Fighting adult acne: the thrifty way

Friday, August 31, 2012

Hey guys! I recently did a post about my new purchase of a Clarisonic dermabrasion brush. I received a lot of comments from others who suffer from the same issues I do. If you're like me, you have tried everything to get rid of your acne, and nothing seems to work!

I never had problems with acne until my twenties. In high school I had some blackheads here and there, but nothing to the extreme I experienced after my 22nd birthday. A couple years ago, I had ear to ear acne that stretched along my jaw line. I'm not talking about little white heads, I had giant red cysts that no amount of make up could truly cover. Not to mention painful! Sometimes my acne hurt so bad, just getting dressed made me want to cry. This went on for at least 2 years.

I tried expensive cosmetic products like Dermatologica and Peter Thomas Roth. I tried every spot corrector on the planet, I washed my face multiple times a day, and I tried every homemade goop you could imagine (eggs, avocado, honey, cayenne, olive oil, oatmeal etc...).

After literally trying everything I knew, a doctor asked me what kind of makeup I used. Turns out my Bare Mineral makeup was a huge part of the problem. I stopped using Bare Minerals and any mineral make up for that matter. I switched to Physicians Formula which is much cheaper anyways! The doctor told me the more natural the makeup, the less risk of break outs. However, just changing my makeup didn't entirely fix the problem. After I got my insurance up and going, I was able to go to a dermatologist, who shared some very insightful knowledge with me.

Mr. Dermatologist enlightened me on the fact that you should never have to spend tons of money on something you are just going to wash off your face, so $40 on face wash is essentially stupid. He told me to wash with a sensitive face wash (I recommend Basis, Aveeno or Olay), he gave me a topical antibiotic to use twice a day and oral antibiotics. The doctor informed me that you have to take the oral antibiotics for at least 8 weeks!! I had never taken them longer than 4 weeks prior to. He also told me to go get a spot treatment with no less than 10% Benzoyl Peroxide and any generic brand would do.

I followed this regiment: Spot cream 2x day, topical antibiotic 2x and oral antibiotics 2x day for 4 weeks. My acne did improve but wasn't 100% better. The Doc then had to give me cortisone shots in my cystic acne to break up the bacteria.. ouch! He also gave me a tube of Adapalene... I still have no idea what it is, but it helps! ..... and I continued with the other regiment above. After 8-10 weeks I was finally feeling better about my skin (that was last year). My skin is still not great, but it is much better than it was 3 years ago. I still get hormonal break outs, I still get the occasional cystic acne, but it's much more manageable. I have listed some of the things I have learned along my acne journey below, please feel free to share some of your tips. This is a trial and error problem and I am all ears for new solutions!!

1. Before washing your face, use a makeup wipe or a baby wipe to take off the first layer of makeup. An aesthetician explained to me that when you wash your face you are just moving around all the dirt and makeup into your open pores, so the more you get off before you wash the less to clog your pores.

2. Wash with cold water. Like I said before when you wash your face you are smearing dirt and make up into your pores. If you wash with cold water then your pores will not open as much, thus keeping extra gunk out of them.

3. Exfoliate, but not too much. Everyone is different, but I like to exfoliate at least once a week. If you over exfoliate, you can irritate your skin and cause more harm than good. I personally love the exfoliating gloves because you can use your regular cleanser and you can use them to exfoliate your whole body!

4. Wash your make up brushes weekly! I am so bad about this step, but it is so helpful! Your make up brushes harbor tons of bacteria, wash them often! Click the image to see how to clean your brushes.

5. Change your sheets and pillow cases! There was one time when I changed my pillow case every night. When you sleep, you sweat and then you lay right back in all that bacteria the next night. I think changing your pillow case/sheets weekly is really helpful.

6. Makeup with an SPF can cause more breakouts. I know we all need sunblock, but the foundations that come with an SPF have a tenancy to make you break out more. Try using a lightweight water based sunblock and then putting on a foundation without an SPF. (Also told to me by aesthetician)

7. Don't pick, don't even touch your face! I am such a picker, I love to pick my face, it's a terrible habit! Picking causes scars, it exacerbates break outs and your fingers have a ton of bacteria that you are essentially redepositing on your face. If you have cystic acne and you pick it, my dermatologist compared it to an iceberg. When you push and squeeze on the cyst, you might get it to pop, but your also making it explode under the skin. Trying to squeeze a cyst will just spread the bacteria under your skin! Click the image below to see how to stop picking your face!

8. Go without makeup as often as possible. If you don't have to wear makeup, go without. Your face is porous and needs to breathe, if you have it covered in makeup all the time, naturally your pores will clog easier.

I also found this fun diagram on Pinterest and it tells you why you have the acne where you have it! It's pretty interesting with tips to help your problem areas :)

Please feel free to share your own solutions with me too!

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The Traveling Kimono

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I was contacted by a few of my blogger buddies to do an exchange challenge, it's kinda like the sisterhood of the traveling Kimono if you will. Melissa, Toni, Blair and I all mailed each other this gorgeous kimono-style shawl and we all put our own spin on it.

My take was a retro vibe bathing suit cover up. At first I wanted to wear it as a dress, but my husband challenged me to push the limits a bit. Now, I am not one for swimsuits and heels! I actually want to trip all those girls I see at Vegas pools in their stilettos and bikini. But... since I decided to do a throwback style post, it was only natural to pair it with bright red pumps!

When I first saw the kimono, I thought it was very vintage inspired. With the crushed velvet roses and the fringe... how could I not go pin-up with it? I had a ton of fun shooting this, even though I received lots of glances from passing cars :/

I'm not going to itemize this outfit like I usually do, just know the swim suit and heels cost under $20 for both ;)

Sorry if this is too risque, I really just wanted to show the detail on the kimono...

Check out how they styled it:

Looking at the other bloggers, I wish I wouldn't have gone so out of the box... LOL. That being said, I think this Kimono is still one of the chicest bathing suit cover-up!!

Please check out these fashionable ladies, they're links are below!!

Fall Flashback 2011

Since Fall is swiftly approaching, I decided to take a look a what I wore last fall! I noticed I wore A LOT of prints, and quite a few jewel tones! I still have most of these garments, so I feel a remix coming on ;)

Do you have any looks you're going to recycle from last year? What are your trends to keep, and trends to lose?

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Fall 2012 Manicure Trends

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fall 2012 Manicure Trends

Nail treatment / OPI nail polish / Beauty product / Zoya nail polish / Ruffian beauty product / Essie nail polish / Illamasqua nail polish / Purple nail polish / Glamour Editorial 376,982 Women Can't Be Wrong!, September 2010 Shot...

I don't know if you can tell through my posts, but I change my nail polish at least 3 times per week! I love having fun with colors and patters on my nails. I enjoy nail trends almost as much as shoe trends.... almost. Today I have put together a list of the top polish trends for fall 2012. I'm sure you've seen a couple of these already, but here's the whole list!

1. Deep Reds
Red nail polish is a staple in any ladies beauty bag, but this season it's all about the rich deep reds. From burgundy to maroon to dark crimson, it's all acceptable!!

2. Navy Blues
It's all about navy this season! From clothes to accessories to beauty, get your navy on.

3. Shiny Metallics
There are a ton of "metallic" polishes out right now. There are those "magnetic" ones and the "hologram" ones. I am still yet to find an actual chrome polish, when you find one that reflects like a mirror, send it my way :)

4. Pale hues
Soft ivories, pinks and blues have been around since spring, and it appears they will be inducted into fall as well. I personally love the almost nude shades and the vintage whites!

5. French with a Twist
What the heck is this you ask? It's any version of a french manicure, except the traditional kind! Anything but white tips this season! That means mix up any two colors your want and it's French with a twist!

6. Textured/Bold prints
I feel like Sally Hansen kicked off this trend a while ago with their press on nail foils, but the trend has elevated and more and more women are going to the salons and getting unique prints. There are also a ton of tutorials on Pinterest from watercolor, to ombre, to caviar nails.

What fall nail trend are you dying to try?

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Polka Dots & Leather

Monday, August 27, 2012

This post should have been called the plight of a girl and her leather pants. I have been in search of a pair of faux leather pants for 2 years! I have seen a few pairs online at places like Top Shop & H&M, but they were always sold out. The only thing I could find in person, were faux leather leggings, and those things have got to be the most disgusting feeling thing I've ever put on my body!

Finally, a couple weeks ago, I found the exact pair I have been looking for! I was at a Forever 21 and they had one pair of leather cigarette pants left! Knowing they were a size too small, I bought them anyways. Most of Forever 21's jeans stretch on me, but I knew better with the leather ones. I ended up returning them to another store, which was sold out of the pants as well, in exchange for store credit :(

However, the happy ending is, I was able to order them online from Forever 21 and they fit wonderfully!! After two years I was finally able to find the pants I wanted at the price point I wanted! Budget shopping is a persistence game ladies!
*Note: I just looked on the F21 website and these pants are sold out, what a royal bummer!!

My entire outfit today cost $79.46.... I think that's a record high on {mtc}!! But, with a vintage Cynthia Rowley bag and leather pants... it's still a really good deal!!

{leather pants}
brand: Forever 21
purchase price: $32.50
purchased from: Forever 21
suggested retail: $32.50

{peplum top}
brand: Hearts
purchase price: $12.99
purchased from: Marshalls
suggested retail: unknown

** Let's Talk Peplums.... I LOVE them!! Isn't this girly polka-dot one just perfect? **

brand: unknown
purchase price: $5.99
purchased from: The Goodwill
suggested retail: unknown

brand: Cynthia Rowley
purchase price: $19.99
purchased from: The Goodwill
suggested retail: unknown

brand: Aldo
purchase price: $799
purchased from: The Goodwill
suggested retail: $60-$80

A little Monday trivia for you, did you ever wonder where the word "Polka Dot" came from?

Well, I did, and here is what I found....

"An early recorded use of the term "polka dot" is in 1854 in The Yale literary magazine, Volume 122, Page 7. The pattern is named for the dance of the same name, making one suspect there is a connection linking the pattern to the dance. Instead, the name was settled upon merely because of the dance's popularity at the time the pattern became fashionable. Many other products and fashions of the era also adopted the polka name. (source: Wikipedia)"

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3 Shopping Tips to Help Stick to your Budget

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hi everyone! I have a really fun post to share with you today, it's from my friend Toni over at The Love Hanger. Toni and I were introduced to each other through blogging, but it turns out she and I have so much in common! Toni lives in Fresno, CA, so she's a Central Valley girl like me! Toni is also an avid thrifter, and she finds stuff I would have never even thought to pick up! Toni is also a woman on a budget like myself. She is a stay at home mom, and really has to watch her pennies, like the rest of us!!

Due to our commonalities, I asked Toni to do a guest post for My Thrifty Chic, and she came up with some really good shopping tips to help stay on budget. I have to admit, I am really bad about budgeting, I don't over spend, but I never stick to a plan :/ So, Toni's post is just as much for me, as for you! Thank you Toni, for these great tips!!

3 Shopping Tips for Staying on Budget

With the end of summer clearance sales, and the magnificent beauty that is Fall fashion, shopping on a budget can be downright frustrating.  Do you stock up on summer buys for next year?  Or do you splurge on the enticing sweaters and boots?  Decisions, decisions.

If you're like me, shopping on a budget can be challenging.  But it's a challenge that you can gladly accept, if you follow some key guidelines:

1. Clean out your closet

  • I seem to clean out my closet about every 3 months because it helps me hold accountable what clothes I wear a lot and what clothes never leave their hangers.
  • Consider grouping clothes into piles: "Donate", "Sell", "Keep".  
  • Going through your clothing allows you to make a list of what you need more of and what you already have. 

    2. Make a List & Stick to it

  • After you've purged your closet, it's time to write down those mental notes of what you want to buy.
  • If you're into the latest trends, scope out some of the big fall trends from the runway and find some look a likes.
  • If you're into buying vintage and/or thrifting, most racks are organized by type of clothing and so it will be easier to peruse the racks.
3. Resist Temptation and Spend Wisely

  • If you know that you are enticed easily by a certain part of a store (i.e. jewelry, shoes, cosmetics), then force yourself to steer clear of those areas.
  • I've found that the best way to stick to a budget is to pay with cash!  Swiping your credit card is too simple and it's easy to forget about how much you're spending.  If your budget is $200, then pull $200 in cash from your bank account and only use that.

As much as we'd love to be Rebecca Bloomwood in Confessions of a Shopaholic, most of us need to budget our purchases and that includes shopping.  I hope you found these tips helpful.  :)

Are there any other ways you've found to help you stick to a budget? (All images courtesy of Google Image Search)

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Chambray & Flowers

Thursday, August 23, 2012

As you may have read a couple days ago, I made my own embellished collar (tutorial here), and I have been dying to style it! It's a very over-the-top kind of accessory, and since I am not hitting any Vegas clubs in the near future, I decided to dress it down. I paired it with a Chambray button down, and a floral skirt that I wear pretty frequently (you may have seen it here). I wore this outfit to work on Tuesday. I thought it was professional with just the right amount of flair! I also sported some new hoop earrings I picked up (I've never worn hoop earrings.. this is a first for me). This outfit rang in around $26.00!

P.S. I'm sorry the photos of the collar are not more clear, those little rhinestones reflect light better than a disco ball!

brand: Charlotte Russe
purchase price: $5.49
purchased from: The Goodwill
suggested retail: $26.99

{chambray shirt}
brand: Mossimo
purchase price: $4.99
purchased from: The Goodwill
suggested retail: $22.99

brand: F21
purchase price: $1.50
purchased from: F21
suggested retail: $1.50

** The DIY collar cost me roughly $10.00 **

brand: Charlotte Russe
purchase price: $4.00
purchased from: Charlotte Russe
suggested retail: $6.00

brand: Candies
purchase price: $20 (but free to me through a competition)
purchased from: Kohl's
suggested retail: $69.00

Do you recognize this look? It's from a few months ago. Which styling of the skirt do you like better?

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Leopard for work

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In case you didn't know, my paying job is not my blog.... major bummer right?!? For my actual job, I am an independent marketing consultant. Which basically means I work out of my car and my home. I do A LOT of driving! In 3 years I have put 75,000 miles on my car.... ugh. It's becoming a regular occurrence that I traverse at least 2 counties a day.

Last week, I had to go from LA, to Santa Ana, to Irvine, to Newport Beach and back to LA... all by 2 pm! Needless to say, it was a long day. I was in a hurry that morning but managed to snap a couple pictures before heading onto the dreaded 5 freeway.

The pants I wore are a staple in my work wardrobe. They are a Lycra harem-style pant and are great for long car rides. I love them because they never wrinkle and are not constricting when I have to sit in the drivers seat for 5 hours at a time. I work with various doctors offices, so I am always mindful of maintaining a professional appearance... but who says I have to be boring?

This outfit is definitely not boring! This look cost $53, hand bag and all!

brand: La Scala
purchase price: $20.00
purchased from: eBay
suggested retail: Unknown

I seriously need another pair of these pants! They are my go-to work attire when I'm feeling lazy!!

{leopard top}
brand: Sunny Leigh
purchase price: $4.99
purchased from: The Goodwill
suggested retail: $59.00


Look at this cute little guy! I found him at the Goodwill for $5.99 and it's one of my all time favorite rings! He even has little diamond in his eyes!

brand: rhinestone pyramid - F21 & Gold band - Monet
purchase price: F21 - free & Monet $3.99
purchased from: F21 & The Goodwill
suggested retail: unknown

brand: Cathy Jean
purchase price: $7.99
purchased from: The Goodwill
suggested retail: $59.99

brand: Merona
purchase price: $9.99
purchased from: The Goodwill
suggested retail: $34.99

I like to keep snacks in my car, it keeps me from pulling into the nearest fast food chain. Kettle Corn rice cakes are my fave!!

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{my} Fall Must-Haves 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fall is my favorite season, I'm fairly certain I've said that a million times on here. But seriously, no other season rivals it in my eyes! That is why I get really excited plotting my fall wardrobe. The other thing that is great about Fall & Winter, is that I feel like the trends do not drastically change from year to year, so you can always wear stuff from the previous years. I feel like Spring and Summer aren't always that way. Naturally, I have a lot of garments from last year that I will be wearing this fall, but I have a little wish list I put together!

I have used Polyvore sporadically, it's a great website and I wish I played with it more. I put together this fun collage on there, and the best part is they link all the pictures, so you can go buy these garments if you want too! Some of them are not so thrifty however, they're more for inspiration....

Fall Must haves 2012

AX Paris smocked dress, $44 / Black and white cardigan / GAP coat / rag & bone jean jacket / Ditto / Stretch jeans / Stacked heel / Valentino crochet shoes, $640 / Studded shoes / Z Spoke by Zac Posen leather crossbody handbag

1. Cape Jackets: Cape jackets are in this season and I need one! After spending 3 winters in Chicago, you would think I have every type of jacket ever made, but I do not own a cape jacket. I am thinking, I would like one in hunter green or tan, we'll see what I can find.

2. Jacket with Leather Sleeves: I am obsessing over these jackets! I have seen a few made by Zara, but they're not wildly popular yet. I am either hoping for a faux leather version to come out, or I'm going to figure out how to make my own.

3. Boxy Cross-Body Bag: I love cross body bags, they're my new favorite thing! I hate carrying around a huge heavy purse, I prefer a dainty one. However, I still need something with structure and a little room for all my daily necessities.

4. Slipper Loafers: I love slip-on shoes! I think I quit wearing shoes with laces a decade ago! These loafers are super popular right now and come in a variety of styles. I love them because they are not only comfy, but great for work as well.

5. Taupe Suede Booties: I don't think these are making any real trend reports, but I really want a pair of taupe boots this season. I have a few cognac colored boots and I want a lighter pair this fall.

6. Hunter Green: Green is one of my favorite colors, although I don't wear it often, hmm... what's up with that? I guess I feel like kelly greens and army greens can go bad so quickly, I tend to not over do them. I am however, digging the hunter green trend. I would love to find a pair of hunter green skinnies or leggings.

7. Plum Pants: I've mentioned before I am not a huge fan of burgundy, but I love plum (a close cousin, but not exactly the same). Plum has a little more blue in it and I just like the hue better. I don't want crazy bright purple pants like I've had, I want a deep, rich plum (red-violet) pair of jeans for fall this year.

8. Leather Peplum Top: So far, H&M is the only retailer I've seen with this adorable top! I really, really want one, but It's still a little too expensive.... maybe when the price drops.

9. Shift Dress: You might be asking what the hell is a shift dress? A shift dress is a loose hanging dress that is roughly the same width from shoulder to hem. It varies from a "Sheath" dress, which is more form fitting. A shift dress is great for all body types!

10. Cap Toe Pumps: I've made a pair of flats like these, but I really want a pair of cap toe heels too! I might have to DIY myself some....

11. Ankle Strap Heels: Lastly, I am dying for a cute pair of strappy black heels! I want a pair with a thin ankle strap, and I can't seem to find any! The search will continue....

What are your Fall Must Haves? 
Are your craving anything for fall?

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stop and smell the roses

Monday, August 20, 2012

My husband and I are always looking for fun new places to take blog pictures. We usually are in a big hurry though, so that's why most of them are all taken on our street.

Today however, we were in the mood to take a drive and ended up stopping at the best look out point. There is a great look out point in the hills of LA where you can see the Hollywood sign on one side and all of LA on the other. It's a gorgeous view and a huge tourist attraction. The other bonus is, that there is a dog park just down the hill!! We come for the view and stay for the puppies ;)

My outfit however, is not very appropriate for the terrain, but I was trying to work it anyways :D I am obsessed with peplums these days and I thought these rose colored cigarette pants were the perfect vehicle to set off my whole look! My outfit cost $32.50!!

brand: Lucie Rose
purchase price: $3.99
purchased from: The Goodwill
suggested retail: unknown


brand: Thomas Wylde
purchase price: $5.99
purchased from: The Goodwill
suggested retail: Over $275.00

brand: unknown
purchase price: eBay
purchased from: $5.99
suggested retail: unknown

brand: unknown
purchase price: $5.00
purchased from: A flea market
suggested retail: unknown

brand: Forever 21
purchase price: $1.50
purchased from: Forever 21
suggested retail: $1.50

brand: Steve Madden
purchase price: $9.99
purchased from: The Goodwill
suggested retail: $100.00

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Black & Blue: Guest Blogger

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hi Guys! Today I am doing my first ever Guest post over at Shabby Chic & Cheap! Marissa and I both share a love of fashion and the love of a sale! Please head over to her blog to read more about my look below :)

DIY embellished peter pan collar necklace

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A few weeks ago I mentioned my love for the embellished collar trend. I even made my own with golden pyramid studs. However, that DIY did not satisfy my appetite for an over the top, jeweled out collar necklace.

I decided that I was going to make another embellished collar, but this time I made it independent of any top, that way I could wear it with several different garments.

The Inspiration:

Let's begin! This project is very easy and cost around $15 to make if you don't have all the supplies at home. If you're like me, you already have most of these materials from other crafting projects!

Felt Sheet (the stiff ones, not the soft ones)
Embellishments (rhinestones, pearls, sequins etc...)
Glue (I Love Liquid Stitch)
Hot Glue Gun
Needle & Thread (optional)

To start, I decided to create a template out of paper. To create a symmetrical collar, I folded a piece of blank paper in half and drew one side of my collar. When you cut it and open it up, you end up with two symmetrical sides.

Tip: the first time I did this I did not get it exactly right. You might have to try out a few different templates before you get it perfect. Hence why I used paper first :)

Once you are happy with your paper template, you can lay it on top of your felt sheet and begin cutting. I taped mine down, but it would have been easier to just trace the template and cut it out like that.

And, now you have the foundation for your collar!

Tip: I used black felt, but you can use whatever color you want. Remember a little bit of the felt is going to show through, I think white might be a smarter choice.

Before I started gluing on the rhinestones, I mapped them out a bit. I took the biggest ones and placed them in spots that made the embellishments look balanced. The last thing I wanted was for all my large rhinestones to be clustered in one area.

Then, I just went for it. I started on one side and just began gluing various sized rhinestones and sequins. I used because Liquid Stitch it dries clear and has a very strong hold. You can use hot glue, but it dries more opaque, it's not as strong and you'll probably burn yourself at least 10 times.

Half way done!! I just worked my way from one side to the other, covering my entire collar with embellishments.

Looking pretty darn complete to me!

To attach the ribbon ties, I used the Liquid Stitch at first, however it wouldn't hold. That is the first time my Liquid Stitch has failed me!! The satin ribbon refused to stick to the felt.

This is when I busted out my hot glue gun and hot glued the straps instead. I intended to sew the ribbon on before I started embellishing, but I forgot... whoops.

Tip: In regard to the ribbon ties, I cut them extra long and attached them. Once everything was dry, I tied on the collar and then trimmed the excess ribbon.

The final product!! What do you think? It's a little glitzy for my normal taste, but I actually love it!!

Here is what the ribbon ties look like in the back....

I have to admit, I am pretty proud of myself with this recent DIY. I'm sure there are other DIY's out there, but I did this one from scratch. I love that I can wear this as a necklace with so many different outfits and it will add a totally new element to any look! I think it's eye catching and I think you should make one too!!

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