The beauty industry is an ever-growing industry. There are constant releases in haircare, skincare, and makeup and it can be overwhelming and expensive to keep up with. However, if you're someone who likes to try new things for a portion of the price, then you may want to consider a subscription beauty box. It's a simple way to get everything you need delivered right to your door. And if there's anything that this pandemic taught us, it's how to survive when the world is forced to stay six feet apart. Even though most of the world is going back to "normal," this is another option for those of you who still want to keep it safe.
Let's address the elephant in the room, one of the biggest concerns with beauty boxes is having a box full of products that don't fit our skin or hair type. It is very frustrating to get a box of eight products and you can only use two of them. One key thing to look into when joining a subscription service is, who are these products really for? Is it made with black women in mind? Does it provide useful products for me? Don't worry...I got you, sis.
Let me save you the hassle and tell you why Femailer is the subscription box you never knew you needed.
What's a Femailer?
Femailer is a quarterly beauty box that features a range of 5-8 full-sized beauty products for women of color at an affordable price. The value of a typical box is up to $120, but as a member, you get it for more than half the price, $30 to be exact -- every season.
The creator of Femailer, Ashlee Gomez, has combined her 11+ years in the beauty industry as a licensed cosmetologist and beauty marketing professional to deliver a solution that allows women of color to identify and embrace not just their outer, but more importantly their inner beauty.
Each box is curated with three main missions in mind: to satisfy your beauty needs, give you inspiration and resources that'll help you flourish inside and out, and introduce you to quality products by other black-owned brands.
Each quarterly box features premium haircare, skincare, makeup, and lifestyle products from brands like Creme of Nature, Black Radiance, SheDavi, Lottabody, custom Femailer jewelry, and much more.
In my box, I received:
- "I'm Speaking" Tote Bag
- Lottabody Boost Me Curl Boosting Smoothie
- Lottabody Hold Me Maximum Hold Styling Gel
- Lottabody Elongate Me Curl Stretcher
- Beauty Bakerie | Brownie Bar
- AHAVA l Mineral Hand Cream
- KISS - Glam Fantasy Nails | Trampoline Set
Along with two bonus items:
- Lottabody Satin Scarf
- "I'm Making Herstory" Button
Each product is hand-picked, Ashlee and her team actually use themselves to make sure members are getting quality products that promote healthy hair and beauty practices for each season. It's also worth mentioning that Femailer also provides tips and tricks on how to use each product. So whether you're a beginner or seasoned beauty guru, you get access to tutorials, reviews, and even members-only pop-up shops.
I'm saying...this is a lot for just $30, it's definitely a steal!
My honest review:
Let's start with the Lottabody products.
The entire Milk & Honey collection is made with milk protein and honey to help restore moisture to your hair. Here's a breakdown of each product I received:
The Lottabody Milk & Honey Boost Me Curl Boosting Smoothie
The Lottabody Boost Me Curl Boosting Smoothie is a curl-enhancing formula that adds definition, shine and a light-to-medium hold to your hair. This product is so good it can stand alone to style and refresh your curls. Because of its versatility, it can be used as a leave-in and styling cream for wash n' go's, twist-out, and braid-out styles.
The Lottabody Milk & Honey Elongate Me Curl Stretcher
The Elongate Me Curl Stretcher is a thick nourishing cream that treats dry, rough strands and helps restore moisture to brittle hair. It can be used as a styler and leave-in. It moisturizes your hair and helps minimize frizz. To be honest, it's a tough claim to elongate curls with just a product because shrinkage is inevitable.
I wouldn't rely heavily on this for fighting shrinkage, but it's good for added moisture and definition. To help fight shrinkage, you can use the raking method and apply the gel after to hold your curls in place.
The Lottabody Milk & Honey Hold Me Maximum Hold Styling Gel
Lastly, is the Hold Me Maximum Hold Styling Gel. The hold with this gel is 10 out of 10. I say that because it has the key things you want in a styling gel: hold, crunchless curls, no flaking, definition, and shine. The Hold Me styling gel also helps prolong the wear of your hairstyle; it kept my curls intact for 4-5 days.
On the right, old twist-out; on the left, old twist-out refreshed and revived with Lottabody.
I used the Boost Me Curl Boosting Smoothie and Hold Me Maximum Hold Styling Gel to refresh my old, dry twist-out and those two products were all I needed. It enhanced my curls and gave my hair more volume and hold. I don't think you need to use both the curl stretcher and the curl boosting smoothie together, one or the other is fine but it depends on what your hair needs.
On the left, close-up of pigmented highlighter; on the right, defined cheekbone with Beauty Bakerie.
The next product I used was the Beauty Bakerie Brownie Bar Face Palette. I've been wanting to try Beauty Bakerie for a while, so I'm glad I was able to try it out because I love this palette. The Brownie Bar comes with a powder contour, bronzer, and highlight. The formula is buildable so that you can start light and get the hang of how and where to contour.
I need to warn y'all though, I'm very new to bronzing and contouring but this is very beginner-friendly and gave me the confidence to try it out. It's also very blendable and pigmented, so a little goes a long way especially with the highlighter. On the left is a close-up of how pigmented the highlighter is and I only used a small amount. On the right is how defined my cheekbone is after using the bronzer.
Overall, I definitely think Femailer is worth a try. It features products for women of color with all skin and hair types so you'll never have to wonder if a product will work for you. In my experience, I also think it motivates you to try new products and techniques! Like I mentioned before I've been wanting to try contouring and it's like the universe heard me and brought me this.
I also want to add that the vibe of the bag was very empowering, from the statement tote and pin to the beauty finds, I really enjoyed the experience Femailer provided.
Featured image by Krissy Lewis/xoNecole
Freelance writer, content creator, and traveler. She enjoys the beauty of simplicity, a peaceful life, and a big curly fro. Connect with Krissy on social media @iamkrissylewis or check out her blog at www.krissylewis.com.
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Teyana Taylor Says Husband Iman Shumpert Pursued Her For 3 Years Before She Was Open To Dating Him
Teyana Taylor is the culture's BFF. She has built a platform from simply knowing and being herself, a rarity in the entertainment industry, and we eat it up. We met her in 2007 when she appeared on the fourth season of My Super Sweet Sixteen, the popular MTV reality series which focused on the lavish birthday parties of affluent teenagers. She was signed to Pharrell at the time, which eventually ended after she asked to be released to be an independent artist.
Since, she has made moves across the entertainment industry, whether showing the world that we all need to go to the gym in Kanye's "Fade" video or winning Season 7's The Masked Singer.
She even welcomed a new love, husband Iman Shumpert, but even that came in the most Teyana Taylor fashion.
On a recent visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live! to promote her new movie,A Thousand and One, she discussed how the two met, ultimately revealing that sis was not into a quick hookup. After Kimmel showed her a photo from a celebrity basketball game, she said, "That was the very picture and the very moment that my husband fell in love with me. He [was] like, 'who is that girl, her defense is on point,'--you know he was a defensive player. And he fell in love with the kid."
Kimmel asked her if the falling was mutual, to which she responded, "You know what's crazy? It took me like three years to even like, finally give in. So even though he was feeling me this day, he didn't get me that day. I was actually in a relationship at the time and it was Luda Day weekend and he walked up to me and was like, 'You should eff with me, you need me in your life.' And he just kept trying and trying and trying."
And listen ladies, I know we've all seen Iman so I know you guys are wondering why she may have been on one that day, but we also know that doesn't mean there is never a possibility. Eventually, he wore her down after the two went through their own breakups.
"Later down the line, I was dealing with a breakup, he was dealing with a breakup...we just kind of became friends, BUT--see there's always a 'but,' guys -- I had a styling company and I wanted to shoot him, and he was like my first client and he gave me my first chance or whatever, and there was this one time where he had to take off his shirt...GIRL."
And as they say, the rest is sis-make-him-court-you history.
The pair began dating in 2013, and Shumpert popped the question in 2015 during their baby shower at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, Ohio. They officially tied the knot in 2016 and have since welcomed two daughters, Junie (whose real name is Iman Shumpert Jr.) and Rue Rose.
They landed their own reality TV series in 2018 Teyana & Iman, which they then followed up with their E! show, We Got Love Teyana & Iman, in 2021. Taylor told VH1 in 2018, "When a female catches butterflies, you know it's real. Because up to that moment, I didn't like him on that level. When you catch butterflies, it's almost like do you run away from it and get scared and miss out on love? Or do you just follow your gut?"
Well, it's clear what her answer is. But what about you: do you believe in love's timing?
Watch the full clip below:
Teyana Taylor on Teaching Beyoncé the Chicken Noodle Soup Dance & Falling in Love with Iman Shumpert
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Roger Dubuis