Neutrogena Body Clear Body Spray Review

Neutrogena Body Clear Body SprayNeutrogena Body Clear Body Spray Review

I suffered from acne on my back and chest for as long as I’ve had it on my face – since around age twelve. I have tried different things over the years; everything from store bought products to home remedies.

The only thing that has ever really worked for me (other than oral meds which I don’t like to take) has been tretinoin also known as Retin-A. Now, the biggest problem with that is the application. It is very difficult to get it evenly applied everywhere necessary since I can hardly reach my own back, and it gets tedious having to find time for my husband to apply it every night for me.

So once again, I set out to find something better. I have always like the Neutrogena products, so I decided to give this one a try. I was already using the Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub which wasn’t working any wonders for me, but I thought maybe I needed to layer the products for more effectiveness.

Below is a list of the ingredients taken from Amazon:

Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid (0.5%) Inactive Ingredients: Water, Alcohol Denatured, Butylene Glycol, PPG 5, Ceteth 20, C12 15 Alkyl Lactate, Sodium Citrate, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, PEG/PPG 20/6 Dimethicone, Cetyl Lactate, Benzalkonium Chloride, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Glycerin, Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract (Cucumber), Camellia Olefifera (Green Tea) Extract

So here is my assessment of Neutrogena Body Clear Body Spray:

  1. Easy to apply.
  2. Spray comes out evenly from bottle.
  3. Sprays fairly well even when turned upside down.
  4. Dries quickly.
  5. Leaves a sticky residue on your skin.
  6. Didn’t stop my breakouts.

I applied various amounts using trial and error over several weeks, but it just didn’t deliver the results I was looking for. In fact, I could tell very little difference at all, but I felt sticky all the time. I started applying twice each day, rather than just at night. It made little to no difference.

I must note that there are lots of reviews from satisfied customers on Amazon who claim this product works for them. I realize that I have a worse than normal case to deal with and the fact that I live in the hot and humid southeastern United States makes my problem even worse. With that being said, I don’t think I will purchase this product again.

However, if you are considering trying this product I would recommend checking out the reviews on Amazon first.

Stay Beautiful – Inside and Out!

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How To Get Perfect Eyebrows

How To Get Perfect Eyebrows

How To Get Perfect Eyebrows

Your eyebrows can make or break your face. We have all seen people who have eyebrows that catch your eye…in the wrong way. Here are three tips to make your eyebrows enhance your beauty (not take away from it):

1. Don’t over pluck your brows.

Don’t under pluck them either, for that matter. A natural looking brow is always more flattering, so make sure you leave your natural brow line and arch. Not sure how to do that? You can always get a professional waxing in order to get the shape you want, then maintain your brows at home afterward.

2. Don’t go overboard with the brow liner.

In fact, it is okay to only fill out thin areas without penciling in the whole brow. (Turn the pencil sideways to get a smooth application without that “hard line” look.) Also, pick a shade that is slightly darker than your natural brow color. Some professionals recommend mixing the chosen color with a grey pencil for a more natural look, but I personally never liked that look on myself.

3. Keep your brows in place.

There are products you can buy to brush through your brows that keep them in place once you get them perfect, but here’s a much cheaper fix. Spray some hairspray on an old toothbrush and sweep it through your brows. It sets them instantly, and you don’t have to worry about another product in your make up bag getting old and having to throw it away.

There you have it – how to get perfect brows. Hope you learned a trick or two that will be helpful to you!

Stay Beautiful – Inside and Out!

If your experience has been different (or even the same), please leave feedback.

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Avene Compact Review (Avene Sunscreen)

Avene CompactAvene Compact Review

I accidentally discovered the Avene compact while searching for powder sunscreen for my face. This happened to come up in the search results on Amazon and I didn’t even realize at first that it wasn’t a powder. It is actually a creamy texture and looks like a regular make up compact.

Well, as always I set out to research it. I found that it was recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. You can view it here. (Just search under “recommended products” for foundations with SPF of 50 or higher.)

The Avene website listed the following benefits:

  •  Available in 2 shades: honey and beige 
  •  100% mineral sunscreen provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection 
  •  Enriched with patented Pre-Tocopheryl (a photostable form of vitamin E) for powerful antioxidant protection 
  • Soft-to-touch, easy application with matte finish 
  •  Paraben-free, fragrance-free, water resistant 
  •  Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic

I also read tons of reviews from users, and while there are always some people who will not like a product, the overwhelming number of reviews were very good.

But here was the strange thing. It only came in two colors.


That’s right. Two colors. Beige and honey. But people were raving about how they were skeptical, but that it matched their skin perfectly. I have had some nightmare situations with “tinted” products that were supposed to blend into my skin, so I wasn’t too sure about that.

But I ordered the compact and waited.

When it finally arrived, the first thing I saw was that is had a separate area for the sponge. This lifted up to give access to the creamy product itself. As someone with oily skin, I always look for that in a compact. I don’t like for the sponge to get oily and gunky and  then sit in the powder, foundation, etc.

When I tried the product I was blown away. It covered better than the foundation I had been using…..or had ever used. And it was supposed to really be sunscreen, not foundation. It stayed in place and didn’t seem to wear off during the day either.

Those are the pros. Here are the cons.

I purchased the beige version. It went on so well and match my skin so completely that I couldn’t tell when I was missing a spot. However, I was sure someone else could tell when looking at my face outside, so I got out a magnified lighted mirror and found all those places. I also saw that the texture of my face left something to be desired. It sits on top of my skin and doesn’t absorb at all.

I realize that it IS a sunscreen first, and a foundation second. That can be understandable seeing as how you are getting stupendous sun protection.

But here’s the second problem. It is difficult for me to get the right amount of the product on the sponge and get it spread out evenly. I wind up thicker areas on my face that don’t look bad. For that reason, I simply cannot put it on without the magnified mirror I mention above. This makes it quite time consuming to get it on my face. (And I was trying to simplify things, not the other way around.) I considered mixing something with it (like a face corrector I like to use) in order to make it more manageable, but that really defeats the purpose of the product and cuts the SPF factor. It doesn’t go on well for me with water either.

Lastly, I found that after I after I had used the product just three times that I could already see the bottom of the compact in the center. Now, I am not saying that I used it up in three applications, because there was lots more product in the compact. But I am saying that I didn’t expect to see the bottom that quickly.

In the end I have to say this product could probably be great for someone who will take the time to apply it appropriately. It is also worth the money for the product if it’s benefits are important to you.

You can purchase the Avene compact here.

Stay Beautiful – Inside and Out!

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Obagi Blue Peel Review

Obagi Blue PeelObagi Blue Peel Review

I recently had my second Obagi Blue Peel and feel that I must share the experience with my readers.

There was a huge difference between the first and second peels I have undergone, so I have mixed feeling about it at this time. Please read this post to the end if you are considering this same peel.

The Obagi Blue Peel is part of a larger offering of Obagi products aimed at improving the look and feel of skin. It helps with wrinkles, acne, and other imperfections.

The Obagi site states the Blue Peel is an:

In-office facial chemical peel procedure that uses trichloroacetic acid (TCA) mixed with a special Obagi blue base to monitor and slow penetration.

Use of the Obagi Nu Derm System is recommended before and after your Blue Peel, which takes place in your physician’s office.

First of all, let me say that I had my first Obagi Blue Peel four months ago and it went just fine. I was able to tolerate three applications of the acid and I went home to have a typical recovery. My face became very tight, the skin turned dark brown, then my it started to peel off. Under that yucky peeling skin was fresh skin that looked and felt like that of a newborn baby. I was in heaven!

Fast forward to last week…..and things changed.

I was undergoing a horrific allergy attack, so I called the office and asked if they still wanted to perform the procedure. I was told it would be fine and to come on in, which I did. However, once I was on the table and being prepped she said my skin was overreacting to everything and rashing up, so she couldn’t do it. I was fine with that because I was not tolerating the procedure well at all. (She goes around your face doing all kinds of painful things to get you ready. She cleans your pores, uses an extractor to remove things, uses a laser to zap imperfections, etc.)

I returned to her office the following Monday and had two applications of the peel this time. The burning was extreme (same as the first time), but I made determined to hang in there. The aftercare includes mixing hydrocortisone cream (Obagi version is called Tolereen) and moisturizer (Obagi version is called Action) and applying it to your face 2 to 3 times a day. The first time she told me to do this for 2 or 3 days. The second time she said to only do it for one day following my peel. She said it would give me better results.

I go home after that and my face appears to be following the same routine as before. It got tight, turned brown, and peeled. But this time the skin under it was extremely red. Like a primary red crayon. The first time it has only been a slight pink. So I called the office and left a message on Thursday. I knew they would not be in the office that day, but expected a call back on Friday. But it never came.

By Saturday I truly looked like a science experiment. My skin had areas of bright red and dark brown with lots of peeling skin. My husband as freaking out and thought my face might be ruined. My mother-in-law agreed and they both said I should never get this done again. I gave this some consideration. However, I developed a new problem. I had a bright red rash that started just under my nose and went down my neck. I also ran up my jawline on both sides. It was raised and it itched like crazy. By Sunday it was driving me crazy.

After trying everything on the aftercare sheet, I finally started taking Benedryl (didn’t know what was causing it, so thought it couldn’t hurt) and applying Neosporin. I finally started to see some improvement after this, but who knows if this was just a coincidence.

Monday morning I finally got a call back from the office. I was in the shower, of course, so they left a message telling me to do exactly what my aftercare sheet said, which I had been doing. When I called back and explained my situation, she suggested that I come in to see the aesthetician if it didn’t get better by the end of the day. I was finally starting to look better, so I decided to wait it out.

So that’s what I am doing right now…..waiting it out…..while I am writing this.

I did some research online and found that it is common for your skin to become extremely red as mine did after a TCA peel and that it could last up to 3 months. I also found that Obagi suggests that you use their skin care system, Obagi Nu Derm System, for at least 4 weeks before you undergo an Obagi Blue Peel. My aesthetician never told me that. In fact, she asked what all I used and I told her, so she knew I wasn’t using those products.

She recommended that I stop using my tretinoin cream (Retin-A) a couple days before I came back for my peel since my skin had reacted so badly during my prep, which I forgot to do. But that is not something that you commonly need to do, as tretinoin cream is a part of the Obagi skin care routine, so I don’t think it really made a big difference.

So would I get this peel again? I don’t know just yet. I don’t do well with peels to begin with since I absolutely hate the feeling when it gets tight and I can’t move my facial muscles. We will see……

Stay Beautiful – Inside and Out!

If your experience has been different (or even the same), please leave feedback.

(Also, if this review has been helpful to you, please click the “like” button and help a girl out!)

Compromise In Relationships: Do You Have a Companionate Marriage?

Compromise in Relationships

Do you have a companionate marriage?

No, I didn’t mean to write “compassionate”.

This is a term that means both partners share all tasks within the marriage equally. No one’s career is more important, and nothing is the sole responsibility of either person.

Sounds nice, huh? This is the modern couple at it’s best, you might say.

However, no matter how hard people try to maintain such a relationship, grievances still occur. After all, we are only human, right?

There is no right or wrong way to run your marriage. (Yes, I said “run” it. Because that’s what we do.) But compromise in relationships can only happen if both partners know exactly what to expect from each other.

If you are a woman who wants a companionate marriage, then you have to ask yourself if it’s in your contract. Not sure what I mean? Then read on…..

What Kind of Contract Do You Have With Your Partner?

“We don’t have a contract,” you say.

Well, I have to disagree with that. All marriages and/or relationships have an unwritten, often unspoken contract that you mutually agree to on a certain level.

Don’t believe me?

Let me give you an example. In the book When Smart People Fail
by Carole Hyatt and Linda Gottlieb, the authors explore the “contracts” people make when they are in love.

 According to them each contract has two components: economic and emotional.

This is their sample of a traditional contract:

Man:” I will earn a good living for us [economic contract] and be strong at all times for you [emotional contract].”

Woman: “I will not work outside the home [economic contract], and I will be the mother to your children and supportive of your needs [emotional contract].”


That one doesn’t work for you? How about this one?


Man: “I am an artist and cannot be looked to for money [economic contract]; I agree to be volatile and exciting [emotional contract].”

Woman: “I will earn the income in this family [economic contract], and I will be emotionally steady so that you can be volatile [emotional contract].”


There are as many types of relationship contracts as there are people, but some are based on an equal partnerships while others emphasis one partner as being dominant in either economic or emotional parts (or sometimes both).

However, this does not imply that both parties are necessarily happy with the arrangement. In fact, people often “agree” to situations that later feel quite unhappy for them.

Compromise In Relationships

According to the book, relationships can usually survive if one part of the contract is broken. However, if both parts are broken, then severe troubles usually erupt. In many cases this leads to divorce.

Therefore, it sometimes become necessary for a couple to renegotiate their contract. Time passes by, situations change and people change.

So let’s say that a couple has the traditional relationship contract. The man is the rock. He is the financial and emotional provider for his wife. Then suddenly he loses his job, and worse, can’t find a new one.

His wife will most likely support him and help him through this struggle. But let’s say the man goes a very long time without finding new employment and then his emotional state starts to crumble.

His wife is left looking at this shell of a man wondering, “Where is the rock I married? Where has my security gone?”

Once these feelings start to seep into a relationship, it can really undermine the way both people feel about their roles in the relationship.

His sense of failure in compounded when he feels like he is failing his wife and family. She, in turn, feels like lots of responsibilities are piling up on her that she didn’t sign up for.

The loss of a job is not the only thing that can send a relationship reeling. Anything stressful life event can bring on a situation that threatens your comfortable roles.

So it is important to sit down with your partner and discuss your implied contract BEFORE hardships come your way (and they ALWAYS come, sooner or later).

Compromise in relationships often comes from one or both partners deciding to be honest about being unhappy. If you partner comes to you with this information, don’t see it as a failure but rather an opportunity for growth.

Dig deep and really be honest about what is going on between the two of you. There is no wrong kind of contract. Whatever you both agree to is perfectly fine. The point is to know what to expect from each other and to make sure that both individuals are happy with their role.

The more prepared you are, the better you can weather any storm.

Companionate Marriage Versus Traditional Marriage

So which one is better? Neither. If you both like the more traditional model of marriage, then by all means go for it. In fact, traditional marriages where the wife stays home are becoming the latest thing these days. It is “hip” again.

There are also lots of variations of the “traditional” marriage. For example, my husband works and I stay home to take care of the kids and our home. However, I also happen to work online. With this arrangement I am able to always put our home life first, and my work comes second. We are able to do this because he sees our financial security as mainly his concern [economic contract]. And I see the needs of our family as mainly my concern [emotional contract].

It works for anyone in our family, and we are all happy. Your arrangement should make you happy, too. If your current situation is not what you want it to be, sit down and talk to your partner. Don’t know where to start?

There is a great resource called 1000 Questions For Couples. This inexpensive book digs really deep and touches all the areas that couples need to discuss. Here’s the best part. It’s more comprehensive than any other resource you will find on the internet (or in most book stores).

Find out what your partner truly values in you and in your relationship. And finally get your thoughts heard too. This is a crucial step to working out the best contract for you and your partner. If you sat down and discussed only one topic each day it would last you almost three years! (That’s cheap marriage counseling!)

I would really like to hear some feedback from couples who have put this resource to good use.

It’s time to fix lunch for my little one.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

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by Angela Christian Pope @