11 Places To Buy Black This Holiday Season
This year, we all need to make a conscious effort to keep our black dollars in our black communities by supporting black-owned businesses on Black Friday and the entire holiday season. Listen, after we, the culture aka Black Twitter, bought every juicy chicken sandwich from Popeyes causing them to sell out in just two weeks, we proved that black buying power is as strong as Beyonce's wig glue.
For years, we have heralded the day after Thanksgiving as the holy grail of sales and the first day of Christmas season shopping. Remember when Issa Rae said she was rooting for everybody black at the Emmys? Well, it's time to keep that same energy while throwing items in your bag or cart.
Scroll through our black AF list from clothing to candles to wine to extensions to so many more. We have supplied you with some of dope businesses to support this holiday season!
For The Aspiring Sommelier: Love Cork Screw
They say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice and that's why supporting Chrishon Lampley, wine enthusiast and founder of Love Cork Screw, will be the sweetest thing you will do this year. Offering five wine varieties, LCS bottles range in prices from $12 to $17. You've got choices like the sweet Riesling Head Over Heels, the American white table wine Touch the Sky, and the unforgettable rosé We Go High. More than anything, you should support Chrishon's LCS movement not only because she's a black woman in wine, but also because she uses her platform to mentor young women and promising entrepreneurs by sharing her journey.
What's better than a bottle of wine made from love and light? LCS has gift sets intermixed with two wine varietals, a Love Cork Screw candle and a Body Butter, perfect for that wine-lover in your friend group.
For The Vibe Queen: Alexandria Winbush
Because mental health matters, Brittney Winbush created Alexandra Winbush to shift our thoughts on this tough topic through mood-boosting candles and spirit-lifting teas. After surviving a house fire that threw her into depression and anxiety, she decided to share the piece of peace that got her through it. The founder told Coveted Style that the best part about her business is being able to help people have a sense of peace in the midst of craziness. Brittney recalled receiving a message from a customer saying that she was having a pretty mad day and as soon as she lit her candle, she felt better and more at peace. And that's what Britney affirms is the best part of her company.
The candle fills your space up with amazing aromas, inspirational sayings, and vibe-approved playlist.
For The Weave Connoisseur: XOXO Virgin Hair
Wigs and extensions are the wave these days, so the once negative shock factor of wearing a wig is now as popular as Megan Thee Stallion's knees. Fashion model turned CEO Stephanie Nolan has always had an obsession with hair and its quality and longevity. Through collaborations with BET, Adidas and Lusters Hair Care, she learned that she could elevate hair extensions by making them ideal for the use of thermal tools, frequent styling and chemical alterations. Stephanie developed a collection that is 100 percent pure – free of chemicals or synthetic fillers to imitate natural hair.
We all love luxurious bundles and these locks are approved by some of our favorite beauty mavens like Jordyn Woods, Solange, Michaela Coel, Jackie Aina and many more. Use code XOXO on Black Friday for 40% off!
For The Skincare Enthusiast: Touch Body Works
You could go to Bath & Body Works or you could give Touch Body Works a chance. Your face, skin and body will thank you for switching it up. TBW's mission is, "To offer the best natural skincare and haircare available. We believe in making products that are good for your body and for the environment. We believe in using only all-natural, sustainable ingredients that are plant-based and/or cruelty-free. We believe in showing the better side of natural beauty. Sans the chemicals, sans the clinical and sterile emotions, and sans the pretentious prices."
Throw some items in the bag for yourself, your significant other, your family or whoever appreciates the charm of authentic skin products.
For The Artsy Creative: Abeille Creations
Self-taught artist Melissa Mitchell creates electrifying art that you can hang on your wall or drape on your body. There isn't a mural, canvas, headwrap, kimono or pair of Spanx she hasn't slayed. If you're looking for a wildly unique gift to give this season, Abeille Creations is a great place to start. Since Melissa was a youngin', she has found ways to incorporate bright colors and funky lines in her pieces because it's her favorite way to express herself. Her pieces exude confidence and personality which supports her goal of empowering everyone to rock her designs in all spaces from boardrooms to brunches.
For The Cannabis Enthusiast: Mary & Main
*sings* Mary Jay-aaaaannnneeeeeee! Marijuana, Mary Jane, cannabis, weed or whatever you call it – it is one of the most beautiful plants on this earth with its immense healing properties. While you can cop it from different places, we wanted to equip you with a black-owned dispensary. Not sure if you know but Hope Wiseman was the youngest, African-American dispensary owner back in 2018 when she opened Mary & Main.
If you have a patient card, you can order premium quality cannabis products with exemplary and compassionate service.
For The Shoe Diva: Aminah Abdul Jillil
The Alaskan native started her first collection in 2012 after touring the world with Brittney Spears. Aminah loves to share her creativity through her shoe designs and has ever since she made her first sandal. We are pretty sure you have seen her designs as she is infamous for a large structured bow on a killer shoe. Aminah recalls her inspiration for the first shoe during an interview with Fustany, "The Aminah Abdul Jillil bow pumps were actually the bow sandals first. My husband bought me a purse for my birthday one year, which had a huge leather bow detail that I absolutely fell in love with! So I'd mostly gotten my inspiration from that purse and made a pair of sandals with black leather bows around the ankles."
Style these glamorous pumps or sandals with a simple little black dress or with a graphic tee and distressed jeans.
For The SJW: GreenBoxShop
Green Box Shop
Say it with your chest is a real thing and doing it with a GreenBoxShop is the way to do it. The badass brand was made extremely popular after Frank Ocean's 2017 Panorama set and was conceived by Kayla Robinson in her small apartment after searching for tees that conveyed her true feelings about social justice. She couldn't find any so she made them herself. GreenBoxShop began as a way for her to raise money to become a certified yoga instructor. To Kayla's surprise, she became a well-received t-shirt activist which is helping her delve into urban farming. Her endgame: making healthy and home-grown food more accessible in the many food deserts in our country.
Head over to the shop to add some fire tees to your cart.
For The Avid Reader: Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery
Semicolon came about when author, editor and PhD Danielle Mullen shared her dream of being surrounded by books and art. What's in a name? Danielle told the Chicago Review of Books, "I love the idea of a sentence's ability to continue forward whenever the author so chooses. It's so applicable to other aspects of life, which is what I thought made it perfect for the space I was creating." Danielle uses the store as an asset for budding and self-published authors; if they need to print a manuscript in a pinch, Semicolon is the place to go as it houses an Espresso Book Machine, that prints up to 450 pages in minutes.
Danielle has created a space for artists and authors alike to come and build rapport. Best of all, you can order books online from the Chi-Town store.
For The Makeup Maven: Coloured Raine
Loraine R Dowdy left a major bag in the financial industry to create Coloured Raine in 2013. She was one of the first brands to be inclusive of all shades and hues. Coloured Raine differs from other beauty brands with its exceptionally made products that also don't put your account in the negative. We are sure the makeup lover in your life would love this as a gift!
For The Style Maven: Nichole Lynel
Nichole always wanted to be a fashion designer so she used her last to launch her website, Shop Nichole Lynel, to continue to pursue her dreams. She told us earlier this year, "I was always told how hard it was, but I realized the only thing that was really hard was going to work every day and hating it. If it's going to be hard, it might as well be something hard that I actually love. I started at the top floor and knocked on every door until someone told me 'yes'. It took months between the initial idea and the actual launch date. Stepping out on your own is a whole 'nother thing."
The brand is more of a lifestyle than simple clothing options. Nichole's online boutique is what happens when luxury and lifestyle collide. From exclusive pants sets to haute couture dresses, you can find something for every event or avenue in your life.
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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.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy