Adult Acne Story

My name is Kaye. I’m 31 years old. Do you see that picture above? That was taken yesterday. Did I mention I am 31? I have been battling with acne on and off for 14 years. My biggest fear, is that I will be 80 years old and still suffering from bad skin. The truth is, underneath all the makeup, I’ve been hiding 14 years of struggles.

I firmly believe that my acne is tied to two equally important things: internal factors and external factors. I’ve learnt to listen to my body over the years, taking note of what triggers it. Obviously taking care of my skin (external), paves the path to a better complexion. Unfortunately for me though, it seems the internal factors steer this pimply-ship far beyond the reach of diet and healthy lifestyle choices. These things help a little, but alone, are never enough.

The sad reality is without some form of aggressive (or expensive) treatment to compliment my routine, my skin is never clear. I’ve become a slave to chemicals and manufactured products and I’m so tired of it.

I wanted to share my story purely for those who are in the same boat. The pimple-boat. Sometimes it’s nice to see and hear it from others and know you are not alone. Because when you suffer from acne, it doesn’t just affect how you look – it becomes your whole life.

Below: a carefully ‘filtered’ version of the truth.



I am oily/combo. I’ve always had broken capillaries, which have worsened over the years of harsh skin treatments. You may have read about my pigmentation. I’ve also tried just about everything known to man: Natural/organic, anti-acne, normal, sensitive, oily/combo, scrubs, masks, peels, diets, pills, environmental changes, twirling around in one spot and even nothing at all (including no makeup).

Acne History1995 – 1999 (13 to 17 yo)

Ahhh, if only I could turn back the clock to this point in time. My skin was clear and blemish free for my entire high school years. While everyone else was hitting their awkward pimple phase, I didn’t even know what ‘skincare’ meant. The concept of cleansing, toning and protecting my skin was unknown to me.

My mother was adamant about taking care of her skin. But I wasn’t even remotely interested. I remember being asked at the time by an older friend, what I did for my skin to keep it so clear? Truthfully I didn’t know how to answer that because, well, I didn’t do anything.

2000 – ONWARDS (18 yo+)

Now it was my turn. Hello pimples, nice to finally see you. And by that I’m kidding. Everyone I knew was over their teenage acne and moving on to bigger and better things. Me, I had only just begun. And my confidence plummeted. I was ashamed of how I looked.

I started to use the Clinique three-step system, then bounced around trying different brands. All the while my acne came and went, regardless of what I tried. This was the point in my life I figured out supermarket products just weren’t making the cut. Around the year 2000, product choices weren’t as generous as they are now.

Serious breakouts also meant the beginning of my issues with scarring. Yes, we were all warned not to squeeze pimples but I didn’t listen. So I was left with uneven, blotchy skin. Lucky for me I was all grown up now and earnt my own money – I started buying makeup to cover it all up. After that, I only ever felt confident with a face full of makeup.


I was still suffering from recurrent acne. I couldn’t believe I was dealing with terrible skin! It was so crushing. I felt like I was the only mid 20-year-old with horrible skin in the whole world. Around this time I also noticed the Proactiv commercials, ordered it, and for the first time in years my skin became clear and beautiful! It felt so good to feel like my skin was acting its age. Oooh happy days!!

The down side was, I truly hated using Proactiv. The cleanser was so abrasive and rough I actually dreaded washing my face morning and night. It was the absolute opposite of relaxing. The smell of the toner was awful to me. And of course the treatment cream/gel felt uncomfortable to apply. It dried my skin terribly, but I stuck with it. Because it was the only thing that worked.

As much as I hated Proactiv, I do wish I’d discovered it sooner. But by the time it worked wonders for me, I’d already damaged my skin by aggressively popping my pimples (gross), years before.

2007 (25 yo)

One day, I had the genius idea to get microdermabrasion to finally fix all the acne scarring. At my consultation I was persuaded into substituting microdermabrasion for gentler enzyme peel treatments and a new skincare regimen, “because Proactiv is TERRIBLE for you”.

I dropped $740 (no joke) that day on Danne Montague King products without breaking a sweat. And that wasn’t including the treatments which were ongoing and expensive. I wanted nice skin, damn it! I felt like I deserved it after all these years. All I wanted was to look like everyone else. Was that too much to ask?

The great news was it worked like a charm. Beautiful skin was mine once again and all was right in the world. Hazaah! That lasted about 6 months until I started to feel awful for having spent so much $$$ on my skin. I could see a breaking point coming – there was no way I could afford to keep up with these products. And there was no way I could secretly use Proactiv and keep my appointments, the beautician would know!

So I went back to Proactiv and stopped my appointments.

2010 (28 yo)

This is where my quest took a very bad turn. Proactiv eventually stopped working for me. I was desperate, so I turned to the contraceptive pill – Dianne – to clear it up. And wonderfully so, my skin looked amazing again! I was beyond happy, I can’t even describe to you how great it felt. No matter how I treated my skin, what I ate, what products I used, nothing would happen – no breakouts! Thank you god.

Little did I know that one quick switch of pill brand from Dianne to something else, would lead to me discovering I am predisposed to develop blood clots (‘for reasons yet unknown’, according to my hemo). The pill was not the catalyst, but played its part none the less: I landed myself in hospital with an extensive blood clot (DVT) in one leg and bilateral pulmonary embolisms’ (PE) in my lungs. Whew, fun times.

What followed was two years of blood thinners, stress and severe panic attacks. The toll it took on my skin was nothing like I had ever experienced, and I had nothing to fix it. Taking the pill was out of the question and Proactiv sucked at this point. From top to bottom my face felt like a Helen Keller novel. My self esteem hit rock bottom. I was broken on the inside and out: blood clots and ugly skin.

2012 – PRESENT (30 yo+)

My last-ditch effort was prescription acne treatments. I turned down the option for oral antibiotics and went with topical instead. I tried Clindatech (didn’t mind this, it worked really well), and another I wasn’t a fan of. The downside to these was the limited shelf life. After three months, they weren’t usable anymore. It was a quick high of perfect skin, followed by a low of returning back to breakouts.

And let’s face it, these treatments had taken their own toll on my skin after all these years. I felt like I was forced to choose between adult acne, and over-treated skin. It was a no-win.


Fast forward to the present and where am I? Well, as you can see I’m at a bit of a stale mate with my skin. But I haven’t given up, despite all this. I still believe there is something I can do, I just have to find the magic key.

In recent years I’ve really taken a ‘inside-out’ approach, and tried to correct my diet and acne triggers before they appear. Proactive, not reactive. It’s been hit and miss but I won’t give up. I have to keep trying. Who knows, maybe by the time I am 80 it won’t matter anymore ;)

Thank you, for reading my story.


website upgrade to wordpress.orgimage: pinterest

Some big changes are happening here at Beautiful Kayekie. The time has come to take a leap and upgrade the site to make it bigger and better. What exactly is going to change for you? Absolutely nothing! If all goes as planned, you won’t notice a thing! As the saying goes: you know you’ve done something right, when nobody notices you’ve done anything at all. Fingers crossed.

I’m flying solo.
In the coming days all the work will be done behind the scenes, so please excuse any strange things you may notice happening. Some may be on purpose, others perhaps not: layout changes, strange fonts, internet monsters. I will be working to enhance your reader experience. Up until yesterday I had made the decision to pay for a Guided Transfer, to have all the hard work taken care of for me. But where is the fun in that? There’s a wealth of knowledge out there to help bloggers DIY upgrade from to, so wish me luck!

In the meantime…
Everything that makes up Beautiful Kayekie will be here, so feel free to browse the menus or connect with me here:


SensatioNail Australia Has Landed – Full Review

Sensationail review swatches gel uv nails

Nail polish – Day 3

Hold the phone Australians, I’m pretty excited to be writing this post today!

Many have asked and the nail gods have listened: SensatioNail at-home gel nail products have landed in Aus, and we don’t have to envy our international sisters any longer. Perfectly manicured fist pump, everyone.

Sensationail review swatches uv gel nails

Nail Polish – Day 3

SensatioNail boasts up to two weeks of wear for every manicure, with the finish of salon quality nails. No typical dry time, no chips, no smudges. For those unfamiliar with the process, it’s a simple system of applying gel polishes which are cured at each step with a LED UV lamp. This is what gives the beautiful shine and strength.

For those who are die hard gel fans, you already know the awesomeness that is DIY UV nails. This was my first time trying it at home, and I’m completely converted. But more on that in a little bit…

sensationail review swatches nail gel uv kit


unbeatable shine and depth
longer lasting
no chips or smudges
no dry time
strong finish
cheaper than salon gels (in the long run)


removal can be time consuming (at least 15 mins soak time)
chips/peeling can occur with incorrect application
initial costs higher than stand-alone nail polishes


sensationail review swatch gel nail uv australia

(above) Starter Kit $89.99 AUD
Pro LED Lamp, Gel Cleanser, Gel Primer, Gel Base & Top Coat, lint free pads, nail buffer & stick

sensationail review swatches uv nail australia

(above, each sold separately) left – Gel Colour Scarlet Red $19.95 AUD, middle – Gel Colour Taupe Tulips $19.99 AUD, right – Gel Polish Removal Tool $9.99 AUD

sensationail review swatches removal kit australia

(above) Gel Polish Removal Kit $24.99 AUD
30 foil wraps, nail buffer & stick, gel polish remover

(below) SensatioNail Pro 3060 LED Lamp – sold with starter kit

sensationail australia uv lamp


I love polished nails as much as the next person, but chipping and smudges drive me crazy to no end. I feel like I’ve been trapped in the cycle of nail woes for years. It goes something like this:

Nail polishes are awesome, but they never last very long…
So let’s try applying them meticulously – only to have the bed sheets imprinted on them overnight. Gah!…
Forget DIY then, salon must be the way to go… but acrylics are pretty damaging…
OK, so let’s try gel nails. Oh what was that? It’s going to cost me $80+ for a full set. Refills and removals extra? Shoot…
Don’t panic Kaye, I hear shellac is a good alternative… Excuse me? $40+ a visit? This is going to send me broke, even if it’s every two weeks…
I guess it’s not so bad to use regular polish, at least it’s cheaper… Oh figs is that a chip?

Lets take this moment to cyber hug if you feel my pain *hug*. This is where SensatioNail comes in.

sensationail review swatches australia uv nail gel


If you’re serious about longer lasting, high-shine colour, I would recommend you try this. If you spend the dollars to buy polish, why not pay for one that lasts? The initial outlay is a little pricey, but the cost/use/quality ratio is in your favour. Plus, when someone asks you where you got your beautiful nails you can say “Girl! I did these babies all by myself!”. *snap*

I trialed the kit a few times, just to get a real feel for what works and what doesn’t. The process is very simple to follow. Once finished I was terrified the glossy colour was still wet, but it was completely hardened and smudge proof. Best of all, the just-applied shine is there to stay.

What I discovered was this: follow the instructions closely, especially “capping” the nail at each step. This will ensure you get the absolute most out of your application. I found the few nails I didn’t “cap”, chipped in the corners and lifted slightly after four days. I also recommend the use of the removal tool when the time comes. It will help speed the removal process.

The bottom line is, there is no real guarantee each manicure will last two full weeks and that no peeling, chips or will occur. Stuff happens. Everyone’s nails are different. BUT – what I think sells it for me is the fact I just cannot replicate this kind of depth and shine with regular polish. It is also far cheaper than going to the salon and paying for Shellac (in the long run). Once cured, the nails were tough and everyday activities didn’t put a dent in my mani.

Would I purchase this again? Absolutely! 10/10.

Disclosure: this post contains product sent for consideration. This in no way influences my opinion and all reviews are honest (you know how I am)

Postcards From Lake Tahoe – Part 2

tahoe snow fields mountains

heavenly mountain observation deck

heavenly mountain observation deck

miniature snowman lake tahoe

lake tahoe snow selfie

lake tahoe snow

tahoe snow christmas trees

heavenly village lake tahoe

heavenly village lake tahoe

drive to lake tahoe in the snow

Grand Marriott Lake Tahoe

Grand Marriott Lake Tahoe

christmas tree heavenly village lake tahoe

heavenly village fire pits

ice skating heavenly village lake tahoe

heavenly village at night

grand marriott night time

ice skating heavenly village lake tahoe

ice skating heavenly village lake tahoe

grand marriott residences lake tahoe

Welcome back to part two. I completely forgot to mention a few fun facts about Tahoe in my last post! Not only is the area beautiful, it’s actually pretty factually awesome.

Did you know the city of south Tahoe and Lake Tahoe are at an elevation of over 6000 ft? The lake is 26 miles long, 12 miles wide, and 72 miles around. Huge. The water in is apparently almost as pure as bottled water, and is the second deepest body of water in the US (1645 ft!). I read a little something from the hotel that mentioned the water is so clear, you could see a dinner plate 75 feet below the surface.

I think now is the time to confess I have extreme fear of deep water, but besides this fact, I still appreciate the lake. The city sits right on the California/Nevada state line, and as for Heavenly Mountain (which gave me the stunning views in these posts from the observation deck)? The summit elevation is 10,067 ft. I don’t mean to turn this into a lesson, but isn’t it just fascinating to know??

Going through the photo’s of us ice skating brought back great memories. If life had theme music, then the song to our first time skating would have been Battle Without Honor or Humility by Tomoyasu Hotei (also known as the song from Transformers and Kill Bill). Think: slow motion falls onto the ice, over and over. Funnier than you can imagine.

I hope you enjoyed the photos, until the next update… :)

Read part one here.

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