Category: Success stories

Happy Ending

Dress, Troubadour (via FB); necklace, Stella & Dot (thrifted); shoes, Stuart Weitzman; bag, Mulberry (via eBay)
Dress, Troubadour (via FB); necklace, Stella & Dot (thrifted); shoes, Stuart Weitzman; bag, Mulberry (via eBay)

I don’t remember exactly when I first saw this dress, but I ended up hunting it on eBay for a good, oh, 6 months. No dice. I could never find it in my size for a decent price; a lot of the time, I couldn’t find a single listing, period. That made me more determined that ever to get my hands on it. Naturally. I loved the colour palette and the mix of floral and geometric prints. Truth be told, it’s more “old Adina” than “new Adina” so I stopped actively searching for it after a while.

But then!

I’ve been a (non-active) member of a FB Anthro group for ages. I usually just skip over the group notices in my feed, but one day, one of them caught my attention; most members of the group tend to be Americans, but this person was from my home town. Intrigued, I had a closer look at her listing. Lo and behold, this dress was one of the items. The price was attractive. The dress beckoned. My love of florals won out. Readers, I bought it.

And we lived happily ever after.

Just kidding. I mean, I hope we live happily ever after, but who knows — it’s early days. I did enjoy wearing it on a gloomy Friday to work, so I think we can safely say that we are off to a good start.

(A word on sizing for anyone interested: I would suggest sizing down. I am wearing an XS, and while I would have preferred a bit more room — I ALWAYS prefer a bit more room in my clothing — it fits fine around my hips which are definitely not extra small.)

contrast print
contrast print
colour on a dreary morning
colour on a dreary morning

How To Get The Eyelashes of Your Dreams

Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. Trite but oh so true. Some people love luscious lips; some people admire killer cheekbones or the perfect, pearly smile. Me, I am obsessed with 3 things: great skin, mermaid hair, and Bambi-like eyelashes. I have conceded defeat in the face of my follicular shortcomings; my hair looks its best (and is the most manageable) anywhere between chin- and shoulder-length — hardly the stuff mermaid dreams are made of. I am working diligently on getting my skin to look as dewy as my 37 years allow, and I am quite pleased with my current regimen. That leaves my lashes which were, well, fine. As long time readers know, I am devoted to mascara (L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly, to be precise) for making the most of what nature has given me — super blond lashes, of average length and density. A good mascara can do a lot, so I was more or less satisfied … until the recent surge in popularity of eyelash extensions.

Suddenly, everywhere I turned, I saw Bambi lashes. Long, thick, feathery. I won’t lie; I got a bad case of eyelash envy. (Dun dun dun … foreshadowing) I am not one to shy away from improving on nature, but in this case, my options seemed sadly limited. I had tried working with false eyelashes before, with dismal results. Getting extensions myself was also out of the question; quite apart from the cost, I refuse to commit to any procedures that require monthly maintenance. It’s the reason why I stopped getting gel nails. I don’t have the time to go to a salon on a regular schedule; I can barely manage to make it for a haircut every 3-4 months.

It looked like there was nothing to be done on the eyelash front, until one day when I saw a post from the aesthetician who did my eyebrow microblading. I had admired her impossibly long eyelashes during my first appointment, and was intrigued to find out that they were not a product of extensions but, rather, a serum called EyEnvy. At my next visit, I asked her about it and she shared her experiences with me. At $100 a tube, I wasn’t immediately ready to jump into buying the serum, but the more I looked at her eyelashes, the weaker my reservations grew. Long story short, I paid the money and got my paws on it. And the rest, as they say, is history.

By the way, this is not a sponsored post. I bought EyEnvy with my own money, and I`m writing about it because, well, I think it`s worth talking about — even if taking close-ups of my eyeballs is just about the least fun thing to do ever.

What The Hell Is It?

Here is what you need to know about EyEnvy. Unlike Latisse, it is non-prescription and, as far as I know, comes with no risk of changing eye colour. It comes in a tube that looks similar to a mascara, but with a very, very small brush similar to what you would get with a liquid eyeliner. The version I got (3.5 mL) is supposed to last anywhere up to 5 months. For the first 3 weeks, you apply a small amount to each lash line every morning (before putting on make-up). The recommendation is that you touch the brush against the inner rim of the tube to get rid of excess serum, then run the brush along the upper lash line in the same way you would apply eyeliner (from the outside corner of the eye to the inner). I did not apply it to my bottom lashes, but you can do that as well (ditto for eyebrows). After 3 weeks, you continue using the serum about 3 times a week only.

As with any product used in the vicinity of your eyes, exercise caution. The serum should not go into your eyes, as it may cause irritation. Some people have reported temporary eye redness from use, but I did not experience any side effects. I am not a doctor, so I will add only this: apply your best judgment, and discontinue use if you notice any concerning symptoms.

Does It Work?

In one word: YES.

Pictures being worth a thousand words, I will let you judge for yourselves.

the "before"
the “before”

Because I didn`t start thinking about writing this post until after I started using the serum, this is the best “before” pic I could muster. The angle is not ideal to show you the relative length of my eyelashes (plus, I`m wearing eyeliner) but it gives you a decent sense of what was there.

four weeks in
four weeks in

I started to notice some changes about 2 weeks in; my lashes were a bit more lush, though not noticeably longer. For some reason, it seemed like my mascara went on more smoothly. I started noticing some extra length at about the 3-4 week mark. With that said, please don`t imagine that I went from average-to-Bambi in no time flat. I did not get to the point of noticeable growth until about the 6 week mark, and the growth was at times frustratingly uneven. Is there such a thing as lazy eyelashes? The eyelashes of my right eye grew faster than the left, and in a more even pattern — progressively longer towards the outer corner, similar to what you would get with a set of falsies. The eyelashes of my left eye … well, that was another story. They took longer to grow, and I ended up with random individual lashes that shot out, leaving the surrounding ones behind them. I ended up doing a second pass with the serum on my left eye a few times to try to encourage more growth.

Thankfully, by about the 8 week mark, things had evened out. And I had a legitimate fluttery fringe on my hands, erm, eyes. Behold:

two months in
two months in

What`s Next?

Judging from the sounds of the sloshing in my tube, I have quite a bit of serum left, so I plan on continuing to use it 3 times a week for the time being. I like the current length of my eyelashes, and the rate of turnover, but I may consider cutting back to 1 or 2 weekly applications in the future. My aesthetician mentioned that she stopped using the serum altogether, and did not notice any loss in length for about 6 weeks, so a small amount of serum can probably go a long way during the “maintenance” phase. Although there is a part of me that`s tempted to see how much more length I could get, I am already at a point where applying mascara without getting it all over my brow bone is quite tricky; it`s probably a sign to leave well enough alone.

One thing I should say is that mascara is still definitely much needed to make the most of my eyelashes. Though long, the tips of my eyelashes are even paler than the roots, and very fine. Without mascara, they would be completely invisible. While I don`t know for sure that the results would be the same for someone with dark eyelashes, I would not be surprised if it was. So if you`re looking for a way to ditch the mascara altogether, EyEnvy might not the answer for you. But if you want Bambi lashes? Well, you could do a lot worse.

"before" and "after"
“before” and “after”

Got questions? Leave me a comment, and I will do my best to answer.

ETA: I apologize for not addressing this in the original post. Several readers have indicated that EyEnvy is not available to purchase online. I bought mine through the medical spa where I received microblading services. I believe it’s available exclusively through salons in Canada. I should have included that in the post info — sorry to anyone who is unable to purchase this in their neck of the woods.

Keen as Mustard

Coat, Oak & Fort (thrifted); sweater, Babaton (thrifted); jeans, Pilcro (thrifted); shoes, J. Crew Factory; bag, Coach (swap)
Coat, Oak & Fort (thrifted); sweater, Babaton (thrifted); jeans, Pilcro (thrifted); shoes, J. Crew Factory; bag, Coach (swap)

Oh hey, it’s the same coat from yesterday. It’s my first Oak & Fort piece, and I quite like it. The material is neoprene-like, and very lightweight, which makes it a nice coat for the warmer months. The cocoon shape is very Adina 2017, as is the medium grey colour. It pairs nicely with my colour palette, including mustard yellow. Speaking of which, I need a better descriptor because “mustard” ain’t cutting it. Back to the coat, its tag says “One Size” which … mmkay. It’s roomy enough for me, but I am a size 4-6. Does Oak & Fort not conceive of sizes above, say, 10? I had a quick peek at their website, though, and I like the aesthetic, which seems similar to Aritzia. Don’t get me started on how weird it feels to realize that my aesthetic is more Aritzia than Anthropologie these days. [Though, to be honest, Anthropologie now is not the same as Anthropologie circa 2010 or so, which is when most of my old fave thrifted pieces were made.]

mustard & patches
mustard & patches
mmm, cocoon-y
mmm, cocoon-y

Let’s talk about the sweater for a moment too. I am not a “Law of Attraction” devotee, but I’ve been trying out the whole visualize-what-you-want thing in my thrifting, hoping to fill some very specific wardrobe holes. One was a mustard yellow top. I had found a nice silk one from Aritzia, but it was too low cut for my work environment, so it was a no-go. And then, a few days later, I found this lightweight sweater, also an Aritzia brand. It’s a bit too low cut in the back, but I can live with that more easily than the reverse. I wish it wasn’t a knit, but … thrifters can’t be too choosy. I will eventually find a silk or crepe top, and in the meantime, I can enjoy this sweater. Luckily, even our summers are not all that hot so I can get plenty of wear out of it.

Speaking of wardrobe holes, another thing I really want to find is a plain, olive camisole or sleeveless top (dressy not casual). No luck so far. I am also looking for a specific Anthro top that is selling for a bazillion dollars on eBay (le sigh). Also no luck. Honestly, this whole Law of Attraction thing is kind of a bust. Bah!

simple, simple
simple, simple