What Happened When I Tried The Dove Beauty Bar…On My Face!

I got a press kit from Dove a few weeks ago and it promises to nourish your skin with 1/4 moisturizing cream. Now I’ve heard this before and I’m pretty much a Dove girl all the way—but a bar soap on my face? I don’t think so.

Dove promises to give you smooth and glowing skin in 7 days. They're even challenging women to post a selfie on the 7th day!

Dove promises to give you smooth and glowing skin in 7 days—and they’re even challenging women to post a selfie on social media once they’ve seen the difference.

I don’t think I’ve ever used bar soap on my face before (I convinced my mom to buy me Noxzema in grade school), but I really can’t resist a good beauty challenge. And besides, I wanted to see for myself if this was going to work. I’m not gonna lie…I went in pretty skeptical at first and kinda thought that it wouldn’t work since bar soaps in general tend to be way harsh. But guess what?

My skin got so much better! There's a little redness on my cheek from past pimples, but I'm super happy with the glow.

My skin got a lot better and I’m breaking out less now. There’s a little redness on my cheek from past pimples, but I’m super happy with the glow. I’m not wearing any makeup here—just this lipstick balm.

On Day 1 on the Dove challenge, what surprised me the most was how soft and moisturized my skin felt post-wash. When I touched my face, it felt supple and clean. None of the oils were there anymore, but it didn’t feel tight or itchy. Win! I found myself looking forward to washing my face each day, and the few pimples I had brewing on my cheeks even went away. It totally saved me from having to schedule an emergency facial—yay!  Continue reading

Apple Cider Vinegar For Acne?

A new pal, Rashmi, a practitioner of alternative and complementary medicine, gave me an interesting insight about my recent acne issues. She mentioned that one of the reasons my skin might be flaring up is because my body isn’t alkaline. This really got my attention because I didn’t realize that being acidic could cause breakouts!

Rashmi suggested that I drink Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (P349 at Healthy Options) every morning to help balance my body. It's the most trusted brand in the market!

Rashmi suggested that I drink Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) every morning to help balance my body’s pH level. It’s the most trusted brand in the market because it’s organic and non-GMO certified.

My first thought: Isn’t ACV acidic? How can this make my body alkaline? After some research, I learned that ACV is actually an alkaline-forming drink—like lemon water. This means that on the outside, lemons and ACV are clearly acidic. But once you drink it, it becomes akaline-forming in your body because your stomach produces very little acid to digest it (more info here!). Of course, it’s always important to consult with your MD first before you try any of these things to make sure it’s right for you.

Umm...there are floating bits in my drink. But that's totally normal for raw, unfiltered ACV. Just shake well!

Umm…there are floating bits in my drink, but that’s totally normal for raw, unfiltered ACV. Just it shake well before pouring! P.S. Got this bottle at Healthy Options for P349.

At first, I wasn’t thrilled at the thought of drinking vinegar first thing in the morning…but I was willing to do it for the sake of clear skin (hahaha, beauty is obviously my real motivation to stay healthy, guys). Another thing: I was also worried that my hyperacidity might act up, but Rashmi assured me that my tummy would be fine—and it totally was! Yay!

I’ve been drinking it for about 2 weeks now and I noticed that my acne flare-ups aren’t as intense anymore, the pimples are getting smaller, and they heal much faster. More importantly though, I have more energy throughout the day! I did a little more research and saw that it does help reduce fatigue and aches in your body (read more ACV health benefits here!).

Curious about how I take my apple cider vinegar? It’s actually a pleasant experience and my mornings aren’t complete without it anymore. Click on the link to check out my recipe! Continue reading

Suffering From Breakouts?

Sometimes, you can do everything right, follow all the skincare rules, and still have acne issues. The culprits? It can either be stress, the products you’re trying, the lifestyle you’ve been living, the food you’ve been eating, or your girly hormones acting up. When this happens, don’t get frustrated. It happens to me, too.

You all know I love talking about real beauty and striving for authenticity—and I want to show you that even beauty girls get skin dilemmas, too.

You all know I love talking about real beauty and striving for authenticity—and I want to show you that even beauty girls get skin dilemmas, too. I actually have more along my jawline, but the makeup covered it up.

Believe me, I was tempted to photoshop that pimple out of my face or use an app that erases blemishes. But you know what? It’s not real. I’m not going to say that having a ginormous pimple doesn’t bother me, but I’m not going to let it get in the way of a good day either. You just really have to learn to rock what you’ve got—with or without makeup! What’s even better is that experiences like this allow me help more girls manage their acne. It gave me a chance to test out natural remedies that helped calm my skin (more about the below) and practice my camouflaging skills. Gosh, that zit was pretty angry and red underneath! When my brother saw how I managed to cover it up with makeup, even he was impressed. Haha!

Yes, yes, yes!

Yes, yes, yes!

It was actually the first time I put a full face of makeup on while in the midst of a breakout (I had a speaking engagement the day I took the photo). As you can imagine, this skin issue brought forth a few insecurities. After all, beauty bloggers are expected to have perfect hair, perfect skin, and perfect makeup—and I was worried that an imperfection like this might make me seem less credible. But you know what? I really don’t wake up as flawless as Beyoncé. I’m probably more like a crankier version of Princess Anna (see video below!)—and that’s totally okay.

 
When it comes to pimples, I always like to figure out what the actual cause is and treat it from there. Since I think this particular breakout is caused by stress + my hormones + junkfood bingeing, I’m back to doing all the good stuff for my body. I’m juicing every morning, adding lemon to my H20 to make it alkaline, and making healthier food options. To help manage my stress, I’m trying do a little more yoga, listening to my favorite meditations, and just learning not to take things so seriously. Of course, I snuck in a quick facial at my derma as well. I learned that I really have to have a cleaning once a month just to help detox from all the products that I have to test.

Are you dealing with acne? If you want a follow-up to this post (like the makeup techniques I used and more deets about my natural healing approach), leave a comment and let me know! ♥

A Special Gift From A Special Friend

Do you guys know my good friend, Frances of Topaz Horizon?

It all began with our love for Hollywood gossip! Frances was my editor-in-chief back when I was beauty editor at-large for OK! magazine. We (successfully) crossed over from being work friends to true amigas.

We bonded over our love for Hollywood gossip! Frances was my editor-in-chief back when I was beauty editor at-large for OK! magazine. We (happily) made the jump from being work friends to true amigas.

F messaged me on Facebook and told me that she wanted to send me (and a few other bloggers) some beauty love. “I nominated them because they are all different women,” shares Frances. “[They have] different passions, different looks, different journeys, but they are all alike in their quest to pursue their dreams and to help other women make their own dreams come true, whether it’s looking your best (Nicole), working from home so you can be with your kids (Martine), or making your passions earn you money (Ginger). I hope you liked my gifts, ladies!”

gift-topaz-horizon

Thank you for the kind words and for sending this over, Frances :) Can’t wait to see what’s inside!

Click to find out what the get-pretty goodies are! They’re absolute musts now that the weather is getting colder—and they’re budget-friendly, too. Continue reading

A Surprising Skin Secret From Korea

A friend told me that one of the reasons Koreans have good skin is because they eat a lot of kimchi, which contains lactobacilli.

A funny scene from my favorite Koreanovela, Boys Over Flowers. The main characters, Jun Pyo and Jan Di, make kimchi. P.S. I heart Lee Min Ho <3

Here’s a funny scene from my favorite Koreanovela, Boys Over Flowers. The main characters, Jun Pyo and Jan Di, are about to make kimchi. P.S. I heart Lee Min Ho <3

Because I can’t eat kimchi every day, I found a better source for this probiotic—and I think it’s also helping clear up my acne! Find out what it is after the jump! Continue reading

First...234