If you’re looking back on 2021 like, “Where did the days go?" trust us when we say we are, too. As the holidays approach, it’s natural to become reflective and muse over the peaks and valleys, accomplishments, and tough lessons that the year threw your way—and for many of us, we didn’t do it alone. From the homegirls who helped us through breakups, to the long-distance sisterhoods held together by hours-long FaceTime calls. For the friends who always know what to say when you can’t seem to gather the words, and the ones who see you when you can’t see the greatness in yourself. What better way to say, “you deserve,” than with a thoughtful gift made for and by Black women.
We’re here to drop all the gift-giving gems for every type of woman in your life. And if you find yourself frequently asking, "Is it really Black-owned though?" The answer is: Absolutely. From skincare to the latest style staples, we’ve got you and your homegirls covered this holiday season.
From Oprah’s Favorite Things List to your hands, legs, and shoulders. This hydrating formula is enriched with nourishing plant botanicals with a thick and creamy texture that’s sure to make you a certified Shea Butter Baby.
"It’s time for heavy bleeding, bloating, mood swings, and headaches from your period to stop cramping your style. Thankfully, a new all-in-one supplement just hit the wellness space to help ease your flow and disrupt your PMS symptoms, ASAP. Packed with plant-based ingredients and mood-boosting vitamins like D3, B6, Iron, and B12, your pain-free period is just a bottle/capsule away."
This is your reminder to not leave your undereye area out of your skincare routine because it needs love, too. Add these selfie-ready, all-natural eye masks into your routine for some much-needed TLC and effortless glow.
In need of some new arm candy? We just might have found your new favorite set.
If you haven’t heard about the lip gloss, gather ‘round, because once you’ve got this in your purse, you’ll never want to live without it again. The oil-to-gloss formula provides the perfect shine and brown girl-friendly tint. Snag one or two or six — we won’t judge.
Every Day Journal
We know how you girls love to journal. If tracking everyday growth, memories, and moments has become a newfound self-care practice or something to explore, this journal will fit right into your routine.
Brown Girl Jane
It’s giving opulence, it’s giving confidence, it’s giving drama. If your homegirl’s fragrance collection runneth over, what’s one more gonna hurt?
Good news: the hunt for the perfect red lipstick for melanated skin ends here. This cherry bomb of color is lightweight on the surface and heavy on the coverage.
Have you seen something so beautiful that demands your full and undivided attention? Maybe it’s the viper snakeskin or the signature silver metal logo that shines like a jewelry piece of its own, but whatever this purse is saying, we’re listening. Talk about making a statement.
There’s nothing like a little nostalgia — especially when it comes in the form of dainty everyday jewelry. Inspired by childhood imagery, this brand takes vintage silhouettes and brings them into the 2020s and beyond. Did we mention it’s handmade?
Raise your hand if the majority of your wardrobe has been reduced to loungewear and athleisure? Same, sis. Level up your cozy girl energy with this ribbed bralette and boxer bottom set. Who says those lazy days around the house can’t be sexy too?
Black women in gold jewelry are our favorite genre. Whether you're looking for simple, timeless pieces, or tapping into '90s classic styles with a twist, you’ll find your steez here.
We all have that one friend that knows how to mix a crafty cocktail and throw a lively party. For her aesthetic-driven eye and knack for flavor profiles, we thank her. Replenish her bar cart in style with this sparkling treat.
Featured image by Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images
Aley Arion is a writer and digital storyteller from the South, currently living in sunny Los Angeles. Her site, yagirlaley.com, serves as a digital diary to document personal essays, cultural commentary, and her insights into the Black Millennial experience. Follow her at @yagirlaley on all platforms!
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.
If you've ever dreamed of being a dominatrix, I've got the position for you. I recently discovered a sex position called "The Amazon." This position wasn't even known to me until I saw a video on TikTok by @giltyascharged. Despite being posted in 2020, the video featuring the crying Anthony Anderson meme with the caption, "When she said she wanted to try the new Amazon position, now you can't look at her straight in the eye," somehow made its way onto my feed a lot of time later. Not knowing what it meant, I decided to look it up, and boy, am I glad I did.
What Is The Amazon Sex Position?
The Amazon position is a dominant sexual position that requires physical exertion and puts the receiving partner in control. I will admit that this position isn't for everyone, if you’re one of those “yoga baddies,” then you might find this position to be rather easy because it requires great strength, flexibility, and stability. For those like me who get winded after climbing the stairs, this position may be challenging, depending on your fitness level and body size.
How To Do the Amazon Position:
The position combines the cowboy/cowgirl and missionary positions. The partner with a penis or dildo lies on their back with their knees pulled to their chest, similar to jumping cannonballs in a swimming pool. In most cases, the partner with the vulva is placed on top, straddling them, but partners of any gender or sexual orientation can perform this position (see a visual representation of The Amazon sex position here.)
The Basics of the Amazon Sex Position
The Amazon position is an excellent option for partners who are looking to spice up their bedroom activities with some fun and excitement. In contrast to some other sex positions that allow the penis- or dildo-wielding partner more power, this one empowers the individual on top by letting them control the pace and intensity of penetration. The penetrating partner may also touch and stimulate the top's clitoris, breasts, and nipples, which can be extremely stimulating and can even lead to something called a blended orgasm, making the Amazon an amazing position to try for heightened orgasms.
The Amazon Sex Position Variations
With a little effort, the Amazon sex position can deliver some intense orgasms, even though it looks uncomfortable or even bizarre. The vulva owner is on top in this position, just as with the cowgirl and reverse missionary positions. In this position, however, the vulva owner takes complete control, giving them more freedom. If you're feeling adventurous, try adding in some extra moves to switch things up. The Amazon position can also be combined with other techniques, such as grinding, twisting, and bouncing. Experimenting with different movements and speeds can make for a more dynamic experience.
By adjusting the penetration angle and using sex toys, the penetrating partner can increase orgasms while in the Amazon position. Additionally, you can try kneeling or reverse Amazon, which involves putting your feet down instead to give the receiving partner a little extra sensation or even a little back pressure. It can help relieve pressure on the bottom partner and change the angle of penetration as well. Both partners will also find it fun to add sex toys like vibrators or wands.
For a list of Amazon sex positions, check out Cosmo's "11 Amazon Sex Positions for Intense Power Play."
Safety Tips for the Amazon
One important thing to keep in mind when trying out the Amazon position is that communication with your partner is key. This position can be more physically demanding than others, so it's important to check in with one another and make sure that both individuals are comfortable and enjoying themselves. Like I’ve mentioned several times before, the Amazon sex position can be fun, but it isn't appropriate for everyone. Besides requiring some physical exertion, it is not suitable for people with back or knee problems or other limitations.
The receiving partner must support their weight on their knees in this position, which can be uncomfortable over long periods of time and might lead to soreness or injury. In addition to leg strength and core stability, the position can prove challenging for those with poor fitness or flexibility.
Overall, the Amazon sex position is a great way to switch things up and try something new. It allows for the woman to take control and offers a different level of intimacy and stimulation. If you’re someone with Megan's knees or Tina Turner's legs, you'll definitely have fun experimenting with different movements and speeds.
Just remember to communicate with your partner and have fun. It may take some adjusting to get comfortable, but once you are comfortable, you will have a more dynamic and satisfying experience.
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Featured image by Adene Sanchez/Getty Images