Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner

Amaterasu Beauty is a Canadian indie cosmetics brand, formulating eye pencils, brow pencils, mascara and face powder that are made in Japan. The liquid brow liner claims to be easy to use, waterproof, smudge-proof, sweat-proof and to last 24 hours in all conditions (hot weather, intense workout). The pencil has a microfiber brush to fill, shape and define brows and goes on sheer, but is easily buildable to a more opaque look.

Ingredients: Aqua, Butylene Glycol, Acrylates Copolymer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Diethylhexyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate, Alcohol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain (±): CI 17200, CI 19140, CI 42090. Paraben and Phthalate Free

Directions: Store pencil on its side for optimum ink flow. Blot oil and/or powder eyebrow area before applying. Shake before use. Apply using short strokes and reapply to desired opacity. For a more dramatic brow, let dry for a few seconds between applications and layer.

The brow liners come in four colors; brunette (cool color for black/dark brown hair), cocoa (medium brown/warm dark brown hair), chestnut (auburn/honey brown/strawberry blonde hair) and taupe (cool tone for ashy blonde/gray hair). A color was difficult to choose based on the swatches on the website; all the colors look like shades of gray to me. I ordered brunette as I have very dark brown hair; this turned out to be maybe slightly too cool for me and I think I will try the cocoa next time, maybe layering with the brunette.

Above is the color brunette (my camera shows the color much warmer than it actually is) applied with a very light hand to get hair-like strokes. The color is very sheer and bleeds a little on the skin, so I find it a bit difficult to get hair width strokes, particularly since it needs to be layered (I am also not great at applying makeup). The tip of the pen is quite flexible as well.

I have thin brows after years of over-tweezing that are sparse at the inner and outer edges and lack definition. Before applying the liquid brow liner, I powdered the eyebrow area using Shiseido Synchro Skin Loose Powder and used two to three layers of the brow liner, applying lightly using short strokes.

Above are before and after 12 hours in warm weather and after a medium intensity workout. I have oily skin (as seen in the 12-hour photo) and have a bad habit of frequently touching my face. This is by far the easiest brow liner to use; I am not too sure why this is, but I think the brows turned out really well considering I rarely wear makeup and am not too good at applying. There was a bit of fade at 12 hours, however, no smudging and the brows still looked quite good. I have more confidence and look a little younger when I wear this brow liner. Since the color is sheer and can be layered, the brows are customizable for a natural or more dramatic look and I usually wear the brow liner with no other makeup on my face. However, since the color is sheer and needs to be layered for darker brows, getting hair-like strokes is difficult.

As above, one thing I noticed is that every time I apply, little microfibers come loose at the tip of the pen.

Liquid brow liners often have an issue drying out after a couple months. This liquid brow liner has been opened for 6 months thus far and still looks and feels the same with no drying.

The Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner is great and easy to use. This is a favorite and I will continue to purchase.

Thank you for reading.

Skin Care, Hair Care and Makeup Routines

I store my skin care, hair care and makeup on Ikea Raskog carts and wheel them into my closet. This keeps products out of humidity, temperature changes and light in the bathroom.

Below are my routines using some favorites, finishing up others and adding in some new products to try out and review. For reference, I have oily skin prone to breakouts, blackheads, large pores and hyperpigmentation. My hair is frizzy, dry and damaged. I like natural-looking makeup.

Morning Skin Care Routine:

  1. Mask and cleanse with NIOD Sanskrit Saponins.
  2. Tone with Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner.
  3. Mist with Caudalie Grape Water and pat in The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics.
  4. Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid every second day.
  5. Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel.
  6. Saturday Skin Waterfall Glacier Water Cream mixed with The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder (every second day).
  7. The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30.
  8. Your Best Face Skincare Quench Lip Treatment.

Evening Skin Care Routine:

  1. Double cleanse with The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser and Biossance Squalance + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel.
  2. Exfoliate with Amarte Daily Exfolipowder.
  3. Tone with Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner.
  4. Mist with NIOD SDSM.
  5. Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel.
  6. Treat with Retin-A.

Morning and Evening Neck Skin Care:

  1. Cleanse as above.
  2. Mist with Caudalie and Marine Hyaluronics.
  3. Dior Capture Youth Age-Delay Advanced Creme mixed with L-Ascorbic Acid.
  4. Biossance 100% Squalane Oil.
  5. Add suncare in the morning.

Evening Lip Care:

  1. As-needed lip scrub with white sugar, L-ascorbic acid, The Ordinary Marula Oil.
  2. Marine Hyaluronics.
  3. Quench.
  4. Squalane oil.

Weekly Skin Care Routine:

  1. Steam.
  2. Foreo Luna 2 for combination skin.
  3. Choice of mask/Foreo UFO.

Shower Skin Care:

  1. Dry brush before shower.
  2. Cleanse with Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash with salicylic acid.
  3. First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub with 10% AHA.

After Shower Skin Care:

  1. Mist with Akita Rose Water mixed with L-ascorbic acid.
  2. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration.
  3. Biossance Squalane Oil.
  4. Christophe Robin Intense Regenerating Balm with Rare Prickly Pear Oil on extra dry spots; knees, elbows, heels.

Shower Hair Care:

  1. Wash and condition every 5 days with Briogeo Banana + Coconut Superfoods Shampoo and Conditioner.
  2. Scalp massaging shampoo brush.
  3. Every couple weeks wash with Briogeo Scalp Revival Micro-exfoliating Shampoo and deep condition with Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask.

After Shower/Styling Hair Care:

  1. Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Clinical Densifying Leave-In Root Treatment.
  2. Shea Moisture Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner.
  3. Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil.
  4. Every couple weeks Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector.
  5. For styling, Briogeo heat protectant cream and Blossom and Bloom Volumizing Root Powder.
  6. For my bangs I use Redken 05 Dry Shampoo Paste to absorb oil and add texture.
  7. As needed Redken 02 Dry Shampoo Powder.

Makeup Routine:

  1. Smashbox Primer Water.
  2. Altilis Beauty BFF Foundation.
  3. First Aid Beauty Bendy Avocado Concealer.
  4. Becca Under-Eye Brightening Setting Powder.
  5. Becca Hydra-Mist Set and Refresh Powder.
  6. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Unlocked.
  7. Morphe 9T Neutral Territory Artistry Palette.
  8. Benefit Eye Bright.
  9. Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade.
  10. Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara.
  11. Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Color.

Thank you for reading.

Better Than Sex Mascara Review and Wear Test (And Comparison to Damn Girl)

Too Faced’s Better Than Sex uses an hourglass-shaped brush and claims to provide extra volume, and lengthen, thicken, curl and lift the lashes after just one coat (comparison to Damn Girl mascara below – see full review here).

Ingredients: Water, Synthetic Beeswax, Paraffin, Glyceryl Stearate, Acacia Senegal Gum, Butylene Glycol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax/Oryza Sativa Bran Cera, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Polybutene, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/Copernicia Cerifera Cera, Aminomethyl Propanol, Glycerin, PVP, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium EDTA, Polyester-11, Cellulose, Trimethylpentanediol/Adipic Acid/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Propylene Glycol, Disodium Phosphate, Polysorbate 60, Acacia Seyal Gum Extract, Sodium Phosphate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-1, Dextran, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Ultramarines (Ci 77007), Black 2 (Ci 77266)

I have small eyes and wear contact lenses. My lashes are short, thin and grow out straight. For this review, I didn’t use an eyelash curler, lash comb or lash primer, as I wanted to see how the mascara performs on its own.

The brush is a good size for my small eyes and lashes. I got some transfer on the lids, likely due to my short, straight lashes. While this claims to lengthen, curl, thicken and lift after one coat, I feel like I need three coats to get the lift and volume I wanted. The brush seems to separate the lashes pretty well and the formula isn’t clumpy. The mascara doesn’t feel heavy on the lids and doesn’t irritate my eyes.

Above, is after 16 hours of wear. There is some clumping and a bit of flaking and a loss of volume and lift.

The mascara washes off easily with The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser or Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing gel I’ve been using lately.

Comparing Better Than Sex (BTS) and Damn Girl (DG), the scent of BTS is slightly less. The bristles generally look the same length (DG has a mix of long and short bristles), perhaps a bit shorter on the in-curve of DG, but the wand is thicker for DG and the brush more of the hourglass curve, making the brush larger overall. The brushes are the same length. DG’s formula is thicker and wetter.

Left – Better Than Sex / Right – Damn Girl

Comparing the above, for BTS, while applying, it is less messy and I get less transfer on the eyelids, getting curl seems easier, the brush separates the lashes better, there is a bit less thickness to the lashes, length of the eyelashes is similar, but less of a dramatic look overall. Using BTS, since the formula is less wet and thick than DG, I am able to get more separation and less clumping on the lashes. Three coats of BTS is similar to two coats of DG. While both mascara applications end up looking pretty similar up close, BTS might be better suited to a daytime look and DG for a night out, as DG looks more dramatic (particularly from further away). The lashes with DG have more flexibility than BTS. I wonder how the DG formula would look applied with the BTS brush.

Left – Better Than Sex / Right – Damn Girl

Above, BTS does not have near as much lasting power as DG after 16 hours.

I might consider repurchasing Better Than Sex mascara, but hoped that it would have more staying power.

Thank you for reading.

Damn Girl Mascara Review and Wear Test

Damn Girl Mascara is new from Too Faced with a creamy mousse formula that claims to lengthen, volumize, curl, lift and thicken lashes while remaining flexible and providing flake and smudge resistance for 24 hours (check here for comparison to Better Than Sex).

Ingredients: Water, Silica, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Synthetic Beeswax, Paraffin, Polyisobutene, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Copolymer, Aminomethyl Propanediol, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax\Copernicia Cerifera Cera, Vp/Eicosene Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Pantethine, Peg-9 Dimethicone, Trimethylpentanediol/Adipic Acid/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Simethicone, Pvp, 1,2-Hexanediol, Laureth-21, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Caprylyl Glycol, Isostearic Acid, Phenethyl Alcohol, Disodium Edta, Chloroxylenol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Iron Oxides (Ci 77499)

The creamy formula uses a blend of melting waxes, giving volume without feeling heavy, and polymers that lift and lengthen while remaining flexible. The brush is infinity-shaped that lifts and curls the lashes, while short bristles load the product and long bristles dispense the product. This mascara has been injected with air, and directions state not to pump the brush.

I got the trial size with my last order from Sephora. I have small eyes and wear contact lenses. My lashes are short, thin and grow out straight. For this review, I didn’t use an eyelash curler, lash comb or lash primer, as I wanted to see how the mascara performs on its own.

Damn Girl Mascara doesn’t smell as strong as other mascaras and doesn’t irritate my eyes. The formula is quite wet and takes a minute to dry. The brush is big and the bristles long and takes up my entire eye, making this hard to apply. I’ve used this mascara for a couple weeks now and, as in the photos, no matter how careful I am, I get mascara on my eyelid (partially due to my short lashes) that once dry, is hard to get off with a fingertip or Q-Tip. Also, in trying to avoid getting mascara on my eyelid, I can’t necessarily get as much curl or lift as intended. To mitigate that, I might try applying Vaseline to the eyelid and then wiping off when done applying the mascara.

In the above photos, the mascara adds length, thickness, volume, lift and curl to the lashes. I added a total of three coats, and by the third I had to be careful to avoid clumping and spider lashes. Because of the wet mousse formula and big brush, it’s easy to apply a lot of mascara and get clumping and lashes that stick together and are hard to separate. The mascara doesn’t feel heavy on the lashes and they are flexible and not as crunchy feeling as other formulas.

Above, I wore the mascara for 16 hours. There is a bit of flaking on my upper and lower lids, but no smudging of the formula. It looks like a bit of thickness was lost as well. Overall though, I like the results. This formula claims to be flake and smudge resistant for 24 hours, but I didn’t want to wear makeup to bed.

This mascara washes off easily; I’ve had success with Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel (needs two cleanses) or The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser.

While the brush is large and the formula wet that gets on my eyelids, I like how Damn Girl makes my eyelashes look, and would likely purchase again.

Thank you for reading.

Altilis Beauty BFF Liquid Foundation Review

Altilis Beauty is a Canadian skincare company using eco-friendly, sustainable ingredients, namely the breadfruit flower; the “BFF” in their liquid foundation. The BFF foundation is made in-house, is all-natural, sustainable, cruelty-free, organic and comes in 14 shades.

Altilis Beauty says this anti-aging foundation provides weightless, medium to full coverage with a satin, radiant finish that claims to instantly smooth and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, pigmentation and blemishes, making the skin look younger and giving a natural radiance that lasts all day. One to two pumps of this buildable foundation can be applied using a brush, sponge or fingertips.

Ingredients: Squalane, Silica, Tapioca Starch Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Cetyl Alcohol, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Artocarpus altilis (Breadfruit) Flower Extract, Mica, Natural Fragrance, Iron Oxides (CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499)

With only 10 ingredients, the first is squalane. This is naturally found in the skin and decreases as we age. Squalane provides non-greasy hydration.
Tapioca starch polymethylsilsesquioxane is tapioca powder modified with a silicone that is often used as a thickener, can reduce the oily feeling on the skin caused by some products and provides a soft feeling to the skin. This foundation contains vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbyl palmitate. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can brighten the skin and can lighten pigmentation over time. According to Altilis Beauty, breadfruit flower extract is an antioxidant with soothing and protective properties while evening out skin tone and reducing redness. BFF foundation contains natural fragrance, mica and silica.

This is the first product I’ve tried from Altilis Beauty. The company offers up to three free samples (pay for shipping) so you can try the shade you think you are, one shade lighter and one shade darker. I was looking for a natural, light coverage foundation that would cover redness and blackheads, but still look like my skin. I have combination skin in colder weather (it is winter in Canada now) and more oily skin in the summer. When using foundation when my skin is dryer I use a cream and when oily I use an oil absorbing lotion (like Balance from Your Best Face Skincare) under the foundation.

After purchasing a few samples, I bought the shade “Melita” for tan skin with olive undertones – it matches my skin perfectly.

I tried this with and without primer to see how long it lasted throughout the day. I very rarely wear makeup, but used this for a month, five days a week, to see how it affected my skin. Throughout the month, I used the same products under the foundation; Caudalie Grape Water, The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics, Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream mixed with The Ordinary’s L-Ascorbic acid powder; and over the foundation, Becca Hydra-Mist Set and Refresh Powder. I didn’t use concealer, as I wanted to see how the foundation settled into the lines around my eyes and covered the breakouts and texture on my skin.

This separates in the bottle, so needs to be shaken well before use. This is a rather thin foundation that goes on the skin very smooth and silky. I put two pumps on the skin, spread it with my fingers and then used a Sephora Pro foundation brush to buff it into the skin (this applies nicely with fingers alone as well). There is a fragrance to the foundation that doesn’t really dissipate and I’d catch a whiff of it with a breeze or when turning my head. Even after cleaning the brush used, the fragrance still lingers. It’s not a bad smell and not a deal-breaker. The ingredients state “natural fragrance;” so I assume it’s added and not just the natural scent of the foundation itself.

The above photo is the foundation on its own, no primer. It covered the redness and blackheads quite well and some of the freckles. I used two pumps over the face and added more to the darker blemishes. Some of the darkness under my eyes was covered, but it settled into the creases under my eyes. Overall the skin looked smoother and younger.

For the above, I used Elf Poreless Face Primer under the foundation. I had some dryness around my eyes and mouth that the foundation seemed to stick to and it settled into the creases under my eyes.

Despite claiming to be a medium to full coverage foundation, I could only get light to almost medium. If I continued to build it up, it didn’t look good and wouldn’t blend in.

Altilis Beauty claims this foundation lasts all day; it didn’t day say how many hours, but to me all day should be 8 to 10 hours. With and without primer (granted I used a cheap Elf primer), the foundation started to fade between 4 and 6 hours, however, is easy to touch up.

The packaging could use some work; once I used the foundation for the first time, and put it in my cosmetic bag, little drops of the separated oil would leak out. Being a rather runny foundation, it gets a bit messy at the spout as well. The bottle doesn’t come with a lid, so I store it in a plastic bag.

I like how the BFF foundation feels light and silky on the skin and gives a smooth and natural finish. I think using the right products under the foundation, it would be suitable for dry to oily skin types. The color is perfect for my skin tone. Over the month I didn’t get any unusual breakouts. I would likely purchase again, though wish it lasted on the skin longer and came with a lid.

Thank you for reading.