Since I positioned myself as the go-to bella for random beauty questions, I’ve started to get questions that are sometimes out of my league.

When a particularly difficult one came my way, I just had to ask The Makeup Girl. And in her quest to find the best answer, she deferred to her friend Avin from 99 Problems, because she is a proud acne survivor! So this post is like a Russian nesting doll of fab black beauty bloggers.

Kind of.

Jennifer writes:

Dear Afrobella, I’ve had acne problems since I was 11 (now 20), and it has progressively gotten worse. I’ve seen dermatologists and nothing happens or does but quickly goes away. I have combination skin (both oily and dry). Mostly dry around my mouth and cheek area, and oily on my forehead and temples. My skin was actually starting to clear up on its own, but I ended up getting a skin infection this summer. Now, my face looks terrible, in addition, with my chest and back area. I have dark spots everywhere, plus acne on my face again. What can I use for the dark spots and acne that actually works for women of color?

Lianne said: I have deferred to my sistah Avin from 99 Problems for this one. Avin has suffered with acne since she was 12, and only recently freed herself from the bonds of bad skin.

Avin says, “The only thing that I ever found that helped me to clear it was Accutane. No antibiotic or cream ever helped but she does need to make sure that she exfoliates with something non-abrasive like textured wipes or a clean washcloth because that will be what clears both the bacteria and dead skin clogging her pores. She should make certain to use a clean wipe or cloth so as not to redistribute the bacteria!”

Avin also recommends a peel off alpha hydroxy mask like the one from St. Ives or Fresh Sugar Face Polish. “Both of these are good to use 1-2 times per week. Also, she ought to start using Cetaphil sensitive skin wash & moisturizer. Neither should cause more issues while she is trying to heal the others. Also, women of color should try to steer clear of benzoil peroxide, that is the active ingredient in ProActive. It will bleach the melanin in our skin, and cause discoloration over time.”

She suggests that maybe you were seeing the wrong dermatologist. “For her trouble, suggest that she see a minority dermatologist who can prescribe a non-benzoil peroxide topical that will fade the spots,” Avin says.

Dr. Eliot Battle, the minority dermatologist in the DC Metro area helped to clear Avin’s acne up. She adds “Dr. Battle is a good friend of Vanessa Williams, and though she hawks Proactive, she was an Accutane user.”

Well, we can all agree that Vanessa is still looking fabulous. Love her on Ugly Betty.

Check out or for help in finding a minority dermatologist in your area!

Ohsoluvlee1 asked me several questions that I’m working on answering.

The first one was this : “Have you tried Miss Jessie’s curly buttercream or her curly pudding?  (I know in a previous post you commented about the price)” I can’t tell you how many readers find my site in desperate search for Miss Jessie’s info. I wrote this post on August 31 and I still get regular and extremely long responses to it.

41 comments and counting from bellas who have loved it, hated it, recommend it, regret buying it.

I still haven’t tried the stuff because why? It cost $58 a jar! I hear your argument – oh, you paid so and so much to go to the hair salon once a month, why not pay this much for a product that lasts this long? Well, at least at the salon there’s someone I can complain to if my hair looks bad and I feel like I wasted my money. I’m just saying come on, Miko and Titi! Can’t you sell this stuff in a smaller jar and price it more reasonably? Damn, why they wanna stick me for my paper?

So in summary, no I haven’t tried their products yet and I’m still wishing and hoping and praying for a sample so I can review this for y’all. But look out this week for a review of some products I do like!

Ohsoluvlee1 also asked about “Eyeliner that doesn’t run or disappear during the day, what can you suggest? I have allergies and my eyes water a lot in the mornings so it has to be waterproof. I don’t know where else to turn.”

Fret not, Luvlee1! I myself have been looking for an amazing eye liner, and professional makeup artist Lianne came to the rescue.

She says: “The only eyeliner that I have found that will stand up to the test of tears is MAC’ s PowerPoint eye pencil. As a makeup artist, I use this for weddings excusively because it blends really easily but won’t budge if you tear up or cry. It even holds up in the pool!”

I love that the pencils come in a range of colors, too. I’m definitely going to get that pencil before the holiday season really kicks in.

Hope that helps, bellas! Keep the great questions coming, I’ll try my best to answer them, whether it’s by myself, or with professional help.

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