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.

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!