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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.**

Skin Changes + Why It happens and My Old Favorites and Recent Hate Its!

skin changes products The Body Shop DermaE Neutrogena GlamGlow

Skin changes, real or myth?  Is it possible for your skin to change and your product favorites and holy grails to become hate its?  Yes!

Skin changes happen because your skin can get used to products and they can lose effectiveness over the years.  Since I just finished all my bottles of foundation, I thought this would be the perfect time to put this post together.  (Yes, I resisted the urge to buy more until I finished all the ones I had.  It was quite the feat LOL.  But I did it.  And I am on the hunt for another foundation.)

So, I revisited some old favorites and it turns out that they no longer look the same one me…

It’s so sad.  I comprised a list of my old favorites to recent hate its.

Why your skin changes?

Like your body, if you keep doing the same routine it no longer will be as effective as when you first started.  Your skin changes because it gets used to the products you’re using.  So your once holy grail skincare/ makeup products can soon become a “this kind of sucks” product.

How my skin has changed?

I used to be really oily.  My skin type was oily, but now my skin type is combination oily and dry.  Yup, dry patches on my jawline, mouth and eye areas.  And oily only on the T-zone.  My skin is a walking juxtaposition.

Makeup That No Longer Works

Since I’ve noticed my skin changes, I have found that quite a few of my old favorites just don’t look right on my now dry skin.  It blends weird, looks patchy, and clings to dry patches.

  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation – this used to blend beautifully in to my skin and give me great coverage. But this foundation now clings to dry patches and looks like a mask on my face.
  • Ulta double duty 2 in 1 foundation- A great dupe for the Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation, but now it looks cakey on my skin. And when I recently tested it out, this foundation actually made my skin feel itchy.
  • Benefit Hello Oxygen Powder foundation- When I had oily skin, this kept my skin looking matte and gave me decent coverage.  But now it looks like cake-face and clings to dry patches.  This foundation no longer blends into my skin instead it just sits on top of the skin.
  • Rimmel London wake me up concealer- I used to use the medium shade as a contour, but I recently found that the concealer breaks me out.  This concealer is sill great under the eyes, but I can’t use this concealer anywhere else on my face or I’ll get a nice patch of tiny little bumps.
  • Cover FX blemish treatment concealer- This is great for treating acne spots but it emphasizes the dry patches all around the blemish which draws way too much attention towards my breakout.
  • Almay Blemish concealer- Also great for covering oily skin and acne but the formula is way too dry for me now.
  • Physician’s Formula- I used to use this everyday in high school.  It never breaks me out, but when I picked it up again at CVS I found that the powder sits on top of the skin, looks dry and cakey, and sticks to dry patches.

Skincare That No Longer Works

Skin changes also affect my skincare routine.  When I continued using a lot of these products with my skin changes I noticed more dry patches and redness from my face all the way down my neck.

  • The Body Shop Tea tree Mattifying toner- This is way too drying.  My skin actually turned red because it was so dry.  I had patches of skin flaking off my cheeks and forehead.  I looked like I was going through a chemical peel.
  • The Body Shop revitalizing night cream- I think my skin has also become more sensitive to oils and scents because this moisturizer actually breaks me out now! This is so sad because it left my skin so soft and smooth.
  • Peter Thomas Roth sulfur treatment- I used to love anything that has sulfur in it.  But this mask does nothing for my breakouts.  It only dries out my skin and leaves it feeling tight and stripped of all moisture.
  • Kate Somerville sulfur treatment- My old holy grail breakout treatments!  I can’t tell you how many of these I went through.  But my skin got used to it and it doesn’t heal my blemishes like it used to.
  • Neutrogena spot treatment- My go-to treatment to prevent breakouts.  This cream is now less effective.  I used to apply this once a day and it was enough but now I need to apply twice a day for it to keep breakouts at bay.

Products that still work

  • Bourjois healthy mix foundation and concealer- This gel consistency glides over dry patches and gives me a light coverage that evens out my skin-tone without irritating my skin.
  • Rimmel London Wake me up foundation- A great light formula that still blends beautifully in to my skin for a dewey finish.
  • PUR cosmetics hydrafluid- My skin always looks fresh and dewey with this foundation.  It’s wonderful and doesn’t break down throughout the day.  But if you don’t like the dewey look, don’t forget to set it with powder!  The coverage is light to light medium.  The only down-side to this foundation is the color selection.  It comes in only five shades and none of them are the right color.  So, I mix the light and medium shades together to get my perfect shade.  (I’m NC 20 and NARS Fiji for color reference.)
  • Bobbie Brown Skin Foundation- My skin looks like skin with this foundation.  The coverage is light to medium and I love that it comes in so many shades!
  • NYX HD powder- I’m still in love with it.  It’s super affordable and makes my skin look poreless.
  • Hourglass Ambient lighting powder in diffused light- This powder doesn’t emphasize texture or cling to dry spots.  Plus, it gives my skin such a healthy glow!
  • GlamGlow Supermud Clearing mask- This mask draws out all the gunk and leaves my skin feeling smooth and soft.  I generally have a few more spots after using this mask but it clears up very quickly.  This mask is great if you want to purge your skin of all the junk that gets stuck in it.
  • Tony Moly sheet masks- I love how soft my skin is after using these masks.  The tea tree mask is still my favorite go-to mask when I’m breaking out.
  • DermaE purifying cleanser- skin changes can be difficult and I am super glad that I can still use this cleanser because it cleans my skin without leaving it tight and stripped of moisture.
  • DermaE purifying mask- I use this mask once a week and my GlamGlow mask every 2 weeks to keep my skin clean!
  • Soap and Glory Peaches and Cream Cleansing Milk- I love how gentle this cleanser is and it removes any leftover makeup residue I have left from my makeup wipes.
  • Neutrogena Rapid clear (10% benzoyl peroxide)- It’s a little drying and I must use a good moisturizer, but no more breakouts!
  • CosRX Pimple patches- Lifesavers!  I have cystic acne and these patches suck all the pus out without leaving a nasty scar.  Plus, I don’t pick at my acne anymore because I have patches on them.

Perfect Dupe for the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick + Review of City Color Liquid Lipstick

the perfect dupe stila liquid lipstick city colors be matte

I’ve been in love with the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick for months now.  It’s my go-to lipstick.  There is definitely a learning curve with applying liquid lipstick but it’s totally worth it once you get it.  I love how quickly the formula sets and how matte it looks all day.  The Stila liquid lipstick also has good staying power.  The color stains your lips which means it doesn’t patch up or break apart in patches.  So, your lipstick looks good all day.

The only sad thing about the Stila Liquid All Day lipstick is that it costs $22.  So, I went on the hunt for the perfect dupe.  And I’m proud to say that I found it.  The perfect dupe is the City Color Be Matte Liquid Lipstick.  I have the liquid lipstick in Crunk, which is the perfect fall shade.  This color actually reminds me of the Stila vinyl lipgloss in terracotta which is no longer available for sale.

The Perfect Dupe

This dupe from City Color has great pigmentation.  It can go on in one swipe, but I’m not skilled enough to get the right shape and steady line in one swipe so I generally need like three. But the applicator has a tear drop shape that is similar to the Stila applicator.  Plus, both of these liquid lipsticks have a sweet frosting scent that is amazing!

These liquid lipsticks dry down completely matte and leave your lips with a gorgeous color even at the end of the day.  Since it is a completely matte finish, I would recommend applying some lip balm before applying.

I really hope City Color comes out with more colors in their liquid lipstick line.  And did I mention that these liquid lipsticks only cost $8!  Yup, time to pick up one in every color.

**Disclaimer: I received the City Color Be Matte Liquid Lipstick free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own.**

The Benefits of Vitamin C Serum for Your Skin + Review of Jan Marini C-esta Serum

vitamin c serum

If you suffer from deep cystic acne then you understand the struggle.  Skin texture is virtually impossible to cover up and extremely hard to get rid of.  But the idea of at-home derma-rolling seems scary and unsafe.  So, I turned to serums.

Lately, I’ve been using the Jan Marini C-esta Serum.  This serum is packed with vitamin C, which is one of my favorite skincare ingredients!

The Benefits of Vitamin C Serum for Your Skin

Vitamin C is not just great for giving your immune system a boost, it’s also amazing for your skin.  Vitamin C increases collagen production which helps to brighten and tone your skin.  Your skin naturally becomes more dull as dead skin cells pile up and sometimes exfoliation just isn’t enough especially when you’re going through a breakout.

And if you have cystic acne, physical exfoliant can be too harsh and even painful.  So, an AHA or BHA toner will be perfect to gently exfoliate the skin without further damaging it.  Follow-up the toner with a vitamin C serum to increase collagen production and help your skin heal faster.

A high-quality vitamin C serum can also reduce the damage from UV rays and prevent premature wrinkling.  The Jan Marini Vitamin C serum is gentle and effective.  The serum is virtually scent-free so it won’t irritate even the most sensitive skin.  Plus, the serum has hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin.  This serum is also packed with vitamins B and E so it’s perfect for every skin type.

For more information, on the science behind why vitamin C is so amazing for the skin, click HERE!

Before and After

This first photo is before using the serum.  You can see the texture of my skin especially on my cheeks and all the marks and scarring from past breakouts. My pores are also a whole lot more prominent in this photo.

vitamin C serum

This second photo is taken after a full month of using the Jan Marini C-esta serum.  My scarring is reduced and overall skin texture is smoother.  Plus, my pore size is reduced also! Just look at what a month can do!

vitamin c serum

Have you tried a vitamin C serum before?  Which one is your favorite?

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

What To Look For in A Good Dry Shampoo? + Tips for Good Application

good dry shampoo

Honestly, I can’t live a week without dry shampoo.  Washing my hair is just too much effort after a long day at school and work, so dry shampoo it is.  But before I tried, all the dry shampoos at the drug store, I had no idea what I was looking for.  I didn’t know what was good and what wasn’t?  So, here’s a how-to guide for anybody new to dry shampoo.

What makes a good dry shampoo?

A good dry shampoo should:

  • Absorb oil
  • Add texture (without being crunchy)
  • Leave no white-cast
  • Smell good
  • Has a good nozzle
  • Bonus: add volume

A good dry shampoo should not:

  • take five minutes to rub in
  • leave a white-cast
  • have a sticky residue
  • smell weird
  • make the hair look dull/ lifeless
  • weigh down your hair
  • sprays a very firm stream at your hair and leaves you with an awkward white dot that takes 20 minutes to rub in…(trust me, I’ve been there)

One of my favorite drugstore dry shampoo is from HASK!  They have a variety of dry shampoos for a variety of hair textures.  Personally, I’ve been loving the Charcoal dry shampoo from HASK.  It has a fresh citrus scent that is (currently making me miss summer) great for day two hair when my hair smells like the stir-fry dinner I made last night.  Plus, it has long-lasting oil absorption without al the gross sulfates and parabens found in many dry shampoos on the market.  With HASK, my hair smells good, feels good, and looks good.  No more dry, dead, or zombie-looking hair here!

Tips for Best Dry Shampoo Application

  • Don’t spray too close, even with a good nozzle you can get a concentrated amount of dry shampoo if you spray the bottle right by your head.  Always use the bottle as a measuring tool and spray the dry shampoo on to your hair a bottle length away.  (I actually learned this from YouTube! LOL all the things you can learn…)
  • Don’t just spray and go, take a few seconds to rub the product in, so that the product can absorb the oil and actually freshen up your hair.
  • Spray a light coating over mid-shaft to strands for the perfect, tousled look

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