Eucerin Healthy Skin Challenge? I’m in!

Outside of mascara, one of the most commonly asked questions I get is, “B, how do you keep your skin nice and clear?”

My response usually begins with somethin’ like “Girl please…” Veteran Clumps readers know about the horror that is my skin. They’ve seen the bad, the worse and the Is this girl in her 20’s or is she a pimply-faced 16-year old?. Yeah. My skin is a piece of work and keeping it clear is a lifestyle. One that I spend a lot of time (ahem…and sometimes money) on. But I’m not mad. My face is what everyone sees and I take pride in maintaining a rigorously effective skincare regimen.

How does Eucerin fit in? The well-known brand has tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I’d like to participate in a Healthy Skin Challenge with a handful of other bloggers. Heck yah! I said. I’ll be taking you up close and personal with my pores. You’re excited, aren’t you? You should be because this challenge will also bring about giveaways for you guys ‘n gals. Yuuuup. Each month I’ll be presenting a new Call to Action and you’ll posts and pics of what’s working for my skin.

I’m exciiiiiiited. Obviously, right? Stay tuuuuned.

Disclaimer: My Healthy Skin Challenge posts are sponsored by Eucerin. But guess what? I keeps it real. All opinions are my own. *snaps in Z formation*

Brown Girl Beauty: COVERGIRL Queen’s Matte Pressed Powders rock!

Guess what? My skin is doing halfway decent. I haven’t had a breakout in months, my dark spots are disappearing (remind me to tell you about this dark spot remover I’m using) and I can’t remember the last time I had a pimple. Of course, by the time you read this post, my skin may have turned against me. It’s happened before. I give it praises and then it attacks me.

Ugh.

But yeah – I’m taking advantage of my skin’s good behavior and I’ve been dabbling around with some of COVERGIRL Queen’s goodies.

For my brown girls that claim there aren’t drugstore-friendly foundations, powders and bronzers for us, puh-leeeease take a look at CG Queen. They’ve got enough shades for all of our hues. The only downfall is the inability to test the products before you buy but whatev. Hold on to your receipt and the stores should exchange and return with no problems.

Clumps veterans know I’ve featured CG Queen products manyyyy times before. I’ve played around their their concealers, their lippies (oh yes girl, I am STILL rockin’ Berry Bling) and remember last year when Sam Fine did a face chart for Clumps readers? I’m no stranger to this brand so when they hit the scene with a new matte pressed powders, of course I had to show it off for y’all.

Of course.

Here’s what COVERGIRL has to say about them,

“Our fade-resistant powder gives you a natural looking, even coverage that is designed to last while controlling shine.” (source)

There are 6 of these ranging from Light to Medium Deep so the chances of you finding the perfect match for you is pretty high.

I’m showing off Light AND Medium Dark here but really her sibling Medium Dark is better fit for my NW45 skin. Now y’all know I’m a fan of wearing just wearing concealers with a powder on top. I don’t feel the need to wear foundation unless I’m getting all fancified. So yah, these are perfect for me.

Don’t say one word about how dead I look in this picture. Not one word, I say!

I didn’t even use concealer on the left side. But look how much more polished my skin looks. And while they are matte pressed powders, I still get a luminous finish. And even more so if I apply the COVERGIRL QUEEN Natural Hue Bronzer in Ebony Bronze on top.

In.love. I mean, honestly…what’s with brown girls saying they can’t or shouldn’t wear bronzer? I just don’t get that. A little glow to the cheekies ain’t never hurt nobody. Yes, I know that was a double negative, but work with me here, mkay?

With the bronzer going for less than $7 and the matte pressed powder at around $5, you’ll do anything but break the bank trying to snag these kids. Especially if you’ve got a coupon or two. You know how I roll… But if you’d rather purchase online, Drugstore.com has the cheapest prices.

Ah yes. Another knock out of the park for COVERGIRL Queen. Know what I mean? Weeeee, I rhymed! :p

Real Techniques brushes is another reason why beauty bloggers rock…

There’s more to beautifying than good skincare products and awesome eye shadows. Beautiful eyeshadows and a foundation that gives your skin a flawless finish means nothing if you don’t have a dream team of brushes.

Lately I’ve been loving Real Techniques.

Okay, loving is an understatement. I’ve been obsessing over them a bit. And rightfully so. I could totally write an essay on how much I love these brushes. Buuuuuut I quit grad school for a reason. This writer HATES writing essays.

I do, however,  love me some lists yo.

5 Reasons Why I Love Real Technique Brushes:

      • They were designed by a beauty blogger. Ca-learly beauty bloggers rock.
      • They are color coordinated! Base = gold, Eyes = purple, Finish = pink.
      • You won’t break the bank buyin’ them. Unlike other brands…*cough*
      • The packaging for each brush gives great examples on HOW to use brush.
      • They are cruelty-free brushes. 

Real Techniques recently launched some new brushes and of course I just had to check ‘em out. Let’s spotlight them individually. Cool?

Expert Face Brush ($9)


Brush Description: Ultra firm and broad for application and blending of cream or liquid foundation.

My thoughts: Like every RT brush I’ve ever tried, this one is insanely soft. I much prefer using a stippling brush for when I apply cream or liquid foundations but after using this one, I can see how it works. I apply the foundation using my finger tips and then gently buff the foundation into my skin using this brush. And it works beautifully! This is also a great brush for applying a flush of bronzer or blush.

Setting Brush ($8)


Brush Description: The key to completing any look with a controlled dusting of powder or highlighter.

My thoughts: Soft just like its siblings, I couldn’t find much use out of this brush. Then again, I’m not a professional. After letting my makeup artist friend (hi Lynn!) use this brush, she fell in love. I can appreciate a brand of brushes that has brushes for beauty novices and professionals alike.

Fine Liner Brush ($6)


Brush Description: The ultimate tool for precision application of liquid or cream eyeliner

My thoughts: One can never have too many liner brushes. Especially if you’re like me and you’re too lazy to clean them after using. While I much prefer angled eye liner brushes, I like how this one is precise enough to give me a thin line of gel liner on my lower lashline. It’s perfect. The bristles are sturdy enough to give me control, but soft enough so that it’s not hurting my lids. Win!

Overall: These are 3 great additions to the RT lineup. And the prices are SO right. When I was a makeup newbie, cool brush brands like ecoTOOLS and Real Techniques weren’t around so I assumed that the best brushes were the higher-end ones. So not true. Supporting Real Techniques means you’re getting brushes worth your pennies and you’ll be showing love to beauty blogger.

Because who runs the world? Beauty bloggers!

Okay, I’m kidding. Kinda. 8) You can grab these from Ulta and online.

Have you ever tried any Real Techniques brushes?

My current facial cleanser. What are you washing your face with these days?

I’ve found a new face cleanser! This is a big deal, y’all. Despite being a beauty blogger, I am far from a product junkie. I stick with what works and while I may review a ton of skincare products, I usually stick with the same ones until they run out. What I review and don’t use, I often donate and pass over to those who I know who I know will use them. I just hate being wasteful, ya know?

A few weeks ago I was roaming through Chamberlin’s Natural Foods store here in Orlando and found myself venturing in the skincare lanes. I’m so ridic. I can MAKE my own skincare products but still feel the need to “buy” some. I’m no Mama Clumps. I don’t have the patience to make my own stuffs. And soooo I buy. This go ’round, I picked up a cleanser from a brand that I’ve never heard of.

Dr. Woods, uh? Is this Dr. Bronner’s cousin? Ha! I vigorously scanned the ingredients list and LOVED that there wasn’t any artificial fragrances in it. Too many times brands say a product is natural but then dump a ton of artificial fragrances in it. Which always annoys me.

This cleanser is so wonderful, y’all. So wonderful. I’ve found a keeper and don’t see myself venturing away from this one any time soon.

Pro’s

-Contains tea tree oil. My favorite all-natural pimple bustin’ agent.
-Includes peppermint oil and that makes the skin feel rejuvenated.
-A little goes a long way.
-Has a mint-y/tea tree oil smell to it. Which I really like but I can see how it may turn off others.
-Nice clear consistency. I prefer clear cleansers over creamy ones. Even though they may not be the best for my dry skin, I feel like they do a better job at drying out those pimples.
-Minimal ingredients!

Con’s

-Can dry the skin out. You have to apply moisturizer quickly!
-Pretty pricey in stores. I paid almost $12 for it but saw that you can get it online for as low as $4.69!

So yeah, I love everything about this cleanser. And I love that I can get it online for almost HALF of what I paid for it. Between this cleanser, my Weleda Almond moisturizer and Boscia masks, I have a nice line-up of preservative-free facial care products.

I love featuring ALL products here on Clumps but for every day use? I stick to all-natural, baby. With my acne flare-up’s, gentler is better, ya know?

What cleanser are your currently using these days?

MAKE UP FOR EVER’s HD foundation is amaziiiing!

I hear it alllllll the time. “B…you never review enough foundations.” I know. I know. But it’s only because I don’t really wear foundation. Dude, I live in Florida. That and the fact that I sweat like a beast. Wearing a full face of foundation everyday just doesn’t make sense to me. But every now and then I like to even out my skin and look all flawless and whatnot. When I have those moments, I play around with different foundations. Laura Mercier’s is still a holy grail as is MAKE UP FOR EVER’s HD foundation.

Sooooo can’t believe I am just now reviewing this. I’ve been loving this foundation for a while. In fact, it’s one of the few that I find not only matches my skin beautifully without much doctoring up, but it also looks good in photos. Lord knows ain’t nothin’ worse than seeing a picture of yourself where your face and neck and are TWO different colors.

Not a good look, y’all. Not a good look.

First of all, can I stop for a minute and give MAKE UP FOR EVER some major props for actually having a diverse selection of foundations? This very rarely happens. Most brands will a dozen shades of ivory, some neutrals and only 2-3 darker shades. But MUFE gets it.

Their 178 works very nicely for me. For reference, I am NW45.

Y’all know the deal with my bare skin. I suffer with acne, hyperpigmenation and ingrown hairs on my chin. Those ingrown hairs are the worst because the only way to get rid of them is by breaking the skin and removing the hair. Aaaand, of course I’m left with scars to deal with. Ugh. See all three here…

I conceal the hyperpigmentation daily with just a bit of concealer and a powder. I can proudly walk concealer-less but only because the acne scars are going away little by little.

Gracias a Dios! But even though I want to wear foundation for special occasions, I do NOT want to look like I’m wearing it. Ya know? I never wanted to be one of those gals that looks like she has on a ton of makeup. It’s tricky trying to achieve this because a lot of times, full-coverage foundations give you that “I’ve got on makeup.” look.

MUFE’s HD foundation is one of the few that allows me to feel confident. Watch this…

Not too bad, uh? The left side looks even but I don’t look like another person. Now on both sides…

Uh. Just ignore my horrid blending efforts around my mouth and chin. That’s another reason why I can’t wear foundation regularly. It just takes TOO much time to make sure every nook and cranny is in place, ya know?

Do I look too makeup-y? I don’t think so. Which is why I LOVE this foundation. Close up, though…I do realize that when I wear foundation, my pores look HUGE.

I kinda don’t care though. *shrugs* I mean…should I? ;) So yeah. This foundation will always be with me. It’s $40 but considering I wear it once, twice and maaaaybe three times a month, it’ll be a while before I run out.

Of course you can get this from Sephora and Sephora.com. I totally recommend going IN to Sephora if you can, though. They’ll hook you up with a sample so you can try before you buy.

Considering this is one of the most popular foundations on the market, I know some of y’all have tried it. Whatcha think? Yay or nay to MAKE UP FOR EVER’s HD foundation?

Milani’s Illuminating Powders are almost TOO pretty to use

Anyone ever watch the show Hoarders? Centered around people who “hoard” items, this show takes you on a journey inside the mayhem that these people live in. While shocking, it’s always sad because usually the hoarder had a breaking point in their lives that MADE them hold on to material things. Sometimes it’s the death of a loved one, feeling abandoned after their kids move away or divorce.

Anyway – I have a girlfriend who has me thisclose to calling Hoarders on her. She hasn’t had any recent traumatic events in her life but she hoards more makeup than anyone I know. She has a collection of more than 200 blushes that she doesn’t even use because she says they are “too pretty to touch”. That’s right. 200 perfect blushes that have never touched her cheeks. When I showed her these new Milani Illuminatizing Powders, she shrieked and told me she couldn’t wait to add these to her “Too Pretty To Touch” collection.

Crazy, right? Don’t worry. Said friend doesn’t mind that I put her story on blast. She assures me that there are probably hundreds of beauty hoarders out there. Eeek!

Beauty hoarder or not, if you’re a Milani fan, you’re going to love these. Milani is doin’ it BIG this season girlfriends and if you didn’t know, you better ask somebody. These Illuminating Face Powders are ah-mazing.

Gorgeous, right?

These babies can be used as a highlighter, bronzer or blush. Whatever fits your fancy.

First up is Amber Nectar…

Combining a gold finish with a touch of rose, Amber Nectar is the perfect combination of her other two siblings. She’s got a few micro-sparkles goin’ and while she may be a little too cool for my complexion but I’m sure other gals can rock Am Nec beautifully.

Beauty’s Touch is my favorite…

If you are taking baby steps into wearing blushes and want to wear something with a little color, this is the route to go. Beauty’s Touch’s golden notes are toned down a bit on the cheeks and what you’re left with is a shimmery pink finish.

Swatches….

(L-R) Amber Nectar, Beauty’s Touch, Hermosa Rose

And then there’s Hermosa Rose.

Despite the “rose” in the name, I think AR has more gold in it than anything else. In fact, it’s the closest powder to a true bronzer. That said, after Beauty’s Touch, it’s my favorite.

Pro’s:
-Beautiful and subtle shimmer.
-Perfect for blush beginners. It gives enough coverage without being too intimidating.
-A little goes a long way.
-The packaging. How beautiful are those flowers?
-Even with multiple uses, the flowers stick around. Yay!

Con’s:
-May be tricky to apply. Because it’s so sheer, you may actually have on more than you think. I found the best way to apply this was with a skunk/stipling brush.
-If you aren’t a fan of gold shimmers, you may not like these because all 3 of these are gold based.
-It isn’t very long-lasting. After about 5 hours, my cheeks weren’t as golden as they were when I first applied.

Hermosa Rose on my cheeks…

So yep, while these are subtle, I still love the glow that they give my cheekies. Some days I don’t feel like putting a ton of color on my cheeks, so these are absolutely fantastic. They are in drugstores now for about $8.99 and online for $9.49.

Whatcha think? Yay or nay?

The Sweaty Betty Diaries: Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens

Yours truly sweats like a beast. But of course you knew that, didn’t you? My friends are forever laughing at my inability to…not sweat. It’s just plain sad, I tell ya. Okay so yeah. Some of you guys and gals are battling freezing temps but such does not exist in the state of Florida. I sweat year round without prevail. These Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens are hookin’ a sista up though.

Like everything from Boscia, this little pack of sweat bustin’ linens is paraben-free and doesn’t contain any annoying fragrances or super strong scents. Which, of course, is a good thing because y’all know I can’t do super strong fragrances.



A pack of 100 sheets will run you $10, which isn’t a bad price. And I love how they smell.

If I sniff ‘em hard enough, I get a faint whiff of tea bag. Any oil-y residue and sweaty bits left on my forehead, cheeks and nose and instantly scooped by the linen. Easy peasy. Every beauty technique should be this easy. Don’t cha think?

You can grab these from Sephora stores and at Sephora.com.

A Milk Conditioning Cleanser. No cookies required

Random B Fact: I am severely lactose intolerant. Ya’ll know I’m the Queen of TMI Talk so my revealing this quite common condition among us human species shouldn’t even come as a surprise. When I first heard of glo|Therapeutics’ Conditioning Milk Cleanser, I got all giddy. Very rarely do I come across milk products that don’t have me doubling over in pain.

Okay, more TMI. My bad.

Fact is, the concept of milk cleansers makes sense. Milk can be moisturizing, soothing and conditioning. Why not be it in a face cleanser?

According to glo|Therapeutics this cleanser ‘gently washes away impurities, soothing and protecting the skin with conditioning and antioxidant ingredients’. Because of its non-foaming and gentle formula, it can also be used as a makeup remover. Quite frankly, I prefer oil-based makeup removers since I use sturdy eyeliners and mascaras, but if you don’t wear longwear eye products, I can see how this works as a makeup remover.


As a cleanser – I can’t say it’s one of my favorites. For one, while the formula feels nice and creamy, it is far too perfume-y to me. Even after I rinsed the cleanser off, I could still smell it on my face. I prefer to use products without fragrances and even if I come across one that does use fragrances, I never want them to be long-lasting. Packaging wise, the cleanser has a nice pump that makes distributing in the palm of your hands easy peasy.

Because it doesn’t foam up, the cleanser feels a lot like a lotion.


But unlike a lotion, it doesn’t sink into your skin. I always feel like I REALLY have to rub creamy cleansers in my skin to FEEL like they’re doing something. glo|Therapeutics recommends to gently massage the skin for 60 seconds but I found myself doubling that time.

After rinsing off, it felt great. Nothing exceptional but my skin didn’t feel tight and that’s always a good thing. I do think the cleanser would best be suited for guys and gals with super dry skin though.

I’m not sure if it’s the cleanser for me but if you’re on a mission to try something new, I would definitely give it a whirl. You can snag it from gloprofessionals.com.

Whatcha think? You down for trying a milk cleanser?