I Promise I’m Not Dead and I’m Not For Sale

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Heh, I hope you guys like the Stone Temple Pilots reference. I haven’t been blogging these past few days because I took some time off to dedicate to job hunting. I never heard from that company that wanted the second interview, so it is safe to assume that they went with someone else. Bummer.

So far, things are looking up a bit. I did manage to find a few jobs I was qualified for that are in my field. I just applied for them yesterday, so we’ll see. So far, the only one I’ve heard back for is only a part time gig that is a little far, so it may not be worth it. I’m still going to do the phone interview and see if full time is possible.

A few goodies I ordered should be here today, so reviews will be coming soon. I haven’t really tried out the new supplies I bought at Target yet because I haven’t had any reason to wear make up and it is really hot outside. But if you guys remember one of my previous posts, I discovered I had eczema and not rosacea. I’ll be trying out the new face wash, lotion, and ointment soon. My translucent powder and eye shadow primer are almost here and the foundation I picked out of the three is on its way!

I know it seems like I buy a lot of stuff for the sake of beauty, but I actually buy everything in a certain price range and make sure my bills are paid off first. But lately, I have been worried about our financial status. I’m still unemployed and my fiance is at a dead end job, However, he is getting tutoring for his GED and has been working very hard at it. And at least, I’m getting call backs, right?

Despite all that, I still find myself getting depressed at times. I really hope we can get at a better place soon. Especially because my fiance’s dad just informed us that their rent house will be available in a month. His current tenants are moving out. He said he would even lower the price for us (me. my fiance, and his brother). If I can get a job soon, MAYBE we could do it. But right now, it’s just not feasible.

Last night was wonderful though. My fiance and I stayed up and watched a couple of hours worth of Daria. We’re almost done with the series and it’s great to share something that is so near and dear to me with him. We laughed at my hero’s sarcastic wit and cuddled. That show will forever be in my heart as a childhood through adult relic.

Can’t wait to start reviewing again.

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Product Reviews: Village Naturals Milk Bath with Lavender, Chamomile, and Shea Butter

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As you guys know from my last post, I spent the weekend with my dad. He was gracious enough to give me an $100 gift card for Target. That give me a lot of leeway to buy some brands I wouldn’t normally buy. So, expect a lot of new reviews coming. Even though I do feel guilty about accepting a card he won at a Christmas party.

This milk bath was something I picked up because I was all out of body wash. I have been using a couple of bar soaps in the meantime, but I prefer body washes. I also found out over the weekend that what I thought was rosacea is actually eczema. Yeah, rosacea doesn’t itch and I’m itchy. So, I’ll be changing my face wash yet again. I already ordered the stuff and will be reviewing it soon.

The new stuff for my face is actually a milk cleanser for sensitive skin, so I thought maybe this stuff will have some of the same benefits. This cleanser is a milk bath with lavender, chamomile, and shea butter. I was going to use my bars soaps up first, but I couldn’t resist taking a “milk bath,” so I tried it out today.

Wow! This stuff smells wonderful! I love going down the laundry aisle in stores because of the smell. This wash smells just like the laundry aisle. It’s very silky and made me feel fresh. So far, I haven’t asked my fiance to scratch my back!

Product Review: What I Currently Think of the African Black Soap Kit and A Preview of What’s to Come

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Okay, let’s do a product review recap. In the last of my little skincare series, I found the AcneFree system and it worked when it came to clearing up my acne. However, I would soon learn that since this kit is chemical based it does heal my acne, but at a price. My face soon became very red and irritated. So, I reluctantly decided to go back to natural skincare, even though I had no luck before.

I heard a lot of good hype behind African Black Soap, so I bought a kit I found at Target. The kit came with the following items: African Black Soap Face and Body Bar, African Black Soap Facial Wash and Scrub, Facial Mask, and Moisturizer. I haven’t used the moisturizer yet, as I have another one to use up. So, I’ll be reviewing the others and will write about the moisturizer at a later date.

Note: This kit did not come with a toner or acne spot treatment. Not having an acne treatment is one thing, but toning is very important for your face. So, I went ahead and ordered the African Black Soap Toner on Amazon and will be including it in this review.

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Shea Moisture African Black Soap: The one thing I can say for this bar soap is that I found it did keep the acne at bay. However, I wasn’t very impressed with it overall. There is more to skincare than fighting zits. This soap promises a glowing complexion as well and I didn’t get that. I have a bit of redness in my cheeks that I suspect is from a mild case of rosacea. This soap didn’t help with that and honestly didn’t leave my face feeling very fresh. I’m not a big fan of bar soaps to begin with, but I have since moved on and found a face wash I love. I will probably put this bar in body wash only rotation, as not to waste it.

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Shea Moisture African Black Soap Facial Wash and Scrub: I absolutely hated this scrub! It smells like sweetened Play-doh to me. Since this is a scrub it comes with beads and I have used skincare products with beads before. None of the other ones actually hurt my skin. This scrub felt very uncomfortable on my skin and even burned my eyes when I didn’t get any of it in them. I’ll probably be throwing this away.

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Shea Moisture Face Mask: I’ve only used this item once, but I was very impressed with how easy it was to put on and take off. I can’t tell you how many problems I’ve had with face masks just because of the clean up process. I’ll probably use this one up, but I’m not sure if I’ll use it again.

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Shea Moisture African Black Soap Toner: I really love this toner! It made my face feel very fresh and picked up anything that was left behind after the washing. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be a repurchase because of the fact that it is in a spray bottle. It causes me to use up a lot more of it to cover my whole face. Also, I’m very interested in getting a rosewater toner in order to combat dullness.

What’s to Come Next in My Skincare Series

Overall, I wasn’t very impressed with the Shea Moisture African Black Skincare Kit. But I don’t discourage you from trying it. After all, everyone’s skin is different. I did mention on the section on the African Black Soap Bar that I finally found my perfect face wash. I purchased it on Etsy and I’ve been telling my fiance that it is “magic in a bottle.” I’ll be posting a review on that next.

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As for acne spot treatments, I’ve discovered that the only thing that really works for my blemishes is BP acne medications. Well, at least I can go natural with everything else. So, I purchased a stand alone AcneFree product that is not sold with a kit. It’s pretty much the same acne fighter in the kit except that it promises to have some natural ingredients that lessen redness. I haven’t used it yet because I’m still getting rid of the lotion from the kit, but we’ll see how it goes.

I’m also still searching for my perfect toner and moisturizer. I’ll be purchasing a rosewater toner next and I have two moisturizers to try out: the one from the Shea Moisture kit and one with white tea in it. I read that white tea is good for people that have problems with facial redness.

In conclusion, I’ll be reviewing my new permanent face wash next. Now that I have a face wash and know that my acne fears BP, all that’s left to find is a toner and moisturizer. Thank you for joining me in my quest for my natural skincare routine.

Product Review: Acne Free 24 Hour Severe System and a New Challenger Approaches

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If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve heard this before…but….I MIGHT be switching acne products again. If you’ve been following along on all my acne posts, you will know that I did have a success with the AcneFree 24 Hour System. I even purchased the Severe Acne version of it because it had rave reviews and an extra step.

Well, since my review of the regular system, I have noticed a few drawbacks.

  • Like I said before, the system has left behind acne in just one spot.
  • The severity of the medicine leaves my cheeks rather dry, tight, and hot. I started putting on aloe vera gel on my face to combat it, but this fix doesn’t last all day.
  • My fiance noticed it started bleaching my face towels.

At that point, I started thinking what am I putting on my face? Now, take those last two points and intensify them with the severe system…yeah.

I grew tired of my cheeks feeling like the sun, so the fiance and I made a Target run (because I want to switch back to natural skincare and Target has an isle dedicated to it) and I chose: Clear and Balance Problem Skin and Facial System

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I’ve read a lot of good reviews on African Black Soap for acne and I even used the body wash on my back for a while. It worked very good. This kit comes with:

  • African Black Soap Bar
  • African Black Soap Problem Skin Facial Wash and Scrub
  • African Black Soap Problem Skin Moisturizer
  • African Black Soap Problem Skin Facial Mask

I was a little upset that this set didn’t come with the toner. But I found it on Amazon and it was decently priced, so I’ll be adding that to the routine soon. Toning your skin is very important because it maintains your PH levels.

Depending on how this works out, I’ll either:

A. Stay with the new routine

B. Try other nature skin care options

C. Go back to Original AcneFree (don’t really want to)

D. Try the Sensitive Version of AcneFree (It doesn’t have the best reviews)

Hopefully, I’ll find the right formula soon. Thanks for sticking with me guys, it’s not over yet!

Getting on the Right Track: Dr. Bronner’s All Natural Castile Peppermint Soap

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Update on “The Depression Experiment:” I’ve been feeling a lot better lately. When I went to my night class last week, I discovered that I had an A in the class. Who knew? As for staying on top of my assignments, I completed a rough draft of a presentation and sent it to a professor to look over. I will be spending the next two weekends with my fiance, so I have something to look forward to. The only down side is that with his new job starting, we’ll have less time to spend together.

Now, as mentioned in a previous post, I’m going to mention something that has been helping with my acne. As you know, I have been switching to all natural products (with the exception of the few chemical products I am using up). Well, a few weeks ago, my fiance and I were shopping in Target. I insisted we go because when I looked in the mirror that morning I discovered that not only was my acne relentless, but my face was also dry and red.

Target has its own aisle dedicated to natural hygiene products and it was there that he handed me a very large bottle of soap.

“Have you tried this?”

I had heard about castile soap before and a lot of people raved about it on acne.org. But I had never thought to pick some up. I glanced down at the shelf where he found it and noticed that there were many different types of bottles.

“Which one should I get?”

After breaking out our smartphones to look up the brand, I concluded that the most popular for acne was the tea tree and peppermint flavors. Even though tea tree had never helped my skin before, I grabbed it since I didn’t know how peppermint could help me.

After using it for a week, my acne was the same and my face was drying out. So, I had him take me back to get the peppermint. In just a couple of days I noticed my acne was waning and my redness was clearing up. I was puzzled by this, so I looked up how peppermint helped with acne.

I have PCOS which is a hormonal imbalance that is caused by an abundance of testosterone, which also causes my acne. It turns out that peppermint actually helps with testosterone levels. So, I’ve also taken to drinking peppermint tea. It is quite delicious.

Now, let me assure you. I have not yet cleared my acne, As I type now, I have two large cystic pimples on my face. But my face is a lot less red and the smaller bits of acne don’t stand a chance. I am confident that this is a step in the right direction and I will find the right combination of products soon.

A note about Dr. Bronner’s Soap: If you plan to use this soap, a lot of people say that you have to dilute it because it is very strong. I find the peppermint doesn’t dry me out, so I don’t dilute it. But the tea tree did. All you need is three drops. This stuff lathers really well and will last you a long time! If it dries you out, try diluting before you stop using it.