Beauty Review: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Chin hairs.

The first time I saw them, I screamed. You see, I didn’t see them when I was in my bathroom and conveniently around some tweezers. I saw them while sitting in my car. You know how you’re at a stoplight and glaze into the rearview mirror just to take a quick peek at yourself? Yep. And there they were. Not one. Not two. But a good three chin hairs.

My first thought was, “I’m turning into a man.” Nah, I’m kidding. I’ve always known that with age, some women start sprouting a little more facial hair. Freakin’ A!! And then I remembered reading a review by Afrobella and how much she loooooved Mario Badescu’s Drying lotion.

I was wishing on a star that it could help alleviate those insane ingrown hairs I would get before a pesky hair sprouted its ugly head.

Did it work? Well, let’s get some background info about this Drying Lotion first.

The Mario Badescu website says it is an excellent Acne spot treatment made with a blend of Calamine and Salicylic Acid to clear up and soothe unsightly whiteheads overnight. A dab of this lotion will heal and dry pimples quickly.” (source)

Ingredients:

A 1 oz bottle will run you $17.00 but don’t complain about the price, sisters. Achieving and maintaining clear and healthy skin is an investment. Can I get an Amen?

When you purchase your bottle, it will look all pretty-fied like in the above picture. But after a few uses, it will look like this…

And here’s how it works…you take a Q-tip and stick it at the very bottom of the bottle.

The tip of your Q-tip should be saturated with the pink calamine.

Locate pimple and apply.

Or in my case, locate pesky chin pimples…

I know…it ain’t pretty. It just ain’t. But the good news is, the stuff actually works! While you may head to bed smelling a wee bit “medicinal”, the lotion literally helps clear up the pimple over night. Does it disappear? No. But is it smaller and less noticeable…absolutely! This will remain a staple in my skin care regimen. And I think I’ll be selling it in the Clumps store as well.

Don’t let the small size fool you. That bottle is a good 2.5 months old and I use it on at least one pimple every evening. So yes, while $17 is steep, I think you get your money’s worth considering how long it lasts.

You can find Mario Badescu at Ulta stores, online and any where else their products are sold. I remember seeing this line last year at The Makeup Show LA and not giving it a second thought. But after my success with the Drying Lotion and a sample of the Enzyme Revitalizing mask, I may be putting the Purity to the side and trying out the some of their cleansers.

What say you? Have you ever tried the Drying Lotion or any other Mario Badescu products?

Clinique’s Even Better Dark Spot Corrector

When I was in Clinique’s Beauty Insider Club last year, we received the original Even Better Skin Tone to review. I fell in love with it, y’all. I mean, IN. LOVE. To see dark spots literally vanish after months of using a serum is amazing.

And it’s not like I’m exagerrating. Just look at the dark spots on my forehead a good two years ago.

And my forehead now…

Clear, kids…clear! All because of skin tone correctors. I love Clinique’s so much that I even sell it in my store. Clinique recently came out with another one and I can not wait to try it out.

It is different than the original Skin Tone Corrector in that it has additional powerful ingredients that will get rid of discoloration and that awful AWFUL hyperpigmentation. Clinique says that the Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector is not only effective for all ethnicities but that it will improve skin tone by 53% in just 12 weeks.

That’s a major claim but I believe it since I found such success with the previous Skin Tone Corrector.

Yours truly will be giving this one a try again. Stay tuned for a formal review.

Have you tried any skin tone correctors?

Beauty Review: Philosophy Purity Made Simple facial cleanser

Well y’all…it’s about time I review the cleanser I’ve been using and loving for months now. Philosophy’s Purity ain’t new to the skincare world. This Best of Sephora winner in 2008 is probably one of the best cleansers I have ever used. Let’s get down to the basics.


Hit the jump to get the skinny….

This baby comes in many different sizes. What you see is the 8 oz for $20 but they also have…

3 oz for $10
16 oz for $32
24 oz for $40

I’ve seen that 24 oz in person before. It is huge, y’all! Why any one needs THAT much cleanser at a time is beyond me. Ha! Either way, the cleanser can be considered a tad bit pricey. I recommend grabbing the 3 oz if you are super skeptical. But I think you’ll be back because the cleanser delivers.

What they say it’s supposed to do:
“Philosophy Purity Made Simple is a ph-balanced formula that rapidly dissolves dirt and makeup while deep cleaning pores. The best-selling cleanser contains infusions of sage, chamomile, and carrot.” (source)


Pretty simple, uh? Oh wait—they already said that. I love how creamy it is.


In fact, it doesn’t really feel like your typical cleanser. And when it hits water, instead of foaming, it produces a few bubbles that feel heavenly on the face.


I typically use this with my Clarisonic Mia and I LOVE it. It doesn’t have any strong scents and does not leave the skin streaky clean. At the same time, however, I can always tell that my skin got a good cleansing. This has been the only cleanser I have used for the past few months and my acne prone skin has been actin’ right. Holla!

So yes…it really is that simple. I love this stuff and will definitely be purchasing again. And again. And probably again.

Have y’all tried Purity? Any Philosophy fans out there?

This Day in Black History:
1915-Biologist Ernest E. Just receives the Spingarn medal 
for his pioneering in cell division and fertilization.

Beauty Review: Clarisonic Mia Face brush


Finally!

It’s the post you’ve all been waiting for! I am excited to review the Clarisonic. I’ve it bragged it enough in my YouTube videos so it’s about time, right? This is going to be a picture heavy post so brace thy self. I’ll do this review by posing questions. I think this will be the best way to really get across how awesome the Clarisonic is. Click the jump to read on!



What are the other Clarisonic face brushes like?

The Clarisonic Mia face brush is the baby of group. Its older siblings include the Classic, which retails for $199 and the Plus which retails for $225. I haven’t used the big boys but the main difference, other than price, are the speeds. The Mia only has 1 speed whereas the Classic has 2 and the Plus has 3. If you are stuck on which Clarisonic to purchase, the website has an awesome comparison chart here.

How much is the Clarisonic Mia? Are there any ways to get it cheaper?

I was ECSTATIC when the Mia made its debut. It retails for $149 but I purchased it for 20% off thanks to a Sephora Friends & Family sale. That’s almost $30 off! If you really want to make this investment, but the price is hurting you–wait for a sale. Also, QVC sells the Classic and you can make 3 installments. Find out more about that here. You can also get it from Sephora and Ulta. I highly suggest purchasing from Sephora because they have a great return policy. I know the Clarisonic Mia is pricey but my skin (even in all of its craziness) is worth it.

Okay, so what does the Clarionic Mia do?
Here’s what the back of the box says…

And according to the website,

* Removes 6x more makeup than manual cleansing
* Leaves skin feeling and looking smoother
* Cleanses so well that products absorb better
* Gentle enough for twice daily use
* Helps reduce oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes
* Helps reduce the appearance of visible pores
* Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
(source)

What comes in the Clarisonic Mia box?


Inside you will find the system with a sensitive brush head, a charger and a 1 oz. sample of Gentle Hydro cleanser. I chucked that. You can use the Clarisonic with cleanser you choose. Inside the box is also a ton of valuable information about how often to charge (after 20 minutes of use) and ways to care for your your brush head and handle.

The Clarisonic Mia looks REALLY small. How big is it?
Since I have never owned the Classic, I can’t do a side by side comparison but I think the Mia is a great size.


It fits right in your hand. I have since played with the Classic in stores and it just feels bulkier and not as easy to control as the Mia. The Mia is also travel friendly and relatively lightweight.

How do you charge the Mia?
The Classic and the Pro both have cradles. The Mia, however, has a charger. The charger simply goes into the wall and connects at the bottom of the handle.


It’s pretty cool, actually. Align the holes up and the charger magnetically snaps into place with the handle.


How do you turn the Mia on? Is there a timer? Any bells and whistles?

The Mia turns on with a press of its only button.

Once this button is pressed, it will automatically turn off in 1 minute. It doesn’t beep or say “ta da” or anything like that. Remember, the Mia only has one speed so if you press this button again (after you’ve already turned it on), it will turn off.

How does the brush head feel? Is it okay for sensitive skin?


The sensitive brush head feels just find on my skin. I don’t find it to be too abrasive or harsh at all. Clarisonic brushes use sonic technology and are gentle on the skin. The bristles don’t dig into your skin rather they oscillate which actually feels good. Everyone’s skin is different so if you have extremely sensitive skin, perhaps using the Clarisonic only in one area on your face would be best; just to see how your skin will react.

The brush in action….


How does the Clarisonic Mia compare to Pretika’s face brush?


The Mia is MUCH better. Granted Pretika’s face brush is only $24.99 and it was “okay” when I used it. However, when I used the Mia my skin looked and felt different in a matter of weeks. This wasn’t the case with the Pretika and I used that for a good 3-4 months. Would I recommend the Pretika for those who don’t want to splurge on the Clarisonic Mia? Sure. But if you want the best for your skin…save your pennies (Lord knows it took me months…lol) and get the Clarisonic. See obvious differences between the two in my video here.

Okay, what’s the bottom line? Did the Clarisonic Mia work for you?
Absolutely!!! My skin has never looked better. I know that sounds cliche, but I mean it. My skin has changed completely and I attribute it to the Clarisonic Mia. I can’t even say diet, exercise and vitamins. Those have all been a part of my life for quite some time and my skin was STILL a mess. The Clarisonic Mia, along with visits to the dermatologist and skin tone correctors have really changed my skin. See my before and after pictures here.

The lengthy but very detailed video review…

Well y’all…told you it was a jam packed post. Between this post and the video, I think I have covered everything inquiring minds may want to know about the Clarisonic.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have one? Want one? Not sold on it yet?

Tell me!

Acne Sucks: Guest Post on her fight against acne

Hey y’all….so I’ve found that a lot of my great advice about clear and healthy skin has come from not my dermatologist but from the rest of you! Check out some tips that reader Noorie from Atlanta is sharing with us. Feel free to add!

As someone who’s been suffering from acne for almost a decade, here are my top tips:

*A few things I’ve noticed and picked up over the years about foundation and acne:

-It’s “ok” to use as long as you take it off as soon as you get home. Not a good thing to leave on from morning to night like I did while on a recent vacation. It’s just… bad and will cause break outs.

-It’s pretty harmless if you use much lighter coverage foundations. One I used to have was Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Foundation (see above) and L’oreal True Match: both very runny and not as thick as let’s say Revlon Colorstay. Concealer is a MUCH better idea for covering imperfections and will covers up any brown spots better.

-I only use foundation on places where I need it, not all over my face like I see some make up guru’s and artists doing.

*DE from Beautylogic also gave rave reviews about the Clairsonic. I’ll have to try it out in the future too and soon Clumps Of Mascara will also be having a detailed review. <--coming soon at a theater near you!

*Another thing I’ve noticed/learned is that washing my face at night wasn’t always enough- especially if you sweat a lot or use make up. Here’s my night time routine:

*Living healthier (eating less processed foods and dairy), some exercise, enough fiber to keep you regular (oh yea! I went there) and water all help me feel and look better too. When I’m not excerisizing I notice my face breaks out a bit more. I’m not sure why. They say when you sweat, toxins are released thru the pores, which is what I’m thinking too.

*I have tried almost every single brand of acne products in the past. Gosh, how I remember standing in the skincare aisles, reading each product that claimed to have you acne free in days.

Now I know a bit better:
-Most acne products will do the same. Whether it’s gel cleansers and scrubs, pads, acne drying gels, etc. Some toners ARE better than others though and are less over drying and/or get deeper into the pores. You have to decide whether you prefer Benzoyle peroxide products or Salicylic.
-I highly recommend 3 step products to everyone. I used Proactive when I was 18, and my skin just cleared up in 2 weeks! My scars faded and everything, but sadly I don’t feel it has the same effect on me anymore. I’ve heard the same from other people who use it. It’s still worth a try though.

And if you don’t want to shell out the $40 there are tons of other great 3 step acne kits available in drugstores which also get the job done. I tried the one from Clearasil and I liked it. Neutrogena also has a good one. These kits are great because you get everything you need: a cleaners, toner and acne drying gel. The Clearasil one even comes with a spot treatment.

Feel free to provide any insight on your experiences with acne. A strong support system is SO key in fighting this monster.

Other Acne Sucks posts:
Acne Sucks: Part 1
Acne Sucks: The Stages
Acne Sucks: But does oil on the skin help?
Acne Sucks: Pimple Poppin’


(photo source)

Acne Sucks: Skin Updates


Hey y’all! It’s your favorite Pimple Poppin’ lady. I really shouldn’t even call myself that because poppin’ pimples really ain’t good. So disregard that. HA!

Anywhoovers, I was thinking that it was time to update y’all on my skin and its battle with acne. It has been doing A LOT better. I attribute it to many things but mostly to the Differin gel that my dermatologist prescribed. Even though my skin is acting all normal and whatnot, I fear the day I run out of this stuff. Lawd, let’s hope I can get it for life.

Daily pimples are no more. They just don’t pop up. And when they do, they are small and easy to tackle.

And I know I keep saying I’ll review it and I will but ohmigoodness….skin tone correctors are a must have for the woman of color battling hyperpigmentation. I’m almost positive that they would work well for anyone. Wow! I am amazed. Over time, it has literally erased some of my dark spots. See for yourself!


These photos are untouched. I am not wearing any foundation, correctors or blush in any of them. Well….I take that back. A closer look at the first photo shows a swatch on concealer. But never the mind. Can you see the difference?

I talked about my skincare routine via video and even showcased some new products that I can’t WAIT to review for y’all. To see what I’m talking about, you’ll have to listen to me ramble and act a mess.


Sooo, the skin is doing better. Hallelujah! Stretch marks? Whatever. Chubby tummy? I can deal. The inability to wear above the knee boots because I have fat knees (lmao)? Fine. But I will NOT let acne get the best of me. The fight is still on because my skin, at any moment, can turn against me.

Now it’s your turn! To my fellow acne fighters, what have you been using that’s been working wonders? Spill the beans, sisters!

Acne Sucks, Part II: The Stages


Welcome back to another Acne Sucks post! Since the inaugural post I have gotten SO many emails regarding acne in general. Many of you shared your stories with me and I must say….it’s quite comforting knowing that I’m not the only one frustrated by adult acne.

In the midst of wallowing in my acne woes, I got to thinking how dealing with acne is such a chore. It’s more than just popping a pimple. I feel like I should put my pimples on payroll because I am CONSTANTLY working with them.

I came up with the four stages that I find myself dealing with.
Stage Uno (Spanish)

Prevention-In this stage I am doing all I can to stop acne before it even becomes a problem. This includes drinking water, keeping a balanced diet, making sure I’m not touching my face with dirty hands, etc. I drink a gallon of water a day and make sure that I am getting in fresh greens and fruits daily. Can’t forget my vitamins either! Of course I don’t do this solely to prevent acne but I know it doesn’t hurt.

Stage Deux (French)


Tackling-This is toughest stage because one wrong move can make the next two stages a nightmare. The tackling approach, as dramatic as it sounds, determines if your pimple will disappear like a thief in the night (robbing you of self-confidence) or if remnants of it will hang around for the next year or two or ten. I am currently using Differin, an acne gel that my dermatologist has prescribed me. Is it working? The inflammation in my skin is definitely down but I’m still tackling brand new pimples every morn. Boo.

Stage Drei (German)


Repairing-This is stage that can be the most frustrating. So you’re drinking more water and taking vitamins. You even manage to keep some of the pimples at bay. But what about those old battle wounds? You know….the pimples that left dark and red spots all over your face. They are like unwanted tattoos. And getting rid of them can seem impossible. I swear by cocoa butter. I have been using it for years and it has always been great at fading those dark spots. Lately, however, I’ve been dabbling around with skin tone correctors. I am still testing Origins but I LOVE Clinique’s. It is amazing. It works. It’s pricey but it really does work.

And lastly,

Stage apat (Tagalog)

Concealing-Ahhh yesss, where would I be without my trusty concealer? Concealing is a must for me. I choose not to wear foundation simply because of fear from breaking out all over but dapping a bit of my MAC Studio Finish concealer in NW45 works. I usually only apply it on my cheeks to cover those spots that are struggling to get through the previous stage.

I go through these stages each and every day. And sometimes more than once a day. It’s a mess, y’all….a hot mess.

But what choice do I have? Must.Have.Clear.Skin.

What stages do you go through? And even if you have crystal clear skin, feel free to chime in!

Until next time….

Beauty Review: Dove Nutrium Moisture Body Wash

Veteran Clumps readers know that I love me some Dove. Not too long ago and sang praises to the Visibly Smooth deodorant. Now it’s time to shout like mad for their newest body wash. Am I exaggerating or is it really the bomb diggity? Check the review…


Dove Nutrium Body Wash

Price: 5 out of 5 (12 oz for $4.99-$7.99)
Packaging: 4 out of 5
Overall: 5 out of 5

What it claims:

“• Repairs and maintains skin’s protective layer during cleansing
• Unlike moisturizers in other body washes, Dove Body Wash with NutriumMoisture™ penetrates surface skin deep down to replenish and nourish

• Clinically proven to significantly reduce dryness and improve moisturization” (source)

The truth:
Well, it’s from Dove so you already know it’s a wonderfully smooth and smells oh so clean.

What I loved about it: It feels soooo smooth!


What I didn’t like: Not much to NOT like. Affordable? Effective? Easy to find? That makes me one happy and clean lady!

Overall: Most of us are all too familiar with Dove, the brand. If you haven’t tried their body washes, then you’ve probably tried their soaps, hair products or deodorants. I don’t know many people who have bad experiences with Dove. Aside from keeping moisture one of their top priorities when it comes to skin care, they are also very conscious about taking care of the sensitive skin peeps of the world. Gotta love that.

The idea behind this new body wash is the introduction of NutriumMoisture technology. You can read more about it here but basically it allows moisture to get deep down in the skin instead of just sitting on top. Kinda like this…..
Pretty friggin ‘awesome, right? I’ve been looking forward to this luscious stuff after every work-out.
The nozzle….
Ohhh, creamy baybeeee….
And it still stays creamy after hittin’ water.
Love iiiiit. It comes in Deep Moisture, Gentle Exfoliating and Sensitive Skin.
You can find these anywhere Dove products are sold.
Are you a Dove lover? Tried this yet? Whatcha think?