Something that I like about when a new show premieres is all of the press that happens leading up to it. Take VH1'sGirls Cruise (starring Lil' Kim, Chilli, Mýa, Vena E., B. Simone, Tiffany Panhilason and Char Defrancesco) that airs tonight at 8 p.m. (EST), for example. It's been about eight years since Chilli's reality series What Chilli Wants aired (on the same network) and, I don't recall ever seeing Mýa on a reality show before. So yeah, it's been a pleasant surprise to see them making their media rounds.
Over the weekend, something that I caught was a VH1 promo that featured Chilli and Mýa. At first glance, I thought to myself, "For Chilli to be 48 and Mya to be turning 40 this fall, they are killin' the game." They really are too. Both of them appear to have flawless skin, healthy hair and really good muscle tone. I was so impressed that I went back to the first TLC single ("Ain't Too Proud to Beg") when Chilli was around 21 and Mýa's first song ("It's All About Me" feat. Sisqo) when she was somewhere between 17-18 annnnd, I kid you not, neither of them look too much different than they did—wow!—over 20 years ago!
When anyone has the ability to barely age, of course, I want to know their beauty secrets. How cool is it that Chilli and Mýa took out some time to share what theirs are. Get this—virtually all of them are natural, affordable and, clearly, extremely effective.
"Some good genes and taking care of your body, your temple, that is the key right there because I have seen many Black, that cracked," Chilli mentions towards the end of the interview. "I'm not lyin'; it's the truth. So, I understand that saying but…"
Mýa agrees for the most part but adds, "I would definitely say that with darker skin, you can withstand the sun a lot longer and so…you are known for aging less and slower. But, Chilli's right. If you don't take care of yourself, or you're smokin' and drinkin' and abusin' your body, not hydrating or you know, drinkin' a lot of chemicals or eating a lot of chemicals, it's gonna show up on the outside, so take care of you..." Indeed.
That's the overall consensus from the ladies, but out of the little-over-four-minutes segment, here are some of their specific beauty takeaways that I think you might dig.
Chilli’s Beauty Secrets
"Listen, don't believe that saying when they say, 'Black don't crack.' It does crack. You have to take care of your skin…I'm a product junkie. I think that's very wise, because again, you don't know what's gonna work with your skin. Everybody's skin is a little different." Two things that Chilli are huge fans of are eye patches and drinking lots of water. Chilli also says, "And as much as I love the sun, it's really not a good idea to hang out too much in the sun."
Something else that Chilli does is use avocado on her hair. According to her, it's a really good hair mask. "Right when it turns brown and I'm like, 'I don't wanna eat it no more', you shouldn't throw it away…that's a waste. And honestly, water, water, water. If you stay super-hydrated, your skin…that pH balance is everything. It makes a huge difference in the body because…you want your body to be less acidic and more alkaline."
Mýa’s Beauty Secrets
"I am really into natural remedies to maintain the glow," shares Mýa. "I started with cucumbers on my eyes…I'm vegan, and so I believe, like, what you put in your body definitely affects your skin." Mya also notes that she doesn't drink alcohol but will make an exception for red wine due to the antioxidants that are in it.
Something else Mýa does is make her own peels out of fruits and vegetables. She also uses coconut oil as her make-up remover. "For masks, tightening, like I just use pure avocado and even mango," says Mýa. "It gives you a nice tightening and moisture." When Chilli asks if she makes a puree out of the food, Mýa shakes her head from side to side and says, "Nope. Straight from the peel. I take the avocado out of its little dish, mix it up and that's it. Even mango peels, I use the inside of the mango peel, where the mango residue is left over and it tightens your face." Mýa is also a fan of using shea butter as a sunblock and skin moisturizer.
As I was listening to these two beautiful women break their beauty regimens down, I didn't take lightly what they shouted out. If cucumbers and mangos have them lookin' like that, I wanted to make sure that I—and you—knew more about what we could get out of them. Here's what I discovered.
If you're feeling drained, irritable or constipated, it just might be that you are dehydrated. If so, you're not alone either because, while our bodies consist of over 60 percent water, a whopping 75 percent of us are not only dehydrated, we arechronically dehydrated.
Something that both Chilli and Mýa sang the praises of was drinking plenty of water. It removes toxins, boosts energy levels, increases mental productivity, keeps joints feeling good and is even known to treat and prevent headaches and migraines.
And just what kind of water should you drink to get the most benefits? Reverse osmosis water literally uses reverse osmosis to remove most contaminants from the water. Word on the street is it's so pure that you can try and freeze it and it won't. Distilled water is a blander form, taste-wise, of reverse osmosis. Something to keep in mind with these is if you're not feeling well or you're fasting, they can be good options. But as far as drinking them every day, purified water doesn't only lack contaminants but minerals too; so, they might not need to be your daily go-to option.
Also, remember how Chilli said that it's important that your body is more alkaline than acidic? A type of water that will help to keep your pH levels in check is alkaline water. Because it has a higher pH balance than tap water, some believe that it is able to neutralize the acid in your system. Then there is spring water. Although it is marketed as being "natural", that's very similar to how "organic" is oftentimes misused for marketing purposes. Meaning, if you do decide to go with spring, do some research on the company that sells it before shelling out your cash. Also, read articles like "The Truth About Tap". Sometimes, you're better off just putting a filter on your faucet than buying or drinking bottled water (did you read about how arsenic is in some brands?!).
Oh, and if you're like me and you're not the biggest water fan or, worse, you tend to drink more soda than water (something that Chilli and Mýa say is an absolute no-no), perk the water up by making some infused water or drinking some sparkling or mineral water with a dash of juice in it. Not too much juice though, because they have recently linked consuming too much of that to cancer. SMDH.
Something else that both Chilli and Mýa are fans of is the fruit avocado. As far as your insides go, avocados are loaded with Vitamin K and also have a good amount of vitamins B5, B6 and C, folate and potassium (more than a banana, in fact). Something else that's awesome about avocados is they don't have any cholesterol or sodium in them, and they are low in saturated fat. Some other benefits include the fact that they are able to keep your heart healthy, the fiber in them can keep you regular, plus they are able to lower your cholesterol and help your body to better absorb nutrients from plant-based foods.
One of the reasons why avocados are so good for your hair and skin is because they've also got plenty of antioxidants in them. If you want to try them as a DIY hair mask, simply mix one ripe avocado with two tablespoons of grapeseed oil, two tablespoons of raw honey and five drops of lavender essential. Mix everything together until the texture is smooth and creamy. Then apply the mixture to your freshly-washed damp hair. Let it sit (with a plastic bag on your head) for 30 minutes and rinse with warm, then cool water (to seal your hair's cuticles). Your tresses should feel really soft right after.
A food that is made up of more than 90 percent water is the cucumber. So yeah, if you're dehydrated, snacking on one of these (with a little bit of vinegar or sea salt) can get you some of the fluid that your body needs. Cucumbers also have a ton of Vitamin K in them, as well as Vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, manganese, potassium and even two grams of protein. Since cucumbers have so much water in them, they are a low-calorie food; this means they are great if you want to snack on something while you're trying to shed a few pounds. Cucumbers can also help to reduce blood sugar levels, detoxify your system and soothe muscle and joint pain.
Why do so many people put them on their eyes? Thank the combo of the Vitamin C and silica that's in cucumbers. Vitamin C helps to reduce inflammation. Silica is a mineral that heals the skin; it also makes hair and nails strong and shiny too.
If you want your skin to look dewy and youthful, try making some of your own cucumber mist. It's pretty easy to do, but probably easier to understand if you watched it being made. You can check out a video here.
It looks like you're reading this just in time because, although you might see mangos in your produce department year-round, they are actually at their peak from February until right around now (mid-July). Aside from how absolutely delicious mangos taste, they also contain a high amount of Vitamin C and copper (something you need more of if you're experiencing any premature greying). Mangos also have vitamins A, B5 and B6, E and K, along with potassium, manganese, magnesium, folate, niacin and fiber in them. All of these nutrients work together to boost your immunity, strengthen your eyes, increase your digestive health and lower your cancer risk.
The antioxidants in mangos will help to produce more collagen in your system so that you can have healthy hair and glowing skin. Take advantage of the properties in this particular fruit by combining four tablespoons of mango pulp with one teaspoon of raw honey and two teaspoons of sweet almond oil. Mix everything well and put it all on your clean face and neck for 15 minutes. Then rinse with cool water. If you do this once a week, you might be able to give Mýa a run for her money!
Something that used to be an annual ritual for me was getting a big container of shea butter at the local African Street Festival. Now I buy mine on Etsy and, all these years later, if there's one thing that I think every Black woman should have in her possession, it's this. Shea butter is considered to be a "skin superfood" and rightfully so because it contains vitamins A, E and F, and oleic, linoleic, and stearic acids. Together, these properties deeply moisturize your skin; reduce any skin inflammation; minimize breakouts; soften the appearance of acne scars; protect the skin from UV rays (just like Mýa said); reduce the appearance of stretch marks; increase skin elasticity and make your lips extremely kissable. Just make sure to look for some raw and unrefined Grade A shea butter. Trust me, not all shea butters are one in the same.
If you want to make some of your own sparkling shea butter lip balm, this video will walk you through how to do it.
As you can see, Chilli and Mýa said more than a mouthful when they broke down some of their beauty secrets to us. So, next time you're at the grocery store, pick some of these items up. When it comes to looking radiant and beautiful, these foods (and the shea butter) definitely have your back. Chilli and Mýa have the looks to prove it.
Watch the clip in full here.
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Feature image from Vh1
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
In xoNecole's series Dope Abodes, we tour the living spaces of millennial women, where they dwell, how they live, and the things they choose to adorn and share their spaces with.
Annisa LiMara has called this space her home for two years. Her Atlanta sanctuary, which she aimed to give the look and feel of something you'd see in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest, embodies her vision of "stunning, yet functional and cozy."
"My home is a reflection of my brand, The Creative Peach Studios, and I am the 'Creative Peach,'" Annisa explains. "It was so easy to reflect who I am and my personal story in my space. When you walk into my home, you know that it is Annisa’s home. I’m so proud of that. So grateful."
On the journey to becoming a homeowner, Annisa looks back on her experience as a "rough one," detailing that she officially started house hunting in March 2020. It had become so expensive to rent, and the 30-something lifestyle influencer decided she would rather invest the money she spent renting into owning a home. However, nine days into house hunting, her search was put on hold for a year. The following year, in 2021, the process of finding the right home and going under contract took a total of four months.
"The resell route didn’t work out, so my realtor suggested a new construction home, which turned out to be the better option," she tells xoNecole of her experience. "Although it requires more patience, it turned out to be a much easier process and a lot easier to maintain since it’s brand new."
As it turns out, the open floor plan three-bedroom two-and-half-bath would prove to be a blank canvas for Annisa to flex her creativity and design skills.
As a new construction, she watched the townhome get built from the ground up, and due to the "cookie-cutter" nature of new builds, Annisa knew immediately that she would change everything about it. The best part about it? All of her updates were cosmetic, so transformation could occur without having to do major renovations to achieve the look and feel she desired.
"The first things I updated were all the lighting, adding built-ins around my fireplace, and installing wallpaper in my bedroom, office, and dining room! I also had board and batten installed in the upstairs loft to make a statement and the kitchen island," Annisa details.
"Lastly, we painted the loft a soft blush pink, the kitchen island is a gorgeous terracotta, and added contrast with black on the doors, fireplace, and stairwell banisters."
In total, she spent $15K in renovations (plus the cost of furniture and decor). And although she says the second level of her home is a "work-in-progress," two years in, she considers the transformation nearly done.
Annisa defines her decor style as "organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho," and with thoughtfully placed touches like plants, warm tones, and organic textures, her perspective can be felt throughout. "I found my point of view as a designer in my work and as I worked on my home, so it all came together organically based on what I was naturally drawn to."
"The organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho' is definitely my signature style. You’ll always see greenery, warm tones, brass, and rattan or wicker in just about every room. My color story is based on my brand [The Creative Peach Studios] colors: blush pink, ivory, olive and sage green, terracotta, and nudes," she adds.
It was her brand colors that would be the jumping-off point for her approach to decorating and styling her space. That, and a picture she had of what would become her sofa from Albany Park. She recalled her decor decisions, "It was their olive Park Sectional Sofa, and I knew instantly I wanted it, and it aligned with my brand colors naturally, so it was a no-brainer."
By drawing inspiration from Pinterest, favorite design brands like CB2, Arhaus, and Souk Bohemian, and through her work, Annisa allowed herself to be guided by her signature style as well as her instincts when making decor and color choices for her own home. "Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason; it just feels right."
Some of the aspects of her home that she regards as her favorites include her bedroom and its little nook where her bed is positioned, the open upstairs loft, and the open concept because "it really allows you to see all of the details I put into the design all at once." Another of her favorite finds is a purchase she copped from the thrift store years ago.
"I have this little brown and gold chair that I picked up for $6 at a thrift store in Jersey six years ago. I couldn’t afford much in my little studio, but the chair was beautiful and unlike anything I had ever seen."
In addition to accent walls featuring blush pink and terracotta tones throughout the space, her gallery wall is another element that immediately draws the eye of any guest who enters. Annisa recalled a fond memory of a fine art piece she purchased from a Black woman artist when she first moved to Atlanta that she now prominently features in her living room. "It was a Black villager from her travels in Africa, and I fell in love with it because it felt like an ancestor I never met. I later found out that she was the sister of one of my very first design clients two years later," she shares. "Talk about a full-circle moment!"
Cultivating a space takes time and patience, and that is a sentiment Annisa echoes when advising people who are looking to infuse more of themselves into their own dope abodes through design. "It is not a race, and you’ll spend more money if you rush into designing without really being intentional about the vision for your space," Annisa concludes. "You just need creativity and patience to do it! And most of all, make sure you feel like it’s an oasis for you!"
For more of Annisa, follow her on Instagram @annisalimara.
Tour Interior Designer Annisa LiMara's Modern Meets Midcentury ATL Home | Dope Abodes
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Over the years, actress Keke Palmer has maintained a steady ascend in Hollywood from child star to a blockbuster “Big Boss.” But for her next act, the Nope star is considering the possibility of retiring from showbiz.
Keke Palmer recently discussed her thoughts on a potential retirement from the big screen in an interview with Teen Vogue. With a career spanning 20 years, Palmer feels that the timer for her retirement has officially started, though she doesn't know exactly when it will happen.
"I don't know. I think the timer has started," Palmer shared. "I think it's because I just haven't felt it yet. But the timer, I know that it's around the corner. I don't know when exactly, but it's around the corner."
For Palmer, the notion of exiting a front-facing career in Hollywood comes from her desire to build a long-standing legacy for her son, Leo, and open the door for future entertainers. This includes her media company, KeyTV Network.
"The main thing I want those legacies to be is [a call] to use your power for good, to use what you have to create spaces and systems for other people to thrive," Palmer said. "I just don't believe in holding everything. I don't believe in gatekeeping. I'm not a coward. What would that do? I think it's based in fear. If I'm speaking on it from a compassionate place, I think people, that gatekeep are afraid. So I'm not scared."
Palmer shared that in the past, she’s experienced anxiety related to performing and questions the longevity of a career in the entertainment industry.
“When I was younger, I used to have so much anxiety," Palmer says. "I love to perform, but is that something that can last forever? I think I always would wonder, 'Is it something that times out?' Obviously, you have people that have been acting their entire careers…but I just never knew how I could scale myself."
The Emmy-award-winning actress celebrated the arrival of her first child, Leodis "Leo" Andrellton, on February 25, 2023, with her ex-boyfriend, Darius Jackson. As a new mom, Palmer, 30, reflects on raising her son without fear, establishing boundaries, and cultivating a balance between awareness and innocence.
“I think about my son. I don't want to raise him to be afraid,” Palmer says. “I don't want to raise him to have no boundaries or for him to be naïve either. But I want to raise him to know that if life is a school, get out there and learn.”
She continues, “A part of learning in this place, I think, is to love and to know how to first be unconditionally loving to yourself, so that you know how to love others and be of service to others in a way that doesn't disadvantage them but instead empowers them. That's what I would hope that the legacy is for me. And for anyone that wants to follow me, I hope that's what they see too.”
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