Wildling, I Think I Love You

Wildling, I Think I Love You

Just as a wildling thrives in its natural habitat, this LA-based wellness brand hopes to inspire every human to feel wild and natural, especially in their skin.

These days, it seems you can’t scroll through Instagram without seeing a video of someone dragging a piece of stone over their of-course-luminous face. To the uninitiated, the practice is called “gua sha” and chances are pretty high that the person doing the dragging is Britta Plug, esthetician and holistic health practitioner extraordinaire (or one of her disciples) and the stone she’s using is from Wildling, a new-ish collection of “self-loving” beauty products. Along with herbalist Jill Munson and acupuncturist Dianna De La Torre, Plug co-founded the line with long-term skin health in mind.

Below, Munson, La Torre and Plug talk wild-harvested ingredients, lymph and all things gua sha. 

 

Let’s start at the beginning: How did Wildling Beauty come to be? Jill, Britta, Gianna — what’s your ‘meet cute’ story? Where does the name ‘Wildling’ come from?

Jill and Britta met at a gua sha workshop where Britta was teaching in L.A. Jill approached Britta after the workshop, praising the technique, and asked if she’d ever thought about designing a tool and lymph-activating products. The rest was history. Britta is the holistic aesthetician, Gianna the acupuncturist, and Jill is the product formulator and herbalist.

We looked to nature to name the brand. A wildling is any plant that grows in the wild. Many of our ingredients are wild-harvested and part of our mission is to harness the healing power of nature in our products. Just as a wildling thrives in its natural habitat, we hope our offerings inspire every human to feel wild and natural, especially in their skin.

How do the Empress Tonic, Oil, and Stone work together?

These products comprise the only facial gua sha system available. Step one is the Empress Tonic: it contains sweet fern, one of the most lymph activating plants on the planet. It also preps your skin for gua sha by delivering deep hydration.

Step two is the Empress Oil. We searched ancient texts for some of the time-tested plants for beauty [and found that] balm of Gilead has been used for thousands of years for glowing skin. Its warming properties assist the gua sha ritual by circulating qi and blood, resulting in plumped and toned skin.

Step three is gua sha with the Empress Stone, made from Bian, which was created when a meteor struck a mountain in China. The therapeutic use of this stone predates acupuncture!

How did you land on this specific blend of ingredients for the Tonic and Oil?

The Empress Tonic and Oil were both formulated following traditional herbal methods using fresh, whole, wild and organic plants. Each plant within the Tonic and Oil was specifically chosen for its skin and anti-aging properties and, most importantly, for its ability to clear the lymphatics and energize blood circulation, the things that make gua sha so effective. The Empress Tonic and Oil are the only products on the market specifically formulated for facial gua sha. They are powerful, healing blends, encapsulating true plant magic.

“Green, sustainable and wild.” Why are these three things so important to Wildling?

Our mission is to bring ancient rituals to the modern human so they may rediscover a form of beauty that is healthy, sustainable and wild. We invite our customers to restore their connection to nature through fresh, wild-harvested products. We also empower them with knowledge: gua sha gives you the power to glow in the palm of your hand.  

We live in a culture that is often disconnected from nature. Even within the green beauty community, not all products are created equal so we strive for the highest quality possible. Our ingredients are picked for peak potency and extracted on the spot, sometimes at the first light of day. We don’t use essential oils because they are hard on the environment (and sometimes the skin); it takes so many plants to create one drop of essential oil. When we created Wildling, we felt it had to also be sustainable. We are unwilling to compromise on this.

For the uninitiated…what is gua sha? Can anyone practice it as a self-care ritual? Where do I start? How do I know if it’s working? What if I’m doing it wrong?!

Gua sha literally translates as “scraping” and is a healing modality originating 4,000 years ago in China. A stone glides over oiled skin to move qi, blood and lymph. It releases stagnation from the tissues to restore vitality and flow. Think of dragging the bottom of a lake: it stirs the silt up to the surface. That is what happens in the tissues of the skin.

You’ll know it’s working because you’ll look better instantly! The Empress Ritual lifts, sculpts, tones, and brightens the skin. The main risk of doing it wrong is doing it too hard — not great for the delicate skin of the face! If you’re overdoing it, you can cause bruising and we obviously don’t want that. Luckily, Wildling is also an education brand. We have countless tutorials on how to do the Empress Ritual correctly and release new tutorials every Tuesday. We want everyone to feel empowered and confident to try gua sha.

What’s the best way to use the Empress Stone?

We created an angle for every part of your face. The U edge hugs bony structures like the jaw, cheekbone, brow bone, and spine. The comb edge is activating and works on flat surfaces of the face like the neck, cheeks, and forehead to lift. The short edge is perfect for sculpting under the eye and the long, curved edge buffs the face for a smooth finish.

Why is lymphatic drainage so key to the well-being of our body systems?

Lymphatic fluid doesn’t move itself; it’s propelled by the movement of our bodies. When there is proper lymphatic flow, the immune system is optimized, your body detoxifies impurities effectively, and it also ensures proper circulation to the muscles and tissues of the body.

What does “beauty” mean to you?

Beauty radiates from within and is a byproduct of overall health and well-being.

What inspires you every day?

We are inspired by nature, by self-care, and by self-love. If everyone took a little more time for themselves, we’d all benefit as a species.

What’s the single most important thing someone can do for the health of their skin?

Drink water, get enough sleep, and do plenty of gua sha!

 

 

Free People Blog

Aaliyah’s Wax Figure Unveiled At Madame Tussauds In Las Vegas

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/celebrity/aaliyahs-wax-figure-unveiled-at-madame-tussauds-in-las-vegas/ along with the image used.

Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas has immortalized Aaliyah with a wax figure, revealing the new figure in a ceremony with her family and fans on Wednesday.

The figure comes just over 18 years after the late singer died in a tragic accident. Her brother, Rashad Haughton, was also on hand for the unveiling and gave a brief speech.

But the star by far was the figure itself.

“…Rather than being a recreation of any one particular Aaliyah moment, (this) was instead designed with a message to her fans in mind,” says Adam Morey, Studios Manager at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas,“It’s a message that hopefully reflects her everlasting legacy.”

The new statue captures a moment of the late singer’s straight from Aaliyah’s “Try Again” music video in 2000. The figure can be seen sporting her signature leather pants and metallic bra, belt and choker set.

(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds Las Vegas)

“It was clear right away it would be the ‘Try Again’ look for our Aaliyah figure,” Morey said. “The look has the sexy, edgy, timeless vibe we try to imbue in the Las Vegas attraction within all our creative choices. Mining popular culture as only Madame Tussauds can, our desire to honor Aaliyah and the look in this way was only confirmed as we see today’s Hollywood stars like KeKe Palmer, Kim Kardashian, Zendaya, also paying homage by recreating their own favorite moments of the Princess of R&B.”

The post Aaliyah’s Wax Figure Unveiled At Madame Tussauds In Las Vegas appeared first on Essence.

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Remy Ma Defends Nicki Minaj On This Week’s ‘State of the Culture’

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/celebrity/remy-ma-defends-nicki-minaj-state-of-the-culture/ along with the image used.

Who would have ever thought we would see the day when Remy Ma would be supporting Nicki Minaj?

Remy, who is one of the co-hosts of Revolt TV’s State Of The Culture series, said she understood where Nicki Minaj was coming from in her rant on Queen Radio last week when she confronted fellow SOTC co-host Joe Budden for spreading what she likes to refer to as “misinformation.”

“Well, it’s her show,” Remy said. “And if I can get someone that has been pissing me off for the past couple of years to sit there and tell them to “’Shut the f*ck up’ and make sure that they are shutting the f*ck up, and turning their mic off and black on them and know that nothing is going to happen, and that they’re going to be [sit there] like, “Can I speak?” or “Can I respond?” I’m going to wyle on you. AND I got Pap standing right there?! Absolutely… I’m going to go all the way in.”

The Bronx rapper, reality star, wife and proud mom even said she sympathized with Nicki’s point of view, despite how aggressive her delivery was.

“I watched it, and I felt some of the things she was saying because I know how that feels,” Remy continued. “To feel like people who were supposed to be your friends or people that you thought was cool with you, and then they say some left-field sh*t. You be like ‘Damn, I thought we was aight.’ I know that feeling, it’s upsetting. It makes you angry. It makes you want to come for them.”

Watch the full interview in the first video above, with Remy’s commentary on Nicki Minaj vs Joe Budden beginning at about the 3:45 mark.

Growth, it’s what’s for dinner.

The post Remy Ma Defends Nicki Minaj On This Week’s ‘State of the Culture’ appeared first on Essence.

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Pat McGrath Labs Announces Mothership VI: Midnight Sun Eye Shadow Palette – See Photos

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/story/pat-mcgrath-mothership-midnight-sun-launch along with the image used.

Pat McGrath Labs has announced and unveiled its next eye shadow palette, Mothership VI: Midnight Sun, in stores and online at all Pat McGrath retailers on Friday, September 13. It contains 10 shades in copper, green, and violet hues.

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Pat McGrath Labs Announces Mothership VI: Midnight Sun Eye Shadow Palette – See Photos

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/story/pat-mcgrath-mothership-midnight-sun-launch along with the image used.

Pat McGrath Labs has announced and unveiled its next eye shadow palette, Mothership VI: Midnight Sun, in stores and online at all Pat McGrath retailers on Friday, September 13. It contains 10 shades in copper, green, and violet hues.

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!

NBA Star Kahwi Leonard Donates 1 Million Backpacks To Los Angeles Students

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/celebrity/kahwi-leonard-donates-1-million-backpacks-students/ along with the image used.

Families in need will feel a little less pressure as their students are heading back to school this fall — thanks to Kawhi Leonard.

The Clippers’ newest star and two-time NBA Finals MVP announced that he is donating 1 million new backpacks with the LA Clippers Foundation and nonprofit, Baby2Baby, for every student in the Los Angeles, Moreno Valley, Inglewood school districts.

Leonard made the announcement at Cloverdale Elementary School in his former hometown of Moreno Valley and later visited another school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The Clippers player said his goal was to make a meaningful contribution “both on and off the court” this year. 

Now this is the type of news we like to see from our favorite celebs. “This felt like the right way to get started,” he said. 

Leonard’s generous act comes on the heels of his NBA Finals win in June with the Toronto Raptors. In other words, it’s safe to say that he’s been winning all 2019.

The post NBA Star Kahwi Leonard Donates 1 Million Backpacks To Los Angeles Students appeared first on Essence.

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John Cotton Is Changing Lives One Man Weave At A Time

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/beauty/john-cotton-is-changing-lives-with-man-weaves/ along with the image used.

When a man says that he needs to get to the salon for his weave, eyebrows tend to go up. Unless he says he’s going to see John Cotton, that is.

By now, most of us have seen man weaves and the dramatic
transformations that they give to men struggling with hair loss. They give balding
men back their confidence in the way that weaves give women their hair tossing swag.
But it’s probably the last thing John Cotton thought he’d be doing when he started
cutting hair at his uncle’s shop in his hometown of Detroit at just
13-years-old.

“I was in high school and I
was supposed to be the intern/receptionist. So I told [my school] I was the
receptionist, but I was actually cutting hair,” he remembers fondly. “It was
funny. I would run from the barber’s chair to the receptionist desk when I
would see my teacher come to check on me to see if I was doing what I was supposed
to be doing at the job site.”

Though cutting came naturally (he later went to barber school to sharpen his skills), he admits that the weave install was a learning process for him. He wasn’t well-versed on the service, but when a client asked if he could install one for him, he decided that he would learn. It was rough in the beginning.

“I took a class on a particular type of unit that was popular about three years ago. It was just pretty much you just glue on the hair,” said the 37-year-old from a chair at LW Salon, where he works his magic. “I was one of the first guys to do it. It was horrible, but I was doing that one and people were just wearing it because there was nothing else.”

Like an elevated toupee, the original man weave wasn’t initially dynamic. So Cotton wanted to learn a better way to install the hair, and began teaching himself how to do the weave like a lace front. He learned pretty quickly, alongside longtime friend and fellow hair unit pioneer Wade Menendez, owner of The W Hair Lofts Inc., who grew to fame with man weave installs in the DMV area. He kept practicing, until he got so good at installing the lace front version that he’s revered for today, that it has evolved into more than a vanity service.

A man weave before and after
(Courtesy John Cotton)

Four shops later,
Cotton is not just in the business of hair, he’s in the business of changing
lives. A small percentage of his man weave clients are in remission from
cancer, or suffer from alopecia or severe hair loss, and rely on their weaves
to help them feel like the best version of themselves.

“This eight-year-old, he had alopecia. And his mom took him out of
school because he was getting picked on because of it. So she put him in home
school for a couple years. He came to see me and I did a great job. He loved it
so much he cried. And she was able to put him back in school,” he told ESSENCE.
“To be able have someone who has alopecia or cancer be able to see themselves
in a different light, have a certain confidence, that means everything. To look
at themselves in the mirror and feel good, that’s a great feeling.”

He’s even received so many inquiries from barbers on how he
installs the units for cancer patients that he’s now teaching classes. Group classes
of 15-20 people will show you the basics on how to do an install with
approximately two units. But if you want the full John Cotton experience, you
can participate in his “Shadow Me A Day For $1K” extended class where you spend
the day with him, and get to see every intricate detail of the process on
approximately 6 or 7 clients. It’s a great way to spread the talent, allowing
more barbers to offer the service to clients in need with severe hair loss
concerns.

Whether a John Cotton school of hair is in the works is hard to say, but in the meantime, he’s making big changes for man weave seekers. With plans in the work for a new shop, he wants to elevate the experience so that it’s even more of a private safe space where clients with alopecia, cancer, or simply receding hair, can feel comfortable coming in and letting their figurative hair down.

“As women you guys are used to weaves and stuff like that. So imagine for a man—this is all new for us. I want them come in and feel very comfortable and be able to sit down, have a glass of wine, sit in the chair, pull their hair out,” he said. “We can talk, they can show me what they’ve got to show me, and we go from there. I want to make it really exclusive and really private.”

Units start at $550 and go up from there (includes install) depending on what look you want. He has a warehouse where the custom units are made, so if you want braids, long locs, or a twist out, but can’t wait to grow your hair to the lengths required for those styles, Cotton’s got you covered. Literally. You can also shop his custom hair on manweave.com, which will have its own space in the new salon just for hair sales.

And when he’s not installing man weaves he’s still cutting some of our favorite celebrities’ hair, including Jay Pharoah, Jussie Smollett, Billy Porter, and Ryan Jamaal Swain and Dyllon Burnside from Pose. The man is booked and busy.

Dyllon Burnside, Billy Porter, and Ryan Jamaal Swain
(Getty Images)

“I’ve been cutting hair for a long time. I’d get booked for a week, but [now] I’m booked for months. I never thought that I would be this booked before in my life, never, ever,” he said with a big laugh. “I love it though. I’m glad that I’m here to make these guys feel good. It’s a good feeling.”

The post John Cotton Is Changing Lives One Man Weave At A Time appeared first on Essence.

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5 Eyeshadow Palettes That Are Perfect For Caribbean Festival Season and Beyond

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/beauty/5-eyeshadow-palettes-that-are-perfect-for-caribbean-festival-season-and-beyond/ along with the image used.

Anyone who has ever attended a Caribbean Festival knows that the music and fun-filled fetes induce a natural high that’s pretty hard to come down from. If you saw photos from Barbados’ Crop Over celebration or Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival held earlier this month, then you know the experience was euphoric, and the beauty looks were just the same. Festival-goers dressed their lids in colorful pigments–from energetic neon hues to mood-boosting blues.

As we prepare to say farewell to summer, many of us may find ourselves slowly but surely falling into a bout of seasonal depression. So with me being the beauty editor and friend that I am, I’ve rounded up five vibrant eyeshadow palettes to keep the spirit and beauty of festival season alive.

The post 5 Eyeshadow Palettes That Are Perfect For Caribbean Festival Season and Beyond appeared first on Essence.

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We Got All The Styling Details On Doja Cat’s ‘Juicy’ Video

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/fashion/doja-cat-juicy-music-video/ along with the image used.

Last week was a big win for music. Pop sensation Normani released her hit song ‘Motivation’ while Atlanta rapper Young Thug dropped his album ‘So Much Fun.’ However, LA songstress and originator of the viral “Moo” bop, Doja Cat, has managed to get 10 + million views on her song featuring Tyga titled, ‘Juicy.’ And while the track is a catchy bop the styling for the music video is on another level.

We got to chat with stylist Brett Alan Nelson, about all the wardrobe deets for the stylish new video. “I love Doja’s style because she already has made a lane for herself,” said Nelson. “She is corky and sexy – it allows me to have so much fun.” From a watermelon latex bodysuit to a cherry headband, Doja rocked many looks inspired by fruit. And according to Nelson, that’s the only creative direction he had for the project. “The only real creative direction I was given was fruit, and we wanted creative and sexy ways to make that happen,” said the stylist.

Photo Credit: Taylor Kahan

Check out these exclusive photos and get some inside styling deets on “Juicy” below.

The post We Got All The Styling Details On Doja Cat’s ‘Juicy’ Video appeared first on Essence.

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Master These Fierce Fall Trends For Way Less

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/fashion/fall-trends-walmart-shopping-guide/ along with the image used.

If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that trends come and go.

Every season, the fashion world is inundated with a refreshed, updated look at tried and true fashions that we deem absolutely necessary for our wardrobes.

While trends can be fun to master and incorporate into your clothing collection, there’s absolutely no need to spend a copious amount of your hard-earned cash to achieve a new style.

Walmart lets you delve into a new look while keeping your account balance in check.

Below, shop our top picks that let you tap into the latest trends for less!

The post Master These Fierce Fall Trends For Way Less appeared first on Essence.

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