Just ask Ebony Banks; a teen bravely battling a rare form of stage four cancer. After spending most of her Senior year of High School in the hospital, fighting for her life; her local school district decided to throw a special early graduation ceremony just for Ebob -as she is affectionately called at the hospital- earlier this month. After her kind classmates at Alief Hasting Highschool in Houston , Tx got wind that EBob’s wish was to meet the pop star, whom she idolizes, they decided to give Ebony the ultimate graduation gift, and took to social media to light up the internet with the hashtag: #EBOBMEETSBEYONCE; hoping to grab the Queen Bey’s attention.
We started hashtagging it, tagging people we tagged the news. Mostly we tagged Beyonce we wanted to get her attention [……], said Shanya McKnight, senior at Alief Hastings and friend to Ebony Banks.
After much tagging, sharing and re-sharing their little plan worked, and by Wednesday afternoon, Ebony was on Facetime with her idol, Beyonce. In the exchange posted on social media, you can hear Ebony telling Bey she loves her, and the sentiment is returned by the star, telling her fan “Love you too”: 🙂
Ebony Banks is being treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. Kudos to Beyonce- pregnant with twins- for taking time out her busy schedule to show the brave teen some love!
Cute hair is a game changer! That’s right, having a dope doo will instantly give any girl a #GlowUp. However, maintaining that dope doo is key. I am an advocate for not only good looking hair, but also and most paramount, healthy hair. Therefore, the quality of the hair products used to maintain fly hair, should uphold the integrity of good ingredients, so to promote healthy happy hair.
HealthyUrbanGirl.com was given a cool opportunity to try out a couple of hair products; to see how they would fair for our readers, and social media audience. This is a #sponsored post, but make no mistake, I holds no bars!
The hair care product, is possibly already apart of your hair care and maintenance repertoire already; Finesse Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner; which promises to restore and strengthen the hair through a unique formula:
We’ve created a unique formula with active silk an soy proteins that penetrate deep into the hair shaft to help restore and strengthen hair that’s damaged, dry or just straight up damaged. With these ingredients, hair is replenished with natural moisture leaving hair healthier, stronger, and more alive. – finessehaircare.com
With such claims, I could not wait to try this product out. A few things to keep in mind: I am a black girl, with black girl, natural curly, kinky hair. Also, I normally stay away from hair products laden with ingredients I can not pronounce. Finesse is the kind of shampoo and conditioner you’re likely to find at your local drugstore, priced under $5 per bottle. Not bad for a brand backed by Kendall Jenner, who dubbed the hair washing duo her favorite. I say that all to say, as a natural girl, it’s not easy to find quality Shampoo and Conditioner at a drugstore, that isn’t riddled with not so nice ingredients, that do more harm than good to my hair. Not to mention, me and Kends, kind of have different hair types. However, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Optimism well intact, I dove in.
So on my wash day I retrieve my cute little box of the Moisturizing Shampoo/ Conditioner duo that was shipped to me from the fine folks at Finesse. And I read, the label. Yes I read labels!
Not TOO many unpronounceable’s (ingredients), but there are some. Not enough to make me weary to lather up my natural, kinks in it. Water was the first ingredient mentioned on the ingredients list, which is always a step in the right direction for a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
Next, was my smell test. Both the Shampoo and Conditioner smelled just as you’d imagine Shampoo and Conditioner to smell. There was nothing special to report about the smell. Also, nothing bad to report about it.
Now about how they work on the hair once applied:
The shampoo lathers really nicely. The consistency is not too watery, therefore, you don’t require a whole lot to get a nice build up of suds. The highlight of use that I noticed in my use of the moisturizing Shampoo was how soft it left my hair after I rinsed it out. Normally, shampoo strips the hair of natural oils and moisture, therefore leaving it feeling quite lifeless, and stiff. Not Finesse Moisturizing Shampoo; it actually does the opposite. My hair was so soft after I shampooed, that I wondered if I needed to condition it at all.
Purchase your own Finesse Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner at Walgreens or Walmart.
After much thought, I proceeded to condition, with the Finesse Moisturizing Conditioner. While the conditioner is a little thicker than the Shampoo, I found that I needed more of it to actually feel the difference in my hair strands. While I was in the midst of conditioning I was not very impressed with the softening/moisturizing qualities. It was not until after I rinsed the conditioner off my hair, that I realized how SOFT it actually did make my hair.
My hair felt weightless, smelled fresh and clean.
I would say that Finesse Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner are a good way to go, for drugstore hair care products. The results are lasting and come at a bargain when you think of the cost versus what you actually get in exchange.
Earlier this week, Rihanna was in Cambridge, to accept her 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year award. There, she delivered an down to earth, inspirational speech; that gave a road map to how she went from a dreaming little girl wanting to help others to being in a position to fulfill her philanthropic desires as early as a teenager.
“When I was five or six years old, I remember watching TV and I would see these commercials and I was watching other children suffer in other parts of the world and you know the commercials were [like], ‘you can give 25 cents, save a child’s life,’ you know?[….]And I would say to myself you know, ‘when I grow up, when I can get rich, I’mma save kids all over the world.’ I just didn’t know I would be in the position to do that by the time I was a teenager. [Laughs]”
Visible thankful for the honor, the singer looked elegant and stylish in a Monse fall 2017 dress, while the crowd of Harvard students cheered her on.
“At 17 I started my career here in America, and by the age of 18, I started my first charity organization,” she continued. “I went on to team up with other organizations in the following years and met, helped, and even lost some of the most beautiful souls, from six-year-old Jasmina Anema who passed away in 2010 from leukemia, her story inspired thousands to volunteer as donors through DKMS. Fast forward to 2012 and then my grandmother, the late Clara Brathwaite, she lost her battle with cancer, which is the very reason and the driving force behind the Clara Lionel Foundation. We’re all human. And we all just want a chance: a chance at life, a chance in education, a chance at a future, really. And at CLF, our mission is to impact as many lives as possible, but it starts with just one. Just one.”
Bad gyal Rih Rih, charged the attendees to be that ‘just one’:
“As I stare out into this beautiful room, I see optimism, I see hope, I see the future. I know that each and every one of you has the opportunity to help someone else. All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian.”
So very true!
That same day, Dior announced that they will donate a percentage of proceeds from each $710 “We Should All Be Feminists” t-shirt to Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, that funds effective education and health programs around the world.
Like most girls, I am forever in search of the perfect lip candy to compliment my luscious puckers. And with the warmer months ahead, I am on a all out hunt for a lipstick/gloss/paint that added a pop of color to my lip repertoire. While browsing the make up isle in Walmart, I came across the L’Oreal section, and loved the display of colorful lush liquid lipstick options.
Call me lame, but I rarely venture outside my hues of pink, when it comes to my lips, so this whole color journey, was new territory for me. I am a brown complexion, therefore I have found that color added to my lips will either add a little sex appeal, or it really hardens my features, making me look years beyond my age (not a good look). What I really liked about the L’Oreal Infallible Lip Paints, were that the colors were rich in hue, and that read to me as quality. I hate getting a lip color that is packaged as a eye- catching color, and you purchase it on only to find out it is a completely different, water down version. That’s definitely not the case with the L’Oreal Infallible Lip Paint, which follows through on it’s promise for bold color statement.
The price was not too bad at $7.95. That’s the amount I’m used to paying for drugstore brand lippies. Those two factors; color quality, and price point; were enough for me to seal the deal and purchase the lip paint. The beautiful color that I picked up was a rich purple hue called: 302 Violet Twist.
Once I got it home and tried it, there were a few things to take notice of:
For one, the applicator stick was quite unique in that it curved at the tip, for ease of a even and smooth application. Since L’Oreal Infallible Paints are deep in color, it’s important to not over apply. The designer applicator allows for full coverage in limited application. Less is more, since a little goes a long way with this Lip Paint.
Texture is key in this lip paint. I expected a sticky annoying texture that creates debris around the corners of the mouth (not cute), but to my great surprise, no such thing. The lip paint went on smooth, and remained smooth the entire time worn. It did not dry the lips, a issue that many drugstore brand lippies have.
Tip: Be sure to line the lip with a like color pencil and fill in the lips with the paint for a cleaner, more precise look.
The color pop I was hoping for was definitely delivered. Maybe even over delivered! Again, this is where it’s important to go light on the application. The color reads so rich that only a couple layers are necessary.
Unfortunately, one of my few areas of disappointment was that the lip paint, did not withstand the drinking test! That’s right, after a few sips of my drink, the lip color had almost all been transformed from my lips to the cup I had been drinking out of. Sadly, this was not the only issue with sustainability; the paint did not stay on very long, no matter what. I found myself reapplying frequently; which was unfortunate, because who has time for that!! One thing, I would suggest for longer lasting wear, is to mix the lip paint with another more sustainable lippie, that blends well.
Overall, despite the lack of long lasting wear, I plan on buying a few other L’Oreal Lip Paints in some other fun colors, mainly because, the price is great for the richness in color, and as I said, it mixes really well. There are 14 liquid lipsticks in the line of Lip Paint, from nudes to bolds.
The day we give and receive love by way of cute heart-shaped cards, delectable rich chocolates, and such. We embrace the idea of showering our loved ones with treats to say ‘ I love you’.
However, even on a day like today, when it should be all about real love, there are those who will smile in your face, and the whole time they wanna take your place- showering you with fake love. (Pardon the Drake reference). I find that these days, it’s getting harder and harder to differentiate between the real and the fake love. I guess that means the fake people have gotten really good at their jobs. People will literally, smile in your face- out one side of their mouth, and talk about you in your face- out the other side of their mouth; all at the same time. It’s just the times we live in.
Here are some tips to help you read between the blurry lines of real love and fake love:
You see it in their eyes:
The saying goes: the eyes don’t lie. That is so very true. When someone truly detests you, their eyes often shift and rarely make direct eye contact. If they do make eye contact, you can see the judgmental snare reflected in their eyes. Look closely, the eyes will tell you all you need to know.
You hear the fake love in their tone:
Voice fluctuation is a tell-tell sign to determine how someone really feels about you. As humans, when someone excites us or makes us happy, our vocal cords will rise and fall in pitch, as we interact with that person. However, usually when someone is not that into you, they are very monotone in speech. It’s almost seems like it is taking everything in them to have a conversation with you; and that’s probably because it is.
You feel the fake love in their energy:
How someone makes you feel is key. If someone is genuine and means you well, their energy will uplift you. However, if you feel drained and heavy around that person, that’s a sign for caution. Go with your energy always.
When speaking with someone who you think may be showing you fake love, look at their body language. Are their arms closed off? Do they keep a healthy distance? Are they shifted away from you? If any of this rings true, there is a good chance that person is not being genuinely engaging. Keep a watchful eye on them.
You enter the room, and everyone becomes quiet:
You know that awkward feeling; you enter a room and it all of a sudden becomes eerily quiet. You know instinctively that everyone in that room was just talking about you. But as soon as you walk in, they all smile in your face. If they can’t say it to your face, the love is fake. Period.
Everything seems forced, and not genuine:
This goes back to energy. If someone can’t be genuine in how they interact with you, or in the way they show you love, the love is fake.
They never congratulate you:
Haters, never want to see you grow. They never really want to see you advance in life. And they have a hard time hiding it. Chances are the mere reason someone who is showing you fake love, remains in your life, is to see you stumble. When you fly, instead of fall, it eats them alive, and they can’t bring themselves to offer a kind or encouraging word. So pay attention to who applauds when you win, and who remains mute.
They throw passive aggressive jabs:
The phonies, make underhanded comments with a smile and in a play-play tone, to water it down; however make no mistake, they are giving you a glimpse into how they really feel.
People who really love you, are weary of them:
Your tried and true loved ones tend to see in others what we won’t allow ourselves to see. They can see that someone has ill motives and intentions. If you have two friends that butt heads, it’s usually because your ride or die friend or family member can see that fake love clearly, in the other friend. Maybe it’s time you open up your eyes also.
Keep in mind most often when people show fake love, is because they wanna take your place. Or put more eloquently, they envy you because they see something in you, they lack in themselves. Understanding this, perhaps means there is reason to be sympathetic to those who suffer from this lack of being genuine and real. Just keep in mind, while they’re hating or spreading that fake love- it’s them, not you! The best thing you can do is continue to move graciously through life, and lead by example by spreading real authentic genuine love.
If you do, then you should be dry skin brushing, if you’re not already. What is dry skin brushing, you ask?
From what I have discovered since learning of dry skin brushing; it’s the best thing one can do for their skin, right next to drinking heaps of water:
Dry skin brushing, literally means to take a bristle brush (preferably with a long handle to access all over the body) and brush the skin, in short strokes towards the heart. Keep in mind that the skin is the human bodies largest organ. Dry brushing the skin removes dead skin, and provides a deep exfoliation that cleanses the pores in an amazing way. Aside from revealing a new supple layer of skin, dry brushing also, helps the lymphatic system operate to it’s maximum capability.
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. – – Living Science
Keeping the lymphatic system draining properly is important because it aides in provided the cells necessary to fight diseases. If you’re like me, you probably struggle with understanding how a bristle brush, applied to our outer layer of skin, affects our lymph system. Well, the key is to brush towards the heart, which provides circulation of blood cells to the heart and the thymus. To truly access our lymphatic system with the dry brush method, we must brush aggressively, and again ,towards the heart.
To truly see, and feel the results of dry skin brushing, like many other good habits, consistency is key. Try dry skin brushing daily before showering. After showering be sure to follow up with a natural fruit oil, like organic unrefined coconut oil, applied to your new skin. This will allow for maximum results of soft supple skin. Also, since the pores are unclogged and very open, it’s important to keep in mind the chemicals we are allowing to seep into our bloodstream, so try and keep it as natural as possible.
Grab a brush like this one (click the picture for easy purchase, cost under $20)
and give dry brushing a go. After a few weeks drop me a note, and let me know if you’re loving your new supple soft skin.
Self love is key to having a high self esteem. However, to love yourself, you’ve got to first like yourself.
However many self affirmations we state, and self love books we may read, you can still be doing things subconsciously that sends the message that you do not like yourself. Old habits are hard to break, and until we feel worthy enough to break them, those old habits continue to repeat continuously.
Here are some clear indications that you don’t actually like yourself!
Always loving, what don’t love you back:
This is probably one of my favorites, because I am a pro at it. If you’re anything like me, you may suffer from ‘the fix it’ syndrome. That’s when you just want to fix everything and everyone. You believe with all your heart that you can love a person enough for both of you. Only to find yourself, feeling drained and unloved in return. Those of us that are hindered by this ailment, often see ourselves as victims to big, cold hearted bullies. But, the truth of the matter is, that person probably made it clear by either, words or action that they had little to none interest in loving you back.
Solution: Neglect the need to fix everyone, and fix yourself. There is something broken in you, that makes you feel inadequate to love. Remember, it is not enough to love. Love and BE LOVED.
2. You know better, but you do the opposite:
We’ve all seen the Kermit memes on the internet. Good Kermit gives a logical solution to a problem, while in return a hooded, Kermit alter ego, provides the irrational, bad choice. While, these memes are hilarious, for some of us, this is a harsh and sad reality. Self sabotage is a clear and present sign that you just don’t care too much about you. Often driven by fear of accomplishment, and happiness, self sabotagors , find it hard to accept that for once something is going right. Before, things have a chance to turn for the worst, they often force the plunge.
Solution:You can not expect a different solution, by doing the same thing. Accepting the fact that you’re future can be good, and much different than your past, is the first step. Learn to embrace change. If things are going really good- let them. Life is filled with peaks and valleys. If you’re high, allow it to happen, because you’ll soon be in a valley again, no need to create that hell for yourself.
3. You put your health on the back burner daily:
You know you should be exercising daily. You feel the guilt, each time you indulge or see someone living the fitness life your heart desires. For some reason, you just can’t allow yourself to start. Instead you wallow in your self disappointment daily, which only adds insult to injury, and keeps you a prisoner to bad health habits.
Solution:Take charge. You are your own worst enemy, and in this same thought, you can be your number one cheerleader. It’s all mental. Your health is directly tied to your happiness.
4. You spend too much time on social media comparing yourself to others:
A sure sign of self hate, or self loathing, is always comparing yourself to someone else. Social media, creates the perfect environment for that type of behavior to thrive. You scroll down your timeline, and see a college friend that just got married, and question why you haven’t found Mr. Right. You see a former co-worker, killing a two piece on the beach, and beat yourself up for still having a FUPA, 13 years after giving birth. Instantly, your mood sways, and you question your self worth.
Solution:Do not be so disillusioned by feeble things. You are an original. God created you as a single being, so you might bring into this world your own special thing. Constantly, thinking about how you don’t measure up to others, whether on your friends list, or in real life, is a self esteem dagger. Instead, embrace whatever it is you have to offer. And if you see something, or someone and feel a way, that’s a sign that you’re not happy in that area of your life- so fix it!
5. You never take time for yourself:
Call it mommy guilt. Call it woman guilt. Call it, whatever you’d like. Either way there comes a time in all our lives where we feel bad for wanting to care for ourselves a bit more. Neglecting our self, impacts us, and those we love. That’s because the self neglect will show up as anger, irritability, or impatience. What’s worst is your idea of taking time for yourself, means sleeping. No! Take time to be alert, conscious and alone. Reflect on your self care, reflect on your role in the people you love lives. Are you meeting, or exceeding the expectation (or under performing).
Solution:Carve the self care time out in your schedule, and protect it with all you have.
Recently in her final speech as First Lady, the ever so gracious Michelle Obama, stated : “Serving as the First Lady has been the greatest honor of my life and I hope that I made you proud.”
Boy has she!
In these last eight short years FLOTUS, has made us all beam with pride, and inspired so many of us to take a leap and go for ours, just as she and her wonderful husband and 44th President of the United States has gone for theirs.
From her charming but real personality, to her off the cuff, witty sense of humor, there hasn’t been a moment that we all have not been proud to call Mrs. Obama, First Lady of this great nation.
Here are 10 times she made us PROUD:
She Bared Arms:
When it was time to take her first official picture as FLOTUS, Mrs. Obama decided to go sleeveless, showing off her toned triceps, and biceps. Much to the disapproval of the naysayers, who for the most part thought it was wrong that the First Lady wore sleeveless in rigid cold Washington D. C winter. Imagine! Well, that was Michelle’s way of letting us all know, she came to slay, and do things her way! And, I gotta tell ya, that confidence made us all so very proud.
2. TWO Ivy League Degrees:
An achievement held by no other First lady in history, Mrs. Obama is a double Ivy League degree holder. First graduating from Princeton University, and later Harvard Law School. FLOTUS is a champion of education, reminding us that:
I never cut class. I loved getting A’s, I liked being smart. I liked being on time. I thought being smart is cooler than anything in the world.
3. Launch of Lets Move:
The job of First Lady can be rather ambiguous. It really is what you make it. Michelle Obama has made it clear that she wanted her role as First Lady to promote good health, and wellness, in particularly with children. The launch of her successful initiative, Lets Move, set out to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation. We don’t have to look very far to see the impact of the First Lady’s Let Move! program; just take a look at our children lunch menus, and we’ll see more veggies offered, or at our food labels that are now simplified and clear to understand, or just look at the fast food menu and how caloric intake are displayed and menu items geared toward children are more wholesome! Way to go Mich!
4. She summonsed the Queen (Bey that is ):
How many people can say when they call, Beyonce she comes running, literally! First Lady Michelle Obama can! When FLOTUS launched her Lets Move! program, she tapped the Queen Bey to create a song and video to compliment the campaign:
5. Reach Higher Initiative:
There is no doubt that Mrs. Obama has a special place in her heart for the education of young people. With this initiative hopes to inspire young people to pursue education past high school, be it a trade school, community college or a four year college. Making it clear that higher education is high priority, is another reason FLOTUS makes us so proud.
6. Spot on fashion sense:
One thing that will always be synonymous with Michelle Obama, even in years to come, will be her spot on fashion sense. There was no fashion mishaps in her entire 8 year run as First Lady. She hit the mark, be it in J. Crew cardigans or Jason Woo gowns. She made us proud as a fashion icon.
7. Her #GloUp! :
Now, let’s make one thing clear, Michelle been fly. However, it is impossible to deny her #GloUp since settling into her role as First Lady. We saw her transforms from Chicago Lawyer/Mom, to our nations most important woman, with ease, and grace. With an upgraded to razor sharp bobs, and constant radiant glow to compliment, there is no question Michelle has gotten better with time. And the best is yet to come.
8. Love and Happiness in the White House:
Love and happiness. That is what the First Lady displayed often to her husband, President Barack Obama. Seeing their love and public display of affection towards each other has been endearing. Be it a slow dance or a peck on the lips, Michelle made it clear she LOVED her some Barack! and we loved us some Michelle for always standing by her man.
9. Launch of Let Girls Learn:
In 2015 FLOTUS and POTUS joined forces to launch Let Girls Learn, a US government wide program to assist girls around the world go to and stay in school. Once again, how can we not be proud of a First Lady that takes so much pride in education and young woman!
10. She always went HIGH!
Probably, one of our most proudest moments, during the Clinton Campaign, Michelle gave her endorsement to fellow democrat, and Presidential nominee, by delivering a historic speech, reminding all of us that “when they go low; we go high”. We can now say that said phrase can pretty much sum up our experience with this honorable woman. She always remained above the fray.
As our President so keenly pointed out in his touching farewell speech, she did not ask for this role of First Lady, but boy has she made it her own. And because she has been so true to herself, so intentionally poised and just an all round class act, we are now and will always be so very proud to have called her First Lady.
If you’re Beyoncé this works. However, a sign of truly being a grown woman, is knowing you actually can’t do whatever you like. Is a matter fact, a sign of true maturity is doing what you don’t necessary like, so you can do what you love!
Here are a few signs that you are a grown woman
1. You don’t ask permission to be happy:
You know you are the master of your happiness, key holder of your own peace. You protect your happy space with all you have, because you know you deserve it and more importantly, you’ve earned. You don’t seek your happiness from external people or places. You know all too well that will only leave you unhappy!
2. You apologize and mean it:
It takes a big (girl) person to say ‘I’m sorry’, and you’re just the girl, err woman for the job. If you did something to offend, you own it and apologize for it. You know all too well having negative energy lingering over your head will throw off your flow, so you don’t mind apologizing and getting it off your chest.
3. You forgive (like for real):
Forgiveness when wronged is not always easy. But a grown woman understands that in order to be forgiven, one must also be able to forgive. You forgive and while you may never forget, you certainly don’t harp over the matter. You forgive and file it away!
4. You can check yourself:
A grown woman won’t wait for you to check her boo; she gets herself together. She might make a flubbed, or two, but it doesn’t take much for her realize the error of her ways and fix it. No Iylana needed for her!
5. You honor people’s time:
You know that your time is valuable, therefore you do unto others as you would like done to you, and respect people’s time. Simple as that.
6. You speak life into people, not negativity:
A grown woman knows there is power of life and death in the tongue, and chooses to use her words to speak life and possibility into people.