Support some Black Girl Magic with Effie's Paper

I fell in love with Effie’s Paper the moment I opened the package that Fab Feminist contributing writer (and ultimate gift-giver), Lily, sent me. Everything I’ve ever gotten from Lily has been uniquely feminist, so I knew it was even better than what I was seeing at face value. In neat plastic casing was a set of stationary with marbled backs and black envelopes that read “from the desk of a badass bitch” on the front. Let me tell you, I love this stationary so much that I evacuated to my parents’ house with it in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

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Spend Some Time with Yourself

It may be that I just finished a mini-marathon of Sex and the City, but I think it has more to do with the fact that I've had three whole days to myself. If you're in a long-term, live-in relationship like I am, it's pretty easy to lose perspective of who your independent self is after a few years. A night or a weekend on your own is a great refresher--I forgot how much I liked spending time with myself! Today was the first day that I had all to myself, start to finish. Oh, man, was it fun. I talked to my other half in the morning, bathed for the first time that day, bought a couple books on Audible (they're having a killer $4.95 sale right now, don't miss out), WALKED to the West Palm Beach Saturday Morning Market, talked to strangers, bathed for a second time, purged some of my costume jewelry, went on a me-date to Whole Foods (Whole Farts as my bae calls it) for dinner, started my mini Sex and the City marathon, stood on my patio soaking in the cool night air, and finally crawled into bed.

I haven't done the dishes all weekend. I shaved my armpits for the first time in five days today. I littered the apartment with dirty laundry, I'm all out of fresh underwear, and I don't give a damn. It felt good to be a foul bachelorette frog for a couple days. I got to hog the whole bed, too--I joke that it's an improvement on the 75% that I normally hog...

If I've learned one thing this weekend, it's the importance of spending time with yourself. Not by yourself, but with yourself. Present in the moment and enjoying yourself. It can be hard with another person to think of amongst the day-to-day hustle, but if you have an opportunity to spend a holiday apart or get away for a weekend without it being a big deal, do it! Book a cheap last minute hotel room for a night! Wake up late and go to the pool! Spend time in your own quiet comfort. You might just find what you weren't looking for.

Ultimate Gift Guide for the Babe in Black

You can already picture them: the friend who asks every sales associate, "Does this come in black?" You know, the one who will live and die by monochrome? Obviously, you're going to get them something black, but what??? What else could they POSSIBLY need in black? Don't worry, I've got the answer for you in this flawless gift guide.*

*Can be used to convert friends to the dark side

1. The Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

I looooooove this mask. With a little patience (seriously, wait until it's completely dry) and a little skill (ya gotta roll the edges in towards your nose) this peel-off charcoal mask will pull the gunk right outta your face. Buy it at Sephora!

sephora

sephora

2. Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar

I first got hooked on this cleanser last year when I was working as a brand ambassador. I brought a bar over to my girl, Alex, CEO of Compulsive Nails, and her jaw about hit the bathroom counter when she dried off her face and looked in the mirror. The results are immediately visible. You’ll be left cry-laughing at your reflection going, “My pores...my pores...I can’t find my pores…” It’s hypo-allergenic, made with an absurd 97% natural ingredients, and will clear anything dead out of your face faster than you can say, “Holy blackheads, Batman!” PRO TIP: FOLLOW OUR INSTA @FABFEMINISTBLOG AND ‘LIKE’ THIS PHOTO TO GET YOUR GRUBBY LITTLE HANDS ON SOME FREE SAMPS. YOU’RE WELCOME, CREATURES OF THE INTERNET.

NORDSTROM

NORDSTROM

3. Christian Louboutin Nail Polish in Kohl

If a pair of these badboys is outta the budget and your vanity spread is a top priority, consider purchasing some glossy black nail polish in Khol by Louboutin. It’s almost like TEN tiny Louboutins on your fingertips! Plus, just think how great this bottle and it’s sky-high, stiletto-inspired applicator will look on your altar AHEM I MEAN VANITY TABLE.

NORDSTROM

NORDSTROM

4. MAC Liptensity in Stallion

Four years ago, I went on a perilous journey in search of the sold-out Black Friday limited edition MAC lipstick. After scouring the internet, multiple phone calls, and an over the phone purchase, I was finally the proud owner of not one, but three, Hautecore tubes of lipstick. Last Black Friday, Mac released Stallion in its Liptensity line and for $21, it was a steal! We’re excited go see what this year’s limited edition Black Friday score will be. 

NORDSTROM

NORDSTROM

5. Compulsive Nail's Plaid Wraps

Okay, so these aren’t entirely black but we were on a punk rock kick and I couldn’t help myself. Compulsive Nails designed these for me back in January ‘14 for a month-long frolic in London. I had my Hautecore lipstick, my faux leather leggings, and some cherry red Dr. Martens and I was READY. These nails were like icing on the cake! Wear them for the holidays or whenever the heck you want because you’re punk rock as sh*t and don’t need a reason. Compulsive Nails is actually retiring this season, so grab these NOW before they’re gone forever!!

6. Molr's C&C Whitening Factory

C&C is hands down one of my new favorite products. It leaves your teeth feeling squeaky clean. You can SEE results. It's made of finely-powdered charcoal and coconut, both of which are known for their teeth whitening properties. It comes with a super cute teal toothbrush and has no flavor--not a bad flavor, not a  minty flavor, NO flavor. Thus making it a no-brainer, amirite?? It's one of the big reasons I decided to splurge for the Fab Fit Fun subscription box, WHICH YOU CAN ALSO GET HERE.

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The Brouhaha of Cultural Appropriation

I was talking with some Boomers in my life this past Halloween when somebody brought up how the holiday’s been “politicized.” I personally don’t think there’s anything “political” about treating a culture with human dignity, but somewhere along the line, somebody trivialized the act of being inclusive into a political construct. These boomers I know are good, kind, generous people who I think just haven’t considered the implications of cultural appropriation past the context of something childlike and innocent, like playing “cowboys and indians.”

I know anybody who’s reading this post of their own free will and volition is doing it because they probably agree with what I’m saying. That’s the first step, but carrying the belief of respecting other cultures and other peoples’ full humanity is lifelong practice! We all need call-outs and call-ins, and I want to continue to challenge us all to work towards these values. Also consider sharing this with somebody else who might need a little clarification in their life!

Cultural appropriation is the act of taking something sacred from another culture and donning it for aesthetic reasons while remaining willfully ignorant of the culture from which you are drawing. Usually, the culture being appropriated has faced pressure to assimilate with western ideals, dress, and religion. On a much less subtle note, cultural appropriation is also dressing up like a stereotype of culture. It’s a form of mockery and it’s overtly racist.

We are living in a politically volatile era right now. Duh. We are a polarized society, so when we take something and claim it’s “political,” we’re setting everyone up to brace for a fight, either in defense of a point of view or against it. However, as second-wave feminist writer Carol Hanisch wrote in 1969, “the personal is political,” and the experiences lived by cultures different from traditional western culture deserve to be acknowledged. If a group of people that western culture has objectively forced into assimilation says, “You are taking something important to us and using it for your own benefits while negating the strife that your culture has caused ours throughout history,” we should listen. If we approach cultural appropriation with respect for our neighbors, I think we’ll have a much better understanding of what, exactly, cultural appropriation is and why it is something that we should be mindfully avoid.

Kat Blaque’s got a pretty great video that discusses cultural appropriation in greater detail. Check it out here

Brace Yourselves, Daylight Savings Time is Ending.

 
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On November 4th, millions of people are going to jump for joy about getting back that one hour's sleep they sacrificed back in March. Sure, we can all stay out at the bars an hour later or sleep in an hour more the next day, but hold up--let's not forget that Daylight Saving Time sucks. Every year, we get used to sleeping in an hour later only to groan when next spring rolls around and we've got to adjust to the time change all over again. Here's a wild idea: let's NOT.

According to the internet (the ever so reliable WebMD, in this case), the time change affects our circadian rhythm quite a bit  because it changes its primary cue, sunlight, by a whole goddamn hour all of a sudden. NOT ON MY WATCH, IT WON'T! Okay, on my physical watch, it will, but you knew what I meant. By keeping my circadian rhythm intact, I'm hoping that adjusting in the spring won't be as hard as it usually is. 

My game plan is to go to bed an hour early on November 4th so that I can still claim my extra hour. On November 5th, though, I'm going to wake up between 6:30 and 7:00 am, which was 7:30-8:00 am the day before, which is the time of day my body is used to getting up in the morning. For those of you who live in more northern/therefore darker locations,  a daylight lamp is a great item to purchase. If you haven't heard of a daylight lamp, they're fantastic. It's essentially an alarm clock that wakes you up by getting gradually lighter, making for an easy (and circadian rhythm maintaining) wake-up. You can get one for as cheap as $29.99 on Amazon, but I really like the Phillips Wellner Smart Table Lamp. I can control it from my phone, use it as a bedside lamp, and it looks pretty cool and futuristic, sorta like Baymax.

Folks who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (appropriately dubbed, "SAD") can benefit greatly from a daylight lamp/light therapy. So can people with mood disorders! According to Psychology Today, "If one is treating a mood disorder, light therapy is best given for duration of 30 minutes for every hour one sleeps beyond 6 hours. So for example, if one sleeps 8 hours, they would require one hour of light therapy given one hour before they would normally wake. Since this is unlikely to be done by people who already feel the need for more sleep, it is best to use a dawn simulator light." They recommend starting light therapy one week before symptoms set in, or as soon as they do. Although studies have been performed using a 10,000 lux lamp, other studies show that a light with a lux of 500 could be just as effective. For more information on the benefits, check out the Psychology Today article referenced in this post!