A great body scrub for when the sand at the beach isn’t available….

Did I tell y’all I went to the Bahamas a few weeks ago? Yep! Esposo and I took a quick 3-day cruise to one of my favorite islands. Too bad we didn’t get to do much because sooooomeone hurt himself after falling off of a scooter. The other someone has been playing nurse ever since. Womp.

I’m a Florida girl who loves beaches. For many reasons but primarily because the sand is so exfoliating. Yep. You heard correctly. I mix sand and water and exfoliate my feet, legs and hands right on the beach. I should probably be embarrassed about admitting this, but I’m not.

Since I couldn’t get my beach scrubbin’ on, I’ve been playin’ around with Pooka Pure & Simple’s Sugar Body Polish.

Oh girl. This is the bomb dot com.

Not all scrubs are the same, ya know. Some are great for exfoliating but in return they can leave the skin a bit rough. Which totally defeats the point of scrubbing, right? Pooka Pure & Simple’s Sugar Body Polish has cane sugar and coconut oil so I can get my scrub on and moisturize at the same time. It’s wonderful. Pomegrante and kiwi are two of my favorite fruits so the fragrance is definitely up my alley. But can I be honest? I’d love this just as much if it was fragrance-free.

Bits of kiwi seed greet me at each handful…

…and after sloughing away the dead skin cells, I am left with super soft and moisturized skin. The 12 oz tub goes for $20 and Pooka Pure & Simple also has Coconut Crunch and Guava Berry scents as well.

Yes girl. Yes. You can pick up a tub here.

A fan of body scrubs are you, darlings?

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?

TMI Tuesday: My weight and my insecurities

 Ugh. Calories annoy me. Seriously. Why do they have to be in EVERYTHING? Calories should really only be in things  that I can’t stand. Like pickles and olives. Yes, I’m beginning a post complaining. My bad, y’all. But what can I say? Talking about my weight kinda makes me sad. Because here’s the truth….

I will always be “watching my weight.” Yep. I am a beauty blogger and I am not ashamed to admit that I have my share of insecurities. And most of them deal with my weight.

I’ve been watching my weight for as long as I can remember. It comes in spurts. I’ll go months with being obsessed with working out and eating. Something will happen and the next thing I know, I’ve gained all of the weight I lost. It’s a tiresome cycle. But it’s one that I will be dealing with for the rest of my life. And it’s not for the shallow reasons like wanting to fit into a bikini (pshht, never happening) or trying to look “good” for someone. My health will always be an issue for me because I’ve got to keep a close eyes on my reoccurring high blood pressure. It’s stressful, y’all.

Most of last year was my “down” year. I worked out a bit but not as much as I should have. I would go weeks between running or heading to the gym. I’d tell myself that I was too busy or too tired. And because of that, I gained a whooping 20 lbs. My size 12’s got tight and I was forced into a 14. I would see a developing double chin in the mirror and that alone prevented me from doing as many YouTube videos as I should have been doing. Self-loathing ensued; an emotion that I always deal with when I notice myself gaining weight.

In the Fall of last year, I got serious about my weight loss again and so I’ve been actively going to the gym (3-6 times a week) and doing what I have to do to get back in those 12’s. I’m getting there. And I have to remember that I am human. We all backslide from time to time and I can’t always fall into these depressive slumps when I realize that I’ve gained a pound here or there.

Keeping an eye on my weight is a lifestyle for me. I can’t just eat a breadstick without knowing that I’ll HAVE to work out the next day. Yes, I’ll eat my favorite ginger snaps, but never in peace. For I know that unless I work those cookies off, the pounds will pile up. This is my life. This is the way it has to be.

I’ll never be skinny. And I’m okay with that. I don’t mind that my thighs rub together or that my DD’s require my having to wear TWO bras when I work out. I don’t hate my body. But do I want to be in optimal health so that I can be around to keep bringin’ y’all mascara reviews in 2045? Hells yah.

I know weight is a sensitive topic for most of us women. Some of us want smaller boobs. Others want bigger boobs.  Some say they’re too skinny. Others long to be skinny. Mommas feel some kind of way about their post-pregnancy bodies and many of us fall victim to the lies society tells us. Is it important to be healthy? Absolutely.

But do you have to be a size 2, 4 or 6 to be healthy and beautiful. Absolutely not.

What say you? Are you happy with you weight? Or will it always be a struggle for you too?

TMI Tuesday: Why I fear birth control pills…

Birth control scares me, y’all. And by birth control, I mean birth control pills. I know, I know. I’m 27. I should be used to some form of birth control, right? The truth is – I’ve only just begun taking birth control pills for the first time ever this month. I think I am the only woman my age that I know who has never been on birth control before.

I started visited the crotch doc (thanks Kate!) as a teenager in attempts to alleviate my “die every month” menstrual cramps. At 15-years old, my doc suggested that I take birth control and I couldn’t slap him hard enough.

Okay – I’m kidding. I didn’t slap my doctor. But I wanted to. Even as a teen who wasn’t having sex, I still didn’t want to entertain the idea of birth control. For what? I wanted children. Not in the next decade, but the thought of preventing a birth (even if it meant easing my cramps) didn’t sit well with me. I had a hard time explaining this revelation to anyone because for them, birth control was great. My cramps worsened in college; an inconvenient time for me considering I was a full-time student living on campus and working several jobs. Girlfriends couldn’t empathatize with me because they were all on some form of birth control.

Every gynecologist I have ever been to has wanted to prescribe birth control for me. No one ever recommended natural or holistic options for my painful periods. I got smart and started doing my own research. For a year I tried every natural remedy in the book. My cramps continued to get worse and while I knew birth control was an option, I had made it up in my mind that I wouldn’t be popping any pills, tossing IUD’s in the nether regions, getting shots or wearing any patches.

Then this “thing” happened. I got married.

Esposo and I want nothing more than to be geeky parents to Clumps kids. But we’re newlyweds who plan to spend a life together and kids can wait. After visiting my gynecologist in November and telling him that my period had become irregular, he suggested birth control. Of course. I broke down inside. I’ve been turning down birth control for more than 10 years of my life. But here I am. A newlywed with an irregular cycle. Maybe, just maybe birth control can help.

So I’m giving it a chance. But can I be honest? I hate it. I really hate it. I hate how it makes me feel. I hate how it may make me gain weight. I hate how I never remember to take it. I hate that these little pills are tampering with something that happens so naturally. That these little pills could possibly damage some things and make it so that I am unable to conceive. There are tons of side effects of yaz and other birth control pills – so many that there are serious law suits surrounding them. Sites like DrugNews.net provide information on this if you need it.

There, I said it. That’s why I hate birth control pills. I have this inherent fear that they will make me infertile. I know plenty of women have healthy pregnancies and babies being on birth control for years. I really shouldn’t have anything to fear. Yet every time I pop one of those pills, I feel like crying.

I know. I probably sound loco and overly emotional. I do believe in birth control. I would just rather it not be by way of synthetic drugs with a string of symptoms attached. Esposo has been super supportive and comforting. I’m trying to get him on board with the fertility awareness method (FAM) because that is perhaps the only form of birth control that sits well with me. Well – condoms too but how effective can those be with longterm use?

I’ll be seeing my gynecologist again soon and will talk to him about how I feel. The fact remains – I can’t do birth control pills. Or shots. Or patches or IUD’s. They aren’t for me. And if the gyno can’t be supportive and help discuss other options with me, I will find a doctor who can. I don’t want to be the black version of the Duggar’s but I don’t want to harm my body either.

Chime in, gals!

Any others out there who fear birth control?
Or maybe you’ve been taking it for years with no problems?
Either way, let me know!

 

ETA: As of 2/4/12, I have gleefully stopped taking the pills. The constant spotting and morning dizziness became far too overwhelming. Oh…and the decreased libido is so not cool. You know…with being a newlywed and all. I have a very pessimistic attitude when it comes to birth control and don’t have any interest in shopping for other brands or synthetic methods. Since my irregular cycles have only been irregular for the past few months, I am hoping diet, exercise and keeping my stress level down can help get it back on track. As far as baby preventing; hellooooo condoms and FAM. I’d rather deal with monthly cramps (as painful as they are) than deal with my paranoia over these birth control pills. Good riddance, I say!

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!