This Black-Owned Luxury Picnic Company Wants To Elevate Your Socially Distant Experiences

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/lifestyle/black-owned-luxury-picnic-company/ along with the image used.

When COVID-19 put a temporary stop to gathering with loved ones at parties, barbeques and other celebrations, Emmah Darbouze had another idea. Wanting an opportunity for friends and family to reconnect during such a difficult time — albeit from a distance — she started the personal concierge picnic company, Pikniks On The Land, to offer safe, luxurious picnics for those itching to get outside.

Darbouze takes care of all the details — she scouts the perfect location for you, she brings the food and sets everything up to make it look amazing. The best part? She cleans it up, too! Whether you want to take your sweetheart on a unique, romantic date or you have a special occasion to celebrate with friends and family, she has the perfect picnic or pop-up for you. 

View this post on Instagram

Toast to friendship! The show brought them together, love keeps them together. #SuchAWonderfulBond #PIKNIKSONTHELAND #MAFS #MAFS10 #marriedatfirstsight #Season10 #BookComeAndHaveAGoodTime #TellBae #TellBestie

A post shared by PIKNIKS ON THE LAND (@pikniksontheland) on Aug 31, 2020 at 11:50am PDT

Right now the company operates in Washington D.C. and the process is simple. Plan your picnic by visiting their website and booking your experience 72 hours before the desired date. Then it’s time to pick your package, such as a simple picnic for two, an enchanted garden, and a baby gender reveal party set up. 

Once you pick your theme, all you have to do is show up! Darbouze and her team set up themed décor (picnic blanket, seating), a bouquet flowers, and after discussing a particular menu, a bespoke menu, which might include cheese and fruits, small desserts (cupcakes and cookies), sparkling water, or even champagne — you’re ready for the outdoor picnic of your dreams.

Not looking to head to the great outdoors just yet? Darbouze can bring their services right to your backyard (or indoors) for clients who might want a more private experience. They can also be offered at the beach, rooftops, or any other space. But fair warning, you’re going to want to book early, as her services book up quite fast.

“It has been a long and difficult journey but I have enjoyed every moment,” shares Darbouze. “When I launched in July, I did not expect to get this level of interest. And I am having a good time catering every picnic setting to the preference of my customers and putting my own touches on everything.”

View this post on Instagram

Sunday was one for the book, wait for it#PIKNIKSONTHELAND #WelcomeFall #FallInLove #GirlsWhoJustWannaHaveFun #1stLuxyryPicnicInTheDMV #BookUs

A post shared by PIKNIKS ON THE LAND (@pikniksontheland) on Sep 29, 2020 at 9:23pm PDT

In a time where many are emphasizing how we should normalize luxury as a form of self-care, Darbouze is doing just that.“This change has brought about so many new connections and friends but I am most grateful for the positive impact on my customer’s mental health during this pandemic,” she says. “I am also thankful that my daughter can watch me grow and chase my dreams because I want the same for her. I wake up every day happy and motivated to improve my craft and I just know, it can only get better from here.”

Pricing starts at $199 for a picnic for two people for two hours. Check out all the offerings and book a “piknik on land” setup here.

The post This Black-Owned Luxury Picnic Company Wants To Elevate Your Socially Distant Experiences appeared first on Essence.

Having trouble with losing hair or thinning hair?  Our blog takes the best around from the internet about hair care and beauty.  Reverse female hair loss with us today!

Explore Gullah Culture In Beaufort’s South Carolina’s Low Country

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/lifestyle/travel/explore-gullah-culture-beaufort-south-carolina/ along with the image used.

When you think of Beaufort, South Carolina, you probably think about Spanish Moss trees, Lowcountry food, coastal charm and scenic views. But there is another side of Beaufort, one that is not as well known, but growing significantly in interest and prominence from heritage enthusiasts and leisure travelers alike — gullah culture. While you may remember Gullah Gullah Island, the beloved Nick Jr. television show from the ’90s, exploring Beaufort is an opportunity to connect childhood memories with a complex and beautiful history that makes up a large percentage of this Southern population.

The Gullah are known for preserving more of their African linguistic and cultural heritage than any other African-American community in the United States. The English-based creole language contains many influences from African languages in grammar and sentence structure, with a southern drawl added to it (think West Africa, meets the South meets the Caribbean). The complex and beautiful history includes storytelling, cuisine, music, folk beliefs, crafts, farming and fishing traditions, all derived from West and Central African cultures — which of course, makes sense considering 40% of all enslaved people in North America came through the harbor in Charleston. 

What many don’t realize, and part of what makes Beaufort County special (and also unique, in comparison to many other slave ports), is that it became the first place in the Southern United States where former slaves could begin melding themselves into a free America. Descendants who remained were able to claim land from abandoned plantations, opened businesses and as Jim Crow laws took hold, distance themselves within their private community along the Sea Islands. 

Located on Port Royal Island, one of the largest Sea Islands along the southeast Atlantic coast of the United States, visitors interested in learning more about Gullah culture will find plenty of opportunities in Beaufort and the surrounding area. Here are a few recommendations on exploring gullah culture in Beaufort’s low country.

Travelers embarking on Beaufort will make their first stop at the 50-acre Penn Center. Founded in 1862, this is one of the nation’s most historically significant African American educational and cultural institutions. Formerly known as “Penn School,” this was one of the country’s first schools for formerly enslaved individuals. It is also one of four sites that make up the Reconstruction Era National Monument, a National Park — one of the last efforts that Barack Obama cemented during the end of his presidency. 

When you visit, be sure to request a private tour of the property with Victoria Smalls, the Park Ranger with the National Park Service Reconstruction Era National Historic Park and also a Gullah descendent. She’ll share more on Gullah Geechee history, stories, beliefs, and creative expressions that are critical antecedents to Black culture and the broader American mosaic, as we know it today. The tour will include Darrah Hall, Brick Baptist Church, and you’ll also hear about the Reconstruction period from 1862-1900 and more.

From there, you’ll want to get a bit of grub, with a side of history. Bill Green and his family have been preparing authentic Gullah meals at his restaurant for over 15 years at The Gullah Grub Restaurant. What makes it even better, is that the food is farm-to-table, coming from his wife Sara’s Marshview Community Organic Farm. Bill follows the rules of Gullah traditions when it comes to preparing food, starting with eating in season. Though the restaurant is closed to the public right now, it’s a staple within the community.

For the ultimate Gullah experience, you’ll want to book a tour with the Gullah-N-Geechie Mahn Tours, to get more of a backstory on the rich culture, along with a comprehensive visit to some of the low country’s most iconic Gullah destinations and attractions. Discover an Episcopal church built entirely of oyster shells by the Gullah or learn about the oldest Baptist church in all of South Carolina.

If your time is limited but you still want to brush up on everything Gullah, the new Gullah Cultural Center located across from The Gullah Grub Restaurant, serves as a hub for all things Gullah and Geechie. From art exhibits to books and documentaries, this is the perfect one-stop shop for visitors interested in learning more about this historic culture.

While the Gullah Gullah Island show is long gone, the knowledge it taught our kids on the Gullah culture, along with lessons on healthy eating, telling the truth, and problem solving are forever cemented in history.

The post Explore Gullah Culture In Beaufort’s South Carolina’s Low Country appeared first on Essence.

Having trouble with losing hair or thinning hair?  Our blog takes the best around from the internet about hair care and beauty.  Reverse female hair loss with us today!

Hailey Bieber Bleached Her Eyebrows and Dyed Her Hair Brown — Photos

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/story/hailey-bieber-bleached-brows-brown-hair along with the image used.

Hailey Bieber is known for her honey blonde hair and her strong, full dark brows, but as of Sunday, September 27, both signature beauty elements are gone. See the photos here of the models new, bold look.

Having trouble with losing hair or thinning hair?  Our blog takes the best around from the internet about hair care and beauty.  Reverse female hair loss with us today!

Allure Korea’s 24 Favorite K-Beauty Products of the Year

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/gallery/allure-korea-k-beauty-award-winners-2020 along with the image used.

Editors from Allure and Allure Korea teamed up to test K-beauty products for Allure Korea’s new Best of Beauty K-Beauty Awards. The winners are divided into categories like glass skin, special ingredients, and sensitive skin.

Having trouble with losing hair or thinning hair?  Our blog takes the best around from the internet about hair care and beauty.  Reverse female hair loss with us today!

What Is Biden Beauty? What to Know About the Mystery Brand’s Products and Creators

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/story/biden-beauty-brand-products-where-to-buy along with the image used.

An anonymous group of beauty experts and influencers have created Biden Beauty, a brand that aims to support the Biden/Harris 2020 presidential campaign. Here’s where to buy the brand’s makeup sponges, hoodies, totes, and stickers, the proceeds of which are donated to the campaign.

Having trouble with losing hair or thinning hair?  Our blog takes the best around from the internet about hair care and beauty.  Reverse female hair loss with us today!

Kacey Musgraves Loves Lancôme’s Iconic Juicy Tubes as Much as You Do

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/story/lancome-juicy-tubes-come-back-2020-kacey-musgraves along with the image used.

Kacey Musgraves shared some envy-inducing photos on her indicating that her Lancôme Juicy Tubes collection had been replenished, and she is understandably enthusiastic. In a photo showing a glass packed with a variety of shades, the singer-songwriter tagged the brand and wrote, “Here 4 this comeback.”

Having trouble with losing hair or thinning hair?  Our blog takes the best around from the internet about hair care and beauty.  Reverse female hair loss with us today!

Restock Alert: Alpyn Beauty’s Sold-Out 8-Acid Polishing Peel Is Back

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/review/alpyn-beauty-acid-polishing-peel-restock-review along with the image used.

Alpyn Beauty just launched its Wild Huckleberry 8-Acid Polishing Peel to help calm inflammation and give you glowy skin after just one use. Read the full review here.

Having trouble with losing hair or thinning hair?  Our blog takes the best around from the internet about hair care and beauty.  Reverse female hair loss with us today!

How Hair Salons Are Operating During COVID-19

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/story/outdoor-hair-salons-covid-19 along with the image used.

With the mandates constantly changing, hairstylists are just trying to keep up working inside and outside their hair salons. We spoke to a few stylists and salon owners in different states to see how they are navigating this new normal.

Having trouble with losing hair or thinning hair?  Our blog takes the best around from the internet about hair care and beauty.  Reverse female hair loss with us today!

Like a Flashlight, But Better (My Huge-Hearted Friend)

Like a Flashlight, But Better (My Huge-Hearted Friend)

A story about honesty, authenticity, and finding your forcelight. From Bethany Toews and Ayesha Ophelia.

For as long as I can remember, I have felt that what stands out most in a room full of people isn’t what they are saying, but what they aren’t saying. As a child it seemed the most natural and uncomplicated choice to say what I was actually thinking or feeling. But boy howdy did I find otherwise! Time and again the offering of my undiluted truth was met with resistance, or blatant disapproval. The dropped jaw. The shaking head. That look. The dreaded report back to my parents. Once in Sunday school after listening all about the glories that awaited us in the sky when we die, I uttered my honest response, “Heaven sounds boring.” Let’s just say that didn’t go over well.
 
My stomach hurt ALL the time. A war waged inside between myself and the rules that threatened to crowd me out. Between what I was told and what my whole body felt. It was a hell on earth — feeling that the only way to survive was to learn to lie. When all of me just wanted to tell the truth. But slowly, I learned to edit myself for safety’s sake. Authenticity can feel downright dangerous sometimes. 
 
I am still recovering.
 
We are taught the virtue of honesty while repeatedly being shown the art of the lie. From Santa Claus to standards of beauty. We are raised on fiction. Smiling strangers on the screen tell us a cold beer will win us friends and a new car will make us more adventurous. Politicians and people in power perform perjury with such regularity that we have come to expect it. The news reports and contradicts at a steady clip and the line between information and disinformation grows hard to discern. While seeking the truth is gutsy, it can make for a lot of indigestion. Sincerity sounds pleasant in theory but is often messy in action.
 
Getting real can get really awkward.
 
As I grew, I continued to bump up against sharp edges in the heartfelt admissions that continued to slip out. And I did grow tender enough to try hiding for a while. And that, my friends, felt like a slow and steady form of dying. I spent my twenties shut in and shut down. I didn’t feel close to anyone. I was more intimate with a jar of peanut butter than my so-called friends. 
 
I was desperately lonely. Clinging to life while struggling to feel what made it worthwhile. I was disconnected. From my truth, and therefore from myself, and therefore from everyone and everything else. In letting the gentle hypnosis of the realm of acceptability lull me into compliant silence, I had no choice but to leave myself behind. Sure, I was met with less protest. And yes, I made fewer people feel uncomfortable at dinner parties. But I wasn’t at the table anymore.  
 
When we alter our truth to avoid offending another, we offend ourselves. When we don’t say how we really feel so as not to be rejected by someone, we are rejecting ourselves. When we choose not to voice our beliefs for fear of being judged, we have judged ourselves. If we don’t risk sharing the fullness of our being, only parts of us experience belonging. The other parts go into hiding and we become cut off from wholeness in the process. Words like “depression” and “anxiety” are often applied as pathology to what I find is the sane response of the grief and tension born from disallowing all of our being to find its welcome place. What is diagnosed as “sickness” is perhaps more aptly seen as a healthy homesickness for self. A deep desire to reconnect with the cast out parts. So much of our loneliness is our longing to be welcomed back home to ourselves. 
 
So how do we welcome ourselves home when so much of what we’re shown and taught is to do the opposite? For me it has felt crucial to befriend those courageously claiming themselves — their truth, their bodies, their right to be here. In surrounding myself with others devoted to integrity and openheartedness, I don’t have to constantly question my own desire to live devoted to the same. My huge-hearted friend, Ayesha Ophelia, is a dazzling example of this. A force. A light. A forcelight (a word I just made up because it’s like a flashlight, but better). It is so refreshing, so encouraging, and totally comforting to watch her shine. And what happens with all her generous illumination is that she emboldens everyone else to shine. 
 
The space Ayesha creates feels like a home for finding freedom from every single time you tried to fit into a room full of people but ended up an awkward shape you couldn’t recognize yourself. She’s the party inviting you to come as you are. A much needed oasis in the current divisive desert we’re all choking in. I am so grateful for what she is offering. Every time I talk with her, every time I find something she’s added to her library of love on Instagram, I feel less isolated. Less “crazy” for feeling the way I do. 
 
And when I struggle to speak my heart, I turn to Ayesha to be reminded of what I already know, but so easily forget: liberation is the consequence of saying what’s true. Sure, it can be scary. But it is also so empowering to stop pretending and to welcome your whole self back into the room. Because I know it’s not often easy, I asked her to share some of her wisdom and insight with us. 
 
 
Have you always felt free to speak your truth?
I haven’t always felt free but I have realized (fairly early on) that any limits are ones that I have put on myself or adopted from the dominant culture. As time has passed I have seen that any silencing has been a safety mechanism and as I have shed old outdated beliefs so too has my ‘voice’ strengthened. So much so that validation happens by just listening to my heart. I don’t need much outside of the satisfaction of listening to my higher calling. It feels extremely freeing and not based on passing trends or likes.
 
What helps support you in your openness? 
It may sound magical but to me openness is the same as being willing to let creativity move through you. It’s not a force you can cajole or demand from. I feel supported by it supporting me in so many ways. Outside of that I feel really supported when I am myself. The real ones come out when I show my truth and they are always the most human, free, amazing people.
 
What revolution would you like to see in the world?
I would like to see a return to living from the heartspace instead of the headspace. Heartful humans do life in a different way. I think we are suffering from an epidemic of broken hearts who yearn to know how to return to a sense of wholeness even amidst life’s inevitable storms. When we are heartful we thrive on our instinct and intuition. We have empathy and compassion and we are connected to a broader sense of what this world may be. All are included, including Mother Nature.
 
What advice would you have for anyone trying to find their voice?
Try on many different ideas of yourself. Travel. Adventure. Bless and don’t be sorry. 
 
Follow Bethany here.
 

Free People Blog

Allure Beauty Editors’ Favorite Products in September 2020 — Reviews

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/gallery/september-2020-allure-editors-favorites along with the image used.

These are the beauty products Allure editors vetted and voted for — our new and exciting favorite picks. Because we get to see and test every beauty product that comes out, there’s a lot to go through. Here are those that recently impressed us.

Having trouble with losing hair or thinning hair?  Our blog takes the best around from the internet about hair care and beauty.  Reverse female hair loss with us today!