What is it about a professional manicure and pedicure that makes it a powerfully therapeutic experience? I swear that I can walk into a nail salon and an hour later, walk out a brand new woman. But there's not always the time or funds to have regularly spoiled tips and toes. You can definitely get a brilliant manicure and pedicure doing it yourself if you have the right tools lined up. Here's how!
But wait! Let's gather the essentials first. You'll need:
non-acetone nail polish remover and cotton balls
sugar scrub to exfoliate
nail polish (base coat, color, and top coat)
Step 1.Start with a clean canvas.
Before you start, make sure your finger and toe nails are polish free using a non-acetone remover (acetone can be very harsh and stripping!). We love Formula Xbecause it not only removes polish in a snap, but it has a great spill-proof container Next, use clippers and/or a file to gently shape your nails to your desired length and shape. We prefer to use a crystal nail file since it will shape even the most delicate nails and prevent splitting, unlike damaging emery boards. Next, smooth the surface of your nails with a buffing block (this will also remove ugly yellow stains we all get from wearing too much dark polish!). The Sephora 4-Step Nail Bufferis a great bang for your buck since it has four sides with varying textures. Follow up with the smooth buffing side for a high shine!
Step 2. Soak and scrub.
Soak hands for two to three minutes, and feet for five minutes. Now, time to exfoliate! We love Sephora'sSmoothing Body Scrub, but for an easy at-home fix, just mix one tablespoon of sugar with one tablespoon of baby oil gel and gently scrub away the dead, dry cells. It smells fantastic and leaves your skin feeling like silk. Rinse and pat dry.
Step 3.Care for your cuticles. Soften your cuticles by rubbing a bit of oil on them. We are loving Sally Hansen's Vitamin E Cuticle & Nail Oil. By now, your cuticles should be nice and soft, so go ahead and push them back with anorangewood stick to get a really nice shape. You can also use this tool to clean and dirt from under the nail. Now the fun part... massage! Grab a vitamin-rich moisturizer, like EOS Hand Cream (One of our favorites, and it's only $1.99), and slather it on. Don't forget your heels and cuticles! Before moving on to step four, swipe the nail beds with non-acetone polish remover to remove any oil and moisturizer. The key to long lasting polish is super clean nails!
Step 4.Don't skip the oh-so-important base coat.
Apply a base coat to smooth any ridges and create an even surface for your color. One thin coat will do it!
Step 5.Polish away.
Paint on two thin layers of polish, allowing your color to dry completely between each coat. To do it like the professionals (that's the whole point, right?), swipe polish down the center of the nail first, then on each side. The key is to make the layers of polish as thin as possible, which will aid in longevity and help the polish dry more quickly.
Step 6. Shine on.
Applying a top coat does more than add shine. It also smooths away any flubs and flaws, which is often a total lifesaver. Just one coat is all you will need. To quickly refresh your mani/pedi throughout the week, add another layer of top coat. It makes a huge difference, trust me! Our pick is Essie All In One 3 Way Glaze, which is a base coat, top coat, and strengether all in one bottle.
Step 7. Relax and don't. touch. anything.
Now, just chill and resist the urge to do anything except lay on the couch and watch Real Housewives. You deserve it (and your freshly painted nails do too). For a picture-perfect finish, add a few drops of Essie Quick-E Drying Drops onto the nails. Although this is completely optional, it will definitely speed up the drying process a whole lot more. And if you're not a fan of Housewives, you're definitely going to need them.
It is January 21st, and the cheese cracker, who many call Donald Trump, has been the president of the USA for more than 24 hours, and I am angry. My anger is birthed from a different space than many Americans and other people that call this country home. Unfortunately, this is also very common space for Black women in America. We're always on the right side of history, but in the end left abandoned after performing labor we continuously think will help us. As millions of you embraced the Women's March with open arms, I saw its flaws from the beginning. It was initially titled the Million Women March, a co-opted rebranding of, the Million Man March created by the Nation of Islam and also the Million Women March created by Black women and held in Philadelphia. The name was later changed 'cause many Black women (including myself) called them out on their bullshit. Also, they brought in three women of color to organize it, and their new incentive was to be more inclusive of all women. Repeating an already long history of women of color cleaning up white women of America's mess, it's what they think we seem to do best.
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The larger problem is, the Women's March was nothing more than an anti-Trump march and a white supremacist meet up, under the guise of liberal sisterhood. It isn't associated with what is actually wrong with this country and has been wrong with this country since the declaration of independence was signed. This is a white supremacist, capitalistic, patriarch society that imprisons anyone nonwhite. We've seen this play out continuously in this country, and more so recently with the current flow of media attention to the rejection of white supremacy, and the concept of Black lives actually mattering. Our reaction to a system we have not created is constantly scrutinized and has deemed us bitter, angry, volatile and ungrateful. Somehow, it is the responsibility of the oppressed to fix the world, it is our job to teach, and change the errors of history, and make sure this nation is not divided- we are the mule. Would you be marching if Hilary won? Are you aware the world would almost be the same for many Americans regardless of who won?
For the past three years, the Black Lives Matters movement and many other organizations like this have been organizing against a system that was created to successfully keep white supremacy alive and well. While you're merely reacting to Donald Trump, we've been reacting to what reality has been, and will continue to be for us in this country. Assembling marches, rallies, and boycotts to validate Black life, and made sure there was inclusiveness- of trans lives, Queer lives, children's lives etc, we have been doing this work. Trying to alert the masses of voter suppression laws (which helped Trump win the electorate in swing states that President Obama won previously), telling the country why the Voting Right Act should remain, which has since been dismantled (another reason Trump won the electoral college) but, it was Black, loud, crazy, women talking why would you listen?
The nation thought Donald Trump was a joke, mostly because the nation thinks white supremacy soaked in capitalistic, patriarchal bigotry is a myth, I mean, the president was Black, how could these systems be real? You didn't actually know how bigoted this country is, 'cause somehow you found a place of comfort in the bullshit. You thought you were safe, as long as you didn't call me a nigger, rape me, or kept me employed, that you were doing enough. These delusions of privilege made you deaf to our words.
We were blocking the roads, making signs, getting peppered sprayed, and literally dying; fighting for the right to live, but there was no huge uproar by your media until you heard that cheese cracker talks of grabbing white women by their pussies in an old recording, it's disgusting. Closely examine the history of this country and how it uses white women and the protection of her as one of its tools of power, whether they know it, or like it, white women are used as tools of war, nothing more. There's a reason your march was allowed to spread like it did, there are many reasons it was met with peace, America will never abuse you like it abuses me, it needs you. Trump becoming the president was an awaking for the white liberal, the people who believed they were on the right side of history all along. This is why my first response was to giggle when he became the president-elect, you thought you lived in another world. Delusions kept you safe, I welcome you to my America. Do I care if my rage and reluctance towards the Women's March offend you, of course, I don't! Black women are on the right side history. 94% of Black women voted for Hillary, for many of us simply 'cause she was the lesser of two evil, we did what needed to be done. Yet, we asked to join you in solidarity to help right your wrongs, again women of color cleaning up your mess? Most of us will never trust this sisterhood you try to create with us, it's always faulty. A race was clearly chosen over gender, why would we trust your comradery? We've been telling what the future holds, but in the comfort of your privilege, you didn't actually listen. So spare me talks of solidarity, spare me talks of the system pitting the working class against each other. It is you that wasn't talking among yourselves, it was you that waited to the last minute to be uncomfortable, and it is the pettiness in me that watches you squirm in it, cause I've been in this space since the day I was born. Keep the pussy talk to yourself, because your only concern is that. The care is solely about the fetus - what about the lives of our children we've been fighting for? What about not reducing me to just my pussy, and throwing that around everywhere like men do their dicks? These weird fascinations white cis women have with pussy is strange, check that.
Enjoy the media not bashing your efforts, the whole nation taking notice of your discomfort. Keep bragging about your peaceful protest, and the privilege to not be met with riot gear, videos of officers giving high fives to the protesters, and women having enough time to smile and take selfies. I have been attending protest and rallies since I was a child, this protest seemed more like a parade. The world is always acknowledging your pain as pain and for people like me its merely misdirected anger. Of course, you were encouraged and meet with great enthusiasm. Even in protest, comfort is handed to you. I know change will happen when everyone is uncomfortable, and that's the goal. So keep your Women's March parade. You can have that, we don't want it, the struggle will not be gentrified.
Queen is a 30 something from the Bronx, NY. She created Ms. Vixen to spread her thoughts on feminism, Black pride, it's the first stop on her quest to be a media mogul.
We were in the car talking about life as per the usual, then I just blurted out why don’t we just start now?!? My husband and I were once again discussing when was the right time to start our family. Initially, we were going to wait a year after our marriage but after doing some research I discovered even with perfect timing our chances of conceiving each month were 20% at best. To be honest, when I started looking conception, and what I should do to up my chances I was pretty surprised at how much work it ACTUALLY took to plan a pregnancy. Since I was quickly knocking on the door of my 30s I figured time was of the essence. Not to mention, I had been on birth control pretty much my whole life and figured it would take some time for my body to regulate my cycles on its own.
It is safe to say that 2016 brought its fair share of trials and triumphs. But as 2016 comes to close, it is time to shift your perspectives into a new year, new season, and fresh opportunities. Whether your hope for 2017 is to start a new business, move across the country, or quit your 9-5 job, let 2017 be YOUR year. Despite all the highs and lows, 2016 has brought, I am hopeful. Check out these powerful quotes by a few Black women and you too can slay 2017!
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For most of us, winter is in full swing and most temperatures are at records lows even in cities known to be warm. Being warm is the priority but looking good while doing that shouldn't be a huge sacrifice. The best way to stay warm and still look like a fashionable fab diva is with an amazing faux fur coat.
I love the bonds I have with the women in my life. I grew up with 5 sisters, always had lots of women friends, and have always appreciated the energy of women around me. Subconsciously I probably decided to stay out of the many battles women are set to have with each other because the rules of patriarchy writes them that way. Understanding all women aren't a monolith has been very important to me, an ever present idea in my life before I had verbiage for it. Differences in lifestyle, beauty standards, career choices and even motherhood are perfectly fine. Let's stop thinking one way a woman decides to live is better than the other. We're all amazing, we all add to the world in great ways, and we're always going to do that, until the end of time. Check out this list of this verses that foolishness, that we should leave behind in 2016!
When it comes to certain posts, Instagram can be very finicky with what they allow. If you post something too risque, then you run the risk of having your post deleted. If you post something inappropriate, then Instagram may take it down. Cleavage and other aspects of breasts are generally fine to post, except nipples. Apparently, Apples App Store (which is home to Instagram), has very strict policies when it comes to inappropriate content. If Instagram were to allow users to free the nipple on their accounts, then they run the risk of being banned from the store.
Although the modeling industry has come a long way to accepting diversity and inclusion, there is still a good deed of work left to do. But luckily enough, one model is making some great strides. As a Liberian native, breaking into the industry was very challenging for Deddeh Howard.
When she first tried to find an agency, some would tell her they already have a black model. In her series entitled "Black Mirror", Howard, and photographer Raffael Dickreuter, recreated famous campaigns by Gucci, Victoria's Secret, and David Yurman that originally featured other famous supermodels.
You love it, share it! Think back to when you had your period? Were you nervous? What did you do? Were you prepared to start wearing pads or tampons? For this week's "Woman at Work" feature, we talked to Ashley West, Founder of "Bloom Undergarments." There are so many reasons to love Bloom Undergarments but read out to find out just what they are exactly! Since 2014, Bloom Undergarments has been on a mission to liberate the traditional period panty. When Ashley West (@girlsrockb) was 16-years-old, she would often wear bikini bottoms or any regular underwear for extra protection during her period. She would practice the same routine for about ten years but eventually, she grew frustrated that there wasn't anything on the market that met her period needs.
The same designer that dressed FLOTUS, wants nothing to do with the Trump administration
Throughout her time as First Lady, Michelle Obama has made a lasting impact. Whether it's her fearless desire to "Bring Back Our Girls" or advocate for better nutrition, her efforts have never gone unnoticed. But despite all her amazing efforts, her elegant, stylish and fashion forward style is also quite spectacular.
Michelle Obama's great looks over the last eight years are credited to one French designer: Sophie Theallet. Just this week, she announced that she intends on avoiding any association with Melania Trump, the future FLOTUS. Theallet who has dressed the current First Lady on a variety of occasions, wrote in a letter she posted to Twitter saying that her values are not in tow with Trump and his wife.
Theallet, who identifies herself as an immigrant, went on to say, "As one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom, and respect for all lifestyles, I will not participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next first lady. The rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by her husband's presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by."
Since the world found out who would become the nation's next president, it is left to wonder what impact (if any) Donald Trump will have on the fashion industry. It is also interesting to see whether not brands and designers alike will want to partake in doing business with Trump or follow Theallet's lead and do the right thing. But nonetheless, one thing is for; Theallet is hoping that other designers follow her lead.
Let's hope that other designers follow suit.
What role do you predict Trump's presidency will have (if any) on the fashion industry? Let us know in the comment section below!
By: Ajea Nicole
Ajea Nicole is a 20 something from Boston, MA who craves anything style related. Though her love of style originated from scouring her mom’s closet, she often gleans style inspiration from Solange and June Ambrose. When she is not catching up on Project Runway, she can be found working out at the gym, reading a good book or somewhere in a sushi restaurant. Connect with her! Twitter: @ajeanicole Instagram: @ajeanicole