Eyebrow Microblading (Embroidery) Review + Before & After

Eyebrow Microblading Review + Before & After

I recently got my eyebrows microbladed, after years of trying to draw them on consistently. You might have noticed them in my YouTube videos and selfies – I’ve gotten so many unsolicited compliments on them! Brows are probably the thing I find the most annoying in my make-up routine, and I’m not alone. Even drag queens who do their own …

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IPL Treatment for Broken Capillaries (Cynosure Icon)

IPL Treatment for Broken Capillaries

I’ve had little broken capillaries around my nose for a long time, so when I was offered the chance to try out a treatment with Cynosure, one of the leading aesthetic equipment manufacturers in Australia, I jumped at the chance to be a human guinea pig.

IPL Treatment for Broken Capillaries (Cynosure Icon)

If you’re not familiar with them, broken capillaries (also known as spider veins, or facial telangiectasia if you want to get really nerdy) are little red thread-like blood vessels that are visible on your skin. They aren’t really broken per se – they develop when the walls of blood vessels that lie very close to the surface of your skin weaken and expand, so they become more visible. They’re generally caused by environmental trauma (sun damage, rubbing, extreme temperatures, harsh skincare treatments, irritation) combined with a predisposition towards them forming, which might come from genetics, pregnancy, rosacea or any other number of conditions. I had seasonal allergies at the same time as I was testing out some hardcore irritating retinol products, which led to some broken capillaries around my nose. They’re not super severe, but I do end up needing concealer around my nose to stop it from looking like I’ve just finished blowing my nose violently. (I think part of it is also my skin improving to the point where I’m focusing more on smaller blemishes…)

Unfortunately there aren’t any effective over-the-counter treatments for broken capillaries. Light treatments (laser and IPL) are the safest and most effective way to treat them. The other main options for treating broken capillaries are surgery and sclerotherapy, where a chemical is injected into the vessel to kill it, but these are a bit riskier especially for the face.

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How Does Botox Work?

How Does Botox Work?

I talk a lot about topical products, but hardly ever about treatments! Today I’m diving into THE most popular cosmetic treatment: Botox.

What Is Botox?

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Botox – the (sometimes accurate) stereotype of how Botox stops your face from moving and you become an expressionless human mannequin with perfectly smooth skin.

Botox is actually not the name of the chemical that gets injected. It was the first brand of botulinum toxin that was used for these anti-wrinkle injections back in the 90s. But much like Kleenex and hula hoop and jacuzzi and trampoline, people use “Botox” as the generic name for Botulinum toxin (I’ll be using the two terms interchangeably).

Botox is the most toxic poison known to science – just 100 nanograms will kill you if injected. That’s about 1/6 of the weight of a grain of sand! It’s a mixture of proteins produced by several types of bacteria, most notably Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria that causes deadly botulism when you eat poorly preserved canned food. Botox paralyses the muscles it comes into contact with.

What Can You Use Botox For?

While botulinum toxin is very deadly when accidentally taken, it was discovered that tiny tiny amount were actually very safe when injected into a specific muscle.

Botox was originally used to treat overactive eye muscles in the late 1970s, and since then has been used to treat all sorts of disorders related to dysfunctional muscles, including spasms, cerebral palsy, chronic migraines and jaw grinding. In the early 90s, a couple of ophthalmologists noticed that patients who got Botox for eyelid spasms also had less frown lines (glabellar wrinkles) as a side effect. This sparked the popularity of Botox as a cosmetic treatment.

In cosmetic treatments, Botox is particularly good for softening the look of dynamic wrinkles, or wrinkles in motion – folds that appear or get more prominent when muscles contract. In some cases, they can disappear entirely! Commonly treated wrinkles include:

  • frown lines (glabellar wrinkles – vertical lines between the eyebrows)
  • forehead wrinkles
  • crows’ feet (at the edge of the eyes)
  • bunny lines

Botox won’t work on static wrinkles that are visible even when your face is relaxed, since it works by acting on muscles, but it can slow down how quickly wrinkles in motion turn into static wrinkles.

Apart from wrinkles, Botox can also be used for:

  • excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
  • turkey neck (platysmal banding)
  • eyebrow shaping
  • lifting the nose tip
  • gummy smiles
  • jawline contouring (masseter muscle injections)

How Does Botox Work?

There are 7 types of botulinum toxin in total, of which two used in cosmetic treatments: type A and type B. They paralyse muscles in pretty much the same way.

Muscles are triggered to clench up or contract by nerve signals. The nerve and the muscle are separated by a small gap (neuromuscular junction or NMJ). The nerve releases a chemical messenger called acetylcholine into the gap, the acetylcholine sticks to the muscle, then the muscle contracts.

Botox stops the nerve from being able to release acetylcholine. Without acetylcholine, there’s no way for the nerve to communicate with the muscle, so the muscle is paralysed.

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My Ultraceuticals RVR90 Skin Brightening Experience

My Ultraceuticals RVR90 Skin Brightening Experience

Ultraceuticals is an Australian cosmeceutical skincare brand with a strong focus on scientifically-backed, effective products. I was invited to take part in their RVR90 program where I had to commit to using their products and treatments for 3 months (fellow beauty bloggers will know how crazy this is). I’m excited to share my results with you today!

Ultraceuticals was founded in 1998 by Dr Geoffrey Heber, a cosmetic physician was the first to bring alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) to Australia. As well as take-home products, they offer in-clinic treatments at a variety of spas and salons around Australia.

RVR90, which stands for Real Visible Results in 90 Days, involves 3 steps. First, you discuss your skin concerns with a skin technician and decide what you want to work on. Next, you receive an RVR90 starter pack for your skin type, containing cleanser, lotion and sunscreen, plus an appropriate serum ($199). Finally, you’re prescribed a treatment and homecare plan to address your specific concerns. Ultraceuticals believes that 70% of results are achieved through homecare while 30% is from in-clinic treatments, so if you don’t like in-clinic treatments you can still get most of the benefits.

I decided to target my hyperpigmentation, since I have some pigmentation happening on my cheeks (yay Asian genes), and the treatment would also help with congestion and acne as well. I was prescribed the Oily/Normal pack (surprise!), and was given the Ultra Brightening Serum to start with, then the Ultra A Skin Perfecting Serum a bit later on.

My Ultraceuticals RVR90 Skin Brightening Experience

I was given three 30 minute Radiance Plus+ in-clinic treatments over the 90 days by Tracey Beeby, the Head of Global Training at Ultraceuticals. This consisted of:

  • Double cleansing with the Ultra Balancing Gel Cleanser and Pre Peel Skin Preparation, using the UltraSonophoresis machine
  • 15 min mask using the Ultra A Skin Perfecting Concentrate and Ultra Brightening Accelerator Mask, which contain 8 skin brightening agents that act on hyperpigmentation, dark spots and blotchiness
  • After removal of the mask, application of Ultra Protective Antioxidant Complex and sunscreen

I was initially a bit skeptical that I’d see much of a difference in 90 days since my skin was already pretty good and the treatments were pretty painless (slight prickling and heat but nothing close to burning), but when I saw my before-and-after photos and skin analysis I was very impressed.

Here are the photos, with Day 0 on the left and Day 86 on the right (I couldn’t make it in on Day 90). I look a bit like I’m going into surgery with the hair net…

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