great Holiday Shopping Options - NiftyNickiD's sunnies - Beauty Chaos

Twisted Leather Co. Owner Lisa got so many compliments on her handmade leather bracelets that she decided to open a store!  Each item is handmade and can be customized to your liking.  My favorite is the love bracelet featured below.

Great Holiday Shopping Options - Twisted Leather Co - Beauty Chaos
Say it with jewelry – you know, the best way!

A to Z Candles has awesome, soy based candles and wax melts.  Their products are very affordable at $5, and sometimes will have cut slogans on them like the one featured below.  Or you can customize them! Plus, they have my favorite scent, Rosemary Mint, which I have been obsessed ever since trying the Aveda shampoo line when I was a teenager.

Great Holiday Shopping Options - A to Z Candles - Beauty Chaos

And speaking of things that smell.

Things that smell great, I mean.  Unless you like things that smell bad.  That’s entirely up to you.  But I discovered essential oils a couple of years ago when a friend invited me to her Doterra party and I’ve been buying them religiously ever since.

Essential oils can be used to treat a whole host of maladies, including insomnia, which I battle with.  A little bit of lavender oil in a diffuser next to my bed makes a world of difference. My friend Melissa, who I know from my corporate banking days (true story) has a website through Young Living, one of the many options for pure essential oils.

Although essential oils can seem a little pricey at first, remember that you’re literally using a drop at a time.  A tiny bit goes a long way.  I have a small bottle of Rosemary oil that I’ve been using forever.

Great Holiday Shopping Options - Young Living Essential Oils - Beauty Chaos

Brad’s Deals is not a website where you can actually buy stuff, but I’m obsessed nonetheless.  Basically, the people there compile the best deals they can find and post them on their site moment by moment.  There’s even a daily email newsletter you can sign up for.

I have found tons of great deals on here, for everything from furniture to makeup.  They had two of those humongous Yankee Candles listed last week for under $20.  That’s unheard of.  So do yourself a favor, head over to Brad’s Deals and sign up.  It’s one of the few newsletters I get that doesn’t go directly to Junk Mail.

When all else fails, donate.

I know, I know, Christmas is supposed to be all about consumerism and fighting with your family.  But wouldn’t it be great to make a donation in someone’s name to the ASPCA instead of getting them a trinket from Marshall’s?  If you don’t like the idea, give it to that cousin you hate that you got in the Secret Santa drawing.  They’ll look petty if they complain and you’ll look like a hero anyways.  WIN.

One of the best birthday gifts I received was a donation made by husband to the World Wildlife Foundation.  They still send me cute calendar every year.

While the holidays are my favorite season, I hate how stressful they get.  Shopping for gifts makes me feel better.  I love that it’s a season of giving, and no matter how you choose to do that this holiday season, take care of each other :).

Great Holiday Shopping Options - Beauty Chaos

If you liked my ideas, please, share this post on social media! The buttons are listed on the left-hand side of the page.

What’s your favorite place for holiday shopping?  Leave me a comment and let me know or message me here!

Trend Review: Hanacure Face Mask

I’ve been seeing Hanacure pop up quite a bit in my Facebook feed, so I naturally wanted to try it.  Then I talked to my sister, who swears my the stuff, and my mind was made up.  Hanacure would be next on my list.

But first, a little chaos.

I have had the good fortune to be hired on regularly for the new Fox show LA>Vegas which will be premiering in January.  This has been an amazing couple of months, but I am on set most of the time working 12 to 14 hour days.  When I’m not on set, I’ve been working my other job, you know, so I can pay bills and stuff.  Needless to say, the blog has been suffering as a result.  For that, I apologize.

Hanacure Face Mask Review | Beauty Chaos

We have the week of Thanksgiving off before starting up again for three weeks in December.  Hopefully, I can pull my life together during this week while also working on my WAH stuff.  My house has been looking like a kitty litter bomb exploded, and the guest room has been fully converted into my makeup staging area since I’ve been getting up at 4:00 a.m. to get ready.

Doesn’t it sound glamorous?

I’m also playing a stripper, so I’m in 5 inch heels and a tight dress most of the day, which leads to conversations like this:

Cardio Barre instructor: You look like you’re in pain, are you okay?

Me: Yes, but my hip is bothering me.  I walked about 5 miles in stilettos yesterday.

Cardio Barre instructor: Oh my.

Me: No, not for fun.  It was for work.

Cardio Barre instructor: *nods and walks away*

I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m a hooker.  Or a stripper.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Hanacure Face Mask Review | Beauty Chaos

Anyways, onto Hanacure.

As I said, this has been in my Facebook and Instagram news feed a lot.  People are saying it’s nothing short of miraculous for wrinkles, acne, redness, and just about every other skin ailment you can imagine.

Naturally, I’m skeptical.

But for a roughly $33 price point including shipping, I’m willing to try it.  Specifically, the website says you will, “Achieve flawless skin in minutes.”  There is also the fact that they keep Hanacure in limited supply, so there’s the, “Back in stock for a limited time!” element at play as well.  I think companies do this to drive desire for the product, but that’s just my opinion.

So I order the starter kit.

The starter kit comes at a $29 price point, which is reasonable.  There is also the option to purchase a set, which is four applications, for $110.  I figure I’ll cross that bridge when I decide whether or not I like the product.

Hanacure ships quickly, and I receive my mask within a week.  The starter kit comes with a brush (to save), lifting serum ampoule, and a gelling pack.  The packaging is beautiful, I have to say.  The box is pretty and it’s a minimalist design, which I tend to favor in my products.

Hanacure Face Mask Review | Beauty Chaos

The website says that Hanacure is inspired by the lotus flower, as the lotus represents rebirth and purity.  Sounds promising.  It uses their patented CO2 OctoLift technology to tighten, brighten, contour, lift, and repair.  Oh, did I mention it’s vegan?

To use Hanacure, you open the ampoule, pour the solution into the gelling pack, and shake.  In about 30 seconds, voila! your mask is ready. You then apply the mask liberally with the brush and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing off.

Here’s the kicker: You will look like Hannibal Lecter while you’re wearing this mask.

I knew this going in, since I had done some research.  As the mask tightens, it really tightens, and you can feel your skin basically shrinking on your face.  It’s kind of crazy, and you can see this transformation in the YouTube video below:

Something to keep in mind.

Hanacure is designed to be cumulative, meaning that every time you use it, your skin will look better, Eventually, you should get to a “maintenance” phase where you’re only using Hanacure a few times per month or anytime your face needs a little pick me up. Until the maintenance phase, the Hanacure website instructs that it should be used twice a week.

After I rinse the mask off, my skin looks beautiful.

I have to admit, Hanacure works.  My skin looks tighter, younger, and glowy after use.  Almost as good as when I get light chemical peels from my aesthetician at Corrective Skincare.

Almost is the keyword here.  See, the light chemical peels that I get are amazing.  They are by far one of the best skincare treatments I’ve ever gotten.  And they’re designed only to be done every two weeks at a maximum.

Hanacure Face Mask Review | Beauty Chaos

That’s where I run into a problem.

If I were to keep using Hanacure twice a week for, let’s say, a month, it would cost me roughly $300.  Even more if I were to follow what their clinical study participants did and use Hanacure every three days for 31 days.  For the purposes of discovery I would be willing to try this to see just how well the cumulative effects work.  However, with the peels coming in at $75 apiece, twice a month only costs $150 (more like $200 with gratuity).  So you see where I’m running into an issue?

My overall opinion is that yes, Hanacure is awesome.  If you’re looking for an amazing overall skin transforming experience, I think this could be it.  I just have something that’s more cost effective that works well for me, so I will likely continue down that route.

Have you tried Hanacure?  Tell me about your experience! Leave me a comment or message me here!

And please, if you’ve found this article helpful, share it on social media! The buttons are to the left. Until next time, stay beautiful!

Beauty Regrets – It Happens to the Best of Us

You know how it is: you see something pretty in a magazine, you think, “Wow, that would look great on me!” And then a week later you’re crying to your hair stylist because your failed ombre attempt now makes you look like you smashed your head against a pumpkin.

The stylist gazes at your orange, patchy mess of hair and sighs deeply, chiding you for not coming to them sooner. We’ve all been there, girl. From disastrous beauty trends to drunken ideas, the world of beauty is difficult to navigate. It’s no wonder we often get lost in it. For a laugh, let’s talk about the most common beauty regrets and things you can do to fix them.

Beauty Regrets Number One: Ruined Hair

Beauty Regrets Number One: Ruined Hair - Beauty Chaos

Like the aforementioned DIY ombre, hair disasters are quite common when you decide to forgo the professionals and rely on box dyes and your own untrained hands to partake in a current trend. Do yourself a favor: See a hair stylist if you want the best hair trend seen in Vogue, and make sure you get regular trims and that you treat your hair with care to keep it healthy and glossy.

Beauty Regrets Number Two: Pencil-Thin Brows

Once you start plucking it’s hard to stop. The ’90s are most recently to blame for a terrible trend of unnaturally thin brows that make our face look oddly flat and moon-like. We can’t all be blessed like Jennifer Connelly and Cara Delevingne, but microblading and good makeup tricks for perfect brows can go a long way. Also, when you pluck, it’s good to draw out the outline of the shape you want for your brows to avoid over-plucking.

Beauty Regrets Number Three: Highlighting

Not that a glow that signals aliens in outer space isn’t amazing, it just might be a tad overwhelming once it starts blinding your boss as you strut around the office. To avoid pesky lawsuits and giving people vision problems, consider something more subtle for your everyday look. Mac’s Soft and Gentle is lovely for a workday, and once your shift is done, feel free to have fun with Fenty Beauty’s famed Trophy Wife highlighter and replace the disco ball of the club you’re going to.

Beauty Regrets Number Four: Bad Foundation

Beauty Regrets Number Four: Bad Foundation - Beauty Chaos

From a glazed turkey to a human impersonation of Cheetos, there are levels of how bad this can get. Once you start resembling a Halloween craft, it’s time to consult the kind people at Sephora or Ulta and ask them to match you with your proper shade. Here’s a tip: match the foundation to your chest and neck, because your face can easily get ruddy during the day. It’s a good way to avoid that harsh strip of discoloration that ends at your chin.

Beauty Regret Number Five: Bad Concealer

Straight from the frying pan and into the fire, the only thing worse than bad foundation is bad concealer. Also, here’s something most people find mind-blowing: you need two different shades. One for your under-eye dark circles, and the other one for spot concealing. Find either two concealers, or something even better like POLA Silfique Concealer Palette which already has two shades to cover all your needs. The undereye concealer needs to be a shade or two lighter than your skin tone to give your face definition and brighten your complexion, and the other concealer needs to match your skin tone exactly right.

Beauty Regrets Number Six: Bad Skincare

Beauty Regrets Number Six: Bad Skincare - Beauty Chaos

Will only one night of not removing your makeup really hurt your face? Well, kind of, yes. To be honest, not removing your makeup is a pretty terrible idea. Even if you don’t see immediate consequences, that breakout a few days later will come as an unpleasant surprise. Those wrinkles 5, 10 years from now will gleefully settle around your eyes and mouth. And it’s not just makeup removal either, you need to find the right nourishing ritual for your skin type – combination/oily skin needs an entirely different regimen than a dry one.

Beauty Regrets Pin

Look, we’ve all attempted an inexplicably stupid Pinterest hack at one time or another. Honestly, there’s no need to be embarrassed. These are all supremely fun stories to tell, and experimenting with products and trends is what leads to some pretty expert skills. Don’t let these discourage you! Simply use them as a learning experience and a Friday night anecdote over a bottle of wine with your girlfriends.

Brigitte Evans is a Cosmetic Skin Care Consultant and a writer from Australia, with a sweet tooth for makeup and everything sparkly. When she is not drooling over the next big thing in the beauty industry, she reads mystery novels and makes plans for her next trip. She is the proud aunt of Sophie, age 2, who has rounded her Chanel lipstick, but she loves her anyway.

Interview with Lindsey Olson, L’Oreal Professionnel Style & Color Trophy Winner

This week I got to interview celebrated stylist Lindsey Olson, a Global Redken Artist and expert hair stylist who was the recipient of the L’Oréal Professionnel Style & Colour Trophy earlier this summer.

Tell me a bit about your career – how and when did you know you wanted to be a stylist?

I started working at a salon in high school to test the waters. It was a great experience and I knew then I wanted to be a part of the industry, so I decided to go to beauty school right after high school.

How does it feel to be the recipient of the L’Oreal Professionnel Style & Color Trophy?

What an honor! I can’t really describe it! I’m so surprised and grateful for the opportunity! And, I’m hoping it encourages others to put themselves out there as well.

What was your first stylist job?

My first job was at Amato Hair Design. I started there when I was just 16.

Lindsey Olson Interview | Beauty Chaos

You get to pick one celebrity – whose hair would you love to get your hands on?

Wow…I don’t know if I could pick just one! I guess, any hair that would provide a new and exciting challenge.

What is the best part of your job?

Helping others! We’re all in this together and I love every chance I get to help someone else! Maybe it’s a little inspiration or an idea of where they want to take their career
and it is beyond rewarding!

What are the biggest hair dos and don’ts?

Do: Get a full consultation every time! You and your stylist should both feel 100% comfortable with every service.

Do: Change it up sometimes; even something simple like going from straight hair to trying waves.

Do: Use only professional hair products . You spend a lot on your hair and it all matters.

Don’t: shampoo, dry, and style every day. Use a cleansing conditioner
(such as Genius Wash by Redken) and a dry shampoo (such as Pillow Proof Two-Day Extender) and Iron Shape 11.
These products will help your hair stay hydrated and your color looking fresh longer!

Lindsey Olson Interview | Beauty Chaos

What is a hair care tool – appliance or product – that you could not live without?

I definitely can’t live without a diffuser, my curls are no good without one! My favorite is the Sam Villa dryer. I also can’t live without the Redken Extreme haircare line. Lastly, Redken Powder Grip 03 – it gives hair the longest lasting hold on curls and I need it in all up styling work for the volume and texture it creates. Oh, and I love my Sam Villa Texture Iron! It gives endless styling options from volume to editorial work.

What product should all ladies have in their hair arsenal?

For control, restyling, and heat protection, use Redken Iron Shape 11. This product is great for all hair types on days you wash your hair, and dirty hair days too. It helps set your blow dry into shape, makes your curls last longer, and never feels sticky or stiff.

Is there one thing that you would classify as your signature style?

I’d say updos with knots, usually placing volume in the front hairline. It’s eye catching and unique.

What exciting things are up next for you?

I’m looking forward to continuing with expanding my social media platforms with more hair videos. I also look forward to spreading more inspiration, working as a platform artist this year for Redken, and hopefully doing more editorial work as well.

Want to get to know Lindsey even better?  Check out her website, Facebook and Instagram to see what she’s up to!

Website: www.lindseymarieolson.com/

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/stylebylindsey

Instagram: www.instagram.com/lindsey.marie.olson/

Review: Magnetic Eyelashes

If you’re a woman and on social media, you’ve probably seen an ad for magnetic eyelashes by now.  Or at least I have, about 8,000 of them.  And if you’re like me, you’ve thought to yourself, “Gee, I hate wearing false eyelashes.  They’re unwieldy and difficult. And eyelash extensions are very expensive. But what if…”

And that’s how you end up buying magnetic eyelashes.

The ads make them look super easy to use.  The idea is that there are two lash bands, each with a tiny magnet on them. You hold the one band under your upper lash line, then place the second band on top of your lashes so they make a sandwich.  The magnet sticks them together and voila! Perfect lashes in a second.

This all seems too good to be true, right?

No messy glue.  Reusable.  Inexpensive.  Easy to use.  Miracle, yes?

Unfortunately, no.

Magnetic eyelashes are, in a word, terrible. They are snake oil.  They are too good to be true. Let me take you through my full experience.

Magnetic Eyelashes | Beauty Chaos

 

 

First, the order process.

I saw an ad pop up on my Facebook page several times from a company called Trending Beauty. I know, I know, I should have run screaming just based on the company title.  However, I had seen so much hype around magnetic eyelashes, I threw caution to the wind.

When I went to the website, the lashes were $10 per pair.

$10 per pair! Amazing! Too good to be true, right?  Right. Stupid, stupid Amy.  There were about 20 different styles to choose from, so I decided to order two pairs in different styles just in case one didn’t work out.

I placed my order, got my confirmation email, and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Now, to be fair, the website had advised that, you know, due to an amazing surge in demand there might be some lag time between order and delivery.

Magnetic Eyelashes Review | Beauty Chaos
Waiting for my lashes…
So I waited some more.

Finally, I received an email that tracking information was available on the website.  Yesss! So I clicked the tracking info link, and there was no info available.  Same thing a couple days later.  Same thing more than a week later.  I finally attempted to contact the company, explaining in my email (there is no way to contact them via phone *warning bells*) that although there was tracking information available, the DHL website was displaying that the package info was not available.

I received a canned response that they are receiving a huge volume of contacts right now, yada, yada, it might take forever for them to get back to me.  So I waited some more.  Finally, I saw a $3.98 charge show up on my bank account and a notification that the package had shipped.

I thought this charge was a bit strange, so I hopped over to the website under the FAQs where I found an assurance that of course! This was normal! They have to charge shipping separately! Please don’t worry!

So I decided not to worry.

After what seemed like an eternity, my package finally arrived.  I tore open the package and could not wait to try the magnetic eyelashes on. Yes! Beauty products for lazy people!

The company had sent me two sets of the same lashes.

No worry, I thought.  It doesn’t matter, these are fine.  Plus, when you have a company that’s so bloody difficult to do business with, you make allowances for their mistakes.  I took the lashes out, carefully, and began experimenting with putting them on.

Y’all, let me tell you what.

It was not easy.  I fumbled and flipped and dropped.  Used tweezers.  I used my fingers.  I tried applying the bottom layer first, then the top layer first.  When I finally, finally managed to get them to stick together and sandwich my eyelashes, they looked ridiculous.

Magnetic Eyelashes Review | Beauty Chaos

They looked like exactly what they were: fake.  The girl staring back at me in the mirror was not the carefree, easygoing girl from the video who could simply stick the lashes together and go.  Oh, no, folks.  It was something much worse.

Now, to be fair, I worked with these magnetic eyelashes for a long time.

I left and came back to them.  Tried them with and without mascara.  Fumbling for a good hour in one sitting, I thought for certain I would get a hang of it.  Finally, I came to the conclusion that it was not meant to be.  Magnetic eyelashes are, unfortunately, too good to be true.  At least from this company.

Oh, and it doesn’t end there.

Those $3.98 charges kept appearing on my bank account.  So I went to the Trending Beauty website again, and buried in the fine print and FAQs, there is basically a clause that says: although we are advertising this product at $10 per package, what we really mean is that you will pay $10 up front, then an additional X amount every month for the next million years of your life.  And we’ll take your first born child.  Or something like that.

Anyway, I wrote the company an email explaining that the product did not work for me and asked for a refund and return instructions.  How do you think that went?  I’ll give you a hint: I still have the lashes sitting on my dresser.

If you liked this story or have had a similar experience with a beauty company, please share this post on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, wherever!

I hate when companies take advantage of consumers.  It’s truly unfortunate, and although I realize this is my own fault for being too trusting, I’m still a bit steamed.

Have you tried magnetic eyelashes?  Have a beauty horror story?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

 

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