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Meet the Nigerian Product Designers Behind a New Brand of Minimalism

Meet the Nigerian Product Designers Behind a New Brand of Minimalism

                      The Danfo Chair by Alaga CollectionS

The Danfo Chair by Alaga Collections

Photo: Courtesy of Alaga Collections

About a week ago, Nifemi Marcus-Bello, a 30-year-old Nigerian product designer, walked into a high-end lifestyle store in Victoria Island, Lagos’s central business district. He asked if they might stock his “LM Stool,” named after a dear friend.

The two-legged stool—created by bending, welding, and laser-cutting metal—looks weightless, and comes in two colors.  It’s currently on view in the Venice Design 2018 show held during the the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. But the store, which has acquired a global reputation as a destination for a rich range of goods from the across the African continent, declined to stock it.

It is not “African design,” they said. And the meeting was over.

Over a banana milkshake at Vestar Coffee, Marcus-Bello tells me that he’s since been wondering what, exactly, an African design or aesthetic might be.

He is Nigerian; African. The stool was conceptualized and produced in Lagos. He first learned design under the tutelage of street-side welders and carpenters, artisan masters of Lagos’s informal economy. It was this local knowledge that gave him an edge when he studied for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Product Design at the University of Leeds. “I use what is around me to create,” Marcus-Bello says. “I am not copying from anywhere else. I exploit our process.”

                        The LM Stool by nmbello Studio

The LM Stool by nmbello Studio

Photo: Courtesy of nmbello Studio

The process he is referring to is one of functional chaos—a very familiar Nigerian reality—where the manufacturing industry is hobbled by a laundry list of challenges, from outdated production techniques to power outages. But somehow, it still works. Marcus-Bello makes do with what he has,  and his furniture reflects the resilient spirit Lagosians are known for. (The LM Stool is designed around the production process of a factory that creates generator casings, which cover the ubiquitous machines that provide electricity.)

When the store referred to “African design,” I suspect they meant a stereotypical formula: A dash of animal prints; a mish-mash of bright patterns; a semblance of the baobab tree. But Marcus-Bello is part of a small class of Nigerian product designers redefining this imaginary ideal—and perhaps reinventing what good design looks like, period.

Moyo Ogunseinde, a real estate developer, architect, and product designer, is breaking rank as well. Inspired by her childhood memories of festivals and a countryside life where grandparents were neighbors and not a distant call away, she founded Aga Concept to create minimalist design objects that, unlike Marcus-Bello’s, might actually be identified as “authentic” African design, reinterpreted in contemporary ways.

“As Africans, we want someone else’s memories, we want someone else’s cars or fashion. Why aren’t our memories good enough? It is because we are not capturing them for people to relive them,” she says, inviting me to share a bowl of popcorn when we meet at Upbeat, an indoor sports center she designed.

Ogunseinde is alluding to the success of an expansive Western global capitalist retail culture mixed with the hangover of a colonial era when Nigerians and Africans at large were conditioned to think west is (the only) best, while at the same time playing into Western definitions of what African design should look like. Victoria Beckham over Ejiro Amos Tafiri or Meena.

                         Aga Concept’s Oko Chair

Aga Concept’s Oko Chair

Photo: Courtesy Aga Concept

Instead, Ogunseinde wants her history to be “touched and felt,” so she designs products with it. She grew up in Ibadan, in southwestern Nigeria, where agriculture was the mainstay of the economy, so she made the Oko, a chair shaped like a hoe, to remind herself and others of that time. She’s also been creating objects inspired by the masked, costumed figures, or masquerades, called Egungun, which used to terrify her as a child. They were welcomed to Ibadan every July, said to represent the collective spirit of ancestors. Some of Ogunseinde’s versions are nine-feet tall, some bear hats. She’s currently in the process of scaling the design to create lamps.

Not everyone is keen to have their bedside light inspired by ancestral history. A Christian friend once told Ogunseinde she was crossing a line, “eulogizing spirits.” “[But] I don’t want to be so precious about our history that I don’t move it forward,” Ogunseinde says, shrugging.

Oreoluwa Oluwatobi, an architect turned designer who founded  Alaga Collections, is also borrowing from history, albeit more literally. When he made Akanke, a contemporary rocking chair—a rarity in Nigerian furniture—customers received more than a nostalgic design. They were also getting a story: the name is drawn from the Yoruba language, meaning something that a thing that takes care of you, that rocks you.

“I want us to remember our names, put beauty in it. My products are named after things we might forget,” Oluwatobi, also a writer, says. He does extensive research into folklore for his work.

Oluwatobi uses adire, aso-oke fabrics indigenous to Nigeria, to design chair and stool covers, preserving age-old fabric making practices. The fabrics have garnered global attention: they were used by Nigerian designer Maki Oh in her recent Fall 2018 NYFW collection, and also worn by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Oluwatobi is preempting history, too. When the Lagos State government recently announced that it would be phasing out the Danfo, a set of ubiquitous yellow and black busses that are an indelible part of Lagos culture, similar to the New York subway, Oluwatobi designed a chair in the bus’s iconic colors.

                         Danfo Chair by Alaga Collections

Danfo Chair by Alaga Collections

Photo: Courtesy of Alaga Collections

This design class is tired of playing small, and they’re sending their brands around the world. Marcus-Bello’s largest order so far has come from a furniture collector based in New York who found him online by typing “contemporary African furniture“ into Google. He is currently also designing modular furniture for a client in Japan. Ogunseinde is feeding her products into hotel chains and restaurants in Nigeria, while also building them in other countries. She has also listed her products on the American design products platform WallpaperSTORE*hoping her homegrown goods will become global desirables.

Oluwatobi’s story-driven products, which he remarkably sells on Twitter, are popular with Nigeria’s star-studded literary community. Novelist and feminist icon Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is currently visiting Lagos and is by now well-known for her impeccable sartorial choices, often made by Nigerian designers. Oluwatobi reckons there is space in her collection for an Alaga chair.

COURTESY: VOGUE

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This Body-Sculpting Massage Is Fashion’s Best-Kept Fitness Secret

This Body-Sculpting Massage Is Fashion’s Best-Kept Fitness Secret

SEPTEMBER 28, 2018 6:00 AM

by Adetoun Adeyemo

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“Sorry it’s so painful!” says Marina Baratashvili, a Georgian body guru who regularly tends to the lithe physiques of Vanessa Traina and model Edita Vilkeviciute, and is currently pinching, pushing, and pulling at my bare flesh.

Throughout her 35 years of bodywork, Baratashvili, who studied acupuncture and massage in China and was previously on call at the National Opera and Ballet Theater of Tbilisi (“I only worked with the prima ballerinas,” she recalls with a smile), has mastered “the secrets of muscular gravity” through strong manipulation that loosens fascia, increases blood flow, and wakes up muscles so that she can “move them back to where they should be.” A sculpted physique is only one of her treatment’s selling points, though; it also can calm the nervous system, reduce chronic pain, and speed the elimination of metabolic waste—that is, if you can handle the pressure.

Marina Baratashvili, the sought-after body sculptor.

Photo: Daniel Zuchnik

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“Did you drink water today?” she asks me, as she presses her elbows and forearms onto my thighs, your eyes will welling up with tears (an indication that the tissue is not healthy, she says). Although I regularly refill the VitaJuwel that sits on my desk, she’s quick to tell me, “That’s not enough.” Dehydration can lead to muscle cramping, indigestion, and toxin buildup: “You must drink two liters of water before 2:00 p.m., another liter before 5:00 p.m., and, after that, just take sips.”

At the end of her 45-minute session, she capped with a round of circulation-boosting cupping, you will not only notice a contoured line in your leg that no yoga, barre, or cycling class has ever once revealed, but also that your skin is glowing and you will feel lighter than when you first trudged up the steps to her third-floor walk-up in the Manhattan neighborhood known as Hell’s Kitchen.

If it’s hard to imagine the well heeled making the same trek, consider that Baratashvili’s address may in fact be a welcome relief from the Soho salons that beckon the social media set with their staged Instagrammable backdrops. It’s a feeling not unlike the satisfaction that comes with discovering a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that doles out the most mouth-watering, authentic cuisine. In other words, here you’ll find a treatment that doesn’t need to be buoyed by a populated geotag. Rather, the results speak for themselves. And how refreshing is that?

SOURCE: VOGUE

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10 Old-Fashioned Dating Habits We Should Definitely Bring Back

10 Old-Fashioned Dating Habits We Should Definitely Bring Back

By Adetoun Adeyemo,

September 27, 2018. 10:30am.

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong in this century? I sure have. Some of you out there might be too young to get the clue but just ask your parents and grandparents.

I’m sure you’ve heard all about that charming black’n’white era. Those old and faded photographs with your grandpa being quite the perfect gentleman and granny as this alluring vintage beauty. Ahh.. Those were some days.

If you ask me, I’d definitely trade some of 2017 for the golden 70’s. At least for a day. If there’s something significant about these old times is their true authenticity.

People valued sincerity and honesty, their music remained a brilliant classic up until today and will stay forever, but most importantly dating was a special event and included some fine, sophisticated methods.

So, what if there’s a way to try and change today’s monotonous dating habits? I’m thinking more affection and attention, classy gentlemen, doors held open, some flowers maybe?

If I managed to pique your interest by now, it’s because there are some old dating habits I believe we need to bring back.

Let’s do this!

1. Go up and ask her out on a date

Instead of dropping hints, or simply hanging out with together, it would be so much better if you straight ahead gather the course of asking me out. But nicely, make sure you don’t come off too strong and I get weary of you. But don’t worry too much, if you are sincere in your proposal, there will be no creeping out and it would be a welcome change for once to be asked out like that.

2. Dress up nicely

What’s with modern trends? For the love of God, people, put some effort into your look. Believe me, clothing style speaks so much about you. I’m not saying be 100% formal and sharp-dressed, but occasionally wear that special t-shirt or dress that you’ve been saving for special moments. Trust me, you won’t go unnoticed.

3. Bring a small gift or flowers

Now, many lucky ladies (and some men) I know get this regularly, and in fact, I have myself as well, but only ever with people I’d been dating for a while. I think there’s something to be said for bringing flowers to the door on your first date. It’s become uncool because it’s forward and it’s a gesture that confirms their interest, but we should definitely get past that idea and worry more about how we’re going to let someone know we really do care and appreciate that they want to spend time with us.

4. Put away your phone

This is perhaps the most sought after perk of old time dating for me. I am so sick of two people going on a double date with their phones, where they never even look up long enough to see if the person is the same with whom they walked in.

5. A bit of Chivalry.

A little bit of it sprinkled here and there wouldn’t be so bad either. Like perhaps getting my coat for me, or taking out the chair for me, or holding the car door for me when we get in. I can go dutch on the money, but these gestures would be so appreciated.

6. Be honest about your intentions

Going through that talk about where your relationship is headed can be a bit awkward, especially if you are in the early phases. Word of advice: never avoid it. It’s always wise to be clear about your intentions. Are we onto something or this is just another meaningless fling?

7. Take her on a romantic night out

A little bit of fancy dating too wouldn’t hurt in once a while. Instead of always meeting up at Starbucks, a date at a proper, romantic (perhaps candle lit) restaurant would be so romantic. Mixing things up a bit and having surprises in store is such a good way to show you care.

8. Don’t expect s.e.x on the first date

Thanks to Tinder and the can’t-wait attitude if our generation, dating has been such a hassle lately. No one expects to actually talk, and there is even lesser chance of them being interested in knowing you better. Taking things slow, and properly analyzing the situation, whether the person is ready to make that move or not is so important. And it would make dating so much easier.

9. Say “I love you” only when you mean it

I love you, as a phrase is perhaps the most overused (without actual feeling of sincerity) in the entirety of English language. Or maybe the second after Sorry. The point is people have become so accustomed to throwing it around like confetti that the real meaning has been lost. Instead, try using it only when you really mean it. And if you really feel like you are in love, then those three words will turn magical indeed.

10. Always be on time

Last but not least. It’s rude and disrespectful to be late, especially on one of the first dates. Be the perfect gent and arrive even 10 minutes earlier.

Sources: themindsjournal.com, thoughtcatalog.com

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Psychology Says that Being Single Is Not a Bad Thing!

Psychology Says that Being Single Is Not a Bad Thing!

By Adetoun Adeyemo. September 23, 2018. 6.00am

Nowadays, most people act as if they are supposed to get married and have children. But, it might be better to remain single. No matter of what society tells you, being single is a good thing.

Namely, Professor Bella DePaulo challenged the notion that marriage can ‘help’ people live happier longer lives at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention in Colorado. DePaulo spoke based on research comparing those that have either stayed married or stayed single. The results confirmed that those who were single had a greater sense of self-determination and had a higher chance of experiencing development and growth as a person.

In addition, the number DePaulo looked at were reported by the Office for National Statistics and revealed that in the United Kingdom last year there were twenty-three million married people and sixteen million single people. In fact, the number of single people is constantly growing. Those who stayed single actually have better connections with their co-workers, siblings, friends, and parents. Those who stayed married are more likely to become more closed off.

Being single comes with others continually asking you questions like ‘when are you going to find a boyfriend/girlfriend?’ ‘When are you going to have children?’ It goes without saying that these questions can be annoying.

It is important to understand that marriage doesn’t make you happier. Only you can actually make yourself happy. This means that you can live a fulfilling life without getting married or having children. In short, you can be single and happy. Just because others are doing it, it doesn’t mean that you also have to do it. Just because your parents are pressing you for grandchildren, it doesn’t mean that you should jump into the arms of the first man that sticks around. Of course, you may also meet some ‘sad’ single people. However, almost all single people are actually happy.

Single people live their lives the way that they want to. They are happy being on their own. Being single lets them live the most meaningful and authentic life they possibly can. Even though not everyone can be single, there isn’t anything wrong with being single. So, do not allow others to pressure you into something you are not ready for.

Source: ewao.com

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Emmys 2018 Red Carpet: The Best Looks

Emmys 2018 Red Carpet: The Best Looks

By Adetoun Adeyemo

SEPTEMBER 17, 2018 6:00 PM

TV’s biggest night has arrived, and stars like Issa Rae, Heidi Klum, and Kristen Bell are already out and winning on the red carpet. Ahead, the best dressed from the 2018 Emmys.

 

 

 

DCWLifestyle.com

1/13

By John Shearer/Getty Images.

Tracee Ellis Ross

Wearing Valentino.

 

2/13

By Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Sandra Oh

Wearing Ralph & Russo.

3/13

By Kevin Mazur/Getty Images.

Judith Light

4/13

By Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Thandie Newton

Wearing Brandon Maxwell.

5/13

By Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Leslie Jones

Wearing custom Christian Siriano.

6/13

By Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Issa Rae

Wearing Vera Wang.

7/13

By Kevork Djansezian/NBC/Getty Images.

Sarah Paulson

Wearing Oscar de la Renta.

8/13

By Steve Granitz/WireImages.

Kristen Bell

Wearing Solace London.

9/13

By John Shearer/Getty Images.

Natalia Dyer

10/13

Kevin Mazur

Yara Shahidi

Wearing Gucci.

11/13

By Kevork Djansezian/NBC/Getty Images.

Heidi Klum

Wearing Zac Posen.

12/13

By Steve Granitz/WireImages.

Angela Sarafyan

Wearing Christian Siriano.

13/13

By Todd Williamson/NBC/Getty Images.

Jessica Biel

Wearing Ralph & Russo.

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Full Bush Is the New Brazilian! How to Transition Like a Pro

Full Bush Is the New Brazilian! How to Transition Like a Pro

September 15, 2018 3:32 PM

Editor by, Adetoun Adeyemo.

As if it needs to be said, the full bush is back. But the au naturale look is far more than a fad or trend resurrected from the ’70s. For many women in 2018, body hair has inherent social implications that run the gamut from more newfound self-love to fighting the patriarchy.

While Lillian Tung and Laura Schubert, cofounders of the pubic hair and skin company Fur, firmly believe that how much or little hair a women chooses to keep down there—or anywhere else—is a personal decision, they do agree that online platforms such as Instagram are furthering the conversation around letting it grow out. “With the rise of social media as a ‘filterless’ platform, women are becoming more comfortable discussing [their] body hair,” they explain. And Bea Feliu-Espada, founder of feminine-care brand The Honey Pot, also sees a correlation with shifting beauty ideals. “I think the strong movement towards body acceptance and positivity that has been swelling up for the past few years includes embracing your pubic hair in its natural state,” says Feliu-Espada.

It’s a pivotal shift that New York City–based holistic ob-gyn Dr. Eden Fromberg, who has observed fuller hair down below in her patients over the past few years, believes is a long time coming. “Women are becoming increasingly aware that our bodies are a lot more than the visual or sexual playthings that past cultural norms implied,” she says. “We want to express our diversity and power, live our preferences, and feel comfortable in our own bodies without judgement.” And just as important to Fromberg as shattering stereotypes is getting the point across that pubic hair isn’t dirty or unhygienic. “Pubic hair exists to protect our delicate areas and encourages a diverse and often quite healthy microbiome, which keeps us in balance while preventing infection,” she continues.

And while forgoing regular waxing or shaving for the first time in a long time can be liberating, it can also be uncharted territory for many women. From minimal grooming to gentle cleansing, here the experts weigh in on how to maintain the natural look.

 

Invest in Trimmer Scissors

While a buzzer for your bikini line can be handy, Fromberg recommends cutting pubic hair with small trimming scissors (“Not a scissor that you use to cut paper or things in the kitchen!” she cautions), as well as sterilizing the blades beforehand with alcohol. For better results, use a magnifying mirror, and if the hair is long enough, a fine-tooth comb can help hold it in place as you trim. If you prefer to shave simply to neaten the area, do so with a natural shaving cream, like Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shaving Soap, and be sure to disinfect the blade with a toner infused with witch hazel afterwards.

Exfoliate to Treat and Prevent Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hairs can be par for the course no matter how you wear your pubic hair. “When it comes to keeping ingrowns at bay, exfoliation in the shower works wonders,” say Tung and Schubert. Fur’s Ingrown Concentrate is infused with moisturizing coconut oil and antibacterial tea tree oil to help banish bumps; it comes with an exfoliating finger mitt to help lift dead skin and trapped oil in special spots. For extra care outside of the shower, you can also massage the area with Cap Beauty’s Bikini Dry Brush to boost circulation and speed up any needed healing.

Cleanse Gently—But Not Too Much

“When you grow out your pubic hair, a healthy cleansing regimen is important as you may have more issues with sweating and hair can trap odor and bacteria,” says Feliu-Espada. She advises using a gentle pH-balanced feminine wash free of artificial fragrance, parabens, and sulfates, such as The Honey Pot’s Feminine Wash Sensitive. “Avoid soaping up your vulva, labia, or inside your vagina, which can cause drying and irritation,” says Fromberg.

Nourish and Soften the Hair

“Cutting and shaving pubic hair will make the ends feel more scratchy and bristly in texture, so [one of] the benefits of leaving pubic hair long is that it feels soft,” says Fromberg. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make the texture even silkier. Fur Oil is a cult favorite among many women—including Emma Watson—with its quick-drying grape seed, anti-inflammatory clary sage seed, and strand-softening jojoba oils, as well as its light citrus scent.

Let the Area Breathe

Another benefit of pubic hair is that it protects the skin against irritation from uncomfortable fabrics. That said, airing it out is important too. “Avoid tight clothing and let your pubic area breathe after a long day or sweaty workouts,” says Fromberg. And to that end, stay away from moisture-retaining synthetic fabrics and opt for organic cotton underwear, such as Skin’s organic cotton boy short briefs. A few adjustments to your regimen aside, you’ll find: The more pubic hair, the less to worry about.

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Find out the New Breast Cancer Detection Device Can Identify Tumor Tissue in Under 5 Minutes

Find out the New Breast Cancer Detection Device Can Identify Tumor Tissue in Under 5 Minutes

By Adetoun Adeyemo. September 11, 2018 9:00Am

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Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women worldwide with an estimated 1.7 million new diagnoses each year, according to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. A global health emergency, it’s that much more acute in developing countries where the majority of cases are identified in late stages. Which is why a new weapon in prevention is causing a global fervor. Known as iBreastExam, the FDA-cleared wireless handheld device can detect tumor tissue using new tactile sensing technology in under five minutes without causing pain or emitting harmful radiation.

As highlighted by The New York Times, the revolutionary tool is the brainchild of computer engineer and developer Mihir Shah, who recognized a dire need for early detection in India, where for every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, one will die. There, and in other developing nations across the world, the lack of access to early detection often comes down to the dearth of mammograms (attributed to their high cost) and a shortage of trained radiologists. And while incorporating iBreastExam technology into routine checkups globally could help the medical community zero in on the women that need it most, it could also play a pivotal role in early detection for countries at the forefront of breast cancer research, like the United States.

While Ari D. Brooks, M.D. and director of the Integrated Breast Center at Pennsylvania Hospital, underlines that the iBreastExam isn’t meant to replace or compete with mammograms, which remain the standard of care in the field, he acknowledges that it could serve as a more thorough precautionary measure in routine physical exams for women of all ages, especially those under 40 who are not eligible for screening. “If placed in primary care and ob-gyn offices, it could help document and augment the physician’s exam of a patient’s breast,” he explains, adding that it might also identify more women with findings worth sending on for mammogram and ultrasound evaluation. Additionally, this technology may help women and their doctors feel more comfortable during in-office breast exams. “Many women feel [lumps, but] they aren’t comfortable with their own self-exam,” explains Dr. Brooks. “Using the iBreastExam in the doctor’s office may help them feel confident that they do or do not feel something.”

And while Dr. Brooks acknowledges that on the flip side, it’s possible iBreastExam could lead to more “false alarms,” that is, use of ultrasound and biopsies for evaluation of benign conditions, he also cities the importance of a 2016 study published by the World Journal of Surgical Oncology, which concluded that the the tool demonstrated excellent sensitivity when identifying significant lesions that warranted further evaluation with diagnostic imaging.

Whether or not the iBreastExam becomes a doctor’s-office mainstay or not, there’s no denying that the technology is already having a significant impact in the fight against breast cancer, not just by making early detection easier for those who need it most, but by creating more awareness in how women can be more proactive in lowering their risk—and offering one more tool in the fight against this crucial disease.

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Cardi B and Nicki Minaj Get into Fight During Fashion Week

Cardi B and Nicki Minaj Get into Fight During Fashion Week

By: DCWLifestyle.com. Mon., Sep,10, 2018 10:30am
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Harper’s Bazaar

Is this Nicki Minaj‘s response to her New York Fashion Week fight with Cardi B?

On Friday evening, the Queen rapper and the “Bodak Yellow” star were both in attendance at the Harper’s Bazaar Icon party at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. Towards the end of the night, Minaj and Cardi were captured on camera by E! News and fellow guests getting into a scuffle. An insider told E! News that Minaj was mingling with guests at the party when Cardi lunged at her and began shouting. Social media footage also appeared to show Cardi throwing her red heel at Minaj during the altercation.

“It was so fast!” an eyewitness shared with E! News. “I heard someone screaming—everyone recognized Cardi’s voice—people either got out of the way or took out their phones and started filming. Nicki was surrounded by a bunch of guards and barely even looked at her. Next thing you know, shoes were flying and Cardi was on her way out.”

The fight culminated in Cardi B throwing her red heel before security escorted her out.

Neither rappers have commented directly on the fight, but Cardi posted a screenshot of a Notes App referring to a long-standing squabble. It doesn’t mention Minaj by name, but suggests whomever it’s about made a comment about her newborn, Kulture Kiari.

Minaj, meanwhile, has only posted photos of herself, presented without comment.

 

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Checkout The New York City Detox Shop Where Cryotherapy and CBD-Infused Smoothies Are on the Menu

Checkout The New York City Detox Shop Where Cryotherapy and CBD-Infused Smoothies Are on the Menu

 

August 10, 2018 10:06 AM

BY ADETOUN ADEYEMO

Clean Market, a new Manhattan wellness boutique, takes an inside-out approach, with IV drips and smoothies alongside organic skin care.

Photo: Courtesy of Clean Market

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Picture a day spa, and you might imagine an ’80s movie heroine: hair swirled up in a towel, a plush robe tied around her waist, cucumbers on her eyes, and a pair of manicurists lacquering each set of talons. The apt word here is pampering, yes, but there’s an undercurrent of efficiency—all the beautifying rituals in a single place for maximum unwind. What is the present-day equivalent, then, in an age that prizes peak wellness? The answer might look something like Clean Market, a new health destination that just opened in Manhattan. Here, a leisurely visit could start with a subarctic blast in the cryotherapy chamber, then segue into an infrared sauna for a meditative thaw, and wind up in a lounge chair for a vitamin-packed IV drip. There are still robes (by Parachute); cucumbers, too—only those come blended into a made-to-order smoothie. CBD is optional. (And for sale.)

Lily Kunin—whose blog, Clean Food Dirty City, spawned a cookbook last year—is the creative force behind Clean Market.

Photo: Courtesy of Clean Market

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“I really wanted to create an oasis that brought you away from the hustle and bustle of New York City and offered multiple wellness products and services under one roof,” says Lily Kunin, the health coach and mastermind behind Clean Market. A Los Angeles native who moved east this past January, she gives off an even-keel warmth that seems out of sync with someone putting the finishing touches on her first-ever storefront. What to ascribe it to? It could be the repeat doses of cryo (a perk of the job) that have left her with “more energy, better sleep, and a boost in mood,” she reports. Or the swirl of powdered RelaxMax—an Xymogen supplement designed for stress management—that she mixes into her water every morning. And then there’s the daily matcha, supercharged with grass-fed collagen, locally made cashew milk, and a rotating mix of adaptogens. “I’ve been feeling Moon Juice’s Power Dust these days,” she says, referring to the cult herbal blends out of L.A.; the brand has partnered with Clean Market for its first functional latte bar on the East Coast.

The shop’s neon sign doubles as a road map for the well-stocked supplement wall, which includes CBD tinctures, vitamin-C gels, and probiotics.

Photo: Courtesy of Clean Market

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Following in Kunin’s health-minded footsteps is easy, because it’s all on offer. Up front, near the glowing neon sign that reads like a cosmic shopping list (Energy, Flow, check, check), begins the deep dive into ingestibles. There are familiar favorites, including Beauty Chef’s skin-boosting powders, tiny squeeze packets of Lypo-Spheric vitamin C, and glass vials of the marine elixir Quinton, along with jars of coconut butter from the downtown kindred spirit in wellness, CAP Beauty. But the prized cache here are the medical-grade supplements, which are backed by clinicals and can only be stocked by an M.D. (The storefront has a medical doctor on staff through NutriDrip, the in-house IV service.) Kunin rattles off a few essentials: the Metagenics PhytoMulti, B Activ by Xymogen, a forthcoming probiotic by Designs for Health “specifically formulated for your gut-brain axis,” she says, and a Thorne hemp oil so popular it’s back-ordered.

Across the room, takeaway meals by Daily Dose service the fitness-minded neighbors (SoulCycle on one side, Equinox on the other) and also echo how Kunin got her start in the health industry. After spending her teenage years grappling with crushing migraines and vertigo, she wound her way through traditional and alternative medicine before nixing gluten—a dietary change that, rather miraculously, worked. “That was the moment where I was like, Wow. What we do and what we’re eating and how we’re using our body has such an effect on how we feel,” she says. She launched a blog (Clean Food Dirty City), which spawned a cookbook (Good Clean Food), and got her health-coach credentials along the way—skills that all come together in the refreshing, deeply nourishing smoothie recipes served at the bar. The Majik takes its color cue from blueberries and E3Live; The Pines tempers the peppery anti-inflammatory roots turmeric and ginger with pineapple, mango, and coconut milk. But Kunin calls The Core her favorite: a quencher of a recipe designed for the inevitable heat waves ahead. Make it yourself with the how-to, below. Or swing uptown for a summer cooler—paired, if you’re so inclined, with a flash-freeze in the cryo chamber.

The Core smoothie, blended with hydrating ingredients like coconut water and cucumber, is a summer standby.

Photo: Courtesy of Clean Market

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The Core

Ingredients

10 oz. coconut water

⅓ cup frozen banana

½ frozen pear

Handful of frozen baby kale

Handful of frozen baby spinach

1 small Persian cucumber (or 3-inch English cucumber)

Squeeze of lemon (1 tsp.)

Scoop of ice.

 

SOURCE VOGUE.COM

 

 

 

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Willow Smith is all grown and Gorgeous

By Editor, January 24th, 2018

Willow Smith is all grown and Gorgeous

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The world was always going to know who Willow Smith was because her famous parents Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith left her no choice in that matter. But rather than ride on the coattails of her parents’ fame, Willow wanted to create her own path, even from as young as 10 years old when she released her first single, “Whip My Hair.”

She has continued to pursue her musical aspirations since then, but it’s not just her repertoire that has grown. Here are the ways Smith has transformed from a Hollywood child to a talented and beautiful young woman.

She hated growing up in the spotlight
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Growing up with famous parents was not something Smith wanted, nor was it something that she found easy. She shared her thoughts on the topic in an interview with Girl Gaze (via People magazine).

“Growing up and trying to figure out your life… while people feel like they have some sort of entitlement to know what’s going on, is absolutely, excruciatingly terrible — and the only way to get over it, is to go into it,” she said.

She also feels as though this toxic environment can take its toll on mental health, saying, “I feel like most kids like me end up going down a spiral of depression, and the world is sitting there looking at them through their phones; laughing and making jokes and making memes at the crippling effect that this lifestyle has on the psyche.”

She feels the world needs to be more open-minded
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The idea that girls should like pink and boys should like blue is outdated, and Smith chose to remind everyone of this in an interview with Refinery29. She said, “I’m a black female in the 21st century. My favorite color isn’t pink; it’s black.”

That’s not the only thing that she feels sets her apart from the norm, and her open-minded approach on this topic is refreshing. She said, “I’m not obsessed with getting married or having kids. Gender norms put people in boxes and don’t allow them to really get to their full potential as a human being. Slowly but surely, dudes are starting to wear nail polish and become more in tune with their feelings. Change is happening, and it’s very exciting.”

She’s empowering other young women
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Whether she asked for it or not, Smith’s parents’ fame gave her a platform and she could either ignore it or embrace it. She chose to do the latter and has been using her voice and image as a powerful tool to inspire young women.

When Smith was 15, she was invited by French fashion house Chanel to be one of their ambassadors. It’s an important role and it’s one that Smith takes seriously because, even then, she understood that “It’s not every day that a 15-year-old black girl with dreads gets elected to be the Chanel ambassador.” She made these comments in an interview with The Telegraph and told the publication she realizes the importance of being a role model for those who are not represented by the media.

“I know a lot of girls that look like me feel that they’re not beautiful and feel like they don’t have a place in the media or a place in the world,” she said. “I want them to know that’s not true, and if you’re confident and you love yourself then everything you see, your perception, will start to change and you’ll see things differently. I want to show those girls that might not think they’re beautiful but they are.”

She sees human beings in a new way

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I don’t know what your average 17-year-old is like in 2018, but I do know that there is nothing average about Smith because she has a unique approach to the world. She made this clear in an interview with The Fader.

“I’ve just been doing so much growing up, I’m really just becoming a woman. Damn. I’m really a woman,” she said. “Seeing how my thought processes have changed over the years and how my observations get keener. Everything is getting more clear but also I’m starting to see the spectrum of life in such a new way. It’s so grey and uncomfortable and joyous. It’s the first time I’m seeing life and experiencing relating to human beings in a completely different way.”

She has an interesting view on love and relationships
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Smith thinks a lot about love and relationships and her approach to love is interesting as it’s based on the ability to give your partner complete and utter freedom.

She shared these views with The Fader, telling the publication that to attempt to define something is a mistake. She said, “You say you love this person but then you’re doing all of these things that inhibit their freedom because of your insecurities. That’s not only in romantic love, that’s in friendships and everything. I just realized that the actions that I was taking weren’t reflective of what I’m saying. I saw that in myself and others, and as much as we want to hold on to these people, love and relationships you have to enjoy and release.”

Smith went on to explain how holding on too tightly can harm relationships. She said, “Let things go where they need to go. Don’t hold on because when you hold on you kill love. As soon as you say, ‘This is mine,’ or ‘This is my boyfriend’ or ‘This is my girlfriend,’ you’ve massacred your real relationships.”

How can someone so young can be so wise beyond their years?!

She’s all about girl power
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When Smith turned up for an interview with Teen Vogue she did so wearing a cropped t-shirt with the statement, “Never underestimate the power of a woman.” And truer words have never been written, at least in the opinion of Smith, who is passionate about women supporting each other.

What made her shoot for the publication special is that it was a first for Smith: the first time that she had been photographed by a female photographer. Upon meeting photographer Emma Summerton, the publication notes how Smith reacted with excitement and stated, “This is so cool. I’ve never been shot by a woman before — not for anything this major! There is such a need for more female photographers, physicists, astronauts, doctors….”

She’s faced difficulties being in Generation Z
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Don’t confuse Smith for a Millennial, because she is from Generation Z. This is the generation who were born post-1995, and according to Huffington Post, they make up 25.9 percent of the United States population.

If you have ever wondered what it was like to be part of this generation, Smith has the answers, and according to her, it has its downsides.

She described herself and the other post-Millennials as being “anxious” in an interview with Girl Gaze (via Entertainment Tonight). Some may think this anxiety is linked to a technological obsession, but Smith notes that it’s not quite as simple as that. She said, “It’s not just the phones. The phones are just a tool. The phones just heighten what was already happening.”

She cares about others
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Smith may have the privileges that most don’t, but that doesn’t mean she’s closed off to the hardships of the world. The singer and her family did their bit to help ease the suffering of others when they handed over items from their wardrobe to The RealReal, with all proceeds donated to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

According to E! News, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, along with their children Jaden and Willow, had their clothing sold on The RealReal’s website — all these items now appear to have been sold. As for what was on sale? Smith’s contribution reportedly ranged from bomber jackets to sneakers, with pieces including her Adidas x Rita Ora Lightweight Hooded Jacket, and her Opening Ceremony Wool Varsity Jacket.

Music helped her to discover self-love
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Smith’s last name ensured that she would never be a starving artist, but she has tried to remain true to herself with the direction she has taken her music. Her second album, The 1st, focuses on self-love and music has helped to give her clarity with regards to this idea.

Smith explained to Rolling Stone that if someone devotes hours to their art, they are left with a sense of accomplishment or competency upon its completion. For her, this competence results in confidence, and as Smith states, “It’s a cycle of tracking the progression of your competence and the growth of confidence. Each time the kinds of experiences are the same but the feelings are different. Like for each song you go through, ‘OK, I’m learning this. I’m learning this a bit more. Now, I get this.’ You start to become friends with the process.”

She doesn’t want to be in the public eye forever
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We’ve already established that living in the public eye has its challenges, and Smith has revealed just how much she longs to escape it. She has big plans for her future and they don’t involve being famous.

Pharrell Williams chatted to Smith and her brother Jaden for Interview magazine in 2016, and when asked where they see themselves in ten years, Jaden responded with “gone,” a thought Willow echoed. She explained, “I feel that. I see myself in the mountains somewhere in a tent cooking a squirrel.”

After going back and forth with her brother about eating squirrel (because Jaden was shocked), Smith revealed that living away from the city life and becoming at home in nature is something her heart desires. She said, “I want to retreat back to living off the land and just being in nature, experiencing life in the most pure, natural way possible.”

She wants to hone in on her creativity in the future
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Smith’s long-term goal may be to become self-sufficient and live away from civilization but there’s a more immediate ambition which she wants to achieve first: exploring her understanding of music.

“I want to rocket my knowledge and intelligence about specifically the science of music,” Smith told Rolling Stone in a 2017 interview. “The art of creating music is one thing, but the science of it is a completely different world that I want to become more comfortable with. I’m such a right-brained person that coming at me with logic rooted in creativity takes time for me to get comfortable with that and understand the logistics of my creativity.”

Courtesy, The List.

 

 

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