Sophia Weight Loss Body Shaper & Lilia Weight Loss Leggings- Do They Work?

Lilia Weight Loss Leggings

Have you seen those ads on Facebook and Instagram for the amazing weight loss and anti-cellulite leggings or panty style body shapers sold by Trendiness? The ones with the fancy animation showing their magic cosmetic textile technology?

Yeah, me too. I saw them over and over for weeks. And in the end, I bought a pair of the leggings.

So, here’s my experience.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

Lilia

Sophia

Basically, the seller says these “cosmetic textiles” are created to slow release various ingredients to help with weight loss and the reduction of cellulite.

Weight loss leggings are nothing to be laughed at- I still swear by my Zaggora Hot Pants, leggings, and Hot Tops . I wear them for every workout.

But, after losing my thyroid to cancer my body doesn’t do what I want it or work like it

once did in terms of weight loss, so I was open to seeing if these leggings could be a useful tool.

From the website:

Lilia Weight Loss Leggings Unboxed

What is the Lilia™  ?Lilia™ is a cosmetic body shaper that focuses on weight loss and anti-cellulite through its combination of more than 30 special ingredients such as red algae, almond oil, or buckwheat, that are micro-encapsulated directly into the textile and released when the shaper is worn, to provide long-term, continuous benefits.

Using unique sewing techniques from the high-end shapewear industry, the Lilia™ shaper also provides instant shaping benefits and will lift the butt, flatten the tummy and remove love handles.

It’s perfect for all-day shaping and perfectly balances comfort and compression to be your most favorite everyday essential!

What are cosmetic textiles?
Cosmetic textiles are functional fabrics impregnated with cosmetic ingredients that are released onto the skin during the course of wear. They can provide multiple cosmetic benefits, such as moisturization, slimming, UV protection, energizing, or temperature regulation.

POWER FEATURES:

INSTANT SHAPING – Unique sewing techniques for shaping the waist, hip, belly, and love handles to look better and slimmer instantly.
LONG-TERM RESULTS – Special micro-encapsulated cosmetic ingredients added into the textile, promoting weight loss and removing cellulite.
JUST WEAR IT – and look slimmer instantly, while letting the beauty ingredients penetrate your skin over time.
RESULTS WITHIN 2 WEEKS – The powerful action of the active ingredients can last for up to 8 weeks. Visible results can appear within 2 weeks.
CAN BE WASHED – the microcapsules are designed to resist more than 40 washes before they degrade. Thus, the cosmetic action is guaranteed throughout the entire period of treatment.
WHENEVER YOU WANT – The capsules won’t degrade if you won’t wear the body shaper, so you don’t have to wear it every day – a few days a week is more than enough.
SEAMLESS & COMFORTABLE – High elasticity provides comfort and seamlessness.
60-DAY MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE – get a full refund if you’re not 100% satisfied. No questions asked.

RESULTS:

Reduce cellulite by up to 41%
Up to -2.1″ (-5.5cm) around hips
Up to 1.2″ (-3.1cm) around waist
100% Satisfaction Guarantee policy

USERS REPORT:

91.4% of users reported losing weight over a 12-week period
99.1% of users reported improvements in combatting cellulite
97.7% of users recommended this product

DETAILS:

Fabric: 96% Polyester, 4% Elastane
Active ingredients: Caffeine, red algae, flower bamboo cypress, almond oil, buckwheat fat, garcinia fruit, lavender, shea butter, sophora flower, ginkgo leaf, guarana, forskolin, coleus extract, nagi podocarpus extract.
Cold wash only. Hand-wash recommended. No drying machine.
Capsule resistance: ~40 washes.
Not recommended for pregnant women.


I wore these for 35 days. Here’s what I took away from the experience.

Pros:

  • They’re soft.
  • They’re Comfortable.
  • They’re moderately stretchy.
  • They smell nice right out of the box, but it fades quickly
  • Wearing them reduces hunger cravings due to light compression. Your brain doesn’t get the signal that it’s hungry.
  • Trendiness has great customer service (see below in the Cons section)
  • Trendiness has a pretty decent return policy- though I was not granted a full refund as advertised (see the Cons section).

Cons:

  • I did lose almost 2 pounds, but these simply don’t live up to the hype.
  • The weight loss seems to be due to the compression and appetite reduction rather than any of the ingredients that are supposedly built into the leggings.
  • The first pair’s thread unraveled in the crotch in 10 days, but Trendiness sent out a new pair at no cost.
  • The second pair’s thread unraveled in about the same amount of time
  • They’re too expensive. They’re comfortable, but the minimal results in no way justify the price of about $50 for a pair of black leggings.
  • While Trendiness says they offer a FULL REFUND within 60 days I was offered a refund, but it was $6.95 less than the amount I paid. I’m not sure why I got less than a full refund, but I have bigger things going on right now so I’m unsure if I’ll fight it.

The Verdict?

Waste of money, which is incredibly disappointing. I was so optimistic about these.

Maybe if you have a biologically “normal” body they might work for you, but it was a bust for me.

Oh well, live, learn, and get almost a full refund, I suppose.

So, did you try them? And did they work for you?

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Hanacure: Hype or Holy Grail?

For a while now I’ve been seeing ads and posts for Hanacure’s miracle at-home facial kit and after months of thinking about it I finally tried it.

Hanacure is all over the internet, but just to recap it’s a facial kit from South Korea that you can do at home that makes you look old and wrinkled while providing benefits like:

– Anti-aging
– Clarifying
– Detoxifying
– Lifting & Firming
– Brightening
– Pore Tightening
– Evens Skin Tone
– Contouring

It is being touted online as the anti-aging treatment of the year. Celebrities and Social Media Influencers are doing it and loving it, so with all the benefits it promises what’s not to love?

For some, the price tag.  I ordered the 4 application kit from the company’s website I paid $119 including shipping.

While that is on the high end of over the counter treatments I feel like it is a reasonable price to pay for an at-home facial though considering you’re not paying a tip or sales tax on each treatment.

The Hanacure Box

If you get can past the price tag (and it’s in stock) you’re going to get a fancy white box in the mail.

The packaging is clean, sleek, and refined, I’ll give them that!

These photos were taken with my phone and look fine there, but seem blurry here in WordPress for some reason. Sorry about that!

In order to use the treatment you’ve got to peel back the edge of the square gel tray. Next remove the metal seal, uncork the lifting serum, and pour it into the gel.

 

Inside the Hanacure box

Sometimes a bubble with form and the serum won’t pour out, so just blow into it to pop the bottle and keep pouring.

Hanacure Before, During, After

Then fold the corner of the tray back down, hold it closed with your thumb, and shake it up. You’ll feel when it becomes a gel.

After that open the gel, dip the brush into it (included in the kit), and start covering your face with it.

This is a mask, so think of it that way when applying it. Coat your face as evenly as possible.

If you sit in front of a fan you’ll feel the tightening effects faster, but all in all it will start tightening on its own.

You might be tempted to make funny faces and take pictures like those you’ve seen online but the company actually discourages that as it doesn’t let the product work on all the areas of the face (where the cracks in the mask form).

Wait about 30 minutes and wash it off.

What do you get? Well, I got nothing special, even after doing all the applications.

I noticed no brightening. I did see some tightening along my cheeks and jawline, but it is a short term result and was gone the next morning. My forehead and cheek areas were red from the pulling effect of the mask. That went away by the next morning.

I noticed no minimized pores and no impact on fine lines (I’m 34). I’m sad to report that Hanacure did nothing special for me and that the whole experience was pretty disappointing.

Granted, I am light skinned and have minimal wrinkles. So, perhaps someone with other skin concerns might have different results.

Is it worth the money? For me? Meh. I’d say no. Remember, YYMV though.

Would I buy it again? Nope. I wish I had saved my money.

Was there anything positive about my experience with Hanacure?  Yeah. The box is pretty, it didn’t break me out or cause any allergic reactions, and it was a fun thing to do on a night when I had some free time.

Did you try Hanacure? What did you think?

Biotin and Hypothyroidism

Are you hypothyroid? Are you taking Biotin? You might want to talk to your doctor ASAP.

My doctor and I discovered an issue with biotin supplements and I felt like I needed to share my experience. He now asks all his patients who are on levo/synthroid if they take this vitamin.

If you have good TSH numbers but still feel terrible and are taking biotin please keep reading.

I have been meaning to post this for about a year. While this is old new for me I thought it might be helpful for someone else.

In my case I am on levothroxine .75 mcg and cytomel 5 mcg. At the time of the following lab work I was taking the following vitamins, too:

  • Vitamin C
  • Biotin
  • Selenium
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin
  • B-12

My friend suggested I was taking too many vitamins and to have a sit down with my doctor, so I did. I emailed him my list of vitamins before hand and h printed out all the medical info on the above vitamins for our appointment.

This is when we both discovered that BIOTIN can give false low TSH numbers. Yes. You read that correctly.

Like many hypothyroid patients I was taking the biotin to “help” with my thinning hair and eyebrows.

He had me stop taking biotin for a month and retest.

I went from TSH 1.4 to TSH 8.1!

We couldn’t believe it. He had me double the cytomel (now two 5 mcg pills) and retest in a few weeks.

Here’s what I was taking. Max strength 10,000 mcg per pill (I was taking 1 a day for about 6 months). My doctor ok’d this over the phone but he didn’t ask what strength and I didn’t know that was important.

Please, please if your numbers look “normal” but you still feel bad and you take Biotin please consider talking to your doctor, stopping Biotin, then retesting after 1 month.

YMMV, but it might make a big difference for you. It has for me.

Sources: I can not find the article that my doctor printed off his his own database, but try googling these phrases:

  1. biotin interference on tsh and free thyroid hormone measurement.
  2. Biotin TSH
  3. which revealed that biotin may interfere with the most commonly used thyrotropin and thyroid hormone assays. “

The above article tests the impact on children so the dosages mentioned are for a child. Still, by looking at the numbers we can still see how it could impact an adult.

Biotin dosage on the test subjects: “2 to 15 mg per kilogram of body weight per day) [more] than the dietary reference intake in children (5 to 25 μg per kilogram per day)” because of inherited metabolic diseases they had.

Now that I am no longer taking biotin:

  • I can now wake up at/around 8 when before I could barely crawl out of bed at 10.
  • I am not feeling motivated to run/jog again yet, but I am able to take a walk or use my rowing machine 1- 3 times a week.
  • I have experienced no weight loss, but I do feel better than I did when I was taking the biotin.

 

Overall, My TSH went from 1.4, to 8.1 after Biotin was removed, then back down to 0.71 on after Cytomel was upped to 10 mg a day.

It’s worth asking your doctor about it if you take biotin.

Remember- the only person who truly knows your body is you, and you’re also your best advocate. So, arm yourself with information, take good notes about your symptoms and stay optimistic!

 

First Post in Over a Year

Holy. Moly. I just logged in to see that it has been over one year since my last post. An entire year.

What have I been up to? Well, tons of stuff. For one, I’m typing this from a totally different house across the world from where my last post was written.

In the past year we’ve completed our Japan bucket list, I’ve been through the ringer in terms of medical stuff, we’ve said goodbye to our friends in Japan, and we’ve returned to America.

I made a few appearances on the NHK tv show Kawaii International. I had a few more on location and in-studio shoots for Cool Japan and that was a great way to wrap up my experience on the show.

Another way I tried to make some last minute memories was over on Instagram. I did a 60 day count down of things I’d miss about daily life in Japan.

Some friends and acquaintances suggested that the count down was a bad idea as it might make me sad, but I felt like it helped me cherish the “little things” while still making me deal with the big impending move.

Saying I didn’t want to move is an understatement. I felt like I was being forcefully ripped away from a place that felt more like home than anywhere I’ve ever lived before.

We’ve only been in America for two months and while the pacific northwest is nice it’s a world away from Tokyo.

rainier

Mt. Rainier- it looks a bit like Fuji if you squint hard enough.

People are generally nice here and I like our neighborhood. However, daily life in America is different than Japan.

Shopping at night can be scary. Heck, in my opinion anywhere is scary at night in America.  Selling to individuals on sites like Facebook or OfferUp can be dicey, too. I miss being able to trust most people.

I had one lady try to buy my unlocked phone, offering me my asking price plus $20 to deliver it to her. At her house. At 7:30  pm at night. I offered to meet her at a nearby police station, and as you can imagine I never heard from her again.

One of the biggest differences to me is that adults don’t wear backpacks here, and in some places backpacks are even prohibited!

nobackpacks

No backpacks allowed!

What a bummer! I’m having to figure out how I can most efficiently turn my Anello backpack into a cross body bag…if it’s even possible.

It would be such a waste to be unable to use it on a daily basis.

And yes, this is the Goodwill. Gotta save that money! Moving overseas is expensive… the military doesn’t cover all the costs involved with setting up a new life in a new place, though they do provide a bit of a cushion to help. It’s just a buffer though and can’t cover everything.

I hope to spend more time on this blog in 2018. It was quite neglected in recent years.

In regard to my crazy health issues- that’s a post for another day. This past year I ran in to some very unusual side effects of having a weakened immune system and I might blog about those at a later date.

And other stuff. I need to write about some other stuff eventually. I have a list of topics I’ve kept in my phone but as you can see I’m way behind in that little endeavor.

But, I digress. Now I’m tired just from writing this post. Time to go rest. Tomorrow is another day.

Wishing anybody who reads this a great day or evening ahead. Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

Makeup for Thyroid Patients/Super Dry Skin-Product Test (Continued- with Holy Grail find)

Got dry skin? REALLY dry skin? Me too….

I’ve been diligently pursuing my “holy grail” products since June 2016 and it has been a frustrating ride, to say the least.

I have some updates, though, and wanted to share to keep other dry-skinned brothers and sister from wasting money like I did.

All of these are YMMV, of course.

If you want to see my first round of product testing here’s the link.

A quick rundown of my situation:

  • Super mega crazy dry skin
  • Cool pale/classic ivory
  • Slight redness mainly on cheeks, chin, and nostrils (possible mild rosacea? My derm didn’t agree, though)

Now, to the data!

To pick up where I left off, there were some products I wanted to try.

Wishlist: 

  • Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse
  • Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid
  • L’Oreal True Match Lumi 
  • MAC Face & Body

Here’s my verdict on these:

Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse

  • I found this to be a pretty good drugstore foundation for my situation.
  • However, it was still a bit too dry.
  • I found this to be medium coverage
  • The color match was good, and the texture was good, too.
  • I kept this, but am actively trying to sell or trade it because I found something better.

Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid

  • I couldn’t get this in my location, and I gave up in terms of testing this brand

L’Oreal True Match Lumi

  • This was a good foundation if your goal is sheer coverage, but I was looking for medium to full coverage
  • I was not a fan of the color N1-2. I found it to be too dark and there’s not a ‘cool’ in this particular product.

MAC Face & Body

  • I was told by a local makeup artist that this would be too sheer for my goals, so I didn’t bother trying it.

My new favorite store: Sephora

I expanded my wish list after I learned about Sephora.com’s amazing return policy.

They will fully refund any unused or gently used products with or WITHOUT the original manufacturer box and return shipping is FREE from USPS. 

Considering my location this was my best, most economical option.

Here’s my tests from Sephora. I must have been too focused on taking notes on these that I forgot to take my own photos- sorry about that!

All tests included my full skincare routine, a gentle exfoliate with a konjac sponge and primer. 

1. Makeup Forever Ultra High Definition Stick Foundation

Initially I thought this was one of my Holy Grail products, but after a few wearings I accepted it just wasn’t meant to be.

MUFE Ultra HD Invisible Cover (Sephora.com)

*115=R230 Ivory

*Medium to full coverage

*Tested with Maybelline Babyskin primer and Laura Mercier Foundation Primer-Hydrating

*I tested with and without color correcting my red areas. I found that it did cover the redness pretty well, but not fully

* Pretty matte by the end of 8 hours

*Didn’t seem to cling to dryness, or my peach fuzz

*I didn’t like the feeling of how thick and heavy it was, even though it can be sheered out with a blender

*$43

Verdict: Return

2. NARS Sheer Glow

I hated this foundation. I really, really wanted to love it, but I just couldn’t.

NARS Sheer Glow (Sephora.com)

*Mont Blanc  light with pink undertones

*Sheer coverage

*Tested with Maybelline Babyskin primer and Laura Mercier Foundation Primer-Hydrating

*It really attached itself to dryness and peach fuzz

* The color was a bad match for me

*$45

Verdict: Return

3. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

This was another product that I really wanted to love, but couldn’t stand.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (Sephora.com)

*3.75 Fair with Rosy Undertone

*Really sheer coverage

*Tested with Maybelline Babyskin primer and Laura Mercier Foundation Primer-Hydrating

* Took 2 layers just to get so-so coverage

*The color was too light for my skin tone

*Clung to any dryness and peach fuzz

*Didn’t seem to want to blend well (at least for me)

*I didn’t like the fragrance. It smelled nice in the bottle, but I tend to avoid putting products with fragrance on my face, as it makes my red cheeks sting.

*$42 for the TRAVEL SIZE!

Verdict: Return

4. Laura Mercier Silk Creme Moisturizing Photo Edition Foundation

-sigh- another product I wanted to love, but my skin had other plans.

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Moisturizing Photo Edition Foundation

I also thought this was one of my Holy Grail products for lighter coverage days, but in the end I just had to accept reality.

*Rose Ivory

*Moisturizing

*Tested with Maybelline Babyskin primer and Laura Mercier Foundation Primer-Hydrating

*A bit too sheer

*This seems to be buildable, but for my skin texture and condition building layers of makeup just doesn’t result in a good look for me. YMMV, of course.

*My redness shined through, even with color correcting (though I could have just been using a poorly pigmented color corrector at the time)

*Totally my fault, but I ordered a shade that was just a tad too light

*Clung to my dry patches and peach fuzz

*$48

Verdict: Return

——————————————————————————————————–

Are you ready for my Holy Grail foundation? 

Well, it’s not technically a foundation..but I digress.

After trying a lot of Western foundations I decided to research and test a Korean product.

I found a BB primer that was medium to full coverage and included Hyaluronic Acid, which is a product that promotes moisture and lubricates tissue and is found naturally in the body.

BEHOLD….

Missha’s  M Perfect Cover BB Cream with SPF 42 PA +++

Missha Perfect Cover BB (from Misshaus.com)

I wish I had known about product before. This would have saved me so much trouble and frustration!

*Provides great coverage, and covers my redness without color correcting. Even better coverage when I do color correct.

*Tested with Laura Mercier Foundation Primer-Hydrating and The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth Wonderblur (not a fan of the Wonderblur, too hard to work with)

*Cruelty free

*Scented… which is a bummer for me, but not a deal breaker. This scent is light and disappears during the day. It also somehow doesn’t irritate my red cheeks.

*Limited colors, so it’s only an option for fair to medium tones. I’m a Western Ivory, but Missha’s #21 Light Beige is a tad too light, and #23 Natural Beige is a bit  too dark. I’m mixing them to get a better match.

*CHEAP! This cost me less than $20 USD a tube.

So, as of 9/1/2016 this is my Holy Grail in terms of foundation/base.

WHAT.A.JOURNEY.

Have you found your Holy Grail product yet?

Skincare and Makeup for Thyroid Patients/Super Dry Skin-Product Test

I’m on a mission to find the most hydrating medium-to-full coverage makeup for extremely dry skin…starting with drugstore brands.

If you’re in the same situation as I am I hope you’ll join me on this journey and let me know what has worked for you!

 

About me:

2 years ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had my entire thyroid removed.

My life has been turned upside down ever since.

I once had normal skin texture with no redness,  hair that didn’t fall out, no dry scalp, and a body that responded to exercise and diet with the appropriate response (weight loss/muscle gain).

Those days are over, apparently… and 2 years later I’m just now starting to come to terms with it.

Lately  I noticed that my skin looked awful in cosplay photos- it was dull, dry, and made me look way older than I really am.

This made me seek out some new information and help on how to choose makeup that isn’t a heavily advertised Japanese BB cream.

I needed something that matched my skin tone and moisturized my now desert-like skin.

I’ll warn you- these images could be disturbing to those who have an aversion to dryness!

About the photos:

  • All applications are on a clean face with PCA moisturizer and Maybelline Baby Skin pore eraser primer underneath.
  • No undereye concealer except for the Skinfood that I had on hand. It’s the wrong color- I’m kinda new to this whole “color correcting” thing.
  • Photos are taken with my iPhone 6s using the “daylight” setting on my vanity mirror. They looked much more clear before posting them here..not sure what happened there.

A quick rundown of my situation:

  • Super mega crazy dry
  • Cool pale/classic ivory
  • Slight redness mainly on cheeks, chin, and nostrils
  • Current mood: embarrassed and frustrated. Thyroid skin is such a hassle!

Skincare:

First things first. I needed a good skincare routine.

Seeing as I never had skin problems before and always just bought whatever the Clinique rep recommended (a generic, normal skin regimen) I had no idea where to start.

At first I was getting regular facials. I thought that was the first step. However, even with the hydrating facials I was left dry.

Then I went to the Korean district of Tokyo and blindly bought whatever the salesperson recommended.

He recommended sensitive skin products  without touching my skin. From a distance it still looks normal, so as you can imagine this was a total fail when I got home.

The only silver lining was that the kit included one of those super soft face brushes. I sold my failed skincare locally and moved on.

Then I bought a trial kit of PCA’s dry skincare products.

So far I’ve been able to stick with it, but I feel that there’s got to be a more moisturizing brand out there. If you have a suggestion, please comment! 

Makeup- the hunt begins:

Earlier I mentioned that my face is now dry. Unless you have a thyroid problem (hypothyroid, hashimotos, no thyroid, etc) then you may just be thinking “winter skin” level dry. Think again.

I am quite sure that my daily dryness is worse than the average person’s worst winter dryness day.

I started researching and found a few leads. I live on a remote military base with very limited products, so unfortunately some of the best suggestions online were nowhere to be found.

I did find a few to test, though.

Potato quality iPhone photos incoming…

1. Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft Matte Hydrating foundation

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft Matte Hydrating foundation

The general rule of thumb based on my research is that if you have dry skin that you want to avoid a matte base because it will make your skin look dull and more dry. I found this to be true, but this was marketed as “hydrating foundation” so I decided to give it a try.

These are my notes from the application: 

 *Doesn’t blend well with dense brush

* Sits on the really dry places

* Feels nice overall, light and doesn’t feel tight

* Lasted about 2 hours before I felt like it got a dull, matte look (it was a soft-matte, after all, so I wasn’t surprised).

Verdict: Changed to Toss

 

2. Covergirl + Olay Facelift Effect Firming Makeup
My Notes:

*Exfoliated

Covergirl + Olay Facelift Effect Firming Makeup

*Same blending issue- doesn’t take the dense brush well.

*Used fair tone, might be a shade too light

*Doesn’t seem to cover redness or take the translucent powder under my eyes very well.

*Rubs off when I blow my nose , sweats off

*This felt dry and cakey to me

Verdict: Toss

 

3. Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Makeup with tone correcting complex

 My Notes: 

Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Makeup with tone correcting complex

*Blends somewhat with the dense brush. Had to finish with finger tips.

*Feels nice overall, light and doesn’t feel tight

*Kind of deals with my redness

*Has a seriously matte finish, though

*Most expensive of all the foundations I bought

Verdict: Toss

 

 

 

 

 

4. Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless 3 in 1 

I got frustrated and thought I was maybe imagining the redness I kept seeing so I did a half and half makeup comparison.

My Notes:

My right: Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Makeup with tone correcting complex My left: Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless 3 in 1

*Half and half CG+Olay Simply ageless (my left) and Neutrogena (on my right)

*Hard to tell since I’m new to this whole makeup thing, but seems to look more hydrated/shiny/dewy compared to the other side.

*I liked the feeling of the CG, so I’m going to try it again with my new Spackle primer.

*It seems to have more unfavorable chemicals than I’d prefer

Update: tried it with the Spackle primer. Nice and dewy at first, but I felt a change after about an hour or 2. I’m going to give it a go today and see how it does. It’s not tight or flaky..yet.

Update 2: I didn’t realize it at first, but this is a scented product. The third time I tried it I didn’t use any of the other skincare items I was using before because I suspected they caused the tingly redness on my cheeks. Nope, this product made my cheeks kind of tingly and red all by itself.

Verdict: Changed to Toss

 

 

5. Covergirl CG Smoothers

My Notes:

Covergirl CG Smoothers

*Didn’t blend very well with brush. finished with hands.

*Dried really matte, feels dry, but not as dry as Neutrogena.

*Doesn’t help with tone evening, cheeks still red even before adding blush

 

Verdict: Toss

 

 


 

Here’s a few I want to try. They’re unavailable in my area, though, so I’m going to try to find them on Amazon.

Wishlist: 

  • Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse- I have tried this since this post and it’s kinda awesome- I’ll update this post later with photos and a review. 
  • Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid
  • L’Oreal True Match Lumi- I have also tried this. I feel it’s so-so, but still a keeper. I’m not a fan of the N1-2 shade, it’s kind of dark on me. I’ll update later on this, too. 
  • MAC Face & Body

 

Have you found the holy grail of foundations for us super dry skin types?

Do you have a favorite skincare brand that I should think about buying? Please let me know!

Losing Erik to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease/Chronic Renal Failure

You might have stumbled upon this because you’re searching for information about feline chronic kidney disease (CKD) or chronic renal failure (CRF). You might be frantically reaching out for any bit of recent-real-life information like I was.

I want this information to be an account of what happened to our family and to our sweet boy.

It happened so fast, and he exhibited only a few of the physical symptoms that vets tell you to look for.

Even on his very last day the vet wasn’t sure that it was time just by looking at his bright eyes and cheerful, active body language and attitude.

But it was time. And I want other people to learn from our experience.

In mid-August 2015 our battle with feline chronic kidney failure began.. only we didn’t know that’s what was happening.

I took details notes about his symptoms, behavior, and the resources I found, so I thought someone else might find them useful.

I included our story and also specific examples of behavior like eating, litterbox, etc. If you’re more interested in that just scroll to the bottom.

RESOURCES

Before I share our experience I wanted to be sure to provide this well known site that thoroughly discusses feline kidney failure.

This online guide was essential as my husband and I learned how to care for Erik throughout his disease. It also helped us prepare for what it would be like to euthanize a pet and what we should expect, since neither of us had ever experienced that.

I highly recommend reading every inch of this website.

Tanya’s Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease

 

TIMELINE

August/September:

In August our otherwise big, healthy, loving boy had been hiding from us. Erik loved people, though, so he eventually came out and sat on his heating pad.

I went to cuddle him as usual and felt his paws and ears- they were almost ice cold. He was alert, sitting up, and showing no signs of distress. I fully expected he had a cold or something very minor, but I still took him in right away.

When we got there they said his blood pressure was dangerously low and that he was severely dehydrated, which came as a huge shock to us. How did this happen? What was wrong? We still don’t know what happened.

They gave him fluids and ran blood tests, ultrasounds, and x-rays. He was back to normal and they sent him home with us that night.

At that point I thought maybe he had acute kidney failure, but to this day I have no idea what would have caused it, as there was nothing that he appeared to “get in to”, eat, etc. and we don’t have any dangerous chemicals in the house.

He was perfectly fine from then on. Like it never happened, until a few weeks later I noticed he was drinking more water than usual. He and his brother always loved to play in the sink and the bathtub, but this was different somehow.

I thought he was just not wanting to drink from the fountain. Their water fountain was old, so I thought maybe buying a new ceramic one might help.

It didn’t. He was constantly  jumping in the bathroom sink and tub.

Then maybe 3 weeks later I noticed he appeared to be losing weight little by little. Then later the obvious food-pickyness started. Erik LOVED to eat. He loved all kinds of food and was an adventurous eater. But when he started to turn up his nose at even his favorite foods I was concerned.

During all this time he had a few followups and  I had been researching the symptoms. His blood work was normal. At his first episode I thought he had liver problems, but the vet said that was not the case.

October:

Then, 2 days before we left for our vacation in October I noticed more pronounced weight loss around his spine and hips.

The food pickyness had gotten worse. His attitude never changed. He wasn’t laid out, he wasn’t lethargic. He wasn’t crying or showing any distress…but he was dehydrated again and his BUN and creatine were stage IV kidney failure.

Erik needed to be hospitalized and given IV fluids and observed. We cancelled our vacation and visited him every day of his 12 day hospitalization. He didn’t want to eat until we visited.

He was released after his blood work seemed stable. He would bounce stage II and III depending on the day of the blood work. We started subQ fluids at home after that.

November:

Around mid-November I noticed he was a little wobbly. He was still walking, but he just didn’t seem as sure footed as usual. I thought it might be because of his weight loss.

His coat was still bright and soft, though his fur was a bit spaced out where we were giving him his subQ fluids.

Erik had  to be hospitalized a few more times between October and December. The vet tried hormone therapy, but he didn’t respond as well as we had hoped.

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Erik loved to snuggle

At one of our followups the vet also discovered that he had severe anemia that had not been present in previous blood work. This surprised everyone because he never showed the tell-tale signs of anemia except for the slight wobbliness.

Since he slept with us we lowered our bed to the floor to make it easier for him. We tried everything we could think of to make his daily life easier. We kept him warm and tried to bring things to him so he didn’t have to do too much.

We were presented with a last-ditch option- a transfusion. At first we said no, because it was highly invasive for both Erik and his brother, and it was only going to give him a few more months, at most.

After thinking about it we did try it. And we are glad we did. It gave us almost 2 extra weeks with him. In those 2 weeks even though his health quickly deteriorated he remained bright, loving, and cheerful.

December:

He had one major seizure 5 days before we said goodbye. Though he was awake he was rigid and urinated freely. It lasted only a few seconds and he acted like nothing happened afterwards.

In his last week he was passing blood in his urine in both large clots and in liquid, and the vet said that was to be expected due to his condition and the recent transfusion.

He had very small seizures, too, but I don’t remember how many. My husband would whistle and sing to him and we’d pat him until he seemed like he could see us again. We think that he had high blood pressure at the end, as well.

Next he started bleeding from his gums a little bit. I knew it would be happening soon, so I was doing everything I could to help my family emotionally prepare.

Erik loved to sleep on my chest and 1 day after the light bleeding started I woke up to find blood on my chest, my face, the comforter, and his little chin. I was too shocked to panic, and he just looked up and me and smiled, snuggling against my face.

I wrestled with my gut vs. my heart. I couldn’t believe it was time. I wanted more time. I needed more time. But when we saw him go to the litterbox then come back and lie down, turn his head slightly (as if he was having a light seizure) and cry my husband and I rushed him to the vet and prepared ourselves.

Making the decision to say goodbye when your pet has such a will to live but his body is dying is the most painful experience of my life so far. He was not ready to go, but his body would not have lasted much longer. CKD cats can go peacefully on their own, but the likelihood of him having a heart attack, more seizures, and other episodes like that was just too much to risk. Neither of us wanted him to suffer more than he already was.

It seems that, for us, his kidney failure related anemia is what took him. He could no longer filter his own blood.

In the end he had lost at least 2-3 kg. We actually didn’t ask what his weight as at his death, but I know he was a fraction of the big, beefy boy he had once been.

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Saying goodbye

This is the last photo we have of him. As we waited for the vet to arrive we sat in the car to keep him away from unnecessary stress.

Shortly before it was time to go inside he weakly reached over and put his paw on my husband’s hand, gripping it tightly. Erik-chan loved to grip us when we held his paws or held him in general, so this was a special moment for us all.

I wish we could do more for him. I wish there was more that can be done for every cat who gets this condition. I want there to be other options, and I hope they’re available in the coming years.

Progressive, degenerative diseases with no cure, both human and animal, bring sadness and loss wherever they’re found. I hope that someday that will not longer be the case.

 

AT HOME CARE

We gave him nightly 200 cc of nightly subQ fluids. He received 1 kidney pill and 1 vitamin daily (both Japanese medication) and was usually such a good boy about taking them.

I would sit behind him, placed my hand through his arms so my arm was on his chest and my hand could tilt his head back.

Throw the pill in there, and blow on his nose or put water or food on it to get him to lick and ensure that your cat swallows the pill.

At times Erik was the master of stashing the pill in his cheek and spitting it out when I wasn’t looking, so just make sure it’s been taken. To be sure I started giving him a treat afterwards. If the pill fell out we started the process again.

LITTERBOX

I’m including a bit about the litterbox because I didn’t see this in any of my research.

Once the nightly subQ treatment started Erik started using the bathroom more frequently. I expected that due to the nature of the therapy.

He flooded the litterbox, which we read about but didn’t know what to make of it until we saw it.

What this meant was that he urinated to often and so much that it meant we had to change the litter much more often. Almost daily. To avoid this we added a layer of baking soda and litter. Then we placed a cheap dish-drying tray on top of that and covered it with litter.

That seemed to work well and prevented us from changing it so much.

Another thing I had never see before was the way the urine “leaked” through regular hefty trash bags, but it never had before. We used the same bags as we did before he got sick, but once his condition worsened we found that the urine literally leaked through the trash bags.

We had to double bag and put it in a cardboard box just to make sure nothing got through as we were changing the litter.

EATING

Eating became an exhausting daily battle of trial and error.

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We tried buffet style daily to figure out what he would eat.

Every day was different. I bought baby food. I bought kitten food. I bought every kind of canned food available to me. My family is stationed overseas so we didn’t have many options, but I bought them all. I tried everything to get him to eat.

He rejected the recommended Science Diet KD and Royal Canin. He would nibble if I added tuna juice, but that’s all. He wouldn’t eat much of it.

I baked chicken, and he wouldn’t touch it. So I bought a turkey and baked it. I found that he would eat bits of roasted turkey if I sat by him and hand fed him. Then he stopped wanting to eat that, too.

Eventually I decided to try Japanese wet cat food. Same thing- I bought 1 of every small can.

We found that he loved the Japanese version of Sheba and he heartily ate that until he left us.

KIDNEY TRANSPLANTS

Depending on where you live kidney transplants may be an option. I am in Japan, and this is not a common procedure.

I found 1 university several hours away from me, but they said due to his age and advanced kidney failure that a transplant would be much more risky- that he would likely die from the operation instead of kidney failure.

If you can catch it early and find a medical school or clinic that will agree to do this you might consider it. It is expensive (I was quoted something like $15k.), but at this point I was desperate and didn’t care. I just wanted to try my best to do everything I could for my baby.

 

SOME PHOTOS OF ERIK-CHAN

Rest well, sweet boy. We love you so much. You brought us almost 11 years of joy, love, and laughter.