Get Clear Skin with Curology

Skin care is something I have been focusing a lot more on in the past 2 years. It was a goal of mine this year to get into a skin care routine. I had major breakouts and all of the products I was using wasn’t working. No amount of water or clean eating helped clear it up. I got so frustrated and overwhelmed, I knew it was time to seek help. 

When I was younger I barely had pimples, let alone acne. This sudden break out in adulthood had me shook. I went to the dermatologist and she diagnosed me with cystic acne. The dermatologist prescribed me acne medication to prevent breakouts while we worked on the condition of my skin. I was initially against medication, but she assured me it was just to get my skin back to a healthy place, not forever. She also prescribed me a retinol to help with the big dark spots I had from acne scars. Initially when I went to the derm, I told her my goal was for my skin to look close to what it did in those pretty snapchat filters or Jhene Aiko’s skin- cause lets be honest sis looks like a walking filter-. I also wanted to brighten the burn marks from my laser hair removal- more on that in a later post.

Cystic Acne is when you have large painful breakouts deep in your skin. For women this is due to the hormonal levels due to mensuration. Cystic acne for women usually occurs along the jaw line and chin.

Of course, I got home and immediately researched cystic acne.-cause you know ya girl researches everything!-I found that I needed to eliminate a lot from my diet such as dairy. Which was hard because I love anything deep fried and smothered in cheese. I also ate yogurt daily for gut health, that was a no no. I cut the yogurt and started taking a probiotic pill instead. I drastically cut back on cheese, which was so hard. 

While my skin was doing much better, I wanted to get a routine down for it. I found myself using several different products for different things, but I didn’t notice a change in my skin. So I decided to simplify. I had been seeing Curology ads and it piqued my interest. My best friend tried it, which was the deciding factor for me.  

Curology is a subscription company that designs skincare specifically made for you by dermatologist that ships every 2 months. I loved this because I felt like I was using all these products because different ones did a different thing I needed. Curology made it so much simpler. 

I went online and took the short, but to the point skin quiz, and then took pictures of my face. My friend advised me to be very specific about my goal and skin needs while taking the quiz. I paid the introductory price $6.95 ( $4.95 shipping plus handling) for the trial products. About 2 days later, I got an email specifying what products I would be receiving along with a message from the dermatologist about how to use my serum in my routine and what formula consisted of. About 2 weeks later I had my products.- I’m assuming turn around time would be faster, if it wasn’t for Covid19. 

My package consisted of a month supply of their standard cleanser, moisturizer, prescription serum formulated for me, acne body wash and acne stickers. 

Trial Size

Cleanser

Ok. I love this cleanser! A little goes a long way and the formula leaves my face feeling clean, but hydrated and silky. I use this in the morning and night. I do find that on the days I wear heavy makeup, I would have to wash my face twice to really get all the makeup off. I take my makeup off in various ways. If I’m tired I will use a makeup towelette. If I have time, I will use almond oil or a cleansing balm like Ponds with a baby wipe or my makeup remover towel.- Ladies if you use coconut oil to take your makeup off STOP IT NOW!! Coconut oil is terrible for your face and clogs the pores.-Doing both ways I found I would still need to double wash. On days where I wore bb cream and foundation powder I would only need to wash once. Prior to Curology, I used the Neutrogena Hydroboost Lotion in the morning and the hydroboost gel in the evenings. I liked these, especially the lotion. The lotion is my favorite. Since Curology, I can’t see using another cleanser. 

Moisturizer

I cannot say enough about this moisturizer. It is so lightweight, but powerful. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated and silky. I use this both day and night. Prior to Curology, I used Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel Moisturizer, which I love. I would compare it to the Neutrogena Hydroboost or the Clean and Clear Morning Burst Hydrating Gel. Both are great for  spring/ summer months. In the fall/winter months I usually use CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. It’s a little heavier since my skin is a little drier during those months. I run through the moisturizer a little more than the cleanser. I now only use the moisturizer in the morning and my CeraVe at night.

Serum

My serum contains Zinc Pyrithione- antifungal acne medication, Clindamycin- antibacterial acne medication and Azelaic Acid- treats acne and lightens discoloration. I only use this at night after the cleanser. I was advised by the derm to only use this and no other salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or retinol products.  My skin did rebel, which the dermatologist advised me would happen while my skin adjusted to the products. I had a small break out on my forehead for about 3 weeks. The first week was the roughest. The second week I thought the breakout had cleared, but it came back with a few new pimples. By the third week I only had one or 2 pimples. The last week of the trial, I was able to see my skin progress and it was looking good! My skin was breakout free and my texture/color was evening out. You do have an option in your profile to chat with the derm if there is anything wrong or you feel the treatment isn’t working. Curology provides give you 2 free chats with the sign up and a free chat monthly. You can of course pay to have more sessions as well. These sessions do rollover monthly. I reached out once to the derm assigned to me to make sure it was okay to use my prescribed retinol from my local derm. She advised me to alternate my days, I use the Curology serum every other day and my retinol on the off days from the serum.

Full Size bottle supply for 2 months dont let the size fool you they last!

The next shipment auto ships, however you have the option to cancel whenever you want. Curology will send you an email letting you know to make any changes by a certain date and also to update you on the shipment. You can also change the time frame in which you receive the package. I changed my shipment to receive the cleanser, moisturizer, and the serum- which is required– which totaled $52 plus shipping and handling. I opted out of the acne body wash and acne patches simply because I didn’t use the trial size. I do tend to get breakouts on my shoulders and back sporadically, I believe from working out, however, I haven’t had any recently.

My honest opinion: If you are just starting out in skincare, are looking to get a routine down or have very troubled skin –I would start with physically seeing a dermatologist first with troubled skin-, I would def start here. There’s so much out its hard to figure what to use and what works best for you. While I love the cleanser and moisturizer, there are drug store cleansers and moisturizers that are dups, contain more product, and are a little cheaper. The serum, you cant beat. Since it is made for you and you can change your needs at anytime, I would most likely stick with this product until you have your desired skin.

Speaking of skincare, I recently had the opportunity to talk about some skin care tips and tricks that aren’t widely known about in the black community with Let’s Talk About It with Jackie Wade Podcast and Youtube. You can watch part one here and part two here.

Overall, I love Curology and what it has done for my overall facial skin care health. My dark spots have lightened up quite a bit and my skin’s texture is a lot better.  I would definitely recommend giving it a try! 

Are you thinking about trying Curology? Let’s talk about it!

And remember,

Dont be bitter

Be Better!

**This is not a sponsored post.

Blinx into Mink Lashes and Hair Extensions

I love stories that inspire! Stories that motivate you to go after your passion, after all, the only thing stopping you from your dream, is you! What I love even more are people who all willing to risk everything to see their dreams come to fruition for a cause. I had the pleasure to interview a very driven talented lady, who is working hard to make her dreams come true and build a brand/business.

Blinx is an upcoming hair and lash line owned by Toya Simmons. What I love about her business is not only does it promote feeling beautiful but a portion of the proceeds go to help fight a major cause! After a little research, I had to hear from the source. So without further delay, catch the interview below

blogger-image-1524985140First, can you explain to people, that may not be familiar with your brand, what it is?
Blinx is a luxury lash and hair extension line that caters to everyone from the everyday workingwoman to the high maintenance housewife.

Blinx is an interesting name, how did you come up with that name?
Well, when I initially decided to venture into the beauty industry I wanted to do Mink lashes only. I played with names that rhymed with Mink and had to do [with] eyes…naturally the first thing that came to mind was blink and I just put my spin on it with the x to replace the k… Surprisingly it has transitioned well with the integration of the hair as well.

That’s actually very creative! Why did you choose hair and lashes? Will you develop more in the beauty avenue?
I spend 90% of my life in weave lol and about 60% in lashes. So this is my passion. I walk, talk, eat, and sleep all things hair and lash so it just made sense. The fact that the hair industry is expected to gross 16 trillion dollars this year didn’t hurt either. I want to get my brand solid, make it a sisterhood name, and once I get this foundation built solid, …the correct way, I most certainly plan to develop more in this stream.

I, for one, will be very interested to see more. More requires help and you have a solid team behind you, which is rare to come by. What do they do and how did you come across such a solid team?
OHHHH MY GOD I do have an amazing team…they aren’t my team they are my family. The REAL kind and they do any and everything I need. There are no set roles amongst us, if it needs to be done, and I cant get to it, I rest assure that somebody is there to help and vice versa. I can’t ever thank them enough or properly convey just how much they mean to me, but I do try. Let me try to give you a quick rundown on everyone though…
Kristy Bowers is my wig maker. Any image you see from our initial shoot is a wig. She also helps me with marketing.
Samone Simon is my on set hairstylist, alongside Kristy.
Trecie Tharpe is my personal makeup artist (she’s retired from makeup now and only does it when I call her) she also helps with my branding and marketing.
Netra Thompson is my other makeup artist and she’s awesome!!!!
Tiffany Johnson is my spiritual advisor and motivator J . She helps me keep my Zen lol.
Oh and the most important part of my team isn’t a lady …he’s a guy and he’s my guy! Lol Chase Carpenter has done allllllllllllll the behind the scenes work from building the website, getting the IG page up and running smoothly, to scheduling the meetings necessary to get the launch campaign up and successful.
The models are called BLINX CHIX and they are Brittany, Mandy, Sharra, Sherria, Dev, & Ri’an and they are amazaeballs…

Everyone I mentioned I met in one form or another on a social media [site].

blogger-image-187133525Speaking of social media, I saw on Instagram, I believe, that a portion of the sales go to help find a cure for lupus, which I think is awesome; this is also something that is personal to you right?
Yes, a portion of the proceeds from every pair of the Butterfly lash will be donated to aid in fnding a cure for Lupus. Its very personal for me because in 2003 I was diagnosed with systemic lupus, and this is something [that] is very prevalent in young black women, yet no one has any real solid answers on it, and for me that’s a problem
I think that’s pretty dope, being that I recently just opened up about PMDD, which I was diagnosed with a few years ago, though not quite as severe as what you deal with, I think important to raise awareness to things that affect us, especially the African American community. My blogs all have a theme about purpose, inspiration, and following your dreams and goals. Was this always a dream or goal and what made you really push to see it to fruition?
My dream has always been to work for myself and be successful enough in that work that I can take the people most important to me and make their situation better. I have tried my hand at several different ventures, but none feel like this, none have come together so effortlessly like this lol, so I think this might just be it!
blogger-image--1449650033Well, I can say that everything I’ve seen looks really nice, so I think you may have stumbled upon something there! I think anything that sends the message that you are beautiful and your dreams matter in a positive way is something that the youth needs to know. What advice would you give to anyone struggling to follow his or her dreams or struggling to feel beautiful?
YOU matter. Don’t let your dreams and aspirations sit stagnant, feed them, nurture them, and watch them grow. GO FOR IT.
And Go for it indeed! I want to give a special thank you to Toya for allowing me the pleasure to feature her business on my blog! I’m excited for you! Good Luck on your launch, it’s going to be amazing I’m sure! Blinx launches on April 15,2016. Follow them on Instagram at @SheBlinx and hit up their website to get best quality of hair and mink lashes at http://www.sheblinx.com

blogger-image-1809092819Need a wig made after you purchase the hair? No worries they got you covered, Kristy is their in house wig maker, as Toya said any wig you see for the promos were made by Kristy, you can see her work below and also follow her on IG @Kustomzbykb

blogger-image--378127362blogger-image-165158231blogger-image-1696822868

If She Can Do It So Can You!

blogger-image--1855631577To bring this topic of discovering your purpose and following your dreams to a close, I thought it would be great to hear from someone who did just that! I reached out to Samantha W. who just recently launched her own line Pretty Curvie last week. She so graciously did an interview with me. I wanted to really find out, what gave her the courage to start and launch her clothing line. So lets get right into it:
When did you discover what it was that you wanted to do and how did you put it into action?

High school was really when I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in fashion after being apart of an organization named DECA. I have always been into fashion and knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I knew I wanted to own a clothing company. I would always write my ideas and goals down in a journal.

Writing down your goals is always a great start, write it down and speak it into existence is what I’ve always been told. Your slogan is “Inspire Confidence, Exude Beauty”, which I love by the way- what made you come up with that concept?

My slogan is “Inspire Confidence, Exude Beauty,” because my mission is to inspire women to fall in love with the woman in the mirror. I want women to embrace and be confident in whom they are, no matter their size. We have all seen someone wear something that looks really cute on them but we say to ourselves, “I wish I was confident enough to wear that.” I love to see women that are comfortable in their skin! Confidence it beautiful!

Speaking of courage, I know that from experience sometimes you have to just stop talking about it and do it, no matter the situations that seem to be a deterrent; how long has Pretty Curvie been in the making? And did you ever doubt that it wasn’t going to come to fruition?

Pretty Curvie has been in the making a little over a year. I was working at a warehouse and miserable. I felt as though I was sitting on my talent and wasting my life away. One day as I was walking through aisles at work God gave me “Pretty Curvie.” I didn’t have the money but each day I wrote down my ideas. I had moments where I wasn’t sure if it would actually happen, simply because I didn’t have the money at the time to invest in myself.
I think its great that you never lost sight of where you wanted to take your line; Was your recent move, [to Chicago] a propeller to get you line on its feet?

The funny thing about that question is the answer is no. I moved to Chicago not knowing what to expect. I just knew I wanted something better. It was a HUGE struggle for me to move here, but I felt like that is where God was leading me for this next season. My first week here I was speaking with someone and they were asking me my goals and what I wanted to achieve in life. I presented them with Pretty Curvie and they believed in me enough to invest in me. I had faith that God had a plan but I had no idea within a week of being in Chicago I would be starting a business.
God works in mysterious ways! So many of us struggle with the confidence to step out on our own; What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with self-insecurities to help them be more confident?

The advice I would give to someone who is struggling with self-insecurities is to stop worrying what people say about you. As long as you have breath in your body, you will be talked about. Fall in love with yourself. Focus on what you love about yourself and not the negative. Don’t look to society to validate you. I feel like we get so caught up on what we see on social media and television and majority of it is fake.
That’s awesome advice especially with social media being as big as it is. It can actually be both harmful and helpful; what advice would you give young entrepreneurs to follow their dreams?

The advice I would give to young entrepreneurs is to go for it and do not give up. Even if you do not have the money, keep a journal and plan as if you do. You never know how or who God will use to bless you.

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There you have it folks. HUGE congratulations to Samantha on her launch of Pretty Curvie. It is now live, so head over to www. PrettyCurvie.com! Also, follow them on Instagram and catch the latest products before they hit @PRETTYCURVIE. Thank you again Samantha for doing this interview! I hope your words will empower someone to go after that dream they have in their head and make it a reality. Whatever happens guys, believe in yourself and stay true to you! Whatever is for you will never miss you! Until next time…

I Know What He Likes

So I was interested to know what men are attracted to, what things stand out the most. For me, most of my blogs are lately I have been written from my point of view, with some input from my circle of friends. This time I wanted to get my males opinion. I asked them series of questions and gathered a good idea of what the typical established male is looking for.

What feature they found attractive to the opposite sex?
dsfghjkNow I’m not going to lie, I thought I would get the typical answers like she gotta have a fat ass, big titties, small waist etc., but oh I was reassured that there is hope for us grown females that are still searching for that grown man! The top answers I got were that men want someone who carries themselves well. Size really didn’t matter to them as long as you could carry yourself well with that size, clothes that fit be put together. My favorite answer was realness. In a world where everything is becoming so fake some men still value realness. I’m not talking the personality trait, but rather the hair and nails. The other answers I got were approachable down to earth and nice teeth.

Next I asked if they prefer a specific race?
vghjkNow I did this for a couple reasons. I as a dark skinned African American woman seem to sometimes get over looked if I’m standing next to someone of light color. I have always had friends that are of the yellow bone complexion and although I didn’t find a couple of them more attractive than me – TIMEOUT- let’s not sit here and pretend that we don’t compare ourselves to the next chick even our friends. We don’t like our friend cause they’re extra fine it’s their personality, but you can bet your bottom dollar if you had to go up against her in looks you knew if you would fail or win in that category SOMEBODY gotta be the ugly friend,-TIME IN- but they always seemed to win even with jacked up teeth! So imagine my shock when I asked the question and got… NO SPECIFIC TYPE. Wait what?!?! Now maybe this has to do with the grown man putting away his childish ways, because lets be real to only date a certain type of skin color and not give other women a chance is very childish, because to love a person has nothing to do with their skin color- if only America could learn that-
imagesasdfgNow being the single woman that I am, I asked if there were any tips or advice they had on getting chose., for a relationship/wife. And by far the best answer I got I have to share verbatim “A woman shouldn’t wasn’t to be chose, she should was to be cherished. Being chose is like saying you are being selected off a shelf with others which in turns devalues woman’s worth.” Now I completely agree with this answer. We as women should demand to be cherished. However, for us single ones you often wonder is there something I’m doing wrong that I could do different to change my outcome? Another answer that I liked was “Men will treat you how you come off as you want to be treated”. In oher words, post a thirsty picture, you know the one half naked, showing that ass off, and a dog will surely pant in heat. The best way to be on your way to a relationship is to be yourself and to be open. It’s as simple as that.

imagesweNow ladies listen up, because this may help you change your ways! More than anything males hate an attention whore. That was my number one answer to turn offs. Don’t be that female in the club loud as hell for no reason; no one likes that female, she just good for entertainment. You heard it here first. Secondly, being closed- minded, gossipy, lack of confidence and argumentative. Let’s be honest, I can’t be around anybody with these traits, energy level is so negative it has to be hard to have to come home to someone like that.

Lastly I asked what were personality traits that were turn ons, and turn offs. I found that what it boils down to his someone who shares the same interest they have. I think this goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, if you don’t share the same interest but forth some effort to. If that fails lord help you! Pick up the slack in other areas like having good convo, fashionable, goal oriented etc.

I learned a lot just from these simple questions, Did you?
I would like to give a HUGE thank you to the men that participated in this blog it absolutely means the world to me to have your support! To my ladies, if you get nothing else out of this blog, take this away; be you! He who is for you will accept you as you are even your weird little corks that you think no one finds interesting. Be open and always be independent, in the sense that you have some business about yourself, and remember the bible says he who FINDS a wife FINDS a good thing. Men are the hunters for a reason, don’t be desperate boo it’ll happen on Gods time. In the meantime, stay you and be beautiful!