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. ;)
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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I’ve said in other articles where I unpack the benefits that come with different kinds of herbal tea that I’m a huge fan of this type of beverage. If you’re not, I’m hoping that this article may convince you to become one because the reality is that tea comes with all kinds of proven health benefits. The reason is that whatever properties are in the herbs that you choose to make your tea from, that is going directly into your system — and since a little bit of raw honey or a teaspoon of brown sugar can make the experience that much sweeter…why not take advantage of all of the things that tea has to offer.
Take today, for example. Were you even aware of the fact that there are certain types of tea that will help to slow down the aging process so that you can extend the shelf life of your skin and your system altogether? Hey, it might sound too good to be true on the surface, but if you’ll give me just a few moments of your time, I’m pretty sure that I can convince you to indulge in at least one cup of tea this week. Ready?
1. Black Tea
Did you know that black, white, green, and oolong teas are all related? Yep, they come from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. What makes them different is how they are processed. What makes black tea unique is the cells inside of it have been exposed to oxygen for an extended period of time. As far as health benefits go, black tea contains flavonoids that help to strengthen your heart, lower your blood sugar levels, and increase longevity. If you happen to have high cholesterol or a history of strokes in your family, black tea can reduce those issues too.
And what about aging? Some studies say that the flavonoids and polyphenols in black tea provide an “anti-wrinkle effect” when it comes to your skin. Plus, it can help to keep your gut in great shape which, indirectly, can help you to age more gracefully as well.
2. Jasmine Tea
Jasmine tea comes from the jasmine plant. It’s filled with antioxidants and is able to do everything from improve your brain function and reduce oral decay to help you lose weight and keep certain types of cancer cells from multiplying. Another cool thing about jasmine tea is, if you’re looking for a bit of a pick-me-up during the day, it can help to improve your mood.
Jasmine tea can also help to slow down the aging process because it contains something known as sesquiterpenoids; they have anti-aging properties as it relates to your brain, heart, and skin. Plus, jasmine tea has the compound EGCG in it, which helps to reduce stress levels, and since stress actually accelerates the aging process — well, anything that you can do to keep your stress levels down, the better off you and your system will ultimately be.
3. Elderberry Tea
Another type of tea that is packed with antioxidants is elderberry tea. Since it also contains properties that help to decrease oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, keep UV rays at bay, and keep your heart healthy — it automatically qualifies as an anti-aging type of drink. Some studies also indicate that elderberry tea can fight obesity, and since that’s just one more thing that is directly related to speeding up the aging process, being intentional about keeping your weight in a healthy place is always a wise move.
4. Hibiscus Tea
The hibiscus plant creates a vibrant color that looks a lot like cranberry juice. The antioxidants in it will help to fight inflammation, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, fight off bacteria, and detox your liver. This is also another tea that can help you manage your weight as well as your blood fat levels so that you are able to decrease your chances of ending up with heart disease later down the pike.
Since hibiscus tea is full of beta-carotene, a pigment that can inhibit the aging process of your tissues and organs — it’s definitely the kind of tea that will help you age beautifully…both inside and out.
5. Oolong Tea
A traditional Chinese tea is oolong tea. It’s a great tea for diabetics. It’s a tea that keeps your brain and heart in good condition. It’s a tea that brings relief to eczema. The plant compounds in the tea can also help to reduce bodily inflammation and reduce depression-related symptoms. And since it does have caffeine in it, if you’re looking for a “midday spike” that features more benefits than coffee, oolong has you covered there, too.
Word on the street is that the antioxidants in oolong tea can brighten the skin, reduce fine lines, and even decrease the appearance of age spots — all good to know if you’re on a mission to keep a youthful glow to your skin for as long as you possibly can.
6. Clove Tea
Listen, if you ever find yourself with a toothache from the pits of hell, put some clove oil on it. I don’t know anything that numbs the pain as quickly as it will! A part of the reason is that cloves have the ability to powerfully disinfect the bacteria that lead to tooth decay in the first place. Aside from that, cloves can also help to clear up congestion, soothe a sore throat, decrease skin irritation, regulate blood sugar levels, and improve the health of your liver.
When it comes to aging gracefully, cloves also have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that make it more difficult for aging signs to creep into your skin as well as your organs.
7. Ginseng Tea
There are some pretty powerful antioxidants in the herb known as ginseng. What they do is help to boost cognitive function, reduce inflammation, fight fatigue, and increase energy levels and it can even help to naturally treat erectile dysfunction in some men. As a bonus, if the flu season seems to come for you each and every year, ginseng tea has been known to shorten the lifespan of the flu, too.
Oh, and if you want your “black not to crack” for as long as possible, ginseng can also help in that department. That’s because it is able to reduce oxidative stress and boost the production of collagen — at the same time. Dope.
8. Rooibos Tea
A tea that derives from South Africa, rooibos tea is a caffeine-free tea that contains properties that help to fight off free radicals, has antioxidants that are good for individuals with type 2 diabetes, and it’s able to lower your risk of cancer. Another dope thing about rooibos tea is it has the ability to raise your leptin levels. That’s a hormone that helps to monitor your food intake, which means that this tea is beneficial if you’re trying to shed a few pounds.
When it comes to aging gracefully, rooibos tea makes the cut because, especially if you use it as a topical skin rinse, it has properties in it that can help to fade the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time, when used consistently (a couple of times a week for a few months).
9. Goji Berry Tea
Goji berry tea is a tea that’s made from steeping little red goji berries. A particular antioxidant that it has in it is zeaxanthin; it’s great at keeping your vision strong, fighting off free radicals, and reducing oxidative stress. Goji berry tea is also top-tier because it boosts immunity, fights off cancer cells, and stabilizes your blood sugar levels.
This tea makes this particular list because of two other age-related things. First, it has properties in it that help prevent sun damage and fine lines and wrinkles. Second, did you know that sleep deprivation is directly associated with accelerated biological aging? That said, goji berry tea can actually help you to fall and stay asleep at night — the more rested you are, the better you will look and feel.
10. Green Tea
And finally, there are almost countless reasons why you should add green tea to your overall healthcare regimen. The antioxidants in it help to prevent cellular damage. It helps to burn fat. It can boost your brain power. It helps to fight tooth decay. It even increases longevity — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
The reason why I’m rounding this article out with green tea is that, as far as aging goes, not only are there studies that cite green tea can help to keep your brain from aging, but it also contains properties that can repair damaged skin tissue; this means that your skin can look fresh and radiant for longer by consuming green tea. In fact, beauty-wise, green tea is so supreme that I wrote an article on several ways that you can use it for that purpose. Check out “You'll Totally Fall In Love With These Green Tea Beauty Hacks” when you get a chance.
You know, Eartha Kitt once said, “Aging has a wonderful beauty, and we should have respect for that” — and I totally agree. So, I hope you get that the takeaway here isn’t to run from aging; after all, if you’re blessed, it is inevitable. My point is to apply these teas to your diet so that you can age, both inside and out, in the best ways possible.
Drink up and enjoy!
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