Black History Legacy: The Black Woman Who Reigned Supreme In 19th-Century New Orleans

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/black-history-month-2019/black-history-legacy-the-black-woman-who-reigned-supreme-in-19th-century-new-orleans/ along with the image used.

She wore her long, black hair wrapped in a tignon with curls dangling to the front. Gold hoops hung from her ears, with jewelry illuminating her neck, fingers and wrists. She walked with her head held high, as if she owned the very streets she walked on—and that she did. Marie Catherine Laveau was born […]

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Lancôme Just Named Zendaya As Its Newest Global Ambassador

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/story/zendaya-lancome-global-beauty-ambassador along with the image used.

Zendaya is the new face of Lancôme, joining stars such as Taylor Hill and Lupita Nyong’o. It’s the star’s second big makeup campaign and she celebrated her new role at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills just last night.

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R+Co Hair-Care Brand to Launch New Backstage Collection

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/story/r-and-co-backstage-collection along with the image used.

Hair-care brand R+Co is launching three brand-new products, inspired by their experiences working backstage at fashion shows and on photo shoots. Read on for the rundown on the brand’s latest and where you can get the new items.

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What About Your Friends? Regina Hall Thanks Her Circle of Sisters In This Moving Black Women In Hollywood Moment

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/awards-events/red-carpet/black-women-hollywood/regina-hall-circle-of-sisters-black-women-in-hollywood-speech/ along with the image used.

In the words of our stunning Black Women In Hollywood honoree Regina Hall, “behind Black girl magic is some white man power.” It’s ok, though. Because our sis is blessed and highly favored. That’s in no small part thanks to her circle of loyal girlfriends that keep her grounded, motivated and pressing forward. In a […]

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Rituals for Self-Love Beyond Your Relationship Status

Rituals for Self-Love Beyond Your Relationship Status

“Whether you are in a partnership, flirting with love, or exploring the single life, your relationship status isn’t the barometer for the love and joy you can have in your life… Especially when it comes to the Queen of all love — self-love.”

This post comes to you from teacher, speaker, author, business owner and intuitive oracle reader, Aarona Lee Pichinson.

Please know that you do indeed love yourself. It’s why you are here reading this. It’s why you’re curious to become a healthier you, it’s why you crave more love and connection, and it’s the reason that you take life’s toughest lessons and turn them into gold. You are likely also learning how to be more kind and loving with yourself, as you simultaneously unpack old belief systems that have thrown a few self-love bumps in the road. Both can be true at the same time – “I love myself and I am learning how to love myself”.

We are all a work in progress, full of depth and discovery. Each of us is learning how to navigate a practice of self-care, self-love and self-understanding so that we can live with a more calm and confident presence while giving and receiving wholeheartedly in the relationships we care about most.

Embrace Your Feelings

If you are craving more love in your life, calling in the one, or working on deepening a current relationship, take a moment to consider your actual feelings beneath your desire for deeper love. It could be that you want to feel a sense of connection, security, comfort, confidence, or balance. Or maybe you have a deep desire to be seen and to see another, or to share more intimately and vulnerably with someone you care about. When we connect to the actual feelings beneath the desire, it gives us a tangible compass to follow and emulate, whether or not the said desire has arrived yet.

Once you’re clear what your true feelings are beneath your desire for greater love, practice literally ‘wearing’ these feelings as though it’s natural and easy for you. Nourish yourself with them.

Regularly practice embodying these core feelings when you’re grocery shopping, hanging out with friends, working, exercising, and anything else that fills your day. Doing this even just once a day is a big step and adds up by the end of a week. It will cultivate an unshakeable sense of self-love and inward connection that is not dependent on an external connection. Which is exactly the energy we want to feel most at home with as our dreams and desires arrive. If we habitually look outside of ourselves for love or wait to love ourselves until the perfect partnership is in place, we allow these precious moments to slip by when there is so much magic readily available to explore just as you are right now.

Two Rituals for Self-Love:

Within the next couple of days, take some time to pause and go within. The following rituals will put all of this into action and help you to embody deep self-love.

  1. Handwrite a Love Letter to Yourself

 This powerful writing ritual will bring you home to your sweet self while nourishing your sense of value and worth. Make this self-love letter carry as much (or more!) heart and soul as you would put into a love letter for someone else.

  • Feel free to light a candle and grab a cup of tea to set the mood. Grab a pen and paper, take a few deep breaths, feel into your heart, and let your pen flow with as much tenderness and presence as possible. Be sure to write in first person and present tense.
  • How loving, kind, understanding, compassionate, and accepting can you be with yourself? Tell her how much you appreciate all that she does for you, all the ways she shows up, and the incredible resilience she has had throughout your entire life. Let yourself know that you are well loved and cared for. Point out all of your favorite things about yourself; include your talents, your beauty, your personality, your wins, your loyalty, your creativity, your willingness to grow, your style, etc. If you get stuck or uncomfortable at any point, take a few deep breaths, feel what is present, and begin writing again. Reclaim your wholeness, remind yourself of your worth, and witness the beauty in your vulnerability. Whatever feelings come up is totally okay.
  • Once you’ve written your love letter, seal it with a kiss, fold it up with care, and place it somewhere safe. You can put it in a journal, hide it in a book or drawer, or place it on your altar with some stones on top so that it can marinate in love until you’re ready to refresh and write a new one. 

  1. Enhance Your Intuition with Oracle Cards

You can work with cards alongside your Self-Love Letter Ritual or any time of day that works well for you. It can be a wonderful morning or evening practice and only takes a few minutes.

Working with an oracle deck is an intentional way to connect with your intuition. The more you connect with and listen to your intuition, the more powerful this inner-voice becomes. When we validate our feelings and strengthen our inner compass, we cultivate deep trust in ourselves which informs our choices and our boundaries – a true act of self-love.

As you shuffle and then choose your cards, feel into what they tell you and trust the insights you receive. You may meditate or journal on what you discover. The more you work with your favorite deck the more they begin to really speak to you.

A little love and ritual goes a long way. As the author of the healing and ritual oracle cards The Moon Deck, I know these practices work when done sincerely and consistently. So feel free to start small and breathe big.

Today is the Day

Fall in love with yourself even as you explore love with others. Find ways to nourish your body, mind, and soul daily, even if you only have 3 minutes a day. Today isn’t a dress rehearsal for tomorrow. This is it, today is the day, right here and right now. Feel your fullness and beauty with all that you are in this very moment. Trust the wisdom of your path, the alignment that is making its way into your flow when you let go, and the vast love that is available to you when you choose to feel it.

 

+ Want more? Join me for my free weekly Moonday Oracle Readings, Live on Instagram and Facebook, every Monday at 12pm PST. This free virtual moon gathering will teach you more about The Moon Deck, give you a ritual for the week, answer your questions, plus connect you with a global community. Simply follow + like The Moon Deck on Facebook and @the_moondeck on Instagram to join in. Mark your calendar, spread the word, and join us for this weekly ritual!

About Aarona

Inspired by 23 years of yoga, 14 years as a yoga teacher and wellness adviser, an array of alternative therapies, and a love of writing and travel — Aarona is influenced by several personal-development roadmaps. What started as a personal need for survival eventually became a passion turned profession. As a teacher, speaker, author, business owner, and intuitive oracle reader, Aarona helps to demystify self-love and personal growth while encouraging others to create more wellness in their life through a commitment to daily practice, even if they only have three minutes a day. Starting her own healing journey as a child, her curiosity led her on a life-long journey of study, practice, and ritual where she explored the shadowy depths of healing trauma, fully recovered from chronic cycles of bulimia, and continues to help normalize conversations around emotional health. 

 

Free People Blog

Tips for Staying Hydrated When The Heat Is Blasting

Tips for Staying Hydrated When The Heat Is Blasting

If you’re feeling a little more parched than usual this February, Allie White has some helpful tips for making sure you’re getting — and staying — hydrated…

Recently — and much to my delight — I discovered a heating vent in my bathroom that had previously been hidden behind a shelf. After some rearranging, my bathroom instantly got cozier and getting out of the shower has been infinitely more enjoyable this winter. I can keep my pajamas next to vent so they’re nice and toasty; the toilet seat doesn’t make me want to cry in the middle of the night; the floor is noticeably warmer on my bare feet…it’s the best!

EXCEPT. Except for when it comes to my skin. Not that I spend that much time in my bathroom, but the hot, dry air coming out of the radiator is definitely impacting my already-dry-from-winter-weather skin. And it’s not just the air in my apartment; everywhere indoor spot I frequent is blasting the heat, further depleting the precious stores of hard-won moisture my body is stockpiling.

What’s more, cold weather also plays a part in dehydration as it tends to cause your body to move blood and fluid from your extremities to your core, which makes you pee more, which equals less water in your system. It can also decrease your thirst sensation so you’re not as likely to reach for your water bottle regularly.

If you too are feeling a little more parched than usual this February, might I suggest the following tips for making sure you’re getting — and staying — hydrated until the sun decides to show its beautiful face again?

Drink up.

So simple, yet so effective. Drinking more water is the first step to keeping yourself well-hydrated. There’s no hard and fast rule about how much water you should be drinking every day, but the general rule of thumb is at least eight 8-ounce glasses (or half a gallon). And opt for room temperature water; cold liquids are absorbed quicker by your body which means they’ll pass through your system quicker, too.

Eat fruits and vegetables.

Whenever you can, incorporate fresh produce into your diet, specifically fruits and vegetables that have high water content. Apples and pears are 80% water; broccoli, spinach and cauliflower are 91% water; winter citrus is 87% water; a whopping 96% of a cucumber is water. Not only will you get an extra dose of water with every bite, but you’ll also reap the benefits of all the vitamins and minerals packed into these wonders from nature.

Eat fruits and vegetables, part II.

Aside from produce that’s heavy on the water, you’ll also want to reach for potassium-rich fruit and veg like bananas, kale, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes as the mineral helps transport water through your body, even deep into your muscles. (That’s why people say to eat bananas to avoid muscle cramps!)

Stock up on stock.

I know bone broth is all the rage right now, but there’s a reason people swear by it. Broth-based soups — which, honestly, are all I want to eat in the winter — can be super-hydrating thanks to the water in the broth. Vegetable, lentil, minestrone…oh my!

Don’t overdo it on caffeine and booze.

Knowing what not to drink can be just as important as knowing what you should be putting into your body, and when it comes to winter dehydration, alcohol and caffeine definitely fall in into the former camp as they’re liquid dehydrators, as counterintuitive as that may seem.

Pay attention to your skin.

After doing all you can to hydrate your insides, don’t skimp on your skin. Find the right moisturizer for your skin’s needs. Incorporate hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine to lock in moisture. If you’re still using the same products that got you through summer, switch up your self-care routine to account for winter weather.

Now get out there and stay warm — and hydrated!

 

Free People Blog

Constance White, Kevan Hall & Fe Noel Share ‘Rules Of The Game’ For Fashion

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/fashion/fashion-rules-of-the-game-constance-white-kevan-hall-fe-noel/ along with the image used.

As a part of Black History Month and in continuation of the global fashion weeks, former ESSENCE editor Constance C.R. White moderated an industry talk centered on creating success within the fashion industry. Joined by acclaimed fashion designer Kevan Hall and emerging design talent Fe Noel, White –the author of How To Slay— hosted an […]

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Kylie Jenner Just Slashed the Price of Her Jordyn Woods Lip Kit

This was originally posted on https://www.allure.com/story/kylie-jenner-jordyn-woods-lip-kit-on-sale along with the image used.

After rumors that Khloe Kardashian’s boyfriend cheated on her with Kylie Jenner’s best friend Jordyn Woods, Kylie Cosmetics shoppers noticed that the Jordy Lip Kit, a “raspberry red” Velvet Liquid Lipstick and matching Lip Liner, has been marked down from $27 to $13.50.

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Jenifer Lewis Reveals The Three Powerful Words That Changed Her Life

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/awards-events/red-carpet/black-women-hollywood/jenifer-lewis-bwih-three-powerful-words/ along with the image used.

Jenifer Lewis is a queen. Lewis was one of four Hollywood women celebrated at ESSENCE’s annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards on Thursday afternoon. The Black-ish actress was introduced by her daughter, Charmaine, and the original Dreamgirls, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Loretta Devine. Calling ESSENCE a “beacon for African-American women,” Lewis opened up about mental […]

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Let’s All Admire These Jaw Dropping Hairstyles At ESSENCE’s 2019 Black Women In Hollywood

This was originally posted on https://www.essence.com/hair/hairstyles-at-2019-black-women-in-hollywood/ along with the image used.

There’s so much beauty to celebrate and admire at ESSENCE’s 12th annual Black Women In Hollywood Awards. We can’t get over all the captivating hair moments. Yaya DaCosta and Cynthia Erivo both rocked grey tresses – which has been a trending hair color. Skai Jackson and Angela Rye flaunted their lengthy braids – there’s no […]

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