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Top 5 Best Skin Care Products for Acne Prone Skin

best skin care productsFor as much as I enjoy make up, skin care is my first love. Since I was young I’ve struggled with acne, so skin care was my introduction into the world of beauty. As someone that has desperately searched for the best skin care products for acne prone skin for years, I’ve got a lot of experience to share on this topic. I’m so happy to be able to say that eventually I did find a great skin care routine that’s enabled me to have what is easily the best skin of my life.

best skin care products

I’m sharing a list of the top 5 best skin care products that I consider must haves in my routine. They’ve all made a world of difference in my skin in some way or another, but first…a non-product related skin care tip:

Do not squeeze pimples, blackheads or anything on your face!! Do not touch your face unless it is to apply or remove products – the end!!

When I stopped picking at my skin I noticed a change bigger than any product has ever made. You cannot pick at your skin and have clear, healthy skin. Now onto the game changing products to add to your routine.

Kiehls Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque

best skin care products

 I try to do this face mask at least once a week and it’s always my go to mask as soon as my skin starts acting up. I would be careful not to over use it if you have dry skin, but this is a particularly great face mask for oily skin as well as combination skin. The price might seem a little steep, but this mask lasts forever I swear. It’s also a great product to have on hand for spot treating surprise zits. 

Paula’s Choice Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment 10% AHA Exfoliant with Glycolic Acid

best skin care products for acne

One of my main skin concerns as someone that has struggled with acne is pore size. Your pores stretch from being clogged and you get acne from having clogged pores. So this is a good product for dealing with the aftermath of acne that is enlarged pores. It’s extremely hard to shrink your pores without using some kind of laser treatment, but that costs thousands of dollars. This product has the most noticeable affect on smoothing your skin texture overall. A liquid exfoliant is the only type of exfoliant you should be using. Anything with little beads, sugar scrubs and the like are like grating sand paper against a flower petal to remove some dirt; dramatically harsh and damaging! Just one word: micro-tears. So please love yourselves and make this your one and only exfoliant and set fire to that Nutrogena Deep Clean scrub please!

Rosehip Oil

best skin care products

I started using rosehip oil in my beauty routine as a dual use tool to combat dryness that was becoming chronic on certain areas while also alleviating some of the redness that comes with rosacea. Rosehip oil contains vitamin A, E and essential fatty acids that are key ingredients in skin care. It’s not a fully proven claim, but because rosehip oil contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, it makes it a possible remedy for controlling rosacea. A small bottle is cheap and it lasts forever as you only need a few drops. I honestly feel like it makes my skin much more healthy and bright looking; I’ve even started applying it to my neck and décolletage. Plus, I feel like it’s kind of a goddess move to lather yourself in rosehip oil before bed.

Elta MD UV Clear Board- Spectrum SPF 46

best skin care products

One of the most important and simultaneously overlooked tools in your skin care regime is a moisturizer/sun block. This lotion by Elta MD is a power product. It’s a significant SPF 46, so giving your skin great protection against early aging via UV rays. It also contains zinc oxide, which is both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, meaning it’s going to work to calm redness while also helping to prevent breakouts from bacteria that ends up on your face throughout the day. It’s an all around awesome product for normal skin, rosacea affected skin and sensitive skin. If there’s ever a product to splurge and invest in, it’s your moisturizer.

Murad Clarifying Skin Cleanser 

best skin care products

 Straight up: I’ve been using Murad’s Clarifying Cleanser for over 3 months now and I barely ever break out anymore. So it’s an obvious win. However, keep in mind that this is a product formulated for acne prone skin, not just normal skin. I actually only use this cleanser once a day, to wash my face in the morning, while at night I use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap. You really only need maybe less than a dime sized amount when washing your face because this product. is. strong. Used in conjunction with a great moisturizer, this product is the equivalent of sending your out of control child to military boarding school.

Honorable Mention

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater 

best skin care products

This facial spray by Mario Basescu is just plain pleasant to be totally honest. The ingredients are definitely useful; aloe and rose water are wonderfully calming ingredients and for skin that is easily irritated or redness prone, this spray is a perfect way to keep your skin refreshed and calmed. It might not be the most necessary product, but it’s just so fun to spritz your face in the middle of a hot day with this cooling mixture. And yes, I photographed an empty bottle for this post because that’s just how much I use this.

best skin care products

These are basically all the products in my bathroom cabinet that I’m regularly using as of late, aside from a few masks and other treatments. I genuinely think these are the best skin care products for acne prone skin; I truly love them and have seen them help my acne affected, redness prone skin to look it’s best. I’m really excited to share this list with you guys and I’d love to hear which products you’ve tried or what tips you have for keeping your skin under control!



My Favorite Lip Colors from Colourpop

Colourpop Best Fall Lip Colors Swatches

Before I show you some of the best lip colors that Colourpop has to offer, lesson time: Colourpop Cosmetics is a brand that has grown rapidly in popularity since releasing their first line of Lippie Stix in 2014. Yes, they have a line called Lippie Stix. Owned by the parent company Seed Beauty, Colourpop is entirely self contained from the development of products to their manufacturing, keeping costs competitively low and giving the company a unique ability to create and roll out new products in as short a time as 5 days. This short production time is part of what keeps the brand at the forefront of innovation and trends in beauty, like they were for the resurgence of popularity in liquid matte lip colors, with their Ultra Matte Lip products.

Colourpop Best Fall Lip Colors Swatches

The owners of the company have chosen to let the products speak for themselves, which has given rise to a lot of speculation that culminated in a particularly scandalous rumor that the Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kits ($17) are actually repackaged Colourpop products ($6) with a boosted price tag. Refinery 29 tackles this rumor in a rare interview with Colourpop’s founders.

At this point I have a box full of Colourpop’s different lip products, some of which I never use and others that are my go-to lip colors. The company has a great range of shades to choose from, so I decided to pick out my favorite lip colors and swatch them for you all. 

Colourpop Best Fall Lip Colors SwatchesSome of the colors swatched are from the Lippie Stix line and others are Ultra Mattes or Ultra Satins.Colourpop Best Fall Lip Colors Swatches

All of the lip colors swatched in the photo were done so over Colourpop’s Lippie Primer. Below are the links for every lip color that’s still available at the time of me publishing this:






Calypso (my top favorite!)

Echo Park



Frick n’ Frack

colourpop lip colors Let me know your favorite lipcolors from Colourpop in comments or what your overall thoughts on the brand are! Colourpop Cosmetics has become so popular over the short span of time they’ve been around and it doesn’t seem like interest in them will be slacking anytime soon.



Best DIY Hair Mask Recipe for Dry Hair

diy hair mask recipe for dry hair

It’s definitely not hard to find a DIY hair mask recipe for dry hair on the internet, ranging from overly complicated (I’m supposed to be able to Do It Myself, remember?) to straight up nasty (spare me the speech, I’m not putting eggs in my hair). As someone with thick, course, curly hair I’m always ready to try something that will bring shine and moisture to my locks and trust me, I’ve tried a lot. This recipe however, is so refreshingly simple that I was shocked to see a noticeable difference in my hair afterwards. This DIY hair mask recipe will actually have your hair looking shiny and feeling soft after one application. 

diy hair mask recipe for dry hair 


Half an avocado

2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Scoop out the inside of the avocado and mash it into as smooth a paste as possible. You can also put it in the blender if you’re not lazy like me.

2. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the avocado and olive oil are thoroughly mixed.

3. Rub the mixture into your hair until your strands are fully saturated with it. If your scalp and roots tend to get oily, avoid putting in on your roots.

4. Leave the mask on your hair for as long as possible, but at least an hour. 

5. Shampoo and condition your hair as usual and enjoy your shinier, softer locks!

diy hair mask recipe for dry hair I’d love to hear how this mask worked for you and if you noticed a difference; let me know in the comments! If your hair is more on the damaged side from coloring or heat styling, pleeease read my review on Olaplex because it’s a game changer. I’m a big fan of any DIY hair mask recipe for dry hair but I’m also willing to give a great product a try too; share some of your favorites with me and I might give them a try for myself!




11 Game Changing Curly Hair Care Tips

curly hair

Curly hair is a gorgeous crown of unique twists and twirls that requires love and knowledge to let it shine. Unfortunately, most hair care tips in the beauty industry is given with straight or wavy hair in mind, which can go beyond being useless to actually causing damage to those of us with different hair types.


I’ve had a bittersweet relationship with my hair ever since I can remember; the only times I thought about my hair while growing up was to wish it was straight and thinner. Being older and (still) learning to embrace my own beauty has led me to confront the issues I had with my thick curly hair. I still have days where it feels like a chore, but those are fewer and farther between now that I’ve really learned what my hair needs. Below I’m sharing the super important, game changing curly hair care tips I’ve accumulated over years of trying to be friends not enemies with my hair.


1. Only detangle your hair when it’s wet and thoroughly soaked in conditioner.

2. Switch to silk pillow cases to reduce breakage, frizz and tangles.

3. Don’t over wash your hair. Curly hair doesn’t get oily as fast as straight hair and washing it too often won’t allow the oils to moisturize your hair, drying it out.

4. Stock up on moisturizing products and apply them often and liberally – the key to keeping curly hair gorgeous is plenty of hydration. Some of my favorite are Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave In Conditioner, this Macadamia Oil treatment and just straight up coconut oil.curly hair care tips

5. Use a deep moisturizing mask at least once a week or every other week (I try to use one every time I wash my hair). Something like Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Masque, this Argan Oil Deep Conditioning treatment or just rub coconut oil into your hair and let it soak in for an hour or two.


6. Reduce how often you heat style your hair. Straightening your hair and generally using heat on it not only damages your hair, it also breaks down your curl pattern, making it harder to have those perfect coils we’re trying to achieve.

7. Start taking a biotin supplement; just pick up a bottle from the store. Most of these specifically-made-for-hair supplements actually contain less biotin than the store bought versions but are more expensive.

8. Make sure you’re getting healthy fats like omega 3s from foods like avocados and flax seeds.

9. Use scrunchies if you tie up your hair; not rubber bands or small tight bands, they’ll break your hair more easily.

10. Get the ends of your hair trimmed about every 3 months. This doesn’t make it grow faster as some people believe, but what it does accomplish is preventing your hair from becoming more damaged by letting the split ends continue rising up your hair follicles.

11. When using hair products, keep in mind some oils moisturize, others seal the hair follicle, keeping that moisture in. So moisturizing oils first (like coconut and avocado oil), followed by sealing oils (like jojoba and grapeseed oil) to lock in the moisture.

curly hair

Give these hair tips a try and let me know how they work out for you! Introducing these steps into my hair care regiment has made a huuuge change in the look and feel of my hair so I know they’ll be helpful for you. If you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments! I’m curious to know what everyone does with their hair for sleeping; bun, braid, bonnet? Let me know in the comments.


Beauty, My Big Important Opinions

Review – TonyMoly Face Masks

TonyMoly face masks If you’re just venturing into the world of face masks, trying to pick a mask to begin with can have you wanting to quit before you start, with some masks reaching $30 for one sheet and touting ingredients you’d never think to put on your face. With Tony Moly’s face masks, you can put one foot in the Korean beauty world and another in the world of face masks simultaneously.

In this review, I’m giving you my overall impression of TonyMoly’s I’m Real face mask line so you can make an informed decision about where to start. With most skin care products, it’s generally best to try them for 2-4 weeks before coming to a conclusion, but I’m giving you my second (twice used) impression of their line. They have so many different face masks; some of them really stand out, others I would never use. I list my favorites and why below for you:

face masks Aloe Vera Moisturizing Mask – Smells good, subtly of aloe vera. My skin definitely doesn’t feel dry, and the mask leaves a nice glow without making your skin feel sticky or heavy.

face masks Rice Clear Skin Mask – No smell to the mask, but I wouldn’t expect much of a scent from rice so no surprise there. I’ve been using the whole I’m Real series about twice a week so far and have noticed that my skin has been much more clear and the zits I do get are smaller and fade quickly.

face masksAvocado Nutrition Mask – I love anything with avocados, so naturally I was psyched to put them on my face. Avocado is great for your skin, using it both from within and without.

face maskTea Tree Skin Soothing Mask – Tea tree is an important and versatile ingredient in skin care. This mask mixes tea tree and banana to calm irritated skin and it leaves you with dewy, refreshed skin, which is all I ask for in life. 

face masksRed Wine Pore Care Mask – This is one of my favorite masks so far because you’re immediately made aware of the rich grape smell it has. Though it smells more like grape juice than wine, it’s a pleasant accompaniment to the mask. Don’t expect it to minimize your pores; there’s no face mask currently available to my knowledge that can do that. Keeping your skin clear does help prevent enlarged pores, which I think this mask can help with. It also left my face looking brighter and more radiant.

face masks

These are the masks from Tony Moly’s I’m Real series that I’ll definitely be buying again. The masks are super reasonably priced and are worth it for the results they give. You can start trying them all out here. It’s so relaxing to come home and unwind while still doing something beneficial for your skin. These are the perfect face masks to create a habit of giving some extra love to your skin.

Have you tried any of the I’m Real face masks from TonyMoly? Let me know how you like them in the comments!

Salome Luna Gemme

Beauty, My Big Important Opinions

Mario Badescu Healing & Soothing Mask // Cucumber Tonic Mask Review

Mario Badescu MaskI’ve been wanting to get my hands on some of the face masks from the Mario Badescu line and finally found the right opportunity during Ulta Beauty’s 21 Days of Beauty sale, where I happily scooped up two masks at a comfortingly discounted price. The packaging is minimal with a very dermatologist grade style of labelling, similar to Kiehl’s. The top stays on tight, so no worrying about spills if you toss it in your luggage. 

cucumber tonic mask

Cucumber Tonic Mask

The first mask I tried and also the first of any Mario Badescu products was the Cucumber Tonic Mask.

Peeling back the seal, the first thing that strikes me is how liquid-y the mask is; it swirls around in the jar and could easily be poured out like a milkshake, a notable difference from the usual paste like masks I’ve encountered.

The scent is gentle but still fragrant, smelling more like a spa than cucumbers. You don’t need a lot of the product to throughly cover your face, so don’t be put off by the small sized jar. Within 5 minutes of applying the mask, you’ll feel it satisfyingly tightening on your skin. This Mario Badescu mask is made with cucumber extract to calm sensitive skin and clay, which is great for absorbing oil and keeping pores clear. Everyone should have a reliable go-to clay based mask in their arsenal.

The application instructions state you should apply a thin layer to clean skin and leave it on for 15-20 minutes, 2-3 times a week. I apply it for 20 minutes, twice a week and my skin has been relatively clear since I’ve been using it. As with most skin care products, it’s hard to get a true sense of how useful a product is without using it for several months while not changing anything about your skin care routine, diet and location, as all these affect your skin. But a great sign is that I haven’t had any breakouts while using it.

 Rating: ✯✯✯✯ (4/5)

Healing And Soothing Mask

mario badescu maskThis Healing And Soothing Mask from Mario Badescu is great if your skin gets irritated or dry. The oatmeal in this mask helps to calm and heal skin while also moisturizing. There’s no noticeable scent that accompanies the mask, so if you prefer less fragrant products this would be more your style. The consistency of this mask is much more creamy and thick than the Cucumber Tonic Mask, though I found I needed a little more product to actually cover my face with it than I did using the other mask. There’s no tingling or tightening that follows application of the Healing And Soothing Mask, you’re more likely to forget you have it on once it dries.

I leave this mask on for 20 minutes and use it about 1-2 times a week. The Mario Badescu Healing And Soothing Mask definitely leaves your skin feeling moisturized and calmed. However, this mask is straight up difficult to take off, as it doesn’t just wash off. You really have to scrub it off with the help of a cleanser or use a wash cloth. I avoid products that more easily leave residue because it doesn’t matter how many miracles a mask works if it stays on your skin and clogs your pores. While I enjoy other aspects of this mask, I won’t be purchasing it again until Mario Badescu re-works their formula to make it less difficult to wash off.

Rating: ✯✯ (2/5)

 You can grab the Healing And Soothing Mask plus the Cucumber Tonic Mask from Amazon.

I’m really excited to try out more products from the Mario Badescu line because I’m fairly impressed so far. What the Healing And Soothing Mask lacks, the Cucumber Tonic Mask really made up for. Have any of you tried their masks before? Let me know how their products have worked for you or if you’re thinking about giving them a try soon in the comments!



Heal Chapped Lips; Tips for a Permanently Soft Pout


Chapped lips are painful and not a very pretty sight. I’m completely addicted to  chapstick, but it’s not always enough. There are lots of things that cause dry lips, but thankfully there are even more ways to treat them.

Why So Dry?
The most common reason for chapped lips is dry summer of winter air absorbing their moisture, but over exposure to sun in any temperature can cause dry lips and sun burn (yes, your lips can be sunburned!). If you’re not drinking enough water, dehydration will cause them to become dry and cracked. Your diet also has a role here; vitamin A, B, and C deficiencies make it hard for lips to stay soft.

The Cure
Rotate between these two methods once or twice a week; you’ll see the difference immediately!


by Anne Schwank

Softer Lips Quick

  1. Wet a wash cloth with warm water and hold it to your lips for a minute.
  2. Gently begin to rub the cloth across your lips. This rubs off the dead and dry skin.
  3. Finish and apply lip balm (with SPF!).

Recipe For A Perfect Pout (my favorite!)

  1. Mix 2 tbsp of honey (or olive oil if allergic), 1 tsp of sugar.
  2. Spread the mixture on your lips and gently scrub. Make sure to get the edges of your lips too.
  3. Wash the salve off with warm water and apply your lip balm.

Tips To Keep Your Lips Soft

  • Drink water! Not only will this keep your lips moist, it’ll help your whole body.
  • Don’t lick your lips; when saliva evaporates it leaves your lips even more dry than before.
  • Choose a lip balm with good SPF protection.
  • Cracks at the corner of your mouth can indicate a riboflavin deficiency. Eat more tomatoes, beans and mushrooms to increase your B2 vitamin intake.
  • Aloe Vera heals and prevents lips from cracking.
  • Cucumber slices can help heal and cool chapped lips.
  • Make sure your diet isn’t lacking in Vitamin A, which is important for skin growth and repair. Eat your carrots!

Not even your favorite MAC lipstick can save you from scaly lips, but my Perfect Pout honey recipe will! Share some of your tips and tricks for fighting the chap below.

À la prochaine!
Salomé Luna Gemme