As far as outer beauty goes, the two things that I've personally committed to doing over the next 12 months is to be intentional about pampering my skin and to also do what it takes to gain more inches when it comes to my hair. Two items that are proving to make both of those things happen are MSM and Chebe powder. In fact, both of these are so bomb that I've been doing more research so that I can feel confident in recommending them to other people.
In the process of all of the stuff that I've been reading on MSM and Chebe, I've also discovered some other natural beauty trends that I thought you should know about. What's cool about all of the things on this list is they are about using less chemicals and being more natural. As a direct result, they're good for your health, the environment and—when it comes to the last trend on here—our community too.
If you're someone who is all about beauty trends and you want to know what kind of tip 2020 plans to be on, here are some natural-related beauty trends that you can definitely feel good about. I know that I do.
A “Wake Up” Face
One of the cool things about dating artists is you're sure to be the muse for at least one song. To this day, my last boyfriend is one of the most talented producers I know. Anyway, one of the tunes that he penned for me was called "Wake Up Face"; it was literally about how he prefers to see me au naturale. Maybe he was prophetic because, this year, as far as beauty trends go, one of the most popular ones is women who wear as little make-up as possible. You know what that means, right? In order to pull this one off, your skincare has to be seriously on-point. If you'd like a few pointers in this area, check out "This Is Why Your Skincare Routine Isn't Working", "I Cleared Up My Hyperpigmentation Thanks To This 5-Step Method" and "All-Natural Ways To Keep Your Skin Super Soft This Fall & Winter". Then, at least a couple of times a week, try going out with as little make-up as possible. Your pores will love it, and you just might end up liking it more than you thought you would as well.
Recently, I met a guy whose eyebrows were flawless. As his brother was teasing him about "getting them arched", ole' boy gave the death stare and then said, "No, I get them done." I should've asked him if they were "laminated" since that is currently all the rage as far as brow care goes.
If you've never heard of brow lamination before, the long short of it is, it's a semi-permanent brow procedure that provides the results of microblading without the use of any needles.
Since it straightens brow hairs with a solution that contains keratin (a protein that our hair is made up of), a lot of people are finding it to be their favorite brow care technique, by a long shot. If you want to attempt it at home, check out a DIY tutorial here.
A wise person once said, if we can't eat whatever it is that we're putting on our hair, skin or nails, we probably shouldn't use it. While it's pretty close to impossible to follow this rule to a "T", many cosmetic companies are making it easier to hit the mark, now more than ever. That said, if when you're out looking for some toner, shampoo or any other beauty item, you look at the label and you can't pronounce even one-third of the words on it, you might want to take a pass and search for something else. Our body absorbs the chemicals that we use, and with recent headlines like "Here's One More Reason Black Women Should Stop Processing Our Hair: Breast Cancer", a beauty trend like transparent labels is something that we all should get behind and support.
With Americans using around a trillion gallons of water each year, and something as simple as a leaky faucet resulting in 10 gallons being wasted a day, it would make sense that caring for the environment would include being proactive about our water consumption. Some cosmetic companies are addressing this by making water-free products. Aside from the fact that it can help to preserve something that we all need in order to stay alive, water-free cosmetics make it easier to travel with. Plus, they tend to have a longer shelf life. A great example of water-free skincare is an article that we featured last year—"Everyone's Raving About The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine". Check it out when you get a chance to see if it's something that could possibly work for you.
If you've ever wondered if you have sensitive skin, here are some telling signs—your skin is always dry; beauty products always tend to create a rash, burn or sting; your skin doesn't react well to fragrances or artificial coloring; you breakout easily; your skin is sensitive to the sun; your skin is constantly itchy and/or your skin "reacts" to extreme weather like sun, cold and wind. If this is the case, it's best to use beauty products that are customized for sensitive skin. Luckily, this is your year because these are the kind of items that will be heavily marketed. If you want to give a few of 'em a shot, some brands that could relieve your symptoms are Cetaphil, Aesop, Josie Maran, Physicians Formula, Glow Recipe, Clinique, Bliss, Eucerin, BE GENTLE and REN.
Who doesn't like to smell good? At the same time, who doesn't want to be healthy too? If your goal is to accomplish both things, you might wanna rethink the kind of perfumes that you wear.
Although a lot of us don't read the ingredients that are on the back of perfume and cologne packages, the reality is many of them are pretty toxic; especially if they contain phthalates. What are those? It's kind of a long story, but the short of it is they are chemical substances that help things to last longer. Problem is, they can also cause problems with your reproductive and endocrine system (for starters).
So, in 2020, make reading perfume labels and opting for phthalate-free perfumes an absolute must. Hello Glow has a list of some of them here.
Something that was big a few years ago and is making somewhat of a comeback is naked manicures. These are more about making sure that your nails are as healthy as possible than focusing on any kind of shape, color or nail design. The benefits that come from getting a naked manicure is they can fade any type of nail discoloration you might have, smooth out any ridges, make your nails stronger and more flexible, increase hydration to your nail beds and cuticles, and provide an overall healthy tone and finish to your nails.
Some of us are so caught up in different nail styles that we don't give our nails a break. Luckily, thanks to naked manicures, you can go a few weeks without powder dipping or gel polish, let your nails breathe, and still be totally on trend.
Products with (More) Essential Oils in Them
Something that I'm a big fan of are essential oils. On the smell tip, they are potent and long-lasting. More than that, every single one has at least five health benefits to them. That's why I smiled when I checked out "Products Featuring Essential Oil Claims to Rise in 2020". If you're someone who only dibbles and dabbles into essential oils every now and again, make this the year that you are intentional about adding them to your health and beauty regimen. Wyndmere Naturals published one of the most helpful essential lists that I've seen in a while to give you the benefits of various oils ("A-Z Guide of Essential Oils"). Oh, and if you're wondering which oils are going to be pretty popular this year, the list includes anything citrusy along with ginger, patchouli, jasmine, vanilla, sandalwood, rose and amber.
Natural and Glossy Lips
Now this is a beauty trend that I can definitely get on board with. I honestly can't tell y'all how many tubes of lip gloss that I have in my possession. All I know is if there was a support group for lip gloss addicts, I'd need to attend. Since minimalism is big in 2020, lip gloss over lipstick will be pretty popular for the next several months. Oh, and even if you choose to wear your brightest red lip stain (which is also a current beauty trend), still apply a layer of gloss over it since the matte look is currently out.
Speaking of gloss, lips aren't the only thing that should have it. "Glossy" eyelids and cheeks will be a big trend too (which you can create with a little bit of sweet almond or avocado oil, by the way).
Inclusion and Diversity
Your grandma can tell you about the days when Fashion Fair was basically the only make-up option for Black women. These days, there are many more items to choose from thanks to companies like Rihanna's Fenty Beauty. As more brands like Mented Cosmetics, Urban Skin Rx, EveryHue Beauty, Thrive Causemetics and Makeup for Melanin Girls all continue to roll out products that complement various ethnicities and skin tones, it is becoming easier and easier to find what works for you and what enhances your natural beauty seamlessly. Definitely something to get hype about as far as enhancing our natural beauty goes, I think. How about you?
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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.
The first big leap was moving to a new city and getting settled into my new home. The next big leap? Was finding community and belonging. Moving to a new city excited me! I looked forward to having my own apartment, decorating it, and exploring what the city had to offer. I also found excitement in the thought of meeting new people and expanding my connections. When it actually came down to it, I felt nervous. I heard that making new friends as an adult can be hard because we all have different responsibilities and schedules that may not align. I knew in order for me to really feel at home in my new city, I had to create community.
Having a community of people who I can share memories with, lean on in times of need, and inspire each other is something I always valued. I took a moment to truly center in on what I desired from the new friends I would make. Then I realized it all would have to start with me. I had to be centered and confident in who I was to attract who I desired to be aligned with. As someone who moved to a new city and established quality friendships, I gathered these six tips that helped me feel grounded and create community in hopes that it will help you, too.
6 tips to start building community and making new friends in a new city:
Sean Anthony Eddy/ Getty Images
Be true to yourself
Do you know who you are? If someone asked you to describe yourself in three words, what words would you use? In order to develop deep friendships, you must be a friend to yourself first. Know what refuels you and what zaps your energy. Self-study your habits and why you do the things you do. All this will be important to keep in mind when looking to create bonds with others. Every day there’s all kinds of people telling you who you should be, how you should act, or what you should wear. At the end of the day, the only opinion about yourself that truly matters is your own. Spend some alone time with yourself indoors or out at an event you like to truly discover who you are in this season of your life.
Pray about it
Before you step out into the world and cross paths with all kinds of people, it’s important to pray about building your community. God outlines what true friendship looks like in numerous Bible verses such as "Iron sharpens iron." - Proverbs 27:17 and “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. If you desire friendships that last, pray about what you seek in friendship. I remember praying for mentally stable, happy, and whole women who moved through life with abundance mindsets. Take a moment to journal about the community you want to build and then pray on it.
Go to fun events to meet people who share your interests
Most metropolitan cities like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Atlanta are known to have strong young professional communities and events where you can connect with others. I highly encourage you to attend events in or near your community to see what the city is like and meet people. It’s likely that the people at the event have the same interests as you, which is a great way to start a conversation. You can start by searching for events on Eventbrite or following Instagram pages that highlight events happening in your city.
Carlos Barquero/ Getty Images
Accept that you won’t be compatible with everyone you meet
While living in your new city, it’s likely you’ll meet a variety of people. Please know that everyone you meet will not bud into lasting friendships, and that’s okay! You are uniquely created and not made for everyone. Then you’ll meet people who are good for only surface-level connections, and then you’ll have your girls who you can get deep with. I think sometimes people can look down on surface-level friendships, but not everyone needs to fully know you. That’s a privilege to have and to accept within yourself. Continue to check in with yourself and be real about who you crave to spend more time with and who is nice to see for a monthly or quarterly catch-up.
Join Facebook groups & GroupMe chats
If you haven’t used Facebook in a couple of years, it’s time to dust your profile off. Facebook Groups is a great place to join online communities for people who just moved to a new city like you. Typically, you have to agree to the group’s guidelines, and then you can join. For example, you can search for groups in the Facebook app by using keywords like women, Black girl, or [the name of your city] foodies. With the GroupMe app, you’ll have to be invited to join an already existing group. While you’re out and about networking, don’t hesitate to ask if they’re in any online groups/communities they recommend you join too.
Be friendly to folks in your neighborhood
When I first moved to my new apartment, I spent the first week walking around the complex and working in the community spaces to get a better feel of it. I was able to meet people in my neighborhood, enjoy small talk, and learn more about what the community has to offer. Step outside of your comfort zone and work in your apartment’s community space or a local coffee shop to connect with others.
Overall, you may feel alone in your new city, but I guarantee you’re not. There are other people experiencing living in a new city too, and all you need to do is find each other. I hope these tips help ease the nervous feelings you have about building a new community and inspire you to make a new friend today!
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