Now that the fall season is officially here, if you were wondering what this year's autumn-themed beauty trends are, some of them include a matte red lip, gold shimmering eyeshadow, a smoky bronzed eye, glossy eyelids and high-fashion lashes. But in honor of two other things that I noticed made the list—barely-there make-up and dewy skin—I thought it would be a good idea to also share with you some cool ways to incorporate foods that are currently in season to beauty recipes that I found on various sites.
If after reading these, there are a few that pique your interest but you're wondering how effective they are, I will say that while the exact recipes I may not have tried, I can vouch for the overall concept of each of these.
Apple and ginger are the ultimate detoxifiers. Pear, pumpkin and sweet potato have a remarkable way of pampering skin. Cranberry juice really can (softly) highlight your hair. Pomegranate can dry out a pimple like nobody's business. And cabbage juice? Well, I'll get into the all of its health benefits in just a sec.
So, if you're planning a grocery store or (even better) farmer's market run over the next couple of days, be sure to pick up some of these in-season autumn foods. Yes to eat. But also to care for your body, literally from head to toe.
Apple Peel Mask
Two things that apples contain a lot of are vitamins A and C. Your skin needs Vitamin A because it plays a role in regenerating new skin cells. It needs Vitamin C because C contains antioxidants (along with phytochemicals like flavonoids and phenolic acids) that help to produce more collagen (so that your skin looks fresh and youthful), while fighting off free radicals in the process. Apples also have zinc, sodium, calcium, folic acid, iron, phosphorous, and magnesium in them. As far as lemons go, the acid in them works as an astringent and the gelatin is what will help to create the peeling effect of the mask.
- 2 apples, diced
- 1 lemon (10 drops)
- 2 tablespoons of gelatin
If it's been a while since you've had some cabbage, maybe this will inspire you to make some tonight. Aside from the fact that it contains vitamins A, B6, C, K, folate and even some manganese, calcium, potassium and magnesium, cabbage has a wealth of health benefits. Cabbage helps to reduce bodily inflammation, improves indigestion and has fiber to keep you regular. The vitamin A in it works to produce new cells so that your complexion glows and the C keeps your skin looking healthy. Celery is loaded with water to prevent dehydration; it also contains properties to fight infection. Green apples have antioxidants to smooth out the texture of your skin. Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene to speed up any healing your skin may need; lemons can provide you with a more even skin tone; and ginger root is able to make your skin appear more toned.
- 1/8 of a green cabbage
- 1/8 of red cabbage
- 2 ribs of celery 1/2 red beet, scrubbed
- 1 green apple, cored
- 1 carrot, scrubbed
- 1 lemon, peeled
- 1" piece of fresh ginger root
Cranberry Hair Rinse
If you're like me and you struggle with itchy scalp from time to time, cranberries can quickly become your hair's best friend. They have antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that will remove irritants from your scalp while soothing it at the same time. Cranberries also contain about every B vitamin there is to keep your hair strong, along with Vitamin C to give you hair a collagen boost. Something else that's in cranberries is Vitamin K; it too comes in handy because it triggers collagen production in the body. Lemon juice aids in lightening your hair and carrots are rich in Vitamin A. And so, carrots can help to strengthen your hair's follicles while preventing premature greying in the process.
- 1/2 cup of pureed carrot
- 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries, mashed
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Detox Ginger Foot Pads
I've already broken down what ginger does. As far turmeric goes, it contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties, plus it lightens uneven skin, soothes dry skin and contains antiseptic properties that kills bacteria. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants that also invigorates your system, chamomile will de-stress you, and paprika also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in it.
- ½ teaspoon of ginger powder
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
- ¼ cup of green tea (dried leaves)
- ¼ cup of dry chamomile leaves
- ½ teaspoon of paprika
- ¼ cup of grated lemon zest
Pear Body Scrub
When a pear is in its perfect state of ripeness, it really is one of my favorite fruits. You probably already know that it contains a lot of fiber, but that's not all. Pears also have Vitamin C and K, copper, iron and antioxidants. Eating just one can moisturize your skin while protecting you from UV ray damage. It also can help to reduce the overproduction of sebum in your system (if you happen to have oily skin). Plus, if you use pear in the form of an essential oil (like prickly pear seed oil), it can increase elasticity and brighten your complexion. If you add to it some sugar and sweet almond oil, you'll have a body sugar scrub that smells great and will leave your skin super soft with a radiant glow.
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 cup of sweet almond oil
- 1 tablespoon of Vitamin E oil
- 1 tablespoon of Bartlett Pear Fragrance Oil
Pomegranate Acne Peel
One serving of pomegranate contains a day's worth of Vitamin B and one-third of the Vitamin C that you need. Pomegranate also has properties in it that stimulates the production of collagen, hydrates skin and soothes the inflammation that's associated with acne breakouts. Something else pomegranate does is treat skin conditions like rosacea and acne, thanks to the plant compound EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) that's in it. Greek yogurt works to fade blemishes and dark circles and, as far as manuka honey goes, we're so fond of it that we penned an entire article about it (see "Why Manuka Honey Is The Ultimate Beauty Find").
- 1 tablespoon of pomegranate powder
- 1 tablespoon of matcha green tea powder
- 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of Manuka honey
Pumpkin Body Butter
Since pumpkins are in their best condition mid-fall, October is peak time to pick up a few, strictly for your skin's sake. Pumpkins are a fruit that are full of vitamins A, B, C and E, along with potassium and zinc. They have a remarkable way of decreasing sebum on oily skin, moisturizing dry skin and providing anti-aging benefits in the process. Shea butter increases elasticity while softening scars and discoloration; mango butter contains fatty acids and antioxidants; benzoin essential oil contains astringent properties to soothe inflammation; cinnamon bark oil revives your skin tone, and mica is what gives the butter a natural glow.
- 25g (0.88oz) pumpkin seed oil
- 25g (0.88oz) refined shea butter
- 50g (1.76oz) mango butter
- 6 "blobs" benzoin essential oil
- 5 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
- 1 drop ginger essential oil
- 1 drop clove bud essential oil
- 1/8 teaspoon of gold mica
- 1/8 teaspoon of bronze mica
Sweet Potato Hair Mask
This is one of those "don't knock it until you've tried it" kind of recipes. And when you stop to think about it, since sweet potatoes are considered to be a perfect food, really—what could it hurt? As far as your tresses go, sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene to help with cell production on your scalp, the antioxidant anthocyanins to prevent cellular damage to your scalp and hair follicles, along with potassium and zinc to encourage hair growth. Add honey to serve as a humectant; yogurt to moisturize your hair; coconut cream to tame frizziness; clove oil to stimulate hair follicles, and the niacin, thiamin, and pantothenic acid in vanilla essential oil to keep your hair healthy and strong. Then, you've got one heck of a hair mask, just in time for fall!
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 cup of full fat yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 3 tablespoon of coconut cream
- 2 drops of clove essential oil (more or less if desired)
- 4 drops of vanilla essential oil (more or less if desired)
- Double boiler
Feature image by Shutterstock
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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 email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Victoria Monét has had an incredible year. Thanks to the success of the widely popular “On My Mama” that went viral, the singer/ songwriter’s Jaguar II album debuted in the top 10 of Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart. She also went on to headline her own sold-out tour. So, when the MTV VMAs happened in September, everyone was surprised to learn that Victoria’s team was told that it was “too early” for the “Smoke” artist to perform at the award show. However, a couple of months later, the mom of one received seven Grammy nominations, including “Best R&B Album” and “Record Of The Year.”
Victoria is currently in London and stopped by The Dotty Show on Apple Music and shared how she feels “validated” after being dismissed by the VMAs.
“It really does feel nice and validating because, in my head, the reason why I wanted to be a performer at the VMAs or award ceremonies like that is because I felt like I am at the place where I should. I would work really hard to put on the best show that I could, and I was excited to do so,” she said.
“And I guess the best way to describe it for me is like when you're like on a sports team, and the coach is like, ‘No, you gotta sit this one out.’ When they finally put you in, and then you score all these points, and it feels like that feeling. You're like, yes, I knew it wasn't tripping, but I knew I worked hard for this, and so it's been super validating to just have these accolades come after a moment like that, and I know the fans feel vindicated for me.
While her fans called the VMAs out on their decision, the “Moment” singer kept it cute and is still open to performing at the iconic award show. “I feel no ill towards them because it's just maybe that's just truly how they felt at the time, but I hope their mind has changed,” she admitted.
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Feature image by Amy Sussman/WireImage for Parkwood