Some say you can tell a woman by what she carries in her purse. Although I’m not sure about all that, I do know that the items in my bag at any given day reflect how cluttered or calm my head might be. I’m happy to say that I’ve given up my hoarding got-to-be-prepared-for-anything purse days and now settle for a few basics in addition to my wallet, phone and a good shade of lipstick. Packing light and being conscious of the things that I carry in my bag – including the bag itself – has truly enhanced my busy lifestyle.
For the past year and a half, the Future Glory moto tote has been my on-the-go savior with a strap. This open bag (no zipper) allows me quick access to the items within it. I can even slide my laptop into the bag for meetings. It’s a great carry-everywhere bag that goes with pretty much every outfit. I was most attracted to the bag because of its quality, knowing that I wanted something that would last me many years. The moto-inspired tote in made with durable, domestically sourced full-grain leather and is side channel stitched for sturdiness. Handcrafted in San Francisco, all Future Glory bags support social causes in the Bay Area. A portion of my purchase went to Because Justice Matters, a charity for victims of sexual exploitation and domestic violence.
Last winter, I had the pleasure of attending the Brooklyn Fashion +Design Accelerator‘s annual awards ceremony. The night was full of happy faces, delicious wines, even an impromptu dance party. As I was walking down the aisle of designer workspaces, I came across a table of natural beauty products and couldn’t resist checking them out. Lucky for me, I hadn’t packed any hair powder so I became giddy in finding a variety of scented hair powders all to my liking – it was simply serendipitous. I think I spent a good twenty minutes sniffing their products (ok, so I’m indecisive) and finally opted for the eucalyptus powder (added bonus of clearing my sinuses!). I carry said powder in my handbag on the daily and regularly use it between washes.
I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t get the long, voluminous hair my sister did, so Alder New York‘s natural hair powder gives my locks the after-work boost they needs to brave the rest of the day. I also have bangs (le sigh) which can be oh-so-cute one moment and then look like a 50’s-greaser-gone-bad the next. A little dab of this natural powder at the base of my bangs fixes them right up. As mentioned, this hair powder also works as a ‘poo alternative between washes – which is actually better for your hair!
Another thing I love about this product: it comes in glass as opposed to plastic. This not only makes the container easier to recycle and reuse after use, glass just translates quality and consciousness in a product to me. Made in small batches in Brooklyn, NY Alder New York’s natural hair powder formulation is free of talc, paragon, sulfate, formaldehyde and animal products, relying only on rich rice powder, kaolin clay, horsetail powder and essential oils. The company, originally founded in 2011 by David J. Krause and Nina Zilka has expanded their line to everything from soaps and activate charcoal masks to salves and pomades. Check out the entire product line here.
I was introduced to Calypso Glow (another rad NY-Based company) through an introduction from Drakeford PR (thanks Dominique!). I heard such great things I had to check it out. And boy am I glad that I did – my skin has never looked better. Their moisture rich body oil is like a sweet Caribbean spa escape in a bottle. First off, the smell is like non other as they’ve been able to capture lemongrass is such a way that it invigorates you without being overpowering. Sometimes, in lieu of perfume, I rely on this body oil as perfume.
Unlike other body oils I have tried, Calypso Glow’s Moisture rich body oil is never sticky and absorbs quickly into my skin leaving it rich and buttery without clogging my pores. I like using it right out of the shower, but throw it in my handbag for needed moisture throughout the day. It’s literally a thirst quencher for my skin! The key ingredients? Sustainably harvested coconut oil, omega 3 and 7 fatty acids, seaweed extracts and USDA certified organic essential oils. Founded by Patricia Bentham, Calypso Glow is inspired by the natural healing power of the Caribbean sea. Scope the rest of their luxurious product line here.
If you haven’t hopped on the natural deodorant train, do it now and don’t be afraid of being stinky ’cause I’ve done the research! Since 2008, I’ve been in search of the perfect natural deodorant that would let my pits breath and stay healthy, while keeping stickiness at bay. Say hello to Schmidt’s, my new best buddy and soon to be yours…
I’m sure you’ve heard that commonly used deodorants and antiperspirants have been found to contain harmful ingredients including aluminum, parabens and more. These compounds get absorbed by the skin and mimic estrogen, which promotes the growth of breast cancer cells. Being someone who doesn’t have time for all that, Schmidt’s made it easy for me to go natural without it ruining my social life. They truly set new standards for natural deodorant and with very few ingredients, and great scents to choose from, are able to maintain a product that is made vegan and cruelty-free. Schmidt’s is such a game changer, I’m tempted to buy their deluxe 5 pack and start passing them out to friends and family.
I opted for their ylang-ylang calendula flavor in glass container, but they also have products available in stick applicator form so you won’t be going out of your convenience-zone stay fresh. Being an always on-the-go kinda person who often times rushes out of the house forgetting deodorant, I have one jar reserved exclusively for my handbag while keeping another in my medicine cabinet. The consistency of the product is smooth, smells great and keeps me dry (and smelling fresh) all day even after a work-out. As if it couldn’t get any better, their product’s are made locally in Portland, Oregon pleasing my desire to support our local economy.
Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I’ve got perma 90’s nostalgia. Perhaps everyone wants to stay in their teenage years minus the uncomfortable awkwardness. For me, the 90’s was about imitation – which is ironic because I’m obviously about embracing ones true self/beauty/whathaveyou. I think it is just a super amusing time to look back on because of all the experimentation- most of it ending up in goofy failures with clothing, make-up and hair. It also wasn’t until the late 90’s that I looked forward to presenting my physical self and styling my clothes.
90’s styles I’ve never been able to quit are as follows: clippies, cropped tees, adrogyny, grunge, brown lipstick, exaggerated eye liner, olive green, grunge and anything with a hood. What’s more is that anytime I come across a piece of clothing with said hood, I instantly become intrigued. It is because of this, and my passion for ethical fashion, that led me to discovering Animana – an ethical brand and boutique in Paris that create gorgeous knitwear and home decor. Hanging around near home on a warm Saturday afternoon, I based my comfy, loungy look around their super soft and airy Fandra Sweater. I find it a great piece for Northern California’s transition from winter to warmer spring. (Read more about Animana on Refix).
Booties- Crossroads Trading Co.
Photos by Emmanuel Peter