These Celebs Are Daring You To Try This Fall Trend

Leather is always a staple in our Autumn/Winter wardrobe and this year leather on leather is the thing! Our fave celebrity style mavens are flocking to the leather on leather trend like never before, serving head to toe leather looks that are both edgy and stylish. Even the fashion queen Rihanna herself gave the trend her stamp of approval.

Source:  @BadGalRiri

Source: @BadGalRiri

Get the Look

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NastyGal
pu double breasted puff sleeve blazer

AKIRA-TE-QUIERO-HIGH-RISE-VEGAN-LEATHER-SKINNY-PANTS.png

Missguided
black faux leather turn up hem cigarette pants

From Draya Michele’s L’Academie crop top and pant set to TK Wonder’s chocolate leather button down with cognac leather pants, the girls really can’t get enough of leather on leather -- and we’re ready to get in on the trend too. 

Source:  @drayamichele

Get the Look

LAcademie The Mai Crop Top.jpg

L’Academie
The Mai Crop Top

Patent-Faux-Leather-Leggings-BLANKNYC.png

BLANKNYC
Patent Faux Leather Leggings

TK Wonder & Cipriana Quann- Alena Akhmadullina

TK Wonder & Cipriana Quann- Alena Akhmadullina

Get the Look

cream-faux-leather-oversized-shirt--.png

Missguided
cream faux leather oversized shirt 

Leather-Look-Paperbag-High-Waist-Pants.png

Boohoo
Leather Look Paperbag High Waist Pants

When it comes to serving a leather on leather moment, there’s no limit to the ways that you can add drip to make it your own. Just look at Jasmine Sanders, who wore a midi leather dress with leather thigh high boots during fashion week--probably making her the street style champ. Or peep her extra AF gold mini skirt and bralette number that she took to the next level  with a gold crop jacket, mini bag, and Louboutin pumps.

Jasmine Sanders Ermanno Scervino FW19

Jasmine Sanders Ermanno Scervino FW19

Get the Look

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Missguided
black faux leather cami midi dress

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Aldo 
Over-the-knee boot - Maede Block Heel

Jasmine Sanders in Moschino

Jasmine Sanders in Moschino

Maye Mini Skirt  superdown brand- superdown.jpg

superdown
Maye Mini Skirt 

Estee & Lilly Metallic Rectangle Minaudiere Clutch.jpg

Estee & Lilly 
Metallic Rectangle Minaudiere Clutch

MICHAEL+MICHAEL+KORS+Claire+Chain-Mesh+Pump.jpg

Michael Kors 
Claire Chain-Mesh Pump

These women are chic trendsetters leading the pack in the leather on leather trend. Stay warm in the cooler temperatures without taking away from your #OOTD style moment by trying it for yourself! 

Get into the look and get it in your closet for Fall.

You Aren't Ready for Fly Girl Fall Without this Accessory

Now that we’ve officially mourned the end of hot girl Summer, we’re ready to dig into Fly Girl Fall -- but not until our accessory game is on point. Lucky for us, the hottest accessory trend of the season has already made itself known, popping up on every fashion website and in every clothing store in our regular shopping rotation. 

TBH, tortoise shell isn’t anything new. As a matter of fact, it’s an oldie but goodie that you probably already have in your closet. This easy-to-wear, multi-colored brown hue is the ultimate autumn staple and can easily pair with absolutely anything in your closet.  But what makes it so new and fresh this season is all of the new ways that it’s being used to create accessory staples with a luxe, upscale look and feel. 

SOURCE: PRETTY LITTLE THING

SOURCE: PRETTY LITTLE THING

Ready to get into tortoise shell for Fall? Take note and get you a piece or two that you’re sure to have in rotation for years to come.

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BP
3-Pack Tortoiseshell Earrings

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Nasty Gal
Brown Tortoise Barely There Flared Heels

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Shaw Crocodile Shoulder Bag
with Tortoiseshell Strap

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ALDO
Aurella Booties

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BAUBLEBAR
Amanda Hair Clip

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Tortoiseshell Bronte Buckle Belt

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Tortoiseshell Circular Chain Belt

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River Island
Chain Drop Earrings in Tortoise Shell

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Tortoiseshell Hair Clips

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Liars & Lovers
Brown Foldover Cross Body Bag





Mix Prints, Not Feelings with the Pattern Play Fall Trend

While Nicki Minaj has her Fendi prints on, we’re over here mixing prints like it’s no one’s business. We get it -- the idea of mixing prints can be a bit scary. After all, it may seem like a trend reserved for fashion queens who have mastered the skill of coordination. But let us be the first to tell you that if you’re not wearing mixed prints this Fall, then you’re playing in these fashion streets! 

By far, mixed prints and crazy color combinations were the biggest trends that debuted on the runways during fashion month. Meanwhile, some of our favorite street style queens have followed suite, spotted in the cutest combinations of prints that we’d never think to wear together, but can’t way to try! 

Here’s a roundup of mixed print looks that kill and a beginner-friendly guide to help you get into pattern play this season.

Pattern Play 101

Sporting a mixed print set from Derek Lam and looking good while doing it, Makeup Shayla’s take on this trend features the same print in contrasting colors, creating a mixed print effect while still looking perfectly coordinated. Sporting a mixed print set or statement piece takes the mystery out of pattern play while giving you just the right amount of edge to kill your look.

Get the Look

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ASOS DESIGN
Liquorish Wid Leg Jumpsuit in Mixed Animal Print

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ASOS DESIGN
Mixed Floral Print Twist Front Midi Tea Dress

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ASOS
Liquorish Plus Jumpsuit

Animal Prints that Kill

Bring out your killer instinct by mixing unexpected animal prints. The key to coordination? Pick a classic color palette that compliments each other and let your prints do all the talking. Our girl Jennifer nailed it with this zebra and leopard print combo featuring neutrals and just the right pop of color. 

NASTY+GAL+RED+LEOPARD+SHIRT.jpg

NastyGal
Womens Stroke Me Leopard Shirt

BOOHOO+LEOPARD+SUPER+FLARE+TROUSER.jpg

Boohoo
Leopard Super Flare Wide Leg Trouser

Animal Cheetah Print.jpg

Missguided
Black Animal Print Satin Oversized Shirt

MISSGUIDED petite lime high neck leopard bodysuit .jpg

Missguided
Petite Lime High Neck Leopard Bodysuit

Monochrome 2.0

Source:  @curatedbyNX

Source: @curatedbyNX

Two trends in one? Yes please! Here’s a no fail trick to pattern play; pair mixed prints in a monochrome look. This simple trick will allow you to really go big with your patterns of choice, just like @curatedbyNX with her yellow floral and multicolored polka dot combo. Everyone knows that yellow was MADE for us melanated girls and it just so happened to be a favorite on the Fall runways, so it’ll be our color go-to all season long.

Dilan Pleated Midi Skirt.jpg

Dilan
Pleated Midi Skirt

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Yellow Snake Print
Over the Knee Heeled Boots

Forever 21 Floral Print Crop Topjpg

Forever 21
Floral Print Crop Top

Mixed to the Max

Blogger babes  Beverly Beal and @itsjustdels know how to make any trend look chic, and these expert pattern play moments are no different. These looks may look hard to achieve but you got this! Pairing the same prints that feature different but complementary colors is an easy way to look elevated and when you throw in neutral accents like a black boot or tan trench coat, your lewk is officially complete.

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ASOS DESIGN
Textured Stripe Two-Piece Knitted Skirt

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Variegated-Stripe Ribbed Sweater

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ASOS DESIGN
Long Plaid Coat

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Stradivarius Strappy Mini Dress in Red Check

Ryan Destiny Just Proved Why this Dress is a MUST for Holiday Season

The holidays are right around the corner, which means that plenty of holiday parties, cocktail hours, and nights out on the town are in your NEAR future! It’s about that time to start planning out the show stopping looks you’ll be serving at the family function and lucky for you, Ryan Destiny just gave us all of the inspo that we could ask for.

Source: @ryandestiny

Source: @ryandestiny

source: @scotlouie

source: @scotlouie

During Paris Fashion Week, Ryan Destiny popped up on the scene and on the gram spotted in a stunning Draped Balmain number, and we’re shooketh! This dress is officially the quintessential holiday season dress because it creates just the right level of sex appeal while hiding all of your cheat day sins!

If you agree that this drape dress is your vibe all Fall/Winter 2020, we got you sis! Check out our fave drape dresses of the moment below.

Get the Look

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Missguided
Peace + Love Ivory Satin Drape Fringe Mini Dress

2.jpg

MISSGUIDED
Sand Mesh Panel Asymmetric Drape Midi Dress

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ASOS EDITION
Drape Asymmetric Midi Dress

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Missguided
Peace + Love Navy Chain Strap Satin Drape Mini Dress

asos-design-tall-one-shoulder-drape-midi-dress-in-satin-gray.jpg

ASOS DESIGN
Tall One Shoulder Drape Midi Dress

The Print That Makes You Look Like You Have Your Ish Together

Plaid has always been a style staple. It’s the print that ALWAYS makes you look like you have your s**t together. Also known as tartan, plaid can be styled with everything from solids, to mixed prints, or our favorite: in a matching set (power suit, anyone?). No matter how you style it, it is definitely a must have for the Fall. This classic print never goes out of style and can be refreshed in your wardrobe season after season. You’ll never look old and outdated in plaid! Instead you’ll look chic and about your business. 

Source: @iamcardib

Source: @iamcardib

Source: @monicabrown

Source: @monicabrown

Source: @sevynstreeter

Source: @sevynstreeter

Plaid is usually a print associated with punk, preppy, grunge, and business class, but don’t let that stop you from getting some, friend! It is one of the most versatile prints to hit the runway for the Fall 2019 season -- and it’s not your grandmother’s plaid sofa print.  Designers used every shape and silhouette to make tartan their own on the runways this season. They succeeded in piquing our interest with some of our favorite looks coming from Zendaya x Tommy Hilfiger and Christian Dior, just to name a few.

Christian Dior

Christian Dior

Christian Dior

Christian Dior

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger

Grey plaid has also been  taking over The Gram lately, seen on Sevyn Streeter, Karrueche, and Monica the past few weeks, making us love it more and more. All of these fashionistas have been seen in grey plaid on their social media feeds rocking the print in sets, with hats, and even sports bras.  These style mavens are giving us the keys to styling plaid in a youthful and modern way, and we’re all the way here for it! 

Source: @kellyrowland

Source: @kellyrowland

Source: @karrueche

Source: @karrueche

Ready to get some plaid in your Fall wardrobe? Spice up your grey plaid with an unlikely print pairing like buffalo check print or gingham to create a bomb ass outfit. You can also play with the sizing and shapes of tartan like our fellow designers did for their collections. When styled right it’s one of the prints that will always make you look like you have your s**t together, so check out some of our favorite plaid picks that you need in your closet NOW for Fall!

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Missguided
Gray Heritage Plaid Blazer Dress

HM-Plaid.jpg

H&M
Plaid Jacket

ASOS-PLAID-VEST.png

ASOS DESIGN
Sleeveless Suit Blazer

NASTY-GAL-PLAID-SET.png

Nasty Gal
Brown Plaid Print Co Ord

MISSGUIDED-PLAID-PINAFORE-DRESS.png

Missguided
Gray Plaid Pinafore Mini Dress

FOREVER -21-GLEN-PLAID-SKIRT.JPG

Forever 21
Plaid Glen Blazer

Tawana's Favorite Things: Meet the Fashion Queen Behind House of Chic LA

Whether you follow her or not, there’s no doubt that you’ve spotted Tawana on your Instagram feed serving you fab hair, a beat face, and full-on LOOKS. As the founder of House of Chic LA and Hair So Chic LA, she’s been our ultimate style goals for years, known for her sleek, chic and EXTRA AF aesthetic. She got her start as a fashion maven during the early days of Instagram after organically amassing a huge following of women who naturally gravitated to her OOTD posts. 

Tawana-House-of-Chic-LA.jpg

“When I got my first 500 likes [on Instagram], I was like ‘oh my god, what's going on?!  What do these people see?’  I started getting a lot of questions and DMs about what I was wearing and my style.”

When she achieved her first online “viral moment, Tawana responded to the demand by launching her online boutique House of Chic LA. Years later, she’s still going strong, now known as the online plug for classy girly-girls to find fashion forward fits at affordable prices. But what makes her boutique special isn’t just the bomb pieces. She’s also infamous for putting on for short thick girls by being living proof  that they can unlock their fullest style potential by figuring out what works best for their body. 

“[When I was younger] I would just wear anything that was cute… it didn’t matter what it was, I just wanted to look good. Now I just go for comfort over everything... I'm not the girl that has the flattest stomach or [anything] like that so [it’s important for me] to dress for my body type.”

The glitz and glamour of Tawana’s Instagram feed may lead you to assume that you know a lot about her. But the truth is that she’s a homebody who loves fresh flowers, a good beauty regimen,  and a night in with her pup. MILQ got the chance to sit down with Tawana to get an exclusive look into her favorite things, her guilty pleasures, and her life beyond House of Chic LA.

Grab a glass of wine and get into this roundup of Tawana’s Favorite Things!

Shop Tawana’s Favorite Things

The Top 5 Fave #BlackGirlMagic Moments from Envsn Festival

Where Brooklyn at?! On September 14-15 the Envsn Festival returned to the BK in full women empowerment force serving the youth culture with paramount purpose and infinite possibilities. Founded by philanthropist, Sharifa Murdock. Known for educating millennials to go after their dreams witcho cute self and take up unapologetic space while doing it. From fashion to staying focused, Envsn fest represents the female hustlers and creates the dopest of vibes through curators, speakers and influencers dropping truth bombs all up and outside the building. The revolution celebrated the dreamers, the go-getters and future leaders, embodying everything black girl magic and more.

It’s not just an event, it’s a lifestyle.

Panel Peeps + Passion 

Sisters found and connected with their tribe hanging at the Quad, eating, snapping pics and exchanging good energy, listening to inspirational stories from their favorite brand execs, influencers, girl bosses and experts. Young queens were Chopping it up, networking and learning the inside scoop on business and believing in the power of women. Guest panelists included a legion of women about their business including Scottie Beam, Nicole Russell, Danielle A. Cooper, Channing Hargrove, and more. Yaaaas!  If you didn’t walk away inspired, did you even attend?

“ I don’t explain my dream to people. My dream is bigger than my own dream”
- Scottie Beam, Envsn Festival (source: @getintothispod)

Workshops + Wellness 

Class was in self-care session giving the goods on going deep spiritually, physically and mentally with strong influential women like Psychiatrist, Dr. Jes and Mental Health Advocate & Healer, Emilia Rodriguez and many more. It was a genuine environment of real love seeing and sitting with women of color collaborating and not competing as well as seeking to change the narrative in social media and in the world. Because let’s be honest, no one got us like we got us.  

“If you feel like you are losing your power, go the place where you know the power is.”
- Gia Peppers (source: @getintothispod)

Beauty + Beyond

Girls were glowed up at the beauty studio where make-up tutorials, consultations and pop ups were all the glam. Hair done, nails done, everything did with the opportunity to shop, shine and grind at the same d*mn time. Young women were basking in black girl magic in true form both inwardly and out. Taking lewks and the livelihood of securing the bag to the next level. Go all the way awf beauties!

“Be free enough to be yourself.”
- Danielle Cooper (source: @getintothispod)

Music + Mentorship

The event mentored the next generation through music getting bodies moving into power, motivation was the forever mood. Dance workshops, battles, all female DJs spinning sweet beats and there were some unforgettable performances by some epic artists moving the culture forward. The vibes were heavy with Doja Cat, Queen Naija and more having you and your squad boppin beyond the weekend into the week. New moves, new mindset, who dis?

“You are where you’re meant to be. The universe is unfolding how it’s suppose to.”
- Deja Foxx

Fashion + Fearless

The outward expression of young women walking in an array of colors, threads and designs illuminated the industry and the community.  Envsn is a true positive platform to thrive and a runway to walk tall in women empowerment. Keep that same energy and grow on girls. 










Feminine Health Is Wealth: A Chat With Nerissa Nefeteri

Nerissa Nefeteri is calling, and you (and your yoni) should answer. She’s the Pelvic Floor Coach, Herbalist, Yoni- Practitioner, and Owner of Nene FemHealth, SMC Doula and saving the world one pum pum at a time. She wants you to take better care of your nani, and she’s serving all the self care tips and tricks on how to do just that.

So go ahead and close the shades, light some incense because it’s about to get real feminine and peaceful up in here -- and your pum pum will thank you.

Nerissa Nefeteri.jpg

We wanted to go deep in our discussion with Nefeteri and take it back, like way back to when this yoni alchemist was a wee one in her mama’s womb to get to the core of self care, yoni power and positivity. It’s time to get real and right into it, pun intended. 

My mother made a choice for me when I was in her womb. From the way she ate, thought and the actions she made to make sure I was going to be raised in a toxic free environment. If it wasn’t for my mothers influence I don’t think I would be able to curve negativity the way I do now. Being around negativity , talking negative and being negative never got anyone any positive results.
Nerissa Nefeterijpg

As Nefeteri got older, she became more interested in holistic and feminine health, using YouTube as a positive platform for the pum pum and discovered her purpose in teaching thousands of women (her Instagram following of over 300k says so) that their yoni matters.

I have always been interested since high school but I never knew how to express my interest about it. I felt like I would be an odd ball for wanting to talk about something so personal . But then I discovered YouTube!! I made my own channel in 2009 and started a series called Vagina Therapy. It helped me express my thoughts about feminine hygiene. I’m a shy person so it also helped me break out of an antisocial shell (at least for a few minutes at a time).

The series opened her eyes and her lotus eggs to all of the unhealthy things women were forced to use for personal hygiene thus Nerissa Nefeteri Inc was born. A special space where her Nene Fem Health website shop and Miami based store offers plant based feminine hygiene products, vegan makeup and skincare, a plethora of pum pum enlightenment and then some.

Nerissa Neferteri.jpeg

“The main question I would ask myself was “Are these really all the options we have?” I became obsessed with finding out about all the natural alternatives and trying to understand why they weren’t being advertised in the mainstream market.”

Yoni’s everywhere should be glad she did. The Yoni Practitioner has been creating a sacred sweet spot and an invigorating territory by providing health information, tools, tutorials, products, herbs, and newsletters for sisters all over. Take note!  

“Our health doesn’t need to rely on antibiotics all the time. Proper hygiene, sex and food education will prevent many FemHealth issues in the black community. Easy access to healthier products need to be a priority as well. I shouldn’t have to go to the middle class neighborhood to get real cotton sanitary napkins because the stores in the black neighborhoods don’t sell them.”

That. Part.

NeNe FemHealth.jpeg

Nefeteri is pioneering and offering much truth, self love, toxic free femininity, healthy sexuality and plenty of womb wellness and wisdom to fellow floras everywhere.Her intimacy interventions are resourceful and she’s shifting the narrative around our lady bits with affordable and healthy personal hygiene and beauty products for all women —and our steamed yonis are here for and healing from it. 

Nefeteri continues to school us on self care as the instructor of her “Yoni Popping” class, a traveling fitness workshop that brings women together interested in holistically strengthening their core, or the alignment of their mind, body, and soul. 

“Many people have a false understanding of self-care and associate it with indulgence rather than whole-body health.”


It’s clear, Nefeteri is here with the goal of educating and empowering the sisterhood community of embracing and exercising their feminine magic. From watching Nefeteri’s 1 on 1 Lotus Egg Tutorial to purchasing some yoni herbs for holistic healing, The rejuvenation and relaxation is real. Turning your self care game up is a whole mood and “ it’s not only on Sundays!”

Nerissa Nefeteri.jpg

Womb wellness is not just a sometime thing, it’s everything. Thankfully the Yoni Goddess is in our reproductive corner, helping us navigate our inner realms so we might truly cultivate the power of the precious pum pum on a regular. Bottom line, investing in yourself and your yoni is the real bag and “self- care is a daily lifestyle.” 

“It’s the way you think , eat , solve problems , get through your day, love etc. Everything you do in your life is a part of your self-care!”

Nefeteri said what she said. Yoni egg drop. 

Yoni 101 With Nerissa Nefeteri: 10 Do’s & Don’ts For A Healthy Vagina

The Don’ts

1. Do Not Pass Go, Unless You’ve Washed First
Don’t touch your vagina or allow your partner to touch your vagina without washing your/their hands prior.

2. Dry Garments Does A Body Good
Don’t keep wet undergarment’s on (gym, pool, etc.). This can cause yeast infections. Always change after the gym and beach.

3. Just Say No To Parabens, Petroleum & Silicones
Don’t use lubes that contain parabens, petroleum and silicones. They are known to throw off your PH and cause irritation.

4. Don’t You Dare Think About Douching
Stop douching, Periodt!! Even douching with water is a no go. If you want to refresh your yoni, consider a vaginal steam!

5. Stress Need Not Apply
Stop stressing! Stress throws off your hormones which can ultimately affect your vaginal flora. Your vagina deserves better. It does not need that type of negative energy!

5. What Vulva Wants, Vulva Gets
Don’t wash your vulva with a washcloth. Use your hands! Rags/cloths carry bacteria that you transfer on to your vulva. 

The Do’s

6. Power To The Probiotics
If you’re prone to BV, use probiotic supplements! They help to keep your PH balanced. Taking probiotics everyday will assist to minimize the recurrence.

7. A Lemon And A Cranberry A Day Keeps The Yeast Away
Drink a mix of lemon water and pure cranberry juice twice a day. This helps to restore your bodies PH, keeps the urinary tract healthy and keeps the yeast away.

8. No Panties, No Problem
Free ball! Yes, take the panties off ladies. No need to wear undies in bed, let your vulva breathe please!

9. Ditch The Detergents
If you’re allergic to laundry detergents, wash your underwear with a fem wash instead. 

10. Yes To Staying So Fresh & So Clean, Clean
Have your partner cleanse with the same fem wash you wash and use on your vulva, it will help minimize irritations.















Get Fall-Ready With these 8 New York Fashion Week Trends

From Savage Fenty’s sultry exhibition to Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya’s 70’s fused collection debut, there was no shortage of black excellence ripping the runway during New York Fashion Week. But what really caught our eye was all of the style salvage in effect that we’re ready to add into our closet rotation for Fall! Gather your coins and make space in your closet, because we’re guiding you through our top 10 trends for Fall that we’re currently obsessing over. 

HOUNDSTOOTH

Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya

Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya

Area

Area

Trust us — this ain’t your grandmother’s houndstooth! Thanks to brands like Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya and Area, houndstooth has a fresh new look and feel this season. Consider incorporating it into your closet for Fall with a sleek trench or a power blazer — two Fall staples that never go out of style. 

MILQ PICKS

ZENDAYA HOUNDSTOOTH CHECK TRENCH COAT.png

From the Runway
ZENDAYA HOUNDSTOOTH CHECK TRENCH COAT

ZENDAYA HOUNDSTOOTH CHECK WAISTCOAT.png

From the Runway
ZENDAYA HOUNDSTOOTH CHECK WAISTCOAT

Mango Houndstooth Pants.png

Mango
Houndstooth Pants

CORSETS 

Dion Lee

Dion Lee

Staud

Staud

Up the sex appeal with corsets this season that’ll keep you looking snatched AND fashionable. Pair with slacks for a refined look or up the sex appeal with a high slit skirt. 

MILQ’S PICKS

NBD Lacey Bustier Top.png

NBD
Lacey Bustier Top

Forever 21 Bustier-Style Crop Top.jpg

Forever 21
Bustier-Style Crop Top

4th & Reckless corset collar blazer with hook and eye detail in black.jpeg

4th & Reckless
Corset Collar Blazer

MIXED PRINTS

Roland Mouret

Roland Mouret

Coach

Coach

We’ve been obsessed with mixing prints since Resort 2019. Thanks to Oscar De La Renta, Roland Mouret, and Coach, we’re keeping up the momentum all through Fall. Switch out your florals and pastels for rustic hues and pair them with plaids or stripes.

MILQ’S PICKS

missguided-red-co-ord-leopard-tartan-print-cigarette-pants.jpg

Missguided
Red Co-ord Leopard Tartan Print Cigarette Pants

ASOS DESIGN maxi dress with smocking detail in mixed animal print.jpeg

ASOS DESIGN
Maxi Dress with Smocking Detail in Mixed Animal Print

LEATHER

Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya

Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya

Coach

Coach

The quintessential style staple of black power in the 1970s is back and it’s better. Opt for Angela Davis’ iconic leather trench coat in a rich Autumn hue, or take it up a notch with a pair of leather bottoms or even a co-ord set. 

MILQ’S PICKS

missguided-green-co-ord-faux-leather-utility-blazer.jpg

Missguided
Green Co Ord Faux Leather Utility Blazer

BLANKNYC Patent Faux Leather Leggings.jpg

BLANKNYC
Patent Faux Leather Leggings

BLANKNYC Faux Leather Trench Coat.jpg

BLANKNYC
Faux Leather Trench Coat - 100% ExclusivE

ASOS DESIGN tailored paperbag leather look shorts.jpg

ASOS DESIGN
Tailored Paperbag Leather Shorts

EXAGGRATED SHOULDERS

PYER MOSS.jpg
PYER MOSS

The 1980s are having a moment, in large part thanks to Pyer Moss who featured plenty of exaggerated and retro silhouettes in his collection. Give this look a try if you’re looking to serve boss babe vibes all season long with boxy blazers and dresses.

MILQ’S PICKS

ASOS DESIGN Tall camel stripe suit blazer with popper fastening.jpg

ASOS DESIGN
Tall Camel Stripe Suit Blazer

FRAICHE BY J Susie Wide Leg Jumpsuit.jpg

FRAICHE BY J
Susie Wide Leg Jumpsuit

METALLIC & HOLOGRAPH

Brandon Maxwell

Brandon Maxwell

Christopher John Rogers

Christopher John Rogers

This year, you don’t have to wait until New Yer’s Eve to shine. Sequin and metallics were spotted all over New York Fashion Week, featured on the runways of Brandon Maxwell and black designer Christopher John Rogers, and even spotted on Rihanna during her Savage Fenty show.

MILQ’S PICKS

SCHUTZ Jamili Clear Ankle Strap Sandal.jpeg

SCHUTZ
Jamili Clear Ankle Strap Sandal

Nasty Gal The Pleat is On Metallic Skirt.jpg

Nasty Gal
The Pleat is On Metallic Skirt

Windsor Holographic Crossbody Purse Holographic Crossbody Purse Holographic Crossbody Purse Holographic Crossbody Purse Holographic Crossbody Purse Holographic Crossbody Purse Shop  Bags HOLOGRAPHIC CROSSBODY PURSE.jpg

Windsor
Holographic Crossbody Purse

HALF & HALF

Christian Cowan

Christian Cowan

Pyer Moss

Pyer Moss

— And we’re not talking about our favorite 2000’s sitcom. Warning: The half and half trend is not for the faint of heart. But it’s perfect for the true fashion girl who likes to test the boundaries of style. Go simple with a duel-colored pant or blouse, or take it all the way in a full half and half set that turns heads. 

SHEIN Two Tone Button Front Blazer.jpg

SHEIN
Two Tone Button Front Blazer

MISSGUIDED-black-super-oversized-leopard-print-panel-shirt.jpg

Missguided
Black Super Oversized Leopard Print Panel Shirt

Asos Warehouse two tone belted midi dress.jpg

Asos Design
Warehouse Two Tone Belted Midi Dress

MONOCHROME

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Monochrome is the trend that keeps on giving. A favorite among celebrities during New York Fashion Week, it’s easy to pull off and looks very polished — perfect for a fuss-free last minute look. 

MILQ’S PICKS

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Missguided
Red Co Ord Grandad Collar Oversized Blazer

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Missguided
Plaid Co Ord Pant Set

Go Natural With These Chic & Sustainable Fashion Trends

As ‘Hot Girl Summer’ slowly fades into ‘Fierce Girl Fall,’ we’re getting into going natural -- and this time, we’re not talking about hair. Thanks to water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and increasing levels of textile waste used to create clothing, Mother Earth is really going through it and it’s time that we do something about it. Fashion brands are trying to turn a new leaf by switching to sustainable fabrics and textiles to create clothing ethically. As it turns out, not only is ethical fashion good for mother nature, but it’s ultra chic and a bomb way to add rich texture to your closet! 

Sustainable is the new chic! Go green with us and make the planet happy by incorporating these ethical fabrics into your closet.

Straw

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Fun fact: Your favorite summer staple is also good for the planet! It’s a low impact, low carbon building material that makes the perfect accent for a flirty look without doing damage to the earth. Although it’s a Summer go-to, don’t be afraid to pull it out for a cute Fall moment with accessories like bags, and even shoes! It’s rich texture and neutral tones will keep you styling all September.

MILQ’s Picks

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KNOTTY
Woven Tassel Top Handle Bag
$69

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MIA
Renita Raffia Wraparound Straw Sandal
$69

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#BuyBlack
Brother Vellies

Basket Stell Straw Mule

Hemp

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Not only is hemp one of the oldest fabrics on the planet, but it’s one of the most stylish. It requires no pesticides, herbicides,  fungicides, and little water to cultivate, making it an easy and ethical fabric choice to style on ‘em from Summer into Winter without harming the planet.

MILQ’s Picks

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Mara Hoffman
Whitney Hemp Jumpsuit

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#BuyBlack
Flowers by Tracy Reese
Natasha Drop Waist Midi Dress
$250

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Back Beat Rags
Hemp Boiler Suit
$48

Wood

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Remember those wooden Cult Gaia cage bags that you keep seeing on your feed? It’s about time that you cop one of your own! Wood is a renewable material, which means that it provides energy for the planet AND bomb texture to any look. That’s a win win if we’ve ever seen one. 

MILQ’s Picks

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AQUA
Wood Beaded Tote
$41

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ETTIKA
Wood Disc Earrings
$55

Cult Gaia
Luna Bamboo Crossbody Bag
$220

Linen

Give the girls all of the life in linen! It’s an organic, biodegradable, and recyclable fiber that just so happens to look and feel fierce. Get into the earthy vibes and create a moment in linen dresses, structured tops, and flowy co-ord sets all season long. 

MILQ’s Picks

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Reformation
Mara Linen Two-Piece
$153

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ASOS
Linen Utility Dress
$56

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Reformation
Cerise Linen Dress
$130

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

Black Girl Skincare: A Natural Beauty Guide w/ BLK + GRN

Nobody has time to put a bunch of chemicals that we can’t pronounce on our precious, brown skin. So we’re taking it back to the way our ancestors did it by using toxic-free, plant-based, and cruelty-free beauty products, made FOR US, BY US, to keep our melanin popping.

When it comes to discovering the very best in all-natural black-owned skincare, there’s no better plug than BLK + GRN: an online marketplace that curates beauty products made by black artisans so that we can consume consciously while cultivating our community. From natural aluminum-free deodorants to casket-free sunscreens and feminine hygiene,  BLK + GRN is making natural black beauty more accessible than it’s ever been before. The beauty and brains behind BLK + GRN is Dr. Kristian Henderson, a Black Women’s Health expert who believes that a life free of toxins and all things artificial is a life worth cultivating -- and we consign on that. 

Photo Source: BLK + GRN

Photo Source: BLK + GRN

In celebration of Dr. Kristian H.’s steady return to good health,  we chatted with the BLK + GRN team to get the tea on the 5 essential steps we need to keep our skincare game strong, and what all-natural, black owned products we should be using to do it. Grab some green tea and get ready to be schooled by THE experts of black beauty on how to upgrade your daily skin routine. 

Step 1: Face Cleanser 

Why It's Important:
To cleanse your skin of built-up oil, cosmetics and impurities from free radicals (dirt) floating in the air.

Best-Seller to Try & Why You Love It: 
Jojoboa infused Marla Rene’s Raw Honey Cleanser. A jojoba-based cleanser is great for daily use to rejuvenate and tone even the most sensitive skin. Marla Rene’s cleanser does this and more by adding calming calendula extract and humectant raw honey to reduce inflammation and the appearance of blemishes. 

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Expert Tip:
Jojoba oil closely matches our skin’s natural oil. Using it in our skincare routine can help reduce excess oil, balance moisture, and banish breakouts. 

Step 2: Face Moisturizer 

Why It's Important:
A toxic-free moisturizer with at least SPF 15 helps to protect your skin from the unavoidable yet harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays (yes even on cloudy days!). Using an SPF moisturizer daily also prevents the darkening of any skin blemishes you may have acquired over time. This helps to heal your skin naturally, sometimes even removing acne spots completely. 

Best-Seller to Try & Why You Love It:
Black Girl Sunscreen is one of our absolute favorite moisturizers! This weightless, melanin-protecting SPF 30 Sunscreen won’t leave behind sticky residue or white cast on your skin. Plus, the cocoa butter and carrot seed oil keep your skin moisturized as you work, lounge or play throughout your day. 

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Expert Tip:
For more than 1-2 hour direct sun exposure (workout, beach, pool, etc.), we recommend applying your SPF moisturizer twice. 

Step 3: Toner

Why It's Important:
To cleanse the dirt that enters deeply into your pores while minimizing the appearance of your pore size. 

Best-Seller to Try & Why You Love It:
Organic Hibiscus Face Toner made with refreshing floral water, and apple cider vinegar to cleanse your pores. It also contains Aloe vera juice to leave your skin feeling and looking fresh! 

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Expert Tip:
Apply toner prior to and after your face cleanser for the ultimate cleanse.

Step 4: Exfoliator

Why It's Important:
To scrub off dead skin cells to reveal rejuvenated, youthful looking skin.

Best-Seller to Try & Why You Love It
Moringa, Tumeric, and Neem Exfoliating Body Scrub. Rinsable but still effective! This scrub is packed with vitamin C, shea butter, and organic sea salt to remove dead skin and toxins while still adding a natural, healthy glow. 

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Expert Tip:
Use a plant based exfoliating pad to remove more dirt on and beneath the surface of your skin.

Step 5: Facial Oils

Why It's Important:
Facial oils restore and hydrate skin cells to improve the health and appearance of your skin. With skin being the largest organ on your body, it’s important to nourish your face with products that resemble the natural oils your body produces. Oils that are lightweight and chemical free. 

Best-Seller to Try & Why You Love It:
FLOW Perfectly Balanced Facial Oil is a 5-star review favorite on blkgrn.com! FLOW is luxurious and lightweight. With a potent blend of florals that help to stop the overproduction of oils that can leave your skin with pimples and breakouts.

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Expert Tip:
Apply facial oil to damp skin for a moisturized natural glow. The wetter your skin the dewier the look depending on your preference. A little bit goes a long way!

Bonus Step

What's is the #1 step & product that is essential to your skincare routine, and why do you love it? 

3 words: African Black Soap! It’s gentle on the skin yet tough on blemishes. Shea Radiance is a great pick for this!!




















































The Girlfriends Guide To Going Green

Having Mama Earth’s Back, Making An Impact & Minding Your Eco Conscious Business

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How we’re building, what we’re wearing, and what we’re doing-- it all matters. So what are you doing that is eco- friendly, environmentally sustainable, and green? We’re asking for Mama Earth.

Listen, our planet is seriously suffering from some major trouble (have you seen what’s happening in the Amazon forest?!) so we have two options: Go green, or go with global guilt (Hint, go with the first one). From changing our diets, biking to work, using energy saving purchase power to using less plastic and reducing waste, going green is the big mood and our planet will thank you. Learn habits on how to be cultural, healthy, productive and thrifty with an eco-chic vibe.

Photo Source: Billabong Women’s

Photo Source: Billabong Women’s

Save The Environment & Save A Coin

You know those traditional light bulbs that need to be switched? If you’ve had this on your “To Do” list, it’s time to cross it off, sis. Those bulbs use a lot of energy! Switching may cost more upfront, but it will save you money on your electric bill in the long run. Shine bright like a diamond, but use CFL (compact fluorescent light) — they last longer.

Beef Be Gone

I know, you’ve probably heard it before but nixing the baby back ribs and smokin’ beef patties at this Summer's BBQ and for life from your diet is hands down the greatest way to help the planet. By reducing your meat intake, you are contributing to less greenhouse gas in the farming industry, which uses a lot of resources for production. I’m not saying you have to go cold turkey but maybe, just maybe, consider eliminating some meat. Consider making the switch to chicken which has the lowest carbon footprint of all the meats. Hey, it’s not Sunday and Chic-fil-a is still open. Just sayin.

Photo Source: Watt Pad

Photo Source: Watt Pad

Carpooling Isn’t Just For Soccer Moms

Call shotgun and share a ride with a coworker or someone in your hood. Ride sharing reduces carbon-dioxide emissions and saves you big benjamins on gas. Plus, you don’t have to side eye the HOV lane when you’re stuck in traffic and want to test your luck on a carpool fine. Ain’t nobody got time for a $300 ticket, girlfriend. Get to biking, carpooling or a rideshare program and become a green commuter already. Using less vehicles on the road also means less pollution in the air. Breath easy.

Vintage Drip

Apart from thrifty finds and second hand stores being easy on your pocket, purchasing used threads is environmental sustainability at its finest. Yes girl, you can buy and rock  pre-owned, eco-friendly fashion and make it fierce. Denim is notoriously bad for the environment; did you know that it takes 1800 gallons of H20 to make one pair of blue jeans?! So if you can help it, slip on a pair of vintage Levi’s and werk!

Photo Source: Belle Mocha

Photo Source: Belle Mocha

All The Chemical & Cruelty- Free Feels

Hey gorgeous, The green glow up is real. If we’re going to invest time and money into our personal care and appearance, shouldn’t we high key do so in a productive way that doesn’t do harm to ourselves and the environment? Surely, whether you’re a vegetarian or not, you might agree that testing cosmetics on animals is unnecessary and unethical. Try looking out for the HCS (Humane Cosmetics Standard) label to see if that lippie or lip gloss is cruelty-free for an eco-friendly, beat face.

Reduce Waste & Chill

Last but not least, reduce waste. It’s really the easiest way to do small actions that can still make a major impact. Using a cloth instead of a paper towel, sipping your favorite drink through a steel straw instead of a plastic one, staying summertime fine with more green personal care products, and using a refillable water bottle to stay glowed up and hydrated. 

Photo Source: Mind Body Green

Photo Source: Mind Body Green

Stay in your green, glow up magic.




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

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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.

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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?

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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!