February is such an extraordinary month full of extra love and extra blackness. We can't help but feel all the feels through and through. The day of love aka Valentine's Day is quickly approaching and after seeing thousands of Black women serve it up to Erica Banks' hit, "Buss It", we want to keep this feminine power going.
Valentine's Day isn't just about showing love to a partner, it's also about showing love to yourself. Whether you're single or married, we want to empower the xoTribe to elevate your sexy with confidence. Being in a panoramic/potpourri/pandemic means that we have to get innovative with our 2021 plans. We want to make sure that you take the uplifting energy of this month into V-Day with some Black AF lingerie brands. Ahead, find brands by us and for us!
Evangeline Poku does it for the full-busted woman. The mom of three created A'zaira Intimates in 2017 after seeing the lack of representation in the lingerie department. To mind the gap, she made sure her line represents that diverse community by offering sizes 28-36 DD-H. A'zaira Intimates' depiction of passion, strength, and femininity is unmatched.
Sab-lee-ay, which means hourglass in French, wants to help you enhance your beauty. Sablier fashions sensual lingerie for the modern and discerning African woman who loves the best of both worlds. The collection's creator, Tolu Oniru-Demuren aka Toolz told Bella Naija:
"The journey to accepting my body hasn't really been a smooth one. Growing up, I wasn't particularly confident. As a plus-size and curvy girl, you tend to feel out of place – my body type wasn't the hot thing back then. I just didn't fit in. I became very self-conscious – I thought my hips were too wide…my bum was too big, and I was on the short side. My experience strengthened me and gave me a voice – one which I have decided to use in empowering and boosting the confidence of plus-size women like me – those who are currently in a physical and psychological battle to accept their own bodies."
Consider this boutique your lingerie wonderland. In 2015, Anya Lust created a portal to find the most luxurious treasures right at your fingertips. Made up of curated collections for every woman, it desires to lace your body with the best fabrics and textures. The brand also supports the empowerment of women around the globe with its collaboration with Free The Girls. "We chose to work with Free The Girls for their incredible dedication to empowering women and girls, as well as for their unique approach to a cause that is near and dear to our hearts."
D Bleu Dazzled
You may have seen some of our favorite celebs dripping in D Bleu Dazzled. From Beyonce to Meg Thee Stallion to Lizzo, Destiney Bleu has created a brand that is trusted by the greats. This specific house specializes in custom crystallized hosiery, lingerie, swim, athleisure, and performance wear. D Bleu Dazzled is at the intersection of stage and street; a place where everyone dazzles.
Their motto is 'Love, Luxe, Lingerie' and Black women deserve all of those things and more. Lingerie addict turned Lingerie Boss, Annabelle Mu'azu, spent a chunk of her life curating African art. Then one day, she decided to pour into her other passion of wanting real women to feel comfortable in their skin. And not just comfortable but flirty and seductive too.
It's really the body positivity for us. This one-stop-shop was once just a place to get a fly waist trainer. Now, Tempting Curves is a six-figure boutique where you can get shapewear, swimwear, and lingerie. Founder, Javanna Palm, wants nothing more than to help women find their inner diva and give her unconditional love.
SADA by Sara Dawson
Brooklyn-bred Sara Dawson is the product of pure ingenuity because of the freedom she had as a young creative. She's been designing since the tender age of 13. For this FIT graduate, her goal is to disrupt the intimate apparel game by dismantling the taboo around it. "...it doesn't have to be about looking sexy for someone else, it's about expressing your own confidence and comfortability as a beautiful person. Confidence in yourself is beauty in itself." If you want custom lingerie, SADA is where it's at.
8.Savage x FENTY
Do I even need to say anything else? Savage x Fenty is a game-changer. Rihanna birthed Savage x Fenty to push the boundaries and have a sexy space where all women could see themselves. 2018 marked the beginning of the icon building the third column of her growing empire. Savage x Fenty offers an optional membership program where you can shop fearless pieces every month. It's affordable, fun and ultra-stylish.
Do you sometimes need a reminder that YOU ARE THE SHIT? This is it. Blue Reign is it. The moment you slip into these vegan and faux leather pieces, you'll have no choice but to own your body and gain real agency. "We design lingerie to elevate and adorn. Each piece has been hand created to not only sculpt and support the body, but to also be available to as many bodies as possible."
One thing about Love, Vera, they are going to show up and show out for Black women. And it shows by their loyal followers and customers because no one does it like Vera and Nate when it comes to removing limits and increasing invisibility of all Black women. More than anything, we stan this eCommerce business because they aim to illustrate us as the beautiful, multi-faceted beings we are. It doesn't hurt that the lingerie is straight fire too!
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Featured image by Shutterstock
Joce Blake is a womanist who loves fashion, Beyonce and Hot Cheetos. The sophistiratchet enthusiast is based in Brooklyn, NY but has southern belle roots as she was born and raised in Memphis, TN. Keep up with her on Instagram @joce_blake and on Twitter @SaraJessicaBee.
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.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports