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These Are Some Natural Beauty Trends You Can Feel Good About In 2020

These 10 beauty trends are good to you and for you.

Beauty & Fashion

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

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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.

Brow Lamination

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.

“Transparent” Labels

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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.

Water-Free Products

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.

Sensitive-Skin Items

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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.

Phthalate-Free Perfumes

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.

Naked Manicures

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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

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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?

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

10 Natural Hair Products To Add To Your Routine

9 All-Natural Ways To Quench Dehydrated Skin

Uncommon (But Totally Natural) Things That Are Great For Hair Growth

8 Natural Aphrodisiac Scents, Where They Go & How To Make Them Last

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Did you know that xoNecole has a podcast? Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to join us for weekly convos over cocktails (without the early morning hangover.)

You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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