Review

LXXXIX: Why Does My Face Hate Everything?

PRODUCT REVIEW: THE BODY SHOP - TEA TREE BLEMISH BATTLING SKINCARE DELUXE KIT

I’ve been suffering from the same breakout since mid-February.

Now that I’ve rid myself of those annoying stressors, I need to rid myself of this annoying breakout. So, I decided to try The Body Shop’s Tea Tree line.

This line was talked about alongside Murad’s skincare collection which is what brought it to my attention. So, instead of getting my usual (Murad) I decided to try it out and here we are!

Let’s talk about it:

THE BREAKOUT 

This was a vicious breakout and it was more aligned with the kind of breakout that I get during finals time each year, but has lasted much longer.  

Each pimple hurt like the Dickens and they left horrible dark spots when they’d finally decided to go away (if they decided to go away).

Again, I’m used to getting breakouts around finals time, but they usually don’t hurt as much and they don’t leave my skin damaged once they’ve gone away.  

So, I decided to try a strong product that would quickly get rid of the breakout and blemishes. Another plus, for me, with this product was the fact that they also promised to help mattify the skin as it cleared it. Big bonus for me since I have combination (dry-to-oily skin), right?!

THE PRODUCT

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

So, I decided to get the whole shebang which came with the following:

  1. A Skin Clearing Facial Wash (8.4 fl oz)

  2. A Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner (8.4 fl oz)

  3. Tea Tree Oil (.33 fl oz)

  4. A Mattifying Lotion (1.69 fl oz)

  5. And, A Skin Clearing Clay Mask (3.85 oz)

(These products are listed in use order)

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

THE PROCESS

I used the products as instructed for two weeks before getting to the point of deciding whether or not the products were for me. Which they weren’t…

Now, I know that, for many, two weeks of product use is not a lot at all. But, for me and while dealing with my skin, two weeks is plenty of time.

I am used to using Murad which starts working on the second day of use, so that was the standard for me when I started this product.

Upon initial use, I did notice that it started to work quickly, but after about a week I also noticed that my skin was super dry, rough, and blemished. So this product has potential to work and it’s definitely filled with cleansing agents that get into the pores and clear them out. BUT, it’s like it leaves your skin dry, bruised and shriveled afterwards and I do not want that for myself.

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

THE AFTERMATH

I’m sure that, from reading, you can see where this post is going. I definitely stopped using these products, packed them back into the box and switched to water and moisturizing oils for a while to restore my skin.

I do want to say that I was shocked by how much of this product you get for such a good price ($39 USD). You get a lot of product with this purchase and, if this product goes well with your skin type, then I highly recommend that you invest in these products. But, for me, it just didn’t work.

THE HEALING

In order to fix the blemishes and dark spots that have formed on my skin because of these products (in conjunction with my break out), I have just been using water to wash my face and I’ll occasionally use Garnier’s Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Water to cleanse my face but apart from that, I’m currently not putting cleansers (medicated or otherwise) onto my face.

To help restore my skin, I’ve been using (and am obsessed with) Black Radiance’s Luminous Dry Oil Moisturizer which I LOVE — not just because of its ingredients but because of how it feels on my skin.

So, overall, I’m going to say that this line was NOT for me, but I’m sure that there are people out there who lean more towards oily skin who would love this product. But, if you have combination skin, this product may be too harsh for you.

Thanks for reading! 🖤

This is not a sponsored post.

LXI: What Are My Initial Thoughts On Gymshark?

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
gymshark.jpeg

Black Friday created the perfect time for me to shop for new workout clothes!

I have been wanting to try Gymshark for the longest. I’ve seen ad after ad about their leggings and how great they are at creating the illusion of a sculpted, or shapely body.

Now, I’m normally a Nike or Ivy Park gal but I am always down to explore when it comes to my fitness gear. You never know where you’ll find a real gem. So, let’s get into these initial thoughts:

SHIPPING

In my opinion, the shipping didn’t take long at all. Even with completing my order on Black Friday (a high demand day), my order shipped within a couple of days and was in the mailroom before I knew it.

Because I ordered on Black Friday, my shipping was completely free, which, 😍.

PACKAGING

The items are nicely packaged in something like a plastic protectant, and this is all placed within another Gymshark shipping sleeve (depending on the size of the package).

They definitely make it to where your items won’t be damages in transit! Overall, I think the packaging is simplistic and very cute!

THE FIT

So, my issue with finding the right workout pants (not so much tops) is that my thighs are the biggest part of my body (and maybe my shoulders — they’re pretty massive also).

Because my thighs are so big, I usually have to go up in sizing which means that I suffer when it comes to the waistband.

I ordered a Small because they are somewhat high-waisted and Flex material and I’ve found that I actually should have just grabbed an Extra Small (which I’m usually opposed to buying) to meet my waist needs.

Because they have such a good flex material, you can definitely afford to go a size smaller so that they don’t slide down as you work out, so my next pair will definitely be smaller.

But, when ordering their pants that aren’t flex material, I may struggle a bit with finding the right size so there will definitely be a Part Two to this post after I order their Asymmetric Leggings.

THE WORKOUT

The ultimate test would have to be how they managed my sweat during and after my workout.

Now I’m usually super opposed to buying lighter colored workout pants because I sweat so much during my workouts and it shows. But these pants have this drying component to them that keeps them super dry and wicks the moisture as you sweat.

So, my sweat didn’t seep through and wasn’t stuck to me throughout my workout!

Overall, because these are a bit cheaper than Ivy Park and Nike, I think that Gymshark has a new customer in me (& they offer a student discount)!

LIII: Colourpop No Filter Foundation Stix

I struggle with foundations. I struggle to find the perfect shade for my warm dark skin. I struggle to find the perfect formula for my combination (oily and dry) skin.

Colourpop recently released foundation sticks which are the perfect medium between a liquid foundation and a pressed powder. It’s literally a cream foundation in stick form, for those who do not yet use them.

I’m fond of foundation sticks and I normally use either Smashbox or Anastasia Beverly Hills. I am, however, very open to new brands that can better service my color-matching needs.

No_Filter_Stick_Foundation_Group_800x1200.png

The Question Is, Do They Meet My Color-Matching Needs?

Nope!

I have, once again, been let down by the make-up industry and their “many foundation color options”. Again, the amount of brands that brag about all of the colors and shades of foundation that they have compared to the number of African-American women like me who struggle to find a color that doesn’t make us look crazy… 🙄

Maybe my skin tone is not one that comes with a perfect match foundation. I mean, honestly, my skin doesn’t need foundation anyway. I have beautiful skin! But, I do want the option to wear it, so help me out brands! Help me out.

IMG_0508.jpeg

Left: Deep Dark 197 W

Right: Deep Dark 213 N

Excuse my nails and grubby fingers, nobody’s perfect. 😹

 
IMG_0511.jpeg

Look at this deception!

It looks like these would be perfect right? One for an all-over foundation and the other for a cool soft contour.

BUT, the color of the inside of our forearm is NOT the color of your face. Of course it won’t work!

Now, this isn’t a complete Hateogram to the whole Colourpop No Filter Foundation Stix line (because Colourpop is over there working pure magic with their products), it’s just me acknowledging and slightly complaining about the fact that, if and when I want to wear make-up, I’ll still be grabbing and blending two foundations to get that base going!

And let’s not even get into bronzers! 🙄

XLVI: Does Bacon And Butter Live Up To The Hype?

If you’ve lived in the Sacramento Area, then there’s no way that you haven’t heard of or driven by this little breakfast spot called Bacon and Butter.

Now, it’s definitely easy to miss, but if you’re just driving by you’ll see a line of people waiting to enjoy some of their famous breakfast selections!

IMG_0031.JPG
IMG_0035.jpg

Now, I started with a water and a Rose Lemonade. Honestly, the Rose Lemonade wasn’t my favorite, but, since I’ve been into Rose Tea, I thought I should try it. It’s nothing like Rose Tea and even has a sparkling water feel to it. The “lemonade” in this drink is very subtle (if even present), but the “rose” flavor is very prominent and refreshing.

I wouldn’t order this drink again, however! There are plenty of other drink choices on their menu so do not be discouraged! Also, their coffee maker looks so interesting that it compels me to try their flavored coffee. So, I’ll definitely be back for more and coffee will be my next selection.

Left:   Waffle - buttermilk batter waffle, diced fruit, whipped butter, warm syrup $11  Side: Bacon $6.00  Drink: Orange Juice

Left:

Waffle - buttermilk batter waffle, diced fruit, whipped butter, warm syrup $11

Side: Bacon $6.00

Drink: Orange Juice

Right:   Bananas Foster Flapjacks - buttermilk batter with banana in & out, cinnamon, foster sauce, and specialty syrup $16.00  Side: “our sausage patties with sage, garlic, & chili $5.50  Country potatoes $3.50

Right:

Bananas Foster Flapjacks - buttermilk batter with banana in & out, cinnamon, foster sauce, and specialty syrup $16.00

Side: “our sausage patties with sage, garlic, & chili $5.50

Country potatoes $3.50

If I had to pick what my favorite thing ordered was, it would definitely be the country potatoes! There’s something about a simple, well-flavored potato that can just change the whole direction of your day!

So overall, is Bacon and Butter worth it?

Yes! Given the overall uniqueness of their specialty menu, their home-style feel, and the open-space vibe of the restaurant, I’d definitely say that it’s worth it (and the 30 minute wait to get in).

If you’re ever in Sacramento, stop by and give them a try!

XLIII: Washington D.C. - Can We Eat A Little?

One of my absolute favorite places in the world (so far), is Washington D.C. I love this place so much so that I make it a point to go there each year (time and money permitting). 

On this year's wonderful trip, I decided to invite my mom, who never travels, and my sister, who always travels. My main goal was to eat as much food as I could and to celebrate my 27th birthday. This was the perfect plan because everyone on the trip knew that I literally only went there to eat and see the city (two very easy things to do in D.C.).

So, when we finally got there, my first stop was:


Bojangles | Famous chicken n' Biscuits

This was our first stop, mainly because I was hyping this place up for about a month before we actually got to D.C. and secondly because of it's close proximity to our hotel. We were staying in the heart of Capitol Hill (literally a 5 minute walk to the Capitol) which was conveniently placed by Union Station. Union Station is a beautiful metro station filled with food (BOJANGLES!) and stores for shopping. 

IMG_8821.JPG

We ordered about $40.00 worth of food which came in a huge box (with a sweet tea). You literally cannot go wrong with either spicy chicken wings, or spicy chicken strips from Bojangles! Add a side of their perfectly seasoned fries, and red beans and rice and you've got a satisfying food coma. 

If you can't resist something sweet, then I highly recommend that you get one of their BoBiscuits (even though I missed out on this gem) or one of their delicious pies. 

Something else that we missed out on was requesting that they throw some Mumbo Sauce in with our order. My friend mentioned, over and over, that we find Mumbo Sauce while we were in Washington D.C. (the home of Mumbo Sauce), but it just kept slipping our minds due to all of the other excitement around us. 

IMG_9223.JPG
IMG_9222.JPG

The next morning, we all got up, got dressed and asked for food recommendations! One place that everyone at our hotel (Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill - horrible service and you'll always get overcharged) couldn't stop raving about was Art & Soul. 

Luckily for us, this restaurant was located right across the street and all we had to do was take one hot and humid stroll over. 

Art and Soul

DSC_0270.jpeg

This was basically a fancy twist on soul food. Now, normally, anytime someone attempts to "fancify" soul food, it's disgusting and offensive, but, Art & Soul was a pleasant surprise that I did not see coming. 

The ambiance inside of this restaurant was everything that you imagine for a swanky, upscale, D.C., socialite-type of restaurant. It had a clear and open floor plan, low hanging lights, a chic color scheme, and it was well furnished.

We were seated at a high table near the bar (so my friend could watch sports, I mean, enjoy being in my presence), and one thing that stuck out to me was the fact that there was a huge, beautiful floor-to-ceiling mirror with silver sparkly trim to our right. In the reflection was nothing but us four and the beautiful restaurant behind us. It was a beautiful sight to eat brunch to...

Art-Dining-Room.jpg

Now let’s get to the food. 

IMG_8874.jpeg

I ordered cheesy grits with ham and bacon. This was a perfectly savory breakfast that was surely to stick to the arteries!

My friend got delicious lemon pancakes with mixed berries cooked into them. Now, the lemon flavored pancakes were good enough alone but with the mixed berries... it was simply amazing! If I get the chance to go back to Art & Soul, that will be my next meal. 


Shake Shack.jpeg

Shake Shack

Next up, well after a nail shop, a farmers market and a very pleasant visit to Loc Luv, we went looking for a quick bite. What better place to grab a quick bite than Shake Shack?!

If you have ever been to the East Coast and haven't tried Shake Shack then you're totally missing out. It would have to be the best burger and fries combo that you can get. I ate it a total of 2 times in about 3 total days while in the food hub (Washington D.C.), so trust me when I say that this food is good. 


RPM Italian

RPM.jpg

This was probably the best meal I've ever had.

No, I am not over-exaggerating! If you've ever been to Washington D.C. and had RPM Italian, then you'll agree, it's some of the best food you've eaten. Even a dish as simple as spaghetti is delicious! 

This location is definitely a more upscale one, but they are still willing to serve you as you are. Trust me, I rolled up to this restaurant on my long board with my friend, dying from the humidity of D.C. and they were perfectly fine with treating us as if we were dressed in our finest. 

RPM Italian.jpg

The atmosphere was absolutely marvelous. We saw everything from: casual long-boarders on a mission for good food and a romantic evening to couples celebrating anniversaries, to co-workers in desperate need of a drink after work. 

I more than enjoyed myself throughout this whole dinner. I enjoyed the company that I kept and I especially enjoyed the food. RPM provided me with a dining experience that I will, surely, never forget.

Here's what we ordered:

Truffled Garlic Bread circa 1963

Spaghetti & Meatball

Sautéed Broccolini

&

The Seafood Pasta Special

Spaghetti.jpeg

And, for dessert, we had:

Vanilla Gelato

Delicious Beignets

Together forever  - Tati | Terry | Brianna J. 

Together forever - Tati | Terry | Brianna J. 

*Stock Images Used Throughout This Post*