Fleurish Five

Fleurish Five: Summer Solstice Edition

Shanté

Happy Wednesday! It’s the beginning of the summer solstice, which means we’ve officially entered Cancer season (and we’re one step closer to Leo season, but I digress). The last month or so has been about introspection for me and I foresee this continuing during the summer. I’ve been getting all of these signs that it’s time for growth, so I’m embracing the summer solstice as a time of continued reflection and maturation.

Summer Solstice Ritual

Delving into my spiritual work is very important for me at the moment; I’m working on trusting myself and my intuition. Per my mom’s influence, I’m beginning a total energy clearing decree tonight, which I will repeat for the next seven days. I’m also going to continue my daily self-care rituals: eating foods I enjoy, listening to music, drinking water, and spending time outside (usually with my crystals). The literature and daily insights of other femmes of color is also highly recommended!

WCW/WCE

I believe that society’s collective Gemini hatred is unwarranted. So many of my faves are Geminis and that includes one of my #WCW, Kelela. I’m celebrating her as we exit Gemini season (although have my sister tell it, it extends to the full month of June). Here’s Kelela, looking alt-babe AF in a recent Niijournal feature.

kelela nii journal by campbell addy

credit: Campbell Addy

I’ve got love for my Cancers too; my other #WCW is Cancer queen and Fleurish fave, Solange. She’ll be celebrating her birthday on the 24th. Also, I’m super excited that she will be performing at Afropunk in Atlanta!

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credit: Robin Eisenberg

Cleo | Charlotte Dos Santos

I’ve talked about Charlotte Dos Santos here before and how much I enjoy her music; she decided to bless this solstice by releasing her debut EP. It has a few songs that I’ve already grown to love and more that I will have on repeat this summer.

Dream

It’s the beginning of summer! I am in a finally hot, sticky, sweaty New York City and I wouldn’t have it any other way– Although I will say, not having ubiquitous central air has certainly humbled me. Summer and I have a deep affection for one another and no matter how many bad ones I’ve had, it never seems to sour. For me, the solstice marks a kick off of endless sunsets and great experiences. Vive el verano!

Rooftop Garden of Met

Only open when the weather permits and most likely hella crowded even then, I had the lovely pleasure of going to the rooftop garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art when my friend visited last month. I expected to think it was cool but it never expected it to make me “feel”. I have always said NYC feels different, it vibrates some special frequency and at the top of the MET, our vibrations met once again. The museum is on the outskirts of Central Park and from the roof, the skyline and the park. It’s definitely a must see, must experience quintessential summer view. Here’s my pictures from when I visited. I promise you it feels amazing up there.

 

“Why Don’t We Fall In Love” | Amerie

I’m pretty sure one of everyone’s favorite summer jams but when you’re from the Northeast, I’m sure this song is more special to you. When I hear it, I can feel the icee man with his helado cart, I can hear the screams of the kids playing the streams of the water from a re-appropriated fire hydrant, the jingle of Mr. Softee and loud streaks of the train. Of all the summer classics, it’s the one that most reminds me of roller skating at Riverbank and watching summer sunsets from the train. Even though Amerie doesn’t quite agree, this is the song that makes me want to bust out my short shorts.

How are you welcoming in the summer solstice? What are your summer must-haves? Let us know on Twitter @fleurish1994!

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Fleurish Five

Fleurish Five: 5.20.17

Shanté

1. That post-grad life.

This time last year, one of us was a college graduate and now both of us are! The day I walked across that stage was the day I felt relieved. My spirit felt lighter and I felt ready to move on. In fact, the day after I finished my finals, my mom did a card reading for me and the first card related to acknowledging that a chapter in my life (in this case undergrad). Through that, I realized that I needed to actively relax after 5 years of school and not move right into something else. Since then, I have been putting in the (light) work to grow on many levels. I’m beginning with decluttering my physical space (think of years of papers and texts I can now discard) and I’ll see where that takes me! As far as enjoying the summer is concerned, I’m digging the path I’m on and finding summer anthems on the way (“Crew” by Goldlink has been on repeat; DAMN. in its entirety is a summer anthem!)

2. “Cold Little Heart”

Now that summer is in, I have so much time to watch new TV series and movies. This past semester, I devoted my time to Six Feet Under. Since completing that, I have caught up on new seasons of other series and watched a few miniseries; I could only make it through the first season of American Crime, which I honestly still need to digest and discuss. One miniseries that I was convinced I needed to see was Big Little Lies. While I thoroughly enjoyed the show, the theme song really captivated me (after it grew on me). Michael Kiwanuka’s “Cold Little Heart” is a tragically beautiful ten minute track with an equally tragic and beautiful video to match (co-starring LaKeith Stanfield). I’m a sucker for long songs and the radio edit is perfect so I can’t lose either way. It’s a good song to practice singing to (or maybe just sing in the shower if that’s more your forté).

3. Deidra and Laney Rob a Train

In my summer haze of picking through Netflix selections, I stumbled upon Deidra and Laney Rob a Train. Besides thinking that it was a kid’s movie, I went into it with little expectations and really enjoyed it. It’s a somewhat satirical crime drama about life in a small town and the desire for more. What I loved was that it situated blackness in a rural area through this family but that their race was not the focus. The family dynamic is interesting (spoiler: the parents are not together anymore but co(s)mically drawn to each other) and the scenarios (robbing trains, pageantry, high school drama) were refreshing through this rural lens. The movie is light-hearted while reinforcing a notion that most kids have no idea the sacrifices that parents make to see them happy.

Dream

It is hot in New York. Hot, hot, hot. New York is crowded and on an average day, a fair amount of heat can lead to what my aunt calls, the ants. Also known as the people who don’t leave the house until they can flood the streets. But that’s what makes New York so much fun. Everyone and everything is out. I’m talking farmer’s markets, brunch spots, roller rinks, all of that. The city just vibrates higher in the heat. So my picks for the week will revolve around my new faves for summer.

4. Mario Badescu Rose Facial Spray

Yes, I admit, I jumped on the bandwagon. If you have an Instagram at all, you probably have seen this pink liquid in a clear bottle with a white label and green font. I am, in short, obsessed. I’m certainly not saying it’s a miracle product but it genuinely has helped my skin. While many contest the efficacy of it, I believe it’s all in the application. I apply after my toner and before my oil and moisturizers and it has left me radiant and hydrated each and every time. It’s perfect for summer, especially in this heat.

5. Heatstroke | Calvin Harris, Young Thug, Ariana Grande and Pharrell // Slide | Calvin Harris, Migos and Frank Ocean

Summer songs are tricky. It has to feel somewhat breezy for daytime but heavy enough for lots of dancing at outdoor night parties. These new songs by Calvin Harris feel like day drinking and brunch parties on green lawns underneath my toes, while wearing a linen sundress with all my friends surrounding parties. They’re kinda classic but new and fun like when I discovered lemon pepper wings for the first time.

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Fleurish Five

Fleurish Five 4.28

Dream

Don’t Play | Louis York

I’ve been somewhat of a recluse lately. There are various reasons why but in the interest of saving time, I’ll spare you. However, during my little hermit time, I was listening/watching BET Soul (which I’m convinced used to be VH1 Soul but feel free to correct me) when this little jam played. It was so enchanting to me, at the time, I even waited four more hours to catch the name. I can’t tell if it’s the lyrics, the piano or the beat which have infatuated me but overall, it feels like it was made to dance on a club couch. It single-handedly made me want to get up, do up my hair and my Rooch lipstick from Karreuche’s ColourPop collection and put on my sequin skirt to dance the night away. I’ve already come up with video treatments in my head for the IG slide thing to this song! P.S. Karreuche’s ColourPop collab is back– I personally recommend Rooch and Glo Up but I hear Saigon is really pretty on darker skin tones as well.

Nail Art

(Images not ours– click through to source)

Growing up, I had a camp counselor whose nails of the week were downright… incredible. They were longer than anyone really had use for, some would be twisted into loops and they were decked out in Swarovski crystals and dollar bills. It was gaudy but nails ARE a well known artistic expression in the hood. It’s my personal opinion nail art is one of the purest forms of femme artistic expression. While I admired my camp counselor for her boldness in nail design, I could never do the same because my life is spent at a computer. But these contemporary nail artists are far more accommodating to my style and nail length. Now, I don’t have acrylic nails and I would hate to ruin my beautiful nail beds by getting some but I wouldn’t mind some decorated press ons. Artists shown here: KitOffKilter, NinaNailedIt, Madeline Poole, Primping Ain’t Easy Continue reading

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Fleurish Five

Fleurish Five 2.10.17

Shanté

1. Still Processing

This podcast is one of my favorite things right now and I’m glad I finally gave it a chance. When it first came out, I was interested because I follow one of the hosts, Jenna Wortham, on Instagram. With podcasts, however, I have to be able to access it easily on my phone for me to stay involved and I don’t believe it was on Google Play initially (I could be wrong). Something told me to check again last month and there it was! Since then, I have been binge listening and Still Processing is everything I needed in a podcast. Wortham and her co-host Wesley Morris are both writers for the New York Times and the podcast finds them dissecting and discussing various topics – music, art, politics, technology, you name it! What I really love is the fact that it’s two black LGBTQ folks keeping it real and I can totally relate. Some of my favorite episodes are as follows:
– the one about Kanye
– the episode where they visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture aka “Blacksonian
– the one where they put Moonlight and A Seat at the Table in conversation with one another

…honestly all of the segments are worth a listen just to hear the banter and shared admiration between Wortham and Morris.

2. Black History/Futures Month

I love that, in recent years, (and this may just be because I seek out diverse content) there has been more of a focus on the hidden figures of Black history during February. We’ve heard almost all there is to know about Martin. A decent amount about Malcolm – but he was too radical for the public school set. There’s widespread info about Rosa and a few other palatable Black icons. Yet, for those of us who went to public school, we have had to learn the truth about our history once we reach higher education. I have yet to see Hidden Figures but I am so on board with rejecting the whitewashing of history. I also enjoy the concept of Black Futures Month – basically bringing to the forefront the Black people who are doing amazing things today or in more recent history. I think that solely focusing on the Civil Rights era in terms of Black greatness serves a post-racial mentality…one that does not reflect our reality.

Also for me, every month is Black History Month *raises fist*.

3. Charlotte Dos Santos

As I’ve probably mentioned before, I co-host a radio show on my school’s station that features R&B, Neo-soul, and everything in between. One artist I stumbled upon while looking for new music is Brazilian/Norwegian artist Charlotte Dos Santos. I just think she’s doing something so important musically – it’s retro but also very fresh. Her voice is soulful, smooth, and very easy to listen to. She was recently featured on Black Girl Magik, which made me happy; not only for the sake of me knowing more about her but just to know that she is getting some recognition. Below is the video for one of her songs that I can’t get enough of. The video was simultaneously not what I expected but everything I needed.

Dream

4. Jarry The Worst

Make up gurus on YouTube can be a bit annoying, particularly when they all do the same looks over and over and over. But along came Jarry. Jarry, a college student from the Baltimore does these over the top looks and she does it well. It may be more adventurous than my normal eyeliner-highlighter duo but hey, I admire her skills! Her YouTube channel is here.

5. The Cuba Libre story

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So boom. I hate binge watching and I really have to be sitting down with nothing else to do in order to do it. But Fidel Castro’s recent death left me feeling sort of ambivalent and I was twisting up my hair with nothing else to do so I perused Netflix for a pick that wouldn’t leave me too annoyed. Cuba Libre to the rescue. This docu-series really breaks down Cuba’s liberation from multiple perspectives, which gives a fuller picture of how modern day Cuba came to be. Like I said, I don’t binge watch but it did leave me entertained and more informed with nicely twisted hair by the end of the two episodes.

(photos not our own)

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Fleurish Five

Fleurish Five 7.1.16

Hey y’all, happy July. We’re back at it again with a Fleurish Five. Hope y’all enjoy and stay safe this weekend.

1)The Colored Girl Project (TCG)

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TCG photographed by Joey Rosado @islandboiphotography

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TCG photographed by Joey Rosado @islandboiphotography

A social media campaign after our own hearts! Founded by Tori Elizabeth and Victory Jones, TCG aims to empower black women to love the parts of themselves that society taught us to hate. The pictures (featured above) speak for themselves. You can follow the project on Instagram @thecgirlinc

2) Jesse Williams’ BET Humanitarian Award Speech

Most of the media outlets covered Jesse Williams’ remarkable speech at the BET Awards this past weekend; Time and The New York Times posted it in full for those that missed it on air; The Los Angeles Times broke down why the speech matters. Many on social media shared Williams’ ending quote with abandon: “Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.” Williams also spoke on police brutality and systemic racism; he also called out all of the people with lackluster criticisms of movements like Black Lives Matter. Those folks who fake as if they care and who, hopefully, heard his message loud and clear.

3) Korrine Sky Intimates |

Happenstance caused me  (Dream) to look up this girl once again. I knew her name and face from Tumblr and decided to see what she was doing as of late. I’m really glad I did! Korrine has blossomed into a miniature mogul, my favorite being her lingerie line. Korrine Sky Intimates is the ultimate cool girl lingerie line, making it sexy, cool and fun. Oh and a perfect gift for me (Wink, wink).

4) This Artwork

muvamayeye

Blue Baptism by Muvamayeye – Available as a print and T-shirt on Society6, a website that allows artists to upload their work to be made into prints, clothes, iPhone cases and more.

5) Aurora James of Brother Vellies

Brother Vellies, an ethical shoe company based in Brooklyn, has been on my (Shanté) radar for quite some time. According to its website, the company was founded to “introduce the rest of the world to [owner Aurora James’] favorite traditional African footwear, while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs within Africa.” The shoes are handmade in South Africa, Kenya, and Morocco.

I initially read about James, her amazing style, and Brother Vellies on Saint Heron. Subsequently, I read about the company on some of my other favorite fashion sites, like Refinery29 and The Coveteur. Now that I’m watching The Fashion Fund on Amazon, which shows 10 designers competing for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, my interest in James’ personal style has been renewed. I already knew she won the award, but watching the show gives me the opportunity to one, lust after her boho-chic attire and two, see exactly what it took for her to win.

Also, we at Fleurish1994, would like to say a Congratulations to our friend Moe who recently had her baby, Ava! We’re so happy for you!

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Fleurish Five

Fleurish Five 5.27.16

Dream

1. Personal Style Muse | Tracee Ellis Ross

I shift muses a lot. From season to season and month to month, as I evolve so do my muses. I have to admit, I’ve never quite paid that much attention to her personal style outside of her characters but Tracee Ellis Ross’ personal style has truly struck a chord with me. From her more lax choices (A Kimono and Adidas? Genius!) to her dressier choices (A Norma Kamali dress and YSL blazer with TIMBS! ICONIC!), Ms. Ross has truly earned her place in my everlasting hall of muses.

2. Tell Me from “The Heart Speaks in Whispers” | Corinne Bailey Rae

I’m a sucker for CBR and her new album is no exception. The soul truly blasts from this album in a way that reminds me both of my dear Harlem and a Caribbean tropical beach near simultaneously. Here’s my favorite record of the bunch, Tell Me.

3. Solange’s Snapchat

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Our Sol-angel has captured our heart again, but this time with her Snapchat. Each snap shows Solange living her best carefree black girl life, a life I think we all might aspire to. P.S. Sometimes, she puts up album snippets!

Shante

4. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

I approach films and other media about feminism with caution because I’m wary of one-sided narratives in which intersectional feminism is not the goal or focus. Yet, this film did a great job exploring all facets of the women’s liberation movements of the late 1960s. Movements that put a spotlight on how race, class, and sexuality intersect with gender were all featured; a feminist branch of the Puerto Rican nationalist group Young Lords and groups with black lesbians were shown, among many others. What’s even better is that the movie was able to highlight criticisms of and within those movements. Recommended viewing: I streamed it via Netflix and it’s also available for rent on Amazon Prime.

5. SassyBlack

The Afrofuturistic duo THEESatisfaction recently disbanded to focus on personal and independent projects. Regrettably, I did not listen to them a ton while they were together, but I am taking the time to explore their work and will look out for any solo work that comes from either member. SassyBlack, née Catherine ‘Cat’ White, recently released an jamming album titled No More Weak Dates.  The single ‘New Boo’ is highlighted above. Give the album a listen and also check out White’s previous album Personal Sunlight (‘Sorry I Had to Funk You Up,’ also featured above, is from this album).

Also, I second Dream’s praise of Tracee Ellis Ross’ personal style. She’s been killing it for years and continues to do so!

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Fleurish Five

Fleurish Five | 5.12.16

Anddd… We’re back! Sorry for the short hiatus. But what matters is that we’re here and like Bryson Tiller loves to say, back and so much better, so so much better. One of us has graduated college (!!); the other completed the semester with stellar grades. We’re going to celebrate these accomplishments and our return with a Fleurish Five!

Dream M.

  1. Preston Harris | Good Morning

So long story short, I was perusing Soundcloud, listening to a completely different artist’s catalogue when this popped up in suggested listening. We all know how I love a soft R&B sound…

2. CocoaSwatches

As a dark skinned girl, it’s quite hard for me to buy makeup online. Primarily because it’s difficult to know and see what shade will show up on my skin tone. Most sites use lighter skinned models, making it difficult for me to see how it might work on someone like me. But here is CocoaSwatches to the rescue. The app/site/Instagram enlists the help of brown beauty bloggers to show how newly released makeup might fare on darker skinned women. The app is available to download here on Google Play.

3. Meghal and Natasha

Cool ass makeup tutorials from beautiful brown girls? I’m sold.

Shanté

4. Corinne Bailey Rae – Green Aphrodisiac

New music from one of the artists I played on repeat growing up. Corinne Bailey Rae has such a soft, soulful voice and this track shows her full range. Featuring vocals from the lovely trio KING, ‘Green Aphrodisiac’ will be on Corinne’s follow-up to 2011’s The Love EP. The Heart Speaks in Whispers is due on May 13 (tomorrow!). Also, check out how majestic she looks in this video. We missed you while you were away, Corinne! Considering how much this new work is moving me, it was worth the wait!

5. Veggie Tacos

I’ve been eating a considerable amount of tacos and I’m ok with that! I really enjoy going to restaurants that do Taco Tuesday to get $2 tacos, sometimes for $1 for the veggie ones. #veggielife #mealsfordalow. All jokes aside, put some onions, zucchini, mushrooms or any assortment of veggies on a corn tortilla and I’m sold. Don’t forget the cilantro and hot sauce!

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