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The 5 Best Affordable Perfumes

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Having a signature scent is one of the most powerful fashion statements a woman can have. With that go-to perfume that boosts your mood and confidence, your signature scent has the power to make every outfit just feel right.

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However with so many perfumes out there right now, it may be difficult to find that perfect and timeless fragrance for you. And since COVID, it has been more complicated than ever to sniff and pick out your perfume in person. 

No need to worry! We’ve searched the Internet for some of the best and most affordable fragrances in the market this year. Here are our top 5 best perfume recommendations that you will never want to get rid of! 

Pleasures by Estée Lauder

Ulta

Are you looking for a clean, light floral fragrance? Pleasures is a good option from highly reputable brand Estée Lauder. According to the company, this perfume was designated to “capture the clarity of flowers after a spring rain” with top notes of white lilies, violet leagues, and green leaves. Available on Bloomingdale’s website for $32.00.

Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden

ULTA

If you’re looking for a unique one-of-kind scent, we recommend trying this Green Tea Perfume by Elizabeth Arden. Often described as refreshing and invigorating, this fragrance smells like nature and is a good choice if you’re looking for a scent to wear year round. Top notes are bergamot, caraway, rhubarb, lemon and orange zest. You can get it online at ulta.com for $39.50.

Romance Rollerball Fragrance by Ralph Lauren

Sephora

Romance by Ralph Lauren is the go-to date night perfume. Top notes of rose, lily, and jasmine are mixed with pink pepper and mandarin orange to create both a musky and floral scent. Thanks to the use of natural ingredients like moss accord and patchouli, the fragrance has a long lasting scent, making it perfect for an evening dinner. To top it all off, this roll on spray is only $26.00 on sephora.com and easy to store in a bag or purse.

Thank U Next Perfume by Ariana Grande

ULTA

Miss Ariana Grande continues to succeed in 2020, with her newest album “positions,” recent engagement to Dalton Gomez, and a very popular perfume line. Named after her hit 2019 album, “thank u, next”, this fragrance is the perfect mixture of a sweet and floral scent. Top notes are white pear and raspberry which perfectly insure with creamy coconut and delicate pink rose petals. To top it off, velvet musk and macaroon sugar is added, creating a sweet and playful scent. For $44.00 on ulta.com, this perfume is a great gift for a teenage girl.

Pure Grace Rollerball Fragrance By Philosophy

SEPHORA

Last but certainly not least, is the Pure Grace Perfume by Philosophy which literally smells like fresh linen and laundry. This simple yet sophisticated scent was created with a mix of water lilies, leafy greens, and musk. Reviewers rave that the scent is fresh, clean, and will smell like you just had a shower! It’s a great everyday scent but the only downside is that it doesn’t last long after application. Available on ulta.com for only $22.00.

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LIFESTYLE

How To Boss Up Your “Work From Home” Space

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Information Week

Anyone else totally not missing the days of water cooler small talk? Oh, and the feeling of stiff legs after not leaving your desk chair for literally hours? Yeah, us either. Though we totally could use the sense of normalcy associated with going into work, we have been trying to make the most of working from the comfort of our own home. It’s all about finding the silver lining, people!

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For most of us, March marks one year since offices and schools shut down. In the past year, we’ve had to adapt and adjust to hours of Zoom meetings, eye strain, and social isolation. Dare we say we have it mastered? But really, we’ve got it down to a science over here, and want to share with you some of the best “work from home” hacks in the game.

Zoom Aesthetic

If you need a quick fix…

Hamlet Hub

Be honest, how many times have you taken an online class or meeting from the comfort of your bed or couch? We’d be lying if we said we haven’t. Not gonna lie, it’s what the cool kids these days would call unprofessional “AF.”

Many of us don’t have the luxury of an aesthetically pleasing at-home office. If you’re on call from your dining room or couch, there are ways to make your background look clean and fun with a few simple clicks.

If you simply do an image search for “Zoom backgrounds” there will be links to hundreds of downloadable pictures that you can use as a green screen while you’re on call. Our personal favorites are the ones that look like you’re in an HGTV designed home office or a beach bungalow.

If you’re in the mood to decorate…

Country Living

We will find any excuse to make a run to our local TJ Maxx or Homegoods. If you’re looking to level up your Zoom background and put your interior design skills to the test, here is the perfect justification!

Some of our favorite ways to spice up our office decor is to find wall decorations. We personally love the minimalist aesthetic. For us, this looks like lots of greens: think, succulents and vines. These hanging vines from Amazon add such a whimsical touch, especially when paired with dangling fairly lights.

For a boho look, use Command hooks to hang up some macrame.

Set the mood by lighting a candle. For focus, we recommend opting for a rosemary eucalyptus scent!

Personalize your space by hanging up your favorite pictures in the background. We love this wired photo grid because it’s also great to embellish with flowers and baskets for convenient storage of office goods!

Look Good Feel Good

Lighting

Etoile Collective

Nothing is worse than having bad lighting. Unflattering shadows? No thank you! Ring lights are the best way to ensure optimal lighting on camera. These bad boys ensure that you are well lit from all angles. If you don’t have the storage space, there are also battery powered miniature versions that clip right onto your phone or laptop.

Angles are Everything!

The New York Times

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your laptop is resting on a surface that makes the camera hit your face from a downward angle, it can get pretty unflattering. We know from experience! Laptop stands are the perfect way to ensure your colleagues see you at the best angles every time you meet. Double chin who?! No, but seriously, these are also great for improving posture and keeping your overworked laptops cool (some of them come with built-in fans)! We can’t say enough good things.

What’s your favorite work-from-home hack?

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LIFESTYLE

Self Care Products You Need Right Now

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Every February, we patiently await (or dread) Valentine’s Day. This day gives us the excuse to shower our loved ones with a little extra love, whether this is by showing affection, showering them with gifts, or spending quality time with them. Though the day has passed, why not continue celebrating the month of love by showing ourselves some much-deserved care.

Self-care is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” Regardless of whether or not you are under stress, showing yourself love is known to improve both physical and mental health.

Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered with these self care essentials. Ladies, run…don’t walk!

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Adult Coloring Books

Artnet News

Sometimes, the best form of self-care is to just slow down, and tune out the world around you. One of our favorite ways to do this is by cracking open an “adult” coloring book. These books are more intricate than those you used during your childhood, and hypnotize you into a deep focus. Before you know it, the page is filled and time has allowed you to calm down. These have become increasingly popular over the last few years, so you can find them just about anywhere. Our personal favorite is this hilariously vulgar one from Target.

“Big Night In” Kit

Paper Source

Remember the days when a cozy night in was a luxury? Nowadays a night at home is typical. For many of us, our nightly routines look the same, and honestly, have become mundane. Luckily, the Calm Club has created a five-piece kit to bring your night at home to the next level. Complete with a pair of cabin sox, a mug, candle, sleep mask, and mindfulness puzzle, this set is the perfect gift to yourself or a friend who needs to take some time to themself. Though this set has a higher price point, use it as inspiration to create your own “night in kit,” and tailor it to your own desires.

Guided Journals

Very Well Mind

How many times have you bought a cute journal, used it for maybe three days and completely forgotten about it? For us, too many times to count. To be candid, journaling on blank pages can get repetitive. That’s why we love guided journals. These colorful and interactive books come full of prompts and activities that allow for in depth self reflection and evaluation. There are plenty of these sold on Amazon and in book stores, and they even come in many varieties for different goals.

Jade Roller

The Everygirl

Sometimes, feeling good mentally has everything to do with how you feel physically. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and is the barrier between our insides and the outside world. Too often, we forget to show it the tender lovin’ care it deserves. Though having a killer skin care routine is a huge part of having healthy skin, one of the latest trends in self care and wellness has been jade rollers. These skin care tools are small but mighty (and may we add, fun to use!). Some of the benefits of jade rolling include, a brighter complexion, reduced wrinkles, and stimulation of the lymphatic system, which helps rid the body of toxins. Call us crazy, but we recommend storing in a skin care refrigerator or freezer between uses!

Yoga Mat

Reviewed

Moving your body is also an integral part of caring for yourself. These days, it isn’t as easy to get to the gym, and winter weather makes it dreadful to go for a walk or run outside. That’s why we recommend yoga as a way to get your body moving and practice mindfulness! YouTube has plenty of yoga videos at no cost, for any level of experience. To ensure safety and comfort, we recommend a yoga mat (duh!). They are also a great surface to practice meditation on. Namaste!

Self Care Checklist

Barnes and Thornbug

For many of us, self-care is a luxury, when in reality, it should be a part of our everyday routine. Want to hold yourself accountable? There are plenty of daily self-care checklists available for download on sites like Etsy (nothing like supporting a small business owner!), or you can implement your self-care goals by writing them down in your planner. Need some inspiration? We love this one by BrownParcelBooks.

What’s your favorite way of practicing self care?

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LIFESTYLE

Businesses Owned by African American Women

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Career Girl

February is not just the month of the Super Bowl, Chinese New Year and Valentines Day! Each year, Black History Month is celebrated during the month of February to honor all African Americans who have faced adversity within American society. The annual celebration stems from Carter G. Woodson’s “Negro History Week,” and has since evolved into a beautiful commemoration of African Americans past and present.

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This year’s celebration of Black History Month is more important than ever, after tragic losses within the community through the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. That being said, this month, be sure to honor and support African American entrepreneurs by shopping small. Here are some of our favorite businesses owned by African American women. You’ll be sure to love them as much as we do!

Butter and Lye

Butter and Lye

Butter and Lye were founded by Monique Garraud Kofsky in 2020 and is based out of Brooklyn, New York. The company sells high quality and natural soap products that are perfect for bath time. The goal of Butter and Lye is to reduce their carbon footprint, so with that in mind everything they do is 100% environmentally friendly: from ingredients to the packaging, it comes in. Their soap products also have some amazing benefits like anti-aging, moisturizing and exfoliating.

Jade Swim

Making it in Manhattan

Ladies, it’s almost bikini season- you’re not gonna wanna miss out on the minimal swimsuits designed by Brittany Kozerski, the founder of Jade Swim. These bathing suits are HOT! No really, you probably have seen your favorite Instagram influencers rocking them while posed up on a beach. But really, the ribbed material on these swimsuits are oh so flattering, you’ll need to get your hands on a pair for the summer!

Brother Vellies

Architectural Digest

Brother Vellies was founded in 2013 by Aurora James, and has been thriving ever since! James’ goal was to incorporate African design practices and techniques while also creating artisanal jobs around the world. Her background in art and fashion have served her well clearly, as the shoes she designs are so cute.

Oma the Label

Happily Grey

Neumi Anekhe founded OMA the label in 2018. The young entrepreneur was working as a fashion stylist at the time, and wanted to challenge the “homogenous industry standards” while also creating timeless and affordable jewelry for women. She also wanted to diversify the market and build a brand that wanted to represent people of color. OMA goes beyond jewelry and sells staple fashion pieces as well.

Maya Njie

Maserati

Nothing completes a woman’s outfit of the day like a spritz of their favorite perfume. Maya Njie was born in Sweeden, but moved to London as a teenager, where she studied art and photography. She began to experiment with the element of smell in her photos (sounds crazy but she was on to something), by incorporating mediums in her photographs that are often associated with their scent (i.e. flowers). She went on to self teach herself the art of perfumery and founded her fragrance company in 2016. Something about this story is so elegant!

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