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Definitely brows. I used to have nice full brows that only needed shaping, but after chemo, they barely grew back, so every morning I have to create new brows with products. It would be so nice if my brows would grow back in again. (I won’t do microblading.)

Chemo sucks and I’m sorry you had to go through that. An alternative that I wanted to bring up that I just learned about is eyebrow transplants. I don’t know if it would be a good fit for you if you are still going through treatment, and unfortunately it is expensive, but it might be a good alternative for re-gaining real eyebrows. If you are still going through treatment, I hope that’s going well and I send you all the positive energy and care the internet can via a chat box.

Thank you, Mel. I’ve been cancer-free for more than 10 years. I’m just going to keep using makeup. I don’t want to put my body through anything else if I don’t have to. I’ve gotten pretty good at doing my brows. People are surprised when I tell them how sparse they really are. But thank you for the good wishes. It’s never really over, you know?

Same for me, my eye brows grew back super patchy. I don’t know what chemo you had or for how long but I chose to do high dose for a shorter period of time. At the time I was getting my chemo, 19 years ago, there was a study going on to determine whether taking a high dose over shorter time versus a lower dose over a longer period, would have any significant impact both on the treatment of the cancer and also the side effects. My Doctor told me that he wished the study was concluded so he could give me valid advice but it was only about 3 years into the study. I made my decision and never went back to look at the study because I didn’t want to know if I had made the wrong decision, LOL! Anyway, I lost the majority of my body hair between dose 1 and 2. My eye brows and eye lashes lasted through to my final treatment and I was sure I wasn’t going to lose them and then at the end they just all fell out. Like you, they never grew back in completely. I really hate the daily brow application process. It is so time consuming and most of the time I get mediocre results.

We went aggressive with my treatment, too. It was difficult, but my doctor said that was the best way, so I trusted her judgment. I lost my brows and lashes early on. And near the end, I lost my fingernails and toenails. During the chemo, they weren’t regenerating, so as they grew out, they fell off. Sounds grosser than it was, actually. After chemo, they grew back just fine. THANK GOODNESS!

You really did have aggressive therapy. I just lost my hair everywhere and had the common side effects of nausea and vomiting, extreme fatigue, etc. It definitely wasn’t a good time but we made it through. I was one of 5 nurses going through chemo at the same time at the hospital where I worked. The oncologist that we all saw sent info to the American Cancer Society because he thought there might have been an environmental trigger at the hospital. However, statistically we had the right amount of cancer per the population norm. The ACS said that because it is a predominantly female profession it made it look like there was a cell. Anyway, I elected to do a modified radical mastectomy with a TRAM flap repair. Several others did lumpectomies and elected longer terms of care rather than more aggressive. I think I am the only survivor at this point. One of the nurses might still be alive but I don’t live in California anymore. She had to quite working as she developed cardiomyopathy from the chemo. My last treatment was delayed secondary to my developing an infection that required I stop my chemo, take antibiotics and I was worried that the delay might put me at risk. I was speaking with an acquaintance about my concerns and she told me she thought it was good that I got an infection and she told me her husband said that those taking chemotherapy that end up with a secondary infection do much better than those who sail through their treatment. He said his opinion was observational from his own practice. Made me feel better anyway! I have said before that I think our hair falls out because we don’t have time or energy to take care of it. I know it is really the rapid cell turnover that causes it but anyway, I kept my makeup routine pretty simple but wearing some makeup when I went out make me feel better, even if it was just a quick lipstick.

For sure it would be concealer. Concealer is probably my most necessary cosmetic item and always has been (blame a combination of low blood pressure, genetics, pale skin that is getting paler and more transparent as I age). But in spite of having a few concealers that I rely on and several others that are hit-and-miss, in reality they are ALL hit-and-miss. My application methods and skin prep are always pretty much the same but it’s a crap shoot as to whether my concealer will look good or crappy, whether it will conceal or make things worse… I rarely do my brows (though I like the effect when I do); I rarely wear mascara (preferring to tight-line my upper waterlines) and generally can skip foundation and pretty much everything else except a bit of lip colour but concealer – gotta have it and frequently struggle to get a nice effect.

I chose brows but I agree, concealer isn’t my favorite thing either. I will have my base down and looking really good and then a while later my pigmentation is showing through and I haven’t done anything to cause it to disappear. So frustrating.

Lips. I wish my lips had decent natural pigment and I could just throw on chapstick or a clear gloss and not look perpetually washed out. I feel naked without some kind of color on them (sheer, opaque, whatever… just something).

Concealing. I don’t have a ton of imperfections anymore (thank you dermatologist & acne prescriptions), but I definitely get dark circles and have some old scars. I would love to skip the process of color correction and concealing.

Sunscreen; I’m on the prowl for a new one that works well under foundation, since my previous HG has recently been DCd… Ideally, I’d like to find another facial oil with SPF, or a very thin fluid, but in the meantime, I do have a few products that are very good, just not ideal.

Have you tried Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence or Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk? Both of these work well under foundation and don’t leave a white cast.

I haven’t tried either, but mainly because they aren’t readily available in-store… With Summer coming up, and the fact I need to replace my current sunscreen (it’s set to expire…), I’ll definitely look into those. I did just switch to a daytime moisturizer with SPF, which is fine for my current activity/weather conditions, but it’s going to be too heavy once it warms up, and I definitely need something more effective.

If you are in the US, the Biore sunscreen is on Amazon. Missha has a US website, I’d be wary about buying that brand off of Amazon because of counterfeiting.

That’s exactly why I’m so hesitant to purchase such things online, unless it’s directly through the brand or brand verified retailers… I’ll definitely check out the Missha site, as there are a couple of other products I’ve been wanting to try, LOL!

I use La Roche Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk SPF 60 under my foundation, and works like a charm. Very highly rated by Consumer Reports, and my experience — effectiveness, ease of use — is consistent with that rating. My skin is average in terms of dry/oily, and I’ve never had troubles with breakouts or other issues using it. Hope that helps.

I’ve actually been considering the Anthelios for the past few years, but since it’s not something I’ve personally stumbled upon in-store, it kind of just kept getting pushed back in favor of other products. I was using the L’OREAL Age Perfect Facial Oil SPF 30, although I did want a higher SPF because it was so convenient, but found Coppertone Clearly Sheer Faces SPF 50 for extended outdoor events/Summer. It’s “good”, and does play well with most products, but can feel a bit heavy sometimes…

Anthelios is my favorite, too!
I get a new bottle every spring and move the last one to my travel bag.
It can show a white cast, but after several uses you will become a pro at blending!

Xamyx, I use the La Roche Posay’s Ultra light SPF 50+ sunscreen and it is a total winner under foundation, it even doubles as a primer. I have sensitive skin and it has never irritated my face at all. A little bit goes a long way too. I am pretty sure Ulta would carry it. It’s available in our budget beauty shops and chemist here in Aus.

It seems I read somewhere Target carries it in-store, but every time I go in, I get distracted, LOL! I can go in needing literally one thing, and walk out with 10, none being what I went in for… My local ULTA has also recently gone downhill recently, so I never bother to look for anything there except new releases, but since it’s right next to Target, I’ll check them both out this weekend!

Under eye concealing. I hate doing my brows too, but I’ve been having success using Castor Oil to grow in gaps. I’d rather not wake up with automatic “tired” face.

Contouring. I’d like to not have to do so much work to counter the weak jaw line I inherited from my Dad’s side of the family, LOL. And to naturally have cheekbones that would inspire envy. And honestly, I do skip it when I’m doing a very simple look, but I was packing for my trip to NY and I was like “Hmmm I guess I don’t need my contour palette — no wait, I’m going to a wedding, there will be lots of pictures, I’m gonna need to do my jaw.”

Vanity, thy name is AJ.

Drying time for lotion and sunscreen. I wait 15 minutes for each layer to dry down before applying the next and it feels like forever when I’m in a hurry!

I’d love to have lashes so lush and perfect that I didn’t need mascara. Thanks to nearsightedness, I’m at about 50% rate on not messing it up, whether it’s a smudge that develops over the day, a spot on my eyelid I didn’t see when I applied it, or some lash or another that clumped.

My immediate answer was brows, also. I read through the comments and was actually identifying with several responses. As I read and agreed with more and more answers I started asking myself, do I enjoy any of the makeup application process, LOL! Yes, I hate doing brows because of the same reason Seraphine does. Chemotherapy killed my brows and I would have them microbladed if there was a place within a reasonable distance to have them done and I trusted who was doing it. I also have a love/hate with lipstick application because I don’t have much of an upper lip and so my lips don’t really show off the lipstick which is one of my favorite things, hence over 200 lipsticks. Again, would get injections if they weren’t so freaking expensive, don’t last all that long, were available close by and I trusted who was doing it. I also really hate waiting between sunscreen application and the rest of my makeup routine. Once I have started to apply my makeup I just want to do it and not have to sit around waiting for my sunscreen to set a little. I have found if I progress with my makeup application right after sunscreen, my foundation always goes on looking cakey. If I wait 20 minutes or so, my foundation applies much better. That has been true of all the sunscreens I have used.

It is not just a matter of foundation going on more smoothly. The sunscreen has to dry in order to form the protective layer. I put it on right after cleansing and skin care. Then I do my eye makeup. I figure the sunscreen is set by the time I am finished with that.

I chose brows but I agree, concealer isn’t my favorite thing either. I will have my base down and looking really good and then a while later my pigmentation is showing through and I haven’t done anything to cause it to disappear. So frustrating.

I’d like to have good enough skin that foundation was not a necessity. Even on the best skin day, I feel like I need it to get rid of my natural ruddiness.

This. I spend a lot of time on my base to make it makeup ready, and then on foundation and concealer to make it even. Then I often have to rush through my favorite parts (eyes & lips).

You and me both, Christine. You and me both. My brows are a huge pain in the rump to get them to look decent at all. I’d love to just be able to wake up with beautiful, filled in, even brows every single day! But, nope. I’m very tempted to get microblading done, except for the upkeep of having to go get it redone at least once a year or less.

Nancy: If you can find a really good cosmetic tattoo artist, it might be the way to go. It’ll last years (depending on the person–some will last longer than others).
I had mine done by a woman who has been doing it for 20 years. I went in a few weeks before and she hand drew in what I wanted, balanced them a via photography grid and I saw exactly what I was getting. Her strokes are so thin (by hand and machine) they look like hairs.
I had them done a year ago and then went back six months later (all this is part of the initial cost) to tweak. I wanted them slightly elongated, for example. They look amazing still and I’ve no doubt they will for years. I get compliments on them frequently and people are surprised they are (in part) tattoo. Now all I have to do is run a thin brush (I dip in micellar water) over the bits that get covered in foundation. That’s the last step in my routine before mascara and takes three seconds.
It’s not cheap, but worth doing some research!

Eyebrows here, too. I didn’t have to do them until the last few years, so I’ve had a lot of learning to do. And I still don’t feel like I’m great at doing them.

Agree! Because I’m older and my are thin, I have to take a little bit of time so that they look as natural as possible. So, if I didn’t have to do this without anything (like tattooing, pencils, gel, etc.) that would save me time.

For me it is lip color because my lips are thin and not evenly shaped. I can no longer get away with a bare mouth so I have to prime them, line them (cheating on one side only) and then fill in with something. And more than once a day.
Under eye concealer is a close second because I need a corrector as well as a concealer now along with something light reflecting in the inner corners.

Foundation. I really don’t have to wear it honestly. BUT I feel sooooo weird if I do a full eye look without a full face. So I wish I could have my foundation, concealer etc done for me daily and I’d only have to worry about my eyes.

Christine, I’m not sure where to share this. I just placed a Sephora order and they have a Rouge perk…$100 for 2500 points. I know I’m not the only one who had Sephora points and not in need of another sample size of whatever. It’s 7:50 EST in the USA (for a time reference).

I agree with brows. Between waxing all these years and chemo, I have very sparse areas. Had them microbladed once three years ago, and have decided that I will have it done again next week. Otherwise, I’m always buying brow products hoping to have that elusive perfect brow.
Taking off mascara is a close second.

Wish I didn’t have dark under eye circles to cover up! I wouldn’t need a full coverage concealer everyday! I could definitely skip that step and not miss it at all!

My eyebrows just sit there and behave, so it’s hard for me to understand all the brow products. I’ve never used anything but a brow pencil to enhance, or a brush to wipe powder products off of them. And my lips are pigmented, so Vaseline can do in a pinch.
That said, my biggest problem is under eye circles that are epic.
I chose not to frighten the public at large and always, always conceal them.

I’ve had dark under eye circles since I was a kid. Thanks genetics and allergies! I won’t ever be able to completely cover them up so I’ve just learned to live with it and accept that I can only make them “good enough”. It would be great if they didn’t exist and I could skip that step though. I end up using a color corrector (salmon shade) topped sparingly with a lighter (but not so light it is brightening as that draws attention to how deep set my eyes are and creates a worse effect) concealer. If I could even just get away with a one step process that would make me happy!

I would like to have my eyelash extensions back. Trying to achieve long, lush eyelashes with mascara is not going to happen. So it is a disappointment every time I do my mascara, not to mention my eyebrows as well. But I can’t justify spending money on eyelashes when I’m retired and don’t go out a whole heck of a lot.

Nose contour.
I don’t do it every day, but getting it even and seamless takes work. I’ve found the liquid version (Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand) best for its shade (no orange-y hue) and easy application, and then I soften and blend with a damp sponge.

Definitely agree there. I don’t really mind doing brows, as they make such a positive difference, but they are so easy to mess up and hard to correct.

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