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The Beauty Boardroom: Holiday Gift Guide

My beauty board is back, y'all! And just in time for Christmas.

It might just be me, but shopping this year for gifts has seemed harder--and it might be because I've been nowhere.

I've been inside for nearly a year...yikes.

What do people even like? What gifts do they buy for each other? Am I now too far removed from society? From the world?

Extra, I know, but my goodness. I have needed suggestions this year, and so it was only apt that I consulted my Beauty Board because when in doubt, call up the experts, right?

Before I get to the product suggestions, though, please meet my two newest members of The Board.

Meet Samona

Twenty-six, Trinidad native, Howard Grad, and Behavioral Therapist providing services to individuals with Autism spectrum disorder. She's also a plant mom and beauty enthusiast with a love for all things natural and eco-friendly. She recently returned to Trinidad from Washington DC and is on a quest to #supportlocal.

Meet Erika

Born and raised in Michigan, the Midwest, native and Howard Grad is a content writer and marketing specialist. Her unyielding love of storytelling inspires her to communicate notable experiences in captivating and engaging ways. When she’s not working, she’s hitting the gym, cheffing it up in the kitchen, or nose deep in a good book. She lives for earth tones, a great shoe collection, and all things skincare.

And of course, you've already met:


The Arkansas-raised, DC-grown Howard Grad is a digital communication strategist at the intersection of social impact and policy. She loves modeling, high impact workouts, and baking sugary southern treats. Most likely found in heels, gold hoop earrings, and a glossy lip.


The Bronx Native and Howard Grad provides therapy to young BIPOC people incorporating culture, travel, food, art, nature, education, and other holistic tools into her work. She loves all things beauty and style and feels one can never go wrong with a creamy concealer under the eye and a nude lip!

Take the stress out of shopping

When in doubt, consult the professionals; aka all of your friends.

This past week, I consulted the girls about gifts. It's definitely that time of the year, cities are shut down again, and our immediate access to shopping malls and other stores is incredibly limited. My theme this year was to 'shop local,' so all of my friends and family, I have decided, would get something from a small or local brand. That was the plan, anyway.

The "shipaggeddon" we're experiencing has definitely delayed gift-giving to an extent. So as the actual exchange of these gifts gets pushed back into the New Year, here are the suggestions I have received.

Beauty Brands.

Gabbie's choices are both skincare picks: Ayele & Co. and Herb'n Eden, two black-owned companies--one with whom she shops already. (Ayele & Co. is having a Christmas sale too, in case you were wondering). The second brand is a great gift idea for the product junkie on your list, because Sacha Cosmetics hails from Trinidad and Tobago. The brand has been equated to MAC Cosmetics, but it specializes in shades and pigments for women of color. I'm always looking for a great concealer, and with mask-wearing now a norm, the makeup I do wear, when any, has been very minimal. I've heard very good things about this brand's Kamaflage Foundation Palette, so this might be something I actually end up gifting myself.

Fashion Labels.

I must admit, in this group of friends, we love some lingerie--and that's including all parts of it; from panties to hoisery. And, I must also add, nudes in any of these pieces are hard to come by when you're all varying shades of brown.

So, these two picks are incredibly refreshing, and on top of that, also promote body positivity and self-love: two things this blog is all about anyway.

Love, Vera and Nubian Skin are the two brands suggested by both Bria and Erika, respectively. Bria is already in love with a nude lace set from Love, Vera, and I think we're all looking to see what Nubian Skin been talkin'bout.

(Nubian Skin is having a 50% off Winter Sale, too, just so you're also aware).

Sammy's Local Picks.

Samona hails from Trinidad, and is currently on a personal quest to #supportlocal brands, so what's fantastic about each of her picks is that they're all local Trini shops. All skincare companies, Hannah's Hand Made specializes in hand-crafted soaps; bU Skin Treats and Immortelle Beauty also specialize in body and facial care; and Imagine Cosmetics makes not only luxury makeup but tools--which, I have to say, can be hard to come by.

Check out the brands below!

Read the clothespetals IG for more of December's gift picks, because it's really never too late to surprise someone with a little something, holiday season or not!

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