31 days of blogging SUCCESS!

The first month of Howse Life has come and gone. We are loving the support for this new space on the interweb. We cannot believe that January is already over. Also, we successfully did our 31 blog posts in 31 days challenge or better known as "31 days of blogging marathon".

Here are some of my favourite posts from the past 31 days :)

Wow Neon Sorbet review
Tuna pasta salad recipe
Mini cappucino muffins

Korres skincare review
Strictly come coffee restaurant review
If you have visited our blog this month then thank you so very much! We love it when our hard work is appreciated. Let us know if there is anything in specific you would like us to blog about. Tweet us @Msclairabella and @Howsemj.

Lots of blogging love from Malcolm and Claire!

This week's reflections (31.01.2014)

Image from this Pinterest board
What pleasant surprises did I discover this week? I went a whole 7 days without eating chocolate!!! And the best part was that I didn't even plan to not eat chocolate. The sad part was that I ate a chocolate Easter egg to celebrate the fact that I didn't eat chocolate. Wtf?

What lessons did my work teach me that I could build upon next week? Don't feel ashamed if you don't know everything. This links back to last week's post on what my work taught me where I mentioned that asking questions is good. Asking = learning.

Are my short-term efforts and long-term goals still aligned? Yes.

What could I have spent more or less time doing? Watching YouTube videos. I am constantly fueling my addiction to Vlogs.

How did fear and uncertainty affect what I did and didn't do? I wasn't as confidant in the decisions I made this week. I do regret some things I did or didn't do. It's a learning curve I guess.

What mental clutter can I clear? Routine. Malcolm and I have been out of our daily routine this week which messes with my body and mind. We need to get back to this to keep my mind at ease.

What is the first logical step for next week? Getting back into a reasonable routine :)

Have a fantastic weekend!
Claire

Life after Roaccutane | Skincare review

A few weeks ago I shared a post on "My Roaccutane Journey" in 2012. I love how many positive comments and tweets I received. It reminded me how amazing the blogging community is and it was great to hear from my blog visitors! 

Now I want to share my life after Roaccutane. Something you must understand about going on this treatment is that your routines need complete adjustment during AND after. You constantly have to apply various products to your skin (your whole body, not just the face) depending on how it feels that day. I found that paying attention to your skins needs really paid off and made the process easier. If your skin needs moisturizer even though you just applied some 2 hours ago, just do it. Your skin will thank you!

Lets jump 2 years ahead and here is what my skin looks like now :)

Summer selfie in the car (no make up)
"just dyed my hair" selfie (no make up)
 You may see that I have a lot of freckles. I have had them my whole life and they become more visible when I have been in the sun for a while. That's why I am so pale. I try stay out of the sun as much as I can.

Make up selfie
The months following the Roaccutane treatment, you need to go back to your Dermatologist for a follow up and he will track your progress. He may want to put you on a longer treatment plan if the first few months did not work. Luckily the four months I did was just enough to sort my acne out. 

When seeing my doctor I voiced concern about the acne scarring that was left on my face which is more visible now that the acne had cleared. He said that being on such a strong medication, your skin will go through peaks of being red/higher pigmentation and inflamed/irritated for the first 12 months after the treatment. He advised that I rather come back after a year once my skin has completely settled and re assess which scarring to treat. I never really looked into the treatment of acne scaring in more detail these past two years as the procedures (laser or chemical peeling) are expensive and can go horribly wrong.

After Roaccutane I scar really easily. Every scrape or scratch will leave a pigmented mark on my skin for at least 6 months (Especially on my arms and hands). I have to be very careful with what I do. If I do get a scrape I apply Balm Balm's tea tree lip balm which helps it heal a little faster but it does still leave a mark.

I know of a few other people who complained about very dry skin for up to 2 years after finishing the treatment. I took this as good advice so I applied moisturizer religiously twice a day on my face as well as the rest of my body. This really helped and my skin was back to its normal moisture level in 6 months.

My skin is a lot less maintenance now and my skin routine isn't as vigorous but remember that just because you go on this treatment doesn't mean you can slack down on skin care. You still need to cleanse and moisturize on a daily basis. I still get blackheads and tiny impurities which I treat just as I would before.

Final words. I am really glad I did this treatment. I have a lot more self confidence now and I don't worry about acne scaring anymore. If you are looking at going on Roaccutane/Oratane take note that it can be quite pricey. Between all the doctors consultation fees to medication and additional creams and eye drops, you can easily pay up to R4000.00. Find out from your medical aid if they will cover the costs so you may prepare properly. There are also concerns about depression when on Roaccutane. I am so glad I did not have his side effect. I stayed positive throughout the four months and after, which means a stable mindset will make this treatment easier to handle.

I hope these posts helped. If you have any other questions please email me msclairabella@gmail.com, I would love to hear from you. Alternatively you can follow me on Twitter for other beauty news and reviews.

TTFN,
Claire

Korres Part 2 | Skincare review

This is a continued post for my "Korres Skincare Review part 1" which I posted yesterday. Click here to check out the first two Korres products I tried out. 

The thirdskincare product is Korres' Wild Rose Eye Cream with SPF 15

I have to say I love that this product has and SPF ingredient. The skin under and around your eye is thin and it has a higher chance of getting sun damage quicker than other parts of your body. This however should not be the sole reason you purchase this product as a normal SPF cream will do the same thing.

This eye cream left my eye area with a mediocre moisturized feeling. I would rather apply a regular SPF sun screen and at night apply a tightening serum like this one from VICHY (its around the same price range).

Overall, I was really unimpressed by this eye cream. There was nothing that really stood out for me however if you haven't used eye creams in the past, this is a great starter product for you to get to know what works for your skin. This 15ml tube will cost you R380.00. To be honest, I find that to be reasonable for an eye cream as it will easily last you six months to a year even with everyday application.

This product was not in Paula's book but there was another Korres eye cream where she touched on the SPF ingredient. Her team said that the SPF 15 rating was a little disappointing as you need something stronger around the eye area.

The last product I will be reviewing is the Pomogranate Cleansing Mask for oily to combination skin.
Image Source
I believe that everyone should own a good face mask or deep cleanser (even you gentlemen) and you should use it at least once a week to spring-clean your pores and get rid of nasty gunk your normal face wash may not get to.

You apply this product onto clean, dry skin, leave for 10 min and rinse with lukewarm water. I must say I was not a fan of the small 16ml. I felt that I could not lather the product on to get adequate coverage because I want the tube to last long. The small amounts I did apply seemed to do the job alright.

I love that this cleansing mask did not leave my skin with any "tight" feeling which means it cleaned my skin without stripping any natural oils. The clay like consistency is also an original trait this mask has. Its just like mud masks you would get at salons but it smells way better.

Overall this is an average cleansing mask. I do wish it came in a bigger size, maybe a 50ml tube. I suppose the fact that I want a bigger tube means I enjoyed using this product. You can get your own Korres pomegranate cleansing mask for R95.

Paula's team did not review this product in the book however they did give Korres' Cleansers a general "good " rating and this is one of brands' strengths.

Korres is actually quite a big deal. Celebs like Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Rihanna, Drew Barrymore, Kylie Minogue, Charlize Theron, Cameron Diaz, Woody Allen and David Beckham use Korres products (apparently). They also have a whole bunch of stores worldwide including cities like Athens, New York, Paris, Madrid, Helsinki, Dubai, Frankfurt, St.Petersburg, Prague, Barcelona and Singapore amongst others.

This brand is worth trying out. You can purchase the products mentioned above at Edgars and Red Square stores right now! Follow Red Square on Twitter for all beauty news and exciting new releases. They also have an online store.I did not see any Korres products there however its still a good idea to visit to see what other yummy products they have to offer.

Thanks for reading these lengthy reviews. I hope they helped. If you have any questions, Tweet me @Msclairabella.

Claire

Korres Part 1 | Skincare review

Back in July last year I shared a review on Kings and Queens which was a name that was made known at the multi-brand launch at an Edgars (Edcon group) event last year. Another brand which made its debut to SA's shores at the launch was Korres.

"Korres is a Greek skincare brand, born out of Athens’ first ever homeopathic pharmacy in 1996". The brand has innovative and clinically effective skincare products based on natural active extracts. They utilize valuable Greek herbs through the production of brand-own high value organic extracts  and they strongly believe in educating, supporting, cooperating with local communities, agricultural unions and organic farmers.

A few luckily bloggers received some Korres products to test out and share. I will be reviewing these products based on my experience using them on my own skin as well as a short comment on the review in Paula Begoun's book "Don't go to the cosmetic counter without me". I will be referring to this book over the next few weeks and will be writing a review at the end.

First up, we have the Wild Rose 24-hour Moisturizing Brightening Cream for oily to combination skin types.

This is the first of the four Korres products I tried. I have had conflicts with moisturizers not doing much for my skin in the past so I had high hopes for this product. 

As soon as you apply the product you will notice the fragrance. It has a pleasant rose garden scent which, by default, we welcome but keep in mind that fragrance is a very common irritant and our skins do not like irritant ingredients. I did not have any visible red patches or breakouts from the fragrant ingredient.

This brightening cream contains corn starch which does a great job of soaking up the unnecessary oil your skin produces. This product could be applied solely to your T-zone or problem areas to control shine.

One ingredient that did seem to effect my skin was Cetearyl Alcohol. I assume it was this ingredient that caused a slight tingle sensation on my skin. It did not last long but might be a concern for some.

Overall this product was great to use on warm days where perspiring was a problem. The water based cream is light on the skin and soaks up some oils on the surface of your skin. I am concerned about the long term effects of the fragrant and alcohol ingredients may have on your skin after continued use. Read up on the other ingredients here. This 40ml jar will set you back R330.00.

Paula's team thought this product was "average" as it contains some helpful plant ingredients but the effectiveness is lost as soon as you open the jar. The formula is no longer stable as it has come into contact with the air.

Next is the Wild Rose Brightening and Line Smoothing Serum for all skin types.

This serum was a dream to apply and provides a considerable amount of moisture to my face. About two minutes after applying the serum, there is a slight sticky/tacky layer on your skin. This would be a good time to apply your foundation or loose powder as it will stick pretty well.

I applied this serum whenever my skin needed a boost of moisture and it worked really really well. My skin did look slightly smoother so the sticky gel like constancy did fill in some fine lines. Again, there is a rose scent and alcohol ingredients however this did not effect my skin to the point of noticing red patches or tingling on the skin.

Overall this is my favorite product from the Korres brand (so far). If your are looking for a serum/moisturizer that will help your parched skin then give this a try. This serum is quite expensive, retailing at R495.00 so this is definitely a splurge but it will last a few months and you use a very small amount upon each application.

Paula's team gave this product a "poor rating" as it contains a free radical damaging alcohol ingredient from the witch hazel distillate.

Read Part 2 of this review here. Tweet me @Msclairabella.

Claire

Pinspiration: Valentines day #2

Food is important...why should the most romantic day of the year be any different? Here is some Pinspiration for the three main meals of the day, from breakfast in bed to a romantic picnic and ending with a candle lit dinner.

I have deleted this board. Sorry about that!
Love and food on a blanket
I have deleted this board. Sorry about that!
What is the most romantic date you have ever been on?

Claire

Manicure Monday with Icebox Colors | Nail polish review

Finally! I own my very own holographic nail lacquers. The lovely peeps at Icebox Colors were kind enough to send me a few holographic polishes to share with you lovely ladies. Sticking to my 2014 guideline of trying new things, I became like a giddy little kid in a toy shop as soon as I applied it to my nails.

The first colour I tried out was Las Vegas Lights!

This polish is a very pretty dusty pink to purple tone. It is very opaque and you only need one coat (although I am wearing two coats in the image above). You still get a lot of shimmer from the holographic particles in one coat. Oh, and the shimmer!? It's almost as if they found a magical Unicorn farm, gathered some unicorn poop and made a nail polish from it! Ha ha ha. It is truly beautiful.

You cannot really get the true beauty of the holographic shimmer in photo's so I took a quick video recording of how the polish shines in the sun. Try watch it in HD if you can.

I did experience chips in the polish up to 2 hours of wearing it. Make sure you use a strong top coat and you don't use your nails as tools (which you should do anyway, no matter what the polish).

I really like the small 7ml bottles Icebox Colors has to offer. They seem really small but they have tons of polish in them and will give you quite a few manicures. Also, the shape of the bottle is original. I didn't like it at first but upon closer inspection it looks like an ice cube with nail polish in the middle!

Overall this is a really original bottle and nail colour to have in your collection. If you don't already own a holographic polish, I suggest purchasing one soon! Icebox colours are available at Salons and some pharmacies. If you have any questions email info@iceboxcolors.co.za or visit their website. They also have a Facebook page with more info and images :)

Do you love this holographic look?

Claire

How we do it: Mini Muffins (with Snowflake Easymix)

I absolutely love baking! This joy was passed onto me by my grandmothers and parents (even my daddy). One of my little baking cheats is to use easymix ingredient packs from Snowflake. I really love using my grandmothers recipes and bake from scratch but when you have had a busy week at work, screaming kids in the kitchen (not in my case) and a muffin crazy boyfriend to keep happy, you need to cheat a little to keep the peace and your own sanity.

I decide to try out my new mini muffin pan to make bite sized snacks for Malcolm and myself to enjoy over the weekend. My Spar only had savory, mint chocolate and cappuccino flavours. Malcolm only likes one out of the three (bran muffins are his favourite though) which was the cappuccino one. These are usually between R10 and R15 which is really not bad.

This is baking process and how they turned out :)

All you need to do is mix 200ml of water, 2 eggs and 125ml of cooking oil together. Once that is nicely mixed add the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or whisk. Don't over mix.

Nicely mixed batter ready for baking
You will immediately want to stick your fingers into the batter because it smells delicious! Luckily Malcolm wasn't home. He can never resist picking at the bowl.

Put the oven on to 18 degrees and grease your pans. I would have preferred using Spray and Bake but I didn't have any so I just ended up using regular spread from Stork.

These mini muffins were only in the oven for about 10-15min and were perfect!

I was really impressed at how these came out! These easy mixes from Snowflake are pretty amazing. They also have a whole range of other baking goods to aid you on your baking adventures.

Here's my mid afternoon snack with yummy percolated coffee and mini cappuccino muffins. All I am missing is the Nespresso machine :)

I definitely recommend Snowflake baking products. If you have tried any of these easy mix packs let me know if they were winners or flops. Tweet me @Msclairabella

Love from the happy baker,
Claire

How we do it: Refreshing Lemon Verbena Ice cubes

If there's one thing that you need to know about Malcolm, its that he really really really likes lemon Verbena. While he was overseas on business last year (he was gone for 2 months) I bought him his very own lemon verbena bush as a homecoming gift. He literally sniffed the leaves and absorbed the scent *weirdo alert*.

I thought I would try incorporate the lemon verbena leaves in our daily lives as it helps calm his stress levels. The most common use for the lemon verbena leaves is tea. Pop a few leaves into boiling water, add some sugar and you have some delicious tea. However, its summer and tea may not always be welcomed in the heat so I did a little experiment, which worked out superbly. 

Lemon verbena ice cubes which you can put into your cold-drink to add some summer crispness. Here's how you do it:
Malcolm's Lemon Verbena bush.
I'm not certain whether or not you can buy lemon verbena leaves at some fruit and veg stores. I suggest just buying your own bush from a nursery because then you will have an ongoing supply of leaves. I visited about 4 different nurseries before finding one which sold lemon verbena bushes . Maybe phone around to save time.

Trim a few leaves off of your bush. Rinse them under cold water to get any dirt or bugs off. Place them in an ice tray (without water). The amount of leaves you put in each ice block depends solely on your preference. Malcolm loves his cubes strong so I add 2-3 leaves per block. Try make little criss-cross X's with the leaves so that it looks prettier in your drink.


Once you have your leaves placed, pour rapidly boiling water into each block. I used boiling water so that the heat pulls the scent out into the water and when your ice cube melts in your drink, the taste and scent will be stronger. I also read somewhere that boiling water freezes clearer than cold which is a bonus!

Put your ice tray in the freezer and leave overnight. Your refreshing lemon verbena ice cubes will be ready to use in the morning!

You can add them to plain water, fruit juice and even coke. Malcolm loves these ice cubes in Oros! This ideas will surprise guests at a braai, tea party or general gathering. It cools your drink and adds a refreshing scent.

Give this idea a go and tell me what you think. Also, share pictures of your Lemon Verbena bushes with me on Twitter. I've always wondered how big they get.

Claire

This weeks reflections (24.01.2014)

Image from this Pinterest board
What pleasant surprises did I discover this week? January is nearly over. I know it is never good to wish time to pass but I would really like to jump to March already. There are so many exciting things waiting for me there. My best friends wedding is on the 8th of March and I am a bridesmaid :) Hopefully by March Malcolm and I would have found a bigger place to stay and my cat can finally come live with us. I am also excited for Autumn and the cool air that lurks there.

What lessons did my work teach me that I could build upon next week? If you don't ask, the answer will always be no. That sentence gives me a small boost of confidence whenever I repeat it in my head. Don't be afraid to ask for things if you don't have anything to lose.

Are my short-term efforts and long-term goals still aligned? Yip :)

What could I have spent more or less time doing? Daydreaming. As simple as that.

How did fear and uncertainty affect what I did and didn't do? This week I really tried to watch my eating habits closely. I even started a Food journal to see exactly how much of what I put in my body. There was and still is tons of uncertainty with regards to putting the correct nutrients into my body. I am doing a lot of research to educate myself on nutrient rich foods.

What mental clutter can I clear? Worry...again!

What is the first logical step for next week? Don't get distracted. Do what you have to do and get it over and done with. First work then play :)

I hope you all have a great weekend :)

Claire

Eye Brow Gel Fail and OFRA | Cosmetics review

Towards the end of last year the lovely PR ladies for OFRA Cosmetics sent me a new product to test out; their Semi Permanent Waterproof Eye Brow Gel in Khaki and Dark Brown.


I am always a bit hesitant when it comes to gel products in small jars. As soon as I opened the products I immediately thought of previous gel products like this one from Essence. Questions like "What brush do I use?" and "Do I paint, dab, swipe, tap, line or dot this stuff on?" run through my mind (which you could YouTube if you like). 

I did a quick test on my eye brow (just one) with one of my angled eye liner brushes which turned to be rather disastrous. One thing you must know about me, I don't do the whole "bold eye brow" look. It just does't work with my petite face and I honestly do not feel comfortable applying it myself  just in case I look like this guy from The O.C. I stick to lighter products like this one from GOSH Cosmetics which just lightly fills the eye brow.


Even after failing to get the look right, I got to experience some of the ups and downs of this product. Firstly, the colours are really pigmented which is both good and bad. Good because it will show up really well but bad because it seems to be a bit overpowering (well on my face at least). I guess its all about matching an adequate colour for your skin and brow shade and not applying too much.

Secondly, this stuff sticks! Once you apply this, the chances of it wearing off soon after is microscopic. Washing this product off of my face was a challenge but won't be a problem for you if you own a decent face wash or makeup remover. This lives up to its semi permanent waterproof claim. Don't doubt that ish :)

Lastly, I feel this is an advanced type of eye product. The fact that I battled shows that it is not preferable for beginners. I think I proved what will happen when you give a mildly skilled person a professional product. Although, all professionals were beginners at some point so it just takes practice.
Right eye with OFRA product
...So I need a little practice...I guess its not that bad (or is it?). Maybe I should have watched this video by OFRA Cosmetics USA before giving it a try :)

Overall this is a great product. It has a great pigmentation, it lives up to its durability claims and is a good quality products in general. However, it takes some practiced techniques and the correct brushes to get a decent look. I will master it soon and give you an update. I also feel that waterproof eye brow gel is a little wasted on the face unless you plan on going swimming. I would rather invest in a higher quality mascara and eye-shadow primer.

Until then, hop over to OFRA Cosmetics SA's Facebook page (where they also showcase their gorgeous SA brand ambassador), follow them on Twitter or leave comments below with any questions you may have. 

Ciao for now!
Claire

5 Things: We are currently watching

In no particular order, here are a few series we are currently hooked on.
Arrow
The Big Bang Theory
New Girl
Grimm
Once Upon A Time
All Images from Google and this guys blog.

What series are you watching right now? Comment below!

Malcolm and Claire

Manicure Monday with OPI | Nail polish review

Today my nails look a little sparkly for the week ahead. I used  2 coats of O.P.I's "Fly" from their Nicki Minaj collection. On top of that I did one thin coat of "Gold reef City" by Vixen which I recently reviewed here.

I have recently started working from home so I don't need to be conservative when it comes to colour. However if you do work in a strict corporate environment, the gold reef city polish will look just as amazing over a nude polish.

I just love how the gold flakes shine when the sun hits them. Gorgeous!

Share your Monday manicures with me on Twitter @msclairabella

Claire

Pinspiration: Valentines day #1

I have been gathering ideas on my valentines day Pinterest board called "The heart on your sleeve". I never usually dress up for these special days but I thought this year I would try wear something cute. I haven't really bought anything yet but here are some ideas. 

Visit this Pinterest board here

If you see anything similar at stores or online, please let me know :) Oh and guys wanting to buy their lady something special, the ideas above are pretty cute and a good place to start.
Also tweet me @Mslcairabella.

Claire

Housewarming

This weekend Malcolm and I went to a housewarming braai at one of his work colleague's new house. We didn't know anyone there so we got the opportunity to meet some new people (most importantly, couples) which was really refreshing. Malcolm and I have been together for forever now and we have not really made any new friends along the way, just because we didn't need to. I forgot how nice it is to learn about other peoples lives and chat in a comfortable, chilled environment.

Here's some pictures I got to take at the housewarming;

Malcolm and I aren't big drinkers but we did have a little alcohol at the shindig. I had some St Claire Rose and he had Hunters Hard Lemon, which are both our favourites.

I made some doggie friends. 3 pointers and one border collie. They were fighting each other for some human cuddles... 

...eventually getting right into my face.

The food was delicious. Pork chops, potato bake, garlic bread and a green salad :)

 The guys also played a little bit of hacky sack. Malcolm absolutely loves sports and exercise so he enjoyed this male bonding experience with the other guys.

I'm glad Malcolm and I got to get out of our small place and had some good food with new friends. In this busy modern life we forget to enjoy these small memories in the making :)

What did you get up to this weekend?

Claire

This weeks reflections (17.01.2014)

What pleasant surprises did I discover this week? One of my YouTube videos, from a while back, hit 5,500 views! I haven't paid much attention to my Youtube channel since my last upload as these videos are quite time consuming and having a full time job limits the opportunity to film. I randomly checked it this week and was surprised by how many people have seen the tutorial I did.


What lessons did my work teach me that I could build upon next week? I'm only human and to do lists are really important. It is impossible to remember everything all the time and keeping a to-do list saves my butt a lot of the time in my full time job as a Professional Assistant.

Are my short-term efforts and long-term goals still aligned? I need to define some long term goals to be able to deal with this question. Maybe next week?

What could I have spent more or less time doing? Preparing food! Last week I bought a crap load of fresh fruit, veg and meat for the month ahead. Seeing as Malcolm and I are only 2 people in the house (teenie tiny bachelor flat rather), a lot of the food has to go into the freezer so it can last longer. This meant tons of peeling, washing, chopping, repacking and portioning 20 freezer bags of food. This was unbelievably time consuming but at least it is done...until we buy more.

How did fear and uncertainty affect what I did and didn't do? This wasn't really an issue this week.

What mental clutter can I clear? Too many unorganized short term goals and guidelines. I have about 15 goals in my head all running at the same time. They often cross paths and contradict one another. I need to sort that shit out :)

What is the first logical step for next week? Don't put yourself down to boost someone elses ego...actually, don't put yourself down for any reason. IT shouldn't be done full stop :)

This was my weeks reflections. Share some of yours in the comments below or on Twitter. I am trying to get Malcolm to share his weekly reflections but guys don't really do that. I did however discuss these with him to give him food for thought.

Have a great weekend!

Claire

My Roaccutane Journey (with Pictures) | Skincare review

I read an article about Roaccutane in this months Cosmopolitan magazine which struck close to home as I was on the treatment not too long ago. I could relate to the story and thought I would share how I documented this period in my life as it was one of the important changes I made.


My decision to go on the treatment was made after consulting a dermatologist for my acne. I was 22, starting my life as an adult yet still had the acne of a 15 year old high school student. It wasn't so much that I was embarrassed by the acne (even though this was still a major issue) it was all the damaged the acne was doing to my face. When I noticed acne scars on my face, that was the final straw.

I was prescribed a 4 month course or Oratane (the generic version of Roaccutane) which consisted of 1 10mg tablet twice a day. Then it started.

Being on this treatment was the literal meaning of an emotion roller coaster ride. One minute your skin is looking up, next it knocks you back down again and adds its own bouquet of side effects. I wanted to see the improvement through a series of photos so I go in the habit of taking weekly pictures to keep myself motivated and look at the progress I made.

It all starts in MARCH 2012
12 March 2012
This is how a good skin day was for me before starting Roaccutane. I had terrible breakouts around my jawline and forehead. the Doctor said it is hormonal and we needed to dry out the oil ducts/area (I think that's what you call it) around my pores which was causing my skin problems.

21 March 2012
The first month was not that bad. My body was getting used to the meds. The area around each blemish did start to get more red and inflamed. Many friends who also went or Roacutane said "your skin will get worse before it gets better" which, I found out later, is true.

APRIL
12 April 2012
My second month was really painful. My skin was pushing out all the nasties and I was suffering from severe dryness. My skin broke out like crazy, my eyes were constantly dry and my lips cracked to the point of bleeding.

18 April 2012
20 April 2012
27 April 2012
I had to go back to my doctor for a checkup and he prescribed me some eye drops and a whole bunch of cream to help with the dryness. As for my lips, Lipice, lip balm, tee tree oil and other oils became my best friend. Thanks to this I now have an obsession with applying lipbalm. The minute my lips feel dry, I freak out :(

27 April 2012
*Gasp* *OUCH* *Help me*

All this time I was working at a restaurant as a hostess to earn extra money (this expedition was not cheap). Having to smile and greet people for four hours on a Saturday and Sunday, while looking like this, was not my idea of fun.

 MAY
2 May 2012
This week was the first week I felt better since starting (I think you can see it in my face). There was still dryness all over my face lips and over other parts of my body but about 50% of my acne was gone and that made me happy. I wanted to celebrate but I knew the end was still a month and a half away. 

10 May 2012 
Just as I got my hopes up, I had another breakout and my cracked lips flared up to a painful state. This was the last breakout before things really took a drastic turn :)

JUNE
2 June 2012
ITS ALL GONE!!
My acne was gone by my last month. I still had some noticeable pigmentation around my acne scarring and my lips were still healing but besides that, I had found the end of the rainbow!

I was so relieved to finally have clear skin. I still had a considerable amount of scarring left but compared to what I looked like before, I was okay with it.

Read about my life after Roaccutane and whether I regret the whole treatment. Follow me on Twitter for an update. Also, here is the link to Oratanes website where you can find out more info on the treatment.

Claire