Skin Care tips, tricks and bullshits.

HELLO my loves. I hope you are as safe as you can be and dealing with the bullshits as well as you can. Today let’s talk about some things I wish I’d known when I got into skin care. We’re gonna go over lots of stuff.

First thing, some of this some of y’all are gonna be like BUT OMG AUNTIE IT WORKS FOR ME. Yes it might right now. Some of the things will cause later damage or are things that are highly comedegenic. Also if you don’t know, yes I love natural but natural ain’t always great. Cyanide is natural and you still shouldn’t eat it. That said, everything that exists is chemicals.

Now, when we talk chemicals do keep in mind that a lot of the scare articles don’t tell you the manner or level of ingestion. Too much of anything can cause a problem. You can die from drinking too much water. Don’t get too into that. Do your research but keep in mind, it is likely you won’t be putting a chemical up your own butt every day for 10 years and thus causing yourself a scary illness.

ALL RIGHTY THEN lezgo.

Let’s talk about exfoliation. When it comes to your face, here’s the problem. A lot of us suffer weird textures, etc and it is super satisfying to use a physical scrub. I was a devout physical exfoliator for YEARS y’all. Scrubs, brushes. ALL OF IT. However, once I learned the dangers including:

  • microtears in the skin
  • Said microtears helping bacteria get in and cause acne
  • Compromised acid mantle
  • Long term damage

I gave it up and switched to chemical exfoliants. My skin is still pretty sensitive so it took some product before I found the one. Every now and then I’ll use a very soft physical exfoliant, I have a knock off of the Tatcha Soothing Enzyme Rice Polish*. The long term differences between physically exfoliating and doing it chemically has been night and day.

I started with adding a gentle retinol to my routine and followed with experimenting with BHA’s and AHA’s. Not all at once. Please don’t do that. For me, while The Ordinary Glycolic acid*was like..BOOM POW it was a bit too intense for my face. I wound up only being able to use it a couple of times a week. That said, over time exfoliating chemically has proven to help fade my hyperpigmentation and a lot of it hasn’t returned in the same spots. Spots I’ve had for years that were black/purple have faded. And overall, I feel like my skin is in better health. No microtears and my acid mantle is intact.

I am tempted by physical exfoliation. I used my rice stuff last night because it is high allergy season for me so my face is flaky. It sufficed.

Now if you already have scrubs what do you do with them cause we ain’t wasting shit at aunties house. If OMG PLS DON’T BUY you have one of the St Ives type scrubs, please don’t use that shit on your face. Use it on your feet, use it on your butt, use it if you have bumpy areas on your body. Keep that shit off of your precious face.

If you have sugar scrubs, pro tip using them in tubes (as they usually come for skin) use them on your body. SUPER pro tip. The Freeman Facial Charcoal & Black Sugar Polish Mask is AWFUL for your face over time. BUT y’all, it is an amazing body scrub. It is a bit perfumey for me but I really love how silky it leaves my body.  Use it in combo with something like an exfoliating towel on your booty…then moisturize heavily and just rub it. You’ll be happy.

Moisturizing. Listen. Moisturize your damn face. Yes even if your face is oily. I used to have mega oily skin as in, sometimes it looked like I was sweating. However, once I started to focus on hydrating my skin it started to balance out. Look at being super oily as you needing to help your face realize it is moisturized so the excess sebum production slows down. It takes time. Your face will freak out. You might break out but, give it time.

What I settled on was using very rich, thick serious moisturizers at night and using something more gel like for day under my sunscreen. I often see in skin care groups folks being nervous about going to bed shiny. Go to bed lookin like a glazed donut. I mean it. Your pillow will soak up some product and also, matte is not important if you’re asleep. if you’re worried what your partner will think, maybe get them into skincare. Or tell them to fuckin’ deal with it.

I do not believe in rigid skin types. Skin is a living organ and changes. Also regardless of type, you need hydration. Drink water and moisturize.

If you find an oil you like, use that as well. I’ve used lots of them but my faves to use as my last step at night are squalene or rosehip oil. Other oils I like, hemp oil (shelf stable), vitamin e, argan oil, olive oil. Stop putting coconut oil on your face. Coconut oil can be highly comedegenic so use it elsewhere.

ALSO when it comes to products that will be on your face for hours make sure you check your ingredients. Essential oils are great for a lot of things but not on your face. Most of them even in small concentrations can increase skin sensitivity, irritation, etc. It can be hard to avoid so look for fragrant components at the end of the ingredient list.

Use SPF like it is your goddamn job. Especially if you are treating any type of pigmentation issues like melasma or hyperpigmentation. UV exposure will undo your work, put you at risk for skin cancer and overall fuck up your day. YES you too beautiful melanin rich people.

Also look.

Real talk. Three months or ten years of good skin care probably won’t give you influencer skin. Skin changes, hormones, weather, stress life, aging etc. Don’t give up because you’re not perfect after a few uses. What I’ve discovered is that rather than focusing on trying to attain that filter look or flawless glass skin, I concentrate on keeping my skin supple and healthy.

Also if you’re unable to keep up a full routine don’t give up on yourself. If all you can do is use a wipe or miceller water to take off the day, that’s okay. Don’t toss your stuff. Do what you can when you can.

Last pro tip from your fave Auntie. Treat your skin from your scalp to your toes like silk. Treat it good. Feed it well and put up with the bullshit it throws at you. If you can’t do it out of self love, do it because it holds in your organs and you need that.

As always affiliate links have a *. I encourage you to google for good prices. Go forth and glow baby.

20200318_170113

[image description: a photo of your fave auntie. Brown skinned, wearing glasses, a headwrap and a lip ring.]

Do Overs….End of the year faves. Skin Care edition.

Hi. I know. I KNOW I done fell the whole hell off. I’m here.

So let’s talk year end favorite stuff. Skin care edition.

There will be affiliate links with * near.

FIRST UP let’s talk about skin care faves of 2019.

Cleansing.

I am a double cleanse devotee and have been casting about for great oil cleansers. My faves from 2019″

Palmers Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil, Face, Rosehip Fragrance.* Pros- very accessible. Inexpensive. At $10.49 from Amazon, one bottle of this lasted me months. Does a nice job removing even a WHOLE lot of liner and mascara. Cons- scented. If you are careful about freelanced products don’t do it G. Overall though, I went through 2 bottles this year.

NYX Cosmetics Stripped Off Cleansing Balm. If you have used the TAKE THE DAY OFF CLEANSING BALM* this product comes in solid form, and you use it the same way. It is a solid and you rub it between your hands then on your face. The NYX is SUCH a better deal bro. If you wear full coverage or a lot of long lasting or waterproof stuff, that Nyx balm is the SHIT yo. One tub will last a long long time. Absolutely a great option and in my view better than the Clinique thing.

Honorable mention, the OG cleansing oil I used the The Face Shop Rice Water BrightLight Cleansing Oil.* This is a GREAT entry oil to try out. I also highly recommend if you don’t wear foundation. It will struggle a bit with waterproof liner/mascara but will get it done. According to Amazon I first purchased this in 2016 and I’ve used a few more bottles yearly since.

Second Cleanser.

Before we go here. Can I just say that my FAVE cleanser of all time is expensive as fuck. My philosophy in terms of cleansers has always been, I just want it to get the job done. Then this shit came along and god damn it. I am kinda ruined. BUT it isn’t the only one. I’ll get to it last.

I cleanse in the morning and switch off two cleansers from Garnier. First one is the SkinActive Soothing Milk Face Wash with Rose Water. This milky cleanser is so soothing. BUT it also is scented but not heavily to my nose. This one is great for days when my face is being weird or peely. From the same line ….um. Apparently this one isn’t being made anymore it isn’t on the official website. Well shit. anyway it is the SkinActive Face Wash with Aloe Juice.* This was a cleanser I tried for nighttime and nah. But for morning it just leaves my fave cleansed of the night before (my skin care, drool whatever) and my skin isn’t too stripped, feels clean, bouncy and hydrated. I’m gonna have to stock up.

Honorable mention for morning. Tree Hut Skincare Purifying Cleansing Gel, Balancing Rosewater*. Now this one is a little more cleansing than the Aloe one but, I like it. It is a great prep for matte full faceballs make up.

NIGHT TIME. THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE.

Y’all. Youth To The People Kale Superfood Cleanser* – Gentle Gel Face Wash with Spinach and Green Tea. THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE GOD DAMN IT. First of all, this bitch is 36 goddamn dollars for an 8 oz bottle. Right around my birthday this year, I grabbed a 10$ travel size (we’ll talk about it) with my birthday Sephora purchase. Here’s the thing about cleansers. If they promise you baby butt skin in ONE USE..skip it. I’ve been getting into more clean beauty and I like the ingredients. And then I noticed after about let’s say three months of use, my face was like YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS BITCH. For YEARS I’ve never been able to use one cleanser and have it stay effective for months. This shit…is so good. It has helped keep my skin more clear. I rarely get the same level of pimples as before. My face always feels very clean, hydrated, happy. God. Damn. It. THIRTY SIX dollars. So disrespectful but I feel real good. BUT good news is, you can get a travel bottle for 10$. Since it is my nighttime cleanser (it is a little too cleansing for me for morning) and the small bottle lasts me months. I’m still mad tho.

Serums.

I’ve done a lot of serums that were meh. I have stumbled on a few things that have worked SO WELl.

First one, The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + Ha.*  There are a lot of things I love about The Ordinary. High quality skin care that is quite extensive and pocketbook friendly. The downside of this is that they don’t do a lot of explanation. You HAVE to do your research. We’ll talk more about this later. In my research I was recommended this product to help with my quest to deal with my hyperpigmentation and facial scarring. Y’all. I’ve been using this product for about 6 months. I don’t use it twice a day as recommended, it didn’t agree with my other stuff but holy shit. My skin…..I wish I’d taken before photos but, I’ve tried so many things and nothing has worked like this. I had a purply black newish scar on my forehead and after a month, that bitch straight up peeled OFF. Left no other mark. My chin scars are faded, my forehead scar is faded. And more impressively, though I do still get the dark marks they aren’t immediately the super dark black/purple kind. They are a few shades darker brown than my face and they fade. I’m on my second bottle.

Moisturizers.

Am moisturizer. Gosh. Daytime. I am only this year a convert to the keeping my SPF and moisturizer separate. I did not want this to make a difference but damn it did.

First up, my holy damn grail after going through TWO minis. Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream.* I am not really a sucker for high end but, I used this cream from Jan-April. DAMN IT DAMN IT DAMN IT. It is so good. My allergy riddled face was not irritated but I still got the benefits of the vitamin c. I was SO HYDRATED. Y’all this bitch is SIXTY FIVE damn dollars. I also hate that it is in a jar. I could literally slather my face in it but, it really didn’t take a lot to spread nicely and leave my itchy, peely, irritated ass face SO PLUMP AND MOIST. Shit.

Y’all. I’m using a perfectly -nice- day time moisturizer. InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer. Like…I kind of don’t totally love the finish but it is nice. It hit the buttons I wanted, Vit C, no dimethecone. It was easy on my bank account. But it is not Sunday Riley so I hate it…..I KNOW this is unreasonable but y’all. Shit.

My PM moisturizer eh. I’m using a perfectly okay one but I’ve yet to be wowed.

Few other honorable mentions:

Lips. My lips have been SO TERRIBLE. My work moved to a new building that I think is dryer than the last and my lips have just been in terrible shape.

Aritaum Ginger Sugar Overnight Lip Mask. I have been through two tins of this. It is thick, not slippery and awesome. Link is gone but it is good.

Basically, 2019 has exposed just how much of a bourgie bitch I am and I’m kinda okay with it.

Coming 2020. A skin care series for those who are lost, poor or otherwise confused.

MORE NATURAL HAIR SHITS.

I hope the new year brings all of you what you need.

Love,

Shannon

Over 40 Skin Care-new goals

Hi sugar!

Let’s talk about skin care. I’ve been doing some changes, seen some progress and discovered some new goals.

There will be some affiliate links so watch for the *. I get some pennies if you click or buy.

First, the first bare faced photo of yours truly of the year.

[image description: the author. Brown skinned femme with no make up on. Smiling a little]


SO I mean, I hate to brag but y’all look at me. Had you told me even at 30 that I’d ever a.) post a no make up selfie OR be proud of my faceballs, I’d have laughed in your face.

If you’re new let’s talk about my skin struggles. I’ve had oily skin on my face forever. At one point, I had a dermatologist just say, oh wow. My skin is also very reactive, sensitive, easily irritated and acne prone. A whole ass hot mess. Add in that my face scars if I look at it crooked. I am also in perimenopause which means, my skin goes buck fucking wild for no reason.

First let’s talk about my current routine.

I don’t do most things on a schedule. Just like with my hair care I tend to feel out what my face wants and deliver. My current round up of products on rotation goes like this.

Oil Cleansers:

DERMA E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil*- I grabbed this on sale and it is okay. If you are scent sensitive don’t buy this, I thought it might’ve had rose oil in it but it just has a rose scent. Scent doesn’t but me. If you wear full foundation, this one probably won’t do you good. I tend to only use it if I’ve got on light make up (concealer) or if I’m not wearing any.

Nyx Stripped off Cleansing Balm– This is an all time fave I will go back to forever. If you love the Clinique take off the day balm, this is a great dupe. The cost is far lower. Head to head here’s how they stack up. Cost. Nyx winds hands down. Nyx loses a couple of points for being slightly scented, Clinique has no detectable smell. Both work great at removing full coverage foundation. They can easily remove the 17 pounds of mascara+liner I like. They are both great formulations.

boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil* This is my third product try from boscia and I feel a little, eh about it. boscia is one of those brands I really wanted to LOVE but it didn’t really move me like that. This cleansing oil is good, it has a tiny bit of scent not much. I fell for branding and really wanted to love it. It is just a meh for me. Once my bottle is empty I won’t repurchase.

Foamy/lathery/second Cleansers:

Tree Hut Skincare Purifying Cleansing Gel*. I love this cleanser. Some of the ingredients are not the greatest, we’ll talk about that but I love having it in my stash. It works the best for me pre-chemical exfoliation. My skin absolutely loves it. I get squeaky clean without the squeaky feeling.

Garnier SkinActive Face Wash with Aloe Juice*- I had a coupon and wanted to try out this line because I LOVE the sheet masks and Garnier is usually pretty good to me. This is a loose jelly texture, no smell I can detect, super gentle and my skin just loves it. This is pretty great for days when my skin feels grimy or generally a little irritated or peely.

Andalou Naturals Meyer Creamy Lemon Cleanser*- Andalou naturals is a newer to me brand and y’all. I love this brand the way I wanted to love boscia. I don’t know about the brightening but, I just love this cleanser. It does have a slight citrusy scent that isn’t overwhelming. It smells like it has citrus in it. My skin just loves this stuff. It is creamy and doesn’t foam, cleans nicely and leaves my face feeling soft af.

A few honorable mentions. Sometimes I still use my liquid african black soap on my face. It is SUPER drying and I usually only do it as a mini mask when my face is acting a damn fool. Also if I have any sort of irritation. I also almost always have a bucket of Noxema on deck.

Now, if it isn’t a mask night this is what I do at night before bed.

I’m looking for new toners, right now I use Shea Moisture problem skin toner. It is…okay.

After toning I go back to my ride or die Claire-ity 25% Vitamin C Serum* y’all. I’ve been using a C serum for about 4 years. I’ve tried drugstore, high end. I’ve tried liquidy serums, cream c, powder. This brand is my ride or die. Great price point at 15$, it is super gentle and I have absolutely seen a difference in the hydration and smoothness of my skin when I’ve gone a few months not using it.

Next I use a retinol cream. Retinol is another thing I’ve used for the past few years in one manner or another. My fave now discontinued one came from the ordinary. I’ve been searching since. I’ve gone through a few kinds of retinol and this one from Nuva Skin has been great for me. The jar is air tight so no contamination, it is a very rich cream. This is a 2.5% retinol product that also has hylaruanic acid, aloe and other skin loving stuff. For me, cruising at 2.5% has been great for my skin.

Then I lay on some moisturizer. NOW y’alls. I fucked up. I was fbing late one night and came across some super organic fancy ass skin care that is normally out of my price range. I had a few bucks in my paypal and saw that they have sampler kits that with the code, NONTOXIC comes to about 4$ shipped in the US. I grabbed one and okay. The cleanser is nice but not amazing. The rosewater is yanno rosewater. The deep hydration moisturizer tho. Y’all. This is the first moisturizer I’ve used in a while that just, my skin eats it up and LOVES. It is also out of my price range rn for one product. When I can afford it, I will be buying a full size jar.

My last nightly step is I slather my face in Rosehip oil that I got at CVS or Walgreens or something.

I’ve been using some masks but I think I’ll save those. Basically I do a deep clean one on Saturday then a chemical exfoliant midweek ish.

My goals last year were mainly to get my skin cleared up, fewer breakouts. I accomplished that. Also, the texture of my skin has VASTLY improved. I’ve got a glow now. My skin feels plump and silky.

This year my goals are as follows:

  1. Help myself avoid further hyperpigmentation and continue treating what I have slow and gentle like.
  2. MORE hydration.

Basically that’s all I want to do. I feel like my skin glow up is going pretty well. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back into higher end skincare later this year and we’ll have a post about questionable ingredients, money and whatnot.

Skin Care updates.

Hello darlings.

Let’s talk about skin care today and the state of my skin and whatnot.

For reference. I am 40 will be turning 41 in March. Very VERY oily skin that is prone to:

  • Peeling
  • Rashes
  • Dehydration
  • Major hyperpigmentation and scarring often for no damn reason.

I also have skin that is highly sensitive to weather changes, hormones, anything. My skin as I get older gets more extra.

SO wanna see?

nakedface

[image caption: photo of the blogger, brown skinned femme with a naked face.

I really wish I still had my old phone so y’all could get a better idea of where I started. I do still have a scar/s on my forehead from a bad bout of dermatitis but, with gentle regular care they have faded. Also if you look at the corners of my mouth where my skin splits in the Winter, it is lookin pretty clear.

On my check on the right, you can see two dark marks. Both of those are from two MAJORLY clogged pores. Traditionally, since puberty I’ve been prone to whiteheads. From the teeny ones to big ole HOLY SHIT WHAT IS THAT type ones. The smaller ones caused the most hyperpigmentation on my face. Even if left alone.

Those two marks were the other clogged pore, just clogged up for ages without a bump. I treated them at first with a drying solution which only made the top layer of skin peel.

SO y’all…I know this is counter intuitive but I ignored them.

My skin care routine has been a little off. I’m trying not to buy new skin stuff until after we move and I figure out my storage situation. Here’s what I do in general lately.

  1. Remove make up with whatever, balm, oil, make up wipe. Occasionally I take my eye make up off with castor oil if I’ve been more extra than usual that day.
  2. Cleanse with cleanser.
  3. Rinse very well.
  4. Pat dry.
  5. SOmetimes mask right away.
  6. Or skip #5 use my ACV/Water toner.
  7. Vitamin C/hyalauranic acid serum (under 20$)
  8. Retinol (I’m out and my fave is discontinued *SAD MOO*)
  9. CVS even skin oil.
  10. Moisturizer.

Now. I’ve been doing the 10-sometimes up to 13 step skin care for about a year now. This is the result. My skin is visibly softer, I am way WAY LESS prone to scarring. Let me tell you a story.

A few periods ago, I grew a monster pimple. The likes of which I thought I left in my 20s. It hurt, it was red and ragey for a good four days before it even started to whitehead up. I treated it with my favorite OH SHIT mask.

Let me pause here.

ORIGINS Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask to Rescue Skin Problem. Y’ALL. I know I talk about this product every skin post but I am on tube #3 and it is my real ride or die oh shit product. It is potent. I used a dab of it on Zitzilla every day and it withered. It is in fact expensive but one tube goes a LONG way if you have fairly clear skin and only really need it for oh shitness.

Now, even two years ago I would have wound up with a big almost black mark on the side of my face. When my face scars, the hyperpigmentation will sort of spread like a blob as you can see.

I had a faintish darker than me brown spot for a few weeks and it was gone.

That is HUGE.

Now for most of my life I’d STILL have the scar.

Look at my left cheek, no scar.

Up close I have a few little slightly darker brown scars but they fade fast.

The huge thing is that I stuck with the extra routine. The basics are my skin likes being very clean then, exfoliated and heavily moisturized. This is where I say, you have to give stuff a chance to work.

Right now this moment my face is a bit broken out because I’m out of some of my stuff as I mentioned. My skin is still in good condition, I am concentrating on keeping my skin well cleansed, I do a light peel mask weeklyish and I am still using my spin brush. I also moisturize really well.

I moisturize more than I thought I ever would. I mean, had you told me twenty years ago I would not only moisturize but not be using sebum killer cleansers and aggressively trying to perfect my skin.

Instead, I’ve learned to be gentle with myself even in trying to clear up my skin.

So there it is. After we get moved and whatnot I will talk about what I’m putting back in and going to try out.

 

2017…..looking back.

2017 has been a giant trash fire.

So….yeah nope.

That said let’s talk about some of my favorite things.

Skincare up first. *Most of these will be affiliate links, Auntie needs coins cause bitches gotta eat.

Cleaners:

L’Oreal Pure Clay Cleanser Detox and Brighten. I am on my second tube of this and I really love it. Leaves my skin nice and clean, it lathers up nicely. It is a bit too perfumy but overall it does me good.

Garnier Clean+ Makeup Removing Lotion Cleanser Sensitive Skin. Y’all know (I will do a new reggie post soon) I double cleanse my face. I picked this up and am about done with a tube. It removes make up really nicely. I use this first. It is gentle enough that my skin stays moist but it does a good job on my long wear foundation. If you don’t wear fourteen pounds of mascara regularly, it gets off mascara well too.

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser. SUCH a great mid/low Sephora type price cleanser. It does in fact deep clean but doesn’t leave my face stripped. This one is in heavy rotation I use it at least twice a week. It is nice and thick, has a great texture on the skin.

BIORÉ Charcoal Acne Cleanser.  This one is a winner with a few caveats. First one, my personal face is very suspicious of salicylic acid. I don’t use it a lot because my skin will get mega dehydrated. That said, I keep this cleanser on deck for hormonal breakouts. Or if my face just feels grody. It will clean the shit out of your face. Great low cost deep DEEP cleanser to have on hand.

GARNIER SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover.  When I first got this, I kind of hated it. I felt like it leaves a film, took WAY too much work to get my make up off because I wear a shitload. HOWEVER, it is really great to follow the make up removing lotion and it will get off ALL my seventeen pounds of mascara and liner without scrubbing. It is great to just get off any missed make up and I’ve been using it daily. If you have dry skin and don’t wear a lot of make up, this might be amazing for you.

Toners:

Now I am a relatively new convert to this step. That said. I’ve been trying some.

I use a 50/50 mix of Bragg USDA Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, With The Mother  and filtered water. I actually feel personally attacked by this. Y’all. I HATE HATE HATE the smell of acv but, it works so well on my body. It works so nicely it makes me ANGRY. I legit get mad. The toner, balances my face and my skin just feels better using it. I used it for three months, took a month off and absolutely noticed a difference in the feel of my skin. I haven’t been able to do a shot of it a day but, baby steps. We’re gonna revisit it.

Moisturizers/serums/oils.

First up Vitamin C serums. My two favorites are Claire-ity 25% Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E and Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E – Anti-Aging Tropical Facial Serum by Umber.  They are almost identical. The Umber serum is a tad bit more liquidy but they perform the same for me. I like having my hyaluronic acid in with the vitamin C. This is another product I questioned the efficacy of. After I ran out of the Claireity I went without for a couple of months and yeah. It matters for my skin. Using vit c serum absolutely helps keep me from developing new hyperpigmentation, my skin is more even toned. Also my current hyperpigmentation smooths out way faster.

THE ORDINARY Buffet. I was on the fence about this one but stopped using it for a while. When it joins with all the other shit I put on my face, smoother skin. Plumper skin. Hydrated skin so I really do love it.

My FAVORITE facial oil isn’t available online. I use a CVS house brand brightening oil. Y’all. It is the SHIT. I was underwhelmed with Argan oil for my face, I honestly grabbed it on a whim and I am very impressed. I’m not sure about the brightening powers but, using it has absolutely upped the general moisturization of my face. HA WAIT I lied. Find it here.

Masks:

Get a snack this is taking a while. For masks I keep quite a few on hand depending on what my skin needs. Some are interchangeable some not so much.

I use sheet masks a lot. I picked up this multipack and y’all. I especially recommend using these after any deep cleansing, deep exfoliation or peels. Mostly, I use them for the hardcore moisture. Also it is just relaxing.

Next up some hardcore ride or dies.

FORMULA 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox Ultra Cleansing Mud Mask. This is marketed for teens and if you’ve been  here a minute, y’all have seent it. This brand is marketed for teens but I bust it out when I’ve got hormonal breakouts or my skin is just trippin. I love it.

Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask. For surface scrubby exfoliation (for me it helps with my peely scaly ass face) this is really great. Not too gritty, leaves my skin soft and fresh. Also the price!!!

Another OH SHIT MY FACE mask is the ORIGINS Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask to Rescue Problem Skin. Y’all. Y’ALL. This shit right here is reserved for my OH FUCK OH FUCK WTF IS THAT SHIT moments. It is powerful and not for the sensitive of faceballs. It is intense enough at drying up pimples that now that my skin is generally clear I reserve it for spot treating bumps, mainly anything with a whitehead, or those shitty under the skin bumps. It works. It will make your eyes water.

I use other masks mainly for relaxation. For instance those packet sauna masks and shit. The Montagne Jeunesse Red Hot Earth Sauna Masque is one of my favorite things on earth. It doesn’t do  much but I love the sensation of self heating so much I will buy them by the handful for strictly relaxing purposes.

Moisturizers- eh none this year have blown my socks off.

So let’s stop there cause I got more and ain’t nobody got time for that.

Come back probably Monday for body stuff!!

What are your faves?

The Smallest Indulgences

Hello loves.

Today is fucking terrible so I’m gonna hit you with some cheap indulgences/mini reviews. Yes affiliate links are gonna be used. Don’t hate, appreciate.

FIRST THING. I love a good wet shine gloss with or without shimmer. Some glossy stuff I’ve tried lately.

Burt’s Bees Lip Shine, in Pucker.

Okay I grabbed one on a whim out of a clearance bucket because my lips were dry and if I’m gonna be real, my go to self-care, small treat thing is lip products. I’ve been wearing it all day today and the color is very sheer, the texture is thick and jelly like without being sticky. It has a pleasant but not strong sweet taste. Very shiny. Do like. I wouldn’t pay 7$ for it but if you spot one on clearance snag it.

The next thing I tried recently is the Milani Lip Oil shit.

Okay so…I LOVE how it smells. LOVE the shine but I don’t feel like it is much of a treatment. Lip oils had some moments from the early 90s and every now and I always LOVE the idea. Shine, treatment, COLOR but. Y’all. I also tried this one from Sephora and no. The thing about using an oil is that it is meant to absorb right? So while the concept is awesome and the immediate feel is really nice, this is not a great type of product for longevity. That said, if you don’t mind frequent reapplying, it is a shiny nice lil thing.

Next up, I have been getting back into my Nyx Butter Glosses. They are so great. They are inexpensive and come in some great colors. If you are someone who wants to try out some bolder lip colors but aren’t ready for something super opaque these are a great stepping stone. The colors tend towards buildable, they are shiny. They are usually 5-7$ and I LOVE them.

Another thing I love (because I’m wearing more matte lippies) are primers for lips. I like the one from Ulta. The clear Babylips also does the trick. A nice little soft layer. Some matte lippies won’t totally dry down over a primer but I’m willing to trade some wear time for more comfort.

What else?

Well, this post isn’t really about lipstick. It’s more about ways I utilize treat yosefl self care when everything fucking sucks. And right now, everything fucking sucks.

I’ve also been really getting all the way into my skin care stuff. How about a couple of quickie reviews for that?

Garnier SkinActive The Gentle Sulfate-Free Face Wash. I picked this because my face was irritated and I wanted something gentle and non annoying. Pros- no scent, it is a good size bottle and you only need a full pump or so especially if you’ve already removed your make up. My face in particular doesn’t like this. For some reason this product tends to over cleanse my skin. I think it is because I double cleanse and it’s just too much. I tend to reserve this one for days when I don’t need to double cleanse or I wore a fuckton of make up.

[MIZON] Tube Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream is another thing I’ve been experimenting with. This is not a miracle cream but it is very nice. I’ve been using it for about a month or so. If you want something that is more heavy duty and has some power, this ain’t it. I do suggest this for folks who are under 30 or just getting into skin care. I’ll finish the tube and try a new one.

Let’s talk some stuff I want to try. I’m very experimental with some stuff and I’ve got a lil bit of a wish/needs to try.

FORMULA 10.0.6 P.M. Perfector– I am a fan of this brand when I remember it exists. I have a few of their masks and really like them. I LOVE this one FORMULA 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox Ultra Cleansing Mud Mask. It is hardcore and the bergamont fumes burn my eyes a bit but I find it really nice.

I have some facial oils I want to try too. Y’ll I cannot be without a facial oil anymore. I just won’t. I LOVE how juicy and plump they make my skin. ALSO protip, if you suffer skin flakiness near/in your hairline, using some of your face oil into your hairline helps a lot.I want to try the Mario Badrescu Rose Hip oil but I will probably buy it elsewhere because that is expensive af. When I buy more retinol from The Ordinary I’m probably gonna snag the rose hip oil as well.

ANDALOU NATURALS Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask- I REALLY want to try this one. The stuff in it looks good to me and that price is niiiiiiiiiiiiice. Y’all I am still so into the Peter Thomas Roth pumpkin mask but it is so expensive. It really would take up my self care budget for an entire quarter.

I’m super in love with the rebranding from Freeman and I want to try the FEELING BEAUTIFUL Manuka Honey & Tea Tree Oil Foaming Clay.  I really love the 4 in 1 ACV one. I love almost anything clay based.

How about some tips before I close it out for today?

Like hair typing, skin typing is only so good. Learn what your personal skin says. Mine tends to say, YO I AM OILY AS HELL BRUH! It also says, YO LOOK AT THIS FLAKY PATCH NATURE GOT ON U LOLOL FUQ U…And then sometimes it also says- LOOK HOW FUCKING FULL OF MELANIN AND GLORY I AM!

Listen to your skin. Sometimes it will let you know via rashes, breakouts or other weirdness that it has a need.

Just because something is expensive, doesn’t mean it is great. I learned this the hard way in my 20s and y’all nah.

Sometimes, starting simply works. Wash, moisturize, wear SPF. Like that’s really all. And two of those things can be combined.

If you are broke here are my instantly do something great for your skin tips:

  • WATER or other liquid, drink it.
  • If you wear make up brushes, wash them. You don’t need fancy brush cleaner. Hell you can use dishsoap, shampoo, facewash, brush wash, baby soap, body wash (best if it doesn’t have a lot of moisturizing stuff) whatever is sudsy.
  • If you are breaking out, do the above and also go easy on your face. Over aggressive cleansing can make you break out.
  • Be NICE TO YOUR FACE.

That’s all for now.

Go forth, feel cute cause you are.

Ten Steps- My current skin care routine.

Okay darlings. Today we’re gonna talk about how extra my skin care routine has become and I’ll review some stuff for you. Affiliate links will be used cause Auntie needs coins.

Ready?

Okay step 1 and 2 At night.

Lately I’ve been using the Garnier Clean+ Makeup Removing Lotion Cleanser Sensitive Skin. I had been using the Rice Bright Oil which is wonderful but I wanted something a bit easier to get and a tadbit cheaper. I use the cream on my dry face to remove my foundation and eye make up. This cream does a pretty nice job. I will say that on days where I’m wearing a fuckton of mascara or liner it doesn’t totally do the job. Then I swoop in with the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover. Alone I don’t feel like the micellar water can handle the amount of make up I wear but a quick swipe with it after the cream cleanser and make up is gone.

Step 3.

I’ve stumbled upon a bit of genius when it comes to my fickle face. I have a little collection of cleansers I rotate depending on how my skin is feeling. Unfortunately, African Black soap started drying me out so I busted into my stash. Pro tip, if you want to try expensive skin care, get travel sizes. First cleanser I’m into is the First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay. I love that it is a nice thick gel texture and it leaves my skin very soft and clean without stripping it. Next one I’m into but not fully sold on is the boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser. It hasn’t done miracle wonders BUT I do really love the warming sensation when I use it with my Spin for perfect skin brush.  Once a week or so I’ll do a cleanser/mask combo. I’m trying out the Freeman Facial Apple Cider Vinegar Clay Mask + Scrub. Not a miracle but I really do like how my skin feels after using it. The scrubby aspect isn’t super scrubby so it’s very nice. I also have a few random sachets of cleansers I will use when the mood strike. I tend to listen to what my face is saying. This week it says, HEY I WILL JUST BE UP HERE BEING A PEELY ASSHOLE. ENJOY THAT.

Step 4.

I use a 80/20 mix of Braggs ACV and purified water as a toner. Um. Y’all. Let me be real I HATE this step. I hate the smell of ACV and I hate how much my body loves it. Now I was skeptical about the claims I’d seen about this mix helping with balancing out skin, sebum production and apparently it’ll heal your soul. Um. Bruh. This shit…y’all…listen. I experimented and used it nightly for a month. The biggest thing I noticed was that my face felt more balanced. It was softer and had a brighter look. I went off it and yep there was a difference. I am so mad.

Step 5.

Sheet mask/other mask. I’ve been masking several times a week. From Amazon I picked up a variety pack of sheet masks. Dermal Korea Collagen Essence Full Face Facial Mask Sheet, 16 Combo Pack. And I picked up a pack of ten honey based ones as well. Those are so great for major hydration. If I’m breaking out I’ll use a skin clearing mask. Some in rotation are: FORMULA 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox Ultra Cleansing Mud Mask. That one is excellent for the price point, it does have a strong smell and will sting your eyes. There is my ride or die Origins out of Trouble mask.  It is pricey but, y’all this shit will dry up a pimple on my face very fast and it’s not a mask I need to use weekly.

Step 6.

Next up I use a vitamin C serum. I’ve experimented and my favorite is the Clarity Vitamin C serum. I had stopped using it for a while and noticed that my dark spots were a bit more prominent and I was having a lot of them left over from any little pimple or whatever.

Step 7.

OKAY here is the first thing from the ordinary. First thing is the 1% retinol. Now I went through the peeling from that and I love this product. It had made tactile difference in my skin. My face is absolutely smoother, my pores look a bit smaller and the areas where I have trouble with texture have improved. Also the product is so friggin silky feeling.

Step 8.

For general anti aging I also picked up the Buffet from The ordinary. It feels very nice on the skin. I usually wait for about ten minutes after my retinol to apply it.

Step 9

Also from the Ordinary I picked up the 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil. It is meh. It smells like olives to me and feels nice. I also smooth it over my hair. It’s not as good to me as the Tarte Maracuja oil. My hair and face are both pretty meh.

Step 10.

My night cream. I’m still looking for my holy grail. I’m almost done with a jar of the Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Night Cream. It’s okay? It is very moisturizing which I want. It doesn’t do anything spectacular.

SO what is the point of all this?

Not perfect skin. My skin will never be perfect. My goals first and foremost is to have a more comfortable face. I have very oily, acne prone, highly reactive skin. Basically my face is hella greasy, I get pimples and I will peel or break out in a rash for no good damn reason.

I could get the same results in half the steps but, my ten steps are my nighttime self-care ritual. I take my time doing them. While I’m cleansing my face, I say a little cleansing meditation in my head. While I’m lubing up my face, I tell myself some affirmations and thoughts for good dreams.

This is a way I spend time with myself. Hands on my own skin making myself feel good. Yes it is wonderful to have my face feel smoother and more supple. Yes I LOVE road testing skin care but, I love knowing that I am caring for myself and treating myself with the best gentle love.

The last thing I do before I settle down to try and sleep is moisturize my butt. Right now I’m SUPER into the Tree Hut Moroccan Rose Body butter.

And there y’all have it.

 

A few quickie reviews.

I’ve tried out a few new things recently and nothing that needs their own entries so how about some quickies?

Last month I tried out the monthly snack box Graze (my referral link for new folks) basically it’s a monthly sampler of super healthy snacks. It is somewhat customizable with some major caveats. If you’re like me and don’t like nuts that much, there’s not a whole lot on offer. I liked two things out of I think 8 and I gave my partner the other things and he didnt’ care for them much. That said, if you do like nuts I do think it’s a nice deal. If you find yourself in need of snacks at work or whatever, it’s a nice little treat box. I believe right now if you sign up, you can get one free via my affiliate link.

The next thing is the Ulta Ultra Rich hand and nail cream. I have the Coconut almond milk one and y’all. It is 12$ and well worth it to me. The scent is light, not super perfumy and the texture is very rich and creamy without being greasy. This is the hand cream I use at work. I have really super dry hands that crack and this helps keep my hands more supple during the day. If you don’t have super dry skin, this will just feel super luxe and keep your hands the way they are. Don’t expect miracles but it is good stuff.

I’ve been using a new nighttime moisturizer for about a month and y’all…I mean like…so. The NO7 Lift & Luminate Night Cream. Y’all. for 25$ this cream is super rich and feels thick on the skin. I use this last at night and in the month I’ve been using it regularly I’m seeing that my skin is absolutely softer, I have a few patches on my face where I get these irritated thick dry skin over ingrown hairs and this stuff softens that up.I use it all down my neck and onto the tops of my boobs. It is a really wonderful rich cream and it takes only a little bit to go around and the jar will last a while. Like every other goddamn moisturizer, I’d prefer it to come in a pump or tube but yanno.

Now I have to show y’all something that is expensive AF and that I am so in love with it hurts. Like, I did not want to like it, but I friggin love it. The Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask. From Fall through probably May my lips are super prone to cracking. Doesn’t matter how hydrated I am, if I don’t’ have a cold it is allergies or just how my body is. It hurts and leaves discoloration around the corners of my mouth. Normally at night I use a combo of a good heavy, waxy lip balm (generic Burts Bees type or the Eos balms) with a generous (thick and gross) layer of Rosebud Salve on my lips. I don’t know what the super secret formula of that is, but it works. I like the original flavor.

NOW.

I picked up some samples of the Agave lip mask from Sephora a while back……..holy shit wow.

I don’t care about the colors, I slopped that shit on and know that I mouth breathed all night because I was congested. Not only were my lips supple in the morning there was STILL product on them. Normally I’d tell myself, please don’t buy that shit again, but, I want to keep being able to wear ALL my fave lip looks so I’m likely going to pick some up.

I have some other new skin care stuff I’m trying. I’ve kept my promise to myself and have some really great stuff stashed at home to tryout.

What else is coming up?

I’m putting together a page that will have links to indie POC artists because that is important to me. Keep an eye out for that.

MMm what else? I dunno y’all. Stuff.

Have you tried anything new and awesome lately?

You can tell me.

Feelin Myself- Hair n Beauty updates

Oh hay y’all.

As we are ending the trash fire that 2016 has been, I want to end on a few good notes.

Including, stuff that I am super into beauty and hair wise.

Hair first.

I’ve been doing the L.O.C (Leave in, Oil, Cream) method of moisturizing my hair for a while now and wow does it work. It took a few months for me to figure out that my hair once it is well moisturized, only wants to have the full LOC done on it twice a week while I’m protective styling.

Now I am hardcore protective styling. I’m using wigs and I only manipulate my hair to wash it. I’ve decided to protective style until, uh, well whenever I’m done I guess. My hair is healthy enough right now that I’m focusing really heavily on retaining my length.

My current rotation of products is: (affiliate links ahoy)

Liquid-Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Moisture L.O.C. Super Quench Leave-In Spray– not bad. Not quite liquidy enough for my tastes. If you prefer a finer spray this one is good.

Oil- I use half and half of the African Royale Hot Six Hair Oil and JBCO. I added some powdered MSM to it as well.

For my cream (My holy grail is still Oyin Handmade Whipped pudding, but real talk I can’t generally afford it) Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Recipes Seal It Up Hydrating Sealing Butter. I actually bought that on a whim. A few months ago I spent about 50$ on a TON of hair care stock up and this was on sale and a big ass jar. I’ve used some of the jar and it is super moisturizing. It is also kind of heavily perfumed with a powdery scent I don’t think is stellar. The secret is to make sure hair is good and damp or wet before application.

Simple. Easy. My hair is thriving very nicely.

I have also discovered a new type of bonnet to sleep in and I LOVE IT. No irritation, no pressure on my edges. The Magic organic argan oil treated sleep cap.  I dunno if the treatment works or no but, it stays on. I sleep like a demon and used to have to tie other satin bonnets on tightly and that does not work when you get migraines. These are loose and I’ve yet to force once off and no marks on my forehead when I get up. A+.

Now let’s talk my skin.

I had one indulgence on Cyber Monday and I bought the Spin for Perfect Skin brush from Groupon.

spinbrush

I did a TON of research and decided to give it a shot. Y’all……..holy shit I’m in love with it so hard. First of all, it was 80$ off (don’t worry links in a minute) it came with: the machine, a soft brush (lower left corner), an exfoliating brush (right bottom), a body brush, and a pumice stone. I have used all of them and wow.

The soft daily face brush is very soft. This thing spins at a good clip and leaves my skin super clean and smooth. First, I remove my makeup with my Rice, Bright cleansing oil, then I put liquid African Black soap and spin away. I’m careful not to press hard and my skin has already shown some improvement. My dark spots are fading a bit faster, my period break outs are less intense. It actually works better for me than my Clarisonic.

Once a week I use the exfoliating brush with a creamy cleanser. Usually Sunday’s because normally I don’t wear make up on Sunday. Then I follow up with a mask.

Excellence. The exfoliating brush has decreased how many ingrown hairs I get on my chin and is great overall.

The body brush…….zomfg. My skin is very dry and peely in the winter. I have to have good exfoliation a few times a week and this gets the job done. After I exfoliate with a moisturizing body wash, after I slather on my moisturizers. My booty is smooth and the dry patch I have is already starting to shrink.

NOW. If you don’t already use groupon please consider using my referral link to sign up. You can find the brush here. It didn’t come with a fancy case which is fine. I sanitize my brush heads after use and it goes on a shelf. Honestly, it was a great investment and I’d pay full price for it.

Winter is always tough on my self image. It’s taken me all these years to figure out how to dress and stay warm, to have a nice coat, to have my skin in check. I’ve decided in 2017 in order to continue my glow up, I’m gonna change up my skin care a little bit. Just a few minor tweaks.

Coming up soon I’ll do a post and show y’all my little wig collection. Also, I’ll show y’all how I braid under my wings. It’s not the fleekiest method but I can’t cornrow and it works.

After new year, look for some thoughts on turning 40, hopefully some thoughts about an adventure in perfumery and some angst about underwear.

 

Approaching 40. The Glo Up is Real

Hello darlings.

I will be turning 40 in just a few months. I decided that for my bigger dollar purchases this year I want skin care.

My skin is still as I said way back in this entry the best it has ever been in my life. Overall I am more than delighted by the state of my skin. My breakouts are so few they aren’t even really a thing. I have some new things, a few stubborn blocked pores and blackheads but nothing terrible.

The frequency that my face is peeling or rashy is way way down. My face is bouncy and super friggin soft.

Currently I’m doing a multi step nightly skin care routing. I use (per usual all links are affiliate links) The Face Shop – Rice Water Bright – Cleansing Light Oil (full write up/review soon) to remove my make up, rinse well, use my liquid African black soap and my trusty Clarisonic. Rinse well. Then a few times a week I use some sort of sheet mask. I have a bunch of them. Or I use my OG ride or die oh shit my skin is trippin’ Origins Out of Trouble Mask.

A word about that mask. It is intense. If you’ve used the Queen Helene Mint Julep mask, the Origins mask is that times four. I used to use the Queen Helene religiously and then my breakouts defeated it. I picked up the Origins mask in a little gift size and holy wow. It is one of the first masks I’ve used that will dry up some pimples with a quickness. It does uh, warm a bit. Some folks say it burns. I do get some redness and my eyes water because of the sulphur in it and whatnot. I went from using this religiously once a week to now, really only if my skin is trippin. It works. Totally worth the price.

Next I use Claire-ity Skincare 25% Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E. Of the vitamin C serums I’ve tried I think this is my favorite. It has a really nice gel texture and goes on nicely, is a bit sticky then absorbs. My skin definately is extra soft, my dark marks are less dark. Very nice.

I follow up with the moisturizer of the moment. Right now I’m using a sample of tarte
Rainforest of the Sea™ Drink Of H2O Hydrating Boost Moisturizer that I picked up at a Sephora event. It’s nice. It’s nothing spectacular for me. I like the texture, it does the job of keeping my faceballs nice and moist but there’s no wow factor for me. It is not The One.

Now let’s talk about my ambitions.

I want to find the one great one in terms of facial moisturizers. I know it when I feel it.

I have some stuff I want to try. Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream is close to the top of the list. I tried out this cream once and omg. So silky. I absolutely want to try it again. I’m also super interested in trying out the Origins Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins™ Mega–Bright Skin Illuminating Moisturizer. I do love anything illuminating and Origins is great in general for me.

If we can talk holy grail only if I won the Lotto I’d try this shit here. Shiseido
Future Solution LX Total Regenerating Cream. I mean that shit is 260$. Just once I’d like to put something that luxe on my face and you are damn skippy I’d use EVERY LAST BIT OF IT.

What else am I interested in skin wise?

I think I want to try some peel oriented products. I’ve got my eye on the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. I tried a little jar of these and thought they were nice. I’d like to get a big one and try them out for a few months. I also want to try the Murad Intensive-C® Radiance Peel. My skin responds to vitamin c really well.

I also want to try out the Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic 5-Piece Kit. Honestly I’m really just a mask junkie and those look so fancy.

To fund my adventures in skincare I’ve been saving up my Swagbucks side hustle gift cards. It isn’t the greatest, but it helps. I got a 25$ Sephora gift card last month and I’m on track to get another one this month as well. Also, I save using my Ebates as well.

On Cyber Monday I allowed msyelf one indugence. I have been stalking the Spin for Perfect Skin brush and picked one up on Groupon for like 20$ with specials. I’m totally late on the groupon but I actually have gotten some good deals there. AND they do a referral thing so if you are so inclined to sign up with my link and I’ll get some coins.  I will do a full review of it soon.

Between side hustles and my mad saving skills, I’ll be expanding my skin care slowly.

That’s all folks. Reviews for stuff I get forthcoming.