About Me

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I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Friday, June 15, 2012

My eyebrow miniseries: Part 3

My Mally Eyebrow kit.

Just a few moments ago I opened up a box with an order I'd placed a few days prior on one of my favorite drugstore/beauty websites.  I'm always so excited when I receive a package.  It's about the only time, you see, that my poor memory works in my favor: I get to see what the surprise in the box is because heaven forbid I manage to remember something from one day to the next, often one hour to the next.  Receiving a package in the mail reminds me of Christmas, before I learned that there was no Santa.

The surprise was a new mascara that I'll be trying.  There have been several companies now that have come out with mascaras using the new technology of forming a tube around each lash, instead of "painting" mascara on lashes.  I so wanted to try it on immediately but remembered that tomorrow I will (hopefully) be going up to get my hair, brows and lashes done and I don't want to risk any residue on said brows and lashes to interfere with coloring/tinting.  But considering the fact that I often forgo mascara and hope that liner will suffice (it never does) this is a biggie for me. My eyes are always turning red for this reason or that and I've grown tired of mascara as one of the contributing factors to the redness. This latest attempt to find a mascara that I LOVE (as opposed to "love") is an on-going project.

But to continue with the adventures of trying to grow more eyebrow hair and lashes - or trying to deceive the world at large that I DO have them at all....

This past winter I actually started using men's foaming Rogaine.  It, Rogaine, is something I've tried on and off for years, although I'd be embarrassed to tell you the number of cans of just-started Rogaine cans/pump bottles I threw out when we had to move ourselves and everything we owned when vacating the second floor for the remodeling. Actually, the old Rogaines would probably have made a great exhibition of the progress Rogaine has made since it hit the market big-time; there seemed to be new packaging with each "improvement" to the formula.

I think my biggest problem is that I'll use it but then something will happen (a flare, a relapse, a crisis) and when life gets back to "normal," I forget all about it.  We've just started moving back into our bedroom and bath and already, as my life is slipping out of control a bit - OK, more than a bit, but more controllable than what's been the norm in the last two years - I'm finding it hard to remember to take my meds, much less remember to work Rogaine into the needed areas of my head.

However, the Rogaine on my bald spots, as well as my eyebrows, has worked out well.  And since I'll soon be mother of the groom and because I want to look my best in order to not embarrass child number two, I've moved my trip to get my hair done, etc. to now rather than later.  And I can't wait to hear from my stylist if she thinks there's been an improvement since she last saw me a couple of months ago.

Continuing with the brow-growing adventures/sage... after a while, I got a bit lazy with the Rogaine on my eyebrows routine (it DOES take a bit of concentration and focusing, not something a person with CFIDS/ME/fibro has in much abundance) so I ordered one of those eyelash enhancers.  I can see that my brows are a little bit fuller (doesn't take much...I'll never be a "before and after" picture) but whether that's from Rogaine being applied to my head and that some is getting to the brow area because of the chemicals going around, who knows?  Actually, that's a rather frightening thought, isn't it?

I have to admit that I have no idea as to why I chose the "Smartlash" eyelash enhancer over the others on the market. I do know it was from reading one of the beauty columns out there and somehow I felt I could give it a go with the brows.  After seeing that I hadn't grown a third head, I've started using it for its intended purpose, on the eyelashes.  I have noticed that the eyelashes, BTW, are a tiny bit thicker and darker, this despite the fact that I'm easing into the eyelash routine.  There are indeed two reasons for the hesitation.

Somewhere, I'd read that one of the products could change blue or green eyes to brown - and permanently.  Aside from the scary part of putting something so close to your eyes that can change your eye color, I've been hesitant because so much of my identity is tied up in the color of my eyes and I don't really want to mess things up.  If I'm in a great mood or feeling good, my eyes are green, their default color.  The better I feel and the better the mood, the greener the eyes.  If I'm in a lousy mood or very ill, the color changes to blue.  Back in the 80's, I bought green contact lenses, when they first came out in various colors, and my ever-observant hubby didn't realize I'd been wearing those suckers for at least a month.  When I asked him how he could manage to miss this, he answered, most sincerely, "I just thought you were in a great mood this past month."  I'd hate to mess up a system that my family banks on in order to judge how to treat me...gingerly or badly!  (Just kidding about the badly...somewhat?)

Getting back to brows, I've also somehow fallen into the eyebrow "shadow" approach for the past two decades, thinking that the pencils were too harsh and fake - but let me add that I'm not the greatest artist in the world!  Stila has a brow set that I think is rather nice.  My only problem is that my skin tone changes day to day and my hair color changes every time I get it done (or as it grows out!) and I need a bigger selection of colors to choose from.Stila has two colors in each of her pots, one for the lighter side and one for for the darker side of the spectrum of your hair color. However, here too, my blending skills are just not good enough for my satisfaction.

Consequently, when Bobbi Brown came out with her chocolate palette of eyeshadows a few years ago (not brow shadows, but close enough for me!), I snapped that up quickly because of the various shades I could play with.  I've got a few quads too, like Dior and Smashbox, which have brown shades included which I like to experiment with also.

Now Colorscience came out with the cutest, most convenient little brow kit I've ever come across, but the colors do NOT suit me and I'm embarrassed when I think that my second most frequently viewed post is a picture where I'd used the Colorscience.  I can't tell you how often I've wanted to change that lousy picture and wonder if I was on crack the day I posted it - JUST JOKING about the "crack" bit!!!  But I was fooling around with trying to learn how to take a picture of myself that day with my iPad, not keeping in mind that HOW I looked mattered too.  At any rate, if I could repot this compact with tins of colors I like in the right size and shape to fit the "compact," I would. I love the very slim case (and I've had many over the years), with its brushes, one my favorite miniature slant brushes for brows.  I just dislike the color immensely for my skin.  But others may find it suits, especially if there are brow hairs to begin with and only "filling in" is required, not building brows with almost no hairs, that is, having to almost start from scratch. This kit is perfect to throw in your bag.  And because I'm always losing the tiny slant brushes, I often carry the kit with me just for the brush alone.  (I know this makes no sense to the "normal" person out there but to the CFIDS/ME/fibro's I think this is somehow understandable.)

Not too long ago, I saw that Mally had come out with a nice kit, made of fabric, that holds a compact of brown brow color and an ivory highlighter.  It also holds a brush with two different brush heads on either end, and her black pencil eyeliner, which I love - it does not move after it's had a chance to set, though there is enough time to smudge it if you like before it dries completely.  I also like the kit because it can't be lost easily (it's a shiny lime-ish green) and because I can throw in one or two other (small and thin) products.  It's a bit too bulky though, so for something like flying, it most probably won't make it to my carry-on bag, though the jury's still out on that.

I think I still have one more post to do and we'll be finished with the "brow miniseries."  I've found a couple of gems that I'll describe next time.

Until then, I hope you are doing as well as can be and are going to have a great weekend!   Until next time, when, hopefully, I'll be back with great-looking brows!


  1. Hi a-

    I just checked my messages at an old email address and found your comment from April!

    I want to thank you for what you said and also for your support.

    How have you managed to survive 37 years with this? That takes great courage, strength, and patience.

    1. It's not been easy! But thanks for the great virtues you assigned me. I have been VERY lucky with the family I have...I know all too well! It's been huge struggles, but huge rewards as well.

      I found your blog finally, the one you're so active on, after a bit of detective work. Your profile didn't take me to that blog, though I enjoyed the Jung post/blog! I can see that Jung is your passion and hope you can get back to it.

      I so hope you get relief in the many parts of your life you're struggling with and that your poor dog feels better soon too!

  2. Really love this stuff! This is actually my first time here in your blog but think i already loving it. :)) Keep posting, I'll surely follow.

    1. Thank you, Aliya! I hope you do come back. More on eyebrows still to come! xx