These Are The Best Beauty & Fashion Deals To Shop For Cyber Monday 2019 So Far
Thanks to the internet, no longer do we have to wait in hour-long lines and risk being trampled by a gang of anxious soccer moms in Walmart (if you don't fear these things, then it's you; you're the anxious soccer mom).
As shoppers in the digital age, we can use our smartphones to drain our bank accounts and fill our shopping carts to our heart's desire and overspending is the Grinch that keeps us all broke for the holidays. But this year, you have a chance to be smarter with your holiday spending budget by checking out this list of Cyber Monday deals that will get your gift-giving game all the way together.
Scroll below for all the beauty and fashion deals for Cyber Monday that you should take advantage of before it's too late:
Use code: green25 at checkout.
Fashion & Accessories
Use code CYBER10 for an extra 10% off.
Use code: BIG30 at checkout.
Fit My Sole
Use code: CYBER at checkout.
Plus, buy two get 25% off new collection. Use code: CYBER at checkout.
Beauty & Skincare
Use code: CYBER2019 at checkout.
Use code: CYBER at checkout.
Plus free shipping.
Featured image by Shutterstock.
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Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
The female body is a truly magnificent and very layered thing. Take your vagina, for example. Think about how often you’ve heard or read something about it when it really wasn’t about the vagina at all — not technically. There are so many times when folks (myself included) will loop everything about the female genitalia together, probably because it’s easier to do. Still, I know for me personally that whenever I really devote some time to studying different parts by name, I stand amazed by how intricately designed we all are.
In honor of that, today, let’s give our vulvas — you know, the outer part of our vagina — some real love and time in the spotlight. Because although some of the things that I’m about to share, you may already know, something tells me that there are certain facts that, until now, you probably never knew about. Let’s see if I’m right.
(Oh, and if you’re wondering about the featured image, pomegranate is a symbol for the vagina; I’ve always liked that, so I thought it was super fitting.)
1. You’re Probably Referring to Your Vulva Most of the TimeGiphy
Again, isn’t it interesting how much we will talk about vaginas when, if you listen really closely, it’s clear that what we mean is vulvas? The reason why I say that is because while the vagina is a muscular tube that connects the neck of the uterus (which is the cervix) to the vaginal opening (mostly so that intercourse can transpire, babies can be born, and menstrual blood can be released), the vulva is the external part of the vagina — and there is more to it than most folks actually realize.
Per the National Library of Medicine:
“The definition of ‘vulva’ is covering or wrapping. From the exterior observation of the female external genitalia, it does appear to be covered or wrapped by skin folds. These skin folds are called the labia majora and labia minora. Both labia majora and labia minora are part of the vulva. The components of the entire vulva are the mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, urethra, vulva vestibule, vestibular bulbs, Bartholin's glands, Skene's glands, and vaginal opening.”
I know, right? Yeah, the vulva is more than just some skin that covers the vagina up. We need our vulvas on multiple levels and for multiple reasons. The clitoris (that I will get more into in a bit) is a part of the vulva. The hole that we urinate out of (yes, we have three, not two, holes), which is the urethra, is a part of our vulva. The Bartholin's glands and Skene's glands (which help us to naturally lubricate) — all of this stuff is a part of the vulva.
So yeah, in a world of Google articles where people act like the vagina and vulva are one and the same, I think that it’s highly important that we’re at least clear on the purpose that vulvas serve…because it’s all quite relevant and necessary. Every single part of it.
2. Vulvas Are Like SnowflakesGiphy
I used to tour with an organization that dealt with porn and sex addiction. That said, it’s my total belief that the reason why cosmetic labiaplasty is continuing to soar is because a lot of people watch porn and think that their vulva is supposed to look a certain way. Hear me when I say this: YOUR VULVA IS SUPPOSED TO LOOK THE WAY IT DOES. The reality is that, just like no two snowflakes are identical, no two vulvas are either. Even if yours happens to “stick out” a bit, there’s nothing wrong with that. It dangles? That’s fine, too. We really need to get back to remembering that unique is what’s beautiful — and rare.
So, is it ever a super wise move to get labiaplasty? If your extra folds of skin are proving to be painful, speak with your doctor. From what I’ve read and researched, though, doing it, just to make your vulva look different is something that many physicians discourage. After all, all surgery comes with a certain amount of risk, no matter what kind it may be.
3. Your Two Labia Serve Specific PurposesGiphy
You might remember from one of your science classes that you have two different “lips” down below: your labia minora and your labia majora. Okay, but do you know the purpose that they serve? Your labia minora is actually the smaller, shorter, and thinner lips that divide at the clitoris. A fun fact about them is they don’t contain any hair follicles, and they’re actually more visible in children and women who’ve already completed menopause. Anyway, its main purpose is to protect your vaginal opening from dryness and vaginal irritants.
Your labia majora is what tends to get far more attention; it’s the external lips that cover up the labia minora. It’s filled with sebaceous glands (which produce lubrication), erectile tissue, and nerve endings. Definitely, your labia majora works overtime to make sexual pleasure possible, so clap for it a couple of times; it deserves it.
4. Labia Tends to Be AsymmetricalGiphy
So, what if your main issue is it seems that your lips are asymmetrical (uneven)? Is that something that you should stress out about? Nope. While sometimes this is the result of labial hypertrophy (a term for when your labia can be enlarged), it’s also important to remember that each side of your body is more like sisters than twins. That’s why one side of your hair may grow faster than the other, one of your eyebrows probably looks just like you want it whenever you wax or thread it, and the other doesn’t, and one of your breasts or feet (even hands) may be slightly larger than the other. Nothing is “wrong.” It’s just a part of how you were made. All good.
5. The Hymen Is a Part of the Vulva TooGiphy
A topic that continues to be pretty controversial, even in this day and age, is the hymen. Depending on who you speak to, it can hold a lot of spiritual weight and moral perspective. After I explain what it is, I’m pretty sure you’ll get why. The hymen is a thin membrane that covers the entrance of the vagina. It can be broken or torn by having sex for the first time OR from things like tampon use, pap smears, or even vigorous exercise.
Although a “missing” hymen does not indicate a “loss of virginity,” in some cultures, that is exactly how it is seen. For instance, a Congolese marriage tradition is to put sheets out for people to see the day after a couple’s wedding. If no blood is on them, they assume that the woman wasn’t a virgin and her husband could rescind his marriage offer (that’s not as “crazy” as you might think; in the Bible, when Joseph was considering ending his engagement to Mary, it was to protect her reputation since she was pregnant with Christ…and the Bible is an eastern cultured book — Matthew 1:18-25). In other parts of the world, it’s called “virginity testing.”
So, what is the purpose of the hymen? Again, it depends on who you ask. However, according to medical professionals, it holds no purpose. Personally, I find that hard to believe since everything else in our body does. Anyway, that’s just one more thing about the vulva that gets overlooked, so I thought that I should bring it up.
6. Your Labia Will Shrink As You AgeGiphy
Usually, it’s right around menopause when many women notice something about their labia — it seems like it is literally shrinking…and they would be correct. As our bodies begin to produce less estrogen (because we’re producing less eggs and, eventually, no eggs), we can go through what is known as vaginal atrophy or atrophic vaginitis; it can result in thinner, dryer, and even inflamed vaginal walls.
Not only that, but your vagina can become shorter and tighter, and your labia can literally start to shrink, too. Hormone replacement therapy and estrogen creams can help (an all-natural approach to look into is wild yam). Also, many health professionals recommend staying sexually active — kind of the menopausal take to “if you use it, you won’t lose it.”
7. Your Clitoris Only Serves ONE PurposeGiphy
Wanna know that your Creator definitely wanted you to experience sexual pleasure as a woman? It’s because you’ve got an organ that serves no other real and substantial scientific purpose other than to help you enjoy sex to its fullest — and that would be your clitoris. It’s attached to your labia. It is a glans that contains several thousands of nerve endings and then is covered up with a hood (one might say that it’s “female foreskin”). The inside of your clitoris consists of four main parts — most of which can get erect similar to how a penis can. When you’re aroused, blood rushes to your clitoris…also similar to what happens when a penis is aroused.
In fact, back when you were in the beginning stages of your development, you had something called an ambisexual genital tubercle. It is in there where either a penis or clitoris develops, and as you can see, in many ways, when it comes to sex, the two of them have a lot in common. Another example? Clitorises actually rely on testosterone (yes, women have testosterone in their bodies, too) to become erect.
8. Some Clitorises Are Larger than PenisesGiphy
Another way that penises and clitorises are alike is in the fact that, what you see isn’t all there is to either one of ‘em. For men, half of their penis is visible to the public (so, since the average size of an erect penis is 5.5”, it’s actually way larger than that in its totality). For women? Well, I’ll just let you look at a 3D print of a clitoris for yourself (here), and you’ll be able to get that some of them are easily larger than some penises are when you take every part of a clitoris into full account.
Actually, this is a great time to put on record that the inside of a vagina is anywhere from 2-5” (sometimes more when it’s sexually stimulated); however, remember that full babies come out of there. If you add to that the fact that some clitorises can rival penises — listen, you can handle just about any penis that you decide to take on. I promise you that.
9. Grooming Your Pubic Hair Could Give You a Self-Esteem BoostGiphy
While I was reading a Healthline article on pubic hair (here), it brought up a point that I had exactly considered before: grooming your pubic hair could ramp up your self-esteem. As I pondered that perspective, while I can’t relate to when it said that completely moving everything can make that happen, I have thought about how much I look forward to my wax appointments and how much more comfortable I feel after things are “cleaned up” down there.
Personally, I think that any time we prioritize self-maintenance and care, it can boost our confidence levels — including our sexual self-confidence (check out “10 Sensuous Ways To Boost Your Sexual Self-Esteem”). Just something to think about if pubic hair grooming isn’t something that you do. You might want to start. See how it makes you feel.
10. Pubic Hair Tends to Make Sex Better (Dead Serious)Giphy
I’ve got a girlfriend whose husband has been close to begging her to grow her pubic hair out for years now. I think I will send her this article once it’s published because, aside from the fact that pubic hair serves a practical purpose (protects your vagina from experiencing uncomfortable friction, keeps your vulva and vagina warm, and reduces your chances of experiencing STIs/STDs), it serves a sexual one — I mean, a sexual pleasure-based one.
As wild as it might sound, when your pubic region gets sexually stimulated, the follicles of your pubic hair actually “activate” your nervous system in a way that can intensify your arousal and, ultimately, your orgasms, too. If that ain’t a reason to let your Brazilian wax appointments go, I don’t know what is, chile.
BONUS: Don’t Wax While You’re PMS’ingGiphy
This last one, I just thought it was interesting. If you’re like me and you like to wax or sugar parts of your pubic hair, go easy on your vulva during the time when you’re PMS’ing (the week before your period). Your body goes through a lot of changes during that time of the month, which puts it into an inflammatory state, which can make anything that’s even remotely painful feel that much more so. Getting your pubic hair together the week prior is a much wiser move.
Who knew that the vulva had all of this going on, right? And although I’m pretty sure that even when you read my own future articles on the vagina, there will be times when I will include the vulva in with the word (because, again, it’s easier) — believe you me, I get that vulvas deserve to be celebrated. They do so much more for us than we realize.
So, whether it’s by applying a carrier oil to massage or soothe your vaginal lips (labia), making the time to do some vaginal mapping, or you simply want to take out a moment to tell your vagina “thank you” (check out “Here's How To Show Your Vagina Some Gratitude In This Season”) — don’t forget to pamper your vulva sometimes.
“She’s” earned it and you both deserve it.
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Featured image by Iulia Isaieva/Getty Images