How I Treated My Acne-Prone Skin

Hi Everyone!

I have been looking forward to writing this post about how I have been treating my acne-prone skin.  For those you who have been dealing with acne, the experience is not great.  It can be painful and uncomfortable.  Back in 2013, my skin broke out terribly.  I have always had breakouts, but I have never experienced my skin being in such a severe state.

Here are before pics back then.  Yes, I am slightly cringing right now.


Here are very recent pic of now.  There is no editing or anything.


I began to take a holistic approach to treating my skin last year because I got frustrated with trying so many creams and cleansers.  I tried ProActive, Murad, and other commerical acne treatment systems.  The dermatologists were not helpful and prescribed me meds that did more harm than good for my skin.

I noticed that my skin worsens when I am stressed.  During the time when my skin got worse between 2011 to 2013, my stress levels went up due to my job as a mental health therapist.  I dealt with a lot of serious cases and work demands. It seemed like each job situation went from bad to worse.  In 2014, I stepped  away from counseling which brought a lot of my stress down. During the time I took the top pictures, I went vegetarian for  a while and began to workout everyday to alleviate stress, but I failed to care for my skin properly.

So, here what I have been doing since last summer to revive my skin.

  1. I removed myself from the toxic, unhappy people– primarily work, friendships, and some family.
  2. I started using products that treated and healed my skin.
  3. I also did research, because vegetarians and vegans suffer from acne issue.
  4. I stopped wearing foundation in the fall of 2014.  I literally used foundation to hide my skin issues which was not a good idea.  I have been foundation free for almost two years and my skin is doing well without it.

Here are the products that I use religiously that literally changed my life and my skin:

Tea Tree Oil.

The first item I started using was tea tree oil.  I read that this oil dries up pimples and has other skin health benefits.  I put the oil one a cotton swab and I dab the oil directly onto my breakouts at night.  I usually do it at night before I go to bed.  The first night I tried tea tree oil, all of my pimples literally shrunk in size significantly.  Make sure you test tea tree oil because it is strong. I got this tea tree oil from Wal-Mart.  I have also used other brands of tea tree oil as well.

SPF Moisturizer.

My skin is super sensitive to sunlight.  It breakouts if I’m in the heat too long.  I love being outside so, I increased my SPF from 15 to SPF 30. I have super duper oily skin, but those of us who have oily skin still need moisturizers.   This moisturizer helped me to protect my skin and reduce oil dramatically.  I cannot exaggerate how oily my t-zone would get.



Black Soap.  I use the Dudu Osun brand of black soap (I purchase it from  I have used other brands but this particular brand works the best for my skin.  It’s mild on my skin and it has natural ingredients.  Black soap in general is used to minimize skin issues.  I use black soap on my body and it has helped with my chaffing on my skin.

Garnier Dark Spot Serum.

This serum cleared up the dark spots and blemishes on my skin.  I started noticing a difference in my skin in about two weeks.  This serum helped my skin heal from old acne scars and it helped speed the process newer pimples.  I use to buy this at Wal-Mart but it is cheaper on




Generic Garnier Dark Spot Corrector Moisturizing Cream.

I use the Equate (Wal-Mart) brand of the Garnier Dark Spot Corrector.  I love the generic brand moisturizer because it’s lightweight and helps my skin feel soft.  The Garnier moisturizer flakes and peels which means that it does not absorb in my skin.



HONORABLE MENTIONS: These are products that use occasionally or as needed.



Garnier Face Mask.

I started using this mask to help my skin hydrate and heal my skin.  This mask has the serum in it.  I use this mask infrequently or once or twice a week or whenever my skin is getting stressed.  I started using these mask after seeing them at Walgreens on sale.  I now order the box of six on Amazon (which is half the price you would pay at Wal-Mart or Walgreens).






Hydrogen Peroxide.

Peroxide is a great, inexpensive way to kill bacteria on the skin.  If you pop pimple, peroxide is great to put on your skin to treat the area of your skin to prevent inflammation.  I used peroxide often when my skin was really inflammed and I use it occasionally when I pop my pimples ( don’t judge…much).



I really hope this post help those of you who have been having challenges with treating your acne.  If you found this post helpful don’t forget to like, comment, follow the blog.

Easy Breezy

Happy Tuesday!

Hello everyone!  It’s been a minute since I’ve posted anything.  I’ve been busy with a double course load in my PhD program and transitioning to a new position at work.  All in all, I’m trying to balance my life and stay fly doing it.

I want to share my outfit.  I ordered this batwing top from Amazon last year and I didn’t like because it didn’t look like the picture and the material reminded me of shiny costume fabric.  Honestly, I’m not trying to look like a superhero.  I tried to return it, but it’s expensive to return items to China.

I started wearing this top this spring. I’m glad I kept it. I love how it flows and I can dress it up or dress it down. For this look, I wore a printed skirt ( and some chunky heeled sandals (Just Fab). My handbag is from amazon.

Thanks for reading! XOXO Brandi



Caftan Turned Kimono Cardigan


Hi everyone!

It’s been over due for a DIY sewing project and I wanted to share a recent project I have  done.  I’ve been slightly obsessed with kimono cardigans.  So one day, it came to me to that I could make a kimono using a caftan.   I found this really cute caftan from Ross ($8.99).


It was fairly simple to make.   I laid the caftan flat on a table and cut a straight line down the middle.



I then folded and pinned both sides of the fabric where I cut and sewed down the hem of each side.


Here’s the final result.




My tank top ($1.90) and jeans ($9.80) are from Forever 21+. My shoes are from Rue 21 ($6.00).

This kimono has been multifunctional. I have used it as a cover up for swimming and to wear around the house as an alternative to my fleece house coat. I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Be on the look out for more of my DIY projects.


Swim Sexy by Swimsuits For All Review


Hey lovelies,

I recently purchased a swimsuit two piece from from their Swim Sexy Line.  They specialize in swimwear for women with curves size 8 to 34. I found this red and white polka-dotted high waist two piece swimsuit. I purchased a swimsuit from this company a few years ago and I really liked it.  I got it for a really great price right under $20 and free shipping.  There are a lot of promotions and deals that go on daily. Here’s the swimsuit that I got back then.


Here’s a brief review of my newest purchase and shopping experience:

 The swimsuit was packaged well.  The color was great.  The top did not really look like the photo as far as the coverage.  The top felt tight in some places and did not provide the proper support and coverage for my boobs.  If you look at the halter top straps in the ad pic versus my pic,  the ad pic is wider than mine.  The high-waist bikini bottoms fit fine.  However, the waist was so high that it make the two-piece look like a one piece.  

The return/exchange process was not too difficult.  It does require specific steps. I would suggest talking to the customer service reps and review the exchange/return policy.  I called customer service for help which made the process easier.  I couldn’t exchange just the top, so I had to return the set and place another order that involved me paying again.  I recently got an email that my credit should be refunded to my account soon.  

I just got my new swimsuit and will be reviewing it soon.

Here’s a code for 10% off CURVES10.  It can be used with other offers.  It expires by 3-31-15.

FYI, always keep the packaging and invoices for online purchases.  I needed both for this order.


Talk to you soon!


This or That Tag


I have been interested in doing a fun beauty tag.  So, I found one called “This or That”.   It’s fairly simple…I have to choose a beauty or fashion option listed.  I wasn’t nominated but it should be fun.  If anyone would like to join in feel free.

Here I Go

Blush or Bronzer?
Bronzer, I don’t use it much but I like how my skin shimmers with it.

Lipgloss or Lipstick?
Lipstick hands down

Eyeliner or Mascara?
Mascara, but I typically use both equally

Foundation or Concealer?
Foundation, but I rarely use it anymore

Neutral or Colour Eyeshadow?
Neutral, but I use to play with bright colors and I have quite a bit of color eye shadows

Brushes or Sponges?

OPI or China Glaze?
I choose OPI for this tag, but I don’t buy OPI

Long or Short?
I wear my nails longer now.

Acrylic or Natural?

Brights or Darks?

Perfume or Body Spray?

Lotion or Body Butter?
Body butter, my fave is Shea butter

Body Wash or Soap?
Body wash

Lush or Other Bath Store?

Jeans or Sweatpants?
Do leggings count as sweatpants?  Lol, jeans

Long Sleeved or Short?

Dresses or Skirts?
Dresses, but I like skirts

Stripes or Plaid?
Stripes, where’s the floral and leopard print?

Flip Flops or Sandals?

Scarves or Hats?

Studs or Dangly Earrings?
Studs are my new obsession

Necklaces or Bracelets?

Curly or Straight?
The curlier the better

Bun or Ponytail?

Long or Short?
longish,  but I recently cut my hair

Light or Dark?

Side Swept or Full Bangs?
I like a nice full bang…even though I currently don’t have bangs

Up or Down?
It depends on the state of my hair.  I like high buns and ponytails when wear braids and twists.  My afro is usually free and wild.

I hope you enjoyed my take on the tag!

Xoxo Brandi