Shit I Bought and Liked: Happy Black History Month 2023!
Shitters! Happy Black History Month! Today’s newsletter is about some of the black-owned businesses I love and am supporting this month/year round. I have a bad habit of getting this newsletter out on the last day of February, but I’ll keep telling all of you that that’s because February isn’t the only month we should be supporting these businesses. I’m such a fan of each and every one of these brands—they make products that I love, use, gift, and share here all the time—and I’m so excited to have them all in one place!
If you were around last year, my thoughts on Black History Month and how most people observe it have pretty much remained the same. I definitely don’t think I have an adequate understanding of Black history, and I’d venture to guess that the majority of you feel the same way. It might not be your fault that it wasn’t taught or shared with you earlier, but it isn’t right and we should care and actively work on correcting that.
This is your reminder that while shopping is fun and there is huge value in supporting black-owned businesses and brands, it’s not a substitute for learning history—history that I should note that conservatives around the country are actively trying to erase.
Over the past month or so, I’ve been listening to my What A Day cohost Josie Duffy Rice’s new podcast Unreformed. It centers around a state-run juvenile reform school for black kids in 1960’s Alabama known as Mt. Meigs. The podcast uncovers their experiences (which can be hard to listen to at times), as well as how being at the school impacted their futures. According to Josie, a disproportionate number of kids at Mt. Meigs have ended up on death row or in prison for life. But there are some other surprising stories too. If you haven’t listened yet, join me! And if you have any other podcast or book recs for people who want to up their Black history knowledge, drop them in the comments!
But back to why you originally came here—let’s get to the goods:
Ami Cole Lip Oil: People have been talking about this product/line for years, but I notoriously overbuy lip products and proceed to barely use them, so I was hesitant to add another to my drawer. 1000% not the case here—this is SO GOOD. Ditch the Dior, people! You’ll save yourself $20 and get a much better product. It’s glossy while still being hydrating and nourishing, and the shade “Excellence” is perfect on my skin tone. I love that the brand so unapologetically caters to darker skin tones, but the lip oils are an entry point for everyone. The tint isn’t too heavy, but if you’re hesitant about a darker lip color, try their pink or clear options.
BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector: Cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson has won so many awards and accolades in the beauty industry, and after using his eye cream for the past three months, I understand why! I’ve seen a real difference in my dark circles, fine lines, and the texture of the skin underneath my eyes. It’s packed with Vitamin C—an ingredient that’s an essential component of most skincare routines, but notoriously difficult to stabilize—as well as CBD. Honestly, my undereyes feel so good that I’m trading out my current Vitamin C product for his Universal C Skin Perfector the minute I finish the tube. If you’re looking to add effective products to your skincare routine, his line is a great place to start.
Fear of God Essentials: The sister-label to Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear Of God, Essentials is a line of super well-priced, effortlessly cool streetwear. I got this Logo Sweatshirt for my boyfriend as part of his Christmas gift (it was the real star of the Gift Guide collage—who could forget?!), and it has very quickly became a staple in his rotation! I’ve already sent him the link to the shorts to complete the set, but a couple more colors wouldn’t hurt either! These ones with the tonal logos are my favorites (those options also have lots more sizes in stock).
Ebi: This is one of the coolest brands I’ve learned about recently. Ebi creates plant-based products specifically for postpartum care. They’ve received rave reviews for their multipurpose oil which can be used on c-section scars, stretch marks, cracked nipples, and even diaper rash, and their tisane and bath products aim to provide care and support for new moms and their bodies. Even if you’re not expecting yourself, this feels like a great gift idea for anyone in your life who is.
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These are just four of MANYYY great Black-owned brands out there (sidenote: I’m burning a La Botica candle and drinking out of my Coy Collection mug as we speak—all the recs in last year’s newsletter still stand!). If you have others that you love, share them with me please! You know I always have an eye out for great new-to-me things!