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,

Beauty Review: Illamasqua Iluminator

It doesn’t fail, y’all. Just about every week I get an email from a lovely lady saying that she wants to get into blushes but she is too afraid of color. Instead of responding with a “Are you serious, homie?”-type email, I’m starting to realize that some of us need baby steps when it comes to color on the cheekies.

Enter this cool lookin’ highlighter from Illamasqua…

 I know…it looks like a gloss, uh? Not that you can’t dab it on your lips but it is really intended for the cheeks. Here’s what Sephora says.

“Illuminate your darker side with this intense color that highlights and enhances wherever it’s applied. It goes on wet but dries quickly, leaving a high-shine, reflective finish that lasts all night. Use it on cheeks or on any other part of your body where you want to draw attention—it’s not recommended for those who want to remain in the background. “ (source)

 Three cheers for multi-purposes products. Gotta love that! Let’s take a closer look at this kid, shall we?

This is exactly how Illamasqua’s lip glosses look. It works for this product too. But you have to be careful. One little squeeze and if you’ve got enough for both cheeks.

But if you’re not careful, you may end up with a bit too much. Could you imagine rocking this on cheeks?

Girlfriend, no! You have to blend this stuff. And quickly. I find my fingers work best for this but you can also use a stipling brush for an airbrushed effect.

Stay tuned for how it looks on my cheeks. It’ll pop up in an FOTD Friday. If you’re looking for an unconventional and long lasting bronzer or highlighter, I say give this baby a whirl. It’s Brown girl approved and gives me another reason to change my middle name to Illamasqua. Holla! You can snag the Illuminator in Halcyon  for $20 at Sephora.

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

Beauty Review: Dial Nutriskin Body Wash

Boy, I tell ya…Dial is certainly steppin’ their games up in the body wash department. For quite some time, whenever I thought of Dial, I thought of a golden bar of soap. Who knew that they would start cranking out body washes that leave the skin cleansed and silky smooth?

The concept behind this body wash is that it is to leave your skin feeling moisturized AND light. And how do they do this, you ask? With Fruit Oil.

By using a combination of hydrating fruit oils and soothing extracts, these body washes give you that cleansed feeling without feeling greasy. You know what I’m talkin’ about, don’t you, girlfriend? After you rinse, some body washes just leave you with an icky and greasy feeling. No me gusta.

I’ve never experienced this kind of feeling with a body wash that was not creamy. Talk about beating a misconception! I only thought creamy body washes could do that!

And do you see those itty bitty micro-beads?

The kid in me had to mash it up to see what it would do.

They baby beads are made up of fruit oils that provide deep moisturization. I can dig it! And the price is a steal to. You can get a 16-ounce bottle of the Grapeseed and Lemongrass (shown) or the Cherry Seed and Mint for only $3.99. Not bad at all!

If you’re looking to try a new body wash, hang up and dial…Dial! Go ahead and laugh…you know my joke was funny. HA!

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

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.

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: 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!