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Makeup MIX: Rhanaé Ami

Scroll through the Makeup Mix of Tampa-based beauty-lover, Rhanaé Ami!

What’s your name + city do you live in?

Rhanaé Ami and currently resides in Tampa, Florida.

Beauty is all about being comfortable in your own skin + expressing your vibe. What are 2 beauty trends you’re loving this year?

I’ve been loving the more natural look when it comes to eyebrows, it brings more attention to the actual eye look! Another would be bold lip combos with color on deep-skinned black women! Never tried it myself but a pink glossy lip combo has been my favorite to see so far. 

If you had only 15 seconds to grab 3 beauty products, what would they be?

Colourpop’s Feather Brow Pencil, ANY nude gloss I can put my hands on, and short mink lashes! 

Inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate beauty icon OR what inspires your makeup looks + why?

My looks are more inspired by THINGS more than people! Going into the store and seeing something as weird as a colorful shampoo bottle or even maybe a pattern on a dress that’s on a mannequin; can inspire me. I love turning actual items into wearable eye looks. I just love transforming in general. I may not be a fan of colorful pigments in my personal life but I love CREATIVITY and love being able to create something from another piece of art! 

How does your makeup reflect your personal style?

I think the funniest thing about my makeup is that it’s always colorful and bold but my personal style is the exact opposite. I only wear black, white, and grey clothing because I’ve always been the “bigger” girl growing up and always felt better in “mute” clothing! My own apartment has no color, it’s strictly grey and white! I use makeup to explore color on my skin tone but I, unfortunately, haven’t been bold enough to wear the colors on fabric just yet but wish me luck! 

What’s one beauty must-have that lives in your bag?

Colourpop’s Pretty Fresh pressed face powder! It’s like a hidden gem in the makeup world. 

What’s your number 1 beauty rule?

The number one rule is that there isn’t any. There isn’t truly a “correct way” to do makeup, always do what’s best for YOU and your skin. Always do what makes you happy! There’s no rule book or list to follow by. 

Follow more of  Rhanaé Ami’s look here:

Instagram

Style Line-Up: Meet Gel

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Fashion, Latest | by — September 8, 2022

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Scroll through the Style Line-Up of Michigan-based fashion-lover, Gel!

 
 
What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?
My name is Gel and I’m 16 years old from Ann Arbor, Michigan!
 
Style is showing who you are without having to speak! If you had to line-up your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season what would they be?
My top 3 trends are cutesy, Cyber y2k, and streetwear! I absolutely love each one & love to mix them together!
Describe your style in 3 words:
My style in three words is random, extra, & timeless!
 
Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?
My ultimate fashion icon has to be Rico Nasty! I absolutely love how outgoing her looks are & how each of them are so unique. If I was more confident I would totally go for her look!!
 
Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to outfit if you’re in a rush?
If I’m in a rush literally a skirt & cardigan with accessories! It is literally the simplest outfit ever & doesn’t take much time at all.
 
What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?
My number 1 rule when it comes to my fashion is to be unique & to spice it up so I can differentiate myself from others! 
 

Follow more of GEL’s style:

Instagram

Meet Chanae Richards!

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Feature, Latest | by — August 17, 2022

Chanae Richards is an interior designer and entrepreneur who has created a name for herself. Graduating from Rutgers University, Chanae lately discovered her passion for interior design. Before pursuing interior design, Chanae was a financial director at local school. Chanae later felt more connected to interior design and chose to follow her intuition.

She believes intuition can take you as far as you want to go and with that she listened to hers.

Chanae is now the CEO of her own interior design studio, oloro Interiors!

Let’s get to know Chanae a little better…

What is a fundamental piece of advice you would give a young
woman as she prepares for her future?
Stay committed.
And we don’t always have to stick to one thing. If you want to do more than one thing in your life, do it. Don’t let anybody stop you.

How much impact did race and gender have on you when you were
making a name for yourself?
Only 2% of people in this position are black so you can imagine the impact it had on me. Not only was I black though but I was a woman and that made it harder for me.

Can you recall one of the first moments you realized this is what you
wanted to do with your life?
I don’t think there was a specific moment when I realized it, at least not
that I recalled. Somewhere in my mind I just knew this is what I wanted to do and I went for it.

Do you have any role models alive or dead?
I’ve had many women in my life who are role models starting with my mom, aunts, and my sisters. They’ve each experienced life from different lenses and are open with both the joys and pitfalls that come
with it.

Can you think of one quote that really impacted your journey?
“Intuition will take you further than education can.”

As someone who struggles with anxiety, do you have any advice for
others who struggle with it as well?
Feel the fear and face it. I have tried not to let my anxiety stop me from doing what I have to do because I have a plan and nothing is going to get in the way of it.

What is one of your ultimate end goals?
To retire my mom.

To stay in touch with Chanae:
Olorointeriors.com
Instagram: @olorointeriors Pinterest: @olorointeriors

~ Interview by Jada Boothe

Meet Destiny Williams!

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Feature, Latest | by — June 23, 2022

Motivation, inspiration + dance simply melts together into the perfect combination and pours out of Destiny Williams! Taking TikTok + Insta by storm with her fresh rhythmic moves + her uplifting scriptures to motivate Gen Z (and every other generation), her talent goes beyond social and into real life. As an actress + photographer, this Atlanta native is making her mark while sharing gems on her journey along the way.

Let’s get to know Destiny a little better…

Let us know your name + the city you currently live in:

Hello, I am Destiny Denise Williams, and I am a native of Atlanta, GA!

Your social channels are a safe haven of inspiration, dance + encouragement for your digital audience! What inspired you to connect scriptures and dance?

I think it’s important to guard our eyes and our hearts, so that we may not yield to temptation. With the expansion of social media, and the advancement of technology, it can become a challenge to filter what we digest through our eye gates. My goal is not to add to the challenge but to provide encouragement and safe entertainment that keeps our minds on the things above. I’ve always found it to be a natural ability of mine to encourage, and the mental well-being of others is truly a concern of mine. Therefore, I decided to use my social media platforms as a beacon of light to uplift others. 

 I started posting on Tik Tok during the pandemic and began to strategize about the most effective content to continue my mission of spreading love, light, and uplift. As I began to think I was reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul. Paul talks about becoming all things to all men so that one might be saved. Then I began to think about what abilities I have that will reach young and old. Without hesitation, I landed on dancing! I felt that dance is inclusive and has no barriers to who it can impact. My bubbly personality along with scripture has become a great combination to spreading hope, light, love, and entertainment, not just for the audience but for me as well. 

Daily meditation and quiet time is such an important tool to stay grounded. How do you calm your mind in those moments?

One tool that helps me stay grounded, is the ability to be transparent with myself. I am a perfectionist and my biggest critique. I have to remind myself that I am human, and I won’t always be in a good mood, or positive headspace. The roller coaster of life has a great way of trying to steal your joy. Even in the happiest of moments the enemy comes to try and plant seeds of doubt, anxiety, depression, and confusion. SO, for me, it is beneficial in being aware, and transparent with my emotions. Documenting my emotions down in a journal not only allows me to be aware, but also allows me to give myself grace, and holds myself accountable to what I feel. I pair this transparency with the truth of God. Decreeing that I am loved, worthy, saved, talented, enough, above and not beneath, the lender and not the borrow, and victorious aid me in staying grounded.  

I love nature, and I truly believe that sitting outside is my form of therapy. The stillness, the way the wind caresses my skin, the soft melodic bird-chirping creates a space for me to calm my mind, rejuvenate, and regroup so that I may continue to the next challenge. RELAX, RELATE, RELEASE! I also love to listen to wise people speak about their experiences in life. This helps me understand that we are all human and no one is subject to a trouble-free life, but if they can overcome then so can I! 

I created a series called “The peace Series”. This is a series that grants people the opportunity to reflect on their breath. In this fast paced- microwave- generation we have created a notion that the one who rests are weak. However, I believe without rest, without stopping and giving ourselves time to sit and be thankful for our breath we run ourselves dry, and ultimately living dead. 

You’re also an actress + a photographer! What do you love about each one? 

I love being a creative, and each avenue mentioned in this question allows me to fulfill that passion. Acting allows me the space to vent or come to what’s called a catharsis (purging of emotions). I have always been intrigued by provoking an audience’s heart by what I create on stage, or through digital platforms. Acting has helped me to understand my identity. Each character tugs for you to bring your personal life experience so that the character can be believable. It is in the development stage of these characters that brings my fears face to face with me. It is a good healing experience. 

I’ve always been intrigued by the testimonies and stories of others. The bible says we are saved by the word of their testimony. So, photography allows me to capture the test and trials and victory of those around us. It allows me to celebrate life, and love. I believe that we are a divine creation of God, and its an honor to capture the testimony, story, love, life, and victory of His creation.

Social media has its ups and downs, how often do you take a social media detox? What are the benefits?

When I find myself comparing my gifts or content too often, and harshly I know that’s a direct relation to the amount of time I’ve spent on social media. This indicator leads me to take a social media break. 

I take a huge two-month social media fast twice a year.  This year I started to give myself a day every week to get a break from my phone in general. I turn it on do not disturb and I shut down all social media notifications. I believe this has given me balance in my life and allows me to become more present with life. I always try to remind myself that social media is a highlight reel and a tool for marketing. What I see may not be the full reality, and this helps with comparison, and it limits my time that I spend on social media as well. 

Social Media fasts are great for becoming present. Your awareness with your identity, purpose, and the quality of close relationships increases. I believe that social media fast usher healing. Fasts in general provoke an increase of faith and a push into inner healing journey.

Being young, juggling responsibilities while reaching your dreams can sometimes get to be a bit overwhelming, how do you regroup and motivate/inspire yourself when you’re feeling a little defeated? What’s your go-to scripture that keeps you focused?  

I love this question because I’m still learning the ins and outs of this question as we speak. What I have come to understand is that obtaining the goal will not fulfill you, but enjoying the journey will bring true fulfillment/ contentment. Allowing yourself to enjoy the journey presents different lens/ perspectives / revelations about our world. It enhances, defines, and brings the destination to life. 

When I am feeling overwhelmed after being super consistent with content creation, schooling, business marketing, and editing I give myself time to slow down. I may relax a bit more in the mornings or take myself to the spa. I engage in my favorite hobbies, and truly allow myself to not feel bad for resting. In these times, I have observed that I speak to my support system a lot more for so that I can be poured into with love, light, encouragement, and motivation. When feeling defeated, I pray, and talk to my support system. I think it’s imperative to invite God into your most inner thoughts and feelings. He can handle the disappointment, the tiredness, the defeat, and the confusion, and He has the best way of speaking gently over you His truth, encouragement, and love. 

Scriptures like Jeremiah 1:5; 29:11; Philippians 1:6; 4:6-9; and the message of grace keeps my mind focused on the bigger picture. Do not compare because there will always be room for you no matter how saturated that field may be. Believe in yourself 220 percent. Keep the dream in the forefront of your mind that way you can remember why you started or why you go so hard when you are being lead through the valley of the shadow of death. 

What advice would you give others who want to follow their dreams and passions but are nervous or intimidated?

Tip number one is understanding the WHY. If you cannot understand the why behind you doing something then it may be good to change the trajectory of the direction you are heading. This does not mean know the ins and outs of the vision, because some dreams require great faith without knowing the small blueprint details. What I mean by knowing the WHY is because when you are weary or in disappointment your WHY will set as a reminder to preserver. Sometimes you may forget your why and its good to have people around you who can give insight to your why. Your why will be the driving force for the vision/dream. 

Tip number two is do not compare because there will and always be room for you no matter how saturated that field may be. Believe in yourself 220 percent. Other tips that I’ve gained along this journey is don’t wait until you have all the tools to start, you will gain them along the way. Don’t wait until you feel motivated, because there will be times where you might not feel motivated. Consistency is key. Don’t share your dream with everyone because sabotage is real. Trust your gut. DO IT SCARED! The most important advice is to embrace failure. 

Fun faves! Food? Movies? Artist?   

My favorite food is a good home-cooked southern meal! My mom’s mac and cheese is award-winning in my book, and my Nana is a chef sent from heaven. Southern, Chinese, and Moe’s southwest grill would have to be my favorite food/ places to eat. My favorite movies would consist of Love and Basketball, The Blind Side, Ratatouille, Coach Carter, Sister Act 2, Beyond The Lights, Just Go with it, and more. Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge Kendrick Lamar fan! Artists such as Kiayote Hiatus, Bruno Mars, Anderson Paak, Charity Bush, Chandler Moore, Zaria Hall, Shawb B have a special place in my Spotify playlist! Their artistry, in my opinion, is unmatched.

Follow more or Destiny here:

TikTok

Instagram

$tretch It + $tyle It

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Finance, Latest | by — April 11, 2022

It’s a new season and also time for your closet to get a new look. An unlimited budget is ideal for anyone, but if you’re working with tight funds, you can still give your closet the upgrade it deserves. There are a plethora of options! Having a frugal conscience now will benefit your future self. Here is how we take a $30 budget and stretch it for a closet revamp:

Rings and Things | $5

Accessorizing can take an outfit up a notch. Try adding things like midi rings, bracelets, pins, headscarves, and uniquely designed earrings to your closet—all of which can be found for a low price at your local shopping store and even a quick Target run. You can find plenty of inspiration by swiping through your Instagram feed! 

Repurpose | Up to $10

Use your creative eye and check out your local thrift store to see what you can find. There are endless ways to take something and put your own spin on it. For example, find a pair of jeans and add rips to them or take a shirt and cut it into a crop top. With the 90’s trends becoming popular again, you might luck out and find something that doesn’t need to be repurposed at all!

The Unique Bag | $15

Add a bag to your closet that is out of the ordinary—something you normally wouldn’t lean towards. Whether it’s a bright color or a cool shape, make sure it stands out. You can take a simple outfit and make it the center of attention or make a dope outfit even more dope. 

~Tia Banks

#Freshman5 x Blossom!

Take note of Blossom’s #Freshman5 Must-Knows for your freshman year in college!

Full Name: Blossom Ogechi Egbuonu 

College/University : The University Of Illinois At Chicago

Relationship/Friendship: Don’t be in a hurry to make so many friends. It can be hard adjusting to a new environment but quality of friends over quantity every time! 

Classes/Studying: Going to office hours is such a gold mine. You can get clarity on topics and also build a personal relationship with your professors that could help you get job opportunities in the future. 

Budgeting Money: Implementing self-control when shopping will help to limit impulse buying. 

Time Management: Start your days early so you can maximize your hours during the day. 

Self-care: Take time to treat yourself when you need to because college can be very overwhelming.

Follow more of Blossom’s journey:

Instagram

Misogynoir + Beauty Standards

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Health/Beauty, Latest | by — February 16, 2022

Misogynoir:  How It Plays Within the Societal ‘Beauty Standards’ 

Misogyny is the dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women as described by Oxford Languages. Today this has translated into over-sexualization, lack of visibility, and rape culture. However, the general public’s view of misogyny is extremely whitecentered and has oftentimes left zero room for the black misogyny affected individual’s experience.

Misogynoir was coined by activist Moya Bailey and is exactly what it sounds like: misogyny directed towards black girls & women. This can be translated into hypersexualization of young black MAI (misogyny affected individuals), invalidation of feelings or reactions, a tendency to trauma dump on them due to the mammy stereotype, and masculinization amplified for dark skin MAI. Nonetheless, there are still cosmetic effects of white supremacy imposed onto black MAI. The current beauty standard is vehemently eurocentric which can be traced back to colonization and neo-colonization indoctrinated millions into the belief that your proximity to whiteness is a measure of your beauty. For example, lighter skin tones and less prominent features associated with people of color such as noses and lips are often interpreted as allure. Consequently, people on the opposite of the spectrum, with more prominent noses, lips, and darker skin tones face poorer treatment. The inverse of this (better treatment due to looks) has been noted as the term ‘Pretty Privilege’.

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In the book, Belly of the Beast By Da’Shaun L Harrison, the author hypothesizes that Pretty can be used as a sort of capital for treatment. Several black MAI and darkskin MAI in particular have recalled their experiences with being treated as less than specifically by men. This issue has only been exacerbated by the fact that black men are statistically less likely to date black MAI. Why is it such a trend for black men to harp on black MAI? This question has been asked by many and unfortunately this rhetoric can be traced back to the masculinization of black MAI and the hyper-masculinization of darkskin men. Darkskin men have been hyper-masculinized since the dawn of time and the masculine association that’s attached to you while being a darkskin MAI is something that sticks with you for life and affects nearly all of your relationships, romantic or platonic. Because darkskin men are hypermasculinized it’s often hard for them to do anything that’s slightly associated with femininity such as dating someone masculine, expressing their feelings and seeking mental health treatment without having their blackness invalidated.

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Obviously this rhetoric is extremely heteronormative and anti-black regardless it has seeped its way into our society. With this said, darkskin men are more likely to date lightskin MAI over darkskin MAI and will bash darkskin MAI any chance they get. Think of any heterosexual darkskin man you know and they are most likely dating someone who’s lightskin or noticeably lighter than them. This seemingly hatred-like feeling for black MAI is what fuels feelings of undesirability. Darkskin men have the tools and lexicon given to them by their internalized anti-blackness to verbalize their hatred for darkskin MAI as Oh! Stephco expertly states.

The impact of this is detrimental. When one faces as much anti-blackness as a black MAI faces, they expect some form of consoling and solidarity from people who face the same thing. Only when they seek it are they met with loads of invalidation and mocking for their traumatic experiences.

I can say that as a darkskin woman I have struggled a lot with the concept of undesirability specifically when it comes to the black male gaze. I know, with certainty, that my dark skin and my foreign ethnicity have amplified my experience. When I talk to my lightskin counterparts about their experiences with black men, I don’t feel jealousy or hatred, but wonder. Part of my experience with developing and growing has been the process of accepting that the amount of male attention I get is not reflective of my worth; however, it is a lesson that I should not have had to learn so painfully. As I start to come into myself and feel more whole, I pray that my younger selves embrace that cognizance as well.

~ Ayo Sanneh, C.O.R.E Mag teen blogger

Style Line-Up: Aysia

Scroll through the Style Line-Up of Maryland-based fashion-lover, Aysia!

What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?

My name is Aysia. I’m 20 years old, and I was born and raised in Clinton, Maryland.

Style is showing who you are without having to speak! If you had to line-up your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season what would they be?

My number 1 trend would have to be layers! I feel like layering has really kicked up this year. I think it’s a good way to add different kinds of movement to your outfits. It’s also a great way to get the most out of your closet. It allows you to wear seasonal clothing all year round. For example, a cropped tank top could be worn over a turtleneck. Then you’d have a different look and be warm for the winter!

Coming in second would be Maximalism. I love seeing people turn up the notch and be completely extra when it comes to clothing. Funky patterns, hats, tights—everything. When I see the crazy outfits some people put together, sometimes I wonder how they pull it off.

My number three would be huge, chunky, platform shoes. I’ve wanted to get my hands on a pair, but I haven’t yet. I’ll have to gift myself a pair at some point!

Describe your style in 3 words:

That’s tough! I think my style is funky, a tad bit retro, and a little bit quirky

Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?

I’ll be honest here; I don’t usually keep up with what other people are wearing. I’ll usually see a celebrity or influencer rocking something unique and sometimes soak that into my own style. 

However, I’d have to say my ultimate fashion icon is my mom! She’s been into fashion since she was a young girl and she loves dressing up. Our  tastes are quite different, but when I put together outfits now for videos and pictures, I often wear clothes that she’s handed down to me.

Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to outfit if you’re in a rush?

Anything black! For me, black is the easiest color to style, and I own a lot of it. At one point, I kept my closet fairly neat. It was primarily color coded, and the black section was the largest. My go-to would be to pluck a hoodie or shirt from there, throw on some jeans, add a cute shoe (usually a boot) and be on my way!

What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?

It would be to make sure you are comfortable with what you are wearing and that you love it! I absolutely hate feeling “meh” in an outfit. I think any outfit that you choose to rock should feel like a second skin. It’s often a reflection of you, and you should feel good in it!

Follow more of Aysia’s style here:

INSTAGRAM

Anxiety? 3 Ways To Focus

Anxiety is an extremely common issue that affects many people. Once you’re triggered, it’s hard to get a grasp on your emotions. Academics can play a major role in causing anxiety because of the overwhelming pressure to succeed. It’s not easy to pay attention when classes are early in the morning, long, and sometimes boring. Even then, you still have to find your focus because you have to pass. Here are some tips for staying focused and getting through the semester.

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Catch Some Z’s | Getting an adequate amount of sleep every night is so important to your academic success. When you get a full night’s rest, you’ll find yourself feeling more refreshed in the morning and able to have better focus. Save the late nights for the weekend! 

Remember This | A lot of times we stress ourselves out before the bad things happen. We are triggered at the thought that we might fail, when in reality, you are doing just fine. Remember not to stress until it’s actually needed.

Take A Break | Don’t be afraid to take a break—and lots of them. Over working yourself can make you feel drained and have a negative outcome on your grades. Taking a short break refreshes your mind allowing you to get back to work while being more focused.

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~ Content Editor, Tia Banks

Hair Code: Phathiswa

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Health/Beauty, Latest | by — January 13, 2022

Unlock the hair code to South African’s beauty-lover + digital creator, Phathiswa!

What’s your name + where are you from?
 
My name is Phathiswa Bandla, @khwezibandla on Instagram, and I’m from Gugulethu, Cape Town, South Africa.
 
Braids, faux locs, natural, extensions, wigs, bantu knots ~ so many choices! What makes you love the versatility of your hair?

I love how I can express myself in so many different ways.  I can capture a certain style and aesthetic with braids, then a completely different one with my synthetic wig.

What does your hair mean to you? What does it say about you?
 
My hair is an important part of who I am. It represents my roots, my culture sometimes and it is a very integral part of my entire style or aesthetic. BTW your hair and shoes are the most important part of your outfit- like FR.
 
 

Do your rock certain styles during certain seasons? Do different hairstyles bring out different sides of your personality?

I really love having braids, its an all season type of style. However I do prefer my DIY ponytail in Summer. I recently had it in a week ago and it does make me feel quite different. It’s giving a more grown possibly sexier (lol) version of me.

Fill In The Blank: “Good hair days make me feel______”
 
Like SZA, the ultimate black girl lol also a Goddess!
 
 
What’s one products or hair accessory you can’t live without?
 
My hair gel! Not just to slick down my edges but it helps prepare my hair for all types of styles.  Definitely a product I can’t live without right now.
 
What advice would you give to someone who is nervous to try a new style or look?
 
There’s so many different versions of yourself to explore! Don’t miss out and let fear get the best of you, go blonde! And get those color braids right now!
 
Follow more of Phathiswa here: