Guest Post: Acne Myths

If anyone knows about acne, it would be me. I’m forever fighting it and have been for, uh…I don’t know…a little over a decade now?

But as many products as I’ve used and as much as I’ve read about it, it doesn’t help to learn a little more. Guy blogger, Eric from Acne Remedies gives us the skinny on some acne myths. Brace yourself…

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Marie Deneen: Lippies and Lotion

Let me introduce you to Marie Deneen; a brand whose motto is Providing Nature’s Goodness With Style. A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to test drive some lippies and lotions from the them. Gotta love a brand that contributes to West African projects and Jamaican education programs, right? Founder Rashida Morgan-Brown not only has a passion for giving back but also likes to include natural ingredients in her products.

Perhaps that’s why Marie Deneen has recently been featured in Essence Magazine and People Magazine. Holla!

Let’s rap on the lippies first. I tried three of the Shea Lips.

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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!!


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.