This article is in partnership with Ulta Beauty.
When it comes to beauty, Ulta Beauty has become synonmous as a one-stop shopping experience for makeup and skincare lovers alike. From in-store beauty services to their must-shop event 21 Days Of Beauty, Ulta Beauty has more than established themselves as that store. Recently, Ulta Beauty came through with the come through by unvieling the newness products we didn't know we needed. And we are so here for it!
The fall season is all about being out with the old and in with the new, and while the world very much feels out of our control, it feels great to find comfort and solace in the things you can control. That goes double for investing in yourself and your glow-up. Adding elements to your day like doing your makeup even if it's just for Zoom meetings, virtual Happy Hour with the ladies and treating yourself to a pamper session by adding a few more steps to your skincare routine are such a good reminder of how transformative your glow-up can be. Quarantine or not, it's important to gravitate towards things that build your self-confidence ad nurture your spirit.
For me, investing in myself looks like pampering my skin with products that speak to my needs, especially products that help with dark spots and hyperpigmentation. I'm currently eyeing the release of Dermalogica Hydro Masque Exfoliant, Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Dew Drops, and Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Scrub. My pores are ready to preserve this glow, honey, rea-dy. Remember ladies, black joy is an act of resistance.
Ulta Beauty is giving us a multitude of ways to shop these all-new launches. You can order online, shop in-store or in-app, or even pull up to do curbside pickup. Get into the 21 Ulta Beauty newness products that our editors are currently eyeing and prepare to shop 'til you drop!
NARS Climax Extreme Mascara takes lashes to new heights by turning things up to the extreme, thanks to its buildable volume. With an innovative formula that is as intense as it is flexible, the mascara is giving a whole new meaning to peak lashes, emphasis on the va-va-voom. And it manages to do so without the dreaded clumps or smudging that can come with other mascara formulas.
Who says you need to go out for an excuse to get glam? The Urban Decay Stoned Vibes Eyeshadow Palette is filled with tantalizing foiled shades and pressed glitters, reminding you of how fun it is to tap into your black girl magic. What's even better is that this palette consists of an innovative powder to cream formula that provides you with some melt-into-the-skin action. The end result? An enviable radiating finish, ensuring your glow is on go, whether you're getting your virtual happy hour on with friends or a quick socially-distanced date night in. We're just saying.
There's nothing more indulgent than ending your day (or starting it) with a face mask. And Dermalogica knew exactly what they were doing with their Hydro Masque Exfoliant. The masque (that's masque with a 'que') packs a one-two punch thanks to its hydrating and exfoliating properties. This five-minute mask exfoliates with bamboo, while locking in moisture for smooth, renewed, and luminous skin. Yaaasss, glow!
Mario Badescu is that skincare brand. From oily to dry to acne-prone, they seem to offer a range of products that offer the gamut. With their Hyaluronic Dew Drops, they are once again flexing their muscles of why they're everyone's skincare favorite. With its ability to deliver botanical-infused hydration to your skin, this product also offers resurfacing, clarifying benefits that improve the quality of your skin. The end result is a dewy, ultra-hydrated complexion, taking your glow to even higher levels.
If we want to get into achieving a signature glow, Tula is where to begin. Tula Signature Glow Refreshing & Brightening Face Mist does exactly what their name suggests, all while protecting your skin from environmental damage. All-new to Ulta Beauty, the "highlighter in a bottle" is perfect for putting on as a primer before makeup, after makeup, or just to refresh and rehydrate your skin throughout the day. Either way, it allows you to pamper thyself while providing it with the moisture and protection it craves.
With its natural radiant finish coupled with its light-medium coverage formula, IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation might be the simple, lightweight foundation you've been looking for. In addition to giving you coverage without a cakey finish or the feel of a full-coverage formula, this foundation comes in 24 shades and provides you with 24 hours of hydration, giving you a bright and even skin tone without sacrificing your desire for a more natural go-to makeup look.
Clinique Even Better All-Over Concealer + Eraser is serving up 'your skin, but better' realness with the debut of this incredible product. This concealer visibly treats dark circles and reduces the look of puffiness all day and overtime while providing you with the coverage you so desire. Available in 30 shades, the caffeine-, Vitamin C-, and hyaluronic acid-enriched product proves to be makeup that covers up while improving your skin underneath. Plus, with its 12-hour wear and 24-hour hydration, Clinique shows beauty-lovers everywhere why this concealer is a must-have.
The StriVectin Super-C Retinol is the Vitamin C product of the gawds. Vitamin C is a highly regarded skincare ingredient because it helps to brighten the skin, reducing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation over time. This product in particular couples Vitamin C with retinol, creating a winning combination of brightening and protection that will help you achieve flawless skin in no time.
Peach & Lily is a Korean skincare brand that offers an array of products catering to skincare needs. With the Peach & Lily Cold Brew Eye Recovery Stick, say goodbye to whatever bags your eyes may be carrying. This eye cream helps eliminate the appearance of undereye circles and puffiness by tightening and hydrating that area of your skin.
The Benefit Cosmetics Brow Microfilling Pen helps you achieve the perfect brow one stroke at a time. Get the coveted microbladed effect at a fraction of the price or the effort with the help of this miracle product. With a staying power of up to 24 hours, this microfilling pen is the one product your brow needs.
One of the best times to really pour into your skin routine is at night. This is because your skin is given the opportunity to repair itself during the hours you've closed your eyes to sleep. That being said, what you apply to your skin at night could be the difference between meh skin and skin that is absolutely radiant. Case in point, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex puts in work by reducing visible signs of aging and evening your skin tone. Problem skin, be damned.
Issa brightening facial scrub! We live for all things brightening, especially where vitamin C is involved. Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Scrub is a powerful vitamin C product, given its inclusion of its mega-potent THD Ascorbate that takes the traditional vitamin C ingredient to new levels. This scrub polishes and brightens the skin's overall appearance, aiding in creating an even skin tone and diminishing the appearance of hyperpigmentation over time.
Our skin encounters much more harm throughout our day-to-day than you might think. Between enduring indoor and outdoor air pollution, UV rays, and sweat amid other environmental damage, your skin goes through it. Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream just might be the remedy. This gluten-free, vegan, and cruelty-free product is a blend of spicy sandalwood, sweet neroli, and sour rose that provides nourishment and deep hydration to replenish your skin. Better yet, you can use it daily or nightly to truly treat yo' self.
Vegan and cruelty-free, Filth & Root Calming Facial Moisturizer is a CBD facial moisturizer that feels like therapeutic luxury in the palm of your hands. Rich in Terpenes and Adaptogens, this moisturizer fights inflammation and hydrates. Keep your breakouts at bay and your skin quenched with this CBD beauty find.
First Aid Beauty FAB Pharma Arnica Relief & Rescue Mask is a product featured among First Aid Beauty's particular array of pharmacy-inspired skincare and targeted treatments. This mask is self-care reinvented and its rich and creamy texture will have you feeling like you're lounging in a lap of luxury from the comfort of your home. The mask soothes and relieves stressed, irritated, and dehydrated skin. As you pour into yourself, you
Sometimes our lips are an aspect that we neglect in our skincare routines, despite them being such a focal point. Keep your lips hydrated and smooth by investing in a go-to lip mask like this one by Becca. Wear your lip mask at night to restore moisture into your pout, wake up and wash away the dead skin for a smooth and hydrated reveal. Your lips will thank you for it.
Probiotics does more than just wonders for your gut health. Now, with the help of Beekman 1802 Milk Drops Probiotic Ceramide Serum, your skin gets to reap some of those benefits too! Beekman 1802's revolutionary goat milk skincare skystem is the gift that keeps giving with the arrival of its power-packed serum that leaves your skin smooth, radiant, and even-toned. In just one drop, you get a serum that contains hella squalane, essential ceramides, plant enzymes, and hyaluronic acid. Discoloration and dull skin, be gone!
The most popular way to fill in sparse brows is by creating hair-like strokes with your brow pencil or pomade of choice. In case you didn't know, Anastasia Beverly Hills has a Brow Pen that promises to give you those hair-like strokes for a natural-looking brow with a fraction of the effort. The brand who is known for their prowess over the brow sector knew what they were doing when they created this long-wearing pen.
As more of us spend more time working from home and being immersed in blue light, gravitating towards products that can help improve your skin while protecting you against potential damage. In addition to protecting you, it also neutralizes dark circles and hydrates the undereye area.
One word: brightening. This correcting peel by Exuviance is an intensive retinol correcting peel that improves the look and feel of your skin's texture over time. With consistent weekly use, the peel makes dark spots caused by aging, scarring, or sun damage less visible on the surface of the skin. Your skin will be lifted, firmer, and more flawless in no time.
Say hello to what's new in French skincare. L'Occitaine wants us to feel as pampered as possible in our showers by dipping our toes into a pool of this lavishness. The L'Occitaine Almond Shower Oil is 'hydration' in a bottle, as the two-in-one shower oil offers duality in its benefits. While most cleansers can be rather stripping to the body, especially coupled with the stripping aspects of warmer water in our showers, this product moisturizes the skin, and can even be used to replenish moisture on even the driest skin type.
Featured image by Shutterstock
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and felt so deeply connected to them? Everything about the relationship was intense – good or bad? Then you might be in a part of a soul tie.
The concept of a soul tie binds individuals on a level beyond a relationship's physical and emotional aspects; it’s more than a mere connection. You can form a soul tie with anyone – lover, friend, colleague, etc.- but we are discussing romantic partners for this article. Think of you and your partner as an intensely burning flame. The flame can burn passionately to light the relationship’s way or chaotically burn everything in its path. Either way, it leaves an indelible mark on the souls involved.
A soul tie should not be confused with the term “soulmate.” The main difference is that a soul tie can be positive or negative, while a soulmate is a mutual, harmonious connection. Unlike a soul tie, a soulmate relationship is generally characterized by mutual understanding, support, and shared values.
However, the more we learn about soul ties, the more it becomes evident that they are not monolithic; they vary in nature and intensity. As someone who has experienced a negative soul tie, it is crucial to discern whether they contribute positively to personal growth or hinder you from flourishing.
If Your Soul Tie Is Positive
A positive soul tie creates a deep and affirming connection between individuals. One key indicator of a positive soul tie is effective communication. If you’re experiencing a positive soul tie, a shared understanding fosters open and honest dialogue, contributing to a sense of connection and support.
Mutual growth is another hallmark of a positive soul tie. When individuals in a relationship encourage each other's personal development and evolution, it signifies a positive and uplifting connection. This mutual support leads to an environment where both parties can thrive individually and together, contributing to the overall health of the soul tie.
Emotional security is a crucial element in identifying a positive soul tie. In such connections, individuals feel a deep sense of trust and comfort with each other. This emotional security forms a stable foundation for the relationship, allowing both parties to express vulnerability and foster a strong, positive bond. These three indicators—effective communication, mutual growth, and emotional security—underscore the positivity inherent in a healthy and affirming soul tie.
If Your Soul Tie Is Negative
A negative soul tie manifests as a detrimental and draining connection between individuals. One clear sign of a negative soul tie is the presence of emotional turmoilwithin the relationship. When the connection becomes a source of constant distress, causing emotional upheaval and hindering personal development, it indicates a negative soul tie.
Codependency is another red flag for a negative soul tie. In such connections, individuals may become overly reliant on each other, impeding their ability to thrive independently. Codependency often leads to unhealthy dependencies and can result in a toxic dynamic that hinders both individuals' growth and well-being.
A lack of effective communication is a third indicator of a negative soul tie. When there is a breakdown in communication, misunderstandings and unresolved issues can fester, contributing to a strained and unhealthy connection. In negative soul ties, the absence of open and honest dialogue can perpetuate a cycle of negativity and prevent the resolution of underlying issues. These three indicators—emotional turmoil, codependency, and poor communication—point to the negativity associated with an unhealthy soul tie.
Putting Out The Fires And Breaking Your Soul Tie
Unfortunately, my deep, intense connection only caused destruction. And despite the obvious red flags, it took a minute before I broke the connection. Why? Because I was addicted to the relationship, we both were. But it is possible to break a soul tie if and when you are ready because if you are not, pretending you are when you are not is a waste of your time.
Breaking a soul tie requires intentional and purposeful actions. Establishing clear and firm boundaries is a fundamental step in severing the connection. By limiting contact and emotional engagement with the person involved, individuals can gradually weaken the tie and create space for personal growth.
Seeking professional support is another effective strategy to break a soul tie. Guidance from therapists or counselors provides valuable insights and coping strategies. Professional assistance can help individuals navigate the emotional challenges associated with breaking a soul tie, offering a structured and supportive environment for healing.
Redirecting energy toward personal growth is important in breaking free from a soul tie. Engaging in activities that promote individual well-being and create a sense of independence allows individuals to refocus their attention on their own growth and development. This redirection of energy is essential for breaking the emotional bonds of a soul tie and moving towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.
The last step I advise everyone to go through is the mourning period. My partner and I did our song and dance for years before I walked away. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I mourned our relationship while I healed.
Recognizing the presence and nature of a soul tie in your relationship is crucial to understanding its impact on your well-being. Whether positive or negative, the intensity of a soul tie can shape the course of your personal growth and happiness. Breaking free from a negative soul tie demands intentional efforts, from setting clear boundaries to seeking professional support. Redirecting energy toward personal growth and allowing oneself a necessary mourning period are vital steps toward healing and liberation from the intricate ties that bind.
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