Rihanna. Ryan Destiny. DeWanda Wise. Jill Scott. Kelly Rowland. Nicole and Bria Murphy. Kelis. Tika Sumpter. Yara Shahidi. Meagan and L'Myia Good. Janelle Monáe. Toni Braxton. Leela James. Karen Obilom. Nia Long. Lynn Whitfield. Lauren London. Sanaa Lathan. The late Aaliyah. Kerry Washington (especially in the movie She Hate Me). I could go on and on, Lord knows, but when I think of celebrity women who are also quite sexy (at least to me), those are some of the ones who immediately come to mind.
What's dope about the list is they're all different when it comes to their look, their style and their age. At the same time, what they each have in common is there's a hint of mystery and exoticness about them.
Regardless of your sexual preference, when you see them, you tend to do a double-take and, if you were the type to share your WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday), they are the kind of women who would be on your list. They are appealing. They are exciting. Yep—they are sexy.
The reason why I listed them is because if I threw out the names of some of my friends or the woman who does my nails or this chick that I always see whenever I go to a particular mall, you wouldn't have a point of reference. My point in saying that is, a lot of women exude sexiness regardless of size, economic status or platform. Not only that, but just by being a woman alone, there are simple things that we can do to turn the volume up on our own sexiness in 10 minutes or less.
If you've got days when you don't feel your best but you want to feel a little more sultry, risqué or even glamorous, I think if you try some of the following hacks, you'll start feeling intensely excited about your own damn self. After all, the sexiest women radiate from the inside out, not the outside in. That is the foundational key for all things sexy.
1. Invest in Some Sexy UnderwearGiphy
I'll be working on an article about the expiration dates of various things soon enough. But for now, just know that if you haven't gotten new bras and panties within the past 6-12 months, you are seriously overdue. If you know that some of your underwear has been in your drawers for at least three Christmases, treat your body to some new stuff. Then make sure that some of what you get is on the sexy side—lace bras, high-cut panties…things that make you feel like you've got a hot date with the finest man alive whenever you put that kind of stuff on (even if you don't).
Oh, and if you're like me and, because your "girls" are on the super-big-and-full side, it's hard to find sexy brassieres, one of the other writers here wrote about some of the sexy bras that she loves. Also, an overseas brand that I've come to adore is Figleaves. I can personally attest to the fact that the way you move changes when your undies are on the sexy tip.
2. Paint Your Nails (a Blue-Based) Red
Red is a fascinating color. As far as color psychology goes, it represents love, passion, fire and desire. What's really cool about the hue is it's something that women of any shade or ethnicity will look amazing in. If you're a woman of color, the key is to look for one that has a blue-base to it. It's more sophisticated and will complement your complexion better. As far as red lipstick goes, The Zoe Report has a list of 'em. But if you want to give your fingers and nails a bit of a red sexy pop, Red Diamond Crushed Diamonds Patent Shine 10x Nail Lacquer is a great-high end nail polish while China Glaze's Heart of Africa is a pretty awesome department store find.
3. Curl Your Eyelashes
Something that all of us should have in our possession is an eyelash curler. It has a way of opening up your eyes and extending the length of your lashes simultaneously. With curly lashes and a coat or two of mascara on them, you can flirt all day long without saying a single word.
4. Apply a Shimmery Lip Gloss
Anyone who knows me knows that if I've got an addiction to anything, it's lip gloss. I really can't tell you how many tubes that I have; it really is low-key a problem. I think what I like so much about gloss is I can put some on real quick, with or without lipstick, and my lips will instantly have a sexy pout to them.
If you really want your lips to stand out, go with a gloss that has some shimmer in it. Some brands that I think work pretty well include C.O. Bigelow Mentha Shimmer Bare Mint, sweetnectarbeauty's Vegan Lip Gloss and Maybelline New York Lip Studio Electric Shine Prismatic Lip Gloss Makeup, Lunar Gem. To tell you the truth, you can easily make some of your own too. All you need is some coconut oil, make-up grade glitter and a couple of other items and you're all set. Get the walk-through on how to do it here.
5. Also Apply Some Bronzer to Your SkinGiphy
Remember how I said that actor Ryan Destiny is super sexy to me? One of the things that I find to be so alluring about her is her deep chocolate skin that seems to have no pores or flaws. Yeah, smooth skin is definitely all-the-way-up sexy.
I wasn't blessed with that kind of skin, but I will say that exfoliation, sulfur soap (it's great if you've got acne) and using sweet almond oil as a moisturizer has done wonders! Also, when I want my skin to have a radiant glow, bronzer makes that happen.
Girl, if you've never gone out with some bronzer on your skin, words can't express how much you're missing out! Forget what others will think; you'll have a hard time walking past a mirror and not staring at your own self! So yeah, make an investment into your complexion and cop some.
(By the way, this is something else that you can make at home. For step-by-step instructions on how to make shimmering body lava, click here.)
6. Rub an Essential Oil onto Your Hair
OK, so you do have a favorite scent, right? How often do you put it on? Me? I'm an essential oils gal myself. Usually I blend two or three of them together to come up with a signature smell. Anyway, while putting a fragrance on your wrists and neck is all good, don't sleep on rubbing some of it onto your hair. For one thing, it will linger there longer than most other places. Plus, it has a way of leaving a trail wherever you go.
Oh—if you're kind of new to the whole essential oil thing, some scents that are really sexy include rose, jasmine, sandalwood, patchouli and cinnamon.
7. Then Pin Your Hair Up (or Put on a Necklace)
One of the most powerful erogenous zones for us is our neck. You know what else? A lot about our age can be revealed on that particular part of the body too (which is why we need to keep it well moisturized at all times). What's more is, when I asked a few fellas that I know about what part of a woman's body really drew them in, they also mentioned the neck; they went so far as to say that's why they love a woman whose hair is up in a ponytail or messy bun, or a woman who has a mean short 'do. For all of these reasons, that's why this particular point made the list.
If you're not feeling your best and you've got long hair, pull it up, add a pair of hoops, then see how you feel. If your hair is on the shorter side, layered charm or medallion necklaces are currently all the rage. Adding a bit of shine on your neck is another way to feel sexy and subtly draw attention to one of the sexiest parts of your body.
8. Put on a Pair of Heels
A pair of heels can do a lot of things—correct your posture, make your butt look amazing and, as Fabolous once said (in his song, "You Be Killin' 'Em"), make a woman "slow strut like she walking to the altar." Whether you're in a little black dress or you've got on a T-shirt and jeans, your entire energy is gonna shift over to being seductive and sexy if you've got the right pair of heels on.
9. Rock Some Glasses (Whether You Need Them or Not)
A couple of years back, for about six months or so, I had to wear some prescription glasses so that they could correct a mild astigmatism that I had (one that existed, apparently since birth, that made itself known after I turned 40). But with all of the frames I've got in my bedroom, you'd think I was blind as a bat! I've always liked how a good frame looks on my face. On both men and women, I think glasses are uber sexy.
It appears that I'm not the only one; glasses seem to have a psychological effect on all of us. They frame our face, show off our personality, give off a vibe of confidence, intellect and a bit of quiet reserve, and they definitely offer up a hint of mystery.
That's why you should treat yourself to a pair of glasses (prescription or not optional); not because your vision necessarily needs them, but because wearing frames is another easy way to look and feel sexy in a matter of moments.
10. Wear an Oversized Men’s Button-Down Shirt
A couple of years ago, a popular fashion trend was women wearing a man's button-down dress shirt. To me, it's not a "trend" so much as a classic go-to. It's empowering and feminine. It looks great on all body types. And, it's the kind of thing that you can wear with a tailored business suit or just to lounge around the house in. And, if you've got a significant other, he's probably gonna find that to be as seductive as any lingerie number you own. It's a win/win all the way around. Stay sexy, sis!
Featured image by Getty Images
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The face of tennis is changing, and it’s about time. Over the years, if you were asked to name any Black tennis player, two would come to mind: Serena and Venus Williams — and rightfully so. But as new tennis sensations like Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka rise to fame for their athleticism and tenacity, it’s clear that there’s a new era of tennis taking shape to bring forth a fresh take on representation and reclamation on the courts.
For that reason alone, there’s no better time than now for Black Girl Tennis Club co-founders Virginia Thornton and Kimberly Selden to lead the charge of making tennis more accessible to Black women and girls so the next Serena and Coco can emerge.
What began as your everyday lunch chat between friends to discuss their mutual dream of owning a boutique hotel turned into a proposition to start a tennis club together. With Virginia being a tennis player since adolescence and Kimberly entering the sport as a hobby in her adult life, the two jumped at the idea of making a space where Black women could discover a new hobby and not feel like the “only one” on the tennis court.
“The club kind of started for selfish reasons, but not in a bad way,” Virginia tells xoNecole. “We realized that there was actually a need for this.”
Kimberly adds, “Now we're literally disrupting a whole industry. We didn't plan it, but it felt divine; like we were called to do this. Black Girls Tennis Club has been a catalyst for personal growth in all areas of life, and we would have never anticipated that.”
Since establishing the Black Girl Tennis Club in 2022, the two have made it their mission to cultivate a space for “Joy Equity and Radical Wellness.” Their platform serves as a means to inform, inspire, motivate, and reshape the narrative around Black women and girls in the tennis world while highlighting the transformative power of sports and play for liberation.
With approximately 78% of tennis players being white and only 6.8% being Black, and the average cost of a private tennis lesson being $60 per hour, racial and economic disparities within the sport are vast. To help close this gap, the two founders have banded together to develop free tennis instruction clinics for girls aged 8-18 and local tennis events that bring adult offerings through programs like the Self Love Tennis Club and Cardio Tennis Classes to HBCU campuses in Virginia.
Both Virginia and Kimberly understand the power of their mission and believe that they were brought on each other’s path to execute it together. “It’s the power of alignment,” Kimberly says. “I think when you're doing the right thing and you're obedient, and answer the call, that’s when things start to happen, and the universe conspires to make them happen.”
We caught up with the founders to discuss their mission, the importance of representation, and how they plan to disrupt the tennis industry one court at a time.
xoNecole: Could you talk a little more about your CARE pillars with change, access, representation and exposure?
Kimberly Selden: As we started to do the work, we saw that there were so many equity issues. Although we knew from our own personal experiences that there are barriers to tennis being an expensive sport, we just acknowledged it as the culture of tennis. Because it's predominantly white, that transfers over to the fashion, the dynamics on the court, the attitudes, and the mindset. And so we knew this required a culture shift for us to ever really feel comfortable.
We were exposing kids to tennis, and then after the clinics, they're like, "Okay, now what?" It's still expensive, and they still may or may not have had access to it if they're not with us. We don't want to just pop in like, "Hey, here's a clinic, bye!" So, the culture change is just a reflection of what our existence looks like. Access is about being able to access the sport through courts, programs, or a coach. Representation is that we can't believe it until we see it.
Granted, there are a lot of pro Black women tennis players taking off, and we love that. But we think about media representation as well [as] representation within the USCA, in the boardrooms, and the people that are making the rules around the game.
xoN: Why do you all think it’s important for Black women and girls to reclaim their space on the tennis court?
Virginia Thornton: It's rare, at least in my world, where you're in a space and see nothing but women who look like you. But it makes me feel great when I can be my authentic self, especially on a tennis court. Just shedding all the weight of pretending to be anything else. You feel at home when you're around nothing but Black women. Even small things like seeing a young Black girl being okay with how God made them is amazing.
KS: [In] the Atlanta clinics we did, everyone was crying. It's just clear how desperately we need it. Connection is the key to a long life. So many of us — especially from the pandemic and working from home — are isolated. With every clinic, it's just fun to be there, and it just fills you up. I think people need hobbies. I think a lot of people, especially people in big cities, feel that way and were confronted with that during the pandemic.
xoN: How did sports play a role in helping you two find your voice and confidence both on and off the court?
VT: I think what people don't realize is that tennis is such a mental sport. You could be a 4.0 player and have a bad mental day, and you will play like you've never picked up a racquet before. So, the mental piece is super important. For me, it's like ‘you against you,’ even though you are playing somebody.
If you're able to work through those mental pieces with yourself on the court, that will translate off the court. I had an issue on the court where I have a habit of saying, "Sorry," — I think a lot of Black women do, honestly. Then I realized that they wouldn't say sorry or they’d use my kindness as weakness. I've learned a lesson in that because everything translates on and off the court.
"If you're able to work through those mental pieces with yourself on the court, that will translate off the court."
KS: It's easy for me to do things that I'm good at, but it's not easy for me to do things that I'm not good at. Tennis is still challenging for me, but it pushes me. It’s a reality check for me; I know when things are aligned, and when they're not. It feels like a big metaphor for me because it's pushing me to do something that's uncomfortable and makes me work for myself more.
xoN: What do you hope the long-term impact of Black Girl Tennis Club will be?
VS: We want to have a space for people who might be workaholics or might be going through depression. It's always great to have a hobby, whether that's knitting, sewing, or what have you. For me and Kimberly, it’s about creating hobbies for Black women and girls but also knowing that it’s okay to not be amazing at it. You don't have to be amazing at tennis; you could hit around the court, and that's okay.
The next Serena or Venus might come from Black Girls Tennis Club.
Featured image by LumiNola/Getty Images