Get Glowed Up: Why These 7 All Natural Face Oils Are Summer's Secret Skin Miracle

So can we have a seriously REAL conversation about our skin health? Ok, show of hands—who has tried ALL the OTC and prescribed medications known to man to heal acne, dark spots and blackheads with no success? What makes matters even worse is when these medications don’t solve the problem and cause even MORE skin inflammation than before. If this sounds like your story, it may be time to ditch those harsh chemicals for a natural approach. Have you tried the oil cleansing method? Yes -- you read that correctly. But before you completely side-eye our suggestion, check out the facts.

While it may sound counterintuitive to the girls with oily or problem-prone skin, oil cleansing is super beneficial for a few reasons. It helps gently cleanse the skin by removing makeup, dirt and environmental toxins, maintains the skin’s natural lipid layer for moisture retention, and soothes sensitive skin. So believe it or not sis, oil cleansing might just be the key to getting your skin glowed up before Summer ‘19 is over.

Still skeptical? Not for long! We’ve rounded up a list of our favorite black-owned face oils for you to test out the oil cleansing method for yourself -- and they’re are ALL under $50!

For Dry and Tired Skin

Plant Apothecary Ground Control Organic Body and Face Oil, $36
When your life is busy from work to school and side hustles, sometimes caring for your skin can take a backseat. Luckily brands like Plant Apothecary are here to provide us #bossbabes with skincare that makes it easy to squeeze into our hectic lives. This oil contains scented essential oils for relaxation while organic sunflower seeds and Vitamin E work to nourish and cleanse your skin from the inside out. It’s self-care and skincare, all wrapped into one.

Buttercup Essentials Hydrating Herbal Body Oil, $25
Wrinkles? We don’t know her! Rewind the hands of time with Buttercup Essentials Hydrating Herbal Body Oil. It harnesses the power of Apricot Oil, delivering a powerful dose of anti-age elixir that slows down signs of skin maturation, such as wrinkles, fine lines and blemishes.

For that Natural Glow

Aya’De Health & Beauty Goddess Glow Face Serum, $23.50
This skin-loving cocktail is the perfect combination of some of Mother Nature’s signature oils. While Argan Oil adds moisture to the skin’s deepest layers, Sandalwood Oil works to rejuvenate skin to reveal a youthful brightened glow! Not even your favorite highlighter can ever compare to this natural glow.


Pure Tropix Pearl Face Elixir $42
Uncover a luminous complexion when you try Pure Tropix’s Pearl Face Elixir. This facial oil is a multi-purpose concoction that deeply penetrates your skin’s layers with oils like Pomegranate Seed Oil, which works to hydrate and moisturize even the driest and flakiest skin-type.

For Inflammation

Brown & Coconut Hydrating Face Oil, $28
Brown & Coconut’s Hydrating Face Oil is historically known to calm inflammation and soothe irritation. This power ingredients fades blemishes and encourages skin regeneration so you can have healthy, glowed up skin again in no time.

GLAM BOMB Power Detoxifying Face Oil, $18
If you thought Black Pepper was only for food, think again! This ancient essential oil is sweet and spicy, but offers magnificent antioxidant properties that work to repair and improve laugh lines and wrinkles, clear blemishes, and combats bacteria under the skin’s surface that leads to inflammation.

Mother of Earth Beauty Care Goddess Glow Face Oil, $20
This powerful face oil is packed with Juniper Berry, which works great to protect pores from bacteria  that cause acne. It’s also great for UV protection, and purifies blood cells for skin rejuvenation -- A.K.A., it’s the secret to making sure that black don’t crack.

Get Your Life with These 6 Podcasts Hosted by Black Women

Listening to a good podcast is like constantly having your bestie speaking affirmations right into your ear. You can plug in, feed your mind with inspiration from some of the dopest black women from all walks of life, and get your life together real quick! Thanks, smartphone -- you’re really the plug. 

We all need a little motivation and a glimpse into different perspectives, and podcasts are the perfect way to get both! Trust us, this post could be pages long if we listed all of the amazing podcasts out there that are hosted by black women, covering every topic from side hustling to pop culture. But if you’re looking for where to start, we got your back sis! Here's a roundup of a few of our favorite podcasts hosted by black women that you should be adding to your playlist.

FOR BUSINESS

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or working a 9-5, these podcasts are like a business coach in your pocket.

Side Hustle Pro
Hosted by Nicaila Matthews Okome

Hosted by full-time entrepreneur Nicaila Matthews Okome, Side Hustle Pro all about mastering that tricky balance between a full-time job and a side hustle. To date, Okome has aired about 150 episodes and counting  where she has real one-on-one conversations with black women who have scaled their side hustles to profitable businesses. Some of the women featured include Myleik Teele of CurlBox, Lisa Price of Carols Daughter and Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, host of the wildly popular mental health podcast Therapy for Black Girls. So listen up and get your pen and paper ready!

Myleik Teele’s Podcast

Every black girl’s favorite Entrepreneur, Myleik Teele, also has her very own podcast -- and believe us when we say that she drops some serious gems! Over the years, she’s taken us through the highs and lows of her journey of balancing work and life, while sharing advice on everything from navigating the workplace to must-read books along the way.  She also taps into her network of fellow black girls bosses as special guests, including Kahlana Barfield-Brown and Karleen Roy, to name a few. If you’re looking to get your life while getting inspired, this podcast will get an easy 5-star. 

The Courtney Sanders Show

The Courtney Sanders Show, previously known as The Think and Grow Chick Podcast, is the perfect podcast to add to your list if you’re all about securing your coins. Whether you’re at a 9-5 or freelancing, Sanders will get you together about understanding your value, being clear on what you bring to the table, and maintaining your spirituality through it all. If you’re looking to make a career transition or simply level up in any area of your life, this one’s for you. 

FOR PLEASURE

Listen up if you’re looking for good conversation, good laughs, and ALL the good feels.

Jesús & Jollof
Hosted by
Luvvie Ajayi and Yvonne Orji

The incredibly funny duo Luvvie Ajayi and Yvonne Orji are our favorite imaginary besties. These two proud Nigerian bosses discuss basically all the things that are feeding their soul at the moment, from personal successes to past lessons and tribulations. An hour is not long enough for these candid conversations that have you feeling like you are sitting in a living room chatting it up with your two favorite aunties. Subscribe to this podcast for a consistent dosage of dopeness and definitely take a listen to Episode 3, The Grim Before the Glow --  it is a must-listen for all! 

Hey, Girl 
Hosted by Alexandra Elle

Hey, Girl is a podcast that unites phenomenal women and reminds us all of the importance of sisterhood. Author Alex Elle is not new to the podcast scene, but she’s already creating nourishing spaces for women to share their truths and stories in a world that often leaves us unheard. Her episodes contain intimate and necessary conversations all geared toward inspiring women of color. The warmth of these episodes will have you heading to your bathtub with a candle and some essential oils. 

Dropping Gems
Hosted by Devi Brown

Former radio personality Devi Brown stands for personal healing and created this podcast to give us all  the tools we need for our individual spiritual journey. She gives you a dosage of wisdom and positivity, which is perfect for those mornings when you think “ how the heck am I going to make it through the day?!” You’ll be hooked in by her gems in the fifth episode, Heal Yourself First. Get ready to share this with all the women of color in your contact list. 

The Friend Zone
Co-Hosted by Hey Fran Hey, Dustin Ross, and Assanté

Get your essential oils and your sage ready, because this podcast is a serious vibe! The Friend Zone is all about helping you get your mental health right, but with a comical and feel-good twist. There’s no shortage of laughter, random thought provoking conversations, wellness tips, and bomb music recommendations in each and every episode thanks to the varied interests and personalities of their host trio. Recently hitting their 200th episode, The Friend Zone is the perfect weekly dose of random good feels during long commutes or while you’re winding down from a crazy day at work.





Tracy Reese's New Clothing Line 'Hope for Flowers' is Stylish, Sustainable, and For the Culture

To many of us, Tracy Reese is the black aunty of high fashion. For over 21 years she’s been out here shining, achieving every accolade that a designer could dream of from dressing First Lady Michelle Obama and THE Oprah Winfrey, to continually staying relevant in a highly competitive, ever-changing industry. All the while, she’s used her platform to celebrate ‘real women’ by advocating for diversity and inclusion long before the rest of the industry caught on to the game. Now, Tracy Reese is out here innovating once again as she leads the wave of fashion designers who are making the switch to sustainable fashion, while creating the blueprint for other black designers to do the same.

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

During a recent conversation with Vogue, Tracy Reese shared about why it was important for her to return to her roots in Michigan to create Hope for Flowers; her newest brand that is focused just as much on helping the planet as it is on helping stimulate her home state’s local economy. Not only is her brand’s reinvention a testimony to defining your own path, but every flirty silhouette and handcrafted pattern in her newest collection is a vibe.

Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese
Pascaline Silk Midi Dress

“This many years into my career, I needed the challenge. I needed to shake things up and to recommit to my work in a fresh way and in a way that I felt good about. Not just the routine of designing collection after collection, but a slower, more thoughtful model where everything has intent. I’m getting back to all the things I love about design.”

Hope for Flowers is everything that we’ve come to love about Tracy Reese’s bold yet sophisticated designs, but created with natural textiles and produced 100% domestically. Not only did Reese draw every print for the collection by hand,  but she trained and employed local women who work in her newly opened factory located in Flint. The pieces they make at this factory are exclusively sold at a black owned boutique in Michigan, Detroit is the New Black. There’s levels to Hope for Flowers’ ethical approach, which prioritizes ethical use of natural materials and human labor while keeping the black dollar circulating in our community longer.

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese
Cleo Striped Midi Skirt

The more I learned about fast fashion and cheap production in general, I just knew that was the antithesis to everything I was thinking about...If you’re selling a garment for $10, let’s just do the math and understand what that means for all the people along that supply chain. It’s like slavery. I knew I didn’t want anything to do with that, so it made me get really serious about what I did want.”

Tracy Reese’s switch to sustainable fashion also signals an opportunity for small black designers to gain a competitive edge over fast fashion brands as ethical production becomes more important to customers. While fast fashion brands like Forever 21 and Zara are busy releasing ‘green collections’ for clout, black designers like Aurora James of Brother Vellies and Sindiso Khumalo have managed to sustain truly ethical brands with far less resources. Their small production runs are already a great first step, and as more black designers venture into sustainability and even open up their own small factories, they’ll be more knowledge and resources accessible to pass around. 

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Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese
Michelle Floral Midi Dress

“Everyone can do a little bit, and then you can do a little bit more, and a little more. People are mystified about where to begin, but there are a lot of ways to approach it.”

We stan for Aunty Tracy for using her platform to create real change for the environment AND for the culture! Hope for Flowers is now available at Anthropologie and at Detroit is the New Black. Shop the collection now.

MILQ EDITORIAL: ROSS REVIVAL

Model: Lily Lightbourn Herbert follow on Instagram @lilylightbourn  FEATHER BOA: ALEX VINASH @ALEXVINASH

Model: Lily Lightbourn Herbert follow on Instagram @lilylightbourn

FEATHER BOA: ALEX VINASH @ALEXVINASH


Inspired by an era of classic glamour and feminine liberation, we take a modern style spin on the groovy 70’s. Here’s an inside look into the makings of digital editorial—ROSS REVIVAL—and the full feature editorial.

Hair and makeup by Chinaza Moses @beautybetweenthelines

Hair and makeup by Chinaza Moses @beautybetweenthelines

PLEATED GOLD TOP & BOTTOMS: ALEX VINASH @ALEXVINASH

PLEATED GOLD TOP & BOTTOMS: ALEX VINASH @ALEXVINASH

FEATHERED DRESS: ALEX VINASH @ALEXVINASH

FEATHERED DRESS: ALEX VINASH @ALEXVINASH

 

ROSS REVIVAL


PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

Hair and makeup by Chinaza Moses @beautybetweenthelines; model is Lily Lightbourn Herbert @lilylightbourn at Marilyn Agency NY

These CurlFest Moments Prove Why Self-Love Begins with Your Hair

While corporate offices are busy telling us that our hair isn’t “professional” or “sleek” enough, 5 black women have made it their business to create a space where we can all celebrate our hair and ourselves, just the way we are. That space is known as CurlFest: an annual festival in New York where women of all shades, shapes and sizes are brought together to be unequivocally celebrated amidst bomb music, good food, black artisans, and fellow naturalistas. 

This past weekend, Curlfest returned to New York City for it’s 6th annual festival and after scrolling through countless photos of beautiful black women embracing their hair with eccentric styles and over-the-top looks, we’re all up in our feelings. From classic afros to mermaid braids and dope cuts, the women who showed out for CurlFest are all the affirmation we need that embracing our natural hair is the most important way that we express self-love.

Here are some our favorite looks from Curlfest 2019, and the reasons why self-love begins with our relationship with our hair.

It Our Heritage

Our cuisine, our clothing, and even our languages may differ across the diaspora, but our hair is our connecting force. From kinks to coils and waves, our hair is our shared story that we should be proud of, and always embrace. 

It’s Our Expression 

Who else can express themselves the way that we do by simply changing their hair? From braids to spring twists and shortcuts, there’s no limit to what our hair can do -- and what it can say. That alone speaks to your power, both inside and out! 

It’s Our Crown

Your hair represents your royalty! It’s regal and it’s rich, just like your roots. It’s a crown that you never take off, and you wear it when you walk into any room. When people stare, it’s because they know that a queen just entered the building.

It’s Our Shared Experience 

Thanks to spaces like CurlFest that are cultivated by black women for black women, we can now connect and cultivate over our hair more than ever. Simple conversations about favorite natural hair products can grow into lifelong relationships or even business partnerships, just like the women who founded CurlFest in 2010.

It’s Our Beauty

You get to define your own beauty by the way you choose to way your hair. That’s a power that you hold, and that no one can take from you -- no matter what the H.R. department at corporate has to say about it. 

Show Your Hair Some Self-Care with These Black-Owned Natural Hair Products

*This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, MILQ Mag may make a small commission.*














The King of the Crown: Meet the Mastermind Behind Zendaya and Lupita Nyongo's Natural Hair Slayage

PHOTO COURTESY OF LARRY SIMS, WEARING THE LARRY SIMS COLLECTION BY CENTRAL AVE

PHOTO COURTESY OF LARRY SIMS, WEARING THE LARRY SIMS COLLECTION BY CENTRAL AVE

Can you count on one hand how many black women you remember rocking their natural hair on the big screen growing up? Because we sure can. As much as we can all appreciate a long, straight, and luxurious Naomi Campbell moment, it’s incredibly affirming to see more black A-listers than ever embracing their natural hair by wearing TWAs, afros and waist-length braids everywhere from the Met Gala to the silver screen. This shift is largely a reflection of how our own views of black beauty have changed over time as a community. After all, we’ve BEEN celebrating natural hair over here, but it’s taken some time for mainstream Hollywood to catch up. Like all things including going natural, the transition hasn’t been easy, and it always takes a group of trendsetters to lead these cultural shifts in mainstream media. In the case of black hair, Larry Sims is one of those trendsetters.

Celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims stands as one of the few — and we do mean FEW — celebrity hairstylists committed to all things black hair. From sneaking in hairstyling gigs with Missy Elliot while on tour as her backup dancer to laying the edges of Lupita Nyongo, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Gabrielle Union for the world’s biggest red carpets, Sims has styled some of the most coveted black hair in Hollywood. In fact, many of our favorite hair muses  who were natural before it was “cool” turned to Larry Sims himself to define their signature looks. Today, he’s using his career and connections to not only style black hair, but to continue shifting the mainstream narrative about it by passing his knowledge forward to the new class of beauty professionals.

Larry Sims chatted with MILQ for an intimate conversation covering all things black hair, his favorite #SimStyled moments, and why celebrating black hair has become more important than ever.

On His Big Break

M:  You’ve been a choreographer, a dancer, a  tv personality, you design dope hats, and all of that. But you always say that no matter what you do, you always come back to beauty and the love for hair. What was that initial “aha” moment when you realized that [hair] was the full fledged direction that you predominantly wanted to go in your career? 

L: Being a dancer from Chicago, I was always sort of a secret, closeted hair person. I would do the local stripper’s [hair] in Chicago so I could keep money in my pocket during high school... I moved from Chicago to L.A. to pursue dance only, worked in Hollywood, and really became fascinated by the different levels; [how] hair stylists, makeup artists, wardrobe people, were able to work in the industry.

Time to hide those horns!.png

On Mastering His Craft

M:  When it comes to a lot of the clients you work with, a lot of them have natural textures and in general there are a lot of celebrities we’re seeing that are making that transition [to natural hair]. What’s it like to navigate all these different textures, because no two natural girls are the same, and figuring out how to amplify their hair to make it the best that it can be?

L: A lot of stylists are great at just wigs, or they’re great at braided styles only. My goal was to always make sure that no matter what was thrown my way, I was gonna be able to tackle it and confidently execute it in a creative way no matter what texture it is.

M:  Our theme this month is all about style nostalgia, so we’d love to know: what style era you get the most style inspiration for hair?
L: I LOVE the ‘modness’ of the 60s, I love the blackness of the 70s, I love the hip hop of it all of the 80s, down to the asymmetrical cuts and stacked curls and all of that; the 90s were the poetic justice braids, you know? That whole movement; the patra braids. I LOVED the era. And then the 2000s was like just people exploring and playing with color, wigs, weaves, shaved sides, and you know, like really pushing the boundaries in terms of being creative. So all of those eras have played, definitely, a huge role in my inspiration and I draw from all of them.

Time to hide those horns!-4.png

On His Celeb Clients & Their Top Hair Moments

M: Let’s take a moment to talk about some of the recent styles you’ve done on your clients and your creative process for each look.

Tracee Ellis Ross for Diana Ross’ 75th Birthday Bash

L: I wanted her to feel special and beautiful and fly. It was a great dedication to her mom, paying homage to her. And what better way to recreate a Diana Ross style than to do it on her daughter, so it was all Tracee’s idea, I just executed it and it worked it.

Gabrielle Union’s Statement Ponies

M: Gabrielle Union has been wearing a lot of afrocentric styles lately.  Like, you recently did this ponytail that was a fishtail and had the afro hair at the bottom, and you also did this really cool knot type ponytail. What inspired this shift toward all these really unique, different interpretations of her hair that you’ve been doing recently?

L: Gabrielle and I, we’re sort of like two fish in a pod. She really is sort of like my [muse]...we think so much alike, we’re so bonded creatively, and she trusts me so much...She’s tapped into our culture and our community, and we definitely were privy to the conversations about what was deemed beautiful or not in Hollywood, and what was accepted in Hollywood. And for a long time, textured hair wasn’t the popular thing for an actress in Hollywood. We decided collectively to shift that conversation.

Danai Gurira’s New Growth

M: Danai Gurira was bald during Black Panther, so I think a lot of us expected her to keep that as her signature. But she did the complete opposite and now she’s been doing all of these incredible looks. What has it been like, taking her from bald to all of these cool looks you’ve been doing with her recently?

L: I didn’t start working with Danai until after Black Panther...once she started growing her hair back, she really wanted to partner with me…[Lupita] connected us and we talked, and we’ve been rocking ever since. She wanted to creatively, really tap into her culture, her hair texture which is very specific, and do things that I can execute that doesn’t limit her to her hair...It’s given her another leg in terms of how people see her in fashion and she shows up on red carpets or in magazines. It really is cool to see the evolution of where she started and where she is now.

On #SimStyling Black On-Screen Characters 

Sanaa Lathan for Nappily Ever After

M: How did you feel being a part of a project [like Nappily Ever After] that sent such a powerful message about natural hair, and do you have any simple tips for girls who are embarking on a natural journey similar to Sanaa in that movie?

Time to hide those horns!-3.png

L: We gave her the option to do a bald cap, where’d she wear a bald cap wig and she was like ‘No, I want to become Violet. I want to be this girl and I wanna be able to do this for the culture so that other girls can know that it is okay to shed the dead weight.’ She felt [that way] not only as an actress but internally as a woman. And for that I was just happy to be a part of [it]. 

Gabrielle Union for Being Mary Jane

L: We had a lot of conversations about what was acceptable for black newscasters. And it was like okay, well we don’t see a lot of black newscasters wearing textured styles, wearing braids. What if we pushed the envelope? What if we put natural styles on Mary Jane?...We were always conscious of the message we were trying to convey out into the world.

On the Met Gala 

“[The] Met is like the Oscars of fashion...you can’t really play around. Nobody wants to feel rushed, nobody wants to feel like you’re giving them your second best because you’re trying to get to the next girl; everybody wants to feel like you’re giving 1000%.”

M:  The Met Gala this year was probably one of the blackest Met Galas ever, you played a big part in that because you styled a lot of really heavy hitting women of color on that carpet. You did really cool campy concepts, but all with an afrocentric interpretation. Can you walk us through the creative process for each look you created?

Gabrielle Union

L: Our draw for Gabrielle was Coming to America. That’s a beautiful moment in black history. So we sort of recreated that idea by making a ‘hood’ that she had around her hair to create sort of a crown. 

Kiki Layne

L: With Kiki, we wanted to go super camp, super black girl and she wanted to bring a hood element to it. We know that black girls love a bun. So we decided to do an over the top ballerina bun and incorporated some fringe from the dress into it with that heavy straight across Chinese bang.”

Danai Gurira

L: Danai; the braids of it all, the black beads across the forehead. [It was] super black girl, super paying homage to the girls in the hood that wear and rock beads.

“They all had black girl references because it was really important to make sure that we were represented on that carpet and we weren’t conforming to an industry standard of what they think is beautiful. I mean especially with the Gucci controversy, we really wanted to make sure that we represented ourselves.”

On the Stigma of Black Hair 

M: Lately on the runway there is more natural hair, but most of the time the girl either has straight back cornrows or a fro. It almost kind of feels like it’s the only thing [the hairstylists] know how to do. Do you have any insight into why those are the only two styles that they seem to do [on runway models]?

L:  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve gone on set and I’ve had a white photographer or a white Editor-in-Chief of a magazine say, “No, no, no the way her hair is now is perfect.” And it’s like yo, bro she slept in those braids for a week and they’re fuzzy. And she would never show these braids [in public]...It's disheartening to see. And I really wish people thought outside of the box [because] it doesn't have to just be cornrows and afros. 

M: It’s clear that you’re actively one of the leaders in the industry who is shifting how black hair is seen in Hollywood. How does that feel for you to hold that weight and that responsibility in the work that you do?

L:  To me, I’m just really proud to be a part of the conversation. When I think about my journey, [and] having a valid voice, [it wasn’t] something I ever really aimed to do. It kind of just came with the success of it; I wasn’t even thinking that far ahead. Now I feel like I have a responsibility to uplift and uphold us as a culture and really represent our Queens. And I Look at every actress that I work with as a Queen, and it’s always been my mission to represent that... I feel like it’s my responsibility to make sure that I actively take care of my girls’ hair and actively inspire stylists to be creative with how they style hair and push people that are not educated in these environments where they don’t know how to take care of natural hair to get educated.

M: Do you have any tips for girls who are embarking on a natural journey?

L:  I would say to anybody that is holding onto damaged hair, dead hair, dead weight, dead energy, old relationships, it’s so freeing to cut it off and the biggest message from me is that you are not your hair, you are beautiful; your skin and your hair. And true beauty starts internally and it really just permeates and shines outward when you feel beautiful about yourself on the inside --  and no hairstyle can dictate how beautiful you feel like you are. 

The Summer Festivals Every Black Girl Should Be At

Every year, music festivals around the country bring black music to the big stage with a massive energy that resonates from the East to the West. There’s something major about soaking up the summer sun in the spirit of community with your sisters, surrounded by like minded girlfriends connecting and celebrating each other. From sisterhood to the starpower of rocking with your favorite music artists, attending summer festivals are hot girl Summer certified!

From the glow up to the hair, the outfits, and the way we move without competition between the next sister, Summer festivals are a big mood. If you missed Essence Festival this year, we have the top 5 festivals you should attend to turn your black girl magic frequency all the way up! Buy the ticket, take in the sites, eat good food with good friends and good music, ignore his text, and live your best life.

Pitchfork Music Festival

Photo: Mark Clennon

Photo: Mark Clennon

WHO: Earl Sweatshirt, Rico Nasty, The Isley Brothers and Pusha-T

WHAT: You can’t go wrong with one of the greats celebrating their 60th year in the recording biz, along with some electric pop and the likes of a supreme storyteller. If you know, you know. 

WHEN: July 19-21

WHERE: Union Park, Chicago

Cincinnati Music Festival

Photo: Time Out

Photo: Time Out

WHO: Slick Rick, Mary J. Blige, Maxwell, Blackstreet, Teddy Riley and Earth, Wind & Fire

WHAT: Let’s just say if the love ain’t a throwback celebration of old school hip-hop and r&b, then we don’t want it.

WHEN: July 25-27

WHERE: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati

Outside Lands

Photo: Off the Strip

Photo: Off the Strip

WHO: Childish Gambino, Paul Simon, Ella Mai, Anderson.Paak, and Lil Wayne

WHAT: Get a whole mix of folk rock, soul, and hip-hop all at the same d*mn time.

WHEN: August 9-11

WHERE: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Woodstock

Photo: Reddit

Photo: Reddit

WHO: Jay Z, The Killers, Chance the Rapper, Santana, The Black Keys and Janelle Monae

WHAT: What is there not to like when the unstoppable touring force, Shawn Carter, is in the building. You may have 99 problems, but attending this festival won’t be one.

WHEN: August 16-18

WHERE: Watkins Glen, New York

Afropunk

Photo: Man Repeller

Photo: Man Repeller

WHO: Jill Scott, FKA twigs, Gary Clark Jr. and Red Arkade

WHAT: Come through for a collective, creative and unapologetic culture coming together for not only music, but to celebrate each other. Yes, please.

WHEN: August 24-25

WHERE: Commodore Barry Park, Brooklyn New York

Get Your Skin Summer-FINE Ready with these Black-Owned Skin Scrubs

Sun’s out, Skin’s out! From parties and weddings to tropical getaways, we’re ready to bare some skin as much as we can before Summer’s over -- but first, we have to show our skin some T.L.C. (and we don’t mean the musical group). 

Exfoliating and moisturizing is key to achieving healthy, glowing skin. There are a ton of items on the market; so how can a girl pick one? We can tell you right off the bat that apricot and walnut scrubs just ain’t it! We’ve tried several top-rated, black owned exfoliators, and now we’re spreading the love.  From charcoal, coffee, to brown sugar, we’ve found some of the most affordable black-owned body scrubs on the market that we’ve given our stamp of approval.

Minimo Perk Whipped Coffee Body Scrub

If dry and flaky skin are an issue for you, get you some of this all-natural coffee scrub! It lathers and gently buffs skin with Macadamia Nut Oil, Brown and Pure Cane Sugar, and Ginger Root Extract; natural ingredients to nourish even the most parched skin. 

Kaike Sugar Scrub

Get glowed up with this sweet and invigorating body scrub that deeply penetrates the skin with all natural and vegan ingredients, including cane sugar, coconut oil, avocado oil and vanilla.

Kyncare Pink Sucre Whipped Body Scrub

Your beach body isn’t ready until you rub yourself down with this rejuvenating handcrafted scrub. Together, the foaming whip and Pink Himalayan Salt lather and gently exfoliate skin to remove impurities and reveal a beautiful glistening complexion.

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hand & Body Scrub

It’s quiet for dead, dull skin, thanks to this moisturizing sugar scrub created by Shea Moisture. It exfoliates and nourishes while leaving it firm and toned — aka, ready for shorts and skirts all Summer long.

Pure Tropix Lime Acai Body Scrub

Talk about a tropical paradise! Your skin will thank you after being lathered with a silky smooth Caribbean Sea Salt blended with Acai Oil and Cupuaçu Butter. This botanical combo hydrates thirsty skin and smells delicious! It’s a must-have to pack with you on trips where swimming in salty waters will be involved.

Glam Body Skin Brightening Pink Grapefruit Body Scrub

Mix the perfect scent for summer with grapefruit essential oil and what do you get? The perfect exfoliator to help brighten skin and keep it glowing all summer long!

5 Resort '20 Runway Looks to Slay on Vacay

It’s finally vacay season! If you plan to get flewed out all Summer ‘19, there’s no better time to pull some travel-ready inspo from the Resort 2020 runways into your wardrobe. Whether you’re planning a girls trip to Essence Fest or a solo trip around the world, these easy and chic looks are a MUST to pack in your suitcase. 

House on the Prairie, But Make it Fashion

Christian Siriano, Nomia, Prabal Gurung, Michael Kors, Red Valentino

Christian Siriano, Nomia, Prabal Gurung, Michael Kors, Red Valentino

Frumpy where?! Once considered unflattering and old school, prairie dresses have gotten a fresh new look with cinched waists, flirty patterns, and fun colors. They’re typically made of light fabrics so they’re perfect for tropical vacations or long days of exploring new places. Plus their ultra feminine and easy to switch up for day to night looks. They’re especially cute when traveling to cities with plenty of historical architecture, like Cuba or New Orleans. So grab yourself a prairie dress and a baseball bat to recreate your own ‘Hold Up’ music video during your next trip.

Shop Our Favorite Prairie Dress Picks

Function & Finesse in Utilitarian 

Off White, No. 6, Proenza Schouler

Off White, No. 6, Proenza Schouler

If ultra feminine looks aren’t really your vibe, you’ll love the utilitarian trend. It’s the perfect aesthetic for high-action trips where anything from music festivals to ATV riding is involved. To achieve this look, pair simple basics like biker shorts, tees and oversized blazers with harnesses or other accessories with a lot of hardware. You’ll feel as comfortable and cool as you look. 

Shop Our Favorite Utilitarian Accessory Picks

Mixed Prints, Not Feelings

Rosie Assoulin, Paco Rabbane, Prabal Gurung, Michael Kors

Rosie Assoulin, Paco Rabbane, Prabal Gurung, Michael Kors

Get out of your feelings and into these prints! There’s no limit to your style possibilities when you step out of your comfort zone and combine pieces that you wouldn’t normally think to pair together. It's an easy way to add a fresh twist to old pieces you want to bring on vacation without having to break the bank.

Shop Our Favorite Mixed Pattern Picks

Take it to the Maxi Dress

Christian Siriano, Nomia, St. John, Ermanno Scervino, Emanuel Ungaro

Christian Siriano, Nomia, St. John, Ermanno Scervino, Emanuel Ungaro

The Maxi Dress is every girl’s favorite Summer essential. But it’s time to raise the stakes with maxi’s that are as extra as it gets. This season, opt for maxi dresses that incorporate other trends of the moment -- like color blocking or utilitarian -- to give this classic look a modern twist. Or scale it all the way down with ultra simple and sleek maxi’s for those nights out on the town in new places with your girls.

Shop Our Favorite Maxi Dress Picks

Flared Bottoms w/ All the Bells & Whistles

ETRO, Prabal Gurung, Emanuel Ungaro, Rachel Zoe, Cushnie

ETRO, Prabal Gurung, Emanuel Ungaro, Rachel Zoe, Cushnie

Skip the skinny jeans and hit the switch up in bell bottoms on your next trip. They’re flattering, stylish, and versatile. They’re also perfect for trips where your itinerary includes a balance of both work and play. Keep it casual with a denim bell bottom paired with a blouse or take the trend all the way in a suit or co-ord set.

Shop Our Favorite Bell Bottom Picks

In with the Old: Expert Tips for Shopping Vintage While #BuyingBlack

Why buy new remakes of old trends when you can just get the originals? Sometimes the best pieces in your closet are those vintage gems you find at a consignment shop. Not only is it an incredible feeling to find that one diamond in the rough amidst a pile of old clothing, but it’s a sustainable and affordable alternative to fast fashion. That’s why “out with the new and in with the old” is our vibe all Summer.

You may be a novice to vintage shopping, but not for long! We spoke with some of our favorite black consignment shop owners & vintage experts to get you all the tea on the do’s and don'ts of consignment shopping. Read on to learn their tricks of the trade and to support these black woman-owned businesses.

Shayla Janel of Random & Chic Vintage (@RandomandChic)

Tip #1: Look at the bottom of the rack first. 

It’s easier to spot fun prints and patterns that way.

Tip #2: Don’t focus on sizing

Because my seamstress is always on speed dial. Getting clothes altered and tailored is a game changer.

Tip #3: Always haggle with the price.

Even you’re only getting 2% off, it’s worth negotiating to get the best price possible!

Lydia & Nicole of Bintēji (@Bintejiii)

Tip #1: Let the piece speak for themselves. 

Vintage clothes tend to be old and boring at times; that’s why our goal is to revive them . Don't be scared to add any accessories to your look! It could be a belt on an oversized blazer, a brooch on a beautiful dress, or just use a charming baroque print scarf as a cute little choker. Let your look speak for you !

Tip #2: Think more outside of the box about where to vintage shop

…Like your local church, where they often hold sales with unique pieces at sometimes much cheaper prices! Also look out for estate sales. These sales will have some of the most exclusive and well taken care of, never, or barely worn garments. Your treasures will be coming straight from the source! 

Ms. Kaye of Washington Ave (@washingtonave)

Tip #1: Mix vintage pieces with modern pieces. 

The good thing about vintage Is that it never goes out of style, so you can easily mix a vintage piece with any current trend. 

Tip #2: Embrace Hand-Me-Downs

My top places to shop for vintage include Estate Sales &  family and friends’ closets for the REAL throwback goodies.

Brittney Washington of Modish Behavior (@modishbehavior)

Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to try things on.

It’s always important to envision all of the possibilities of the item you’re eyeing to see exactly how you can style it,pair it with other pieces, and how you’re gonna flex on the gram when you wear it!

Tip #2: Make sure to use the 3 P’s. 

PATIENCE: Have patience when browsing through the overwhelming clutter. Good finds take time.

POP: Grab only the items that POP and stand out to you — the statement pieces that truly catch your eye — and fill up your cart. 

PURPOSE: You have to find the PURPOSE in the clothing. Is this work attire or festival ready? Am I donating to the less fortunate? Can I re-purpose? Always make sure that your thrifted hand-picked selections are for reasons you feel will bring yourself or someone else joy.

Modish Behavior

Modish Behavior

Ruffle Some Feathers in Summer's Hottest Trend

Summer is almost here, and we're ready to ruffle some FEATHERS in our favorite runway trend of the season! With the help of these celebrities and street style babes, we're giving you 5 reasons why you should be wearing feathers ALL. SUMMER. LONG.

Sally LaPointe, Balmain, Tom Ford, Ashi Studio, Mary Katrantzou

Sally LaPointe, Balmain, Tom Ford, Ashi Studio, Mary Katrantzou

Feathers Are EXTRA AF

Extra will be your middle name whenever you walk through in a feather statement piece. Not only are feathers timeless and chic but they’re lightweight, making them an easy touch of texture to take your look from basic to far from it -- even during the warmest months of the year.

Take cues from our girl Winnie Harlow & Tracee Ellis Ross; fashion girls who are never afraid to take a look the EXTRA mile.

No need to take yourself so seriously -- fashion should be fun! We’re all about making your own fashion rules, and feathers allow you to do just that. Although feathers are trendy, there’s no shortage of ways to defy the rules of style by putting your own twist on it.

Our girl Janet Mock proved just that with her Met Gala look this year, and we love how our Insta Fashion crush Juliette Foxx (@RomeosFashionFix) completely made this feathered look her own.

Janet Mock

Juliette Foxx (@RomeoFashionFix)

Feathers Are Curve-Friendly

Haters will tell you that curvy girls can’t wear feathers, but we beg to differ! As fearless queen Lizzo can attest to, feathers are chic for women of every shape & size, period.

Feathers Are Versatile

No need to go all out with a head to toe feathered look; use them as an accent for your look instead! Find pieces with feathers used as trim, or feathered accessories to amplify your outfit, and you’ve achieved a simple slay.

Jordyn Woods

Rox Brown

Jennifer Oseh

Nichole Lynel

SHOP THE TREND WITH THESE BLACK OWNED BRANDS

MORE PLACES TO SHOP THE TREND

From the 70’s to 2019; Our Fave #TBT Looks That We’d Still Wear Today

Fashion runways are evidence that history always repeats itself -- and this year, it’s evident that designers are set on reliving the groovy 1970’s. From the vibrant & eclectic style of the era to the women’s liberation movement that it gave birth to, the 1970’s was a transformational decade in more ways than one. This Summer we’re taking it way back, back into time by tapping into our nostalgia with style tips from our favorite divas of the decade!

Then: Diana Ross

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Then: Diana Ross

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Then: Diana Ross

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Now: Zendaya

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Now: Tracee Ellis Ross

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Now: Lupita Nyongo

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Do we need to say more? Diana Ross is possibly one of the biggest music and style icons of the 1970’s; period. Whether she was on stage or on the town, she always knew how to turn a look -- and playing with textures was one of her favorite signatures. Many of her best fashion moments -- including this gold satin dress, layered tulle performance look, and over the top feathered piece -- are more trendy now than ever.

Shop the Looks

Then: Donyale Luna

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Then: Donyale Luna

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Now: Cindy Bruna

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Now: Chanel Spring ‘19

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Dubbed the “first black supermodel,” Donyale Luna has done much more for fashion than being the first black woman to appear on the cover of British Vogue. She was the quintessential 70’s girl, often spotted in colorful, psychedelic patterns and animal prints. This season, these staples of her style are back in a major way, spotted on modern-day black supermodels both on and off the runway.

Shop the Looks

Then: Naomi Sims

Now: Beverly Beal

Naomi Sims is legendary for being a jack of all trades; slaying throughout the decades as a supermodel, beauty guru and author. Her sense of style is iconic for its chic and timeless simplicity, which is why we’d still wear many of them today. A master of clean cut silhouettes and mixing patterns, her style signatures can never go out of style.

Shop the Look

Then: Charlene Dash

Now: Kelly Rowland

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While Charlene Dash is best known as one of the elite black models to transform the industry by walking in the The Battle of Versailles Fashion Show in 1973, her style should be just as noteworthy. This bold power suit with exaggerated shoulders is a current favorite for boss babes who love a masculine edge and crave comfort with style.

Shop the Look

*This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, MILQ Mag may make a small commission.*

Have a Hot Girl Summer in These Timeless Style Staples

Trends come and go, but a good look lasts FOREVER! Summer is in full effect and if you’re on the search for staples that you can keep on repeat year after year, we got you! Here are the pieces you need to cop NOW to slay all Summer ‘19 and for many Summers to come.

THE STRAW HAT (& BAG)

No plane tickets needed -- bring the vacay to you with a bomb straw hat & bag combo. Whether paired with a simple dress or a simple blouse and denim duo, you’ll be Summertime fine in these chic and festive accessories.

Shop the Look

THE LWD (Little White Dress)

The LBD has met its match, because during the Summer it’s all about the Little Black Dress! The more lace, frills, and exaggerated sleeves the BETTER. Pair with sandals or sneakers for cute day look, or pair with some metallic heels to hit the town during the evening.

Support Black Business and shop the look at House of Chic LA!

Shop the Look

The BILLOWY BLOUSE

There are few Summer staples that can match up to the fun and femininity of a billowy blouse. There’s no limit to the outfit possibilities of this piece, which is why it’s a must-have in every woman’s closet.

Shop the Look

THE ROMPER

Get your shea butter ready because those legs are coming out of hiding! Rompers are bomb for Summer because they’re easy, cozy and sexy! Get you a few and keep them in rotation.

Support Black Business and shop the look at The Kemist Store!

Shop the Look

THE CO-ORD SET

Play the long game by stacking up on co-ord sets, because they’re like having 10 outfits in one! Go simple with a monochromatic set or really flex in a patterned two-piece. This Summer, ankara is undoubtedly our pattern of choice.

Support Black Business and shop the look at Grass Fields!

Shop the Look

*This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, MILQ Mag may make a small commission.*

MILQ EDITORIAL: SHADOWED BEAUTY

Model: Soshee follow on Instagram @sosheba

Model: Soshee follow on Instagram @sosheba

Bright and bold hues, minimal accessories and silver makeup details— here’s an inside look into the makings of our first digital editorial—SHADOWED BEAUTY—and the full feature editorial.

Creative Director and stylist Christian Joy Riley wanted to create a dramatic contrast with the models skin tone and bright color wardrobe. The emphasized effect created the dramatic shadow character Soshee, the model, embodied so well.

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SHADOWED BEAUTY


PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

Hair and makeup by Chinaza Moses @beautybetweenthelines; model is Soshee @sosheba at Fenton Model Management

Are Mini Bags a Go or a No?

Source: Harper’s Bazaar

Source: Harper’s Bazaar

At one point or another, we’ve all fell victim to the ‘Mary Poppins effect,’ carrying around oversized handbags with everything we think we’d ever possibly need inside. As extreme as that might seem, the mini-bag trend of the moment may have it beat. These bags, which were initially made popular by Jacquemus when they premiered in their Spring 2018 runway show, are popping up everywhere in different forms -- from being worn around the neck to being worn on the waist as a mini bag belt. It’s even been recently spotted on runways dangling from the finger of models as a comical 2-inch accessory courtesy of the label that started it all: Jacquemus, of course (Come on though -- where they do that at?).

So why are these mini bags’ all the rage this season? Maybe because they’re ironic like last season’s ‘dad sneaker’ trend, or maybe because they’re just so irresistibly adorable! Regardless of the reason, we’re taking a look at the fashion killers who caught on to the trend early and deciding once for all; is the mini bag trend a GO or a NO?

Queen Bey

Leave it to Beyonce to have us second guessing how functional mini bags can actually be. Worn as a belt bag, it looks like an easy option for a quick run or even a concert when you want to pack light. Plus, it’s the perfect pop of color to set off this multicolored ensemble.

Love the Look? Secure the Jacquemus green belt bag here or find a similar option here.

Rihanna

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If a trend is in style, rest assured that Rihanna did it first. While we may not be quite ready to start wearing our handbags as necklaces, we’re sold on RihRih’s monochromatic moment topped off with a classic Jacquemus mini bag.

Love the Look? Secure the Jacquemus yellow mini bag  here or find a similar option here

Marlo Hampton

Marlo Hampton has been spotted in the mini bag trend a few times since it’s gone viral, so there’s no doubt that she’s a huge fan. She makes a great case for the trend as an easy option for a day out on the town -- as long as you pack light, of course.

Get her Christian Dior Patent Leather mini bag here or find a similar option here.

#ShopBlack and find a similar option to her chandelier mini bag here.

Lori Harvey

When it comes to style, Lori definitely gets it from her mama. The style maven is always up on the hottest trends and this one is no different. Her pyramid YSL mini bag is a LOOK but what we really want to know is, how much smaller is she willing to go?

Get her YSL Pyramid Box Mini Bag here or find an affordable alternative here.

The Clermont Sisters

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Never ones to shy away from a trendy moment, it’s no surprise to see that these bad girls were among the first to be spotted in the mini bag trend. Wearing it as a crossbody paired with dad sneakers and a jersey dress gives it a fun sporty twist, but its functionality is still the ultimate mystery.

Love the Look? Secure the Jacquemus yellow mini bag  here or find a similar option here.

MORE PLACES TO SHOP THE TREND

*This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, MILQ Mag may make a small commission.*

How to Live Your Best ‘WANDERful' Life

Book The Trip, Pack Your Bags, & Live Your Best “Wanderful” Life On A Budget

source @thevicstyles

source @thevicstyles

Let’s keep it real -- the quintessential, globe trotting, nomad has long been depicted as white. The perception of Black America is that travel is seen more as a luxury than a necessity.

Well, here’s the budget and the bees: that misconception is DEAD and we’re here to give you the travel tea so drink up, honey!

First of all, reducing expenses does not entail limiting your travel  experience, and seeking out adventures does not mean you have to break the bank. Sure, some people are fortunate enough to fly first class and stay at swanky resorts but babygirl, you can get some bang for your lil bucks and it doesn’t have to mean compromising comfort or fun. It just means get in where you fit in, and take note on a few things;okay, more like 10 things.


Tip #1: Book in advance and know peak vs. off peak travel times.


Sure, Summer travel is always a doozy, but keep heavy emoji eyes on key travel sites like Kayak, Hopper or Airfarewatchdog to help get you to where you’re going. Also, we hear the best deals are going up on a Tuesday. Take note and book accordingly.

Tip #2: Up your resource game and tap  into using points or miles for airfare.

If there’s a travel reward and flight incentive, there’s a way! You can book your way to paradise on next to nothing and cheaper than you think.


Tip #3: This might be a no brainer, but do your research!


Take the time to compare rates and deals to figure out your options for lodging. Whether a hotel, an AirBnB, well known hostel or crashing at a friends, be open minded.


Tip #4: Find a travel buddy.

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It can cut down on costs like splitting Uber and Taxi fares. The buddy policy is always the best policy -- especially when exploring new cities.

Tip #5: Don’t eliminate road trips stay-cations and domestic travel.

Paris may not be in the cards right now, but maybe the beauty of Pueblo, Mexico or  the Big Apple is. Just saying, booking alternate forms of travel can end up being the most enjoyable way to get away. Get you some.

Tip #5: Okay, this one might be a challenge but pack light, sis!

Don’t waste your coins paying for extra bags on your flights and if your driving, ain’t nobody got time for a cramped car full of unnecessary suitcases. Choose staple items, layer up, and call it a day, Mmmkaay!

Tip #6: Travel the way the locals do.

Don’t shy away from public or rideshare transportation. There are plenty of apps to download and help you find your way around town by bus, train subway or whatever. It can definitely make sightseeing easy and more cost effective. But seriously, get an app to help be your guide if you’re solo. We want you to get lost in the experience, not literally.

Tip #7: Venture off the beaten path.

Don’t get sucked into the tourist trap; anywhere you visit will have amazing things to see, food to eat and people to meet. All you have to do is show up!


Tip #8: Material things are overrated.


Collecting memories is the real bag. It also makes travel more peaceful, your luggage lighter, and your pockets fatter.


Tip #9: I don't know who needs to hear this but those new shoes you want to buy, skip it.


The Zara sale, just say no. The grande frappes and eating out, cut back. They will all take away from your travel fund. Set that savings goal to align with your pay schedule and get ready to set sail, road trip or jet set on your journey. You got this! P.S., I needed to hear this.


Bottom line, you are not too broke to experience the world around you. Yes, travel comes at a cost but you don’t have to skip out on it all together. It just means that your black girl magic comes with that ballin’ on a budget glow. So shine on, book the trip, pack the bag and live your best “wanderful” life on a budget already! That vacay-get-away slay awaits. Tuh! You deserve it! Because newsflash: traveling while black is totally a thing.

courtesy of @travelnoir

courtesy of @travelnoir

Summer Style Is In Living Color: An Expert Guide with Hanifa

Hanifa Designer Anifa Mvuemba explains why you should transform how you feel about color in your closet

When we think of our ultimate Summer style mood board, Hanifa is undoubtedly the first brand that comes to mind. Scroll through their Instagram feed and you’ll find an awe-worthy compilation of black girls in all shapes and sizes, dripped in the most vibrant ruby and neon hues, playful textures, and curve-hugging silhouettes.

The brand’s colorful aesthetic can’t be credited to trend-watching; since its inception in 2012, color and texture have remained a key focal point of their brand aesthetic. Designed specifically with black women in mind, Hanifa is unafraid to set its own rules  (rule #1: all colors look great on black women, period) and adamantly challenges the long list of fashion faux-pas that we’re conditioned to avoid. It appears that at long last, mainstream fashion brands have finally taken note and caught up to the black owned indie brand, as neon colors continue to be one of the biggest trends on Spring/Summer 2019 runways. While bold colors may be a seasonal fad for many of these brands, Hanifa is making a serious case for how important it is for black women to re-imagine their relationship with bold colors and embrace whatever makes them feel confident, regardless of the season.

We’ve asked Anifa Mvuemba, designer and founder of Hanifa, to share her top tips on how to effortlessly incorporate color, texture, and silhouette to create the ultimate Summer-ready wardrobe (Hint: Break every rule you’ve ever been taught). Whether you’re looking to master this season’s viral neon trend or simply looking to break up the monotony of the neutral staples in your closet, take note of these expert tips from the architect of Hanifa herself.  


COLOR

Anifa’s TIP #1: All colors look great on all black women

I don’t restrict color choices because I embrace all skin tones on different hues, textures, and colors. In fact, I’m usually inspired by the confidence that black women exude in colors which inspires my palette selections. Look at Lupita Nyong to Tracee Ellis Ross - they range in skin tone and look beautiful in so many colors.
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courtesy of shuttershock

courtesy of shuttershock

Anifa’s TIP #2: Don’t hold back on experimenting with neon tones, jewel tones, pastels, bright and dark colors

My favorite color is any color that makes black women feel powerful and special. I think that color is best when it is used to create and to be different.

Anifa’s TIP #3: Be different and be yourself.

Don’t play it safe and go according to what it seems like is the best color just because you read it or saw it somewhere. You are the expert and know what makes you feel good and look good, so go with that.

TEXTURE

Anifa’s TIP #1: Shake it like a tail feather

My current go-to texture has been incorporating fringe and fur accents in my pieces. It makes a big statement while allowing you to be unique and fun.

Anifa’s Tip #2:

The key to mixing and matching textures is balance.

SILHOUETTE

Anifa’s Tip #1: 

I always appreciate silhouettes that are natural and womanly. Staying true and adapting to the body forms of woman overtime will never go out of style.

ANIFA’S STYLE INSPIRATION

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1. What’s your favorite style era?

I love the fashion revolution of the 1960s and 1970s - those amazing styles from that era have inspired some of my pieces. It was truly the time of style transformation, and set the tone for many of the styles we have today.

2. Who is your ultimate style muse?

Rihanna, Rihanna, Rihanna! She does what she wants, and walks her own path when it comes to style. She’s everything that I want women to be when they wear Hanifa - confident and dynamic.

courtesy of the fashion police

courtesy of the fashion police

courtesy of people mag

courtesy of people mag

courtesy of we heart it

courtesy of we heart it

Celebrity Collections You Need in Your Closet

Rihanna has the entire fashion industry shaking in their boots with the release of her first Fenty Collection, making history as the first black woman to head an LVMH brand. But she isn’t the only black A-lister who is forging diversity in the fashion industry. In fact, a groundbreaking number of celebrity collections have been released this year in partnership with women of color  -- and of course, we’re here for it!

While every celebrity collection isn't created equal, these MILQ favorites certainly are! Here's a roundup of the celebrity collections that we're coveting right now, and where you can shop them!

Zendaya x Tommy Hilfiger

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With the help of her fairy God brother Law Roach, Zendaya has become a full fledged fashion icon in her own right. Just in time for Paris Fashion Week, she announced that her covetable style would now be shoppable via her Spring 2019 collab with Tommy Hilfiger. Tapping into the playfully color and expressive trends of the 1970’s, the collection is bold yet incredibly wearable for the everyday woman. During its Paris Fashion Week premiere, the collection was modeled by all-black models in a diverse range of ages, shapes and sizes -- including 70’s icons Grace Jones and Pat Cleveland.

Gab Union x NY & Co

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In 2017, Gabrielle Union added fashion designer to her resume when she premiered her debut collection in partnership with New York & Company.  With an average price tag of less than $100 and a wide size range of 0-20, the collab is known to make headlines for its chic designs and easy accessibility.  Her most recent collection is inspired by “busy moms who need easy, cute and comfortable clothes “ for the entire family to match in -- including the dog. It features a wide range of chic & cozy separates, dresses, and denim.

Lala Anthony x Ashley Stewart

LaLa Anthony might be known for slaying red carpets, but she has a sporty side that  she puts on full display in her recent collection with Ashley Stewart. Realizing the lack of options available for curvy women besides “florals and ruffles,”  she designed a capsule collection featuring items that she considers her go-to’s while she’s on the run.

Serena by Serena Williams

Serena Williams is after much more than her 24th Grand Slam  -- she’s after a seat at the fashion table, too! Serena by Serena Williams doesn’t solely  aim to create pieces that are stylish. The Tennis champion also wants to empower women to feel unapologetically confident and authentic when they’re wearing her pieces. Showcasing an incredibly diverse range of models and style choices on her website, the collection is challenging both fashion and social norms simultaneously.

Ivy Park by Beyonce