Foundation for Newbies: Cover FX Big Cover Up kit

Now y’all know me. I’m not much of a foundation wear-er. A lot of it has to do with my acne-prone skin and my  crazy belief that foundation will break me out even more. And then there’s the whole “being a woman of color” thing and trying to find the perfect foundation with all of my hyperpigmentation issues. Plus, I live in Florida where we have two seasons–hot and hotter. Wearing a face full of foundation is almost pointless with our humidity.

BUT that does not mean that I will turn down the chance to review foundations as the opportunity presents itself. I was first formally introduced to COVER FX at the Makeup Show NYC back in May of this year. I was sent their Big Cover 3 Step Essentials kit and can’t wait to share it with y’all.

Acne Sucks: Alba Botanica Natural ACNEdote Deep Pore Wash

Welp…it looks like I’m having another one. And it’s bad. I’m assuming it’s just my skin wanting to attack me for whatever reason. I’ve been drinking my daily 64 oz of water and taking my daily vitamins. Then again, my dermatologist has prescribed me a new cream and perhaps my skin is having a reaction to that.

So I stopped using it and switched over to Alba Botanica’s Natural ACNEdote Deep Pore Wash.

An all natural acne cleanser? So up my alley!
It’s not every day that you’ll run into an acne cleanser that DOES NOT contain harsh ingredients. Which is kinda loco because if your face is already breaking out like mad, the last thing you need are unnecessary and super harsh ingredients. Especially if your skin is sensitive.

But leave it to Alba Botanica to change the game. Please oh please, darlings…tell me you’re familiar with this brand. If you’re like me, you may have passed them by in Whole Foods or your favorite health food store. But girlfriend, the next time you are mindlessly shopping, check them out!

My skin has been absolutely loving the wash. Check out what it does NOT have.

The fact that it doesn’t have any artificial fragrances has me dancin’ in the streets. Since it contains willow bark extract, (which is a natural source of Salicylic Acid) it has a natural and earthy smell that I find pleasant and not too overwhelming.

It also contains lemon balm and parsley extracts. Those kiddos act as natural oil blotters…which, I love! So yep…to my sista girls with oily skin, this wash may be up your alley as it cleanses your skin thoroughly but doesn’t over-strip it. It’s like the perfect balance. Yin and yang, homies.

I’m also digging the consistency of the wash. It reminds me of castile soap in that it feels water-based. But it doesn’t have the richest lather. Which definitely isn’t a flaw in my book.

Has this dramatically changed my skin and cleared up my acne over night? Nope. But then again, what does? When you suffer from acne, you know you have to be patient. Has it kept the oily pores at bay while thoroughly cleansing my skin to prevent more pimples? Yeppers! And for that I will forever love and shout to the rooftops about the awesomemess of this cleanser.

And it’s only $9.95 for a 6 oz bottle. Not bad at ‘tal. The ACNEdote line also has a scrub, moisturizer, gel and astringent. I am so on it.

Any Alba Botanica fans? The lip balms look dreamy. I think I’ll scoop one up the next time I’m in Whole Foods attempting to say no to the vegan chocolate chip cookies.

Which, by the way, I always fail at. Womp!

Peace, love and healthy skin!

This review contains a sample product sent for post consideration. Read our disclosure policy here.

MBFW-Swim 2011: Clarisonic booth

It’s no surprise that I am an enormous Clarisonic fan. In addition to regular visits with my dermatologist, it was the Clarisonic Mia face brush that helped my skin turn around. And those of y’all who have read the Acne Sucks series know just how funky my skin was can be at times. I was SO excited about getting a little facial at Clarisonic’s booth at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week-Swim.

Have you heard of the Clarisonic’s baby sister,  the Opal?

This powerful cutie patootie promises to reduce the fine lines and wrinkles under and around the eyes. And yeah, I know I’m only 25 but it’s important to start these preventive treatments now. And you know why else I dig the Opal? It helps me breathe a little better breaking massaging my sinuses. Score!

After my facial I got a chance to chit-chat with Dr. Robb Akridge, one of the co-founders of Clarisonic.

I asked him if he thought the Clarisonic face brush could help brown girls with with hyperpigmentation. He told me that hyperpigmentation is a clinical issue and he couldn’t say for sure. But is the Clarisonic face brush worth the investment for those looking to repair and maintain their skin’s health? Um….yeah!

Clarisonic was also present backstage at the shows to buff the models’ faces and bodies’ to perfection. Make-up and lotion literally sinks right in on freshly Clarisonic’d skin. Loves it!!

More posts from Mercedes Benz Fashion Week-Swim
-Backstage at Mara Hoffman

A Sunburned Reminder…

Dear Brown Girls,

We do get sunburned. I have the worst one ever and summer JUST begun. I’ve been spending a lot of time outside and it looks like my every day moisturizer just ain’t gonna cut it. My face is about 14 different colors right now with my nose being the most burnt.

It ain’t a good look. Learn from me. Of course I’ll be talking more about brown girls and the sun in the coming weeks. Including how to heal and repair the skin if you’ve been a victim like me.

I was born and raised in Florida so you would think I would know better. *guilty sigh*

Enjoy your weekend! Clumps will  be back at it on Monday and I’ll finally be reviewing NYX’s Doll Eyes. Only took me 12 years to get to that. Hahaaaa!!

Love,

Inside my medicine cabinet

This was so not my idea! I got a good 3 emails in the past 2 weeks asking me to do a post about what’s inside my medicine cabinet. Are you ready for this? Promise me you won’t judge me. You may see some things that may disturb you but remember you love me and I’m human, okay?

I’m jivin’ y’all, but you really never know what you’ll find when you open people’s medicine cabinets. Which I do when I visit new homes. And don’t even give me that look because you know you’ve opened someone’s medicine cabinet before. HA!

Mine is pretty normal. And boring.

Everything I’ve reviewed has a star next to it. The products usually don’t change. When it comes to skincare, I stay faithful to the same stuff. Otherwise my skin will turn against me. Literally.

Basement level…

(from left to right)
(*)Olay Complete face moisturizer. Was my BFF moisturizer until the formula changed. #megafail
(*)Clinique Even Better Dark Spot remover. A must HAVE!
Differin Acne gel. My dermatologist prescribed this and my skin is 10x better.
(*)Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. Has reduced my chin hair bumps tremendously. And yes, I get chin hairs. I ain’t shame! *strokes beard*
(*) Clarisonic Mia *moment of silence for the greatness that is this brush*
Mario Badescu Oil Free moisturizer. Currently testing and absolutely loving!

Second Flo…

(from left to right)
Shu Uemura eye lash curlers, tweezers and a (*)pimple extractor.
Clarisonic brush head. I think it’s time for a new one.
(*)Oyin Handmade Honey Stick. Yummy!
Floss. I do it everyday! Or every other day. Okay…at least 3 times a week!
Natural fragrance oils that I purchase from some vendor in some city. *shrugs*

Top Shelf, baby!

(from left to right)
Those 4 kids to the right are essential oils. I use them to make hair products. Check LocRocker.com
Clinique Sunblock SPF 50. A must have for when I run outside or swim.
Lancôme Bi Facil eye make-up remover. I just can’t use anything else.
(*)Castile soap. And that’s just ONE bottle. I’ve got 3 more under the cabinet.
A sample of Carol’s Daughter’s Rosemary Clarifying shampoo. Will be reviewing soon!
Lancôme’s award winning Genifique serum. Currently testing.

And the head cleaner in charge gets to stand by the sink!

That’s the Skincare Starting Lineup, darlings! If I opened your medicine cabinet, what would I find? I mean..the items that are Rated PG. ;)

This post contains a sample product sent for post consideration. Read our disclosure policy here.

Olay Complete’s New and not so Improved…

I’m not happy. I’m not. WHO told Olay to change their Olay Complete face moisturizer? I’m okay with packaging changes. But when you start dabbling in the ingredients, that’s when I get a little perturbed.

The old Olay Complete looked like this:

And the new one looks like this…

Packaging-wise, I can appreciate the new changes. But formula-wise? It gets an F from me. The new Olay Complete burns my skin, has a sunscreen-y smell and is a little oilier than its predecessor. My skin is left greasier and it’s just not pleasant. I feel better knowing that I’m not the only one hating the new Olay Complete.

Check out some of the reviews on the website:

Boo to Olay for disappointing so many customers. And then I saw a little note at the bottom of another bad review…

Talk about consumer power!

Have you had any new and not so improved products?

Homemade Brown Sugar Scrub

A reader recently emailed me about face scrubs. She was looking for a new one and wanted to know about my favorite.

Since I have been using the Clarisonic , I don’t feel the need to exfoliate my face using a scrub. But every now I like to get a deep down scrubbing. I’ve never found the need to go out and spend a ton of money on a scrub when nature makes the best ingredients.

One being good ole’ olive…


I use olive oil for EVERYTHING! I use it as a carrier oil for body concoctions. I use it on my locs. I apply it to my cuticles each night. I use it in my spring and spinach salads. And for my omelets. Olive oil is just divine.

This scrub is ridiculously easy to make.

I take a bowl of organic brown sugar

And pour in a good amount of olive oil. I don’t measure but if you are trying this for the first time, go easy on the olive oil if you have oily skin.

I mash it all together with my fingers…

Sometimes I like to add in a little oatmeal. I normally crush the oats with my mortar and pestle but laziness will prevent you from doing the little things. Ha!

And then I apply!

It really is that simple. I have also used baking soda and castile soap as a scrub. All natural and totally affordable.

Do you make your scrubs?