Spooky season is upon us, my good sisters, but it's safe to say that 2020 has already been scary enough. With the COVID-19 pandemic, an impending election, and ongoing social unrest, this year is giving me horror movie vibes and it is upsetting me and my homegirls.
Although we are battling our own share of monsters in our everyday lives, Halloween falls on a Saturday this year and it's only right that you give yourself a night off to be whoever you want to be.
Whether it be an ode to your favorite TV character, a fairy princess, or a naughty nurse, you still have plenty of time to get your Halloween lewk all the way together and xoNecole has compiled a list of makeup artists that will have you inspired AF.
For all of the makeup artists who have slayed Halloween 2020 so far, scroll below:
Featured image by Instagram/@leilanikeaa.
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.
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
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After reading once that a whopping 80 percent of women are dissatisfied with their appearance, I knew that an article like this had to be written. Because if there’s one thing that I’ve seen women (especially on social media) seem to almost obsess over — it’s their ass. It’s not big enough, not firm enough, not like-someone-else’s enough. Goodness.
As far as my relationship with my own booty, although I’ve had moments when I wish that it was a lil’ plumper, once I made peace with its natural shape (yes, booties come in different shapes, y’all) and I became more intentional about giving it some TLC — chile, I’m happy and at peace with what God gave me. Now it’s my mission to get others to feel the same way…starting with asking each and every one of you if you actually have an official butt care regimen. And if not, why not?
If the reason is that you’ve never considered creating one before and/or you don’t know what that kind of self-care routine would even look like, here are 15 things that can help you to totally fall in love with that butt of yours.
1. Know Your Shape
I’m just speaking for myself when I say that it really is kind of sad, the amount of stress, potential health risks, and expenses some people will go through to alter their body without taking the time to consider that there really is no perfect body or even body type. At the end of the day, it’s all subjective — including when it comes to our butts.
Although it’s not discussed nearly enough, believe it or not, booties come in four different types: square-shaped, heart-shaped, inverted/V-shaped, and round-shaped. So, if you’ve been damn near killing yourself to create a bubble butt, thinking that something is wrong with you for not having one, understanding that there are different kinds of butts, to begin with, is the first thing that you should probably marinate on.
2. Then Know Which Panties Best Complement It
Once you’ve (hopefully) made peace with learning about your specific butt shape, the next thing you should do is take your created-that-way-and-that’s-totally okay derriere panty shopping to find ones that complement your particular shape best. From what I’ve read and researched, “squares” look best in boy shorts and bikini cuts, “hearts” need high-waisted bikinis, “inverted” also needs boy shorts and round butts look great in thongs.
3. Do Regular Dry Brushing
Every part of our body could stand to be exfoliated; that’s because every part sheds tons of dead skin cells on a daily basis. When it comes to your butt, dry brushing is a great way to go. Although you might’ve heard that it can get rid of cellulite, there is actually quite a bit of debate around that. What is certain is it’s a practice that will remove dead skin cells, increase blood circulation, and also slightly “plump up” the areas where cellulite resides, which can make the cellulite appear less visible and make your butt appear a teeny-weeny bit fuller too.
4. Use a Benzoyl Peroxide Wash
Typically, what causes pimples on the butt is inflamed hair follicles that can come from dead skin cells, sebum, or even yeast or some sort of fungus. If this is something that you struggle with, you might want to try washing that part of your body with a body wash that has benzoyl peroxide as a top ingredient in it. It’s effective when it comes to breakouts because it kills acne bacteria that lingers beneath your skin’s surface while clearing out dead skin cells, too. Stylecraze has a list of body washes with benzoyl peroxide in them that you may want to check out here. Just make sure to keep the body wash away from your vagina/vulva; that ingredient is too harsh for that particular area.
5. Try Some Centella Asiatica
If you’ve never heard of Centella Asiatica before, don’t feel bad — a lot of people haven’t. Yeah, don’t get me started on how Westernized medicine continues to get the side-eye from me because it seems to want to make money more than fully educate people on their health and well-being options (le sigh). Anyway, Centella Asiatica is a plant that is big in Africa, Asia, and Ayurvedic as well as traditional Chinese medicine due to its ability to reduce inflammation, treat symptoms that are associated with eczema and psoriasis and profoundly moisturize skin. Since it contains properties that reduce oxidative stress, it’s also great for slowing down the signs of aging in your skin as well — and since butt skin ages just like the rest of your body does…it couldn’t hurt to add it to your health regimen.
If you’re wondering how best to consume it, for the record, it also goes by the names Gotu Kola and Tiger Grass. Look for these in tea form and drink it a couple of times a week for the best results (so long as you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding and you don’t have liver issues).
6. Get Some Coffee into It
Although I’m not much of a coffee drinker, I do use coffee grinds on my skin from time to time. The properties in it are pretty effective when it comes to softening the appearance of cellulite, reducing inflammation, preventing breakouts, and giving skin a huge boost of antioxidants. I guess that’s why, when it comes to a moisturizer brand that is super popular and keeps butts super soft, Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream reigns supreme — because, for one thing, it contains caffeine. Now, I’ll be honest: it ain’t cheap, so if you want to try a more affordable DIY route, there’s a recipe for coffee-toning body butter here and coffee-based anti-cellulite lotion here.
7. And/Or Exfoliate with Low-Grade Glycolic Acid
Although glycolic acid has been around for a while now, it’s getting quite a bit of attention these days as more and more folks are experimenting with at-home chemical peels. If you didn’t know, this is a type of acid that comes from sugar cane and falls into the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) category. It’s great for skincare because it is an awesome exfoliant, it heals some of the damage that UV rays tend to cause, unclogs pores, stimulates the production of collagen, and helps to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. My personal two favorite things about this particular acid are it helps to even my skin tone out at almost record speed, and it leaves my skin feeling really smooth, too.
So, if you’re looking for something that will “repair” your butt from the summer heat swimsuit weather while also making it extra pretty to look at and feel on, applying a low-grade glycolic acid once a month (or so) wouldn’t hurt things one bit.
8. Firm Up Sagging Skin with Tamanu Oil
Remember how I said earlier that your butt’s skin ages like everywhere else? If you’re starting to notice some signs of that and you want to naturally firm things up a bit, try some tamanu oil. In the article, “We Lose Collagen As We Age. 10 Ways To Naturally Boost It.,” a big part of the reason why I gave it the shout-out that I did is because this type of oil has a solid reputation for helping your body produce collagen. And since collagen helps to bring elasticity to the skin, it’s definitely something that can be relied upon to firm some of the subtle signs of sagging right on up.
9. Take Some Vitamin D
It’s no secret (to many of us) that when it comes to those who run the highest risk of having a vitamin D deficiency, it’s our (Black) people. That’s because the natural melanin that’s in our skin has a more challenging time synthesizing this nutrient from the sun. Since Vitamin D is a nutrient that strengthens our bones, reduces the risk of cancer, decreases inflammation, fights off free radicals, and helps to prevent/heal scarring alopecia, we’ve got to be proactive about getting more of it into our system. And that’s why it’s important to consume things like fortified orange juice, egg yolks, salmon, portabella mushrooms, and yogurt.
And why should your butt care about vitamin D? Since it also helps your body to better absorb calcium, which is essential for muscle contractions during workouts, and since those contractions are what help your butt to “grow” — if you are an exercise enthusiast, there’s no way around the fact that vitamin D is an absolute must-have and must take.
10. Consume (More) Protein
Your butt is comprised of glute muscles, and muscles need protein in order to grow. That’s why it’s also a good idea to have a diet that consists of protein. Off top, meat is a great source. However, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, there are other foods that can get you what you need in this department. You can find a few of them in our article, “Vegetarian Or Vegan? Check Out These High Protein Foods.” Oh, and if you’re someone who would prefer to intake protein as you exercise, many experts say that protein shakes work in your favor after working out, and protein bars are fine, so long as you don’t constantly rely on them as a daily meal replacement — oh, and that you keep in mind that many of them are somewhere between 200-350 calories per serving (read those labels, y’all).
11. Remember Your Squats and (Hip) Thrusts
You already know that there is no way that we can discuss “butt care” without bringing up exercise. And although you are probably already well aware that squats are a great way to build up your glutes, there is something that must be taken into consideration before going completely ham on them. For starters, squats do a lot of things — they strengthen your core and bones, give the lower part of your body more power, increase mobility, burn calories, and, yes, they help to tone your muscles, including the ones in your butt.
However, if you’re looking for them to make your butt look huge, you’ve got to keep the type of butt that you have in mind and what kind of shape your body is in overall. Because what squats are gonna do, more than anything, is burn calories first and get your butt toned next. All this is to say that a “bubble butt” is not a guarantee for all. As far as hip thrusts go, they’re awesome because they are able to increase bone density, improve your balance, and strengthen the muscles that are in your hips, thighs, and glutes. For tips on how to do squats correctly, go here. For hip thrust tips, go here.
12. Work on an Exercise Ball (at Least Sometimes)
Now ain’t this some ish? As if it wasn’t enough to know that “sitting is the new smoking,” once upon a time, Insider published an article with this headline: “Turns out that sitting at a desk all day can actually ruin your butt.”
Long story short, not only does sitting down nonstop, for hours on end, end up literally changing the shape of your butt, but it can also lead to back pain and muscle atrophy. So, what do they recommend that you do? Maintain good posture while you’re in your chair, and try squeezing your glutes for a few minutes every couple of hours.
That way, you won’t be “flattening” it as much.
13. Invest in a LED Light
With more and more research coming out about the holistic benefits of LED light therapy, I thought it would be important to give it a shout-out here. If you didn’t know, the combination of red and blue lights can help to treat everything from eczema and wrinkles to hair loss and mild bouts of acne. That said, you might want to consider massaging your buttocks with an LED light device (like this one here) a couple of times a week because, although red LED will not remove cellulite, because it stimulates collagen production, it can help to soften the appearance of it over time. Another thing that could improve the appearance of your backside.
14. Sleep Naked with a Humidifier
Back in 2019, Cosmo published an article entitled “How Following This Intense Sleep Routine Helped One Woman Build Her Butt.” Although it honestly didn’t get into how/why exercise influencer Johanna Devries felt that getting 10 hours of sleep every night (along with exercising) played a direct role in her booty gains, it caused me to look deeper into the correlation between sleep and having a nice-looking butt. From what I’ve read, sleep deprivation can result in the loss of muscle mass, and it can also make your muscles weaker over time. Meanwhile, good sleep has the ability to improve the quality of your workouts — so there goes three more reasons to treat it as a necessity, not a luxury.
And since sleeping with a humidifier can reduce snoring, soften your skin and improve your quality of rest, help your butt out by catching some zzz’s, naked, with your humidifier on. Hell, why not?
15. Love Your Butt. No Matter What.
It was former President Theodore Roosevelt who once said that “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and if a lot of us were honest with ourselves, the (main) reason why we struggle with body image is because we’re looking at what other people have. Listen, a part of the reason why I’ve written articles for the platform like “These 10 Hacks Will Help You Love Your Body More” is because I’m a firm believer that there is nothing that can top an original — and since all of us are one of those…you know what that means…right? Who can top you?
Moral to the story: When it comes to cultivating a butt care regimen, it’s not about getting a booty that looks like someone else’s. Uh-uh. It’s all about taking good care of the ORIGINAL ONE that you have and then loving on it well. Sis, when it comes to the butt that the Creator gave you…please make sure that you do, starting with these tips and building from there!
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Featured image by ascg Photography/Getty Images