It actually feels absurd saying, "I'm 22 years old" aloud. I feel old, but oh so grateful to have made it to this amazing number of an age.
I spent part of my evening with my friend Miriam, and an intimate group of very stylish POC/black women indulging in Beauty + Chill, an activation by hanahana beauty. During the event we listened to founder Abena Boamah in conversation with dermatologist Dr. Caroline Robinson + resident herbalist at hanahana, Mariah Emerson.
hanahana is a conscious all-natural skincare + wellness brand committed to empowering women of color, handcrafting all products with 100% natural products. Self-proclaimed beauty industry disrupters, the Core of the brands identity is increasing accessibility, transparency and sustainability in all aspects of their creations. Abena works closely with the Katariga Women of Tamale, Ghana. A piece of their disrupting has been providing healthcare days & access to the women who work in the Shea creation process.
Some of my takeaways from the discussion are as follows.
1. Be willing to make the investment of research when it comes to brands you’re buying from + the products they use/you’re using on your body.
This is important because the beauty industry as a whole is just as capitalist as any other industry. Not every company has your health as a priority, and often times makes sales and money is happening because the ignorance of the consumer. We can be so drawn to pretty branding & packaging that we forget to check the ingredient lists, let alone the ethics of a company.
2. Look at the top 3 ingredients of a product. Those are the ingredients that make up the largest % of the product.
I learned that something brands are doing is advertising a product for one particular ingredient or capability, but the said ingredient would be way down in the ingredient list meaning it has a very low %.
3. 3% of dermatologists the US are black.
4. Smoking healing herbs releases the essential oil of the plant.
This makes smoking certain herbs an uplifting and zen filled experience!
5. SPF is a daily necessity
Some of you reading are like DUHHHH! Ok I knew this, but not the extent of its importance. I was definitely one of the “my melanin protects from the sun”, while this holds some truth it is just as necessary for brown folk to wear suncreen. Aside from protection from sun/light rays, suncreen also helps the sun not further the appearance of hyperpigmented skin!
The face mask I created consists of Blue clay, turmeric, vitamin e, frankincense, and rosewater. Very excited about this muted chartreuse color it created, and can’t wait to test it out!
The herbal blends portion of the evening was my favorite. We learned how to create a seamless herbal infusion, either for smoking or tea! I created mine with
Red raspberry leaf- as a fluffy vase herb, great for women’s reproductive system, and one of my favorite morning tea herbs
Damiana- stress relief, aphrodisiac, + uplifting
Lavender- promotes relaxation + eases anxiety.
Rose + Mint- to add a nice taste + balance to the blend.
I ended my night with a packed bowl of my herbal blend + a bit of medical grade cannabis for a nice closing to my 22nd Birthday. I feel so great about the next year, and am looking forward to diving head first into my passions, and walking with unwavering faith in all my endeavors.
Last but not least, fit deets!!!
Literally every birthday I put together my birthday fit a few days before. I just honestly function best under pressure!
Top- Akira. On sale, $20!
Quilted Skirt- Ghogho original. I created this for a photo shoot, and stumbled upon it when searching for bottoms to pair with the top + hat.
Hat- I scooped this hand dyed indigo beauty at the African Festival of the Arts. I‘ve been attending the fest for about 7 years. It’s an annual amalgamation of craft, culture, food + performance. It always lands on Labor Day weekend which is right around my bday. I bought this hat, and decided to build my outfit around It.
Beaded earrings- Handmade by me!
Shoes- Akira, Buy one get one for a dollar sale!
Happy 22 to meeeeee! My fav number and my life path number. ❤️ Sure to make it a masterful year!