Nine Fabulous Summer Polishes

Nail Polish Collage

 

First off, I just want to apologize for the cornball ass title but my creative juices were running dry this week. After last week’s little rant, I’m back at it with your scheduled content, and this week I decided to try something different and do a lil’ nail polish post. In the summer I know y’all want your nails to be looking fly as fuck, so I created a small compilation of my favorite hues for the summer. 

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Black Lives Matter: A Callout Post

Honestly, when I woke up and read about Philando Castile, tiredness washed over me. And then it was just a feeling of despair.

I’m tired of a lot of things. I’m tired of being broke all the time. I’m tired of the shitty suburb I live in. I’m tired of black men and women being brutally murdered by the police. My people are being killed by the police and their murders are being sanctioned by the people who are supposed to protect them.

The police are supposed to protect and serve. For a long time, I believed that. I believed that our lily-white police force was going to protect and serve my black ass just like they protect and serve white people on the daily. Wrong.

Looking back, my naivety was laughable. As I grew up, I noticed more and more differences in the way my mother and I were treated in comparison to our white neighbors. One night, I remember my  mother being stopped for driving too slow. The police then accused her of driving drunk even though my mother had never touched a drop of alcohol in her damn life. They arrested her and took her to the police station. That was the first time in my life that I had truly felt fear. The whole time this was happening, I just remember my hands shaking profusely and my teeth chattering. Those feelings have still stuck with me after many years. That night was when I realized I couldn’t truly trust the police.

When the police are killing my people simply for existing, how can I trust them? When Philando Castile was shot in front of his girlfriend and daughter, how can I trust the police? When Alton Sterling was shot for selling CDs, how can I trust the police? When Sandra Bland was shot for no fucking reason, how can I trust the police? Everyday when I turn on the news, I hear about another black person being murdered. If the people who are supposed to protect and serve the people are brutalizing and murdering the people, how can I trust the damn police?

As a black woman living in America, I feel disgusted. I’ve been disgusted since Michael Brown’s murder. I”ve been disgusted since Sandra Bland’s murder. I’m disgusted with a country that allows black people to be murdered because they’re black. The fact that blackness is inherently viewed as a threat sickens me. I want this to change. I want to not feel afraid of the police. Sometimes, I pretend that America really upholds its values of equality, liberty, and justice. Then I wake up, turn on the news, and hear of another black person being murdered by the police. The facade of liberty and justice for all is shattered once again.

 This is a beauty and fashion blog. However, I’m not going to write a review of fucking skincare products when my people are in danger. Silence in the face of opression is violence. Staying silent about black people being systematically murdered indicates that you have taken the side of the oppressor. It indicates that you could give two solitary shits about institutional racism. I understand that as a beauty blogger, a fashion blogger, a lifestyle blogger, or whatever type of blogger you are, you’re trying to preserve a brand. Get sponsorships. Become famous. Make money. And that’s fine. Whatever. But at the same time, is it that hard to simply acknowledge that black people are being murdered in the streets? Is it that hard to tweet #blacklivesmatter, or to make an Instagram post. Even a fucking Facebook post would be better than sitting on your ass just for the sake of preserving your “brand.” In the face of violence, your silence is defeaning and condones what’s happening to American citizens.

Next week, I’ll be back at it with your scheduled posts. But this week, I needed to rant and get shit off my mind. If I just ignored what was happening to my people, I would be a complete damn hypocrite. In fact, I would’ve been somewhat disgusted with myself. Moreso, I’m disgusted with the fact that some of the people who call themselves “influencers” can’t use their platforms to bring light to the systematic racism that is the American police system.  As long as I run this struggle blog, I’ll always continue to speak out on what my people have to endure in this shitty country. On an ending note, always remember that #blacklivesmatter. Always.

 

Holy Grail Alert: MUAC’s BHA Serum Has Snatched My Edges

bha 9

Ya girl is back at it with the skincare reviews, and my edges have been snatched. When I say snatched, I mean that my hairline starts at the back of my damn head. That’s how great this serum I’m going to review is. I deadass have found my first skincare holy grail, and lemme tell y’all that I’m hype as fuck. Who knew skincare made me so happy? Anyways lemme give y’all a bit of backstory on how I found this wonderful BHA serum. Recently, on an impulse buy, I bought a ton of peels from Makeup Artists’ Choice aka MUAC, and a couple of serums after my most recent disappointments with skincare products. Honestly, I initially side eyed the fuck out of the company because most of their products had five stars and I assumed that robots were writing reviews or some mess. After lurking MakeupAlley (bless that website) for 4039400 years, I tossed my cynicism aside and took the plunge.

Here’s a very brief explanation on what a BHA is if you have no idea what the fuck I’m talking about: To start, BHA stands for Beta-Hydroxy Acid. A BHA essentially works by penetrating your pores and getting all that nasty shit outta your pores(hence the purging phase). The most common BHA is salicylic acid, which is what this serum contains. If you’re allergic to aspirin do not use a BHA containing saliclyic acid.

Some really lit links if you want to learn more about BHAs:

Paula’s Choice

r/SkincareAddiction

Truth In Aging

The Claims

 

MUAC Beta Hydroxy Serum claims to control oily skin, blackheads, and whiteheads. “Deep clean your pores with the strength of your choice, 3-4 times a week to keep deeply embedded dirt and sebum under control.” The serum apparently has a pH of 2.3 and claims that for acne sufferers the serum will take 2-3 weeks to decongest your pores.

 

The Ingredients

 

  • SD Alcohol 40 B
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Menthol Crystals

 

Lemme be real with y’all: I was very, very, hesitant to even put this shit on my face because of the menthol, and alcohol. I was extremely concerned that the menthol would irritate my skin and the alcohol would dry out my skin. Luckily for me, none of that occurred, but if you have sensitive skin I’d advise for you to tread lightly with this one. Aside from those two concerns, I appreciate that the ingredient list is extremely short and that I know exactly what I’m getting in the serum.

Performance

 

To be clear, I just want to mention that before buying the full size pictured above, I bought the sample size which MUAC sells on their website. At $6 for .5 oz, I didn’t really have much to lose.

bha 9 sample

                                               A smol sample of the serum.

When I first rubbed this on my face, I was not impressed at all. First of all, the serum smelled like fucking alcohol. It was like I poured a bottle of rubbing alcohol all over my face. Secondly, the serum’s consistency is very, very watery. It’s literally just like water in your hands. After rubbing it into my face, I noticed that it dried very quickly. I do appreciate that it didn’t leave any sticky residue or weird film on my face. Then, the tingling began. I just want to note that I’m an experienced BHA user, and the tingling on this was almost painful. It felt like I was pricking my skin with tiny needles over and over again. In that moment, I prayed to the skincare gods that after all this damn tingling, I would wake up to flawless skin.

The next morning I woke up, ran to the mirror, and JACK SHIT happened. My skin still looked like the same, dull, pimply mess it usually was. I was ready to run to my laptop and start typing a scathing review like the disgruntled customer I was until I reminded my ass that actives need a couple of weeks to work. Thank the skincare gods I didn’t throw the serum out because the results I saw over the next couple of weeks were nothing less than a damn miracle. After about two weeks, I started purging. Hard. Every morning I’d noticed little white and black things coming out of my forehead. My forehead also became a bit flaky, but that was easily solved by upping my moisturizer game(shout out to Eucerin). I noticed that the stubborn closed comedones on my temples and forehead were slowly shrinking. Most importantly, after two weeks I completely stopped breaking out on my cheeks. I’d usually get large pimples on my cheeks that in turn left horrible hyperpigmentation on my cheeks, but those disappeared.

Fast forward to today. Currently I have NO breakouts. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Negative. For the first time in a long time, I can say that I have clear skin. Now, I’m gonna keep it real with y’all: my skin still isn’t perfect. My forehead is still purging a bit, but my closed comedones are almost gone except for a few stragglers. While I haven’t noticed this controlling my oil ass forehead, or reducing any dark spots, I’ve noticed that my skin is baby soft. All in all, this serum has my skin at the best it’s ever been, and as an acne sufferer, it means a lot to me. After I used up the sample bottle, which lasted a surprisingly long time, I bought the full size 4 oz bottle for $28.95. It was money well spent, but I have a really petty complaint about the packaging. The dispenser for the full size packaging is very inconvenient to use and you can’t really control how much of the serum you pour out. I’ve wasted a bit more serum than I wanted to because of this. Aside from that, this serum was money well spent (although my wallet is crying softly).

Conclusion

 

MUAC’s BHA 9 is the GOAT of any serum I’ve ever tried. This serum has completely eliminated my acne, and greatly reduced my closed comedones. After trying out many crappy products, this serum stands out as a beacon of light in a sea of struggle skincare products. The only other thing I could note is that the menthol and alcohol in this could possibly be irritating ingredients to those with sensitive skin, so again, I’d advise for y’all to tread carefully with this product. Also, if you have never used a BHA before, do not start with the BHA 9%. If you want to incorporate a BHA into your routine, MUAC offers a 3% serum, Paula’s Choice offers a 2% serum and COSRX offers a BHA serum(unknown %).

Rating: 5/5

Madblackthot’s Rating Scale

1 – What kind of fuckshit? Would give this product to my worst enemy.

2-  Mess. Trash ass product with one redeeming quality.

3 – Meh. Wouldn’t repurchase.

4 – It’s lit! Great product.

5 – My edges have been completely snatched to the gods. Holy grail of holy grails!

 I told y’all I was going to finally give a positive review. On a serious note: The shooting that happened in Orlando yesterday was a disgusting hate crime against black and Latinx LGBT community and I really don’t understand how gun control laws haven’t been enacted. I really don’t. When an individual can buy a fucking assault rifle and shoot over 50 people in a matter of minutes, we have a fucking problem. 

 

Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum Review: The Devil Is a Lie

mizon 1


                                       Peep this flawless photography.

I actually wasn’t a lazy fuck for once in my life and have written TWO posts in a row. TWO whole posts. I lowkey feel like blogging Jesus. Anyways, today I’m going to be reviewing Mizon’s AHA 8% Peeling Serum, which was purchased after I was fucking around on r/AsianBeauty again. When I started reconstructing my struggle skincare routine, I decided to look for an AHA that would make my skin glow for days instead of looking dull as fuck. I also wanted to fade the dark spots, aka the lovely reminders of my struggles with acne. Shoutout to acne! After seeing everyone and they mama rave about this serum, my product junkie mind concluded I had to have it, and off to Amazon my ass went.

The Claims

 

“A serum formulated with 8% AHA (glycolic acid), which is an ingredient that works to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and helps with hyperpigmentation. The bottle features a convenient dropper dispenser for controlled application. This formulation can help leave your complexion looking smoother, clearer and more even-toned. Ideal for all skin types.”

 

The Ingredients

 

  • Aqua
  • Glycolic Acid
  • Potassium Hydroxide
  • Butylene Glycol
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Sodium Lactate
  • Hydroxyethylcellulose
  • Sodium Hyaluronate
  • Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
  • Panthenol
  • Allantoin
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract
  • Portulaca Oleracea Extract
  • Carica Papaya (papaya) Fruit Extract
  • Arnica Montana Flower Extract
  • Artemisia Absinthium Extract
  • Achillea Millefolium Extract
  • Gentiana Lutea Root Extract
  • Alcohol
  • Polyquaternium-10
  • Disodium Edta
  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben
  • Fragrance

Looking back at the ingredients list, I should’ve curved the shit out of this serum. Being the newbie skincare junkie I was, I thought that “natural” ingredients equaled happy skin. Castor Oil + extracts + fragrance ≠ happy skin. Despite the laundry list of shit that could’ve irritated my face, the aloe vera extract does have me lit as fuck.

 

Performance

 

Upon the first application, the first thing I noticed was how how nice the serum smelled. It smelled like a concoction of really wonderful smelling fruit and normally I could give two shits about smell. Another petty observation: the packaging was deadass perfection! The serum comes in a dropper bottle, and the dropper dispenses the perfect amount of serum. The consistency of the serum was amazing as well. Its consistency is essentially a liquid that’s slightly thicker than water. The serum also dried incredibly quickly on my skin and didn’t dry my skin out. I actually found the serum a bit moisturizing, which was surprising.

mizon 2

                               What the serum looks like on my flawless hand.


mizon 3

What the serum looks like as it dries on my flawless hand(ft. shitty lighting).


When I woke up the next morning, my skin was incredibly soft. No other product has given me that type of smoothness. After years of scrubbing the shit out of my face with St. Ives Apricot Scrub(dark times y’all, dark times) and every other scrub imaginable, this little serum gave me the smoothest skin of my life.

Then, the fuckery begins. After about a lovely week of using the serum once a day at night, I started to notice pimples. Instead of chucking the serum ASAP like I normally would after the CeraVe disaster, I attributed the pimples to purging and was determined to push through. I reasoned to myself that if I could push through this messy ass purging phase, I would emerge with flawfree skin, free of hyperpigmentation, closed comedones, and general fuckery. As usual, I was ridiculously, comically wrong. Towards the end of my third week of using the serum, I had pimples all over my damn face. When I started getting pimples on my chin, I knew the jig was up: this serum was causing me to break out like crazy.

My last little gripe with the serum was that while it smoothed my skin, it had NO effect on the stubborn closed comedones on my forehead. I legitimately noticed no reduction in my forehead’s texture, which was pretty frustrating considering my forehead has been a bumpy mess for years now.

 

Conclusion

 

Y’all, I was so damn bitter over this serum. I was salty as fuck too. I feel like y’all can taste the salt through your computer screens. Or phones. Or whatever you’re reading this Pulitzer Prize winning review on. This serum was such a disappointment because it seemed so promising, but ended up being a big disappointment for me. While the serum did exfoliate my skin and made it soft as shit, the breakouts that followed were not worth the hassle.

Rating: 2/5

Madblackthot’s Rating Scale

1 – What kind of fuckshit? Would give this product to my worst enemy.

2-  Mess. Trash ass product with one redeeming quality.

3 – Meh. Wouldn’t repurchase.

4 – It’s lit! Great product.

5 – My edges have been completely snatched to the gods. Holy grail of holy grails!

 

Some post review rambling: All of the reviews I’ve posted so far are negative as fuck lmao but the next review is Holy Grail material so that’s lit. I’m not going to promise that I’ll post every week because I ain’t shit but I’ve been crazy inspired to write stuff lately. Shoutout to anyone who read my lil rambling mess. Also if anyone cares my name is Audrey lmao.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Review: Cystic Acne City!

cerave uno

Serving y’all some quality photography of CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser.

Y’all after a busy ass three months, I’m back to attend to my abandoned struggle blog. I’m going to be reviewing CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser, which was a big fucking disappointment to be honest.

The Backstory: For months I have been valiantly searching for a new cleanser only to be met with fuckery and disappointment. For a while, I thought that natural cleansers were better than the “dangerous chemicals!!11!!” in other cleansers. I tried an activated charcoal soap which stripped the shit out of my skin and broke me out. I tried Glytone’s Oily Skin cleanser, which also broke me out. I tried African Black Soap which made my face feel like it was splitting open and also broke me out. You get the picture. After feverishly lurking on r/SkincareAddiction and r/AsianBeauty, CeraVe’s hydrating cleanser caught my eye. A pH balanced cleanser that was actually hydrating instead of stripping my skin? I placed CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser in my cart ASAP and eagerly waited for it to be delivered to my struggle abode.

 

The Claims

 

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser claims to help repair your skin’s natural protective barrier.  It also claims to contain ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

 

The Ingredients

 

  • Purified Water
  • Glycerin
  • Behentrimonium Methosulfate
  • Cetearyl Alcohol
  • Ceramide 3
  • Ceramide 6-11
  • Ceramide 1
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Cholesterol
  • Polyoxyl 40 Stearate
  • Glyceryl Monostearate
  • Stearyl Alcohol
  • Polysorbate 20
  • Potassium Phosphate
  • Dipotassium Phosphate
  • Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate
  • Cetyl Alcohol
  • Disodium EDTA, Phytosphingosine
  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben
  • Carbomer
  • Xanthan Gum

 

 

After taking a look at this ingredient list, I thought I had found the holy grail of cleansers. Ceramides and hyaluronic acids in a cleanser for only twelve dollars? My ass was lit as fuck for this cleanser to arrive.

 

Performance

 

Y’all, the first time I used this, I deadass thought I died and went to skincare heaven. The cleanser is somewhat of a jelly consistency and doesn’t foam much when I applied it. After I washed the cleanser off my face, my skin felt smooth as fuck. My skin literally felt smoother than a baby’s ass.After months of trudging through crappy cleansers that stripped my skin and broke me out, I finally thought I found the one.

Then, I realized that I got duped. For the first week I used this, everything was going well. My skin was hydrated, my moisture barrier was intact, and I wasn’t breaking out. By week 2, my skincare heaven went to shit. I got a cystic pimple on my cheek, which I chalked up to some other product in my routine. After both my cheeks and my chin broke out into a million cystic pimples and closed comedones, I realized that something was very wrong. In denial, I cut out every other product in my routine except for the cleanser and a basic moisturizer. I refused to believe that my beloved, r/SkincareAddiction praised, CeraVe cleanser could ever break me out. As the pimples consisted and got worse, I did the dreaded: I broke up with CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. A sad, messy, bitter breakup it was.

Also, a note on the packaging. I rarely give a shit about packaging unless it’s really good, or really shitty, but the pump on this dispensed the perfect amount of cleanser. This was really helpful for me because I have a tendency to use a ridiculous amount of cleanser.

 

Conclusion

 

Even though CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser did leave my skin soft, smooth, and not stripped, it unfortunately gave me some of the worst breakouts of my life. While the cleanser did what it claimed to do, I would seriously recommend that my acne-prone people avoid this cleanser.

Rating: 2/5

 

Madblackthot’s Rating Scale

1 – What kind of fuckshit? Would give this product to my worst enemy.

2-  Mess. Trash ass product with one redeeming quality.

3 – Meh. Wouldn’t repurchase.

4 – It’s lit! Great product.

5 – My edges have been completely snatched to the gods. Holy grail of holy grails!

LJH Tea Tree 90 Essence: The Faux Holy Grail

good one

                          A super high quality photo of LJH Teatree 90 Essence.

After a long five minutes of deliberation in my shower, I came to the conclusion that I absolutely had to buy LJH’s Teatree 90 Essence. Prior to my shower, I read countless reviews of beauty bloggers declaring this their holy grail product and that they wouldn’t be able to live without it. It made my heart(and my wallet) hurt to spend thirty dollars on an essence, but I did it for my pursuit of flawless skin. Unfortunately, my heart(and my wallet) made a dumb decision by purchasing this because it did jack shit for my skin. By no means is this a terrible product that broke me out in cystic acne, but I wouldn’t buy it again.

The Claims

 

LJH Teatree 90 Essence claims to brighten uneven skin tone, reduce redness, moisturize the skin, reduce sebum production, and generally improve overall complexion.

The Ingredients

 

  • 90% tea tree extract
  • biosaccharide gum-1
  • methyl gluceth-20
  • centella asiatica extract
  • sea buckthorn extract
  • tremella fuciformis extract
  • buddleja davidii extract
  • thyme extract
  • trehalose
  • sodium hyaluronate
  • grapefruit seed extract
  • bambusa textilis extract
  • pinus palustris leaf extract
  • cellulose gum
  • caprylyl glycol
  • 1,2-hexanediol

As yall can see from this list, there’s a shitload of positive ingredients, and I love the fact that the tea tree extract is the first ingredient on the list. I also love the fact that not ONE of these ingredients comes up as an acne trigger on Cosdna.

 

Performance

 

The first time I used this, I was somewhat in shock of how moisturizing it was. After a complete disaster with a tea tree cleanser, I had previously vowed to avoid anything containing tea tree. The cleanser I used was so ridiculously drying that my skin was peeling. This essence, however, is the most moisturizing anti-acne treatment I’ve ever used.

Unfortunately, this didn’t do much else for my combination, acne-prone skin. I was hoping that the tea tree would help to reduce my pimples, or at least prevent them. This essence didn’t necessarily fight my acne, or heal the present pimples on my face. I didn’t notice any reduction of uneven skintone, but I wasn’t really expecting that from a tea tree essence. For the first week I used this, I did notice a tremendous reduction in my sebum production on my forehead. An hour after washing my face, my forehead is usually a greasy mess. The first week I used this, I didn’t notice any oiliness until later in the day. Sadly, it’s magical sebum reduction abilities flaked on me after the second week of using this and my forehead went back to it’s usual greasy mess.

Not related to the essence itself, but I really adored the packaging of the essence. LJH Teatree 90 Essence comes in a small bottle with a glass dropper. The dropper makes it easy not to use too much of the essence at one time.

DSCN0040

                    Another super high quality photo of the packaging. 

Conclusion

Even though LJH Teatree 90 Essence has tons of amazing ingredients for the skin, I personally didn’t notice anything beneficial from using it. While it’s not the worst product in the world, I’m so disappointed because I saw so many people with acne-prone skin making this their holy grail product.

Rating: 3/5

Madblackthot’s Rating Scale

1 – What kind of fuckshit? Would give this product to my worst enemy.

2-  Mess. Trash ass product with one redeeming quality.

3 – Meh. Wouldn’t repurchase.

4 – It’s lit! Great product.

5 – My edges have been completely snatched to the gods. Holy grail of holy grails!

 

Polish of the Week: Essie Head Mistress

Essie’s Head Mistress has become one of my favorite red nail polishes ever! I usually hate red nail polishes because they look like a hot mess to me, but this was a pleasant surprise. In the bottle, this appears to be a brighter red. After applying two coats of the polish, it darkened to the beautiful color pictured above. This is the perfect fall color for me and I recommend this nail polish for everyone looking for a dark red. I took so many pictures of this polish, so look below for some more struggle pics taken on my iPad.