Style blogger, social media specialist and digital media maven Christina S. Brown is a New York native and the founder of fast-growing lifestyle destination LoveBrownSugar.com. Recognized everywhere from The New York Times to Essence Magazine as a top lifestyle blog, LoveBrownSugar.com focuses on fashion and beauty for multicultural women with an emphasis on self-empowerment.
This post about ways to unwind was created in partnership with Loacker. All opinions below are my own.
The other day I posted on IG about some of my favorite ways to unwind after a long day of conquering the world as a PowerMom. One myth out there about being a working mom is that it’s normal or even acceptable to work so hard and to put everyone before yourself, so that you have absolutely nothing left to give at the end of a long day. If you’re reading this, hear me loud and clear. You deserve “me” time. Don’t apologize for it, embrace it.
I’m really proud to be partnering with Loacker for this post because they’re a company that really caters to powerful moms who want to make smart choices about how they indulge. I love that their treats are made with real cocoa, and no hydrogenated fats or artificial colors/flavors. They’re an indulgence that you don’t feel so bad about indulging in. More than that, I love that they host events and live social programs specifically for Power Moms like myself. Take a peek at the Loacker Facebook page and you’ll see.
I’m not sure about you, but I have my own special ways to unwind after a long day. Here are 3 ways I unwind when I get home:
1. Drop The Cape & Get Comfy
The first thing I do when I get ready for “me” time is slip into something comfortable. Over the years, I’ve become obsessed with silky robes and PJ’s because they make me feel beautiful and they’re super comfy. What you wear, both inside and outside, helps boost your mood and your confidence.
2. Unplug from Social Media
As much as I love talking to all of you throughout the day on social, there comes a time when I need to unplug from it all. Everyone needs time to operate in the real world, devoid of FOMO-inducing pics, perfectly manicured hands and red lipstick selfies. Your mind just needs a break. So that’s my step 2 in Operation Unwind. I close out my social media, turn my phone on silent and get off the matrix.
3. Indulge In Something You Love
This is my favorite part right here. The beauty of it, is your indulgence may change depending on your mood or the day. Some days, your indulgence could be taking a fun dance class. Other days, it could be biting down on your favorite piece of chocolate. One of mine is indulging in Loacker goodies. I typically grab a bag of their Quadratini wafers from Trader Joe’s and stash them somewhere the kids can’t find them. I know – selfish mommy. Listen, I deserve it!
Anyway guys, I hope this post helps someone understand how important it is to take time for themselves. Whether you’re a PowerMom or a Power Woman in general making things happen – you deserve a little indulgence and a lot of self-care.
This post about dressing with confidence was created in partnership with Lane Bryant. All opinions expressed are my own and not those of the company.
Guys, it’s been a while! My little boy just turned 18 months so I’ve officially been a mommy of two for an entire year and a half. One of the biggest struggles for me after having my second baby was finding the confidence to accept that my body will never be the exact same. I think it’s just one of life’s many journeys you accept. As you go through new life stages like pregnancy and motherhood, your body adjusts to that. And sometimes, your confidence might take a hit if you’re not intentional about shifting how you look at this new version of you. For those of you who (like me) may need a boost of style confidence, here are three tips that have helped me:
1. Accentuate What You Love Most
Before my babies, my favorite area to accentuate on my body was my bust. While I still love the twins, they honestly don’t look the same after kids. Y’all, I breastfed both my babies and the twins are not as perky as they used to be (shoutout to Cacique for the best Boost Strapless bras, ever!) What I have come to love more, are my shoulders. Picking up and chasing after two kids has made my upper body pretty attractive.
So I now love wearing tops with the bare and off-the-shoulder silhouette like this Embroidered Poplin Off The Shoulder Top from Lane Bryant. Even though I love my shoulders, I’m not fond of my upper arm area, so I love that the sleeves have a bell shape and draw attention upward.
2. Find Your (New) Perfect Fit
I remember how much I dreaded getting dressed right after I had my babies. I couldn’t wear my maternity clothes anymore because they were too baggy, but my old pre-baby clothes also were too tight. I would get super frustrated and just pop on black leggings and an oversized sweater. I was OVER it. Then, I realized I literally just had to clean my closet and start from scratch with new items that fit my new body. My first step was discovering which jeans accentuated my curves best. Silhouettes like this Ultimate Stretch Skinny Jean are the perfect fit for me.
They have a higher rise to help me tuck in my belly, they’re stretchy and comfortable for running errands with the kids, and the Skinny silhouette helps accentuate my curves!
3. Add Pops of Color
I don’t know about you guys, but color makes me happy. I do pops of bright color on my nails every week, and I try to incorporate bright colors into my accessories and my wardrobe whenever possible. It was love at first sight with these Short Block Heel Sandals. They’re super comfy, low heel for running after the kids, but still cute and work well to add color to neutral outfits.
My biggest takeaway for dressing with confidence – wear what makes you FEEL GOOD! Trends are cute or whatever, but don’t get sucked into thinking you have to wear styles straight off the runway to be stylish. And most important, know your body and dress for it.
It didn’t really occur to me how important it is to celebrate your wins until this past month when, for the first time ever, I held a cocktail to celebrate a successful end to BrownGirlsLove POWER Day. The cocktail celebration and this post series is sponsored in partnership with Caress. Throwing the cocktail really taught me something that I want to share with you. We have to celebrate our wins more. I’m talking to you because I know that you, like me, are an overachiever. You work HARD but you don’t hardly celebrate. Here’s why we need to celebrate our wins:
1. You Need To Sit In Them
How many of us work our behinds off, accomplish something monumental, recognize it for 5 minutes, and then jump right into the next goal to check off on our list. Why do we do this? You need some time to sit in your wins. Appreciate them and soak up everything that you’ve accomplished. Consider it self-care. Emotionally and mentally, you need time to really revel in your wins. That positivity is a boost for your confidence for you, and a gentle reminder that you’re on the right track. The people who buzz past their daily wins moving quickly toward accomplishing the “next big thing” often are the first to experience burnout, and are also more likely to be anxious or depressed. Take your time, sis. Appreciate what you’ve already accomplished. You DESERVE that. This year after Power Day, I took some time to celebrate the successful day by inviting my family and good friends to celebrate with a cocktail sponsored by Caress. We toasted to the successful end to the event, but also to each other’s company. It’s so important for us to support each other.
2. Other People Need To See Them
Another reason to appreciate and celebrate your wins, is because other people need to see them! I can’t tell you how many times I saw someone else KILLING it and accomplishing something big, and it motivated me to stay the course. I love seeing other people win. Contrary to popular belief, you can still be humble and gracious when celebrating your wins. And you can do it in a way that inspires and empowers others to go after their dreams. Don’t rob someone else of their inspiration by rushing past your accomplishments without acknowledging them. We feed off of each other. Someone out there needs to SEE you win.
3. Celebration Is The Catalyst For More Wins
After you get those pats on the back and those “Yasss, sis!” comments from friends and family, something goes off inside of you emotionally that motivates you to embrace the next challenge, and kill it. If you want to keep winning? Keep celebrating! Life is full of ups and downs, but when you’re in the swing of those high moments, soak them up as long as you can. They will propel you to your next win. Think about a child who is motivated constantly by their parents to be what they want and they grow up to excel because of that life long motivation. That’s what this is. Keep the batteries in your pack, and celebrate your wins. Life is too short not to.
Special thanks to Caress for being the sponsor of my BrownGirlsLove POWER Day Afterparty Celebration. We celebrated with speciality cocktails crafted with notes reminiscent of their collection.
The drinks were so good, the conversation was amazing. It was just an all-around great time. Cheers to more celebrations in 2019!
What are some ways you celebrate your wins? Do you take yourself to dinner, throw parties, do the tootsie roll? Share in the comments below!
So you guys know I am a huge supporter of black-owned businesses. Every year I create a list of black owned businesses to support. We have such strong buying power as a community. We have to support each other! Disclaimer: this is NOT an exhaustive list! There are SO many amazing black owned businesses to support out there. But on my little slice of the internet, I like to promote the ones I personally love. Here they are (in no particular order):
Cee Cee’s Closet
Head wraps are timeless. They’re versatile, stylish and the perfect “bad hair day” fix. What I love about Cee Cee’s Closet is that they not only make amazing wraps but part of the proceeds from each wrap goes back to support artisans who are handcrafting the products in Nigeria.
Celebrity makeup artist & brown girl Lauren Napier produces a line of makeup removing and cleansing towelettes that are individually wrapped and perfect for the jetsetter. These are legit my go-to for travel and when I’m home. They lift makeup so well and they smell amazing.
A natural hair lifestyle brand catering to no-fuss curlies who want effective and easy to use products to complete their natural hair regimen. The founder is Julian Addo – curator of the groundbreaking BellaKinks event series out of Dallas, TX. On top of their beautiful imagery, I love the use of ingredients like baobab oil and peppermint.
One of my tried & true beauty staples since it launched, the beauty by Africa Miranda elixir works as a primer, a light oil moisturizer as well as a makeup remover. I love a good 3-in-1 product and a little goes a long way.
There are no shortage of t-shirt and sweatshirt brands with a message, but what I really love about Black on Black BK is how unapologetic the statements are. I also have a thing for black and white so I love that the designs stick to these colors. They’ve got really cute sweats, tees and tote bags and items come in kids sizes up to adults.
Offering everything from stationary to shower curtains and now luggage – Pardon My Fro is an amazing design house that makes products featuring powerful women of color. Everyone should have a piece of PMF in their home.
One of my all-time favorite beauty brands, EDEN BodyWorks has a plethora of great options for hair, body and skincare. Originally founded by Jasmine Lawrence at the tender age of 13, I just love what this brand represents. Their products are available at most major retailers.
Founded by fashionista and model Nichole Lynel, I love how super chic and fashion-forward this line is. If you like something, snatch it up quick! Her collections always sell out.
Teaching young girls to love and accept their hair in various shapes and forms is so important to building confidence in them. The founder of Happy Hair, Mechal Roe, picked up on that by creating a line of children’s books, dolls and prints that support curl confidence. Great gift for the littles in your life.
Self-care is so important to your wellbeing and health. When it’s time to wind down at the end of a long week, I spring for heritage1933 items like the Ms Know It All whipped butter or their Exhale bath salts.
Healthy Roots is a toy company that creates dolls and storybooks that reinforce positive self-perceptions of the richly diverse, varying shades of complexion and natural hair textures among girls of color.
Hue Noir is is a science + technology-driven makeup brand for women of color. I use their foundation daily. Their True Hues Flawless Foundation is formulated in a wide range of shades for brown girls like myself (I’m the Hazelnut shade), and it’s really buildable coverage which I love. I also love their lip glosses – they serve double duty as highlighters. The founder, Paula Hayes, is one of the only black women with a background in R&D and she owns her very own makeup lab in Portland. It’s pretty dope.
Alodia Haircare was founded in 2014 by Dr Isfahan-Chambers, a doctor in bio-medical sciences. They deliver simple solutions customized to address unique hair needs. What I love is that they have “hair kits” for every hair type and condition. If you’re a thermal natural, or if you’re mostly a wash & go natural – they have a kit for you.
LAMIK, an acronym for Love And Makeup In Kindness, is a Houston-based beauty brand with makeup for women of all shades. With an emphasis on catering to women of color, LAMIK has lippies, shadows and more with excellent color payoff crafted by founder Kim Roxie.
You guys hear me rave about this brand all the time because I genuinely LOVE their lipstick. Bawse Lady – their matte red – is arguably one of the best red matte liquid lippies in my beauty arsenal. I’m a lifelong fan.
Hey loves! As some of you know from following me on social media, I moved to LA over 6 months ago. It took alot of faith and courage for me to leave my hometown and head to the sunny shores of Southern California, but honestly it was one of the best decisions I made this year.
I came to LA to expand my brand but also to challenge myself. I‘m a firm believer that if you’re not being challenged in life, you’re not growing. I partnered up with Toyota to tell a little of my story. I’m so beyond grateful to have them as a Presenting Sponsor for BrownGirlsLove POWER Day 2019 in NYC. If you don’t have your ticket yet, make sure you snag one before we sell out (use discount code: LOVE for $50 off!)
I really hope my story inspires more of you all to go places. Let me know what you think, and thanks as always for being such a supportive village.