Min's Beauty Equipment: January 2014

Friday, 31 January 2014

What Happens When You Stop Using Botox?

Every woman wants to look young for as long as possible.  The girls who in their teens or twenties claim that they would never use Botox or they would never have plastic surgeries reconsider their beliefs later in life. Quite a few of them start using Botox in their late thirties and possibly have something else done later on in life.

If you have been using botulinum toxin injections for years and the day has come when you realise that builders don't whistle and people don't turn their heads as you are walking past whether or not your face is frozen by Botox, you start to think that it's time to quit. What happens when you do quit?

Doctors say that your face goes back to its baseline, that is, it slowly gets to the state in which you would have been at this age had you not used Botox ever in your life. Some even claim that using botulinum toxin is even better for your skin as this drug keeps your muscles relaxed, which means that your face skin does not develop any deep lines and wrinkles.

A woman who stopped using botulinum injections after 20 years of using it
Daily Mail: A picture of a woman who stopped using Botox at the age of 60. On the right
you can see the photo of her two years after quitting botulinum toxin injections

What I got for you is a picture of a woman who had been using Botox for 20 years. The lady stopped using it at the age of 60 when she realised that Botox or no Botox makes no difference to her appearance; she does not look young anymore anyway.

I would love to know about the lifestyle of this lady, i.e. the use of sun cream, her eating habits, drinking, smoking habits and her genetics. All of this would affect the quality of her skin.

Although doctors claim that skin will not look worse just because Botox was used, I would like to know how this could be tested as there is no way to see what your skin would have been like had you not used the drug.

The 62 year old woman doesn't have very deep wrinkles, but her skin texture looks pretty bad to me. You may not see it quite as well in my photograph of the newspaper, but the skin looks quite rough in the hard copy version of this picture. I understand that she is 62 and nobody expects her to look like 20, but my mom is 73 and her skin texture looks better than that. My mom's skin is more saggy, but it's less coarse and less wrinkly.

Lifestyle choices and genetics play a big role in the appearance of the skin, so I would love to know a bit more about that woman. Anyway, this isn't going to happen, so it means that everything is just a thought or a consideration which is what I wanted to share with you…

Below is my YouTube video about what happens when you stop using Botox. There is no new information there, so you don't have to watch it. It's for those who prefer listening to reading:

Have you ever used Botox? Do you know any people who use it? Would you consider using it at some point?

Update on 7 May 2014

I have prepared another blog post for you about Botox effect on muscles and a possibility of muscle atrophy due to long term Botox use. Please read the post here.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Should I Give Up On Facial Rejuvenation?

Feedback review of your experience
When are you more likely to leave a feedback: after a negative or
positive experience?

Negative feedback about my surgery

Today I went to see a doctor as I had a terrible sore throat that had lasted for a few days. The appointment I got was after my child's school hours, therefore, I had to drag my both kids with me to the surgery. It's hard work to go anywhere with two kids, but it's even worse to go to a medical practice which is discriminatory against children, starting from policy which insists that all prams need to be left outside and ending with a screaming session at me each time I go there. They shout at me for not being able to keep my two and four year olds quiet. Well, it's ok to stay quiet if you are an adult, but it's a different story to keep two small children quiet in a place without a single toy, especially when the appointment is late by half an hour!

So, today I got shouted at as usual. I came home all crying and decided to write a review about the surgery. I suppose you have already guessed that the review I left was NEGATIVE. I also left two more bad reviews about a restaurant and the hairdressers in the past.

So, I am one of those who keeps good for myself and screams about all those nasty things that happen to me.

Should we trust the WORTH IT ratings about facial or body rejuvenation procedures or treatments?

This whole experience made me think about the website called www.realself.com. The website gives a worth it rating for body, face or other treatments. The ratings are not amazing given the cost of the treatments.

Most of the treatments are expensive or very expensive. They cost anywhere between hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. If I look at the raw data, I doubt I would want to have any of those treatments done on me. Having spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars, I would expect the result that is at least close to a certainty (100%). Also, the post-treatment results may not only be non-existent, they may be negative! So, can you imagine, you spend thousands of dollars and you look worse than you did before the procedure!!!

So, a 55% worth it rate for dysport (it's just another type of botox) or a 57% satisfaction score for fraxel laser does not sound appealing, does it?

People are more likely to leave a negative review

The good news is that people are more likely to share their experience when it is very bad than when it is very good. As a very rough estimate around 20% of people leave a review after a very good experience and approximately 32% after a very bad experience. (Sorry, I managed to lose the link to the research findings, so the percentages given are from my memory only and they are not accurate).

Actual figures that you can see below should be amended for bias and they would become a little bit more acceptable.

Here is an unamended list of some WORTH IT ratings found on realself.com:

IPL 59% from 381 reviews
Fraxel laser 57% from 658 reviews
Facelift 88% (758)
Eyelid surgery 80% (896)
Dysport 55% (234)
CoolSculpting 70% (752)
Botox 67% (1201)
Chemical peel 64% (183)
Chin implant 69% (164)
LED light therapy 94% (19)
Sculptra 63% (306)
Smart Lipo (laser) 79% (1235)
Tummy tuck 96% (6043)
Mini tummy tuck 87% (193)
Tatoo removal 84% (240)
Vaser liposuction 85% (371)
Smart lipo 79% (1235)
Cellulite treatment 33% (23)
breast reduction 96% (1790)
breast implants 85% (1905)
breast augmentation 94% (3375)
liposuction 78% (1102)
ultherapy 71% (398)
rhinoplasty 83% (2241)
Sleeve gastrectomy 100% (141)

Final Word

  • Given the WORTH IT ratings and the fact that those percentages should be increased to reflect the true worth it rating, would YOU be prepared to have any of these or other treatments done on you (maybe not now if you are too young, but at some point in your life)?
  • Also, do you ever leave any positive or negative feedback? Do you ever leave any feedback at all?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

L'Oreal EverStyle Smooth and Shine Hair Creme Review

L'Oreal EverStyle Smooth & Shine Creme alcohol-free
L'Oreal EverStyle Alcohol-free Smooth
& Shine Hair Creme
Here is a brief review of L'Oreal EverStyle Alcohol-free Smooth and Shine Hair creme.

A few weeks ago I decided that I wanted to take better care of my hair. Extra shine was the first thing that I wanted to achieve. So, I started to look for a product that would make my hair more shiny.

The two products that I wanted to try were both by L'Oreal: one was called L'Oreal Paris Colorist Secrets Shine Gloss Hair Treatment, another L'Oreal EverStyle Smooth and Shine Hair Creme.

The second product, the one you can see in the picture on your right, is meant to be less extreme, so I started with the smooth & shine creme. I bought it on E-bay for approximately £15 including delivery. It smells lovely once on my hair. Also, it reduces combing forces and it does add a bit of shine. The amount of shine it adds depends on what shampoo I was using for washing my hair. Some shampoos make my hair extremely matte, then L'Oreal Smooth & Shine Creme won't make a massive difference, but if using the right type of shampoo, it can make your hair look and feel much better and shinier. The same applies to smell - most of the time my hair smelled absolutely lovely after I used this creme, but occasionally if I was messing about with different hair products, this creme didn't make my hair smell fantastic. It didn't make it smell bad either. So, the overall effect of the Smooth & Shine Creme is dependent on the effectiveness of other hair products.

L'Oreal Smooth and Shine contains silicones, so if you are against silicones in your hair care products, you may want to give this creme a miss. Otherwise, it's a great product and I will definitely be buying it again.

I use a clarifying shampoo to get rid of product build-up once every two weeks or sometimes more frequently and I am not against silicones. They give me extra shine, which other products don't seem to give.

The label states that the product is:

  • Alcohol-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Helps eliminate frizz for long-lasting smoothness without build-up. However, EverStyle creme contains dimethicone which is water insoluble silicone that does build-up in hair, therefore, I doubt in the accurateness of that information.
  • Transforms dry brittle hair to satin smooth with glossy shine.
  • Conditions and seals the hair strand and helps protect against damage from heat tools
  • Resists humidity.

It is quite expensive, but it lasts a while. I would recommend this product to others and I will buy it again once I run out of it.

Here is my YouTube video about L'Oreal EverStyle Alcohol-free Smooth and Shine Hair creme. There is no new information there, but you are welcome to watch it if you prefer listening to reading.

Do you use any hair shine products? What is your favourite if you do?

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Chinese Business Culture in Beauty Devices Market

Chinese negotiation
Chinese negotiations
This is an article about Chinese business culture based on my own experience with real examples, even demonstration with real e-mails.

Before venturing onto my import-export adventure I wanted to understand how Chinese people did business and I read a lot of stuff about meeting them, greeting, exchanging of business cards, communication style, differences and other rules of etiquette. Some people talk about the need to negotiate with them, others talk about some spiritual beliefs that Chinese people have, but not many seem to give real examples and most of the information seemed to be so vague and generic.

So, this information will prepare you for the REAL business with the Chinese, which is a lot of hard work, I warn you. Be sure to roll up your sleeves.

Months ago I learned a bit about anti-ageing devices. I found the whole thing so interesting that I decided to explore some business opportunities. Why don't I import some stuff into the UK and try to sell it here? Chinese stuff should be cheap, so who knows maybe there is an opportunity for profit!? With tools such as alibaba.com being so easily accessible, who stops me from exploring?

I looked at a few items, made a list of some beauty devices that I found particularly interesting and started contacting suppliers. What are the results?

Chinese business culture in a few sentences

  • So, you want a better price for your order of larger quantity? Sure! Ok, 20 units cost $3 per unit. You want 200!? Then it will cost you $3.5 per unit! How is that? Do you like my offer?
  • Off course, I am very flexible! I'll give you the best price! It was $100, now my best price is $100! How about that? How many do you want?
  • Ok, I'll sell for $3 per unit for a quantity of 1000. Oh, you sound interested! How about $3.5 per unit instead then? Oh, you actually remember the price that I offered before! Ooops!
  • - How much is a derma pen?
        - The penis $100!

If you'd like some real life illustrations, then carry on reading, otherwise, jump straight to the conclusions.

The Chinese business culture with some real life examples

Hmmm… First of all, it's funny to deal with the Chinese! After I enquired about a derma pen price, I received this email from one of the suppliers (I have erased the manufacturer item numbers and any names allowing to identify the supplier from the e-mails):

Chinese business negotiation style and tactics

Obviously, I can't complain about it being funny, this is probably the best part in this whole process. So, it's is an upside.

Now let's go DOWN the hill this time.

After having read a few articles on how to deal with the Chinese and about their business and negotiation culture I decided to follow the advice and started negotiating. I have three real examples of how it all went.

The first case

Illustrates this point:
  • Off course, I am very flexible! I'll give you the best price! It was $100, now my best price is $100! How about that? How many do you want?
The beauty device costs US$100 if buying one unit, US$98 if you buy 5 units and US$95 if you buy 10 units. Minimum order quantity is one device. All right, it doesn't sound like there is a point in buying more than one unit given that the price difference is so small. Anyway, I am not interested, because, having added all the costs associated with import, transport and selling, there is no way I can make any profit. Nevertheless, the Chinese seller won't leave me alone. Every day he kept sending me e-mails and made Skype phone calls and messaging. As soon as I logged in to my computer I got a Skype call or at least five messages saying 'hi, how are you? are you interested?' and so on. The salesman sounded keen as mustard. Eventually I decided to give in: 'if you can give me a better price, maybe I can reconsider buying those devices from you'. I enquire again asking for the best price possible. He promised to send me his bestest price by e-mail.

I receive an e-mail with the following price:

US$100 for one unit
US$98 for 5 units
US$95 for 10 units

Great, he promised to give me a better price, in fact, he promised to give me his bestest price, but he gave me exactly the same price!!!

Second case

This is just a demonstration of the web of lies, one after another...

In order to do business I obviously need to think of some marketing strategy. One of the ideas that came to mind was to give away some freebies to certain people. The product for giving away needs to be cheap as I can't afford to give away things that cost a lot for free. One of the cheaper products that I liked was a derma stamp, just a small one with a few needles on it. So, I started enquiring. Usually, minimum order quantities start from 50 or 100 units for derma stamps, sometimes you can find as low as 20 units, so for my marketing I needed at least 1000 to start with. The order size is quite a bit larger than the minimum quantity, so I thought I might be able to get some discounts.

All right I was being a bit cheeky. I asked if they could make me 1000 units for $1 per unit as I was curious as to what their actual costs were plus the price was of crucial importance for this strategy to work. If I can't get what I need for the right price, I simply have to ditch the whole strategy. So, why not to try? Now, I was the price giver, not taker, and, to my surprise, I managed to find someone who agreed with my offer!!! Happy days!!! Here is the e-mail I received from Maria (the names of the suppliers have been changed):

Chinese  business culture 2

That sounded absolutely fine. I would need some derma rollers anyway, so, I'm all chuffed! After exchanging another few e-mails about all the details, I decide to place an order. After I place my order I receive a response not from Maria, but from Kristy.

Chinese negotiation style 3

Ok, Maria has left the company, Kristy is taking over and she is not aware of what's going on. I explain all the details to Kristy, forward the evidence of all our communications with Maria. What could possibly go wrong? Everything is in writing.

So, this is the last correspondence I had with Kristy on Skype:

Chinese negotiation tactics and style

Ok, it all smells like rat again. First of all, you said that the price was incorrect. Now you are obviously lying to me that there is no such device with 10 or 12 needles on the market, but you go all quiet when I send you the evidence that there is a derma stamp with 12 needles in your own company!

Anyway, there was silence for a little while until I got an e-mail from Maria. She has not left the company after all!

Chinese negotiation style and tactics

Then I get another e-mail just a few minutes later:

Chinese business negotiation style and tactics

So at this stage, regardless of how amazing the price could be, do you think I would still want to deal with this company!? Not me!

Third case

Illustration of this:
  • Ok, I'll sell for $3 per unit for a quantity of 1000. Oh, you sound interested! How about $3.5 per unit instead then? Oh, you actually remember the price that I offered before! Ooops!
This is one of the other manufacturers that I contacted about the 1000 units of mini derma stamps for my marketing purposes. This manufacturer said to me that they could make me 1000 units of mini derma stamps for US$3 per unit (bear in mind that $3 is also the price per unit when ordering minimum order quantity of 50 units), but it would be a lot cheaper if I wasn't fussed about the packaging. Well, I am not fussed about the packaging, I am fussed about the price! We exchanged a few more e-mails, then the saleswoman said that they would not be able to achieve my desired price. Ok, no problem, I said, just tell me what is the price that you want for something with the minimum or no packaging. The Chinese woman thought that I sounded eager, so she came back to me saying that they would do 1000 units for US$3.5 per unit with perfect packaging. All right, that's more than everybody else charges for 50 or 100 units, including yourselves!


Dealing with Chinese people is very time consuming, so if you don't have a lot of time, find a better business opportunity.

Not sure if negotiating the price is such a good idea. Unlike the advice I read on some other websites, my personal experience in negotiating the price was not good. If I do any business with the Chinese again I will be more willing to take the offered price or reject it without negotiation.

I realised that with two small kids I just don't have enough time to run business involving Chinese. Their culture is not something I understand. Any advice I read on other websites about how to deal with the Chinese and their business culture, obviously, did not work for me. That whole spiritual thing that everyone talks about is also beyond my understanding. I didn't see anything spiritual there.

Anyway, I am not saying that I will never deal with the Chinese again. I am just saying that this business is not for me at this stage of my life. If a cake costs $5, I don't expect the price to go up to $10 as soon as I get my purse out.

Have you ever dealt with Chinese? If so, did you have positive or negative experience? Have you ever thought of having your own business? If so, what would it be?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

How to Highlight Hair at Home (Ideal for Short to Medium Hair)

How to dye hair in highlights at home
Example on what your hair might look like after prepared
for highlighting at home
One day as I was contemplating on whether to go back to Tony & Guy to have my hair dyed in highlights or to dye my hair at home by myself, I remembered one brilliant very useful tip. I used this method for highlighting my own hair many years ago, but never since. I simply have too long hair now for this to work.

So, if your hair is short or shoulder length and you want to dye your hair at home without any assistance, then you may want to try this method. You may try this on long hair too, but long hair will likely to tangle too much and you will have horrible experience, so the shorter your hair the better.

Things you need

  • Hair colour;
  • A towel or anything else to protect your shoulders;
  • A swimming hat;
  • A crochet hook;
  • Possibly, scissors.

The method

Hair dyeing at home (swimming cap and a crochet hook)
Swimming hat and a crochet hook
I am not going to go into details on how to use the dye to highlight your hair at home as all you need to do is follow instructions on the leaflet that comes in the box. I will write about how to prepare your hair for being coloured in highlights to make the process as simple as it can be.

First of all, take your swimming hat and a crochet hook, try to hook many holes in the hat with the crochet hook. If the hat is made of HARD silicone or latex, then you may use the scissors to make multiple holes in the cap. If the swimming cap is made of fairly SOFT material, you may be ok to puncture holes with a crochet hook, providing the crochet hook is sharp enough for this. Use your own judgement, but be very careful not to tear the hat as it does tear quite easily if you are not careful.

Hair highlighting at home (soft vs hard swimming cap)
Soft swimming cap vs hard swimming cap
Once your hat is full of holes, brush your hair, put the hat on and start pulling the hair out with the crochet hook through the holes (see the picture with a doll as an example). Pull as much hair out as you like. Use your own judgement for this; with a bit of practice you will learn a very useful skill which might save you a fortune in hairdressers fees in the long term!

Once you've pulled out the hair that you want to highlight, get the dye ready and follow the instructions of your hair colour leaflet.

Also, the good news is that once you got the cap prepared you can wash it and use it in the future!

I have prepared a YouTube video where I talk about how to do highlights at home, but it does not have any additional information, so you are welcome to skip it. Watch it if you prefer listening to reading.

Final word

Do you dye your hair or have it natural? If you dye it, do you go to the hairdressers or do it at home? Do you wear your hair in highlights?

Friday, 10 January 2014

Two Easy Pony Tail Ideas (by Sissi from Beauty4Free2U)

I love wearing ponytails as they are very easy to do. I just get out of bed, take my hair up and the job is done. Given my love to this simple hair style, I have also learned a few tricks to make the ponytails look more glamorous.

Here I am sharing the two ideas on how to pimp up a ponytail.

The first idea: How to make your ponytail appear longer without using hair extensions?

Ponytail ideas: how to make it appear longer?
How to make a ponytail appear longer: original ponytail (top left) and the improved
longer ponytail (bottom left). All the step are in between, move clockwise from top left

Look at the pictures and move clockwise to get from the top left, which is a standard ponytail, to the bottom left, which is the pimped up longer version of the ponytail.

First, make a half head ponytail from the hair at the top of your head.

Second, make another ponytail from the rest of your hair.

Third, shake your hair to mix the two ponytails up.

Ta-da! Your ponytail is looking much longer! Super easy and a fun trick!

The second idea: Cover up your ponytail with your own hair over the top of an elastic band

Cover up the ponytail with your own hair over the top of an elastic band
Cover up the ponytail with your own hair over the top of an elastic band

This is also super quick and easy.

First, use an elastic similar to your own hair colour so that if it is peeking through your hair it does not look too harsh.

Second, take a string of your own hair and twist it around the elastic band to fully hide the elastic.
You can either use a bobby pin to keep the spiralled hair in place or you can simply put it into the elastic band just like I do.

It's very quick and easy to do and it looks really cool! Have fun trying this out!

I hope you, guys, enjoyed reading this and I wish you a happy weekend!

XOXO, Sissi

These two brilliant ideas were picked by myself from Sissi's amazing beauty blog www.beauty4free2u.com. Please be sure to visit her site where she shares a lot of interesting beauty information, such as her own fashion styles, product reviews, beauty ideas and tips.

I would like to thank you, Sissi, for providing me with this amazing article and sharing it with my readers. Happy weekend to you and to all of my visitors! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

My 5 Minute Makeup Routine (by Demi Mist)

5 minute makeup routine
My 5 minute makeup look
A few months ago when I was still an expectant lady, beauty and makeup was not on top of my priority list. Even though I did not wear makeup on a regular basis, sometimes I felt like I needed some colour on my face to make myself look and feel better. This is how I created this 5 minute makeup look. Usually 5 minutes is all that I could bear to spend on my beauty routine.

Looking good in such a short period of time can be a little bit of a challenge, but let's get started and see how it goes.

Here is my little tutorial and the five steps that I used to get the look:

  • Firstly, I applied some liquid foundation with my fingertips. I didn't use any concealer.
  • Secondly, I used some bronzing pearls on my cheeks and then spread them to my whole face and neck.
Sonya #149 Moonlight natural eyeshadow
Sonya #149 Moonlight eyeshadow
  • Champagne colour eyeshadow was used to achieve this simple and all natural makeup look. I often use this eyeshadow when I want to look subtle yet beautiful. I didn't use any brush for applying the eyeshadow, I used my fingers instead. 
  • Black eye pencil and mascara were used on my eyes.
  • I don't wear a lipstick every day, so I only applied a lip balm to give some shine to my lips.
Avon Glow bronzing pearls
Avon Glow bronzing pearls

Products and brands that I used to achieve my natural look:

  • Seventeen natural velvet foundation
  • Avon Glow bronzing pearls (costs approximately £8 to buy online)
  • Kryolan black eye pencil (approximately £5 online)
  • Sonya #149 Moonlight eyeshadow (costs approximately £7 to buy online)
From left to right: Essence black mascara,
Sonya #149 Moonlight eyeshadow,
Seventeen natural velvet foundation,
Avon Glow bronzing pearls,
Avon care protecting lip balm,
Kryolan black eye pencil
  • Essence black mascara for volume (approximately £3 online)
  • Avon care protecting lip balm (approximately £2 online)

It is a very simple look, but it works great if you want to look natural and you only have 5 minutes left before you have to leave your house. Good luck in trying this out for yourself!

Do you prefer subtle and natural make-up look or you like going wild with make-up? How does your mood affect your looks and efforts?

This wonderful make-up tutorial together with all the pictures was kindly provided to me by Demi Mist from www.beautyandthemist.com. Please make sure to check out her blog as well. She has a lot of various beauty related tips and information such as reviews of various clothes shops, beauty products and brands as well as more make-up tutorials and even some funny suff.

Thursday, 2 January 2014


This is a funny story that I heard today. I found it so funny that I rushed to my computer to write about it before I forgot all the details. My tummy hurt from laughing.

Anyway, if you are sensitive to toilet humour or if you are eating you might as well stop reading now, otherwise, carry on as, hopefully, you will find the story very funny just like I did.

The name of the person involved has been invented to maintain the storyteller's dignity and anonymity, but the remaining details of the story are true and factual.

Have you ever heard of a prank where a person puts cling film on a toilet seat, usually in a train or some other public place? I guess nobody would do this in their
How to get back the swallowed tooth crown? - A funny story
Toilet prank? How to get back the swallowed crown?
own house! That film is normally invisible to someone who is trying to use the toilet. If the user of the toilet is a lady she may realise that the toilet seat doesn't feel quite right, but if the user is a man, then most likely he will not notice anything. So, what happens when they are trying to have a wee? Well, the wee bounces off the cling film and splashes everything around, including the unexpectant toilet user.

Matthew, my friend, heard his boss telling others about this prank and then he confessed to me that the only time he used this prank was for himself. I was curious, but I had no idea what he was talking about.

A while ago Matt swallowed his own tooth crown. Well, you know it costs £500 to get a new one! So, guess what he did! Well, he used cling film in the toilet, but for himself, not as a prank.

Yep, he got his crown back, boiled it for a long time and went to the dentist to get it refitted!!!

I guess I don't need to go into more details!?

I don't know how many times he had to go to the toilet with cling film until he got his 500 quid back, but I tell you what - this is a hell lot of imagination as I would never have thought of doing this, regardless of the amount of money involved - it just would not occur to me! Brilliant idea, I must admit!

Do you know any stories that beat this one! I don't! This is definitely the funniest and silliest story that I have heard of in the long time!