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Best Buy Product Testing | Claro Acne Clearing System

When I was asked to review the Claro Acne Clearing Device I was beyond thrilled. You see, I never had bad skin as most people do as teenagers. For the most part, I had clear skin with only the occasional blemish or breakout. Then somewhere along the way after pregnancy something changed. I’m thirty something years old and I have blemishes (isn’t that such a fancy word for zit?) on my lower jaw at least 2 weeks a month. Isn’t that lovely? I will be the first to admit I don’t have the greatest skin care routine, but I don’t wear makeup much either. I use a foaming face wash and a moisturizer daily and that’s about it but it just isn’t cutting it. The Claro claims to treat blemishes making them less red, less noticeable and heal faster so you see why I was excited to give it a try.

When I received the package, I immediately opened it up to see what this thing was all about. The device comes with a power cord, a pair of safety goggles like you would use in a tanning bed and a very detailed instruction booklet.

When I started reading the instructions, the first thing was to give it an initial charge of 15 hours. I’m ready to start zapping zits… tomorrow! It is important to wear the safety goggles but I was so intrigued, I think I forgot to use them the first time. Now, I will usually just close my eyes. It’s a bit cumbersome to hold the goggles and line up the Claro at the same time.

To use it, you simply press the power button, line up your blemish between the two posts and it will beep letting you know it made contact. Then you press the button again and it begins pulsing lights and heat to the blemish for 6 seconds. Then you repeat for the second treatment. The Claro website says that it is painless and for the most part it is, but I did come across a few places where it was a bit more uncomfortable. It is definitely more noticeable in the areas where the skin was broken. It wasn’t a “pain” just a little pricking feeling. It’s only 6 seconds though so it’s no big deal.

What are all those flashing lights? It’s called IPL. The Claro website says that “Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a clinically-proven, safe technology that combines HEAT and LIGHT for fast, effective treatment of acne. CLARO uses heat and light to stimulate porphyrin, bacteria that cause acne to produce singlet oxygen that attacks and eliminates the acne bacteria.”

So, did it work?

I think in my head I was hoping for a magical disappearing act of blemishes. That wasn’t the case. That wasn’t Claro’s claim either though. It says that it reduces redness, makes blemishes heal faster and makes blemishes less noticeable. It did just that. After a few days of using the product, I noticed an overall decrease in redness and puffiness of the blemishes. I also used it on an area that felt like there was a new blemish on its way and it literally made a U-turn and went away before it ever really surfaced. Since using the Claro, I haven’t had an actual breakout in weeks.

What do I like most about the Claro? Obviously its effectiveness is number one!
Other pros…
- It’s lightweight and portable.
- It doesn’t require a prescription unlike other acne treatments.
- It’s more cost effective than dermatologist or spa visits.

The cons…
- The device needs a guide on it to show you the position of the light window. Sometimes I would wonder if I had it lined up correctly or missed the spot.
- To effectively use the safety goggles, they need an elastic strap to use them hands free.

For more information on the science behind Claro and to see actual user submitted photos, visit the Claro website at www.clrstechnology.com.

If you have monthly breakouts like me or a teen with mild to moderate acne, visit Best Buy to purchase a Claro Acne Clearing Device. While it does carry a retail price of $195.00, the initial investment is far less expensive than dermatologist appointments and prescription medications and similar costly spa treatments.

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the reviewed product at a reduced price or for free.


An Angry Birds Birthday Party

Hello there My Pretties! I haven't abandoned you, I promise! I have been so busy this year. I started a new business in January that has taken off like wild fire and it has consumed lots of my time. If you are a photographer in need of vinyl backdrops and faux floors, visit me here. Sorry for the shameless plug!

On top of all that going on, I began planning my little man's 8th birthday party. He wanted an Angry Birds theme so I happily obliged. I thought it would be easy, right up until all you people on Pinterest raised the bar on birthday parties. Cake and ice cream just won't do. Oh, no it won't! I put myself through 3 weeks of torture getting ready for this shindig and let me tell you. I don't care if we have to go to Disney next year for his birthday, we aren't having a party. In fact. he'll be lucky if he even gets a cake. I'm sure the memories will fade and I'll get wrapped up in party planning in 2013 just like I did last year, but for now, the pain staking memories of making fondant angry birds and smoothing butter cream icing just hurts too much. We won't even mention the Angry Birds sugar cookies that didn't make it to the party.

At least I had enough sense to have the party outside of our home this year. If you are a long time follower, you might remember last year, we gutted a room to the studs in our house 2 weeks before his party and the paint was still drying when our guests began to arrive.

So, to set the stage, we had the party in the fellowship hall of a friend's church. We sent out these invites that I made in Photoshop. (A Pinterest Idea. I can't take the credit for the concept.)

I made this banner to go behind the cake table out of scrapbook paper and ribbon.

I made a few props for an Angry Birds photo booth.

We had lots of goodies to get everyone's tummy full before the full scale angry birds game we would soon play.

I outsourced the sausage balls and pigs in a blanket to my mom. (Thanks Nana!) If you haven't tried the sausage ball recipe that adds a block of cream cheese, you are missing out. They are delish!

I was planning to order Chick-fil-A chicken minis too but seeing as I was already about, well, lets just say way over budget on this party, I decided to order chicken fingers from Zaxby's and get Sister Schubert's rolls from Sam's and DIY the minis. The crowd said they were better than Chick-fil-A. (Thanks Candi for cutting up what seemed like 2,000 chicken fingers!)

My sweet friend Emma and I cut up the fruit and made fruit kabobs.

The risers were upside down baskets courtesy of my bathroom closet. I am resourceful if I am anything!

I made chocolate dipped pretzel sticks because they were cheap fun . (Thanks Pinterst for that idea too.)

I made chocolate dipped Oreos too. If you want to try these, let me give you a little secret. Take one of the cookies off the Oreo and spread some of your candy melts on the cream, then place your stick in and put the top back on. Let me tell you how many I goofed up before I figured that little tidbit out. Or, no, I won't. Google is your friend people!

And what started it all, I bough these little paper straws on Etsy. I put them in color coordinating Hawaiian Punch bottles for the kids. Cute, yes. Weird feeling, double yes. My jury is still out on whether or not I like paper straws. Maybe I got bad ones or something but they felt gooey to me after a few minutes.

And the piece de resistance... The cake.

Pinterest, why do you do this to me? After seeing all the super cute Angry birds cakes, just a plain old cake wasn't going to cut it. I decided to tackle a 3 tier, covered in butter cream, decorated with little fondant Angry Birds cake. What was I thinking? Obviously, I was not! I made the fondant decorations a few days in advance thank goodness. The day before the party I started icing the cakes and I was still icing 20 minutes before the party. Butter cream will not get smooth for me. I think I watched every you tube video on smoothing butter cream and tried everything from a hot spatula to paper towel rubbing and it wasn't as smooth as I wanted it. Luckily I had enough decoration to cover the hot mess up! I think it turned out cute and it was perfect from across the room or for anyone who put their contacts in backwards that day.

My big man! I can't believe he is 8 years old already!

Happy Birthday Bud! I hope your wishes come true!

And just because I was skeptical that my cake would turn out, we had enough cupcakes for everyone on standby.

After everyone ate, we went to the church gym to play a game of Angry Birds. I collected boxes for weeks and the kids had a blast knocking them down with kick balls.

When everyone was ready to go, they got one of these candy bags with tags I made in Photoshop.

I am kicking myself because there is so much I didn't get photos of. Like the whole cake table. It was so cute. And the Skittle tubes I made that had the cutest little Angry birds tags I made on them. And the food labels. Well, actually, they didn't even make it to the tables. I printed 1 of each and in the end, my table design had double plating's of each food item and I couldn't put them out not having two. They were so cute. Bummer!

The party was great anyway. Everyone had a ton of fun. I think I slept for 15 hours after the party but it was sort of all worth it in the end.

Thanks for reading about my little birthday party adventure! I promise I am going to come back and post more soon. I have made lots of super cute things to share with you. I just haven't found enough hours in the day yet to get them all blogged about.

Are you a cake and ice cream party kind of mama or do you go all out? I'd love to hear your stories.

Until next time...


Sunday Silly

I must have one of these. Hey, it's your phone... Zac Morris is calling! I'm embarrassed to admit I wanted to be Kelly Kapowski when I grew up.