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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.**

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)

Giveaway!

 
$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:

SMILE BRILLIANT’S VEGAN AND CRUELTY-FREE GEL INGREDIENTS: https://www.smilebrilliant.com/articles/teeth-whitening-gel-ingredients#julietlylillyrose
10 FACTS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TEETH WHITENING: https://www.smilebrilliant.com/teeth-whitening-facts#julietlylillyrose

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

All opinions expressed are my own.**

Tooth Whitening Gel

Double Cleansing with Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleanser + Why you should do it


double cleansingDouble Cleansing has saved my skin.  It’s been two years since I started double cleansing.  I used to wash my face every morning and night with a “deep clean” cleanser but my face never felt clean.  Sometimes my skin felt tight and stripped of moisture.  However, it still didn’t feel clean and my toner pad definitely confirmed my thoughts because I could see my cotton pad soaked in toner turning a very unappealing shade of beige.

BUT I have found the solution in double cleansing.

Double Cleansing

The first step involves an oil cleanser.  This step is super important even if you have oily skin.  The oil breaks down your makeup and really emulsifies everything.  Plus, it leaves your skin feeling super smooth.

Lately, I’ve been loving the Farmacy Green Clean cleansing balm.  It’s gentle and effective.  Farmacy Beauty products have great ingredients including: sunflower oil and papaya extract for radiant skin.

After you cleanse with an oil, use a gentle milky cleanser to really clean all the dirt and gunk your pores accumulated throughout the day.

Why You Should Do It

Yes, it’s an extra step.  BUT it’s well worth it because you get truly clean skin.  When your skin is clean, your pores are less clogged and reduced in size.  Plus, your skincare actually works better because it can absorb in to your skin rather than sitting on top of all the left over residue from a long day out.

Double cleansing breaks down makeup, oil, and dirt so your skin can look and feel clean.  Plus, the ingredients in Farmacy’s cleansing balm helps clean, nourish, and heal the skin.  It’s also important to follow up your oil cleansing with a gentle milky cleanser to wash away any excess oil and give your skin a deeper clean.  The oil breaks down everything on the surface while the milky cleanser keeps the pores clean without stripping your skin.

If you want to give the Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Melting Cleanser a try, take 20% off your purchase with this code: Green81 (offer valid till October 31, 2017)

**Disclaimer: I received the Farmacy Cleanser free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own.**

No makeup makeup look for Acne-prone skin + The Perfect Products that Won’t Break You Out

No makeup makeup look is the perfect way to brighten and tone your skin while still letting it breathe.  When you pile on heavy foundation and powders, your skin suffers because your pores are clogged with products.  Skin needs to breathe in order for it to heal.  So for everyday makeup, keep it natural.  Your skin and your time will thank you because it honestly takes forever to go full-glam anyway.

The Products for a No makeup makeup look

First step in any no makeup makeup look is to prime the face. My favorite primer is the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer.  I ‘ve used this primer for years now and it’s never broken me out.  If you’re looking for a similar primer then the Too Faced Primed and Poreless primer is also amazing.

After priming my face, I love using the Neutrogena Skin-Clearing Makeup.  It has light coverage that evens out the redness in my skin which is the key to the no makeup makeup look. You want your skin to be more even toned and still look like skin.

For more coverage, I apply the matching concealer on my blemishes.  Even though it doesn’t completely cover them up, I like that the concealer does not emphasize the dryness and contains salicylic acid to treat my blemishes.

Next, I powder with Neutrogena skin-clearing powder that blends into my skin for a satin finish.  This powder, unlike many powders I have tried in the past, does not cling to dry spots (even when I use the white high-coverage side!)

After powdering, I’ll fill in my brows and contour my nose with a light contour powder from Too Cool For School Art Class by Rodin.  This gives my face a natural definition.  Using the same contour powder, I use a fluffy brush to add dimension to my eyes by blending the contour shade in to my crease.  Then I’ll apply a light dusting of Tarte Amazonion Clay blush on my cheeks for a natural flush.  If you’re looking for another blush that gives you a natural flush then I would recommend the Stila Watercolor blushes.  They’re beautiful and blend in to the skin like a dream!  (Just remember to apply this before powdering your face.)

To finish off the look, I apply the NYX butter lip gloss in Tiramisu and a light coating of the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara.

The products mentioned (if you want the list)

  • SmashBox Photo-finish Primer
  • Neutrogena Skin-Clearing Foundation, concealer, and powder
  • Too Cool For School Art Class by Rodin Contour powder
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush
  • Stila Watercolor blushes
  • Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Review of Neutrogena Skin-Clearing Makeup

no makeup makeup look

I have dry acne-prone skin and for years, I’ve suffered from cystic acne breakouts.  Normally, skin-clearing makeup clings on to dry patches or dries out my skin.  However, the Neutrogena Skin-clearing makeup has blended beautifully in to my skin and has not irritated my skin.  This first photo is me without any makeup on.

no makeup makeup look

This next photo is with a layer of foundation.

no makeup makeup look

These are my blemishes with only foundation and no concealer.

no makeup makeup look

Then this next photo shows the light coverage from the concealer.  As you can see it gives a tiny bit more coverage and decreases the redness.

no makeup makeup look

This last photo is after powdering.

The formula is light and non-irritating. The foundation and concealer provides light coverage that evens out redness but will not cover blemishes or hyper-pigmentation completely. I also love that the powder comes with a dual-sided sponge that is high coverage (white) and low coverage (orange) side.

no makeup makeup look no makeup makeup look

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, the Neutrogena skin-clearing line has a satin finish and gives the skin a natural coverage that is perfect for everyday makeup.

For me, I would love to see a Neutrogena skin-clearing line that uses benzoyl peroxide because the salicylic acid is not clearing up my skin. But I am in love with the Neutrogena rapid clear acne gel.  It’s totally saving my skin!

Have you tried these products before?  Comment down below!

**Disclaimer: I received these products free for reviewing purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own.**