My Acne Story: Trials, Errors, and hopeful for Triumph

This is my background story with acne, how it manifested itself in my life and my journey with it thus far. I hope to use this post and those to come not only as a way to track my results but to hopefully help someone out there in the big black internet space out there.

If I can remember correctly my acne started when I was about 17 or 18, up until then I had perfectly clear skin. It started with a few small cystic pimples on my cheeks here and there for a few years, I wasn’t too pleased but it was manageable for the most part. So for the next few years up until I was about 22 there weren’t any memorable changes in my acne.

That was until I made a small, so I thought, change in my “routine” and switched from taking birth control pills to having the Mirena IUD inserted. Within 3 months, I had the worst acne I have ever had in my entire life. There were cysts and other unsightly blemishes sprouting up on my chin, somewhere I’d never really broke out, all over my cheeks, forehead, just everywhere basically. I just remember being so..disgusted by it I didn’t even want to look in the mirror to do my makeup but of course I always kept it covered in public.

It was pretty horrible to say the least, and this went on for months, just when things seemed like they were getting clear something new would magically appear. I’d started using more natural skin care products and saw it made a small improvement in my skin soon that became a staple part of my routine. Also, around that time I finally decided it was time to make some changes in my lifestyle and eating. I was reading extensively about how diet truly affects your skin and of course many other things in your body and made some immediate changes. I cut out meat, upped my intake of greens, started exercising and tried to be more conscious of my health in general. Things were looking up and my breakouts seemed to not be as frequent or last as long. I remember by the time summer rolled around I was usually just using a bit of concealer to cover up, I thought I was in the clear.

Then winter hit and once the freezing weather hit I was all out of whack in regards to diet and exercise. I got lazy, I ate unhealthily, I went out with friends drinking beer and sugary mixed drinks, I thought I could slip by since things were going so great for my skin already. Well, I was wrong. In no time my face was back to its old tricks and it wasn’t looking pretty. I knew it was time to make changes again, so I took to the drawing board and have made a whole slew of them and am working hard this time around to willpower through it and see some amazing results!

As of late my green smoothies are back as daily supplement and I eat a mostly vegetarian diet. The weathers getting nicer so I’ve forced myself outside to get some fresh air and outdoors activity, natural skin care is still a big part of my routine (I love experimenting with it), and last but not least I’ve eliminated hormonal birth control as a whole. Which, by the way, is a first in 8 years. Not going to lie, I’m a little nervous for the effect that might have on my skin but feel it will be worth it in the long run for my body as a whole. Oh and how could I forget! I also saw a naturopath this past Winter who prescribed me some interesting holistic supplements, gave advice on how to balance my hormones naturally and how to clear up my acne, all of which I can report on in a separate post.

So there you have it. My story on my relationship with acne, romantic isn’t it? Anywho, If you have any tips, tricks, comments or concerns you’d like to share please leave them below I’d love to hear them! :D


Braids and Buns

First things first, Happy March! :) I was hoping to awaken to blue skies and birds singing however, that wasn’t the case. Soon I keep telling myself, soon.

Any who, I have a slight obsession with the effortlessly chic braids and buns(and sometimes a combo of the two) I’ve been seeing everywhere. It seems my own hair never seems to get these looks down quite right (maybe it’s me not my hair?) but I’ve collected a few of the prettiest braids and buns I found across the wonderful website that is Pinterest ( another obsession) and am of course going to share them with you. A little Hair-spo if you will.


Messy yet Chic

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This is going to take some practice..

Image Credit


Fish Tail Braid w/ a Pop of Color

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Great second day hairstyle

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Clinique Free Gift Set February 2012

I attended a Pre-Sale event a few weeks ago at Boston Store for Clinique. I haven’t really been into too many Clinique’s products as of lately (some of the ingredients they use in their cosmetics puts me off a bit) but I decided I wanted to give their Even Better Dark Spot Corrector another go because I did find that it actually worked quite nicely at evening out my skin tone in the past. I ended up with two impulse buys as well which were the Even Better Makeup and Touch Base for Eyes in Up-Lighting. Both seem to be working out very nicely and I’d like to do a separate review on all 3 products in the future when I get a little more use out of them.

I can’t lie though, I only tend to make purchases from Clinique when they’re including free gifts, and this time was no different. I wasn’t too thrilled with the bonus gift this time around though, I was expecting something with a bit more Spring feel to it, and the bag wasn’t one of their prettiest. But hey, free’s free right?

The bonus gift includes:

  • Take The Day Off Makeup Remover
  • All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage
  • Soft-Pressed Powder Blusher
  • Lash Doubling Mascara
  • Long Last Lipstick : Pink Spice
  • Different Lipstick: A Different Grape
  • Cosmetic Bag

Here’s a little snap shot of the Even Better foundation, Even Better Spot Corrector and the Touch Base for Eyes-though the pic doesn’t really do its pretty taupe color any justice.




Shellac Manicure in Slate

This past weekend I decided it was time to treat myself/celebrate with my first paycheck from my new job. My hair was in desperate need of some tending to so I called up my stylist and booked an appointment on the first available day she had open. It felt amazing to finally be getting my much needed trim and color touch up!  While she was working her magic I was rambling on about how horrible my nails looked. Eyebrows and nails are just something I really am not the best at keeping up with. Anyways, she suggested I try out her Shellac polishes to compliment my new hair do. Of course I agreed.



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Pastels, Pastels, and More Pastels

It’s no secret that pastels are huge for this coming Spring and Summer (if it was, now you know) and while I always felt they reminded me of Easter, I’m totally jumping on the bandwagon for this trend! In fact I just purchased a pair of mint green pants yesterday, and got so many compliments on them while wearing them. It’s safe to say I’m obsessed, and can’t wait to add other pieces into my Spring wardrobe. But before I start raving over how much I love pastels, and can’t wait for Spring  I’ll take this time to post some lovely photos I’ve come across while scouring the web..well Pintrest actually, another new obsession, if you haven’t checked this site out you need to do so!


 As you can see mint and coral are a reoccurring trend







American Eagle Semi-Annual Sale + 20% Off: Really Mini Haul

I always get such a thrill ordering things online! I went looking for a certain sweater on American Eagle’s website that I saw in Shape magazine and was pleasantly surprised to find out that their Semi-Annual sale is going on right now with an added bonus of extra 40% off clearance. I was also lucky enough to find another 20% promo you may have guessed I made a few purchases.


First thing I added to my cart was this black cable knit sweater. It looked so warm and cozy I couldn’t pass it up, and for $14.39 why would I?

 AE Cabled Sweater $14.39 (w/promo code)

The second two are a little more Spring-y. The weather here hasn’t been it’s usual frozen tundra, also known as Winter, temps but my day to day wardrobe is still looking pretty dark. I can’t wait to use these pieces to brighten up a bit!  I really love flowers so I can see the floral loop scarf becoming one of my new favorites, and I’ve been dying for a pair of fuchsia pumps or flats. Now the waiting game begins..

AEO Dotted Floral Loop Scarf $15.60 (w/ promo code)

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2012 New Year’s Beauty Resolutions

First off I should say I can not believe yet another year has gone by! 2011 was, to say the least, a very interesting year. There were many ups and downs that brought along both triumphs and “defeats”. One thing I am very proud of myself for having accomplished throughout the year though are the realizations I’ve made about myself and the way I live my life, as well as the type of people I allow into it. I found myself taking a lot more time to reflect on why certain negative situations turned out the way they did and how to make positive changes in my life to learn from them.

Now that we’re officially in the new year I’m carrying over what I’ve learned and have vowed to make 2012 a healthy and happy one. Yes, I know, it sounds cliche but I’m really starting to realize that your own happiness truly does start from within. So with that on to my resolutions..


1) Start my journey into a career..

Check! I can proudly say that as of December 27th that this has been accomplished. Yes, I know it was before the new year but I wrote it down as my number one on my resolution/goal list a week earlier so to me it still counts. After graduating college in May and doing some traveling in June/July I started my 5 month job search and was lucky enough to land a position as a Merchandise Assistant for a pretty well known company in the Milwaukee area. Though I don’t start for another week I’m  all sorts of excited to be putting my degree to use and moving on from my part-time job as a waitress(don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with that). Hopefully all goes well!


2) Hit the gym..

OK, so I’m sure this is probably 6,473,829 other people’s resolution as well but as I was telling a friend the other day the only thing that can make this not as cliche as it sounds it to actually stick to it! My goal is to do some sort of physical activity at least 3 times a week whether it be in a gym or not I don’t really care. I know you’re supposed to have 20 mins of some type of cardio 5 to 6 times a week but I’m sticking to the “baby steps” route and taking things slow. I’ve had a gym membership for a year now and while I have been going a lot more than I ever use to (which was never..) I’d like to make it consistent. I’m prone to going for 3 months n then disappearing for another 3 (then repeat).

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Health Store Beauty Haul

While out and about today I made a stop at my local health food store and picked up some goodies. Mostly skin care products as I’ve been really trying to find products I’m actually happy with and don’t irritate my skin as I’ve been breaking out like crazy (thank you dry winter weather).

I’m really hoping that the Alba coconut milk facial wash is as good as it smells/looks because I just can’t seem to find a face wash that I’m really into lately. I recently picked up the one and only Cetaphil face wash, and honestly it was really nothing special. I also hated the fact that one of the main ingredients was Sodium Lauryl Sulfate so it’s a big plus that Alba uses natural, organic and cruelty free ingredients.

Anywho, as you can see I also bought Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Pads, Reviva Hyraluronic Acid Serum (after reading a great review on Miss Natty’s Beauty Diary), Celestial Nutcracker Sweet black tea with caffeine so I can take a break from coffee, Cod Liver Oil (yes sounds gross but is packed with Vitamin A & D to keep skin and hair healthy) and a Celsius.

Can’t wait to start trying these products out and share my reviews on them with you all :)



Shoe Mint Launch

What girl can pass up the offer of a good pair of shoes? Now add rewards into the mix and you’ve got my 100% attention.

I came across something pretty awesome on AlphaBlonde’s blog this afternoon and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share it with you all. ShoeMint, which features an exclusive shoe collection created by Rachel Bilson, her celeb stylist Nicole Chavez and Steve Madden (I don’t think you can go wrong with that trio), will be launching their website this Friday, November 25th!

As the other mint websites it’s free to look but will be an exclusive members only website in regards to amazing deals and promotions. By signing up you not only will help me get referal points to get amazing deals like $25-$45 off your first pair or a year supply of ShoeMint, you’ll also be given your own referral link so you can do the same. It’s really a win win situation if you ask me :)

Go ahead and sign up HERE if you’re interested in the deals, or just want to check out the website.



Scent Obsession: Lovestruck by Vera Wang

I’ve been bombarded by ads of Lovestruck by Vera Wang in the pages of magazines for months now and really never took more than a second glance. Finally while wandering around Boston Store this weekend I decided to see what all the fuss was about. So I did the usual test spray on the fancy little strip the ladies behind the counter gave me and went about my wandering. By the end of the day I may have well taped it to my nose because I found myself smelling it over and over again..then again throughout the week (talk about long lasting). This fragrance has made its way to the top of my wish list for the holidays as I am head over heels in love with it at the moment.

Lovestuck has a rich floral scent, not to be compared with your grandmother’s. There are  hints of pink guava, mandarin, tuberose, lotus blossom, precious woods and sheer musk.  The Eau de Parfum is Vera’s interpretation of love, a modern day twist on Romeo and Juliet. The scent is meant to channel that heart pounding, sweaty palm, spontaneous rush you feel as you’re falling in love and while I experienced none of these side effects I must agree that it is a very romantic, feminine fragrance. First date worthy or if you just want to feel a little sexier.

And even if you don’t like the fragrance the bottle is pretty amazing..




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