Now that the summer season is officially here, hopefully, you’ve got some plans that will have you traveling more often and/or hanging out by some water and/or spending time with friends in the great outdoors. And while it’s always a great time when you can pull out your distressed jean shorts, super cute sandals, and big ass straw hats, let’s not act like the heat ain’t a mutha while the thought of putting on anything more than what is absolutely necessary is stressful as hell.
Especially when it comes to wearing makeup. When it’s hot ‘n sticky, who wants to have on a full face of stuff? The dilemma is, when you want to still look cute, how do you figure out what will give you a made-up face without you having to go through the drama of it feeling heavy on your skin or, worse, melting off due to the extreme heat?
If that’s what’s been crossing your mind lately, I hear you, and I’ve got you. During the season when less really is more as far as cosmetics go, here are some things that you can apply that will give you a makeup face without overdoing it in the process.
To anyone who will listen, if there is one skincare product that I will shout out for the rest of my life, it’s rosemary oil (well, that and sulfur soap). When it comes to helping to heal and prevent acne, keeping my skin hydrated, and giving my skin a natural glow, rosemary oil is that one. Not only that, but some skin experts say that it also helps to reduce inflammation, get rid of dark circles underneath the eyes, and soften the appearance of cellulite too.
Personally, I don’t use foundation, so I’ll just put on some rosemary oil and head on out the door. Yet even if you do, if you’re looking for a moisturizer that’s a great primer for your skin as well as the makeup you plan to apply to it or if you want an overnight oil so that your skin will be soft and smooth, the following morning, look no further than rosemary oil for your face and neck (don’t forget your neck, chile). You will not have one regret. Straight up.
If the main thing that stresses you out when it comes to wearing makeup in the heat is you don’t want it to smear or look “caked on,” or you would prefer a much sheerer and natural-looking end result, have you ever tried tinted moisturizer before? If not, it’s just what it sounds like, and the cool thing is, it can provide you with a bit of coverage without you looking like you have a full face of makeup on. Plus, it tends to offer a natural glow that works really well during the daytime hours.
Another awesome thing about this option is some tinted moisturizers come with SPF (sunscreen) already in them — and yes, this is a good thing because we melanated women need that kind of skin protection too (check out “Here Are 10 Black Girl-Friendly Sunscreens That Will Keep You Glowing This Spring”). By the way, Allure did you a solid by publishing “The 15 Best Tinted Moisturizers With Sunscreen That Smooth and Protect Skin.” It’s worth a skim when you get a chance.
Back when I was shifting out of wearing foundation, something that worked like an absolute charm was bronzer. It gave me enough coverage to camouflage any blemishes that I wanted to smooth out while making my skin appear absolutely radiant at the same time. In fact, the only thing that I wasn’t super fond of when it came to bronzer was, I had to be careful not to get it on my clothes (or someone else's when I hugged them). But if you’re looking for something that will complement your skin, immaculately so, whenever you’re out in the summer sun, bronzer is what you’ve been looking for all of your life.
Another bonus with bronzer is it’s something that you can make yourself from the comfort and convenience of your own home; that way, you can be in complete control of the ingredients that you end up putting on your face (and possibly other parts of your body). If you want to go the all-natural route, a recipe is here. If you want to try a hack that combines a powder bronzer with a liquid primer, the YouTube video is here.
At the time that I’m writing this, I am two days out from an eyebrow wax appointment. Something that I just shared with my waxer is how wild is it that your face can look like it’s been made up just by taming your brows — especially professionally. Well, something that can keep your eyebrows looking on point in between appointments is eyebrow gel. If you’re curious about which ones can withstand the summer heat, check out Byrdie’s article, “The 11 Best Eyebrow Hold Gels of 2023, Tested & Reviewed.”
Recently, someone asked me if my eyelashes were real, and I didn’t know whether to be flattered or slightly triggered. LOL. The answer is “yes.” I was blessed with naturally long lashes; however, when I want them to be a bit thicker, I will apply some Jamaican black castor oil on them at night and then apply 2-3 coats (make sure to let them dry in between) of mascara during the day. Not any mascara either; it needs to be as black as black can get; plus, it needs to be waterproof. That way, I don’t have to worry about sweat causing them to smear.
Just make sure that you wash that stuff off before turning in at night. Some formulas are super thick and can actually cause your lashes to break if you’re not careful.
While perusing through Sephora not too long ago in search of a particular lip liner that I wanted, you should’ve seen the look on my face when an associate shared that lip liners are slowly being faded out. What in the world? Personally, I’m always gonna be a fan because, not only do they help to give my full lips some nice definition, but lip liners also help to keep lipstick in place for a longer period of time.
Personally, I don’t even wear lipstick that much, especially during the summer season. What I will do instead is line my lips with a liner and then fill them in with lip gloss. It gives a shearer look that still “pops.” Plus, I can enjoy my popsicles ‘n stuff in peace because, since all I had on was lip gloss, to begin with, I don’t have to worry about losing color while eating or drinking anything. Yeah, lip liners are bomb. Always have been, always will be.
Sparkling Lip Gloss
Speaking of lip gloss, aside from the fact that it helps your lips to look (and feel) nice and hydrated, one of my (other) favorite things about it is it can keep your lips looking fuller and sexier from day into the night; especially if you get the kind that has some sort of glitter in it (perhaps like this one here or here). The way that this particular kind of lip gloss shimmers in the summer sun and by candlelight is truly unmatched — I can personally attest to that.
Shoot, you can even make your own sparkling gloss by adding some cosmetic glitter to a container of gloss that you’ve got. Or if you really wanna be a boss with yours, make your lip gloss totally from scratch. The YouTube videos here, here, and here can walk you through how to make that go down. Or, if you want to go the totally natural route, Kimspired DIY has a recipe that can get you right here.
DIY Shimmer Lotion
Even though we’re mostly talking about makeup, because there is nothing more alluring than gorgeous skin, I did think it was important to give the rest of your body a bit of a shout-out too — and this is where shimmering body lotion comes in. Not only will it cause your skin to glow, but it also has a way of minimizing the appearance of blemishes as well. So, if body acne (or the scars that it can sometimes leave behind) is something that you’re worried about this summer, why not make a batch of your own shimmer lotion (or oil)? Some YouTube shorts that will show you how to DIY it are located here and here.
Bomb Ass Frames
Okay, so what about the days when you honestly don’t want to do a damn thing? You’d be amazed what a pair of some bomb ass shades will do for you. Then all you’ve got to do is make sure your eyebrows are groomed, that you curl your lashes, that you put something on those lips of yours and you’re basically all set.
For the record, even eyeglasses have trends. According to InStyle, round frames, wired rims, and an upgraded cat-eye are all the rage right now. So are clear frames. Meanwhile, StyleCaster shouts out oversized frames and sporty wrap frames as far as trendy sunglasses go.
BONUS: Matte Makeup
So, what if you’ve got a (pardon the pun) hot date coming up, and you want to apply some makeup, yet you just don’t want to pile it on? Your best bet would be to go with something that gives you a matte finish. That’s because matte is designed in a way that will help to absorb more sweat and oil. Plus, it helps to give your skin a smooth and even complexion. Just make sure to not overdo it by going all-matte. Mix things up a bit by avoiding a matte lipstick (go with a glossy finish instead) or adding some glitter eyeshadow…or the kind that is actually my next suggestion.
BONUS: Cream Eyeshadow
Since it appears that white and pastel eyeshadows are trending big time this year, you definitely should get some cream eyeshadow if ramping up your eyes is totally your thing. The reason why cream eyeshadows are dope during the summer season is that they tend to not crease up and also last much longer — both are good to know since humidity likes to make makeup evaporate, often at the most inopportune moments.
For the record, one of the best things about cream eyeshadow is that it goes on pretty smoothly, even with your fingertips, so if you need to do quick touch-ups while you’re out at the beach, all you need is to pull out a compact from your big straw purse, and you’re good to go.
BONUS: Blotting Pampers
For the love of all things summer and sane, definitely make sure to have some blotting papers in your possession. More than anything, they’re specifically designed to absorb excess oil. However, another bonus is, since many of them contain salicylic acid, using blotting papers on a consistent basis can also help to keep your pores clear, which can reduce the chances of you experiencing breakouts which is also a major win. Just make sure to go with eco-friendly ones if you can; they are biodegradable, which makes them good for the environment too. Now get out there and be gorgeous and great!
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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. ;)
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.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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