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!

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)

Beauty Review: Venus Embrace razor


Well, it’s summer time in Florida.

I’m not even kidding, y’all. It is December and it was freakin’ 85 degrees the other day. I’m not complaining. You see, in Florida…we don’t have winters, we have cold fronts that come every 2-3 days or so. So while some of you can relate to the “weather outside is frightful”…I’m still wearing sleeveless tops, sandals and skirts.

Somebody out there is cursing me out, I know. I’m sorry. But what I’m not sorry about is shaving every day. Who really has time for that? I don’t! I am also a girl who isn’t ashamed of stubble either.

And that’s why Venus Embrace is for me.

What’s to be said about the Embrace:

“Embrace has several key features:

· Five curve-hugging blades positioned closely together and spring mounted to create a shaving surface that adjusts to the natural contours and curves of a woman’s body.

· A Protective Ribbon of Moisture that surrounds the shaving surface for smooth glide.

· A Soft Grip handle that improves control, even when wet.

· A ShowerPod® with suction cup attachments for convenient in-shower storage.”

This thing has 5 blades. Not 3, not 4 but FIVE! You know what that means? That means I’m shaving less. *love sigh* It also means my legs aren’t getting as much irritation from constant shaving. This is especially important for sensitive armpits. No wonder the Embrace was recently named one of Allure magazine’s 2009 “Best of Beauty” products. And they’ve won a good other 15 awards too. Well, make that 16!

I’m giving it the “Thanks to you I don’t have to shave every 5 minutes” award. Yay Embrace!

Ahh…now I can go back to frolicking in dew sprinkled grass.

…slick sexy legs and all!

Have you tried the Embrace? You can’t tell me it’s not awesome!

Check out my review of the Venus Spa Breeze razor here.

(photo source)
This product was provided to us for post consideration. Read our disclosure policy here.