Kiss My Face Olive & Aloe Soap. But it’s not purty.

I’m a total Kiss My Face fan but I’m on the fence about this soap.

It has a grassy/plant-y smell and the color of the bar isn’t all that attractive. The saving grace of this soap, however, is how good it makes my skin feel. And it contains so few ingredients that you don’t have to worry about your skin flaring up. The aloe is soothing and the olive oil is moisturizing. They are available in several fragrances (Olive & Honey, Olive & Tea Tree, Olive & Lavender, etc) and you can snag 4 bars for under $5.99.

Still. There’s something about the color of the bar that makes me unhappy. Am I exaggerating? Whatcha think?

 

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.

Natural Beauty: Making Black Cocoa Shampoo

[Editor's note: This is a re-post from my natural hair blog Loc Rocker. The information was just too grand to limit to just one blog. Very rarely do my blogs cross paths but in this instance...it was inevitable. For all things natural hair, Loc Rocker (and the fabulous blogs on the site's blog roll) is the place to go.]

While I like to travel nationwide for beauty industry events, lately I’ve been wanting to be more active in the Greater Orlando community. It was at one of my Urban League Young Professionals meetings where I met Karen, the founder of Peace and Beauty Project. Karen’s passion for helping young girls and natural beauty fell in line with so many of the things that I am trying to do. I feel so blessed to have crossed paths with her.

Two weekends ago I asked Karen if I could help with her Natural Beauty Lab event. I helped with the preparation and took photos. O.M.G….the event was a HUGE hit.

The event was hosted in the dining hall of a beautiful bed and breakfast in downtown Orlando.

 

The first thing we blended was a Black Cocoa Butter shampoo.

And yep, it smells and feels as good as it looks. We started off with unscented castile soap.

We then funneled a bit of black cocoa butter.

We dumped in some aloe vera…

And at this point, we were able to scent it however we liked. Cocoa Absolute was a huge hit among most of the ladies.

….I ventured more to the mint essential oil, instead.  I just LOVE how mint feels on my scalp.

And bam! A homemade organic black cocoa butter shampoo…

I haven’t washed my hair yet (ironically I washed it the day before, womp!) but the next time that I do, I will be using this. Can’t. wait. In the meantime, I’ve been using it as a hand soap and has been leaving my hands incredibly smooth…a rarity when you use castile soap solo.

We made other products but I don’t think I took enough pictures of everything. I volunteered to be photographer but somewhere between laughing it up with everyone, live tweeting and mixing, I forgot.

Check out the darling baby beauty in the house. She is the daughter of a fellow blogger, Scottie…over at The Basics. Also in the house was Ortancis from The Orlando’s Natural Hair meetup group and Fara from Pure Essence Body Care. I’ve raved about Pure Essence before when I discovered them at Whole Foods’ farmers market. And Fara’s locs…O.M.G. I’ll be featuring her soon. On Loc Rocker, of course.

If you are in or around the greater Orlando area, shoot an email to Brittany@LocRocker.com.  The Peace and Beauty Project will be having more events. And did I tell you about Orlando’s 1st Beauty and Natural Hair show? That’s a post for another day but I am beyond excited.

Peace, y’all. And beauty.

Beauty Review: SinuCleanse neti pot and giveaway!

Very rarely do I have to do disclaimers on my posts but for those of y’all that are squeamish about liquid going up and out of the nose, you may not want to read any further. I have pictures showing it alllll.

Yep, I love you too. :)

For those of y’all that have hung around, allow me to share with you the power that is the neti pot.

Looks like Aladdin’s genie lamp 2010, uh? While an actual genie won’t pop out and grant you three wishes, the neti pot does provide an insane amount of nasal and sinus relief.

I know what you’re thinking…WHAT in the world does this have to do with beauty? I’ll tell you what’s not beautiful, sinus migraines and under eye discoloration; two things that regularly using a neti pot can alleviate. Follow me as we take a journey up my nose. Literally.
So how does a neti pot work?
For starters, nasal irrigation or the flushing out of mucus and debris from the nasal cavity and sinuses is not a new concept. Its origin began in India and South East Asia and has been around for centuries. (source) The concept is simple. Using warm water and saline solution in your neti pot, you simply tilt your head and allow the solution to go up one nostril and out of the other.

Looks weird, uh? Wellll OBviously, it’s not done at the dinner table on a date but as needed in the comfort of a bathroom.

Saline solution comes with your neti pot and they can also be purchased separately.

But don’t be cheap like me and try to use half a packet of a saline solution. It burns like the dickens! I was screaming for Mommy and Daddy when I accidentally did that. No bueno.

Neti pot instructions….

OMG, what if I choke?
You won’t. Unless, of course you panic. But then again, the same could be said for drinking a glass of water. The key to using the neti pot is to relax. Don’t rush, don’t hold your breath and don’t swallow 4 times in one second. I find that making the K-sound (as in kite) really helps me from accidentally swallowing the water.

Uh, what comes out of your nose?
Boogers. LOL, I’m kidding. Once the saline solution travels from one nostril, through your sinuses and out of the other nostril, you won’t see much of anything except perhaps mucus and saline solution. I’ve seen lint (maybe from a towel or pillowcase) before.

Wait, what’s the point of this again? Who can benefit from using a neti pot?
Anyone! We brush our teeth, clean our ears and bathe on a regular, why not clean out the nasal passage every now and then? It has also been said that using a neti pot can help diminish under eye circles and can alleviate stuffy noses. I’ve used my neti pot with stuffy noses but it doesn’t seem to work. If one nostril is all stuffed up, the water has no where to go. Opps! And while I don’t have allergies, I can only imagine how golden a neti pot would be for allergy sufferers. As a chronic sinus headache suffer, the neti pot has changed my life. I always look at holistic, herbal and homeopathic remedies before OTC and prescribed medication so the neti pot is right up my alley.

And you shouldn’t use it every day. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. I use mine at least 3 times a week.

I want one!
You can get the SinuCleanse neti pot at most drugstores and natural food stores. They are super easy to find and will run you about $11.99 USD. Aaaand, you can try and win one from me. I love my neti pot so much that I decided to give TWO readers a chance to snag one of their own.

Here’s what you have to do:

 

Leave a comment telling me why you would like a neti pot
 AND your email address in THIS POST ONLY. You must be following
Clumps on either Facebook or Twitter to be eligible.
Zee Rules:
-For U.S. readers only
-Contest ends  Monday, August 30, 2010 at 12:00 pm EST
-Have you won a giveaway within the past 6 months? Give someone else a chance, homie.
-Winner will be selected at random
-Family members/personal friends of B are not eligible
-In the event that a winner does not respond in 3 days, another person will be selected

 If you have any questions, email me at Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com. Good luck!

 

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

Natural Beauty: ONE hits Target

I just love how natural products and brands are becoming more widely available. AND affordable. I mean, two years ago you couldn’t find eco-friendly lip balms in your neighborhood Target.

Say hello to ONE.

ONE is brand that not only believes in healthy and natural formulations, but they also package their products in eco-friendly housing.

From the products that I tried, the skin conditioning bar ($6.49) is my favorite. It is full of lavender oil goodness but the packaging is also made from recyclable material.

I’m impressed at the relatively small ingredients list! The bar is amazing. It slathers on like a regular body butter but it isn’t greasy. And I love the fact that the smell isn’t too overpowering.

ONE also has hair products including solid shampoo and conditioner bars ($6.99).

Don’t judge its size. One of these is equivalent to three 8 oz bottles of shampoo. I haven’t tried it on my locs just yet but I will do a formal review soon.

We’ve covered body and hair so what could we be missing? Ah! Cosmetics, of course. ONE has lip butter balms ($2.99).

While I’m not the biggest fan of the scent, this shea butter based balm feels great on the lips without drying them out. The ingredients list makes me smile.

I’m lovin’ it! You can find ONE at any Target location.

Have you seen ONE in your Target yet?

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