3 Beauty Treatments I Realllly Want To Do

You gals know how I am. As much as I looooove makeup, it’s really skincare that’s my first love. What comes next is a statement that I promise you’ll never hear me say (err, write) ever again. In a sense, having adult acne is a blessing because it has allowed to realize just how important my skin is. Yeah – I know. I just used “acne” and “blessing” in the same sentence. I promise this Florida heat hasn’t driven me mad.

What I mean is…I really care about my skin. Despite the adult acne, hyperpigmentation, stretch marks, dermatitis, eczema and childhood scars, I really take pride in my skin. Which sounds crazy, but come on…considering it covers MOST of my body, how can I not love the skin that I’m in? Lately I’ve been dabbling around with the idea of treating my skin to luxurious treatments and I’ve narrowed down three that I want to plan to have this year.

Algae Body Treatment

Okay, I proooomise I didn’t make this one up. And I know it sounds weird and icky but if you’ve ever read a description of what an algae body treatment entails, I guarantee you, you’d be tossing your pennies over to a spa. Quite frankly, the thought of being covered in seaweed and relaxing while the seaweed goes to work to not only draw out toxins from my skin but ALSO provide moisture, sounds just divine. I’d attempt to do this at home, but honestly…how much algae can you gather from the ocean before you start to look like a creep?

Microdermabrasion

I’ve only had one facial in my entire life and while I don’t feel so inclined to have another one (it huuuurt!), I would totally do microdermabrasion. I exfoliate regularly, but microdermabrasion is like exfoliating to the 10th power. In a good way, of course. A good microdermabrasion treatment removes those dead skin cells and can reveal baby soft smooth skin for days and weeks at a time. Sign me up, yo! And while microdermabrasion can be a bit on the pricey side, I do like the fact that there are plenty of products on the market that can allow me to do microdermabrasion at home. Score! You can find a great selection of these products online, at retailers like ShopNBC.

Paraffin Wax Hand Treatment

Oooh how I’d love nothing more than super smooth hands. Unfortunately, I’m not so sure that I have ‘em. Because I find them uncomfortable, I don’t wear gloves when I lift weights at the gym aaaand so I’ve got blistered up gym hands.

Unsexy, I know. And despite my obsession of regularly moisturizing my hands, my hands still aren’t as soft as I’d like them to be. Regular dips into a tub of hot parrafin wax would do my hands some good. Mama Clumps used to have one back in the day. Maybe I’ll go rummaging in her garage to look for it the next time I visit. :wink:

What about you? Any spa treatments that you’d drop your pennies on? Facials, scrubs, body wraps? Or how about pedicures where little fish eat your dead skin cells?

Anyone?

 

*This is a partnered post brought to you by ShopNBC, but all opinions are my own.

Buttah-licious with Pooka Pure & Simple’s Whipped Cream

Da butters. Have y’all ever seen that video of the lady on YouTube who was upset at Black people  (she was kidding, of course) for hiding what she called “the butters”? It’s a hilarious video. One that had me rollin’ for weeks. In said video, she mentioned that she recently discovered shea butter and cocoa butter and she was blown away at their amazingness.

The truth is, I’ve been using “the butters” for a looooong time. Years. Decades. Pooka Pure & Simple has an amazing blend of whipped butters that I have been using daily. Daily, ya’ll.

There are so many benefits that come with using shea and cocoa butters. From completely moisturizing the skin to helping fade scars and dark spots, the butters rock. And I love that Pooka has included some of my favorite other ingredients…

Gotta love products that have minimal ingredients. All of which you can name. That rarely happens. But it’s the norm among the preservative-free goodness that is Pooka Pure & Simple. I am sensitive to fragrances and so I love that this doesn’t have a darn thing in it. There is a bit of a nutty smell but it’s faint and dissipates after the butter is rubbed all in. Speaking of the butter…

…in sinks right into the skin. And the best part? There isn’t an oily residue. I usually only use buttahs during the winter time but considering this doesn’t leave my skin feeling super oily, I can get down with using it daily. And yeah – I know it’s technically wintertime but I live in Florida. Ain’t no winter here.

This 6.5 oz tub of whipped goodness goes for $16. Steep but it’ll last you forever. Aaaand, there are scented versions of the whipped cream.

This is hands down one of my favorite Pooka products.

Whatcha think? A lover of buttahs, are you?

Soft skin and lips with NIVEA’s newest.

Okay, quick crazy story about NIVEA. And I do mean quick. For the longest I would call Nivea (pronounced Niv-E-ya) Na-vay-ya. And I was so obsessed with how it sounded, that I promised myself that I would name my first child Nivea. Of course I made this declaration when I was like…14.

Wait – so I was the only teen who already had their babies’ names picked out? Come on, y’all. Confess it up. I knowwww I wasn’t the only one. 8) For the record, I have since dropped that name for a potential Clumps kid. I do have other names picked out though. Bahahaaa!

Anywhoovers, good ole’ NIVEA has some new goodies for us skincare lovers and I just had to share them with you.

I’ve got super sensitive skin and so I stick to using a strict regimen of preservative-free skincare products but every now and then I like to review the popular brands of the world. Let’s check out the babies of the bunch first.


These lippes are pretty, uh? NIVEA A Kiss of Vitamin Swirl is packed with antioxidant-rich fruit extracts. It has a subtle hint of color. So subtle that if your lips are pigmented you probably wouldn’t notice it. The blue one (Kiss of Mint & Minerals) has organic shea butter and jojoba butter in it. Since it’s “mint”, you’re going to get that tingly mint feeling that you either really love or really hate. I don’t mind it. Aside from tasting a little funny, I dug these lip balms. Vitamin Swirl had a faint fruity scent and smell and Kiss of Mint & Minerals is minty. They don’t last forever but while they are on the lips, they keep the lippies moisturized. These babies retail for $2.99.

Next up is NIVEA’s Touch of Renewal Lathering Body Scrub with HYRDRA IQ.



I formally made the switch to handmade bar soaps but every now and then I get the urge to use a bodywash. It’s an exfoliating body wash that has a thick lather. I love how it feels but the fragrance is pretty strong. Almost TOO strong. It has a nice and clean smell but it was overpowering and just a bit too much for moi.


Still, if you’re in the perfect for a luscious body wash that polishes the skin to a smooth finish, you’ll love this one. It goes for $5.99.

And theeeeen there’s NIVEA’s Extended Moisture Daily Lotion.



Okay remember – just because the packaging says the lotion will last for 48 hours doesn’t mean you HAVE to wear it for 48 hours. ;) Even so, I love how this lotion feels. It isn’t greasy or watery like some drugstore lotions can be. It sinks into the skin nicely without a filmy finish and does a darn good job at bustin’ ash.

Plus, it doesn’t have a loud fragrance like its brother, the body wash. It goes for $7.99.

You can grab all of these goodies at CVS Pharmacy. CVS so rocks, yo. Have you tried anything from NIVEA lately?

Happy Chinese New Year! – by LUSH

Oh LUSH. I’ll never know how you do it. In honor of the Chinese New Year (which is today!), LUSH has so beautifully crafted a Red Dragon Soap.

Pretty, isn’t it? Retailed at $7.95, this beautiful bar of soap is gently dusted with gold shimmer.

I’m no fan of glitter particles in my body products but the good news is, after one wash, this dust of glitter washes away. What’s left is a perfectly scented bar of soap that will leave your guests going “OMG, where can I get one of those?”

Scent-wise, if you’re a lover of LUSH’s Karma (I am! I reviewed the solid perfume here), you’ll love the soap. It’s highly fragrant at initial lather but becomes mellow while scenting the skin with that lovely spicy concoction of patchouli, lavender and pine. And it’s a vegan dragon soap too that will be make a perfect gift for your beauty lovin’ vegan guys and girls.

Ah yes, that’s another thing. I find the Karma fragrance to be fitting for men and women. Because of its spiciness, it can easily work for girly girls, manly men and everyone else in between. How thoughtful of you, LUSH. You can snag this at LUSH locations and online.

Some Chinese New Year facts:
-Considering many Asian cultures celebrate it, Chinese New Year is commonly called Lunar New Year.
-The Chinese year is based off of the cycles of the moon.
-2012 is the year of the dragon
-In anticipation for the Chinese New Year, many families thoroughly clean their homes. Metaphorically speaking this is to get rid of the previous year’s bad luck to make space for the new year’s good luck.
-Red is considered a lucky color in China.
(source)

Have you ever celebrated Chinese New Year?

 

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Giveaway! Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal bundle!

Remember that time I told the story about how I was in search for a natural deodorant that could control my Sweaty Betty steez? And then remember that time I found one?! Ooooh yeah, it’s been 4 months since I did that post and I am still rockin’ my Naturally Fresh deodorant. Instead of using the crystal, I’ve switched over to using the roll-on and it keeps me feeling so fresh and so clean without all of the harsh ingredients most deodorants on the market have.

And it keeps me from smelling like a goat.

Which is a good thing because:

I cannot tell I lie. I’m so serious. In better smelling news, the lovely folx at Naturally Fresh  Deodorant Crystal  have offered to sponsor a giveaway and I couldn’t be happier! One winner will win the following….

A Naturally Fresh bundle including:
-Roll-On
-Spray Mist
-MoistStick
-Crystal
-Footspray
-Pet Crystal

Considering the crystal lasts FOREVER, this bundle will probably be all you need in terms of deodorant for close to year. Enter below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Problems entering the contest? Email me at Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com.

 

Good luck!

TMI Tuesday: Diva Cup review

So the very first TMI Tuesday was all about something us gals know too much about. Our menstrual cycles. In that post, I talked about my desire to be greener and dump the hassle that was sanitary napkins and tampons. Instead, I said I was going to use a menstrual cup. Say hello to the Diva Cup.

After that post (which was almost 2 months ago), I was anxious for my cycle to come so I could give the menstrual cup a whirl. Mind you, I am NEVER anxious for my period to come. For me, my period’s arrival means cramps from hell, lethargy, the desire to stuff my face and tummy hurtin’ gas. I have to endure all of this while keeping a smile on my face at work and during meetings. It’s the worst. Sanitary napkins didn’t make it any better because I always felt…gross and unclean. I changed them far too often and when I couldn’t, I felt….even grosser. I am happy to say that the Diva Cup has SO made my period 10x more bearable.

WARNING: I’m going to do an in-depth description and review of the Diva Cup. If you are squeamish about period talk, discussing the female anatomy or blood, you may want to leave this post.

If you’re a gangsta and still hangin’ with me, pat yourself on the back. 8) I’m going to do this review in a Q&A format for easier viewing.

How does the Diva Cup work?

Here’s how….it sits snuggly right underneath your cervix and catches your flow. Tampons can disrupt our pH balance because of the harsh cotton stuffed up there. The Diva Cup, however, is made of high quality silicone. It does not contain chlorine, dyes, colorings or additives. It is also scent-free. Give me a side eye if you want, but let’s face it….sometimes being on the rag can be smelly. Not the case with the Diva Cup.

Is it difficult to insert the Diva Cup?

Not one bit. Listen here, ladies…learn your body. Seriously. I felt like quite a noob for not knowing where my cervix was. I actually had to Google it. Sticking some fingers up there and searching for my cervix REALLY helped me work with the Diva Cup better. Some women aren’t able to reach their cervices – which is completely normal. Your best bet is to ask your gynecologist where it is. Also, because my cervix tends to sit lower before and during my cycle, reaching it is a breeze.

Is inserting the Diva Cup painful?

No. If it’s painful, that means you have inserted it incorrectly. I find inserting tampons far more painful and uncomfortable than inserting a menstrual cup. I will say this, you have to be okay with feeling inside your vagina to get the Diva Cup in place. Some women don’t like feeling their fleshy parts and may be turned off with the idea of having to do so. I didn’t find inserting, wearing or removing the Diva Cup at all painful.

What about leaking?

My first time wearing the Diva Cup was rough. Simply because I didn’t trust it or my body. Before test driving a menstrual cup, understand your flow. Are you heavy the first few days? Do you have clots? Do you tend to leak at night? Getting an understanding of your period prior to wearing the Diva Cup can REALLY help you out. The one time I leaked was at night and that was because I inserted the cup incorrectly. It felt funny after I put it in and I was too lazy to re-do it. A midnight run to the bathroom left me with Shark Week-type panties. You gals know what I’m talkin’ about. It wasn’t pretty. So yes, the Diva Cup WILL leak if it doesn’t have a snug fit. I highly recommend wearing a pad the first few times you wear the cup. Just in case…

My period is really really heavy. Will the Diva Cup hold my flow?

I consider my period to be heavy for the first few days and don’t have any problems with leaking. On the first day of my period, I change the Diva Cup more often whereas when I’m getting closer to my period ending, I only have to change it twice a day. So yes, the Diva Cup WILL hold your flow. Just be sure to check it regularly.

How is removal? It seems nasty…

A lot of women may freak out at the sight of their menstrual blood in a cup. Quite frankly, it doesn’t bother me. If anything, I find it fascinating. I know. I’m weird. The removal is actually easier than you think. Grabbing the bottom of it and gently squeezing it can relive the Diva Cup’s suction. From there, you pull down and gently tilt the Diva Cup’s bottom toward the ground. Discard, rinse and reuse! I will say this…removal can be challenging in public restrooms. But it’s still 10x easier than dealing with the unwrapping of a sanitary napkin. Before I go in the restroom, I grab a few paper towels with me. I usually carry a bottle of water to rinse the cup in the toilet. I pat it dry with the paper towels and re-insert. I hate to say it, but if I can, I go in the handicap bathrooms when I’m rockin’ the Diva Cup only because it gives me more space to move around. And I can wash my hands without touching much of anything. Keep in mind, that the outside of the cup does NOT have menstrual flow on it. You shouldn’t get blood on your fingers at all.

A quick vid I did of the removal…

 

Do you clean it daily? And how long can you wear it?

It is recommended to wear the cup for no more than 12 hours at a time. Obviously, if you have a heavy flow, you’ll want to check it more often. The first few days I wore the Diva Cup, I checked it every 2 hours or so. Just out of sheer paranoia. I recommend doing this when you first wear the Diva Cup. Just so you know what your flow is like. At the end of each day and before bed, I wash my with soap, rinse and re-insert. There is also a Diva Wash you can purchase but I’ve found my unscented homemade soap works just fine.

How can you not feel it, B? I just don’t get that…

Seriously. You DON’T feel it. The Diva Cup is not recommended to stay in for more than 12 hours but because it’s so comfortable, I have accidentally forgotten that it was in. No more having to feel that “gushing” feeling when wearing a pad. I can wear thongs, sleep through the night, work out with ease and soak in bath water without fear of creating pools of blood. Which sounds gross, but come on, gals…I know we’ve all been there before.

I’m a teenager. Should I try the Diva Cup?

I’m 27 and I can honestly say that if the Diva Cup was presented to me as a teen, I WOULD not have given it a chance. Then again, I was a teen afraid of tampons. That said, I recommend teenagers consult with their gynecologists first before considering the Diva Cup.

How much is the Diva Cup, what comes with it and where can I get it from?

I scooped up my cup from a health food store here in Orlando. I have also seen it at Whole Foods and on Amazon. I got mine for $35. Pricey? Yes. But it’s the best investment I’ve made in quite some time. And did I mention that the Diva Cup can last for years? Years, ladies. Years. Meanwhile, those bloody pads and tampons go straight to clogging up landfills. The Diva Cup comes in a girly box with the cup itself, a nice carrying bag and a DIVA pin. And plenty of instructions.

There are 2 kinds of Diva Cups. How do I know which one is for me?

There is 1 for women under 30 and one for women over 30 OR who have had children. I got Model 1.

How do I clean and store and the Diva Cup until my next period?

When your cycle is over, it is recommended to boil your Diva Cup for 5 minutes. Obviously, you’ll want to designate a pot just for your Diva Cup in this case. Afterwards, put it in its pouch and leave it somewhere dark and cool until it’s time to reuse. I leave mine in my panty drawer.

Bottom Line:

The learning curve for the Diva Cup can be challenging. My commitment to greening up my period and finding a better alternative is what motivated me to keep going. I wish that all women would give menstrual cups a try, but I know they won’t. There are way too many “factors” that can turn gals away. The price. The fact that you have to reach inside your vagina to insert it. The removal. So yeah – I get why many women won’t consider the Diva Cup. Quite frankly, I would pay $100 for this menstrual cup. It has given me a level of confidence and peace that I didn’t even know existed during my period. No more having to run out and get pads because I’ve run out. Everything about the Diva Cup is wonderful. And if you still aren’t convinced, check the reviews online. Just about everyone that uses the Diva Cup loves it. The Diva Cup is antibacterial, comfortable and rocks in every way.

Pro’s:
-Catches WAY more flow than the average tampon and pad.
-Doesn’t disturb the body’s pH balance the way a tampon does.
-Doesn’t stink the way a pad can.
-Antibacterial and reusable which means no contributing to the landfills..
-Long lasting. Some Diva Cup users have had theirs for close to a decade.
-Comfortable for active ladies. I’ve played soccer, done yoga and ran with my Diva Cup with zero problems.
-Helps you monitor your menstrual flow. This may be important for women who need to keep a closer look at their cycles every month.

Con’s:
-A costly investment (although you do see a return in that investment in a good 7-8 months).
-Can be challenging to use the first few times.
-Takes some time figuring out how to use it in public.

What do you think? Think you’d try one or are you sticking to the pads and tampons? The Diva Cup website does an amazing job about answering almost every question under the sun regarding the cup.

 

ETA: The lucky winner of the Diva Cup was Selena in California! 

 

Schick’s Hydro Silk. The razor you need in your life.

A new razor has hit town, y’all. And it’s a big deal. Laugh if you want, but if you’re like me and endure an insane amount of razor nicks from dealing with crappy razors, you know finding a GOOD razor is a serious, mega and colossal deal. Shick is bringing us their new Hydro Silk Razor. And uh…I hope this doesn’t seem to forward but you need to get one.

Like fo real fo real. This razor is amazing. And for several reasons.

  • This is Schick’s first 5-blade razor. Finally! Why the fellas always got 5 blades and us gals didn’t is beyond me.
  • There are skin guards on the top of the blades to help smooth the skin while shaving.
  • The inclusion of water-activated moisturizing serum is genius. I don’t know how it works but this lubricating strip stays slick for several shaves.

 

Oh, and then you’ve got the nice handle that makes moving around easy peasy .

Because I suffer from razor bumps, burns, nicks, scraps, cuts (you get the idea)…I like that the razor has 5 blades.

That means, I’m not only getting rid of the hair with one swipe, but my skin is left smooth and irritation free. It’s a fantastic razor, y’all.

If you can find it in your drugstore, get it with the quickness. It retails for $9.99 for a razor and 1 cartridge. I loves it.

In extremely random news, how beautiful was the sky the other day?

I have this thing for glaring up at the sky and taking pictures of it. It’s the little things, you know? I get this calming wave of relaxation when I look up at the sky. Even if it’s in the middle of a lunch break.

XOXO –

B

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Cocktail Body Wash is la-la-lovely.

Guess who, for the first time in a looooong time, has stepped away from bars of soap to play around with body washes again? Meeeee! I think I’ve forgotten how awesome body washes are. I’ve been so stuck on making my own soap that I haven’t even touched body wash until a few weeks ago. This divine bottle of liquid gold that is Alba Bontanica’s Hawaiian Cocktail Body Wash broke my fast.

Have you seen these in stores? I’ve spotted them in Target and Whole Foods. The fragrance of this body wash is just absolutely incredible. It reminds me of Hawaiian punch with a citrus kick to it. Folx always hate me for bragging about how it’s a good 80 degrees in Florida in November, but a whiff of this body wash will transport you to a tropical paradise.

Like…for reals. The best thing about this body wash is what it doesn’t have.


Yep, my skin and I are both product snobs (unapologetically so) and I love how this body wash does a whole lot of omitting of the stuff that my skin hates. It is chock full of artificial fragrance but it smells so pleasant that I don’t mind using it for time to time.


Not bad for $8.95. You down for a tropical body wash?