Find Out How I Cleared Up My Skin in 1 Month + My Must-Have Skincare Products for Cystic Acne

clear skin in 1 monthI cleared up my skin in 1 month!  Is it possible?  Yes, it is! #Iwokeuplikethis can be a reality.  Clear skin is a combination of products and diet.  So find out what works for you.  To give you some ideas, check out what I’ve been doing this month.

For me, acne is not something new I’ve been struggling with it since my first breakout in middle school.  I blame genetics for my terrible acne.

But for the passed five years, I’ve had a pretty good control over it.  I didn’t break out terribly until last month.  My skin got progressively worst through the summer but by October/November I had clusters of cystic acne.

cleared up my skin in 1 month

One month later…find out how I cleared up my skin in 1 month and the products I’ve been loving!

cleared up my skin in 1 month

How I Cleared Up My Skin in 1 Month

First, my skin got used to the products I’ve been using so the Neutrogena on-the-spot cream with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide was no longer cutting it.

For more information about skin changes, click here!

I started using the Neutrogena Rapid spot treatment with 10% benzoyl peroxide and my skin started clearing up again.  The stronger treatment also dries out my skin so I have added a thicker moisturizer to my skin routine and a gentler cleanser too.

Because the 10% benzoyl peroxide is so drying, I’ve also incorporated hydrating masks and a serum with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C.  The hyaluronic acid is perfect for hydrating and the vitamin C is great for brightening.  This is a win-win combo!

But my diet has also been a factor.  I’ve been dairy-free for two months now and my skin looks and feels so much better.

Dairy is packed with hormones and can cause your skin to create excess sebum.  This pore-clogging oil will produce acne concentrated in the chin and jaw-line.

For more information on what could be causing your breakouts, check out this article from InStyle!

My Current Must-Have Products

I cleared up my skin in 1 month with these five products:

First on the list is a 10% Benzoyl peroxide treatment gel.  This stuff works!  Sadly salicylic acid never did anything for my face and most of the products targeted towards acne is made with salicylic acid.  Where are my benzoyl peroxide folks at?  There are only three brands at the drugstore that are made with benzoyl peroxide: AcneFree, some Neutrogena, some Clean and Clear, and Up and up (target brand).

Next, I have my favorite serum of the moment.  DermaE concentrated vitamin C serum.  It has a ton of vitamin C to help your skin look more radiant plus an added bonus of hyaluronic acid for a good dose of hydration.

Another DermaE favorite is the Psorzema cream, which is a thick facial moisturizer that leaves skin feeling hydrated and soft without being sticky.  For extra hydration I love layering the Laniege water sleeping mask on top of it!

My gentle cleansers of choice include: Farmacy Green Clean cleansing balm and the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean cleansing milk. They’re both super gentle while also being really effective at washing my makeup off and all the dirt I accumulated throughout the day.

What are your current Must-have products?

Purple Shampoo for Bottle Blondes

purple shampoo HASK drugstorePurple shampoos are amazing for preventing and treating brassy hair when you go from dark hair to blonde hair.  The undertones of dark hair are red/orange.  This “brassy” look is generally not the most flattering.  So, many of us wash our hair with purple shampoos and conditioners.  However, after using a purple shampoo for a few weeks, I noticed that my hair still feels dry and coarse.  This is the case with many purple shampoos (including the name brand ones!).  They only treat brassiness without hydrating plus they contain hash chemicals such as sulfate that can lead to further drying of your fried hair.

Honestly, if my hair gets any drier then it’ll just be straight straw.

The Purple Shampoo Dilemma

Now, it seems like you have to pick between having brassy hair or dry hair.  But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to choose because HASK came out with the perfect solution!

Blue shampoo for blonde hair that is made with hair-nourishing oils!  My hair has been dry and brittle ever since I bleached it.  Like Jenna Marbles said, “It feels like Doritos.”

Unlike many shampoos out there, HASK does not have any parabens or sulfates in their products.  When a shampoo and conditioner contains sulfate it can lead to further drying and damaging of color-treated hair and normal hair.  And HASK blond care shampoo and conditioner contains Argan to help nourish and hydrate your damaged hair!

I love the ingredients in HASK products and I love that I now have a shampoo that treats brassiness without trying out my hair!  Plus, HASK is super affordable.

And if your hair is in need of serious hydration then you have to dry the HASK hair masks because they smell amazing and make your hair feel soft and look shiny.  Trust me, after a treatment, you’ll feel like you’re in a hair commercial.  So feel free to let yourself do a little sexy hair dance.

Did I mention you can pick HASK up at Walgreens and Ulta?  Points and discounts?  Sign me up!

**Disclaimer: I received the HASK shampoo, conditioner, and treatment mask free for reviewing purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own.**

3 Trendy Ways to Style Tights (That You NEVER Thought Of)

Tights seem like something your grandmother told you to slip on because your ankles are showing.  But I’m here to show you that tights CAN be trendy, so here are 3 trendy ways to style tights (that you never thought of).

My Inspiration to Style Tights

Korean street fashion is seriously #lifegoals!  It’s cute, trendy, and polished.  All three of these outfits were inspired by various Kpop idols and random people on the street.

Fishnet Stockings

I think it was about six months ago when I saw the first Instagram post of fishnet stockings and socks paired with ripped jeans and a pair of oxford shoes.  Lua from Le-Happy since then has posted multiple shots of this style and I fell in love.  I’ve been following Lua P. for almost six years now. Her Lookbook account was totally #goals!

Using her outfits as inspiration, I’m going to pair these flesh-toned stockings under a ruffle skirt for a cool girly vs. grunge contrast.

Colored Tights

style tights

Colored tights are a statement piece that if done wrong could lead to serious clown vibes.  But done the right way it can be the perfect street style outfit.  I love pairing colored tights under monochrome outfits. This look is simple and super chic- not like your five-year old more is more self with rainbows and glitter and seven layers of necklaces.

Or you can play with color and have an all pastel outfit.

keep it simple!

Black Tights

style tights

Worn under shorts and paired with a button-up for a cute and polished look, paired with sandals

or worn with distressed skirt or shorts with a graphic tee and beanie for a cool 90s and grunge look, finish off the look with combat boots or platform boots.

There are seriously a hundred ways to style tights (and maybe even more).  Whether you’re styling them for some extra warmth or using them for a pop of color, don’t forget to rock them with confidence!

For more style ideas, check out my “How to Style Colored Tights” post!

How to Look Slimmer This Fall (The Five Pieces You NEED!)

look slimmer this fall

Look slimmer this fall with these awesome pieces.  Fall weather is the best!  Plus the leaves are changing and everything just looks beautiful.

In the winter, many of us tend to gain a bit of weight because we’re no longer worrying about our bikini bodies when sweaters totally cover up our food babies. Now, this post isn’t going to make you more toned or slim.  However, it will work with what you have to give you an overall slimmer look.

So, without further ado here are five pieces to help you look slimmer this fall!

The Five Pieces You Need to Make You Look Slimmer This Fall

  1. Wide leg shorts
  2. Fitted Jeggings/ Leggings
  3. High-Waist skirts
  4. Over-sized Tees and tanks
  5. Lace-up dresses and tops

Slimming Bottoms

First on the list are denim shorts.  Since the early 2000s, I know many of us have sported the skin tight bicycle shorts look.  However, have you noticed how tight they are around your thighs?  You take the shorts off and you see a ring around your thighs.  The thigh bulge only makes your thighs look bigger so in order to make your thighs look slimmer this summer…

Try on a pair of shorts that are fitted at the waist with a looser leg.  The wider leg will make your thighs look slimmer (plus, it makes the shorts way more comfortable- no wedgies here!).  For a more feminine look, you can even try shorts with super wide legs.  These shorts (in some angles) even look like a skirt (AND with these shorts you don’t have to worry about that cold breeze blowing your skirt up).

If the nights are cold, then try on a pair of tight-fitting jeggings or leggings (whatever you prefer).  The key to finding the perfect pair is the material.  You want the material of these to be thicker, so they can smooth out our legs and waist for a slimmer, more toned look.  BUT make sure they’re stretchy so that you can still breathe normally, sit down without suffocating, and bend your legs (You don’t want to be stiff like a Barbie doll all night…).  Remember with these five pieces, comfort is KEY!

Another fashion favorite of mine is high-waist skirts because they make your legs look longer and also slimmer! This is also a great way to make you look taller (especially if you’re under 5’3 like me!).  Plus, the high-waist emphasizes the smallest portion of your body, giving you a gorgeous hour-glass shape!

Slimming Tops

Oversized tees are a must-have in any closet (Especially if comfort is your ultimate style test!).  These tees look great tucked into shorts and dresses for a cool, sporty look.  Plus, these tees are soft and super comfy.  The oversized arm holes also make your arms appear slimmer.

A super trendy and very slimming item is the lace-up style dress and shirts.  When the lace up details are on the sides on the body,they help you define an hourglass shape and emphasize the smallest part of your waist.

For more fashion posts, check out my Korean Street Fashion post!

Teeth Whitening for Coffee Stains

teeth whitening smile brilliant

I started using teeth whitening strips in high school.  My five AP classes led to many all-nighters and a never-ending need for caffeine.  I drank so many cups of coffee and tea that I’m pretty sure my body was 90% coffee.  From sophomore to senior year, I think my teeth got three shades more yellow.(GROSS!) I knew I had to do something.  So, I begged my mom to go to Costco and get the big pack of Crest 3D teeth whitening strips.

I was so excited and thought that it’ll be a one application miracle.  However, my results were less than stellar.  On first application, the teeth whitening strips did absolutely nothing.  I felt the gel kind of foam up but that’s pretty much it.  Plus, the gel tasted super bitter when I accidentally ran my tongue against the back of my teeth.  It took about five applications over the course of three weeks to see any result at all.  It barely removed any yellow stains.  I had to use a whole box before I saw a significant difference in my teeth.

Price Comparison: Crest 3D vs. Smile Brilliant

A box of Crest 3D Whitestrips with 12 treatments costs $28.49 (on sale!) at Target.  At the regular price, the whitestrips can cost upwards of $40.

A customized Smile Brilliant set costs $159 for 27 applications.  After you have your custom tray made, 27 applications the 9 syringe pack only costs $69.

The Right Teeth Whitening Strips for You!

I’ve been a loyal user of Crest whitestrips for 6 years now and I thought that all teeth whitening strips would probably be the same. But when I tried out Smile Brilliant.  I knew I was wrong.  Just look at my before and after photos.

My teeth are stained from my three cups of coffee a day (especially around my bottom teeth). Just looking at them makes me cringe!

After one application of Smile Brilliant, I’m sold.  My front teeth looks so pearly white in this photo!  I definitely need to try another treatment to get rid of the stains on the bottom row but you can actually see a difference.

With Smile Brilliant, you get a quality product that works!  You won’t be wasting precious time and money on whitening strips that take multiple treatments to see results.

Plus, Smile Brilliant gives you custom trays that are made from impressions of your own teeth rather than slapping minty band-aids over your teeth (which is essentially what Crest 3D Whitestrips are).  The trays fit perfectly over your teeth and don’t slide around like the whitestrips.  The gel is also unscented and has no taste to it which is much better than the bitter taste of Crest Whitestrips.

The whitening gel of both Crest Whitestrips and Smile Brilliant kind of bubble up and adhere to your teeth.  Crest Whitestrip has a slight tingling sensation but the Smile Brilliant whitening gel definitely has a mild tingling sensation.  If I had to compare the sensation on a scale (1 as nothing and 10 as painful) Crest is 2 and Smile Brilliant is 4-5.

My teeth feel more sensitive after the Smile Brilliant treatment but my teeth are a whole lot whiter too.  Overall, I would recommend trying out Smile Brilliant because the awesome customer service and customized products helps you get the treatment that’s perfect for you!  Your smile is uniquely yours so give your teeth a customized treatment.

Smile Brilliant: My First Impressions

When you get the box, it looks a little intimidating with all the various syringes, little clay pots, and mailing info BUT the people at Smile Brilliant definitely made it easy.  This teeth whitening treatment is a no-brainer! They have step by step instructions accompanied with helpful photos.  The directions are easy to follow and I got my custom whitening trays in the mail just a week after I mailed off my impressions!

After I applied the whitening gel to my trays, I placed them on my teeth and removed the excess gel with a cotton swab.  Within minutes, I felt a tingling sensation that’s similar to a deep cleansing mask.  The tingling feeling stayed for another 15 minutes and disappeared around the 30 minute mark.  The tingling sensation is similar to a super minty toothpaste or mouthwash.

I kept my whitening trays in for 45 minutes and the tingling sensation intensified a bit towards the 35 minute mark.  Once I removed my trays, I brushed my teeth, cleaned the trays, and applied the desensitizing gel for a full 20 minutes.  The desensitizing gel feels amazing after your whitening treatment.  It’s kind of like the namaste portion of yoga.  You’ve done the work, so it’s time to relax.  Put on a sheet mask and give your skin a treat too!  You deserve it.  It’s been a long week right? (Don’t worry if it’s only Monday, you’re still recovering from last week)


$20 off trays coupon code: julietlylillyrose20
*The giveaway will be open for 1 week. It’s open to USA, UK, Australia, and Canadian residents.  Participants must enter their email to be entered!

If you’re not sold already, check out these other testimonials:


**Disclaimer: I received the Smile Brilliant Set free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own.**

Tooth Whitening Gel