Mystery Blogger Award (1, 2, & 3)

Mystery Blogger Award (1, 2, & 3)

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Hello all, hope your having a great summer so far!

Just recently, I’ve had the extraordinary privilege of receiving two nominations for the Mystery Blogger Award, and I’m wholeheartedly honored to receive them. I was nominated by SmartsandSparkles and TashneeVMavee, so please check them out!

Created by Okoto Enigma, the Mystery Blogger Award, is this cool award for bloggers with innovative and intelligent posts. She writes that,

Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion. – Okoto Enigma

A huge thank you to Okoto Enigma for creating this ingenious award! With each nomination, it is required by the nominated blogger to answer a couple questions from their nominator.


The Rules

The rules for this award are as follows:

  1. Put the award logo or image on your blog
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog in your post.
  3. Name the creator of the award and link their blog.
  4. List the rules.
  5. Answer your nominator’s questions.
  6. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  7. Nominate 10-20 people.
  8. Ask your nominees 5 original questions of your choice.
  9. Share links to your best blog posts.
  10. Notify each of your nominees by commenting on their blog.

So my first nominator, SmartsandSparkles, asks:

  • What’s your favorite topic to write about?

My absolute favorite topic to write about would have to be a tie between OOTDs and Black News (this realm includes anything to do with African-American culture, race relations, Black celebrity lifestyle and fashion, Black Lives Matter, and of course Black History Month).

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Pssst! This is a sneak peak to my new OOTD post!
  • What gave you the idea to begin a blog?

The initial idea for me to begin what was Noire Rewritten, and what has now evolved into Femme Rewritten, came from my sheer love of writing. I’ve been writing since I was a little girl, and since then, I’ve written three novels, won awards in school and from popular authors like April Linder, been published, been accepted to write for a popular magazine, and have started this blog! I aspire to join my university’s Journalism crew this year, finish another novel, and flesh out some freelance ideas I’ve been working on.

  • Dogs, cats, or both?

This is a hard one, as I’ve never had a dog before, and my aunt has a cat that I’m constantly around, but I’ll have to go with dogs! They’re seem to be bit friendlier, and from what I’ve experienced, like to cuddle a lot more.

  • What’s a pet peeve of yours?

Probably my biggest pet peeve to date would have to be people not keeping their word. I see myself as a person of integrity and someone who never breaks a promise, and I’d love for other people to abide by that same unspoken rule as well.

My other would be not knowing what word I want to use, even though it’s on the very tip of my tongue haha.

  • What’s a piece of advice you’d give to a beginning blogger?

Never isolate yourself! Get out there and make a connection to something, or with someone! Whether it be in WordPress, other blogging communities, school, or work, get yourself and your work out there. To do that, you have to be willing to meet them halfway sometimes. Be sure to read, comment, and like on other people’s pieces every now and then! Major key.

My second nominator, TashneeVMavee, asks:

  • What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever done?

The weirdest thing I’ve ever done? I honestly don’t know, but the funniest has got to be one time I was taking food up to my room, and I tripped up the stairs and spilled it everywhere. I cleaned it up and my parents never found out lmao.

  • Can you tell me some of your strengths​ that really helped you in blogging?

For some reason I’ve always preferred English and the Arts over every other subject, and I feel that that’s helped me with this blog quite a bit, as I love to read, and reading can only make you a better writer.

I also consider my love of writing to be a major strength in my blogging efforts. Nothing fuels you more than passion.

  • Who has impacted you most in blogging and how?

The person that has impacted me most in blogging is my mom, she fueled my love for English, reading and the arts because of how much she loved them too. She also wanted to start a blog, but unfortunately we never got to it. One day I hope to start a blog centered around her idea in honor of her.

  • Who was your first style icon?

Again, my momma. Her fashion sense was amazing. She always knew what to pair with what, where to find the best styles and deals to coincide, and her way of life was simply effortless. She’s also bought me a lot of the pieces that I’ve featured on my OOTD posts (like the Green American Rag Cargo Jacket and the Michael Kors Jet Set purse!).

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  • How would you describe your blogging style?

My blogging style tends to run along the lines of poetic and free with a touch of purple prose, yet explanatory and relying somewhat on visuals. I love photography, so I try to feature some of mine every now and then. I write about African-American and African culture, cosmetics, fashion, Feminist culture, lifestyle, and anything else that embraces everything that a woman is or can be!


3 Things About Myself

  1. I love fashion. This includes clothes, handbags, accessories, shoes, cosmetics, and the process of acquiring said items… Shopping.
  2. Organization is a huge part of my life, and I use it as a stress reliever. Mapping out my week in my 2 year planner, filling up my calendar, and reorganizing my room and closet fill me with this unbelievable sense of satisfaction that I can’t get from any where else… Besides completing and publishing a blog post of course 😉
  3. As for being a writer, I’m also an entrepreneur, a musician (voice and the Flute), a self-declared photographer, and an athlete (Tennis, Volleyball, and Yoga).

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My Nominees

Below I have listed and linked 15 amazing femme bloggers I’ve met here on WordPress who I believe deserve the Mystery Blogger Award ten times over. Congrats guys!

  1. Built By Flaws
  2. Tonye Tariah Fitness & Health
  3. Rated T
  4. Chocolate & Confident
  5. The White Rose
  6. Melissa Kimberly
  7. Samantha Boulos
  8. Affa Bonnie
  9. Not Your Average Girly Girl
  10. Life of Angela
  11. Pinot & Peeptoes
  12. Ruminvte
  13. The Terrence Effect
  14. I Wanna Be a Lady
  15. Niken’s Martini

My Questions for the Nominees

  1. What made you start your blog, and what makes you stay?
  2. If you had to write about one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
  3. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
  4. Where’s your favorite place to write? (Mine is Starbucks ☕️ and outside on warm summer nights 🌴)
  5. If you could be anywhere in the world, doing anything, with anyone, where would you be, what would you be doing, and who would you be doing it with?

Again thank you so so so much for the nominations as these are my very first on WordPress to date. While you’re here, check out some of my fav posts?


Stay tuned for my post about my One Lovely Blogger nomination!!

Sending my love,

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Femme Rewritten & 500 WordPress Followers

Femme Rewritten & 500 WordPress Followers

Hi all! I’m writing to you guys today about something that I am very proud to share.

I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time, and two days ago, I finally took the steps to officially change my blog’s name from Noire Rewritten to Femme Rewritten. I had get new domains, make new banners and visuals, change the blog around a bit, and make all new business cards. Despite all of this (it was a ton to accomplish in two days), I have to say that I am highly inspired about this transition and the growth of my blog’s brand.

Just for the sake of a little background, in French, Noire translates to “Black” or “Dark”. As an African American woman, I’ve always wanted to question and confront the chauvinistic and destructive theorem that has been ascribed to the Black narrative. Ergo the “Rewritten” half of my blog’s name. I wanted a name that was exclusive and yet inclusive, but still something that easily got my principle message across–Noire Rewritten did just that.

As my first year with this blog came to a close, I began to write about more than issues in just Black and Brown communities. I built up to writing about the false generalizations and toxic expectations for woman in historical and modern day society, and how to go about changing those restrictive normalizations day by day. Somewhere along those blurred lines, I began to write about fashion, beauty, self love, and self care.

While wholeheartedly accepting that the struggle of a Black Woman will always be the most arduous of every race, in this moment, I realize that my expansions on what it means to be a Black Woman, can partially transcend to what it means to be a woman altogether.

As my writing develops and the idea behind my blog deepens, I’ve found that I want to adopt a brand that embodies my entire vision for what I’ve always wanted my blog to be. I feel that now, Femme Rewritten not only encompasses me, a young Nigerian American woman, but also embraces all of the aspects that make me, and other women of color, women. 

This blog can now allow itself to be a more comprehensive environment, and yet still distinctive enough to focus on matters of Black, Brown, and Female communities that don’t receive enough positive scrutiny. Through all of this, know that this blog still remains a Pro-Black, Black Lives Matter, and Liberal space–I’ve now just officially declared it a Feminist one, if it wasn’t already apparent before.

With this new brand, I aspire to assist in rewriting what our bureaucracy stigmatizes all women of color to be.

I also want to utilize this post to thank you all for 500 WORDPRESS FOLLOWERS! It was only June 3rd that I was thanking you for 100. I can’t even begin to express how thrilled I am to be reaching more hearts, and more minds.

P.S: yesterday I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award, so I’ll be making a post about that, which will include my own nominees as well!

Thank you, stay tuned, and as usual, comment below what you’d like to see me post about next (or if you just want to say hi)!

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Until my next post, I leave you with this question:

What will you rewrite?

Sending my love,

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Thank You!

Thank You!

Thanks so much for 100 followers! Just days ago I was just a little over 40!

You guys have no idea how much this means to me. I started this blog a year ago, and fell off for quite some time, only to come back this summer after my mother passed away. Her passing is taking everything from me, and I think the only thing keeping me together, keeping me here, are the people I love, and the ability to channel what little feeling I have left through my writing.

Although I may not personally know many of you, I am exceptionally pleased to have you guys here, reading my work; it’s a deeply appreciated form of unspoken support.

If you have any content suggestions, any feedback… anything, let me know down below!

Stay tuned for more posts, and again, thank you.

Sending my love,

Mena

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2016 Nordstrom Fall Beauty Trend Show: Oakbrook

2016 Nordstrom Fall Beauty Trend Show: Oakbrook

This past Saturday, October 15th, my mother, my sister, my aunt, and I were invited to Oakbrook’s 2016 Nordstrom Fall Beauty Trend Show.

Let’s talk the outfit first.

The Outfit

My top was a thick knit cream sweater from H&M; simple, comfortable, yet still chic. My jeans, oh my jeans: dark wash distressed high waisted denim from Hollister. For accessories, I decided on a cute and simple Kors Jetset Purse, my Fitbit Alta, two of my favorite Hai Panda Bracelets, my Pandora Rose bracelet and my favorite statement necklace from Forever 21. I finished the outfit with a simple pair of nude flats from Forever 21, and my favorite American Rag Cargo Jacket.

Screen Shot 2017-06-16 at 2.43.43 AM.pngThick Knit H&M Sweater: $30 / American Rag Cargo Jacket: $30
High-Waisted Distressed Hollister Jeans: $25 / Michael Kors Jet Set Purse: $90IMG_5123.JPGForever 21 Opalescent Statement Necklace: $20 / Hai Panda Beaded Bracelets: $32IMG_5153.JPGPandora Rose Braclet: $125 / Gold Limited Edition Fitbit Alta: $150

The entire outfit was under $500 of course – this isn’t the Grammy’s.

Keep in mind that this all wasn’t purchased at the same time. I’ve acquired some of my favorite statement pieces, such as the Pandora Rose Bracelet and the Fitbit over the years, those being gifts to myself, and the Kors purse being a birthday gift. You just have to be a savvy shopper 😉

Oh yeah, you probably want to hear about the actual event.

The Event

We arrived at 4am, landing us first place in line, and with our blankets in tow, proceeded to tough out the autumn chill for 3 hours – then in which the doors would be opening.

We shared some laughs with others in line, aching for 6:30am, when they would bring out the music and coffee to tide us over until the event began. I didn’t even drink the coffee, I used it to warm my hands. I’m sure it tasted swell though.

The time was finally 7:30am and my crew and I were ready to work the event. The doors finally opened, and after the initial bliss the wave of heat gave us, my little sister and I strutted into the Nordstrom department store, with my mom and aunt right behind us. Gladly accepting our complimentary goodie totes, we made our way up the two flights of escalators, and took our place front row, stage left, excited for the trunk show to finally begin.

Every trend show is exciting, filled with people who appreciate fashion and beauty just as much as I do. It was exciting to preview the upcoming Fall and Winter trends, as well as new products from some of the most popular cosmetic and fragrance companies. This year’s host, Gilbert Vera – definitely my favorite in the past 3 years – bounced out and started the show off perfectly. He was charming, funny, and knew just which buttons to push to get the crowd excited.

The Models

The fashion show was broken down into two distinct concepts that somehow manage to work together: Modern Romance (ultra-pretty neutrals) and Dark Glamour (bold color).

 

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  1. Going from right to left, the first model wore a For Love & Lemons white dress with crochet detailing and sexy black thigh high boots.
  2. The second, a Laura Mercier Model, wore an Alicia + Olivia cream sweater with beaded dealing and a black pleated wide leg pant.
  3. The third was one of my favorites, she sported a Ted Baker London black gown with a bow detail.
  4. The fourth, a MAC model, wore an Olivia Palermo + Chelsea28 black leather overalls and a Leith ivory ruffled high collar blouse.
  5. The fifth, my absolute favorite, wore a Trouvé black poet’s blouse, and a rose cigarette pant. The shoes were to die for.
  6. The Charlotte Tilbury model on the far left, wore a Kate Spade New York blush pink sweater with a rosette bow, and a Milly black modern miniskirt.

You don’t know how hard it was to resist the urge to strut the runway with them. Très chic

After a couple minutes of music, the DJ stops and says “I just wanted to say that the two girls in the front row, in the blue shirt and the green jacket, were the very first in line”. My sister and I looked around and realized in .02 seconds that we were the girls in the blue shirt and the green jacket. Gilbert walks over and puts the microphone in front of my sister, asking how long we’d been there, and once he heard 4am, he suggested that we receive a gift. He comes back from the gift table and hands us this Deluxe Dior Gift Set. This was her second year coming to the trunk show and my third so we were definitely hyped to have received such a  beautiful gift.

The Deluxe Dior Gift Set: $200 Value

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Ms. Dior Absolutely Blooming Perfume: $90 / Dior 5 Colors Skyline Palette: $63 / Dior Vernis Nail Lacquer: $27 / DiorShow Mascara: $28.50

Only about 20 minutes into the show and we’re on Trish Mcevory watching this gorgeous lady talk about the ‘Chic Collection’ Planner’ ($225), and it consisted of everything you’d need to get ready in the morning in under 10 minutes. Gilbert takes center stage again, and pauses, walking over to my mom, and asks for her brochure (it consisted of all of the designers we’d be seeing throughout the show), and he says, “I just want to point out that this lovely lady right here is taking amazing notes on each product we’ve seen. Like look at this!” He literally walked around and showed everyone additions my mom made with her loose cursive penmanship. He’s like “Let’s give her something shall we?” The crowd cheers, and my mom, my sister, my aunt and I are beyond excited for the second time that day. He comes back and gives her a $200 value Trish Mcevoy gift set. I nearly died, twice.

The Trish Mcevoy Deluxe Gift Set: $200 Value

Screen Shot 2017-06-16 at 2.47.37 AM.pngNo. 9 Blackberry and Vanilla Musk Eau De Parfum: $85.50 / No. 9 Blackberry and Vanilla Musk Enriched Body Cream: $60 / No. 9 Blackberry and Vanilla Musk Body Polish and Sugar Scrub: $55

The Deluxe Philosophy Goodie Bag: $120 Value

I also received a beautiful Philosophy all-around sampler bag. Screen Shot 2017-06-16 at 2.48.26 AMThe show moves on to talk about another 15 or so brands and their newest products. I’ll put some of my favorites down below.

MAC ‘C’est Chic’ Matte Eyeshadow Palette: $65

IMG_7768.JPGNow this is a palette I can really commit to. Whenever I buy palette’s from MAC, I always opt for the customizable “build your own palette” option (only available in standalone MAC stores and online), because I tend to favor buying palettes in which I can use all the shades. Too many a time – and I know this is true for African-American and other colored women and men – there will be shades in a palette that I love and that I finish first, shades that are ‘eh’ on my skintone and therefore are not used as much, and shades that don’t fit me at all, or that I’d never wear. Building my own palette at MAC guarantees that each shade in my palette will be used equally, and look equally beautiful on my chocolate skin.

But this ready-made palette may be a contender. I love matte shadows, and each one in here is matte. What I will say is that for each matte shade, I appreciate the shimmer version of it, if you want to go for a simple one-tone look. Despite that minor flaw, I can definitely see myself getting this palette for Christmas 😉

The shades include: You’re Bluffing (soft peach), Soft Brown (soft golden peachy-brown), Demitasse (midtone brown), Corduroy (muted reddish-brown), Dash of Mocha (dark beige brown), Pale, Please (washed out pink), Oo La Café (midtone neutral), Choc-ful (murky midtone pink), All’s Rosy (deep pink rose), Embark (intense reddish brown), Drawing a Blanc (creamy beige), Fogged in Dirty (grey), Pinch of Sage (warm grey), Dance in the Dark (dark brown), and Raven-Eyed (deep dark navy).

Jo Malone London’s ‘Basil & Neroli’ Cologne: $65 – $130

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It’s fresh, light, eccentric, with a herbaceous warmth, and a citrusy twist. A perfect everyday scent, and I plan on picking up my very own 1 oz. bottle.

Photo credit: theperfumeboy.com

‘Laila’ Fragrance: $56 – $76

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Laila is this beautiful and clean scent by Geir Ness of Norway. It’s infused with Norwegian mountain wildflowers and with a touch of fruit inflections. What makes it better? The creator, Geir Ness, dedicated it to his mother, Laila, who used to take him up to the Norwegian Mountains when he was a young boy. Can we say ‘cute’?

Fresh ‘Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask’: $62

Behind-the-scenes-at-Fresh-Beauty-s-lab_article_full-1.jpgThe representatives at the counter gave me a free facial with this, and I have to tell you it is one of the best masks I have ever tried, aside from  Lush Fresh Face Masks. It smells amazing, and it’s actually 50% real crushed citrus fruits, including oranges, lemons and clementines. Its vitamin fruit complex contains vitamins C, E and B5, so it’s perfect for anyone with natural vitamin deficiencies, such as myself. The lemon and orange fruit extracts and minerals are supposed to help revitalize skin, and give it a more vibrant glow and soft texture. Of course I can’t judge that off of one use, so this is something else I plan on purchasing during the Christmas season.

Photo credit: prestigeonline.com

I digress

All in all this was the best Nordstrom Trend Show I’ve been to out of the three total times I have attended. It was lively, rewarding, and had an amazing host; so thanks so much to Gilbert Vera and Nordstrom for making this one the finest yet.

Nordstrom Beauty Trend Event.pngDid anyone else attend a Nordstrom Trend Show? If so comment below, and tell me which city you went to, and how it was!

Even if you didn’t attend a Trend Show (you should!), what looks are you most excited for during the Fall/Winter? Ultra-pretty neutrals, bold color, or a little bit of both? I’d love to hear from you!cropped-femme-rewritten-banner-14.png

 

 

Not So Good to be a Good Girl

Not So Good to be a Good Girl

For decades, possibly even centuries, mass media and popular culture have focused on teaching girls to embrace a version of selfhood that is particularly damaging to their potential greatness. Our authority, our authenticity, has been staggered by the pressure to be “good”-selfless, modest, kind, gorgeous, and submissive. Growing up we have been told how to treat our bodies and when it is acceptable to show them – if at all.

As women, we live in the ultimate paradox of a lose-lose situation. Our bodies are constantly held to the standard of absolute excellence and the ways we choose to display our sexuality are often (always) abhorred.

The problem is, we do not emphasize the correct message for both the male and female population–at least not as much as we should.  It is almost always acceptable for boys and men to act in provocative ways, and that girls and women should be repressed and unstimulating. We constantly impress upon women that they should have no sexual freedom, yet, at the same time, men are generally admired if they have high levels of sexual activity. This ideology opens the door for a dangerous sense of entitlement, which in turn, can facilitate a culture that excuses harassment, rape, domestic violence, and other injustices that women face disproportionately more than men.

In the media, and unfortunately perpetuated throughout daily life, people constantly focus on the visible aspects that make women women, but when they themselves venture to be proud of their own anatomy, or attempt to be sexually liberated, it is painted as engaging in activities “unfit for a lady”, or they are slandered as whores and sluts. Women are only expected to be sexual if it is for the purpose of pleasing a man, or in the pursuit of bearing a man’s offspring. The ultimate consequence of such a primitive mindset, is the toxic message that “a woman’s body exists entirely for the consumption of men”… (or man rather, because if a woman has more than one sexual partner that is another reason for her to receive a scarlet letter). The next inference will be that a woman’s mind, a woman’s consciousness, exists solely to serve man.

That could not be further from the truth.

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It is more emphasized for girls to protect themselves from sexual harassment than it is to teach men to respect the women they come in contact with. Disseminating itself into rape culture, the resulting idea is that it is the victim’s fault that they were sexually assaulted. Subsequently, the message that arises is that they sanctioned their harassment by being too much of a tease and that the way they were dressed warranted the maltreatment they received. This speaks as if an outfit with slightly more coverage could convince a potential rapist that their payoff may no longer be worth the struggle. This, in turn, communicates to society (and young women, more importantly) that the way a woman dresses determines how she is to be treated.

Historically, much of the world’s society has been a patriarchal bureaucracy intended to enforce the assumption that men are to be incomparably successful and “their” women are to be submissive, sophisticated, domesticated mates. Mothers and daughters are to be seen, never heard, and to bear offspring whenever their husbands so please. Such an unspoken rule and regulation on one sex tells a single group that they are entitled to the other, and the other, that their inherent obligation is to please.

As contradictory to common sense this may seem, if you have a daughter, don’t raise her to be a “good girl”. Instead of constantly controlling and encouraging anxiety with countless warnings about the unavoidable dangers of the opposite sex, engage her in conversation. Listen to what she has to say, then reflect, and advise. The appreciation and voiced affirmation of a girl’s feelings at a young age can powerfully influence her emotional confidence and success as a woman. With the added pressure from mainstream media, it can be quite challenging for young women to focus on forming their own authentic identities. In my afflicted opinion, females are more perceptive to the emotions of others and empathetic to what they feel. Research has shown that girls develop emotional intelligence earlier than their male counterparts. Having said this, it is important to understand that this innate gift is stifled by the need to constantly hide what they truly feel. When our emotional expression is perpetually depicted as meaningless, we begin to regard other people’s sensitivity at the expense of our own. Coming from personal experience, when focusing on achieving someone else’s definition of perfection, girls begin to discount their own feelings. We do this with such commitment, that by the time we turn into young women, we have found it consummately rational to censor our own consciousness. Consequently, we begin to surround ourselves with individuals who do not value our feelings. We can’t blame them, though, because at the end of the day, we give others no reason to care, if we don’t even pretend that we do. This constant neglect of our own emotional disparity, can, in turn, affect our mental and physical health. Focus on encouraging young girls to discover aspects of themselves that they can translate into conducive and cathartic outlets.

Everyone has to find something to give their mind a break.

A lack of care for our emotional fitness translates into other facets of life–especially relationships. Above all, it keeps us from falling, and remaining, in love with ourselves.

I think we females have two points in our lives where we are consciously able conceptualize the meaning of loving ourselves: as candid, innocuous children, and when we have experienced enough in life to be able to filter through the bullshit and find our own beautiful truths.

I suppose we’ll all get to that point someday.

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Lush Cosmetics Review

Lush Cosmetics Review

So two Saturdays ago, and let’s be honest, last Saturday too… okay yesterday as well, I went shopping. When I shop, I shop from sunrise to sunset, and there isn’t one store that I haven’t at least window shopped. No store is safe.

But, I do admit that I have a couple favorite places to spend my hard earned paycheck. Lush Cosmetics is definitely at the top of that list. I joined the Lush movement when my aunt (fitandfabulousjointhejourneytoo.com) dragged me in a year ago (and thank GOD she did).

Skincare should be at the top of everyone’s list. I love Lush Cosmetics simply because I have extremely sensitive skin, and all of their products are natural. Forget those ingredients that no one can even pronounce. They tell you right on the label, when the product was made, when it will expire, and how to take care of it so it can take care of you. Some of their products require refrigeration, like their sent-from-heaven-fresh face masks, but most of their items are self preserving, such as their relaxing bath bombs and shower gels. Their products range from uber cheap to “I’m choking” expensive, but it’s all about creating a budget before you walk in, so that when you walk about, you aren’t happy and distressed at the same time.

My favorites at the moment include:

Fresh Farmacy (yes they spell it that way, shhh) Face Bar

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Made for sensitive skin, this calamine-based cleansing bar contains chamomile extract, rose, and lavender, to soothe dry areas, and tea tree oil to clear blemishes. This is one of the face soaps they have that actually lathers, because for someone reason, if it doesn’t have bubbles, it’s not cleansing. Don’t quote me on that, though. This soap is especially key for those of us who have mild to severe cystic acne. I have extremely oily skin, and having been using it for the last 2 months, I can definitely say that my breakouts have cleared tremendously, and that my skin is a lot more balanced. The top ingredients in this product are: Calamine Powder, Water, Chamomile, Coconut Oil, Lavender Oil, Tea Tree Oil, and Rose. Oh and I bet you’re wondering about price. Well, at lush, for some soaps, they can cut you a piece for the price you want to pay. So if you’re getting a couple other products and you just want to grab a $10 piece, they’ll cut you a 3.5oz slice. Stocking up? They can cut you a $20 piece too. Price: $9.95 

Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask

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So this is one of their products that you have to keep in the refrigerator because it contains absolutely no self preserving ingredients. It’ll last you a good month and a half before going sour, but trust me, you’ll finish it in a week, or two weeks if you’re micromanaging it. This face mask is a rosy pink, and contains Calamine Powder  Kaoline, Rose Clay, Rose Petals, and Rose Oil. This is one of their more expensive face masks, and from the products, you can definitely see why. While their other face masks are around $6, this little piece of Heaven is priced at $12.95. BUT, the great thing about Lush is that if you collect 5 of the little pots that some of their products come in, you can trade them in to their recycling program for a free fresh face mask. So you can conclude that this is usually my freebie. Price: $12.95

Eau Roma Water Toner (Also known as Jesus Tears… jk)

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This is a soothing herbal toner, made for dry, sensitive, and/or mature skin. This toner has two major active ingredients. This is their best toner, containing essential oils, rose, and lavender. Rose is nourishing and cooling, while lavender balances your skin’s oil production. (People with oily skin can I get an AMEN.) Fresh ingredients: Lavender Water, Rose Water, and other essential oils. This product pairs beautiful with their moisturizers (okay, okay, I’m getting to that), in which you’ll put this on first, and moisturizer right on top. Price: $9.95

Magical Moringa

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This moisturizer is perfect for achieving velvety matte skin, and can actually be used as a makeup primer. Yup, I said it, a makeup primer. Coupling Rose Oil from South America, Argan Oil from Morocco, and Moringa from Ghana, there’s no better youth elixir out there. Also utilizing Ghanian Shea this face moisturizer soothes the skin, primes it, leaves it feeling velvety smooth, and looking perfectly matte. It’s top ingredients? Cornflour, Argan Oil, Cocoa Butter, Moringa Oil, Rose Oil, and Organic Shea Butter. This moisturizer will last forever, especially if you use a toner first, so don’t worry about weekly trips to Lush, unless your heart so desires. Price? $24.95 (making this one of their more inexpensive moisturizers).

Vanishing Cream

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This moisturizer really is magic. This may sound contradictory, but if you have oily skin, you need to moisturize your face, cue gasps. This is basically because, if your skin is oily, it means it thinks it’s compensating for something. So drying it out will only do the opposite of what you want it to do, it will produce more oil. This is why Magical Moringa and Vanishing Cream are my two favorite moisturizers from Lush Cosmetics. Vanishing Cream is Lush’s lightest face cream, and it contains Lavender (to balance the skin), Witch Hazel (to tighten the pores, which produce that ghastly oil), and Grape Seed (to soften). If you use this on a daily basis, your skin’s oil production will eventually balance, and you’ll have even and clear skin. I tend to go back and forth between Magical Moringa and Vanishing Cream every other day since I love them both. Oh, yeah, the price. This is one of their more pricey moisturizers, but definitely not their most expensive. Price: $44.95

Okay, so let’s get down to my total at a typical day of Lush. The item that I run out of the quickest is always the face wash because that is used the heaviest. That’s inexpensive to replenish, so if I go every 2 weeks to get another one, I won’t break the bank. If I’m going for a major haul in 2 months, and I need a face wash, a face mask (free when you trade in 5 pots, might I add), a toner, and 1 moisturizer, my total will be $44.95 if I decide on Magical Moringa, or $64.85 if I go for Vanishing Cream. Now when you take into account that this is skincare, what you actually have to put all that Mac, Sephora, and Too Faced on (if you decide to wear makeup), and what you have to see when the makeup comes off (or never went on, if you don’t really wear makeup), then it is worth it to invest. My theory is that I’d rather fork out a hundred dollars on skincare rather than makeup or a purse, because I can always get new Kors bag, but I can never get new skin. They say “black don’t crack”, but that doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t moisturize.

Other things I invest in at Lush besides my face (the money maker, let’s be honest):

  • Bath Bombs: because everyone needs to relax. Price: $3 and up
  • Shower Gels: because they smell like heaven. Price: $9.95 and up
  • Charity Potstheir brand of cocoa butter smelling lotion in which all of the proceeds are donated to one of their designated charities. Price: $6.95 or $25.95

I hope I’ve convinced you to take part in the Lush movement, because now, I’m hooked. Whether you’re looking to save or break the bank for skincare and cosmetics, Lush is definitely an option that your pockets and your body will thank you for.

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The Beauty of Melanin

The Beauty of Melanin

mel·a·nin

ˈmelənən/
noun
  1. a dark brown to black pigment occurring in the hair, skin, and iris of the eye in people and animals. It is responsible for tanning of skin exposed to sunlight.

“I have brown skin, brown hair, brown eyes. This is because of Melanin”.

“If it ranges between brown and black; it has Melanin”.

“Usually people with Melanin have better eye sight, natural muscle physique, and better, youthful and beautifully elastic skin”.

 

Melanin. From the definition and provided anecdotes, it seems as if the concept of melanin is pure essence, pure beauty – it seems as if melanin is a positive attribute. But anyone who didn’t naturally understand the beauty of melanin and its divine purpose, would be fooled by the way sociocultural standards of beauty paint it today. Anyone who has been affected by calumnious societies who appreciate aspects of white ideology and white privilege would never have known that melanin is the true source of all things beautiful. Melanin is the reason there is color, it is the basis of every hue and the essence of all things beautiful and young.

Maybe it was once understood. Maybe it was appreciated in a world long before white ideology stripped blackness of its royalty. Maybe just maybe, melanin was desirable.

 

Modern Humans Derived From Africa

Many believe that melanin is an adaptation, but they are so far from the truth, not even Christopher Columbus could venture their waters. Let this be known: the lack of melanin is an adaptation, not the other way around.

We are solely children of Africa—with no Neandertals or island-dwelling “hobbits” in our family tree, according to a new study. Scientists who compared the skulls and DNA of human remains from around the world say their results point to modern humans (Homo sapiens) having a single origin in Africa.”

New data supports the theory that the single origin for anatomically modern humans is from Africa. Early humans colonized the planet after spreading across the world about 50,000 years ago.  National Geographic places the original roots of modern humanity in south-central Africa. The archaic remains found farther away from Africa, represent the adaptation to climate, land, and lifestyle. In short: white skin is an adaptation of the european environment. 

 

Benefits of Melanin

Melanin Is Essential to Brain, Nerve, and Organ Function.

In humans, melanin is the determining factor of hair and skin color. Inconsequently, few people realize that melanin is found in almost every organ of the body and is necessary for the brain and nerves to operate properly.

Translation: melanin is a necessity for survival.

Melanin Protects Black Skin

Melanin targets the biggest cause of widespread damage to human cells: free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for any type of skin damage, from discoloration, wrinkles, sagging, and more importantly, to skin cancer. Melanin is the reason why African-Americans are at the all time lowest risk for developing skin cancer. Our skin was made to absorb the properties of the sun, not reflect them.

Exposure to the sun primarily causes premature aging, as well as skin cancer and one’s ability to withstand the damaging affects of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation depends on the levels of melanin in your skin. Melanin, a natural absorber of light, dissipates more than 99.9% of UV radiation. Even the lightest skinned black people have more protection from the sun than the darkest Caucasians. Though there is a limit to the amount of protection melanin provides, this protection is significantly higher in naturally dark skin. As a result of this, darkly pigmented people tend to exhibit less signs of aging. Increased melanin protects its owners from short-term damage from the sun, as well as long-term signs of aging (i.e. age spots, deep wrinkles and rough texture, sagging, and discoloration).

Translation: black don't crack.

Melanin Aids in Human Reproduction

Dark pigmentation protects precious DNA from damage and absorbs the necessary amount of UV radiation needed to keep the body healthy. Melanin also protects against folate depletion, which women need to maintain healthy eggs, proper transferring of eggs, and the normal development of the baby after fertilization. Dark-skinned women suffer the lowest level of baby defects.

Translation: we good.

Melanin vs Melatonin

Melanin and Melatonin are two chemically related substances, but harbor many different characteristics. Again, Melanin is the major human pigment found in black skin, eyes, and hair. Melatonin is responsible for maintaining sleep cycles, biological rhythms and the regulation of melanin synthesis.

Translation: beauty sleep aids in the glowing of beautiful black skin.

 

The Power of Melanin

Melanin is black because its chemical structure allows no energy to escape, making black melanin the sole absorber of energy and light.

Translation: our darkness harbors the brightest light.

According to many authors, skin melanin is a result of UV rays, which despite popular belief, do not have to come from overused tanning beds. Melanin possess the unique ability to absorb energy and convert said energy into a re-usable source.

Melanin can rearrange its chemical structure to absorb all energy across the radiant spectrum. This includes sun-rays, light-rays, music vibrations, sound waves, and sun heat. This could be another major reason why Africans connect on such a deep level with music, and why most of our music was manifested. As a race that is used to being in the sun, whether on our rightful continent, or wrongfully enslaved on another’s, music is a natural response to happiness, adversity, and any other feeling black people may possess.

We could not physically exist without our melanin; our organs, our motor functions, our senses, and our minds could not work without the presence of it. The five physical senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch) are our sensory reactions to the outside world in response to melanin.

Melanin exists on a dark plane of matter, a cosmic biological gateway in which the life form of the spiritual mind can manifest and exist in the material realm.

Melanin, is our power – our essence – while the sun is our source.

We are solar beings.

“We Afrikans, with our distinct racial features -blackness, curly hair, broad nose, thick lips, etc.- are really blessed with greatest gift from nature. The source of all this beauty is this precious life and chemical substance; Melanin.”

The prominent presence of Melanin in African-American people is a testament to the fact that we are the prime examples of elegance and beauty.

We are the ideology.

Despite centuries upon centuries of slavery, objectification, hatred, and prejudice, no one can tell us that black is not beautiful – Black is beauty.

“Dipped in chocolate, bronzed in elegance, enameled with grace, toasted with beauty. My lord, she’s a black woman.”

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