Coming in hot this summer are multifunctional swimsuits that can easily transition into a ready-to-wear look when out and about during this warm weather season. Whether you're island hopping or mentally on vacation, there's a new trend this summer that gives more life to your favorite swimwear pieces. I have the most fun mixing items up within my wardrobe. Experimenting with clothes you already own, not only helps your bank account but refreshes styles you may have forgotten about or feel uninspired to wear.
This summer's dress code is exposed skin; however, here are some classy ways to refresh new and/or old swimsuit styles worn other than by the pool. Get inspired to try old pieces in ways you've never worn before with these luxe swim looks.
With so many outdoor events and passport stamps to catch up on, now that lockdown has been lifted, nothing says chic like a fiery orange wrap around ruched skirt. This vacation-ready look is made from a luxe ruched fabric that is ultra-flattering, complimenting your natural shape while serving resort luxe no matter your location. Paired with a modern cut out bodysuit, this is a stylish addition to a quintessential summer piece.
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On the Outside
An all-time lover of a cropped look, this criss cross halter swim top paired with my straight leg 90's jeans and oversized button-down is perfect for casual daytime festivities. Whether music festivals or Sunday Farmers Markets, easily swap the thong mini heel for flat sandal for all-day comfort. I love this fun summer look because it can easily transition from day to night.
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In with the Old
A traditional scoop neck is a common choice when shopping for classic swimsuits. As my swim collection grows, I'm finding new takes on old styles I once thought to have outgrown by finding creative ways to extend their life in my wardrobe. I choose this deep tangerine orange bikini top hiding in the back of my closet as a substitute to a traditional bralette layered underneath a lightweight summer blazer.
Bought several years ago, I revived this basic swim piece by putting it to work in a much more fashionable way. Adding a complimentary multi-colored scarf blended with the perfect cool hues for summer, I created a tied skirt for another resort chic outfit along with my favorite summer accessories to match.
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To get your fashion fix and to stay up to date with the latest trends, check out the xoNecole Style section here.
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This post is in partnership with SheaMoisture.
When it comes to healthy hair care, there are a few things that will help you achieve healthy strands: a healthy hair care regime, hydration, consistent treatments, and scalp care. While scalp care is one of the most neglected practices, it is also one of the most important. Why? Because it helps promote healthy hair growth, clear hair follicles, and remove build-up.
When it comes to creating a healthy scalp routine, it helps to know exactly what you’re up against so you know how to specifically treat it. Two of the most common concerns are dandruff and dry scalp. It can be tough to decipher which is which, but here’s a quick breakdown: dry scalp is caused by a lack of moisture in the skin, while dandruff is caused by an excess of oil and yeast buildup on the scalp. Knowing that both of these are big concerns, SheaMoisture released two separate product lines to address both issues: the Scalp Moisture collection and the Anti-Dandruff collection.
Needless to say, if you tend to experience dandruff then I’d recommend you try the Anti-Dandruff collection. However, my biggest concern has always been dry scalp. A lack of moisture on the scalp can be caused by several factors like weather, age, and hair products to name a few. I’ve noticed that when I use certain gels or skip out on a deep scalp cleanse, my roots feel itchy and dry nonstop, which is uncomfortable.
The only way to relieve the discomfort is to properly wash and moisturize my roots, so I tried the Scalp Moisture collection and this is what I thought.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
First, What’s In The Collection?
The Scalp Moisture collection is a four-product line that includes a pre-wash masque, a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, and a moisturizing scalp cream. Each product uses moisturizing and strengthening ingredients like aloe butter and vitamin B3 as active ingredients to provide eight times the moisture. Together, aloe butter and vitamin B3 work to restore dry and brittle hair, as well as add relief to the scalp.
Now, let’s break down each product…
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Pre-Wash Masque
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Pre-Wash Masque may actually be the all-star of the collection. Using this deep conditioning masque is one of the best ways to target your dry scalp, restore hydration, and nourish your strands before shampooing.
I started by completely saturating my hair and scalp with water, then making small sections to apply the masque directly to the root. For my girls who have experience with relaxers and perms, it helps to apply the masque to your roots just like you would do with a relaxer. This way you can make sure you’ve covered as much of your scalp as possible while minimizing any breakage.
Pro tip: you can also use a color application brush to make this step easier.
After I completely covered my scalp, I massaged the product into my roots, used any excess on my strands, then left the masque in for 30 minutes. I was shocked by how moisturizing and clarifying my scalp and hair felt. One of the things that I love about the masque is the slip and how much softer it made my hair. While this is marketed as a scalp care product, it can completely transform your hair from dry and parched to completely hydrated.
In my opinion, the downside of this masque is that the quantity is too small for my liking. Truth be told, naturals go through deep conditioners faster than any other product (especially when it’s this good.) So SheaMoisture, if you’re reading this, we’d love a bigger jar.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Shampoo
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Shampoo is a gentle cleanser packed with the same moisture as the masque. The pearl-colored shampoo is lightweight with a serum-like consistency and a light and clean scent. The smell is pleasant, subtle, and not overbearing. When I applied the shampoo, I noticed immediately that it foams and lathers up very quickly, so less is more.
After applying the shampoo, I parted my hair and started at the roots to target as much of my scalp as possible. I recommend really taking the time to work the product and massage your scalp as much as possible.
Pro tip: using a scalp massager makes it easier and it feels amazing.
Once you start to massage your hair you’ll feel the product start to work. There’s a tingling sensation that might catch you off guard if you’re not used to it, but it’s not nearly as strong as other scalp products I’ve tried. I know some may not appreciate the sensation, but I loved it! My scalp felt clean, light, and breathable.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Conditioner
Like the shampoo, the SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Conditioner shares that pearly color and serum-like feel. It applies very easily while softening and moisturizing your hair. When I applied it to my hand, it gave my hands a lotion-like feel, which speaks volumes about its hydration capabilities. I also loved that the conditioner comes with a pump, instead of having to squeeze the product out – to me, it makes application easier.
I typically apply my conditioner to the ends first but because this is a scalp care product I started at the root and worked my way down to my ends. I did leave the conditioner in for ten minutes, although the bottle recommends leaving it in for three. The conditioner also provides that same breathable feel to your scalp. I honestly loved the relief.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Cream
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Cream is more of a daily relief product for your roots rather than your overall hair. It’s great for providing moisture and immediate relief to a dry and itchy scalp. Just like most of the collection, it gives a light and breathable feel – without the tingle. The applicator bottle targets specific parts of your scalp and makes applying easier.
Pro tip: I typically just squeeze the bottle to wherever I need the relief and use the tip to massage it into my scalp so it doesn’t mess up the hairstyle.
Overall, SheaMoisture’s scalp care line lives up to its claims – it moisturizes, strengthens, and provides immediate scalp relief. I definitely recommend trying the Scalp Moisture collection for an affordable way to treat itchy and dry scalp.
Featured image by Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
A couple of years ago, I penned an article for the platform entitled “6 Fascinating Ways Sex And Sleep Definitely Go Hand In Hand.” When you get a chance, please check it out. The gist is that if there’s one thing that sex and sleep have in common, it’s the fact that they can both do wonders for our holistic health and well-being. Problem is, sometimes getting a good night’s rest or pregaming in order to have some amazing sex can be a bit of a challenge.
If you can relate, no worries, I got you. What we’re gonna tackle here are 12 things that you can do that are almost guaranteed to make it easier to fall — and stay — asleep…and, if you’ve got someone sexy in the bed with you, these tips will make some prior-to-sleep sex, middle-of-the-night sex, morning sex (or all three) totally off the charts too.
1. An Intimacy Ritual
Dr. Joyce Brothers once said, "Real intimacy is only possible to the degree that we can be honest about what we are doing and feeling." With that being said, I once read an article that said intimacy should be broken down into four different categories: emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual. Basically, if you don't feel a sense of closeness, friendship, and acceptance in those areas, something is awry.
I couldn't agree more. Since, to me, all of these things speak to feeling safe, that's why I think it's essential to cultivate intimacy rituals, especially in the evening as you're winding down for the night. It doesn't matter if you're with someone or not because if there's one person who you should feel safe with, most of all, it is yourself. Do some journaling. Meditate. Verbally acknowledge some things that you accomplished throughout the day that you are proud of. Soak in the tub while listening to some of your favorite music. Forgive yourself for a mistake that you made. Do something that makes you feel safe — or safer — within.
And if you do have a boo who shares your bed with you — get in the tub together, give each other a massage, communicate what you adore about each other, share a toast…all of these are things that can make you feel calmer and more relaxed. And when you're holistically in that frame of mind, it's easier to fall asleep. Plus, it puts you in the mood to want to have sex — or even better sex.
2. Some Saffron Essential Oil
There are plenty of studies to support the fact that smell has an effect on, not just how quickly you are able to fall asleep but the quality of sleep that you will have too. Research also backs up the fact that odor sensitivity can impact how good — or not so good — your sexual experiences are too. So yeah, there’s no way that I could do an article like this without giving the sense of smell some thought — and one that can benefit how you sleep and improve your sex life is rose.
The reason why I recommend rose petals is that, from an Ayurvedic medicine standpoint, there are several different ways that you can use them to your advantage. The scent is soothing and relaxing. When you put some into your bathwater (especially if it’s along with some coconut, almond, or oat milk), rose petals are an awesome skin moisturizer. If you boil them, they are powerful when you steam your face (and hair). You can also let your rose petals dry and turn them into potpourri to put on your nightstand.
However you choose to incorporate rose petals, they will provide a dose of aromatherapy that will complement your sleep and/or sex plans. That’s for damn sure.
3. Blue or Green Lighting
If you’re about to move into a new spot or you’re thinking about doing a bit of renovating in the place that you already have, consider painting your bedroom a shade of blue or green. Studies indicate that blue helps to create a sense of calm while, since green represents nature, it can help to soothe your senses.
The same thing can go for installing a blue or green light bulb into one of your lamps or getting a night light in either hue. Even if you don’t keep it on all night, these are two colors that can relax you and make it easier to get into a sleep and/or sex routine. (By the way, a literal blue light is awesome if you struggle with soundly sleeping. You can read more about how and why here.)
4. Turning Down Your Thermostat
Have you ever wondered why you might go to bed feeling comfortable or even chilly only to wake up in the middle of the night in a hot sweat? While it could mean that you are perimenopausal (which means an onset of hot flashes is going on), don’t automatically jump to that conclusion (without speaking with your doctor first).
There’s a huge possibility that things like exercising an hour before bed, engaging in a super intense sex session (no joke), and not getting a proper amount of ventilation (open up those windows) can cause your hormones to move all over the place too.
So, if you hate sleeping hot as much as I do, be intentional about setting your thermostat to somewhere between 60-68 degrees (I tend to hover somewhere around 66-67). It will help your temperature to stay regulated, keep your electricity bill down and make random middle-of-the-night coitus more comfortable since there’s a good chance that you both won’t be sweaty and sticky (especially if you sleep naked…you do sleep naked, right?).
5. Having Breakfast for Dinner
Question: When’s the last time you had some pancakes for dinner? Aside from the fact that having breakfast foods around that time of the day is cheaper, quicker, and tends to be less calories than a traditional dinner-themed meal, it can also help with your sleep patterns and your sex life.
For one thing, foods like pancakes and bagels contain carbs that can reduce your energy levels (yes, make you sleepy), breakfast meals have fat and protein in them that can slow your digestive system down (also make you sleepy), and oatmeal has melatonin in it — and that can definitely help you to catch some zzz’s.
As far as your libido goes, the magnesium in spinach (spinach omelet, anyone?), the amino acids in watermelon (how about a homemade watermelon smoothie?), the vitamin C in strawberries, the potassium in bananas, the antioxidants in pomegranate juice — all of these nutrients work together to give you one hell of a sex round — or two.
6. Walking Together After Dinner
Next question: When’s the last time that you and your boo thang took a leisurely stroll around your neighborhood after dinner? On the health tip, it’s a brilliant move because, not only does it help you to digest your food better (as you get some fresh air that your body probably needs), even after only two minutes of strolling, you help to lower your risk of diabetes as well.
Since a lot of us toss and turn all night because our system is still “processing” our meals, you can probably see how walking can improve your quality of rest. Also, since walking has been proven to improve moods and blood circulationand since it’s also an awesome way to get some (probably) much-needed intimacy time in with your partner — yes, carve out 15 minutes (or so) to hold hands and circle a block or two with them. TONIGHT.
7. A Calf Massage and/or a Belly Rub
Nothing is more relaxing than a massage. Well, did you know that when it comes to promoting sleep and increasing your libido on the way heading there, there are certain pressure points that are more effective than others? While a calf massage is soothing, it also stimulates blood flow to your nether regions. And if you and your partner rub on each other’s bellies, it can serve as an all-natural energy boost that will arouse you at the same time. The more you know, chile. The more you freakin’ know.
8. Drinking Tart Cherry Juice
You’ve probably heard that if you’re having a difficult time falling asleep, a glass of warm milk will do the trick (especially if you add honey). Well, if milk (or even milk alternatives because they work well, too) aren’t exactly your thing, next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up some 100 percent pure (none of that sugared-up cocktail mess) tart cherry juice.
In the article, “8 Foods That Will Keep You Cool, Calm & Totally Relaxed,” I mentioned that cherry juice is effective in all three of those ways (in part, due to the tryptophan that’s in it). And here’s the deal — the more relaxed you are, the easier it is to fall asleepand experience orgasms. And since the antioxidants that are in it also do things like promote brain health and strengthen your immune system — yeah, you definitely should at least try to give some tart cherry juice a shot.
9. Doing Orgasmic Meditation Together
Remember how I said at the top of this piece that it's a good idea for people to create some sort of intimacy ritual — whether they share a bed with someone or not? Well, if you happen to be in a coupledom, it certainly can never hurt to engage in some orgasmic meditation. It's basically a meditative practice that consists of deep breathing, mindfulness, and the gentle stroking of your partner (and vice versa). The couples who I've recommended it to are actually huge fans because it helps them to relax and feel closer to their partner. Yeah, it can definitely prepare you for a night of cuddling, climaxing, or (hopefully) both. Anyway, you can read more about it by checking out "What Exactly Is 'Orgasmic Meditation'?".
10. Counting Your Blessings
If you've ever wondered where the practice of counting sheep actually came from, one theory is it's what shepherds in medieval Britain did back in the day. Basically, the belief was that if they counted sheep at night, they could make sure that they all were present and accounted for as they drifted off for the evening. Now, as far as whether it actually works? Some health professionals say that it's not so much the sheep but the repetitive mind play that makes it potentially effective.
My take? Whether the motive is to fall asleep or get it on, swap out the sheep for your blessings — either what you are grateful for or what you appreciate about your partner. Listen, there is plenty of intel out in cyberspace to support the fact that being grateful makes you happier, reduces stress, and improves the quality of your relationships with other people. So, whether you're counting alone or with someone, it's gonna make for a better night.
11. NO ELECTRONICS
There's a married couple I know who pretty much have a non-existent sex life. SMDH. Whenever we discuss it, one of the things that they both say is they have basically fallen into a rut of getting into bed every night and binge-watching a show and/or playing on their phones until they drift to sleep. While clearly, the electronics in their bedroom is not the only issue that you've got going on, it certainly doesn't help — and I mean this when it comes to the quality of their sex life or the quality of sleep that they both need.
There is plenty of data out in these cyberspace streets that say screen time around bedtime affects (which is more like infects) melatonin production, your brain calming down, and your body transitioning over into full-on REM sleep. And as far as your sex life goes — I mean, if you're distracted with other things, how can you give sex (or sexual activity) your all?
I say it often because it continues to be true: interior designers have stated for years that the bedroom is for sex and sleep ONLY. Hey, you can be like the couple that I just mentioned and ignore that fact, yet if it's ultimately costing you quality rest and intimacy…is it worth it? Is it really?
As a doula, I am well aware of the fact that skin-to-skin contact between a baby and their parents can do wonders for their overall health and well-being. And you know what? It doesn't change much as we age, either. Cuddling with your partner can reduce stress levels, block pain signals, and boost your oxytocin levels. When that happens, it can 1) make sleeping soundly easier to do and 2) draw you closer to your partner, not just physically but on a mental and emotional level as well.
This is especially the case if you're not only spooning but spooning naked. The position helps to make you and your partner feel safe and comforted, which is always ideal for resting. Plus, rubbing up against each other with no clothes on? Chile, how could that not get some things going at some point during the night? And since it is indeed a sexual position that is a fan favorite (especially when it comes to easy access and easily receiving penetration and clitoral stimulation simultaneously) — there really was no better way to bring this article to a close. Now was there? Good sex and sweet dreams everyone. #wink
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