Skincare Routine: Acne Prone, Oily, and Dark Marks

My skin has come such a long way. I’m soo grateful for that. Like for real. When people compliment me or ask me about my skin I’m like, “What? Girl you know it’s just that VALENCIA FILTER”. When my acne was at it’s peak in highschool, I felt like no matter what I tried nothing worked. But getting to the root of what was causing my acne and treating it, in the most natural way possible has given me a new perspective.

In my case, my acne extended from having over active glands in my face and shoulders that would produce excess oil or sebum causing my pores to clog. Then I would get pimples. What made it sooo much worse is that I’d try to pop them myself causing them to leave behind a really nasty scar. I pretty much repeated this cycle all throughout high school. In college I made the decision to go on the pill for other health related reasons. (TMI Alert: Mainly my periods were like the red sea). The pill stopped my glands from making so much oil which helped my skin clear. But I still needed a way to kill the bacteria, unclog my pores and fade my dark marks over time. If you see my regimen below it does just that.  

Cleanse

I cleanse my skin every day usually twice a day, both at morning and at night. At night I like to use my spin brush with the Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash with Salicylic Acid. I’ve been using this wash for years, when I first started using it, I did not think that it worked but I wasn’t treating the underlying problem of excess oil production and bacteria.. In the morning while I take my shower rely on the Dr. Bronson Castile soap in lavender.

Tone & Moisturize

Since I've been back on my fitness, I felt like I needed more intense cleaning of my pores to avoid any sweat related breakouts. I've been using the Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner for a few weeks now and my skin looks and feels so much tighter and less oily. It has bentonite clay and tea tree oil to help minimize my pores and kill the bacteria. First I apply the toner to a cotton round and massage into my skin and watch it transform from a gel to a water. Once it dries my skin feels smooth and clear with a shine free complexion. 

There are two moisturizers that I like to alternate between. During the day, I need one with an SPF so I use the Ambi Even & Clear oil free lotion. Being that it’s oil free it helps prevent my pores from clogging. It also gives me nice matte finish and helps my skin not get oily in my t-zone throughout the day. At night the I  apply a dry oil from Sunday Riley called the U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil to help treat my congested pores and prevent acne. I like that the oil is medicated but gentle enough to balance out the 1.5% salicylic acid. I noticed that my skin feels so much softer and I barely have to apply any concealer under my eyes when I wake up in the morning. 

Mask Treatment

I’m a huge fan of weekly masks! These usually coincide with the deep condition I do for my natural hair. This just helps give my pores a deep cleaning and fade my dark marks overtime. It’s important to note that if it’s your first time using the Aztec Bentonite Clay, you may experience a little irritation as the dirt and toxins deep in your pores work there way to the surface. Luckily it will subside after 2-3 uses so be patient! I mix mines with a little bit of apple cider vinegar in a clay bowl using my fingers. Do not use metal or it will deactivate the chemical properties in the bentonite clay.

Spot Treatment

When I do notice a stubborn breakout or dark spot, I apply pure tea tree oil to those areas using a Q-Tip. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties in the tea tree oil help treat the underlying layer of skin causing the dark spots to fade. I do this on an as needed basis since the tea tree oil is very potent. If you have sensitive try diluting it with another carrier oil such as grape seed (not coconut oil) so it is not as harsh on your face.

Exfoliate

For me skin care does not just stop at my face. I take extra care to use my dry bush to exfoliate my skin. It also helps your lymph nodes and immune system which is as an added bonus. Since I started dry brushing my skin feels tighter but not in a dry way. The spin brush acts as an exfoliant to help remove excess skin and all the bacteria off of my face from the day. My skin feels brighter and more supple with each use! Just make sure you clean your brushes with warm soap and water on a weekly basis.

 

So there you have it! My skincare routine for day and night are summarized below with link to purchase the products. Which one is your favorite? What’s your routine? Should I turn this into a video?!

 

Morning:

Neutrogena Salicylic Acid Wash

Ambi SPF Facial Moisturizer

Night:

Conair True Glow Face Brush

Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner

Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil 

Weekly:

Aztec Clay Mask

4 Must Have Matte Lips for Deep Skin Tones

I don’t know what took me so long to get into the lip stick game, but now I find myself making up for lost time. These are my four favorite lips that have received a lot of attention from you all on my Instagram page. They range from deep muave-y pinks to 90s era browns that I think can be used for a ton of occasions! Colourpop has a great line of Matte Lip glosses, three of which are featured here. They can be a little drying so I recommend you moisturize AND exfoliate your lips BEFORE applying. So check it out!

 

"Limbo" ColourPop

Growing up in the 90s, everyone was sporting the brown lip; from Whitney Houston (RIP) to Nia Long. It reminds me of a time when beauty was less about perfection and more about bringing out your best features. This lip from ColourPop in shade limbo is a true brown. Paired with my deep skin tone it is truly a must have!

 

"Tulle" ColourPop

Look number two is all about the deep pink. This one is like a dusty muave burgundy/magenta. Great for a simple understated lip that brings attention without the drama. Colourpop Tulle is perfect for my skin tone that makes a great statement and compliments my complexion.

 

"Creeper" ColourPop

Look number three is my devil red.. Something about red just brings out the fiest in me.. Maybe it’s the excess estrogen levels red lips indicate but it just makes me feel very irresistible and feminine. This red from ColourPop in Creeper does just the trick. The fact that it’s a brush and red is already a messy color means that your really want to take your time applying this one. Trust me, it is not one of those that you can apply on your way to an event in the back of a dimly lit Uber car using your selfie cam. Trust me. 

 

"Beauty Mark" NYX Lip Lingerie

Last but certainly not least is the newest addition to my lip arsenal from the NYX Lip Lingerie line in Beauty Mark. It is a little on the sticky side but I just love the ashen brown/pink combo that makes my lips look sensational. This color is probably the closest shade to my natural lip which makes it a perfect addition for day or night.

 

No Makeup-Makeup for Dark Skin

I LOVE no makeup makeup. Maybe because I lack the talent and sheer will to artfully apply lashes, eyeliner, and carefully sculpted brows. It’s funny that when I set out to achieve a natural look, I realized that a lot of work and thought actually goes into it.  It gave me an appreciation for the art of makeup so much so that I invested in a few quality products that will help me get my best look. This is going to be pretty brief since I do not consider myself an expert in this field. I just know what I like and what tends to work for me :)

  1. On clean skin, I apply the oil absorbent Bare Minerals Prime Time primer all over my face to even out my skin and allow the products to go one smooth.

  2. Next is the foundation. I am using the Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in the shade "New orleans". I apply one pump to my hand, tap my brush into it and dab it across my face. Then I work it into my skin using  a circular motion. What I like most about this foundation is that is very light weight. It’s also very build-able to give me more or less coverage depending on how much I apply.

  3. My concealer comes next. Again I am using Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in shade "Amande" to highlight under my eyes, the bridge of my nose, in between my brows, under my chin and nose, and underneath my jaw. I blend for my life using this forever 21 knock off version of a beauty blender.

  4. To set my concealer I breakout the Laura Mercier Transluscent Setting Powder. I know this one is a little pricey but Sephora has a travel size of this brand that's $15.00 cheaper! I do not put on makeup everyday so it’s just enough product for me.

  5. While my powder is setting I focus on my eyes. Not much to say here other than that I sculpt my brows using the Milani Eyebrow Pencil, then I fill in the gaps using their tint pen. I am not a fan of a harsh brow so these two products help me find that balance. I smudge this dark brown pencil from Urban Decay around my eyes before adding two coats of mascara. The first coat I apply all over my lashes then on the second coat I only put it on the outer top and bottom lashes to make my eyes appear wider.

  6. Now it’s time for a little contour and highlighting. This  Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit is perfect for my skin tone!! For me it doubles for contouring and eyeshadow, which gives me extra bang for my buck. The deep shade goes underneath each cheek bone. This tangerine pink I apply on the apples of cheeks and my upper eyelid in a haphazard fashion using this blending brush I found at the bottom of my makeup bag. The light color I use to brush away the remaining setting powder.

  7. One of my favorite steps is the highlight. The dewy finish I get after putting on this natural bronzer from Too Faced is to die for! I also apply it underneath my brow, the corners of my eye, my cheeks and chin to give me that glow from within look. Technically, bronzers are for deepening lighter skin tones, but on darker skin a bronzer can work as an amazing highlight!!

  8. On to the lip. Sometimes I will just put on a gloss and call it a day, other times I’ll add one of my favorite lips. (hyperlink). Which you can see in this video. Today since I want my lips to look very natural I am using the Burt’s Beeswax lip crayon.


And there you have it, my no makeup-makeup look from start to finish. If you want to get the same products I used you can shop the look above or watch my video! Do you prefer a natural or more made up look? Let me know in the comments below!

My New Staple: The Headwrap

Headwraps are a regal and timeless accessory for any state that your hair is in. It has long been a natural hair hack to wear the head wrap over a set of twists that have yet to dry or to cover up a deep conditioning session.

I've done both and have no shame in my game about admitting it.

When I first went natural I'd add in a hair accessory or two to accentuate my teeny weeny afro at the time. Now I go full blow queen status and cover my entire mane using this head wrap from The Wrap Life

I am going to save you a search on the internet and just recommend that you head straight there if you are serious about stepping up your wrap efforts. Here I am showing you guys how I do my signature double knot wrap look. 

HOW TO TIE A HEAD WRAP.jpg

There you have it! Never have another bad hair day again! I cannot wait to show you guys how else I style this amazing garment. In the mean time, tell me how you guys wrap it up.

Look Fly While Your Twists Dry

I’ve said it before, the longer you keep your twists in the better they will come out. Plain and simple. But if you’re anything like me, you did your twists three hours before you technically have to be at that thing. But no fear, here are three ways to allow your twists to dry in peace and keep the swag intact.

 

1.  The Dad hat

    These dad hats seem to be everywhere right now. Good luck trying to fit one over your head when your twist out is in it’s full glory, but while your twists are in is a great time to try out the look. Pair it with some mom jeans and a crop and you are good to go. Case in point I left my twists in while I engaged in rather heated ping pong match against bae.

 

2. Tuck and Pin

Ok, so this last one is contingent upon how well you set your hair in the first place. If you took the time to part your hair using a comb and you’ve got the hang time, then this look is a good one. Great for transitioners and people who are about their business during the week and hit the gym. Trust me, these have lasted me through hot yoga  so give it a try!

 

3. The Wrap

I’ve long since been a fan of the head wrap! The Wrap Life make some of my favorites in the game. With their rich and vibrant colors you can make them work with just about anything. They really are a bold statement piece that I’ve gotten compliments on wherever I go. Here I demonstrate one way that I tie my head wraps to keep my hair safe and secure.


Check out the video below for a step by step guide on the three ways to hide those twists. Which one is your go to?