Acne Sucks: Skin Updates


Hey y’all! It’s your favorite Pimple Poppin’ lady. I really shouldn’t even call myself that because poppin’ pimples really ain’t good. So disregard that. HA!

Anywhoovers, I was thinking that it was time to update y’all on my skin and its battle with acne. It has been doing A LOT better. I attribute it to many things but mostly to the Differin gel that my dermatologist prescribed. Even though my skin is acting all normal and whatnot, I fear the day I run out of this stuff. Lawd, let’s hope I can get it for life.

Daily pimples are no more. They just don’t pop up. And when they do, they are small and easy to tackle.

And I know I keep saying I’ll review it and I will but ohmigoodness….skin tone correctors are a must have for the woman of color battling hyperpigmentation. I’m almost positive that they would work well for anyone. Wow! I am amazed. Over time, it has literally erased some of my dark spots. See for yourself!


These photos are untouched. I am not wearing any foundation, correctors or blush in any of them. Well….I take that back. A closer look at the first photo shows a swatch on concealer. But never the mind. Can you see the difference?

I talked about my skincare routine via video and even showcased some new products that I can’t WAIT to review for y’all. To see what I’m talking about, you’ll have to listen to me ramble and act a mess.


Sooo, the skin is doing better. Hallelujah! Stretch marks? Whatever. Chubby tummy? I can deal. The inability to wear above the knee boots because I have fat knees (lmao)? Fine. But I will NOT let acne get the best of me. The fight is still on because my skin, at any moment, can turn against me.

Now it’s your turn! To my fellow acne fighters, what have you been using that’s been working wonders? Spill the beans, sisters!

Acne Sucks: Pimple Poppin’

It wouldn’t be an efficient “acne” series if I didn’t talk about poppin’ pimples.

That’s right, I said it. I know dermatologists and estheticians would tell you NOT to pop pimples but I do it anyway.

I’m such a rebel, right?

But don’t call me stupid just yet. There are methods to pimple popping. And they don’t work for ALL pimples. Shoot…they don’t even work for all skin types. Having said that, don’t let this post motivate you to go around popping pimples aimlessly. I am simply showing you what I do. It has been successful for me for quite some time but I don’t want any of y’all sending me hate mail if you end up with scars because my method didn’t work for you.

Mmmkay?

Meet the pimples’ best friend….


This is a pimple extractor. And while it may look harmless, it really is a dangerous tool. If not used carefully, this extractor can cause scarring. It is really only supposed to be used by professionals. But I saw it at Sephora one fateful evening and decided to give it a whirl.

I’ll tell you one thing, this baby really should come with instructions because the first few times I used it, I scarred my skin. It was bad. It took months for those dark spots to go away.

But desperation will make you rather persistent. The next time around, I decided to do my research. I learned about the type of pimples I had. That gave me a better idea of how to treat them. This article gave me amazing insight. I learned that I had a type of pimple called papules. Despite ALWAYS having so many on my cheeks, they aren’t so difficult to get rid of since they have a whitehead.

And so the extractor came in handy.


The extractor gets out all of the nasty stuff out and I am left with the aftermath. Differin gel (prescribed by my dermatologist) overnight diminishes that and I am rarely left with a scar.

The extractor has changed my skin, y’all. I also use Q-Tips. They are better than the extractor because scarring almost never happens. By taking 2 Q-Tips, I’ll squeeze a pimple and watch the nasty nasty ooze on out.

Sounds gross, I know. But it works!

Remember my skin a few months ago? Inflammation was out of control. Every day I was popping a new pimple, healing a former pimple and trying to get rid of the scarring.


Now it’s lookin’ like this….

I’m rocking a little concealer and bronzer here but the pimples are under control. I still have some scarring but with the Origins Skin Tone Corrector I’m using (review coming soon!), I am confident that those will be disappearing soon.

Before popping pimples, I am always sure to steam my face (thanks Kelly!) and thoroughly wash my hands. I was hesitant about even doing a post on pimple poppin’ because I know that a lot of people are against it. But tell that to a person who has a dozen of them just chillin’ on their face. I think it’s best to inform yourself about how to take care of your skin and then do what you can to alleviate it. My dermatologist is cool and all but I don’t want to HAVE to go.

….not to mention, a lot of people don’t have health insurance to even be able to visit a derm so I think it’s best to learn how to take care of our skin the best way that we can.

With that said, if you are going to pop pimples, be careful. Be careful. Be careful.

If you have any tips on how to pop them, please share!

Beauty Review: Hirsana Capsules

Heyyy mamas!

How many of y’all have tried taking capsules? Beauty capsules, I mean.We spend a crap load of money on creams, lotions and serums. But think about it….clear skin, healthy hair and strong nails all start from within. I am a huge proponent of a healthy diet, vitamins and drinking a ton of water daily.

I gave Hirsana Capsules a spin a few weeks back and I think the results may surprise you. But first…let’s see what these babies claim to do.

“Extremely rich in vitamins, nutrients and minerals, golden millet oil has been proven to positively affect the growth and regeneration of hair, skin and nails. Hirsana golden millet oil capsules not only promote strong, thick, shiny hair but also help prevent hair loss. The capsules support natural skin functions, contributing to a healthy, radiant complexion. Hirsana also adds strength and luster to nails, fortifying, conditioning and brightening from head to toe.”

You read right. Hirsana capsules help beautify three areas most of us want radiant at all times; hair, skin and nails.

Did it work?
I already actively take a multi-vitamin, Vitamin C and fish oil pills so I was skeptical. But within a few weeks my nails were stronger than they have ever been. I’m talkin’ nails of steel! I can’t say much about my hair growth since my hair is in locs and as far as my skin? I didn’t notice much of a difference in that department but I’m sure with continued use, I may see some results.

What’s in the capsules?
Formulated with 200 mg of pure golden millet oil, each Hirsana capsule contains the following nutrients and associated health and beauty benefits:

* Essential Fatty Acids: Strengthen the skin’s barrier and regulate moisture content
* Vitamin E: serves as an antioxidant and protects against free radicals
* Vitamin B6: boosts metabolism
* Thiamin: promotes normal nervous system function
* Riboflavin: supports the formation of blood cells
* Pantothenic Acid: regulates the metabolic process for energy recovery
* Biotin: plays an important role in metabolic processes
* Zinc: supports the buildup of protein produced within the body

…..a ton of vitamins! No dangerous formulas here, folx. As always, consult with your doctor before consumption. Once you get the go, give these babies a whirl. I think they are worth a try!

30 capsules will run you $36 which is a bit steep but hey—we spend that much on a few glosses and shadows. Even my cheap self can’t put a price on health. Really!

You can purchase ‘em at www.hirsanausa.com and www.skinstore.com.

Acne Sucks, Part I

Well….doesn’t it?

I can honestly say that I am sick of my skin. It doesn’t like me. And I find this devastating because I’ve been nothing but good to it. I have never been a smoker. I never went to sleep without washing it. I always wore sunscreen. I didn’t clog my pores with greasy foundation or greasy food. I mean, I drink a gallon of water a day! I know all of the rules to having clear skin and alas acne is still taking over.

I know there are many women out there with this issue. And it’s frustrating, isn’t it? Especially when you spent the most of your teenage years and early 20’s with perfectly clear skin! I’ve even spent some days looking at myself in the mirror and crying. Jacked up skin makes a sista feel so unpretty sometimes.

Ugghhh!! But enough of the complaining. I have decided to actively make attempts to get my clear skin back. I know hormones and genes play a part in acne but maybe, just maybe there is something that I can do to at least control my acne. Right now I feel as if it controls me!

And so I have decided to involve my Clumps of Mascara family on this journey of mine. It ain’t an easy one and I’m going to need y’all’s support. Attempting to feel beautiful when you average 2-4 new pimples a day is tough. But the motto of this unofficial series is, “Yes I’ve got acne. I’m still fine though!”

Bam! Laugh it up. It’s funny but it’s true.

Here’s what I’m starting with….




That’s right. That’s some raw acne footage for you. And I’m smiling anyway because despite it all…I am still beautiful.

As are you.

We are going to beat this. Or find ways to deal with it. This mini-series will bring tips from fellow beauty bloggers as well as any submissions from readers we get. Feel free to share your story! I will keep you updated with any new products I am using.

We ‘gon be alright, sisters. *group hug*.

The official song of the unofficial series is High School Musical’s “We’re All In This Together”. Don’t act like you’re surprised. Ya’ll know I’m a cornball so it only makes sense. LOL!!


Beauty Review: Qtica Scrubs

Hi sugar plums!!

Sooo, I’ve been meaning to review these scubs for quite some time. The photos you see now are a good 4 months old. I have actually used every bit of those scrubs and I am in the process in making another order.

You see….I love scrubs. Exfoliating is a ritual in my bathroom. I can’t help but scrub down a good two times a week. As you would imagine, I run out of scrubs pretty frequently. Somehow–I don’t mind. It allows me to play around with different brands. Once upon a time I reviewed Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie Sea Salt scrub. This time I showin’ you….

Qtica Spa Sugar Scrubs

Price: 3 out of 5 (7oz for $17 from Qtica.com)
Packaging: 4 out of 5
Overall: 5 out of 5

What it claims:
“…..Non-drying and non-irritating formula is easy on delicate skin. Takes hassle-free to a new level; no mixing or stirring needed, ever! The key word is sugar-that means that it’s a clean-dissolving exfoliant that will never leave a sticky residue behind or harm/clog spa jets.” (source)

The truth:
La verdad? Well…it’s a darn good scrub!

What I loved about it: Yesss…another scrub that doesn’t make make your tub a potential accident area. I love it! The sugar scrubs exfoliate beautifully and then….it dissolves and goes the drain without any clogging action. Heyyyy!

What I didn’t like:
Gosh mannn, I wish it was bigger. I felt like after a few squirts–it was gone.

Overall: I reallllly like these scrubs. A LOT! I don’t mean to exaggerate but this is one of the BEST scrubs I have ever used. It does on an excellent job at exfoliating and it just feels like an experience on the skin. I LOVE that it’s in a tube. Perfect for the shower and for traveling. If I had to re-arrange the packaging, though, I would definitely make the nozzle a little wider.

 

You reallllly have to sca-weeeeze to get the scrub out. And when I got to halfway point, I found myself removing the top just to get the rest of the scrubby goodness. Wasn’t the biggest inconvenience but….you know.

Nothing can beat the fabulousness that is the scrub itself. It is thick enough to smooth all over the skin but thin enough to wash down the drain without clogging the pores.

Goes on like…

Rinses like…


I am in love with it! Out of the two I love Cherry Bing the most. Papaya Star is sweet too. The scents aren’t too strong which is preferred since a lot of us use body washes either before or after scrubs. The price is a bit steep for a scrub but beauty is an investment, right? I know, I know. A good scrub to me is one under $10 but since Qtica is one of my favorites, I don’t mind dropping the extra penny or two. Qtica is a hot commodity in spas all over the country.

You can snag this scrub at Qtica.com.
Like it? Got it? Could care less?
Whatcha think?

Beauty Review: Nuturing Force blotting papers

While at The Makeup Show NYC, I came across Nuturing Force! I have been using these babies now more than ever with summer in full swing.


They come in different colors. I snagged the purple one which is infused with lavender. Hmmm… The smell isn’t too over-powering so you don’t have to worry about it clashing with your perfume or lotion.

I love that you can control how much you pull out!


I can grab a tiny strip for nose or a larger strip for my…larger forehead. HA!! And you never really know how much oil your skin absorbs until you try one of these.


Seee…..

Loves it! Well….not love the oilness that is my face. I just like that it removes the oil from my skin before it seeps in my skin and causes breakouts. Dun dun duuuun! And you know we can’t have that.

You can learn more about Nuturing Force blotting papers here.

Do you carry blotting papers around with you?
Got a favorite brand?
Tell me!

Beauty Review: Venus Spa Breeze Disposables

Hey summer mamas!

Have you had enough of the beach yet? What do you mean you haven’t gone because of your hairy legs? Giiirl, you better it together.

As a Floridian, I pretty much need to ALWAYS have my legs ready to go at any given moment. And I need a darn good razor that can rock my world and shave my legs effortlessly. Does Venus’ Spa Breeze razor do the trick? Or is a knick nack patty WACK of a razor? Dig the review.

…..and laugh at my joke. LOL!

Venus Spa Breeze Disposables

Price: 4 out of 5 ($7-$10 anywhere razors are sold)
Packaging: 3 out of 5
Overall: 5 out of 5

What it claims:
“With a beautiful blush pink handle, Venus Spa Breeze features flexible shave gel bars infused with the clean, fresh scent of white tea to indulge the senses while providing a close shave”



The truth:
Talk about a slick shave, mama! Woo!

What I loved about it: The scratch and sniff sticker on the packaging!


Okay, I’m kidding. I won’t tell you that I peeled the sticker off and put it on the back of my cell phone. Hehehe….but seriously, this is my first time I have ever used a razor with a “built-in shave gel bar”…but you know what? I can get down with this.

What I didn’t like: Dude, where’s my top? Not top as in shirt—I mean top as in “I want to cover the razor for traveling so that when I stick my hand in my cosmetic bag, I won’t slice my left pinky.” Not that I know from experience or anything.

Overall: The Venus Spa Breeze is quite the cutie….I mean, as far as razors go. Can’t deny how purty she is with the pink handle and shave gel bar. I like the nice grip you get with the handle too.

Speaking of shave gel bar…..it wanted to make a guest appearance.


Now one would probably be skeptical with these shave gel bars. You’re probably thinking one of the two.

“Those bars probably don’t last long.”

OR

“Those bars probably fall out after a few uses.”

Now you’re thinking, “OMG B…how are you reading my mind?” Yes yes, I know. I had the SAME questions and I am proud to announce that the Spa Breeze ‘s bars DO last for quite some time and they DON’T fall out. I have not had to change in a 2 months or so. And I shave pretty frequently!

The bars don’t fall out. Instead they kind of just…wash away. Which really isn’t a problem because then you go right back to using your regular shaving gel—or hair conditioner, if you’re like me.

As I mentioned, I would LOVE if these babies had some kind of top so that they would REALLY make for easy traveling. I’ve been having to stuff mine in Zip-Loc bags and c’mon….that’s so not cute. Aaaand, I would love to see it with 5 blades instead of 4. That would make for super close shave!

But other than that, I highly recommend these razors if you are in the market for some. I have featured the disposables but you can also purchase the entire system which includes the refillable razors, two cartridges and a shower compact for under $10.

Can’t beat that with a stick—as my Mommy would say!

So what do you think?
Have you tried this razor?
Want ‘ it?
Got any razor horror stories?

Shave on, sisters!

Natural Beauty: Why Castile Soap rocks my socks….

I am going to start featuring more natural product reviews on Clumps of Mascara. I mean, it only makes sense! Natural products are staples in my home and very rarely do I show them love here on the blog. That changes today!

Have I told y’all how much I love castile soap?


I buy the different fragrances and different sizes and I just LOVE them.


Please tell me you know what Castile soap is? It’s just that! Soap. And it’s all natural. I ain’t playin‘….check out the ingredients.


It looks like regular liquid soap when poured out.

Add a few drops of water and what do you get? Soapy goodness!


Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps has 18 uses. Okay, sooo…I haven’t found all 18 but I’m using castile soap daily!

-I wash my hair with it (Peppermint or Tea Tree)
-I clean my bathroom and kitchen with it. (Unscented)
-I wash my face with it (Lavender or Almond)
-I clean my make-up brushes with (Unscented)
-I remove stains with it (Unscented)
-I use it as a body wash (Almond or Citrus)
-I have used it as a toothpaste..but giiirl, don’t swallow it (Peppermint)

I have developed a great love affair with castile soap. This is one product that I can not leave home without when traveling.

You can find out more about castile soap here. If you are looking to incorporate more natural products in your lifestyle, castile soap is a must have. And it pretty affordable and easy to find. They are popping up at drugstores and I have known to find some at Target stores. But of course they can easily be found at natural food stores and markets like Wild Oats, Whole Foods and Trader’s Joe.

Want to know more about Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps? Or interested in purchasing it online?
Click here.

Lather up, mamas!